July 2007 Personalities:
Charles Allen - chairman, Global Radio (UK) and former chief executive of ITV; Jill Ainscough - COO UK media regulator Ofcom; Art Bell - former US Coast-to-Coast AM host; Ralph Bernard - (2) - Chief executive and former executive chairman of G-Cap Media, UK; John Bitove Jr. -- Canadian entrepreneur, chairman and CEO Canadian Satellite Radio- operator of XM Canada; Tony Blackburn - veteran British DJ who launched BBC Radio 1; Pierre Bouvard - president, Sales and Marketing, Arbitron; Mark Byford - BBC Deputy Director General; Howie Carr- (2) -Boston WRKO-AM Afternoon host; John Cassaday - President and CEO, Corus Entertainment, Canada; Alun Cathcart - (3) - Executive chairman, Emap; Chris Chapman - Chairman, Australian Communications and Media Authority; Nigel Chapman - Director of BBC World Service; Christian O'Connell - Virgin Radio breakfast host; John Dahlsen- chairman, Southern Cross Broadcasting, Australia; Nate Davis-- President and COO, XM Satellite Radio- to stand in as interim CEO when CEO Hugh Panero steps down next month; Andy Duncan - UK Channel 4 chief executive; Robert Feder - (2) - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Sen Russ Feingold - Wisconsin Democrat who introduced legislation concerning radio consolidation; Marc Fisher - Washington Post reporter; Ian Greenberg - President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc, Canada; John Hall - CEO RadioScape; Andrew Harrison - (3) -chief executive, UK RadioCentre; Joel Hollander - former chairman and CEO, CBS Radio; Quentin Howard - President, WorldDMB; Don Imus - former syndicated US host (Fired by CBS April 2007); Paul Jackson - Magaging director SMG Radio; Mel Karmazin - CEO Sirius Satellite Radio; Peter Kosann - President and CEO, Westwood One; John Laws - Sydney 2UE morning host; Jeff Littlejohn - EVP of Distribution Development, Clear Channel Radio; Sir Michael Lyons - chairman- BBC Trust; Kevin J. Martin - Chairman US Federal Communications Commission; Dan Mason - President and CEO, CBS Radio; Mark Mays - CEO- CEO, Clear Channel; Kip Meek - UK RadioCentre board member and chief policy officer - former Chief Policy Officer, Ofcom; Stephen B. Morris - Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office, Arbitron, US; Graham Mott - Group General Manager Radio, Southern Cross Broadcasting; John Myers - chief executive of Guardian Media Group Radio (UK); George Noory - host of Coast-to-Coast AM US late night show; Denis O'Brien- Irish businessman -founder of Communicorps; Michael O'Keeffe - chief executive Broadcasting Commission of Ireland; Hugh Panero - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio- to step down Aug 2007; Richard Park - radio consultant and former programme director, UK Capital Radio - joining Global Radio; Gary Parsons - chairman, XM Satellite Radio (US); Jonathan Potter --(2) - Executive Director, Digital Media Association (DIMA), US; Gillian Reynolds - (2) -UK Telegraph radio columnist; Ed Richards - (4) -CEO, British media regulator Ofcom; Phil Riley - radio division chief executive, Chrysalis Group, UK ( being bought by Global Radio as of June 2007); Nathalie Schwarz - Director of Radio, UK Channel 4; Bob Shennan - Controller, BBC Radio 5 Live and Asian Network; John L. Simson - (2) Executive director, Sound Exchange, US; Jeffrey H. Smulyan - Chairman, president, and CEO, Emmis Communications, US; Scott Taunton - UTV Radio Chief Executive; Mark Thompson - (2) - BBC Director General; Andria Vidler - managing director Magic FM, London; Joan Warner - (2) - CEO, industry body Commercial Radio Australia; Dennis Wharton - (3) -Executive Vice President, US National Association of Broadcasters; Richard Wheatly - executive chairman, The Local Radio Company, UK; Rob Woodward - chief executive SMG; Julian Worricker - BBC Radio Five Live host (to leave station; Andrew Zaref - former CFO, Westwood One (US)-left July 2007; Stan Zemanek - (3) - former Sydney 2UE late-night host -stood down Dec 2006 - died as result of brain tumour;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

July 2007 Archive

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

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

ABC, Australia
Streams list:
Radio Australia
News stream

ABC, Anerica
(Links to audio)

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

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

Links to audio streams:

Hourly newscast:

US National Public Radio

Voice of America
Audio News reports:

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

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

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- June 2007 - Aug 2007 -
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 -Looks at regulation in other countries in the light of attacks on the idea of reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine in the US and concludes that other factors are much more important in affecting effective freedom of speech.
RNW June comment - Boycotts and pork or a business approach. We suggest that a single royalty rate for digital - or analogue - audio is nonsense and that the system should be changed to provide tiered charges and a choice of collection agencies.
RNW May comment - Playing to strengths! We suggest radio has to accept the world as it now is and play to its
strengths rather than waste effort in attempts to stifle competition.
2007-07-31: Australian Prime Minister John Howard has told a lunch to mark 40 years of talkback radio that the medium has a greater influence on public affairs in Australia than any comparable country.
"The influence over the last 40 years of talk radio on the shape and the style of Australian politics has been enormous," he said, adding, "There is nothing quite so free when it comes to the media of this country than talkback radio."
Howard also praised radio as a medium, saying it was his preferred means of communications, had "an immediacy, a directness that is totally missing from the other mediums" and adding, "It is only through radio that you can go close to having a conversation, not only with the person who is interviewing you but also with the public" but also warning that there were dangers and commenting, "You never know who is going to ring up, how the clever interviewer might ask you the name of a candidate you suddenly can't remember - and of course we are all human, and that is the great thing about talkback radio."
"Radio is the best means of communication because it is only through radio that you can even come close to having a personal conversation with the Australian people,' he said.
The day's other guest of honour, 2UE morning host John Laws who is to retire this year after 55 years in radio and who was presented with a lifetime achievement award on behalf of industry body Commercial Radio Australia., took issue about the freedom of speech.
Laws, was involved in the cash-for-comment scandal and has also been the subject of rulings by the Australian Communications and Media Authority that he broke Australian commercial radio industry codes by misrepresenting viewpoints and presenting material in a misleading manner (See RNW Dec 13, 2006) and was also the subject of a tribunal ruling that he had "vilified homosexuals" (See RNW Feb 18, 2005). He said, "It is the land of the free ... if you don't speak and added that he could "do without the broadcasting control board".
Previous Laws:
The Australian/AAP report:

2007-07-31: UK Chrysalis shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept the GBP 170 million (USD 340 million) bid for Chrysalis Radio from Global Radio - 3,066 against, 383,538 abstaining or withheld and 142,324,601 for. They also approved by a much smaller majority a payment to outgoing Radio Chief executive Phil Riley to compensate for loss of office - 66, 509, 70 against, 3,333,969 abstaining or withheld; and 72,867,535 for.
Charles Allen, executive chair of Global Radio, commented, "We are very pleased that our company has succeeded in securing these assets, and I and my colleagues now look forward to working with the teams, which have done such a great job building these brands, to further develop the business. It is an exciting time for the radio industry, and we are sure Global Radio will be playing an important role in the coming years."
Previous Chrysalis:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Riley:

2007-07-31: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest broadcast bulletin has ruled that GCap Media broke regulations by carrying an advert on Classic FM for an edition of the Spectator magazine that had not been cleared by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC).
The advert promoted the magazine's review of the political career of former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair that, after a sardonic description of the former premier, concluded: "Blair: A
Modern Tragedy. The definitive guide to the missed opportunity of the Tony Blair era. Manipulator, communicator, fabricator. Only in 'The Spectator'. On sale Thursday."
This led to two complaints that the advert was political advertising and during the subsequent inquiry by Ofcom GCap confirmed that it had not obtained RACC approval and apologized for its procedural oversight on this occasion. It also said it had strengthened its internal procedures to avoid any recurrences.
In another case, a member of the public who had taken part in the programme Night Owls on Emap's Newcastle station Metro Radio complained that he had been treated unfairly on the broadcast leading Ofcom to request a recording of the transmission. Emap said it was unable to provide a copy and said it had assumed that because Ofcom's request was made more than 42 days after the date of broadcast, no provision of a recording copy to Ofcom was necessary although following a subsequent investigation by the Head of Regulatory Affairs, Emap Radio confirmed that Metro Radio had in fact retained a copy of the programme.
Ofcom in this case noted that it had been unable to entertain the complaints and said failure to supply the recording on request was a "serious and significant breach of Metro Radio's licence" that would be held on record.
In addition to these two radio cases Ofcom also upheld Standards complaints against two TV programmes, one of which attracted 44 complaints, and in a further case noted on record that the broadcaster had been unable to supply a recording of a programme complained about in breach of its licence conditions.
In addition it posted details of a Fairness and Privacy TV complaint that was not upheld and also listed without detail a further 192 TV complaints about 157 items and 28 radio complaints against 26 items that it did not upheld or considered out of its remit.
The numbers compare with one radio and four TV standards complaint upheld in the previous bulletin, details given of six TV fairness and privacy complaints that it did not uphold, a fine of GBP 50,000 (USD 100,000) on the BBC in connection to premium rate phone lines and a further 197 TV complaints involving 164 items and 34 radio complaints involving 24 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld.
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:

2007-07-31: The issue of terrestrial radio broadcasters potentially having to pay a performance royalty for music they broadcast - charges from which US radio, unlike radio in most of the rest of the world, has been exempt on the basis of the promotional value it provides by airing the songs - will be discussed before a House Committee today.
It will be the firs time the issue has been discussed at an official D.C. hearing and the "Hearing on Ensuring Artists Fair Compensation: Updating the Performance Right and Platform Parity for the 21st Century" will take place of the in front of the Committee for the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, a sub-committee of the House Judiciary Committee.
Testimony is expected from the radio and recording industries and has been preceded by a National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) advertising campaign against the royalty payments carried on D.C. radio stations and also in print.
The adverts emphasise the function of radio as the main way in which Americans discover new music and artists and say, "For decades, radio has been promoting new music free of charge, contributing to record sales and the growth of new stars and new genres of music.
But the international record label conglomerates have a problem - they haven't adapted to the digital age. Now they are asking Congress to tax local radio stations to subsidize their failing business model - to the tune of billions of dollars.
"A new performance tax would severely limit the ability of stations to deliver new music, news and public service messages to their listeners, simply to put more money in the pockets of giant international record companies.
"No performance tax on local radio."
RNW comment: For an organization whose President and CEO David K. Rehr has had the gall to complain about the use of slogans by the satellite radio companies, these adverts rather take the biscuit. The charge, whatever slogan Rehr may dream up, is a charge not a tax unless Rehr is arguing that all copyright is a tax, which we rather doubt.
Previous NAB:

2007-07-31: SMG-owned Virgin Radio has announced that former Spandau Ballet front-man Tony Hadley is to take over from Madness singer and Virgin afternoon host Suggs as host of the station's Friday evening "Party Classics" programme.
Hadley moves into the slot this Friday - the show runs from 18:00 to 22:00 local and airs 80s party hits - and Virgin Radio chief executive Paul Jackson described him as a "top drawer signing for us" adding "He is an absolute party legend with the star appeal and infectious personality that will be a hit with our listeners and bring new audiences to the station."
Hadley commented, "In Spandau Ballet we were at the centre of the 80's music scene, which was like no other - I'll be recreating that party atmosphere every Friday night."
Previous Jackson:
Previous SMG:

2007-07-30: This week we devote our look at print comment on radio to the two issues getting the most coverage last week - those of the Sirius-XM merger - or rather the pot and kettle approach of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in opposing it - and the Fairness Doctrine, which would seem to be more of a non-issue whipped up by right-wing hosts than something that has any chance of being reintroduced.
In the case of the first we gained considerable satisfaction from comments on NAB President and CEO David Rehr's latest letters concerning the merger.
First media consultant, columnists and former PD John Gorman who in his blog refers to letters fired off by Rehr to "President George W. Bush, the FCC, and the Senate Commerce Committee" and then proceeds to do a pretty good demolition job on them.
He starts with Rehr's letter to Bush, despatched following a propaganda question put to the President during a visit to Nashville when the President was asked if artists should be paid royalties for airplay - a current recording industry goal that NAB opposes strongly. The President in a burst of honesty confessed ignorance, saying he had "no earthly idea what you're talking about" prompting Rehr to write to the President saying in part, "Not only would this new performance tax upend the longstanding mutually beneficial business relationship that exists today between record labels, recording artists and broadcasters, but it would have a serious financial impact on broadcasters that could affect their ability to serve their local markets."
Gorman comments, "Did he really think that Bush would understand the gist of his letter?" and we react with our normal reaction to nearly all that Rehr writes with the suggestion that the best thing to do with the letter would be to return it asking that it the propaganda be removed, the language turned into everyday clear English, or it be binned.
Next Gorman turns to Rehr's letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin J. Martin that provided some terrific examples of the pot calling the kettle not to say plain inaccuracies.
Gorman comments that Rehr accused XM and Sirius of basing "their merger on a public relations campaign, slogans over substance, (and) promises without proof" and then continues that the NAB, regardless of where one stands on the issue, is just as guilty of this offence, noting the activities of its PAC, and then continues: "Wasn't it Rehr's group that came up with, Sirius + XM = Monopoly - Do the Math, Hollow Promises, and Merger to Monopoly, among others?
"In fact, he had to be cautioned. Rehr, who used to head the National Beer Wholesalers Association, wanted to use these slogans:
"When you say terrestrial, you said it all.
"For all you do, this terrestrial radio is for you.
"Where there's life, there's terrestrial radio.
"Terrestrial radio- It won't slow you down.
"If you got the time, we've got the terrestrial radio.
"Terrestrial radio - it doesn't get any better than this."
Gorman takes apart other comments by Rehr and of this letter says Rehr's best line was: "The merger parties' argument that satellite radio and local radio are interchangeable is nonsense. If the two services were truly substitutable products, why would anyone pay $12.95 a month if they could get what they want free from local radio stations?"
To which Gorman makes the obviously true response: "The fact is they can't" and continues, before ending by commenting on another Rehr letter to the switch from analogue to digital TV, "And David, did you have to mention that there are those who are so fed up with terrestrial radio that they're willing to plunk down x-amount of dollars for a satellite radio receiver and pay the monthly thirteen buck fee? Doesn't that say there's a need for their service? ... Someone's got to proof read the boy. Either that or Rehr ought to stay off the suds until after he writes these letters. Does he still get free samples from the beer companies he used to rep?"
Next we move to Tyler Savery's comments in Seeking Alpha; Savery makes no secret of his support for the satellite companies but the job he does on Rehr, apart from what we consider some unnecessary attacks through weakness for what he obviously considers a neat phrase and maybe too uncritical acceptance of the satellite companies' arguments, is fairly comprehensive.
Like Gorman he picks up Rehr's comments on PR, slogans and promises and then refers to NAB's slogans contrasting them to the fact that "Sirius and XM have stated their intentions, and even laid them out for everyone to see. A La Carte pricing, lower tiers, family friendly pricing, etc. The NAB wants to be the champion of local content, but often times that simply never happens."
Of various other comments by Rehr to which he responds, Savery like Gorman notes of accusations of currying favour, "Currying favour? What is the NAB PAC all about? Is it wrong to offer something that the FCC feels is in the best interest of the public? When you are in business don't you try currying the favour of consumers? David Rehr, did you think before you penned this statement? Don't you think that this statement is a bit insulting to Chairman Martin as well as consumers? Is giving consumers a great product at a reasonable price a foreign concept to the NAB?"
Savery also takes up issues of the "relevant market" and notes the emergence of new technologies such as Internet streaming and downloads plus portable players and cell phones capable of delivering audio.
Of Rehr's comment that "The merger parties argument that satellite radio and local radio are interchangeable is nonsense. If the two services were truly substitutable products, why would anyone pay USD 12.95 per month if they could get what they want free from local radio stations?" Savery argues that "Churn is a great demonstration of the substitution. People who leave one satellite radio service do not switch to the other. In the vast majority of cases, they find a substitute for satellite radio."
He also takes up plain inaccuracy in Rehr's statement, "Sirius hiked it's rates by 30% only 2 years ago and still managed to grow subscription rolls by 84%" and points out that Sirius has never raised its prices [RNW note: It was XM that did, putting its rate up to that of Sirius], adding, "How could you be doing the job of representing terrestrial radio members and blow such a basic fact when writing what should be such an important letter?"
In similar vein, of Rehr's statement, "In other words, subscribers now paying USD 12.95 for 133 XM channels, or 170 Sirius channels…" he points out that the numbers are the other way round and of Rehr's argument that "both Sirius and XM already use all of their spectrum capacity for existing channels. This means that Sirius wants to add XM channels to line-up post-merger, to create their promised "best of both worlds" package, Sirius will have to drop existing channels on a one-to-one basis" points out that the Sirius-XM filings shoe now deletion and adds, "Additionally, if you have been following the sector, you would realize that modulation overlay has been developed by each company. This allows the addition of channels, as well as other services. Your entire statement is baseless, and factually incorrect."
RNW comment: The above we feel is enough for any rational person to dismiss NAB's comments in general on the basis that if they employ Rehr as anything other than an office cleaner they're obviously not serious about arguing their case as opposed to putting out B or below-grade propaganda. They may of course be correct and there may be enough stupid and ignorant Americans to make this a sensible course of action but if so we're remarkably fortunate in the Americans we know and work with. They certainly are neither that ignorant nor stupid.
On then to the Fairness Doctrine and we begin with a Los Angeles Times editorial mainly because it seems to us to contradict its own argument part-way through (Was Rehr involved in writing it?).
Headed "The unfairness doctrine", the editorial next has a strap line that says "A law that would demand broadcasters air opposing views makes no sense in a time when media is more accessible than ever."
Most of its arguments are reasonable but we noted buried inside the body of the text the lines: "A law that would demand broadcasters air opposing views makes no sense in a time when media is more accessible than ever" and later, "The Federal Communications Commission instituted the Fairness Doctrine in the late 1940s as a compromise of sorts -- it wanted broadcasters to pay attention to local issues but feared they would exert undue influence over them. It abandoned the rule in 1987 on grounds that the rise of cable TV networks had diluted broadcasters' sway over public opinion."
The editorial then says "The threat to talk radio is clear. If the rule were reinstituted, stations that carry Rush Limbaugh could be forced to broadcast commentaries favouring everything that Limbaugh derides, from greenhouse gas controls to same-sex marriage. With hundreds of provocative talk-show hosts on the air, federal regulators could soon be awash in demands for rebuttals."
RNW comment: Considering that US talk radio as a successful commercial format dates back to 1960 - KABC-AM in Los Angeles and KMOX-AM in St Louis - and that many other stations- including WABC-AM, which made the move in 1982 - had switched from music to talk before the Fairness doctrine was abandoned, the doctrine did not prevent commercial success for talk albeit it may have held it back and the editorial here seems to be going along with scaremongering rather than provided a sound fact-based argument. This does not, of course, detract from the rest of the editorial, which makes its case quite well.
It does, however, take us on to comments on the matter from FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) that are less hostile to the Doctrine and also a posting on CBS's Public Eye that, without arguing for re-introduction, makes the point that the issue is rather a phoney one.
Under the heading "No 'Fair' Fight?" Matthew Felling comments, "The only thing wrong with this debate? There really wasn't one. An amusing facet of the quote-unquote debate has been the fact that very few people were actually advocating for the reinstatement of the rule; some pushing in that direction were accused of misreading the report. Said the think-tank responsible for the study that pointed out the imbalance said - and I quote - "Forget the Fairness Doctrine."
Felling also quoted Kevin Martin's comments saying that in his judgment "the events of the last two decades have confirmed the wisdom of the commission's decision to abolish the Fairness Doctrine" and concludes that "…the 'big bang' of media options -- from satellite radio to liberal radio to blogs to streaming video online -- has created an amount of ideological parity that makes the "Fairness Doctrine" feel downright anachronistic, like a landline in an iPhone world."
And from FAIR, we take a look back at a 1984 article by Jeff Cohen entitled "The 'Hush Rush'Hoax: Limbaugh on the Fairness Doctrine" that indicates that Felling is hardly reporting a new phenomenon when it comes to misrepresentation of the Doctrine's effects.
Quoting the host from his own "Letter" in 1993 - "I, Rush Limbaugh, the poster boy of free speech, am being gang muzzled" - Cohen says that "As usual, Limbaugh's followers were mobilized through misinformation and deception."
He gives a little history of the 1987 attempt to re-instate the doctrine - a bill to make it Federal Law was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan after passing the House by a 3-1 vote and the Senate by nearly 2-1 and Cohen notes that "Voting for the bill were such "commie-libs" as Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).W
Another attempt at re-instatement passed in the House but went no further when President George Bush (the one who actually fought in a war) threatened to veto it and hearings in 1991 similarly fell away under the veto threat. Limbaugh's 1993 campaign was launched when President Clinton was perceived as potentially likely to sign it and Cohen comments that "Limbaugh egotistically portrayed it as nothing but a 'Hush Rush Law'" and that his supporters believed him and his claims that the Doctrine was aimed at censoring conservative hosts.
Cohen says of this, "In reality, not one doctrine decision issued by the FCC had ever concerned itself with talk shows. Indeed, the talk show format was born, and flourished, while the doctrine was in operation. Right-wing hosts often dominated the talk shows, even in liberal cities, but none was ever muzzled."
Cohen then continues, "The Fairness Doctrine doesn't require that each program be internally balanced, or mandate "equal time": It would not require that balance in the overall program line-up be anything close to 50/50. It merely prohibits a station from blasting away day after day from one perspective, without any opposing views. It would not "hush Rush," but it may get stations that offer only a constant diet of Limbaugh and fellow right-wingers to diversify their line-up a bit. Limbaugh was uttering nonsense when he claimed (Limbaugh Letter, 10/93) that to balance his show under the Fairness Doctrine, station owners "will have to go out and get two liberal shows. Or maybe three. Even three might not be enough."
And making one part of the |argument that still has some validity, if rather less, Cohen comments in response to Limbaugh's arguments that there should be no fairness requirement on broadcasters since there is none on newspapers, "He misses the key difference: If you want to compete with Limbaugh's partisan publication in the marketplace of ideas, you can simply start your own publication right next to his. But if you set up your own competing broadcast program right next to a Limbaugh station on the radio dial, without acquiring a government license, you will be prosecuted. Broadcast frequencies are limited; printing presses are not."
RNW comment: If broadcasts are still considered to matter that remains true without removing the argument that cable, satellite and the Internet have made reduced the dominance by broadcasters.
Which of course raises the question, particularly of radio, of whether the new options available, are making serious inroads onto its traditional turf.
In Australia, according to Katie Cincotta in the Melbourne Age, they are. Writing under the heading, "Dude, where's my audience?" she says "Gen Y is switching off the radio, telly and stereo and turning to the internet for, well, just about everything. Digital natives, they call them. Raised on the revolution of broadband, mobiles, MP3s and the user-generated content explosion, young audiences are fast tuning out of traditional media."
Figures cited to back up the contention are a 6% overall fall in TV audiences over the last five years within which there was a 17% drop amongst 16-39-year-olds and also a fall in use of newspapers, magazines, radio and cinema in favour of the internet by the younger generation with "time spent online by 14-25-year-old 'heavy internet users'" doubling from 18% in 2002 to 36% in 2007.
The reasons may not, however, all be to do with the medium as much as the content and Cincotta quotes media buyer Steve Allen as saying TV has lost some of its audience to pirate downloaders, but believes lacklustre programming is also to blame and commenting, "When you don't have hits, to hang on to audiences is near impossible."
She also quotes Dion Appel, founder of young adult research group Lifelounge, concerning another threat to older media because growing niche audiences are threatening the ability to measure the mass market and are reducing the value of "old media" measurements.
In this Appel is backed up by Simon van Wyk, who heads digital marketing agency Hothouse Interactive, and commented, that media diversity and the "long tail" of content - a term coined by Wired magazine that refers to the plethora of sales niches available such as websites, blogs, pay TV channels, products etc - makes accurately measuring an audience an arduous task.
"It's much more difficult to measure the market now because it's more spread out," he says. "There are 1500 sites in Australia that get more than 50,000 users per month. That was a good audience for a magazine once."
Sometimes the measurement problems are working against traditional media, however, and Cincotta quotes ABC Radio National's talks program editor Joe Gelonesi as saying of its audience - 42% of 1.7 million downloads of ABC podcasts in May were of Radio National programmes and these are not included in the current diary-based radio ratings: "We don't know how much we're underestimating the audience by, because of these new ways of listening. I suspect it's by miles."
Gelonesi argues that there needs to be an agreed standard method of measuring digital audiences - there is no agreed research methodology to give a standardised ratings measurement and advertisers are thus unable to make sound comparisons with the audiences for traditional media - and comments, "Until we all subscribe to that, then it's just a schismatic world of everyone putting out figures, and apples and oranges will be in the same basket."
Despite the problems, however, the age notes that last year online advertising in Australia topped AUD 1 billion ( USD 849 million), exceeding that of the country's commercial radio industry that in 2002 recorded revenues of AUD 924.8 million (USD 775.4 million -See RNW Apr 19).
Finally, having noted the success of the ABC Radio National podcasts - which are not music based but programmes on such topics as books, religion, science, and technology - a comment from Gillian Reynolds in the UK Daily Telegraph that was prompted by the row over BBC involvement in misleading audiences or potentially doing so via a TV trailer that was never aired. Under the headline, "Radio is more believable" Reynolds comments that regarding the trailer, the "reporters, none of whom checked the "scoop" with the Palace, said they believed it was true because the BBC told them."
"There's the clue to this whole issue," she continues. "What you believe depends on who tells it to you… Television these days has fewer documentaries where an established reporter tells the story. Radio is still rich in them."
Reynolds then goes on the praise the documentaries "China Girl" aired by BBC Radio 4 (The BBC being a public service broadcaster, streams of both are still online!) that we compiled by Emily Buchanan, the BBC's world affairs reporter.
Buchanan writes Reynolds "knows about this, having adopted two, both girls… These programmes were enriched by her own experience but not about it, focusing instead on people going through the adoption process. Because she understood their experience, they gave her their confidence. As a good reporter, she let them speak for themselves."
Reynolds gives further details of the programmes and statistics - some 12, 000 Chinese babies are adopted abroad each year, around a quarter of those who have been abandoned by their parents and are in institutions but the best suggestion we can make is to listen for yourself.
Next after the mention of ABC Radio National we suggest a dip into the site - the range is strong with recent offerings including
"All in the Mind", whose last two issues looked at the ethics of experimenting on animals and last Saturday features an interview with the psychologist responsible for the Stanford Prison Experiment and who thinks there are strong parallels with what the students involved did and the atrocities at Abu Ghraib; "Background Briefing" that on Sunday that reported on the Australian bee industry - currently free from disease but fearful of the introduction of the varroa destructor that has been decimating US bees; a "Health Report" on prostate cancer; last Thursday's "Law Report" that considered two cases - of a music promoter jailed for tax evasion and the case of the Indian doctor who was detained under Australia's anti-terror laws but released, although his working visa was withdrawn, when the evidence against him turned out to be inaccurate; and also last Thursday's "Media Report" that included an interview with the head of ABC Radio Sue Howard, responding to allegations that the corporation is sounding more and more like its commercial counterparts and reports on the controversy involving the BBC and at mobile TV.
Also worthy of a listen is last week's "On the Media" from WNYC - its topics included the detention in Guantanamo Bay of former Al Jazeera camera man, Sami Al-Hajj, as an enemy combatant and UK Guardian Seamus Milne on the voice of Iraq's insurgents.
Turning to the BBC we first note that the Corporation has troubles with its Radio Player and for various services the current suggestion is to go to the "Listen Again" pages which have alternative links to some of those in the Radio Player.
As listening we first suggest BBC Radio 4 and "Book of the Week", which this week is "The American Invasion of British High Society" by Charles Jennings. Very revealing of how impoverished or dissolute English nobility were prepared to exploit American "cash cows" - the phrase is used in the readings whilst the cows were prepared to put up money - and with a lot more - for a title.
Also from Radio 4 on Monday we suggest "India and Pakistan 07" in which Hardeep Singh Kohli makes a personal journey across the borders of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, hearing the stories of those who were affected by partition 60 years ago and how the consequences are still being felt.
The "Woman's Hour Drama" is also part of the season with "5,000 Rupees" adapted by Ayeesha Menon, from the novel by Vikas Swarup.
RNW note: We will further update listening suggestions later with more BBC recommendations..
Previous Columnists:
Previous Reynolds:
CBS Public Eye - Felling
FAIR (1994)- Cohen:
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2007-07-29: Last week was a fairly steady one for the regulators with the most important issue on the various agendas submissions to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relating to the proposed Sirius-XM satellite radio merger.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has posted only one radio licence decision, the renews 4CRB Gold Coast's community broadcasting licence with a change to its community interest so that it now represent seniors in the licence area rather than the genera community. The change was requested by the licensee, the Christian and Community Broadcasting Association Ltd.
The Authority has also called for public comments, with a deadline of August 6, on its draft Guide To the Transfer of Community Broadcasting Licences. This lists the circumstances in which ACMA may approve such a transfer and contains advice on the kind of evidence applicants may provide in support of their applications.
In Canada, radio-related postings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following (In order of province):
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CIBW-FM, Drayton Valley.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of English-language community-based campus station CJSR-FM, Edmonton.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of low-power, commercial English-language station CIHS-FM, Wetaskiwin,
British Columbia:
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CHWF-FM, Nanaimo.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of Slocan Valley T.V. Society's radiocommunication distribution undertaking serving Passmore: This distributes the programmes of CFMI-FM, New Westminster, British Columbia and CISN-FM, Edmonton, Alberta.
New Brunswick:
Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of English- and Native-language Type B native station CKTP-FM, Fredericton.
*Approval of application by Humber Communications Community Corporation, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a licence to operate a 60 watts English-language instructional campus FM radio programming undertaking at Humber College in Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKYC-FM, Owen Sound.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CJUK-FM, Thunder Bay.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CJTK-FM-1, North Bay, and CJTK-FM-2, Little Current.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKTT-FM, Timmins.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CIRV-FM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CIMX-FM, Windsor.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of French-, English- and Native-language Type B native station CKII-FM, Dolbeau.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has deferred the advertising of three radio licences because it wishes to give priority to digital TV matters (See RNW Jul 27) and in a rather busier UK Ofcom has appointed Jill Ainscough as its Chief Operating Officer (See RNW Jul 27); has proposed new regulations relating to premium rate services (See RNW Jul 25); has issued a "Yellow Card" to High Wycombe and Amersham station Mix 107 for not operating within its Format, advertised a new digital multiplex and updated its digital multiplex advertisement timetable as well as being involved with community station awards and licence advertisements.
The Mix "Yellow Card" was issued following a Spot Sampling Report carried out in relation to part of its output and was triggered after correspondence with the station about a proposed Format change request, in which it transpired that the station had dropped the specialist Asian and Afro-Caribbean music programming required by its Format.
Ofcom insisted that Mix 107 reinstate these programming elements and the station said that from 29 April it would broadcast two new programmes, 'The Caribbean Connection' and 'The Asian Connection', early on Sunday mornings from 05.00 to 08.00 but Ofcom's monitoring on Sunday 10 June revealed that Mix 107 did not broadcast the new programmes, and it was also unable to provide recordings for Sunday 6 May.
Ofcom noted that "the programmes on other weekends that were broadcast fell short of listener expectation and an acceptable standard of output" and continued, "By the station's own admission, on at least two occasions (that we are aware of) out of the first seven scheduled slots, the programmes failed to be broadcast without the knowledge of station or group management and therefore no remedial action was taken. In our view, this represents either a serious breakdown in compliance/operational procedure or a lack of commitment to meeting specific obligatory aspects of the Mix 107 Format."
On the digital front, Ofcom has advertised a new DAB multiplex for Gloucestershire, a licence area that it estimates could cover an area with a 15-plus audience of around 460,000: Applications with a non-refundable fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 10,000) have to be submitted by October 24.
Ofcom has also update its planned timetable for advertisement of new radio multiplex licences: Licences still to be advertised this year are:
October - for Lincolnshire excluding the South Holland district of Lincolnshire or the southern part of the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, which are covered by the Peterborough local radio multiplex.
November - Mid and West Wales covering the counties of Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro, Carmarthenshire/Sir Gaerfyrddin, Ceredigion and Powys.
December - Surrey & northern Sussex- to cover Rushmoor district and parts of the Hart and East Hampshire districts of Hampshire, the Crawley district of West Sussex, parts of the Chichester district of West Sussex, the parts of the Horsham and Mid Sussex districts of West Sussex that are not in the PPA of the existing Sussex Coast multiplex, and the parts of the Lewes and Wealden districts of East Sussex that are not in the PPA of the existing Sussex Coast multiplex.
Ofcom has also published its reasons for the award of the new national multiplex licence to 4 Digital Group Ltd and of the new Derbyshire to NOWdigital East Midlands Limited (For both see RNW Jul 6).
Ofcom said of the national licence award for which there was also an application from National Grid Wireless Ltd that the winning bid was in its view "best calculated to promote the development of digital sound broadcasting in the UK (other than by satellite)" and added that in particular "the shareholders in 4DG, which include significant media companies for whom this national radio multiplex service will represent their first substantial investment in radio (e.g. Channel 4 and BSkyB) alongside experienced broadcast radio operators (e.g. Emap, Chrysalis), are able to offer a breadth of marketing and cross-promotional opportunities and resources through their existing portfolios of services and brands which should help to give DAB digital radio a strong boost at this important time for the platform."
It also noted that "4DG had developed partnerships with, among others, receiver manufacturers, retailers and the BBC, and felt that these relationships would assist in the promotion of DAB digital radio."
Regarding programming the licensing committee considered that 4dg'S proposals "appealed to a variety of tastes and interests" and said that "services such as the proposed "contemporary public service speech" and "youthful interactive entertainment" channels (Channel 4 Radio and E4 Radio respectively) would be likely to provide strong competition for the BBC."
The Committee "especially welcomed the prospective return to a national radio platform of a rolling news service (Sky News Radio) and new national services designed to appeal to Britain's varied communities of Asian origin (Sunrise Radio UK) and to children (Radio Disney). In light of the declining level of radio listening among younger listeners, the success of the E4 brand in appealing to a young audience was also noted."
Regarding the Derbyshire award to sole bidder NOWdigital East Midlands', the licensing committee said it "considered that the proposed multiplex line-up offered a good variety of services, likely to have a appeal to a broad range of listeners in terms of age and musical tastes" and also noted that the applicant had provided evidence of a strong local demand for various of the services.
On the Community radio front, Ofcom has published its 2006-07 Community Radio Fund end of year report in which it says the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, provided a total of GBP 830,000 (USD 1.66 million) in funding (See RNW Jul 26).
It has also invited applications for community licences in North Wales and Northwest England; North and North East England; Scotland and Northern Ireland; Southwest England and South/Mid Wales; and Yorkshire.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted is now considering submissions relating to the proposed Sirius-XM Satellite Radio merger but in general has had a fairly quiet week was regards radio.
Amongst its actions was the announcement that is now ready to grant another construction permit for a licence sold in its Auction 37 of 288 FM permit in 2004. The licence involved is for Marfa, Texas, and was won by Matinee Radio LLC.
The commission also terminated its investigation of Matinee Radio and issued a Consent Decree resolving matters raised by the investigation: As part of the order Matinee is to make a USD 35,000 payment to the US Treasury.
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2007-07-28: Clear Channel has reported second quarter revenues up 5% on a year earlier to USD 1.8 billion , including a USD 29 million increase due to foreign exchange movements without which the increase would have been 4%: Operating expenses, however, increased by 6% - to UD 1.1 billion - but including USD 24.3 million due to movements in foreign exchange without which the increase would have been 3% and net income was up 19% to USD 236 million (The increase per diluted share was 23% from 39 cents to 48 cents).
Clear Channel says its income before discontinued operations was up 21% to USD 208.7 million whilst OIBDAN (net income adjusted to exclude non-cash compensation expense and certain other items) was up 6% to USD 636.8 million.
In divisional terms, radio revenues were up 1% in the quarter to USD 918.4 million, Outdoor revenues were up 12% to USD 876.7 million and other revenues fell 6% to USD 836.7 million. Radio expenses were down 1% to USD 524.4 million and outdoor expenses rose 14% to 560.7 million, each including allowance for non-cash compensation expenses and radio operating income rose 5.2% to USD 359.1 million with outdoor operating income up 13.7% to USD 174.9 million while other operating income moved from a positive USD 601,000 to a negative 1.97 million.
Regarding its disposal programme, Clear Channel says that it expects to close the TV Group sale with net proceeds of approximately USD 1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of this year whilst of the 448 radio stations put up for sale it had by the end of June agreed sales of 389 in 77 markets for USD 871.5 million and had completed the sale of 29 of these for USD 75.8 million with the remaining transactions to close this year with estimated net proceeds estimated at USD 781 million.
It adds that it has subsequently agreed the sale of 13 more stations in two markets for USD 4 million and is continuing attempts to sell 46 stations in nine markets.
CEO Mark P. Mays said of the results, "Our second quarter radio revenues were ahead of the industry, while our outdoor unit continued to post solid growth. We continue to make progress in strengthening our diverse portfolio of out-of-home media properties. Our focus remains on transitioning our assets to meet the shifting demands of our audiences, as well as our advertisers by offering compelling content, expanding our distribution capabilities and investing in our brands."
Regarding its sale to a group of private equity funds led by Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. for USD 39.20 per share with an opportunity for unaffiliated shareholders to exchange their shares for shares in the new corporation that will own the company, subject to caps that limit the total to 30% of the votes of the new corporation, Clear Channel says that shareholders of record on July 27 this year will be entitled to vote on the matter at a special meeting whose time and date has yet to be set. Should closure take place after January 1, 2008, shareholders will be entitled to additional payments.
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2007-07-28: Shares in UK Emap rose against a falling market on Friday to end the day up 12.4% at GBP 8.58 - they hit a peak of GBP 8.90 at one stage - following an announcement that "in response to various unsolicited proposals it has received recently for parts of the Group" it is reviewing its structure and assets and will explore all options to maximize shareholder value "including a possible sale or de-merger of some or all of its constituent businesses. "
The announcement reverses comments in May this year by chairman Alun Cathcart saying the numbers were against a break-up and adding "We are going to keep the group together. Yes, we're going to carry on, and no, there have been no approaches of any kind, it's just speculation (See RNW May 23)."
Analysts consider Emap undervalued - some put its value at around GBP 9.90 making it worth some GBP 2.3 billion (USD 4.6 billion - and most think a break-up is more likely than sale to a single bidder with a number of companies including Global Radio or GCap Media potentially interested in the radio holdings, which include the Magic and Kiss brands and are valued at around GBP 390 million (USD 780 million); others in the magazine business which is valued at around GBP 700 million (USD 1.4 billion) and which has already sold its French (sold last year for GBP 380 million- then USD 720 million - See RNW Sep 30, 2006) and US operations (sold in 2001 to Primedia for GBP 366 million only three years after it had spend GBP 1 billion on the purchase of Petersen Publishing); and yet others in the business-to-business , which accounted for 45% of profits last year and which is valued at around GBP 1.25 billion (USD 2.5 billion).
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2007-07-28: According to the New York Post, Don Imus is close to a settlement under which CBS Radio would buy out his contract to avoid costly litigation. The paper cites "multiple sources close to the situation" as saying there is agreement in principle but not yet on the amount - Imus has USD 40 million left on his contract but has launched a lawsuit against CBS for USD 120 million (See RNW May 5).
The paper adds that despite the racist comments made on air by the host about the Rutgers University women's basketball team that led to his dismissal (See RNW Apr 13), one radio executive commented that he'd "rather be Imus in that lawsuit than CBS."
Imus, himself, notes the paper want to get back on the airwaves and is said to have been in touch with other broadcasters including Buckley Broadcasting, Citadel and Clear Channel whilst CBS is reported to be "dragging its feet on making the deal official until it can sign Boomer Esiason to a contract to take over Imus' old morning slot on WFAN.(See RNW Jul 26)." It adds that both camps have an interest in keeping details quiet - neither CBS nor Imus's attorney Martin Garbus have commented on the reports, since for each of them their negotiations with other parties - in the case of CBS removing any possibility of an Imus return weakens its hand in negotiations about a new WFAN morning host whilst Imus would equally be weaker in his negotiations with a potential new employer.
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2007-07-28: Mexican Radio company Grupo Radio Centro has reported second quarter revenues down 40.5% on a year earlier at MXN 145.5 million (USD 13.23 million) with half-year revenues down 36.9% to MXN 270.5 million (USD 24.6 million), attributing the fall for both the first and second quarters primarily to a fall in political advertising - in July 2006, Mexico held presidential and congressional elections.
Broadcasting expenses in the quarter were down 21.1% to MXN 100.8 million (USD 9.2 million) and in the first half down 10.3% to MXN 207.8 million (USD 18.9 million) and broadcasting income was down 61.7% for the quarter to MXN 44.7 million ( USD 4.1 million) and 68.1% for the half-year to MXN 62.8 million (USD 65.7 million) with net income for the quarter dropping from MXN 321.1 million ( USD 29.2 million) to MXN15.6 million ( USD 1.42 million) and for the half-year from MXN 356.5 million (USD 32.4 million) to MXN 12.7 million (USD 1.16 million). The half-year figure was helped by a 73.9% decrease in financing charges as Grupo Radio paid off its bank debt in May 2006.
The company also notes continuing legal proceedings in a dispute between it and Infored, S.A. de C.V. producer of its former top-rated "Monitor" news programme and Gutierrez Vivo, host of the programme.
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2007-07-27: Following its release of an upbeat interim report UK GCap shares bounded by nearly 10% at one point on Thursday, reaching GBP 233.50 before ending the day up 3.95% at GBP 223.50.
GCap said in the Interim statement - covering the period from April 1 to July 25 - that June revenues were up 6% year on year, ahead of expectations; that July revenues were expected to be up 16% year on year within which radio revenues would be up 14%; that there was an "encouraging trend in advertising revenue, with total revenues for the first quarter up 2% year on year on a like for like basis"; and that it had "plans in place to increase operating profit margin to within the range 12% - 14% by March 2009."
The company added that cost reduction "continues to be a top priority" and that it remains on track to achieve GBP 5.5 million (USD 11 million) of additional cost savings that it announced in May this year, thus taking total savings achieved since the merger of GWR and Capital Radio to GBP 35 million (USD 70 million) per annum, some 20% of the cost base of the Group at the time of the merger. These reductions in conjunction with revenue initiatives, it said, should if radio advertising continues to improve enable it to target an "operating profit margin of between 12% - 14% by March 2009."
In audience terms GCap noted that the May UK ratings showed its group audience up 1% quarter-on-quarter to 15.2 million a week; its digital stations up 13% to 900,000 a week; Classic FM, its national classic music franchise, up 5% to top 6 million a week; The One Network and XFM network each up 2% to 7.4 million and 1.2 million a week respectively; and London flagship Capital up 11% to 1.6 million.
It adds that its websites provide a tool for developing both our audience and a new revenue stream, independent of radio advertising budgets with increased traffic in the quarter to June up 13% on last year to 1.4 million average monthly unique users and like for like online revenues for the quarter up 38% year on year.
Chief Executive Ralph Bernard commented, "We are continually improving the business and finding new ways to unlock its full potential. We have already achieved cost savings far greater than envisaged at the time of the merger and are confident that we can deliver substantial margin improvements in the future. Our brand portfolio has been streamlined, audiences are being built at all our major stations and we are investing where we can see attractive returns. Encouragingly, we are beginning to see signs of improvement in advertising revenues, despite an uncertain outlook for consumer confidence."
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2007-07-27: XM Satellite Radio has announced revenues for the second quarter of this year up 22% on a year ago to USD 277 million with its net loss down 23% from USD 229.1 million a year ago to USD 175.8 million (From 87 cents to 57 cents per basic and diluted share, including 12 cents this year related to a non-cash impairment charge to XM's investment in Canadian Satellite Radio) although its operating loss was up from USD 101.7 million a year earlier to USD 108 million and adjusted operating loss was up from USD 46 million to USD 47 million, including USD 4 million in expenses related to the planned merger with Sirius. Subscriber numbers rose from 6.9 million a year ago to 8.25 million
Subscriber acquisition costs also rose, from USD67 to USD 75, and per gross addition (CPGA) was up from USD 112 to USD 121, including USD 10 for inventory- related charges as well as a USD10 increase as a result of continued OEM growth from increased production by newer automotive partners.
Outgoing Chief Executive Hugh Panero, who is to leave next month (See RNW Jul 25) said of the results, "During the second quarter, XM's revenue grew and losses narrowed. XM added more automotive gross subscriber additions than during any quarter in the company's history. XM's partners include the nation's largest and fastest- growing automakers and XM is well positioned for this segment to provide sustained subscriber growth as production of XM-equipped vehicles ramps up for the 2008 model year and beyond."
Of the planned merger with Sirius he commented, "The regulatory review process for our merger with Sirius Satellite Radio continues to move ahead. We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Communications Commission and with the Department of Justice to further demonstrate that this merger is in the public interest and should be approved. We anticipate the merger will close in late 2007."
XM says that at the end of June it had USD 275 million in cash that together with availability of USD 400 million of credit gave it total available liquidity of USD 675 million. XM stock fell 7.86% to USD 11.13 against a backdrop of an overall market fall - the Dow was down 2.6% and the NASDAQ 2.9%.
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2007-07-27: UK media regulator Ofcom has appointed Jill Ainscough, most recently Managing Director of broadband company Easynet Group plc from 2004-6, as its Chief Operating Officer to succeed Ed Richards' who was promoted to the post of Chief Executive last year. She takes up the post on August 7.
Commenting on the appointment, Richards said "Ofcom is very fortunate to have found someone of Jill's calibre and experience for this crucial role. I know she will make an excellent contribution to our important consumer and citizen-facing activities and well as to the effectiveness of the working practices of a lean regulator."
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2007-07-27: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has postponed its advertisement of three commercial radio services- a classic rock service for the Dublin and commuter belt area; a country and Irish service for the North East and; a country and Irish service for the Mid-West.
The Commission says it made the decision because of the need for it to give priority to the development of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).
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2007-07-27: The UK government's Traffic Radio service operated by the Highways Agency officially launched on various digital services around the country on Thursday.
It replaces Smash Hits on multiplexes in the north of England and Capital Disney in Greater London, South Hampshire, Leicester, Nottingham, Swindon and west Wiltshire.
The service is intended to allow motorists to dip in and out for information not entertainment and complement's the online Traffic Radio service that has now been operating for two years.

2007-07-26: In continuing opposition to the planned Sirius-XM merger, the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a 30-page response to comments about the merger re-iterating its previously made points and also attempting to turn the announcement of a la carte offerings from a merged satellite company (See RNW Jul 24) against the satellite radio companies.
"The evidence shows that Commission approval of this monopoly would inevitably result in substantial anti-competitive harms, including increased prices and fewer programming choices for satellite radio consumers, less local programming for local radio listeners, and other public interest harms," says NAB, going on to add, "Indeed, by recently making additional pricing and programming promises, the Applicants effectively concede that the merger would be anti-competitive and that their only hope for approval is to convince the Commission to discard its pro-competitive vision and impose a detailed rate and programming regulatory regime instead."
NAB has also produced yet another report that says the merger should be rejected this time from Professor Stephen S. Wildman, co-director of the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University, who looked at pricing and advertising in the satellite market.
Wildman says he concludes that "the proposed merger in all likelihood would harm the public interest through its adverse effects on Satellite Digital and Audio Services (SDARS) subscribers and listeners to terrestrially-delivered local radio…Furthermore, by reducing the revenue available for local program production, the merger would diminish the ability of local stations to continue their contributions to the long-standing localism goals of U.S. communications policy… Because the merging parties have failed to provide compelling evidence of offsetting societal benefits the FCC should deny the Merger Application."
The NAB has also renewed its "unequivocal support" for Washington Democrat Rep Jay Inslee's Internet Radio Equality Act that would reverse the Copyright Royalty Board decision that greatly increased fees for streaming music from July 15 and has also said that it has received no response to an offer it made on June 6 to SoundExchange on the fees.
NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said of this - without detailing the offer - "We are disappointed by SoundExchange's continued reluctance to respond to the good-faith, reasonable offer put forth by NAB nearly two months ago. NAB will now turn our attention to aggressively advocating in support of Rep. Inslee's legislation to ensure that local radio broadcasters who stream content online are treated fairly."
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2007-07-26: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) together with industry body Commercial Radio
(CRA) and Broadcast Australia (BA) have received "Content+Technology" magazine's inaugural award for "Outstanding Contribution to World Standards" for their work in contributing to the adoption of AAC+ as part of the worldwide DAB standard on behalf of the Australian radio industry and the ABC also received a second award in the Rich Media category where ABC Innovation won its work in developing ABC's Island in Second Life.
Commending on the DAB award, Colin Knowles, Director of the Technology & Distribution division of the ABC, said, "We are excited to have received this award and to have been involved in this industry collaboration, which has been instrumental in specifying and testing the new audio compression technology that has now been included in the global DAB standard."
He added, "I am proud of the role played by the ABC Research and Standards Unit in researching these enhanced audio compression standards and setting up and conducting listening tests in the first phase and then providing the analysis of field trials conducted by CRA and BA. This work has been critical in ensuring that the ABC will be able to achieve its long held goals of providing additional services to our audiences with digital radio".
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2007-07-26: UK media regulator Ofcom in its 2006-07 Community Radio Fund end of year report says the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, provided a total of GBP 830,000 (USD 1.66 million) in funding.
This came in the form of an initial GBP 450,000 (USD 900,000) to which was added funding not distributed in previous years.
In all payments were made to 40 community stations in amounts ranging from GBP 9,250 (USD 18,500) up to GBP 29,675 ( USD 59,350).
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2007-07-26: According to Newsday Boomer Esiason's agent has confirmed he has been in discussions with CBS Radio about Esiason filling the morning slot on WFAN left vacant by the dismissal of Don Imus for his description of the Rutgers basketball players "nappy-headed hos." (See RNW Apr 13).
It quotes agent Steve Rosner as saying when asked about the talks, "It's our policy not to talk about specifics of discussions, but yes, we are having them."
The paper also says that it now appears unlikely that Imus will be back with WFAN despite please by his fans although it adds that it appears likely that he "will emerge elsewhere on the radio dial, presumably after securing a contract settlement with CBS."
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Newsday report:

2007-07-25: XM Satellite Radio has announced that its chief executive- and one of its founders- Hugh Panero is to leave the company in August and that Nate Davis, currently XM President & Chief Operating Officer, will serve as President and interim CEO.
Paying tribute, XM chairman Gary Parsons said, "Hugh took satellite radio from a concept and turned it into the popular, mass market, consumer entertainment product it is today. I thank Hugh personally for his friendship, and professionally, for nearly a decade of industry leadership."
Under the proposed Sirius-XM merger, Panero would have been out as Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is slated as CEO of the combined company should it gain regulatory and shareholder approval with Parsons becoming chairman of the combined entity.
In other satellite radio news, Karmazin has made it clear at a National Press Club luncheon that the al la carte programming that the two companies have said they would offer if merged, is only on offer if the merger goes through. Reuters reports that he told the lunch that only the synergies of the merger would permit the move and if it did not take place Sirius would stick with a single package.
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2007-07-25: UK GCap Media has announced that following the acquisition of Classic Gold Digital in April this year, it is to form a new national classic hits network called 'Gold' that will take in the 18 AM and DAB digital Classic Gold radio stations and the seven AM and DAB digital Capital Gold stations.
The new network will launch from 19:00 local on August 3 and the company says it will offer "an original and exciting product to ABC1 35-54 year old discerning music fans" and will "distinguish itself from the competition by playing the widest breadth of music currently available on commercial radio."
The network will have the strap line "It's all about the music" and GCap says it will offer a variety of specialist music shows, interviews with major artists, celebrity podcasts, special guest presenters and exclusive performances.
GCap has also announced that Classic Gold breakfast host Tony Blackburn will be leaving the station: His last broadcast will be on the morning of August 3, the day the new network launches.
In a statement issued by Capital Blackburn says, "After four and a half years presenting the Breakfast show on Classic Gold I have decided now is as good a time as ever to move on from a Network that I have enjoyed presenting on immensely."
He described the station's listeners as a "brilliant bunch" and adds, "I am sure that our paths will cross in the future as I am in discussions with GCap about a series of new shows. I have a number of exciting radio projects in the pipeline including finding suitable ways (on September 30th) to celebrate 40 years since I woke up the nation on the very first (BBC) Radio 1 breakfast show."
Blackburn's autobiography "Poptastic" is to be published soon and Andy Turner, Station Director of the new merged network, Gold, commented, "Tony is one of the legendary UK broadcasters, has been a dedicated Classic Gold DJ and done a great job in his role hosting breakfast. He will remain on the GCap books and I look forward to working with him on a number of programmes to coincide with the launch of his autobiography."
GCap has also announced a an exclusive deal that will make it the official radio partner of "The Simpsons Movie" which is to be promoted across its stations including Capital Radio, Xfm and Classic FM. The promotion will include a number of stunts including an attempt to break the world record for building the tallest doughnut tower and the movie will take over all the advertising spots on the Capital Radio website in the day of its premiere.
In other UK radio news, the UK Guardian, which is owned by the same parent, had reported that Guardian Media Group Radio is to create a GBP 1 million (USD 2 million) programming fund to boost creativity among independent producers and internet programme providers for GMG's Smooth, Real, Century and Rock Radio networks.
The paper says the move is also intended to boost the UK's "ailing commercial radio sector" and be "a shot across the bows of Radio 2, GMG's main market rival and the UK's market leader."
GMG Radio chief executive John Myers told the paper, "There is no reason why the BBC should take all the best ideas." He pointed to "the unique ownership structure of GMG" as one of the main reasons it can deliver this level of investment outside its normal programming needs and said, "The move marks the beginning of a long-term strategy to create content that will stand out across the output of GMG. The aim is not necessarily to drive daytime audiences but rather to stimulate creativity in the commercial radio market, to lift the wider reputation of commercial radio and to encourage new programme makers to the sector."
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UK Guardian report:

2007-07-25: Arbitron says that Cumulus Media has signed a short term limited agreement to use its Portable People Meter (PPM) Radio Ratings Service in Houston.
The agreement runs only 13 months and covers only two of Cumulus's Houston stations - classic rock KIOL-FM and Top 40 KRBE-FM: The third Cumulus station in the market - news KFNC-FM - is encoding its signal but, says Arbitron has not met the current minimum reporting standards for the PPM radio ratings reports issued to date for Houston.
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2007-07-25: UK media regulator Ofcom is proposing new regulations relating to premium and interactive services from broadcasters: It has accepted the main recommendations in the report from Richard Ayre, a non-executive member of the Ofcom Content Board and former Deputy Chief Executive of BBC News, whose release earlier this month coincided with latest revelations about BBC malpractices in relation to competitions and PRS - premium rate services (See RNW Jul 19).
In particular Ofcom is accepting recommendations to hold broadcasters directly accountable for their use of premium rate services and has launched a consultation on its proposals with an October 17 deadline for responses.
The proposals include new licence obligations for both radio and TV broadcasters that will hold broadcasters directly responsible for consumer protection and PRS compliance and a requirement for television and radio broadcasters to ensure independent third party verification of PRS activity.
The report is primarily concerned with TV broadcasts and makes particular reference to dedicated participation TV services - typically quiz, psychic and adult chat services - which rely heavily upon interaction with viewers by means of PRS: These are currently regulated by Ofcom as editorial content under its Broadcasting Code. Ofcom is consulting on future regulation of these services, to ensure that advertising and editorial are kept separate, as required by European broadcasting legislation.
Ofcom says its proposals would "ensure fair and consistent treatment for all those participating in programmes, such as entering competitions and voting."
Previous Ofcom:

2007-07-25: XM Satellite Radio has announced that its chief executive- and one of its founders- Hugh Panero is to leave the company in August and that Nate Davis, currently XM President & Chief Operating Officer, will serve as President and interim CEO.
Paying tribute, XM chairman Gary Parsons said, "Hugh took satellite radio from a concept and turned it into the popular, mass market, consumer entertainment product it is today. I thank Hugh personally for his friendship, and professionally, for nearly a decade of industry leadership."
Under the proposed Sirius-XM merger, Panero would have been out as Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is slated as CEO of the combined company should it gain regulatory and shareholder approval with Parsons becoming chairman of the combined entity.
In other satellite radio news, Karmazin has made it clear at a National Press Club luncheon that the al la carte programming that the two companies have said they would offer if merged, is only on offer if the merger goes through. Reuters reports that he told the lunch that only the synergies of the merger would permit the move and if it did not take place Sirius would stick with a single package.
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2007-07-25: UK GCap Media has announced that following the acquisition of Classic Gold Digital in April this year, it is to form a new national classic hits network called 'Gold' that will take in the 18 AM and DAB digital Classic Gold radio stations and the seven AM and DAB digital Capital Gold stations.
The new network will launch from 19:00 local on August 3 and the company says it will offer "an original and exciting product to ABC1 35-54 year old discerning music fans" and will "distinguish itself from the competition by playing the widest breadth of music currently available on commercial radio."
The network will have the strap line "It's all about the music" and GCap says it will offer a variety of specialist music shows, interviews with major artists, celebrity podcasts, special guest presenters and exclusive performances.
GCap has also announced that Classic Gold breakfast host Tony Blackburn will be leaving the station: His last broadcast will be on the morning of August 3, the day the new network launches.
In a statement issued by Capital Blackburn says, "After four and a half years presenting the Breakfast show on Classic Gold I have decided now is as good a time as ever to move on from a Network that I have enjoyed presenting on immensely."
He described the station's listeners as a "brilliant bunch" and adds, "I am sure that our paths will cross in the future as I am in discussions with GCap about a series of new shows. I have a number of exciting radio projects in the pipeline including finding suitable ways (on September 30th) to celebrate 40 years since I woke up the nation on the very first (BBC) Radio 1 breakfast show."
Blackburn's autobiography "Poptastic" is to be published soon and Andy Turner, Station Director of the new merged network, Gold, commented, "Tony is one of the legendary UK broadcasters, has been a dedicated Classic Gold DJ and done a great job in his role hosting breakfast. He will remain on the GCap books and I look forward to working with him on a number of programmes to coincide with the launch of his autobiography."
GCap has also announced a an exclusive deal that will make it the official radio partner of "The Simpsons Movie" which is to be promoted across its stations including Capital Radio, Xfm and Classic FM. The promotion will include a number of stunts including an attempt to break the world record for building the tallest doughnut tower and the movie will take over all the advertising spots on the Capital Radio website in the day of its premiere.
In other UK radio news, the UK Guardian, which is owned by the same parent, had reported that Guardian Media Group Radio is to create a GBP 1 million (USD 2 million) programming fund to boost creativity among independent producers and internet programme providers for GMG's Smooth, Real, Century and Rock Radio networks.
The paper says the move is also intended to boost the UK's "ailing commercial radio sector" and be "a shot across the bows of Radio 2, GMG's main market rival and the UK's market leader."
GMG Radio chief executive John Myers told the paper, "There is no reason why the BBC should take all the best ideas." He pointed to "the unique ownership structure of GMG" as one of the main reasons it can deliver this level of investment outside its normal programming needs and said, "The move marks the beginning of a long-term strategy to create content that will stand out across the output of GMG. The aim is not necessarily to drive daytime audiences but rather to stimulate creativity in the commercial radio market, to lift the wider reputation of commercial radio and to encourage new programme makers to the sector."
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2007-07-25: Arbitron says that Cumulus Media has signed a short term limited agreement to use its Portable People Meter (PPM) Radio Ratings Service in Houston.
The agreement runs only 13 months and covers only two of Cumulus's Houston stations - classic rock KIOL-FM and Top 40 KRBE-FM: The third Cumulus station in the market - news KFNC-FM - is encoding its signal but, says Arbitron has not met the current minimum reporting standards for the PPM radio ratings reports issued to date for Houston.
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2007-07-25: UK media regulator Ofcom is proposing new regulations into premium and interactive services from broadcasters: It has accepted the main recommendations in the report from Richard Ayre, a non-executive member of the Ofcom Content Board and former Deputy Chief Executive of BBC News, whose release earlier this month coincided with latest revelations about BBC malpractices in relation to competitions and PRS - premium rate services (See RNW Jul 19).
In particular Ofcom is accepting recommendations to hold broadcasters directly accountable for their use of premium rate services and has launched a consultation on its proposals with an October 17 deadline for responses.
The proposals include new licence obligations for both radio and TV broadcasters that will hold broadcasters directly responsible for consumer protection and PRS compliance and a requirement for television and radio broadcasters to ensure independent third party verification of PRS activity.
The report is primarily concerned with TV broadcasts and makes particular reference to dedicated participation TV services - typically quiz, psychic and adult chat services - which rely heavily upon interaction with viewers by means of PRS: These are currently regulated by Ofcom as editorial content under its Broadcasting Code. Ofcom is consulting on future regulation of these services, to ensure that advertising and editorial are kept separate, as required by European broadcasting legislation.
Ofcom says its proposals would "ensure fair and consistent treatment for all those participating in programmes, such as entering competitions and voting."
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2007-07-24: Cumulus Media Inc., the second-largest radio company in the United States based on station count, has announced a merger agreement under which an investor group led by Cumulus Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis W. Dickey, Jr. together with an affiliate of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity will acquire Cumulus in a transaction valued at approximately USD 1.3 billion.
Under its terms stockholders will be paid USD 11.75 in cash for each of their shares, representing a premium of some 40% above the closing price per share of the Company's Class A Common Stock on July 20, 2007, the last trading day prior to announcement of the transaction.
The Board has recommended acceptance unanimously and Dickey, who will continue as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company after the merger, said in a statement: "This transaction represents an important chapter in our Company's history. We strongly believe in this industry and in the long-term opportunities to grow the business. I look forward to working closely with our talented team and our new partners to build upon our success."
The company says it expects the transaction to be completed in early 2008. The announcement pushed Cumulus stock up - at one time it hit USD 11.74 before dropping back to end the day 32.9% up at USD 11.12.
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2007-07-24: The US satellite radio companies- Sirius and XM - who today file their joint reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - have announced that a merged company would offer programming on an a la carte basis, a move they say "will provide subscribers with more choices and lower prices and pave the way for a unique form of competition in the entertainment industry -- one based on the individual programming preferences of listeners."
The plans announced include a 50-channel choice for USD 6.99 a month and a 100-channel a la carte service for USD 14.99 a month for a service the companies say will allow Sirius customers to choose from some of XM's best programming and vice versa. Currently people have to subscribe to each service at USD 12.95 per service to be able to hear both services.
The offer was derided by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which has been lobbying heavily against the deal and whose Executive Vice President of Media Relations Dennis Wharton commented in a statement, "Policymakers should not be hoodwinked by today's announcement, since nothing is stopping either XM or Sirius from individually offering consumers a more affordable choice in limited program packages. Moreover, after reading the fine print, one discovers that XM and Sirius customers have to buy a new radio for an undisclosed fee to reap the alleged rewards from today's announcement."
"The history of antitrust law," continued Wharton "demonstrates that two hotly-competitive companies will promise anything to become a monopoly. That, coupled with the brazen lack of candour displayed by both XM and Sirius in breaking FCC interference and terrestrial repeater rules, illustrates convincingly that this anti-consumer merger ought to be summarily rejected."
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2007-07-24: In the UK, Portsmouth Football Club has joined the ranks of sports organizations going into broadcasting with a deal with The Local Radio Co (TLRC) to create a joint venture company that will own three radio stations- The Quay in Portsmouth, Spirit FM in Chichester and Isle of Wight Radio.
Under the deal TLRC will transfer the entire issued capital of the stations to the joint radio company in which Portsmouth FC will take a 26% stake for GBP 1 million ( USD 2 million ) in cash whilst TLRC will own the remaining 76%.
The Club will also have the right to increase its shareholding to 50% within the next 12 months for a further GBP 950,000 (USD 1.9 million).
TLRC executive chairman Richard Wheatly noted that Quay FM has had a "long and successful partnership with Portsmouth Football Club" and said the relationship had enabled the company to "establish Quay FM as one of the most successful and fastest growing local radio stations in the region."
The Quay carries live broadcasts of the club's games and this and cover of club news will now be extended to the other stations although all three will continue to be run independently of the club.
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2007-07-23: This week we start our look at print comment on radio with comments on the "Fairness Doctrine", the former Federal Communications Commission rule, dropped in 1987, that dictated giving time to opposing views and whose re-introduction has, according to many of the right-wing in the US, become an aim of many Democrats.
Writing in The Economist, Kevin Kallaugher names Democrat Senators Richard Durbin; Dianne Feinstein, and John Kerry as being or potentially in favour of a re-introduction - he also has Republican Trent Lott on his list of those who may be n favour - but he is strongly against the move.
This is not because of uncritical admiration for the hosts of US talk radio as the title "Let the blowhards blow" indicates as does his description of Rush Limbaugh as "a rich, white and often rather nasty celebrity", expanding this later with "Mr Limbaugh is clearly a great broadcasting talent. He is also a caveman."
To which he adds, "He is also a caveman. Most of his allies and imitators are cavemen without the talent: try listening to Sean Hannity of an afternoon. And the talk-radio hosts were certainly at their xenophobic worst during the immigration debate."
Then he continues, "But none of that is a reason for formatting them out of existence. The "fairness doctrine" is a hangover from a prehistoric technological era. It is an assault on free speech. And it embodies a trivial view of what makes for informative reporting. Serious politicians such as Mr Durbin and Ms Feinstein should be ashamed of themselves for digging it up."
Kallaugher says the doctrine was introduced when the airwaves were "a scarce public commodity dominated by three networks" and "always involved unattractive trade-offs." Broadcasters he says "were forced to accept limits on free speech that print journalists would have gagged on. Pressure groups and litigation fiends had a field day accusing radio stations of bias. Many radio stations avoided controversial subjects altogether in order to spare themselves a visit from FCC snoops. "
This he considers has all changed with additional radio stations and the arrival of satellite and cable and the Internet.
Against the arguments for in terms of the dominance of conservative hosts on the top five commercial stations owners he sets National Public Radio (NPR)which "strives to be fair and balanced but leans to the left" but has 20 million listeners against the 13.5 million for Limbaugh. [RNW comment: The terms used here are to anyone who knows a little history very much comparative and also misleading. NPR is certainly not left in the way the term would still be understood in much of the world nor in the US some 50 years ago and the use shows how the Republicans have perverted much of the language of discourse as in considering the "left" and "liberals" as synonymous - which is something that would have been vehemently disputed by many liberals and leftists.].
Of Durbin's arguments in terms of preferring that Americans hear both sides of the story, he responds, "This is all very high-minded. But should the state really be in the business of regulating what political views people are exposed to? Nobody thinks that readers of The Nation should be forced to read the National Review as well."
"Whatever its problems," he concludes, "America does not suffer from a shortage of opinion or debate. The magazine racks of bookstores groan with political magazines. The radio waves buzz with comment from the left-wing Pacifica Radio to the far-right nutcases. Every man and his dog has a blog. The idea that the government should be hauled in to regulate a fraction of this exploding universe is absurd. No wonder Congress has an even lower approval rating than Mr Bush.
[RNW note: The most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll we have seen shows Bush's approval rate at 33% - the lowest ever for a President was that for President Harry Truman whose rating, because of the unpopularity of the Korean War, fell to 22% at one point: Congress in the same poll had a 24% approval rating. Other recent polls such as the USA Today/Gallup poll give both lower figures than this. Bus, of course has around a90% approval rating after 9/11, a figure we felt at the time judged from outside the country in discussions with various Americans was more one of emotion than rational judgement.].
The Fairness Doctrine also came under strong attack in the Baptist Press where Penna Dexter - a board of trustee member with the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and a conservative activist - under the headline "Muzzling talk radio? " imagined various kinds of reaction to a re-introduction: "Perhaps a syndicated daily talk program co-hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken. Another interesting pair might be Laura Ingraham and Janeane Garofalo. ..Stations could provide 'balance' to Richard Land's radio programs by airing shows hosted by atheists like Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. Or maybe blandness would work: Bill Bennett's 'Muzak in the Morning' featuring home decorating and gardening tips."
Her view: "Our free market system allows the radio consumer to decide what interests him -- by turning the dial. Radio provides a public service, but it is a business. To stay afloat, it must draw listeners and advertisers. Conservative talk does this better -- much better -- than liberal talk."
"Right now," she continues, "talk radio is the liberals' target. It's the engine of the conservative movement, employing the constitutional tool of free speech to dig into the details of controversial issues. Radio is the perfect medium because it does not demand that busy and productive Americans drop what they're doing to absorb its message. It's interactive and populist. Opposing views get a hearing -- and often a point by point argument from the host. [RNW comment: This last could only have been written by someone very ignorant or bigoted…Just dip into a few postings by Limbaugh with an open mind about the issues - we have rarely seen opposing views get a full hearing, even on occasions when it seems to us Limbaugh has the better rational argument and fact on his side, so could afford to let callers have some rope.]
Dexter then moves on to the point that presumably really motivates her comments, writing, "Christian radio would be a major casualty. Rich Bott, president of the Bott Radio Network of Christian stations, says that a requirement to air both sides of controversial issues would present huge problems for religious broadcasters. He says the definition of 'controversial' has changed since the 1980s and that 'today it is considered to be 'controversial' if a person says it is best for children to have both a mother and a father.'"
"Under the Fairness Doctrine," she continues, "the biblical view of homosexuality and all the issues that agenda drives might have to be "balanced" with the opposing position. So would the pro-life view. What about the religion of Islam that is at the root of terrorist attacks on America and other countries? Would Christian-owned stations be required to provide equal time to Islamic imams? Christian radio stations would lose their distinctive and be forced, in the name of balance, to air religious views that are antithetical to Christianity and squelch the salvation message. Station-owners will find themselves combing every message to edit out strong statements of truth and dropping programming that contains a hint of controversy. The result would be watered-down doctrine or no doctrine at all. Commercial stations would lose listeners and advertisers. And listener-supported stations would die for lack of financial support.
Moving on from Fairness to a government restriction on speech that Dexter would presumably approve of, we turn to a report in the UK Times "Radio 2 is ordered to cut out the swearing" by Adam Sherwin, the paper's Media Correspondent.
The report referred to a finding in its latest Broadcast Bulletin (See RNW Jul 18) over the broadcast at Saturday lunchtime of a comedy - "The Green Guide to Life "made for a late evening slot and that included the f-word.
"Radio 2," writes Sherwin, "was once the comfy home of Jimmy Young and Wurlitzer melodies, but now broadcasting watchdogs have told the station to cut out foul language.
Ofcom in its bulletin commented, "This error exposed a weakness in the broadcaster's compliance procedures. Further, this is not the first occasion on which inappropriate language has been transmitted on Radio 2" and Sherwin notes the airing last year during a live interview on Jonathan Ross's Saturday morning show of comments by guest Rupert Everett used the f-word twice in quick succession, as well as a slang word to refer to female genitalia.
Ofcom has issued a general warning concerning the problems from repeating at pre-watershed times programmes originally produced for a later time and says failure by broadcasters to put suitable compliance procedures in place could lead to "regulatory action" and a fine of up to GBP 250,000 (USD 500,000).
Amongst readers comments posted by the paper the balance was against the use of swearing on air - one commented that it was very sad to hear some Britons pepper their conversation with the f-word when they were speaking a language with one of the richest vocabularies in the world and another who wanted a total ban on swearing in broadcasts commented "I am curious to know if other countries are suffering this in their own language, and if their TV programmes do or don't consist of disgusting boring swearing."
On the other side was a comment that said, "Of course there is a time and a place for swearing and I think anyone can see it isn't midday radio programmes… When a comedian says the f word at midday on the radio, a large part of me wants to cheer out loud because I know that it's not appropriate. Anyone who doesn't feel the same is a robot with a sense of humour that probably relies on puns on the word 'pole'."
Finally courtesy of the Washington Post some reflections - pegged to the release of a movie "Talk to Me" about 1970s Washington radio DJ and talk show host Petey Greene - about some different changes in US radio over the years.
The article asks "But where are the Petey Greenes of today?" and queries whether Hollywood's discovery of the host has come "only after black radio has ceased to be a force for organizing and uniting local black communities? Have satellite technology, the Internet and the rise of black ownership of radio stations so altered the media landscape that black radio no longer connects in the same intimate and powerful way it did during Greene's day?"
Black voices on radio are now, it says "more influential and draw far larger audiences today than when Greene worked at WOL" and it cites syndicated radio hosts such as Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, Michael Baisden and Tavis Smiley.
"But," it says, "the tradition that Greene was a part of -- the phenomenon of DJs becoming the informal mayors of black communities by emphasizing intensely local social connections and political issues -- has largely disappeared from the airwaves" suggesting that the reason is because "satellite technology has let stations buy cheaper, slicker programming featuring nationally known hosts, and because stations targeting audiences of all races have become more willing to devote airtime to black voices such as nationally syndicated talk host."
Commenting on the difference this has made, Joe Madison, a former NAACP official who started out as a talk host in Detroit in the '70s and who now runs a morning show that airs simultaneously on WOL-AM and on XM Satellite Radio's black talk channel, said, "As an NAACP official touring the country, if I wanted to get information out about an issue or event, my first stop was always the local black radio station. "Syndication doesn't really allow for that. The issues have to be national. If I'm pushing a get-out-the-vote rally in Dayton, Ohio, that's not going to be on 'The Tom Joyner Show.' ".
It then notes the balancing act required to please both the local and national audience, quoting Madison as saying, "I can talk about Fenty [Washington's Mayor}taking over the D.C. school system because mayoral takeovers are a good issue in New York, L.A. and Detroit but if I want to do a show on a special election in Ward 4, because that's very important to that WOL audience, I have to go to the issues of gentrification and development and broaden it out to the rest of the country."
Another black host -Ambrose Lane Sr., whose talk show, "We Ourselves" has run on listener-supported WPFW-FM since 1978 and who is also aired by XM, commented, "Petey was easy to listen to, easy to understand, by everybody. When Petey warned people during the '68 riots, it was real, because people knew he was real. He was a phenomenon created by a combination of that time of great change and his personality. Today, we have different times and a totally different scene."
Lane puts the change down the deregulation of the industry that allowed large companies to buy up stations and then cut costs by reducing local programming and using nationally syndicated shows and the article says of the founder of Radio One Inc. - Cathy Hughes, who with then-husband Dewey Hughes bought WOL from its last white owner in 1980 that on her own talk show she "became a firebrand and a political power broker -- more influential than Greene ever was" but then in building up her empire she and her son Radio One chief executive Alfred Liggins III -- focused on creating stockholder value more than on the street-level bonds that black DJs formed with local listeners.
It notes that "WOL's line-up today consists mainly of nationally syndicated talk shows -- a sports show from Atlanta, a radio lawyer from Chicago, rabble-rouser Al Sharpton from New York" although Madison "tries to take on enough local issues to make Washington listeners feel as if the station still connects as it did when its studios were a storefront on H Street NE."
RNW comment: Maybe this is a report that should be quoted at the next FCC meeting on media ownership in Chicago?
On then to listening suggestions andas an initial suggestion a run from BBC Radio 4 - this week's "Book of the Week" (08:45 GMT with a 23:30 GMT repeat); the "Woman's Hour Drama (09:45 GMT with an 18:45 GMT repeat); "The Afternoon Reading" (14:30 GMT) and "The Singer Not the Song" that follows at 14:45 GMT.
The first is "Femme Fatale: A Biography of Mata Hari", comprised of readings from Pat Shipman's story of Margaretha Zelle; the second "43 Years in the Third Form" , a celebration of the great girls' comics from the 50s to the 80s, by Jane Purcell that on Monday's programme was preceded by a discussion on the differences between comics at the time and between them and those of today that come out poorly in terms of what their readers should aspire towards (celebrity and spending rather then doing anything would seem to be the consensus); the third a series showcasing contemporary writing under the heading "Opening Lines"; and finally "The Singer Not the Song", which analyses the qualities that make a singing voice unforgettable - it begins with Jazz today and continues with Folk (Tues); Blues (Wed); Rock (Thu), andTenor (Fri).
Sticking with the BBC but looking at other stations, we note that BBC Radio 3 is continuing to air this year's Proms Concerts - full schedule available online and nearly all the performances can be heard via the Listen-Again facility for a week.
Then from BBC Radio 2, a recommendation from Tuesday at 21:30 GMT when in "Only a Northern Song" Paul Sexton tells the story of how the two most successful songwriters in pop history, Lennon and McCartney, won and then lost control of a billion dollar publishing empire.
And on Saturday, when the Proms are into Brass, Radio 2 at 19:00 GMT has highlights of this year's Cambridge Folk Festival
Then, changing continents, programmes on medical matters from Australia: One was last Sunday's Ockham's Razor which was devoted to the International Society for Stem Cell Research conference that was held in Cairns in June and the other was Saturday's "All in the Mind" in which an Australian neuroscientist and an animal welfarist shared their experiences of working together on animal experimental and ethics committees.
Also from the ABC at the weekend, we suggest "Background Briefing" from Sunday that looked at the issues of "Sex on the Net", suggesting that for all the hot air not enough is known about Internet Generation.
Finally back to BBC radio four for documentary - from Monday "Document" in which Mike Thomson looks at the plotting in the US during the 30's to replace Franklin Delano Roosevelt with a fascist leader; from Tuesday "The Wikipedia Story"(10:30 GMT) in which Clive Anderson looks at the online encyclopedia to which anybody can contribute and from Wednesday the BBC's "All in the Mind" (15:30 GMT in which Dr Raj Persaud is joined by David Owen to discuss The Hubris Syndrome and the intoxication of power. Later on Tuesday in "Talking to Terrorists" (19:45 GMT) Brian Hanrahan explores the debate over talking to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Finally to end on a lighter note from BBC Radio 4, "The Now Show" on Friday at 17:30 GMT and the lunchtime comedy hour on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday (Noon GMT) - currently airs "The Day the Music Died" followed by "Does the Team Think?"
Previous Columnists:
Baptist Press - Dexter:
Economist - Kallaugher:
UK Times - Sherwin:
Washington Post on Petey Greene:

2007-07-23: Reporting on Clear Channel's latest station disposal - of its nine Utica-Rome stations in New York to Galaxy Communications, the Utica Observer-Dispatch says that Galaxy will have to dispose of five of them to meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership limits and adds that its CEO and President Ed Levine says Galaxy will retain rock WOUR-FM; '80s, '90s and today WUMX-FM, and Sports Stars Radio Network WRNY-AM and WIXT-AM.
To be disposed of are pop/rock WSKS-FM and WSKU-FM (Kiss FM stations), sports WUTQ-AM and WADR-AM, which will be sold to Roser Communications Network; and WOKR-FM (the River), which along with Galaxy's classic rock WRCK-FM is to be sold to Educational Media Foundation.
The paper quoted Levine as saying the musical formats of the stations will remain unchanged and adding that the deal will bring WOUR back to its "glory days" by eliminating its competition - his own WRCK-FM. Levine also retains his modern rock WKLL-FM (K-Rock) and will end up with 14 radio stations between Syracuse and Utica.
Levine commented that the deal boosted local ownership, saying "Three of the major stations in the area - WOUR, Mix 102 and KISS-FM - will return into the hands of two local, independent broadcasters, which is a very good thing."
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Utica Observer-Dispatch report:

2007-07-22: Last week was fairly routine for all the regulators with a steady level of activity but no major issues although in the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saw a Senate committee vote to restore its powers to find broadcasters for fleeting indecency (See RNW Jul 20) and in the UK, Ofcom published a report on the use of premium rate lines by broadcasters, revealing what it termed "systemic failure" (See RNW Jul 19).
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that Perth youth community radio station Groove FM breached three of the additional conditions on its licence.
The ACMA says it is now considering heightened compliance measures to prevent potential recurrence of breaches of these additional licence conditions - not broadcasting an average of four Australian music items per hour in each eight-hour period commencing 6.00 am, 2.00 pm and 10.00 pm; not broadcasting announcements inviting listeners to become members of the station at least once an hour between 7.00 am and midnight; and not broadcasting announcements inviting listeners to participate in talk programming at the station at least once every two hours between 7.00 am and midnight. These additional licence conditions, which came into effect on 1 May 2006, were imposed on the licensee following an investigation by ACMA's predecessor, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (See RNW Licence News, May 7, 2006).
The ACMA has also approved applications by Macquarie Media Group (MMG) relating to its proposed acquisition of Southern Cross Broadcasting (Australia) Limited (SCB) (See RNW Jul 4). In essence these allow a short term breach of Australia's new media diversity laws on the basis that "remedial action will be taken within approved timeframes."
ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said of the arrangement, "ACMA has given the approvals sought by MMG after extensive discussions, during which the enforceable undertakings proposed by the applicants were considerably strengthened. MMG will be required to divest assets in certain markets and take other action within strict timeframes."
The ACMA notes that the proposed acquisition will result in breaches of the statutory control rules in relation to the Tasmania and Darwin commercial television licence areas and the combined Brisbane and Nambour commercial radio licence areas. In addition, an unacceptable media diversity situation will arise in nine commercial radio licence areas (Atherton, Burnie, Charters Towers, Devonport, Emerald, Kingaroy, Mt Isa, Warragul and Young,) and there will be a reduction in points in three additional commercial radio licence areas in which an unacceptable media diversity situation already exists (Queenstown, Roma and Scottsdale).
The ACMA also notes that MMG and Fairfax Media Limited made an announcement concerning a transaction related to this acquisition of SCB by MMG and says it understands that further applications for prior approval will be made in respect of this subsequent transaction.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a fairly quiet week with radio-related postings including (In order pf province):
*Denial of application by Corus to increase the power of CKCB-FM, Collingwood, from 350 watts to an average ERP of 4,000 watts, and increase the antenna height. The application had been opposed by two broadcasters - Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of CHGB-FM, a new FM station serving Wasaga Beach, which is adjacent to Collingwood; and Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited, licensee of CFJB-FM and CKMB-FM Barrie, which said the expanded contour as proposed by Corus would "jeopardize the ongoing viability of independent broadcasters in the Barrie, Midland and Wasaga markets." The commission in refusing the application said it was of the view that there are alternatives to the technical parameters proposed by Corus in this application that could address the applicant's concerns for the ability of CKCB-FM to effectively reach all areas of its Collingwood market and that it considered the applicant has not demonstrated an economic imperative for approval of the proposed technical amendment.
*Approval, subject to the applicant finding alternative technical parameters, of an application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to add an FM transmitter in Sarnia to the licence of CHOK-AM, Sarnia. The Commission said the application to use a Class A channel would not utilize the full potential of such a channel and would not represent the best use of the frequency applied for.
*Denial of application to add a 45 watts transmitter at Tisdale to the licence of CJNE-FM, Nipawin. In refusing the application the Commission said it had received a complaint by Radio CJVR Ltd. (CJVR), licensee of CJVR-FM and CKJH-AM, Melfort, concerning CJNE's Canadian content in its output and that it had to consider this issue and the potential impact on the Tisdale radio market.
CJNE had admitted non compliance with Canadian content regulations but noted that the week monitored directly followed Christmas, and was a period in which it usually broadcasts a great deal of Ukrainian Christmas music.
The Commission added that it could not ignore the breaches and also noted that it had refused an application for a new FM in Tisdale and denied the application.
The CRTC has also called for comment - by August 10 - on the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council's proposed Journalistic Independence Code
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the award of radio funding totalling Euros 143,500 (USD 198,000) through its "New Adventures in Broadcasting Scheme" (See RNW July 19). It also signed a three-year contact with United Christian Broadcasters (Ireland) Limited for the provision of a satellite radio service, which will be available on the Sky digital platform: UCB Ireland will be a dedicated Christian radio service, which will give an Irish perspective of news, issues and life in Ireland.
In the UK, as well as publishing its report on use of premium rate services by broadcasts, Ofcom has also rapped the BBC's knuckles in its latest Broadcast Bulletin (See RNW Jul 18).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set the date and location for its fifth of sixth media ownership hearings in Chicago on September 20. In addition its chairman Kevin J. Martin and also Democrat Commissioners Michael J. Copps have welcomed a vote by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation to return to the FCC the right to fine broadcast stations for airing incidental words or images it considered indecent.
On other matters the Commission had a fairly quiet week albeit again there were a number of enforcement actions.
In descending order of amount radio-related penalties imposed or proposed included:
*Notice of apparent liability for a penalty of USD 15,000 issued for public file rule and alien ownership violations along with licence renewal to Texas Educational Broadcasting Co-operative, Inc., licensee of non-commercial educational station KOOP-FM, Hornsby, Texas.
In its renewal application the station had explained that the issues/programs lists for 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001 were missing from the public inspection file. These had been reconstituted from archives and the file was now current.
Regarding an objection to renewal filed by James R. Ellinger, whose allegations included (1) foreign control of the license; numerous "illegal" transfers of control of the license; violations of the Commission's underwriting rules; "financial misdeeds;" failure to maintain financial records; character issues; that the Licensee has "no idea who is on the air;" fraud, theft and misappropriation of funds; criminal activity in the main studio and offices; and airing of indecent and/or obscene material, the commission said the allegations were in general "unsubstantiated by any extrinsic evidence." It did note however that for the two years prior to the renewal filing there were two aliens serving on its board, raising the Licensee's foreign voting interest above the 20 per cent benchmark and in violation of US laws.
Regarding the amount proposed in penalties the FCC reduced the Alien Ownership violation penalty proposed from USD 8,000 to USD 5,000 because the licensee spotted the error and had taken corrective action on top of which it proposed the base forfeiture of USD 10,000 for public file violations.
In addition in California the FCC rejected objections to the renewal of the licences of by Inland Empire Broadcasting Corporation's KOLA-FM, San Bernardino and Sunset Broadcasting, Inc.'s KMET-AM, Banning. The objections were made by Frederick R. Cote who was the sole stockholder of KOLA, Inc., a former licensee of the stations and who in 1992 was indicted on five felony charges in the state. While he was awaiting trial KOLA Inc. entered into a loan agreement for USD 500,000 and when KOKA defaulted on the agreement the licences were transferred to a receiver who subsequently assigned the licences to new owners.
Cote alleges that the stations were "illegally and fraudulently transferred" to the current licensees but the Commission found his arguments without merit, denied his objections, and renewed the licences.
The Commission has also set August 13 as the deadline for comments on the application by Sirius and XM to transfer the latter's licences to the former and August 27 as the deadline for subsequent reply comments.
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2007-07-21: A little more than a week after the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accused Clear Channel of engaging in payola-type practices by forcing independent musicians to waive royalties if they wished to be aired on its stations - an issue also taken up by Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold (See RNW Jul 12) the company has quietly dropped its licensing agreement that made the requirements according to the Dallas Observer.
The paper describes the move as a "major victory for the small non-profit organization, which has a budget that is smaller than the 2006 pay of Clear Channel's CEO and a staff of 6 in contrast to the media giant's 31,000 employees."
It adds that "Clear Channel's royalty grab was especially egregious because it came as part of a voluntary side settlement to end an FCC investigation into allegations of payola at the chain and at other major broadcasters."
It says that following pressure from politicians and the filing Clear Channel removed the words "royalty-free" from the agreement it requires musicians to sign and now says "You grant to Clear Channel the world-wide non-exclusive right and license, in perpetuity (unless terminated earlier by You or Clear Channel as set forth below), to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, digitally perform, […]."
There are also says the paper check boxes on the bottom of the revised web form that give artists more choices about how their work will be considered for airplay (or even offered for download) and it quotes FMC executive director Jenny Toomey as saying, "This is really a David vs. Goliath story. After years of dictating terms to the music industry, Clear Channel is clearly on the defensive now."
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2007-07-21: Australian private equity fund Ironbridge Capital is now in a position to take full ownership of New Zealand media company Mediaworks according to the Dominion Post, which says that following acceptance of its NZD 2.33 per share offer by 82.6% of shareholders it has now increased its bid by 35 cents a share to get the remaining 17.4%.
The increased bid, says the paper, has been accepted by fund manager Brook Asset Management, which holds 8.7% of the company: This takes acceptances to 91.3%, above the 90% required for compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares.
In May CanWest announced that it had entered into a lock up agreement with Ironbridge subsidiary HT Media Limited to sell its 70% share of CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited (MWL) at NZD 2.43 per share, a 49% premium on the price of the stock immediately prior to its announcement in October last year that it was to consider putting its Australasian media interests up for sale (See RNW May 9). Ironbridge then made its bid for the rest of the company, priced at NZD 2.33 following payment by MediaWorks of a special dividend of 10 cents per share.
The paper notes that bought shares on-market when Ironbridge's first offer was open, below the NZD 2.33 price, increasing its stake by about 2 per cent and says it will make NZD 6.9 million (USD 5.5 million) more than if it had accepted the initial offer from Ironbridge: Brook executive chairman, Simon Botherway said MediaWorks' listed history showed the market had undervalued it - its shares were issued at NXD 1.53 when it floated in July 2004 and in October last year were trading below NZD 1.70. "The market has only got itself to blame - once again - for losing a very, very good quality company," he said.
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2007-07-21: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that live coverage by Corus's CKNW-AM, Vancouver, breached the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Code of (Journalistic) Ethics by revealing information that could have endangered lives during the shootings at Dawson College, Montreal, in September last year in which one person was killed and 19 more injured by the gunman before he committed suicide.
The CBSC British Columbia Regional Panel in its decision says that at the time of the shooting the daily Bill Good morning show on CKNW-AM ran a live feed from CINW-AM, the Corus sister station in Montreal at a time when there was considerable confusion and little accurate detail about what was happening with early news reports suggesting that as many as three shooters had entered the college and concern in the Montreal police force that the shooting could be part of a co-ordinated terrorist attack on their city.
It posts a transcript of the show's reports that included a call from a student who was on a cell phone from the seventh floor of a building with 24 others at a time the gunman was possibly still in the building. The complainant said that "This, in a situation like this or in a terrorist situation, could have tipped the gunman to the whereabouts of the trapped people."
CKNW's Program Director in responding said, "We have reviewed the broadcast and we respectfully disagree that the students were put in further danger through the airing of this call and would make the assertion that the students' ability to communicate their whereabouts from within the school would have helped expedite their rescue."
To this the complainant responded in part by commenting, "It is reasonable to say that if there was any concern for the trapped students, the radio station might have stopped the call being broadcast and contacted the police and rescue forces off air with the location of the students to assist in their release. What if several gunmen or terrorists were actually listening to this broadcast and used it to their advantage for locating trapped people to kill or hold hostage; or possibly the gunman or terrorist organisations might have used the radio station to divert police or anti-terrorist forces away from their activities?"
The panel in ruling against CKNW noted that modern technology allowed criminal acts to be planned and co-ordinated from far away using such devices as small digital cameras and cell phones thus creating "new risks for the public in the reporting of criminal activities such as hostage-takings, prison uprisings or terrorist acts."
It also noted that the RTNDA guidelines said broadcasters should "Always assume that the hostage taker, gunman or terrorist has access to the reporting" and says that in this case "the broadcaster not only aired live telephone calls with trapped students but that it also repeated, no less than four times, the locations of those students in the building."
It continued, "The Panel is not suggesting that the station ought not to have either taken or broadcast those cell phone calls from the frightened trapped students. Indeed, it is fortunate that the students were able to access the broadcasters as a potential lifeline. The broadcaster ought never, however, to have permitted that part of those calls (the students' locations) to go to air."
It also notes that it felt the ruling would have applied to any Corus stations running the relevant portion of the feed had complaints been received about their broadcasts.
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2007-07-21: Clear Channel has now made it official following a Chicago Sun-Times report earlier this moth (See RNW Jul 8) and announced that it has dropped "Crazy" Howard McGee's morning show from its Chicago WGCI-FM - his last show after 14 years with the station was on Thursday - and will be replacing him with a Premiere Radio Networks syndicated show from Steve Harvey commencing on August 1. In the interim comedian Leon Rogers will fill -in.
Also out are McGee's executive producer Art Porter and co-host Nikki Woods. For Harvey the addition of WGCI takes his affiliates up to 50 stations and also marks a return to his roots as he started on WGCI as morning personality in 1996.
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2007-07-20: In further digital audio broadcasting developments, Australia has launched the first test transmissions of Eureka DAB using the advanced DAB+ version that utilises more efficient AAC coding than the MP2 used in original DAB transmissions whilst in Europe the European Commission has been criticized for suggesting that it might mandate a single mobile TV technology that could affect DAB transmissions.
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner, noting that this was the world's "first fully compliant high power broadcast of digital radio using DAB+ technology" described the test as "quite an important milestone."
The field tests will include music and speech to allow checks on the sound quality of a variety of content at various bitrates as well as coverage area and Warner added, "The test will send a very strong signal to the major radio receiver manufacturers that Australia is committed to launching digital radio using DAB+ and we will need a broad range of DAB+ digital radios in the market in time for our launch."
So far DAB+ receivers are not yet commercially available to a demonstration receiver is to be used for the tests although a number of manufacturers have indicated they will have DAB+ products available for retail sale before Christmas this year and Australian digital radio services are not formally due to commence until January 2009 when they will be launched in the country's six capital cities.
"The technology is advancing very rapidly and there is likely to be a wide range of digital radios developed over the next 12 months that will be very exciting. We'll be working with manufacturers of radio receivers, mobile phones and mp3 devices as well as car manufacturers to make sure digital radio is available on as many different platforms as possible for Australians," added Warner
Technical checks on the system will use RadioScape's DAB+ Field Monitor and fusion, Broadcast System version 6 and RadioScape CEO John Hall said they were delighted their system would be used in the world's first DAB+ technical trials programme.
RadioScape is supporting DAB+ trials around the globe and Hall added, "RadioScape provides the only truly end-to-end solution for DAB+ network testing and trials. Our consistent drive to improve DAB and provide digital broadcasters with state-of-the-art solutions has lead to the development of our fusion Broadcasting System which also provides unparalleled data services capabilities."
RadioScape was heavily involved in the WorldDMB Task Force that defined the updated DAB+ standard, providing both the broadcast equipment and Field Monitors for initial technology testing and its equipment allows checks on integrated Field Strength Measurement, and the ability to discern individual transmissions within a Single Frequency Network.
In Europe attention has been focussed on mobile TV and strong criticism of comment by the Commission of the European Communities that it would "encourage the implementation of DVB-H" for mobile TV reception in Europe", possibly mandating DVB-H as a common standard.
WorldDMB - the international, non-governmental organisation which promotes the adoption and implementation of Eureka 147 based technologies, said its members continued to "to be mystified by the Commission's unilateral support of DVB-H for mobile television in Europe, apparently to the exclusion of all other mobile TV standards, including those developed by European industry such as T-DMB."
T-DMB, it noted, "is the world's most successful mobile TV standard with millions of devices already in the market. It is widely used in Korea, and is the only European technology for mobile TV sanctioned by China's state regulator. "
WorldDMB President Quentin Howard said, "We, like most of the industry, have always advocated a multi-standard approach including DMB and DVB-H. Europe's citizens and economy will not benefit from EC intervention that restricts technology and innovation."
WorldDMB says it thinks mandating only DVB-H risks isolating Europe when the huge Asian markets of China and Korea have already adopted DMB for mobile TV and it noted that only two weeks ago Italian public broadcaster RAI announced it has opted for DMB instead of DVB-H for mobile television services.
Stefano Ciccotti, chief executive of network provider RaiWay said that a national DVB-H network would have cost €300 million (USD 415 million) whilst extending the existing DMB network in Italy would cost just €8 million (USD 11 million).
Howard said of the commission's requirement that a mobile TV device should work seamlessly in all 27 EU states, thought to be the reason for its comment: "Interoperability is an ideal which has little to do with old fashioned ideas about a single technology. One indisputable fact is that spectrum is not available in every state for the DVB-H standard. But perhaps the biggest challenge to interoperability will be the different encryption standards selected by various EU states and telecoms operators."
The Commission, he said had not addressed these major barriers to interoperability and he noted that DVB-H will have to wait up to five years for spectrum to become available in many countries, while T-DMB allows the majority of European states to roll out mobile TV services immediately.
In addition, Interoperable silicon chips have already been developed so that, years before DVB-H spectrum is available in some states, receivers capable of delivering DAB, T-DMB and DVB-H via one chip will be available.
WorldDMB also criticized suggestions from the commission that DVB-H could utilise spectrum in L-band and so bypass the need to wait for spectrum to become available saying access to L-band is an essential part of the successful roll out of DAB/DAB+ and DMB services in Europe and that using it as a "fall-back" for DVB-H could lead to fragmentation of L-band and render it incompatible for use in Europe.
To "steal" L-band spectrum for DVB-H, it said , would undermine the potential for free-to-air audio services using DAB based technology in Europe and could permanently damage digital roll-out in many countries.
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2007-07-20: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin has welcomed a unanimous voice vote by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation to return to the FCC the right to fine broadcast stations for airing incidental words or images it considered indecent.
The measure, the "Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act" was introduced by West Virginia Democrat Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV in response to a decision by the Second Circuit of Appeals but does not consider whether a particular word or image should be considered indecent.
He said in a statement, "This bill is a narrowly tailored approach that would allow the FCC to maintain its policy adopted in 2003 and hold broadcasters responsible for airing expletives and indecent material even if that material was only shown fleetingly. This legislation is a small but critical step in making sure that the airways remain free of words and images that are patently offensive to the vast majority of Americans."
Martin said of the vote that he appreciated the action "which affirmed the Commission's ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio" adding, "Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the Commission and every parent already knows; even a single word or image can indeed be indecent."
The vote was also welcomed by the Parents Television Council which had called for its supports, saying, "The broadcast decency law should be reaffirmed and vigorously enforced despite efforts by the entertainment industry to undermine the law."
The FCC has also announced that the fifth of its six planned field hearings on media ownership is to be held in Chicago on September 20 with further details to be released in due course.
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2007-07-20: Arbitron has reported second quarter revenues of USD 79 million, up 6.6% on a year earlier but costs and expenses rose by 17.1% to USD 78.8 million, partly because of expenditures in connection with the planned rollout of its Portable People Meter ratings service, and net income was down from USD 7.4 million to USD 3. 8 million (From 24 cents to 13 cents per diluted share)
For the half year , revenues are up 7.3% to USD 170.8 million with costs and expenses up 17.5% to USD 142 million and net income was down 24.5% to USD 19.3 million ( From 83 cents to 64 cents per share).
Chairman, president and CEO Stephen Morris said of the results, "Since the end of the 1st quarter, we signed long term contracts for the PPM ratings service with three leading radio groups: Clear Channel, Cox Radio and Entravision Communications. These contracts, along with the agreements with more than a dozen other major broadcasters and numerous advertising agencies that we had already signed, allow us to focus all our energy on executing the rollout of the PPM ratings service in the top 50 markets."
"Two markets-Philadelphia and Houston, "he added, "have already completed the switch to PPM ratings as the currency in the market. We are also well into the process of installing the PPM service in the three largest and most complex radio markets: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and our progress to date has been good. We are currently on schedule, but each market presents its own set of challenges. It is difficult and exacting work to recruit representative panels of consumers in these extremely diverse markets."
During the company's conference call, Morris said he was "feeling good" about the PPM's introduction, which was on track, and added, "This is a very rapid rollout and we are tackling the biggest and most difficult markets first. We are spending the money to get it right in these markets."
Regarding Project Apollo, Arbitron's joint initiative with The Nielsen Company to develop new measures of advertising return-on-investment, Morris said "pilot subscribers continue to evaluate the Project Apollo value proposition in the context of their particular company's marketing needs" and added that the goal remained to reach a decision "about implementation in the second half of the year."
Regarding prospects, Arbitron has re-iterated its previously issued revenue guidance of an increase between 5.5% and 7.5% but, based on its current PPM rollout and recent contracts, has modified its earning guidance from between USD 1.39 to 1.50 per diluted share to a new figure of between USD 1.35 to 1.45 for the full year.
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2007-07-20: In more US radio station sales, Clear Channel is reported by the Daily Press to have agreed the sale of four of its stations in Victorville, California, to El Dorado Broadcasters.
The papers quotes El Dorado president Jason Wolff as saying that it hopes to close the transaction in October and adds that all of Clear Channel's stations in the market are on the Clear Channel's list of planned divestitures - it owns Country KATJ-FM; Classic Rock KIXA-FM; CHR KRSX-FM; Hot AC KZXY-FM and talk KIXW-AM in Victorville.
Also in California, Liberman Broadcasting is purchasing CHR/Rhythmic KWIE-FM, San Jacinto, from Magic Broadcasting for USD 25 million. It will be its first station in the market.
Magic is keeping KDAY-FM, Los Angeles and KDAI-FM, Riverside, which it plans to combine into a "Southern California SuperStation," covering both Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire.
In Washington D.C. Radio One Inc. is paying USD 38 million for Bonneville's Black Gospel WPRS-FM, which it has been operating under a lease agreement since Easter.
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2007-07-19: The BBC has suspended all its premium rate phone-in and interactive competitions following an internal investigation that revealed that winners had been faked - what the corporation termed "breaches of the corporation's editorial standards." It has also suspended a number of staff.
The breaches relate mainly to TV shows but also included some radio ones and the Corporation's actions came as UK media regulator Ofcom - which has already fined both the BBC and commercial broadcasters in relation to such cheating - posted a report on the use of premium rate services from an inquiry led by Richard Ayre, a non-executive member of the Ofcom Content Board and former Deputy Chief Executive of BBC News.
The Ofcom inquiry was launched amidst widespread publicity about various premium rate abuses in March and it found among other things that compliance failures were systemic; revenue generation was a major driver in the growth of PRS; and some broadcasters appeared to be in denial about their responsibilities to ensure programmes delivered on the transactions they offered to viewers.
The report also comments on an "apparent lack of transparency through the supply chain - between telecoms operators, producers and broadcasters - resulting in a lack of clarity about responsibilities" and says broadcasters are concerned that there is a lack of clarity between the regulators, Ofcom and premium service regulator ICSTIS: It concludes that broadcasters should be made directly responsible for their use pf premium rate services and recommends amendments to TV licences, also suggesting that radio licences be amended.
The report notes: "Though this enquiry has been limited to a consideration of television, it would be surprising, given the range of small-scale PRS-based competitions run on a large number of radio stations, if there had not been further instances of sharp or inadequate practice as yet undiscovered."
In the BBC case, breaches of standards involved various TV programmes including the "Sports Relief", "Comic Relief" and "Children in Need" events where calls were made from members of the production team and in one case a prize was awarded to a "fictitious "winner.
It also involve two radio shows - the Liz Kershaw Show on BBC 6 Music last year and the BBC World Service "White Label" programme that was broadcast up to April 2006.
In the case of the Kershaw Show, which was pre-recorded but presented as if live, a competition was announced that appeared to feature listeners calling in to take part with one of them to win a prize on air but in fact there were no competitions or prizes and all the callers were actually members of the production team and their friends. The practice was stopped in December 2006 when a new producer took over the show.
In the case of the weekly pop music preview programme White Label on the World Service English language output, fake winners were announced on occasions when no winning entries had been received.
BBC director-general Mark Thompson in a statement:" Nothing matters more than trust and fair dealing with our audiences. The vast majority of the 400,000 hours of BBC output each year, on television, radio and online, is accurate, fair and complies with our stringent editorial standards. However, a number of programmes have failed to meet these high standards. This is totally unacceptable."
He announced various measures including a new mandatory training programme to be attended by all of the corporation's 16,500 programmes and content staff and told staff, "There is no excuse for deception. I know the idea of deceiving the public would simply never occur to most people in the BBC. We have to regard deception as a very grave breach of discipline which will normally lead to dismissal. If you have a choice between deception and a programme going off air, let the programme go. It is far better to accept a production problem and make a clean breast to the public than to deceive."
Thomson also said - presumably he choked on putting words like "suspension" out clearly - "In some cases, editorial leaders will be asked to stand back from their duties, pending reviews of why it took so long for a number of historical incidents to come to light."
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2007-07-19: Arbitron says its first Portable People Meter (PPM) "currency" ratings from Houston just released show that the medium is listened to most by those in full-time employment and also that amongst ethnic groups Hispanics and African-Americans spend most time listening to radio.
The figures show that 69% of the Houston radio audience is in full-time employment compared to just more than 56% of the Houston population as a whole and that the AQH audience composition for Hispanics is highest - 73.5% PPM AAQH for those in employment and 61.1% for those above 18 overall compared to overall figures of 69.9% and 56.8% respectively. It notes that the Houston figures in this regard are in line with those from Philadelphia - the first live PPM market - for March.
Pierre Bouvard, president, Sales and Marketing, Arbitron Inc. said of the results in a statement, "Just as we have seen in the Philadelphia March 2007 ratings, the first 'currency' release of the Houston ratings in June shows significant growth in the total audience reach of individual radio stations. That means advertisers can now turn to radio for something that they prize: the ability to deliver reach against a specific target audience. We also see in Houston that radio still maintains its targetability, even as individual station Cume audiences have increased."
In format terms there are some expected divisions - for the Monday to Sunday 06:00 to midnight timing and a 6-plus audience -diary ratings only went from 12 and above , Urban Contemporary stations showed a 91% AQH for Black listeners whilst Mexican Regional has a 98% Hispanic figure and Classic Country an 86% "other" figure. In sex terms, the split for Alternative was 3:1 male, for classic rock 71-29 male and for pop contemporary hit radio was 58:42 female.
For the young audience, measured for the first time, the figures show that those 6-11 tuned in later in the day during first month of the Summer vacation than they had during the last two months of school and midday cume increased sharply as children had the opportunity to listen during the vacation.
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2007-07-19: WorldSpace Italia, a subsidiary of Maryland-headquartered international satellite radio company WorldSpace, and Fiat Group Automobiles have signed an agreement under which the latter will install and distribute WorldSpace receivers in Italy.
WorldSpace says it hopes to commence broadcasting 40-50 channels of commercial-free music, news, entertainment and sports programming, 24 hours a day to Italy from late next year with one channel devoted to Fiat autos, offering offer both promotional and customer-assistance services.
WorldSpace Co-Chief Operating Officer Alexander P. Brown said that "With the signing of this agreement with Fiat Group Automobiles for the Italian market, all of the significant pieces are now in place for WorldSpace's European roll-out," adding,"Over the past year, we have secured the Italian Ministry of Communications' authorization to launch our subscription satellite radio service in Italy; finalized the development of repeater technology that is fully compliant with European Union technical requirements; engaged Telecom Italia to design our terrestrial network and begin installation of the repeaters; and now, contracted with one of the largest vehicle manufacturers and distributors in the world for the installation and sale of WorldSpace satellite radios to their Italian customers."
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2007-07-19: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the award of radio funding totalling Euros 143,500 (USD 198,000) through its "New Adventures in Broadcasting Scheme" that was re-launched in May this year (See RNW Licence News May 13) with the remit to promote the development of innovative and diverse radio programmes.
For the first time since its inception, the New Adventures Scheme was open to all broadcasters; commercial, community and public service and in all 35 applications were received with awards being made in 18 cases, mainly for documentaries but also for drama, music, news and current affairs and sport.
BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said of the awards, "New Adventures in Broadcasting has long been associated with creativity and innovation in programme making for radio. We are delighted therefore to announce this significant level of funding in the knowledge that it will increase the range and choice of radio programming available, while also enabling the development of skills and capability within the broadcasting sector, in line with the Commission's Training and Development policy."
Practical workshops will now be held for successful applicants - to focus on production and evaluation of learning gained from the individual projects, as well as providing an opportunity to share the experiences of other successful groups- and all programmes funded by the New Adventures in Broadcasting Scheme and broadcast before the end of 2007 will be eligible for the New Adventures in Broadcasting Awards, the ceremony for which will take place early in 2008.
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2007-07-18: Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc (CSR) which operates XM Canada says the service now has 269,000 subscribers and in its third quarter to the end of May had revenues up 144% on a year earlier at CAD 5.7 million (USD 5.5 million) with adjusted operating loss reduced by more than a third from CAD 13.2 million (USD 12.7 million) to CAD 9.8 million (USD 9.4 million).
There were similar reductions in Subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) - down from CAD 69 (USD 66) to CAD 40 (USD 38) per gross addition and Cost Per Gross Addition (CPGA) - down from CAD 241 (USD 231) to CAD 178 (USD 171) but Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU) was also down -from CAD 13 (USD 12.5) to CAD 11.0 (USD 10.5).
XM Canada put the ARPU and SAC reductions down primarily to its fiscal 2007 holiday promotion, which included service credits and hardware rebates that are being amortized as a reduction of revenues over the term of the subscriber payment plan, as well as the introduction of multi-year plans during 2006 and an increasing number of family plan activations.
CSR Chairman and CEO John Bitove said of the results, "We are pleased with our performance this quarter, and as we move forward we will continue to search for new opportunities to maintain our aggressive growth strategy and build our subscriber base. Our long-term agreement with the NHL is an example of our commitment to growth."
He was less happy about the stock market response to its subscriber increase- XM stock began Tuesday at CAD 5.80, not much more than a third of the CAD 16 price at which it went public two years ago - telling analysts, "As a key stakeholder and chairman, I'm not happy with our stock price performance to date. I believe the current price is not justified… We're committed long term to running a great brand, having a great business and making our shareholders happy. Whatever anyone else wants to do short term, it's up to them. Long term, we're here to stay, and that's our mission."
Bitove's assessment of the company's future was backed up by CFO Michael Washinushi who said it could break even "as early as next year."
Regarding the potential impact on their Canadian partners of the proposed Sirius-XM merger, Bitove said this was unclear but there had been no talks between XM and Sirius Canada.
"There's really no point in doing anything until we know what's going on in the U.S.," he added although he noted that exclusive programming, such as NHL games that is expected to boost Canadian XM subscriptions, is not in jeopardy at the moment.
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2007-07-18: Southern Cross Broadcasting's Sydney 2UE has revealed that John Laws' "Golden Microphone" - a Sennheiser worth almost AUD 10,000 (USD 8,600) and with the serial number JL 0001, one of two given him by Sennheiser in 2003 to mark his 50th year in radio has been stolen from the station's offices.
Laws in an on-air chat about the theft on 2UE said Sennheiser gave him two, the one we use and the very special one, which he described as "a lovely thing. It's a work of art."
He said the theft was discovered when 2UE looked for it for some reason - probably for a photograph and "its little box was there, its sweet little cradle were there, but it weren't there."
Laws has said that if the thief returns the microphone, he won't press charges.
RNW coomment: We rather suspect this miceophone will turn up -but the "theft", if indeed that is what it is, has certainly gained him and the station publicity.
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2007-07-18: Whilst negotiations and conflict continue in the US over rates for streaming music, the UK Copyright Tribunal has endorsed an agreement negotiated in September last year by the
Music Alliance - representing composers and songwriters - and the majority of the UK online music industry.
The deal is a share-of-revenues one under which songwriters, composers and their publishers under which should receive 8% of gross revenues from online music service providers for on-demand services including downloads and subscription streaming services, 6.5% of revenues for interactive webcasting services and 5.75% for non-interactive webcasting
Music Alliance chief executive Steve Porter said the decision was a "great result for music creators" and added, "We are happy that the Tribunal has endorsed our approach to the licensing of music used in online services. The uncertainty has finally been removed and we have a template for the future that recognises and affirms the value of the creative process to the online music business."

2007-07-18: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest broadcast bulletin raps BBC Radio 2 over the knuckles over a Saturday lunchtime broadcast of its "The Green Guide to Life" that was originally made by an independent production company for a 22:30 local time broadcast and contained a sketch in which a character said, "What do you mean, fuck off"
The BBC had said of a complaint about this that the programme was delivered to it without indication that it contained extremely strong language: It was not vetted before being scheduled in this slot but the Corporation accepted that it should have been and had put in place new compliance procedures to ensure that all programmes are reviewed in-house.
Ofcom noted that this was "not the first occasion on which inappropriate language has been transmitted on Radio 2" and upheld the complaint.
In addition to this ruling, Ofcom fined the BBC GBP 50,000 (USD 100,000) in relation to its taking premium line phone calls about a prize that had already been awarded and also upheld standards complaints against four TV programmes in which the word "fuck" had been used. It also gave details of six TV fairness and privacy complaints that it did not uphold.
The totals compare with no radio complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which it fined Channel 5 TV GBP 300,000 (USD 600,000) for various game show violations; upheld another TV complaint; and gave details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint that was not upheld.
In addition, the bulletin also lists with no details a further 197 TV complaints involving 164 items and 34 radio complaints involving 24 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with 79 TV complaints involving 65 items and 17 radio complaints involving 17 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld in its previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:

2007-07-17: Marcella Zemanek, widow of former Sydney 2UE late-night host Stan Zemanek, has delivered a moving tribute to her late husband, who died of a brain tumour, at a service in Sydney attended by many Australian media notables and colleagues as well as fans.
In the address at St Mary's Catholic Church in North Sydney- chairs were put outside for those who could not fit into the church and proceedings shown on a large TV screen - she recalled their 30 years together as friends, a couple - keeping the relationship quiet at first for job reasons, and then as husband and wife.
Of their meeting and family she commented, "We were a blended family. Between us we had two beautiful, amazing daughters Gabby and Melissa, an outstanding son-in-law, Simon, and our two beautiful grandchildren, Hamish and Chloe. It's common knowledge that Stan and I first met working with John Laws in the 70s. We tried to keep it a secret because we both needed the job and we weren't sure how inter-office dating would be received. To our relief we had everyone's blessing."
During their married life, she said, they moved 16 times and when they moved into their last apartment, she said Stan commented "They can carry me out in a box… How prophetic were those words."
"Stan, "she said in the tribute that 2UE has posted on its website as part of a 14 minute report, "was a person of many layers, He was romantic, funny, compassionate and generous to a fault but he could also be difficult and demanding. His word to me and the girls was 'My way or the Highway.' When our first grandchild Hamish was born he said to me 'I want to dance with you at his 21st."
"Stan," she continued, her voice breaking, "I promise I'll do that for you and I'll do it at Chloe's as well."
Of the period since his tumour was diagnosed she said, "Over the past 14 months we set goals came. Christmas it came and went. I thought great. A family Holiday at the Gold Coast was wonderful. Lots of laughs and good times. Another milestone. Then the birth of our beloved granddaughter Chloe and finally his 60th birthday. Six weeks ago when Charlie Teo told us to go home and have a quality of lie my heart sank. We tried to be as normal possible although I could see him slipping away…
When the girls moved in over a week ago Stan had slipped into a coma. I remember a dear friend of mine saying, how normal everything was. People coming and going. Popping to see him and saying their goodbyes. And I was glad that I had created such a peaceful atmosphere for him
When he left us at 2:45 AM on Thursday morning I felt a pain in my heart that was unbearable and it brought to mind a piece of prose that our darling friend Dolly had sent to me, written by Joyce Grenfell:
"If I should go before you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves I have known,
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well."
She ended, "Stan, as I said to you every night before I went to sleep, I love with all my heart and I will keep you in my heart forever."
Amongst prominent colleagues attending were broadcaster Alan Jones, who said Zemanek was "still very much with us spirit" and added, "Stan wouldn't want us to get too maudlin about it."
Another colleague and long-time friend, Foxtel Executive Director Television and Marketing Brian Walsh spoke at the service of two Stans - "The loud larrikin who loved being combative, who commanded the airwaves around Australia with his trademark talkback style, and the very private Stan, who was reserved and, would you believe, somewhat shy."
"The private Stan," he said,"was loyal, big-hearted and generous, whose persona off-air and away from the screen was quite the opposite of his larger-than-life stage show."
Walsh also spoke of Zemanek's comments about the loathing of him in some quarters for his right-wing and combative views, saying, "[He] often boasted about the fact that he was the most complained about broadcaster in Australia."Stan would be known to say, 'everywhere I go, half the audience love me, half the audience hate me, but they still listen'."
Zemanek's publicist and close friend, Prue MacSween, said outside the church that Zemanek would have been pleased at the numbers attending, "Some listeners woke up at 4am to travel long distances to get here," she said. "He would've been humbled and quietly bemused that he pulled such a crowd."
Previous Zemanek:
2UE web site (currently has links to audio):
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2007-07-17: Emap has announced a Euros 200 million (USD 275 million - GBP 135 million) sale of its Republic Of Ireland radio stations to Dublin-based Communicorp Group Ltd, the Irish and European radio group that was formed in 1989 by Irish entrepreneur Denis O'Brien and holds stations in the Republic, , Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Ukraine.
The sale is subject to regulatory clearance, which the companies expect to be obtained in the second half of the financial year, and would add Emap's Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio, to Communicorp's existing holdings of 98FM, News Talk 106, and Spin.
Emap acquired the stations being sold when it bought Scottish Radio Holdings two years ago and says that in the financial year to the end of March they had revenues of GBP 21 million (USD 43 million) producing a GBP 7 million (USD 14.3 million) operating profit with gross assets valued at GBP 55 million (USD 112 million) and a carrying value of GBP 44 million (USD 90 million).
Emap Executive Chairman Alun Cathcart said of the sale in a statement, "The Republic of Ireland stations are great businesses, performing strongly with committed management and talent and we wish them every success under their new ownership. This sale, and the recent sale of Agor, demonstrates our absolute commitment to accelerating our strategic aim of generating value for our shareholders."
Previous Cathcart:
Previous Emap:

Previous O'Brien:
2007-07-17: Although new rates for streaming that many webcasters are claiming to be so large as to put them out of business are now legally in effect, most US streams -many of which had said they would be shutting down after the July 15th date the rates took effect - are continuing following various concessions by SoundExchange whilst negotiations continue although one Australian publication pithily summed up the situation as "Net radio stay of execution really a stay of suicide."
IT Wire followed its headline by starting the report: "It is a testament to the confused state of the US music industry and the political vacuum in which US lawmakers exist. Recording companies have been handed the power to crush the emerging US Internet radio business out of existence but the all powerful recording moguls have been exposed as being too frightened to act on their threat."
It then continued, "The fact of the matter is that the punitive royalty fees on Web radio sought by the recording industry's enforcer SoundExchange and granted by the Federal Government's Copyright Royalty Board is potentially as devastating to record makers and artists as it would be to Internet broadcasting. There is not one doubt in the world that Internet is the radio broadcast medium of the future. It offers a potential range, reach and variety of channels simply not possible using the limited bandwidth and power of traditional wireless broadcasting."
RNW comment: What this report and RAIN, which is excellent for its summary on Monday of the current situation, do not do is chart any way forward for the long term should SoundExchange stick to its guns. Our view, as already expressed, is that the current copyright laws are far too crude to meet the current situation. In addition, the technology has changed to such a degree that it could be soundly argued that the recording companies in their present business model are outdated and this surely gives suitably entrepreneurial webcasters an opportunity to build up their own direct deals with groups that they can tie into a distribution system that for all but the most popular can provide a better deal for all than the recording companies.
We suspect this will happen if the recording companies are too greedy and may well happen anyway. Not a time to buy recording company shares for other than a short-tem gamble.

IT Wire report:
RAIN web site (July 16th edition has a good summary of the current situation):

2007-07-16: This week we were expecting to have considerable comment on the effects of new royalty rates on Internet radio with many streams likely to go on Sunday when the new rates come into force; As it happens last minute comments by SoundExchange (who seem to be playing this one quite well from their point of view) to the effect that they will not take legal action against small and educational webcasters who continue to negotiate in good faith has defused the situation for now at least.
We take the view that SoundExchange has kept control of the situation by its actions - not giving up any rights and only removing the threat of legal action against operators from whom it could probably get little yet still keeping the pressure on the big players.
On that basis we have opted for just one comment, from the Los Angeles Times that in an editorial on Saturday quite accurately noted of the situation: "But webcasters got a stay of execution this week when SoundExchange - the royalty-collection agency for most record labels and artists - pledged not to enforce some of the most onerous new provisions while negotiations continued."
It continued, "The provisional reprieve is appropriate, given how much the music industry and webcasters need each other. The new rates are almost completely unrealistic; by one analyst's estimate, they will consume more than half of the average webcaster's music-related advertising revenue."
After then running through basic details of the proposed new rates it said of SoundExchange's position that after initially defending the new rates as if they were "an accurate measure of music's market value" there are "are encouraging signs that the agency will give up that charade and focus on deals that make sense for all concerned."
It concluded, "This is the second time webcasters have been rescued by last-minute compromises. It's time for both sides to find a new way to negotiate so that brinkmanship can be replaced by partnership."
Our view remains that we put forward in our June comment - we think the one rate suits all approach, either for artists or webcasters is deeply flawed and some sort of multi-tiered approach such as we put forward would get much closer to an accurate valuation of the worth of music as well as recognize the realities of a changed technological environment. We also suspect that it's one that with the weight of webcasters - and broadcasters if they have any sense since the recording companies will keep coming back to get performance royalties from their broadcasts as well and in our view have logic clearly on their side for this - would have much more chance of getting onto the statute books. If it did so the recording companies who stick to their current approach might well be badly damaged and SoundExchange would have to face up to competition for its role, both market pressures that we suggest they would see clearly but not argue strongly against.
On however to other matters and we start with Lee Abrams' latest blog, which is in a sense linked in that he comments in terms of "new" and "old" thinking, just the situation we would argue is bedevilling the performance copyright rates negotiations.
Heading the Blog, "OLD THINKING FOR NEW MEDIA...AND NEW THINKING FOR OLD MEDIA" Abrams says that when XM was put together a lost of it was "actually about 'old' thinking. The technology was strikingly new---but the programming was in some cases…old."
He continues and expands on this by writing, "In this case, much of it was about bringing back the joys of radio which had pretty much vanished, at least on the music side. I think this is critical in today's break neck speed of life. Instilling OLD thinking in new Media and NEW thinking in OLD media for the best of all worlds is something that escapes many. If you think about it-what the old media needs is stunning new ideas that connect, whereas new media often needs the old "passionate" thinking to balance out the often soul less and cold pure technology inherent to much of new media. I see that in music too. Some of the greatest and most timeless recordings ever, were made on 1, 2 and 4 track tape. Banging it out the hard way. A few of today's artist could benefit from whatever "it" was that made this music so powerful and lasting. I talked to one band that made spectacular records back then. On 8 tracks. Recently they utilized futuristic technology, recording parts from different parts of the world and joining them together via sound files and technology. I kinda think that they need to inject some 'old' thinking into the equation, because the result was a high tech, modern….disaster."
He argues in favour of retaining the old where appropriate saying of XM's 60's channel: "That's PURE 1965 thinking, but performed on a 2007 platform. We COULD have done 60's 2007 style and it would be pretty charmless."
He illustrates his point later by commenting on how newspapers find themselves in a changed environment and how they have responded, commenting, "All I read about them though is cost cuts. A nice Band-Aid. The cuts are probably very necessary, but I have seen NO "re-thinking" of the basic creative and business model. Kinda like taking a terrible radio station and cutting staff…it's STILL a terrible radio station, but just has fewer employees."
And of other businesses: "Tech heads of all generations are quick to convince that the old is dead. In 1955, Radio was supposed to be dead. In fact, it was about to enter its prime…but it TOOK a lot of re-thinking, with a little help from guys like Storz and McLendon. (Pick up Marc Fishers book "Something in the Air" if you don't know about those two guys) That's why I think print isn't dead-unless it's left to die. Imagine injecting new thinking into those tired old ink dogs. And-New thinking NEEDS to be about the products as much as the economic model."
So on to an example of when the old is still relevant in this case the BBC World Service as perceived by Robert Hanks in the UK Independent.
Under the headline "Why the World Service still matters" and strapline "It was a lifeline to Alan Johnston, and it's a trusted friend to millions of other people around the globe", Hanks writes that it is "easy to forget sometimes that when people in Britain and people outside talk about the BBC, they have in mind two very different entities."
The domestic audience he contends perceived the mix of popular BBC radio and TV programming whilst the rest of the world almost certainly has in mind "the more measured tones of the BBC World Service. In organizational terms, the World Service is a gnat to the BBC's behemoth; but in terms of audience, the analogy has to be reversed."
That audience oversees recently included the kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston, who is to take up a production role with the service in London, but it has many prominent fans and listeners round the world.
"Ten years ago," writes Hanks, "when Birtist reforms [RNW Note - This relates to changes instituted by former Director General John Birt} at the BBC threatened the Service's character, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama were among those who put their names to a 'Save the BBC' campaign. The Nigerian author Ben Okri wrote angrily of 'a priceless asset' being thrown away: 'I cannot think of any other nation, or indeed any civilization, that has an organization like the BBC World Service... It is the worldwide friend of the intelligent and the poor, the oppressed and even the complacent.'"
And the reason for that support? "What inspires such devotion is the Service's reputation for impartiality: even in parts of the world where the British Government is resented it is seen as independent of the British Government. This is all the more impressive when you consider that, historically and fiscally, it is tied far more closely to the Government than the rest of the BBC… So for most of its history, the World Service has been engaged in a kind of propaganda… But it is the softest form of propaganda imaginable: it boosts Britain by refusing to boost Britain, and instead maintaining a stance of impartiality. During the Falklands War, Mrs Thatcher complained of the BBC's habit of referring to 'British' rather than 'our' forces; the FCO - always aloof from the rest of Government - knows that studied neutrality like that is not a fault, but a strength."
RNW comment: We not only agree with this comment and suggest a similar situation applies in the US where State Department officials with knowledge certainly seem to have been much wiser about the likely effects of various actions than an ideologically driven but much more ignorant administration to what will be the considerable long-term detriment of the US and its reputation.
Hanks then goes on to note the pressures brought on the service by political and technological change: one has led to the dropping of many language services as government priorities have changed along with those of audiences: "Audiences for the Eastern European services declined slowly at first - after the short-lived coup of 1991, the Russian president, Mikhail Gorbachev, said that during the three days he was kept under house arrest in the Crimea the World Service was the best source of information (there was some nitpicking over whether it was the quality of the news gathering or simply the quality of reception that he was praising). But more recently the decline became downright precipitous. In Russia, the audience fell by 95 per cent, to less than one million; and then the former enemies started joining the EU and NATO, at which point broadcasting the truth to their citizenry started to look a little pushy.
And as for technology, this has forced a move away from short-wave radio - what Hanks terms "a cheap, uncomplicated piece of kit" - to FM and podcasts.
Hanks also comments about the effects of integration of the World Service with other BBC services, saying of its English language news that "the Service's special character has been a little diluted by the shift. It always had a slight air of formality, which I put down to the need to broadcast standardised pronunciation and vocabulary for the benefit of listeners picking the language up. But these days it frequently has a matey, jokey air. To me, it lacks some of the gravitas it used to have - a tone that said, without being bossy, 'We are telling you something you need to hear.'"
He concludes of the service:" The World Service has its weaknesses - business news is not great and, it rarely offers the deep analysis of international affairs that was once its stock in trade - but it is the only truly global broadcaster, the only serious player in radio, TV and new technology. It is, too, in its openness, its refusal to take sides, a good advert for Britain: a better one, perhaps, than we deserve.
RNW comment: With that we agree and we can only hope that budget cuts do not severely reduce the quality scientific, technological, documentary and analytical programmes within the BBC's services, and particularly that these not be affected by pressures that UK commercial radio - operating in Abrams "OLD" manner- put on the UK regulator Ofcom to benefit them against the BBC. In a world where, royalties permitting, the Internet can offer the musical pap that is so often the core of their programming, the whole industry should be allowed to die rather than this part of BBC output allowed to wither.
Finally an oddball comment about an oddball comment on the BBC before we go on to listening suggestions: It came from ZoeWilliams' "Radio Head" in the UK Guardian on Friday.
She began with reference to radio appeals..." I remember the first time I heard a radio appeal, and I was probably 11. I don't mean "appeal" like Jenny Agutter telling you about the partially sighted, I mean your classic public appeal: Has anybody seen X? We've looked all over, and we can't find it. It would be annoying if they did it all the time: for example, if it was just their keys and they couldn't be bothered to lift up a pile of post to have a look themselves. But when it happens once a decade, it's a bit of a thrill.
This appeal was for a young gymnast, or triple-jumper, or athlete of some sort, who had been on the reserve bench for one of these unnatural leaping sports; someone in the main team had hurt themselves by falling ridiculously, and she'd been bumped up for the Olympics. Only she was holidaying with her family, and as there were no mobiles, and they were probably camping, without a telly, and satellite hadn't been invented so you couldn't have patched anyone into her iPod, even if she'd had one - I'm beginning to wonder how people survived at all - they put out a radio appeal for her to call her gym teacher."
That segment of her article ends ..."maybe it was so indelibly exciting that I felt moved to simply make it up" before shoe goes on to end with the following, "It happened again this week on Thinking Allowed (4pm, Wednesday), when Laurie Taylor appealed to anyone who knew whether Thomas Edison had really drowned a six-year-old to "see what would happen", or whether this was just more anti-light-bulb rumour-mongering. 'We couldn't find any reference to it,' he said, 'and wondered whether any of you could help.' Outlandish! It brought that frisson of belonging and nostalgia, like being invited somewhere for fondue. They should really ask us more often. Though of course, we won't know. Come on, if Google can't help ..."
So for the first listening suggestion - it's BBC Radio 4 and "Thinking Allowed" - listen to find out the background to the comment and in any case for what is always a pretty thoughtful programme that ranges through a wide range of topics and last week included an interview with P.J. O'Rourke.
Also with thought-provocation on the agenda we suggest last Thursday's "In our Time", which featured discussion of Madame Bovary and the trial of Flaubert for "an affront to decent comportment and religious morality". This included the line from academic Andy Martin who outlined the work as "sex and drugs and rock'n'roll… Without the rock'n'roll."
Sticking to Radio 4 a little longer, Saturday's "Archive Hour" looked back to a time when US commercial radio could and did air many of the kinds of programming that are nowadays left to public radio. Its title was "A Philosophy to Live By", and it was a look at the "This I Believe" series launched on CBS in 1951 by Edward R. Murrow and ran on the network until 1955. A European half-hour version was also aired by Radio Luxembourg in Europe from 1956 to 1958 and the format was revived by US National Public Radio in 2005 (See RNW Mar 24, 2005).
Worth a listen if only for the comments on Senator Joseph McCarthy - comments about a Junior Senator that we suggest could well be applied to the two most senior US politicians -and the America - of today without that much amendment.
Sticking with science and documentary programming, we next suggest programmes from another public broadcaster that is strong in this area, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Its Radio National last week included in the"All in the Mind" slot on Saturday "Nurture? Nurture? What makes us human?" a debate on the links between nature and nurture and science writer Matt Ridley's arguments concerning the manner in which experience turns genes on and off.
And in similar vein from the ABC, "Background Briefing" on Sunday featured another science writer, Natalie Angier, talking about the basics of science.
Back to the BBC and after noting that tonight BBC Radio 2 has the BBC 2007 Jazz Awards from 22:00 GMT we move to Radio 3 (and we note that in the UK it has a classical music commercial rival in Classic FM): This week however it has to be the BBC for various more in the continuing 2007 Proms Season (see the website for details).
Also from Radio 3 we suggest its "Essay" series (22:00 GMT Monday, Wednesday and Thursday), which this week is "Life, But Not As We Know It" and features a biologist, a writer and a philosopher each exploring their fascination with the notion of extraterrestrial intelligence and what such a discovery could mean for the future of humanity.
So far we've chosen public radio programming on the serious side but in the UK the BBC is also the main source for radio comedy so we also suggest from the Corporation a few programmes from BBC's Radio 2 and Radio 4 : From the former we suggest the Saturday noon to 13:00 GMT comedy hour slot that is currently featuring "The Day the Music Died" , a topical music comedy show that takes a look back at the last seven days in the music industry, and "Does the Team Think?" a show hosted by Vic Reeves with a range of guests that puts audience questions and emails to a group of celebrities for witty and unpredictable answers.
From Radio 4 we opt for "The Now Show" (17:30 GMT Fridays with a Saturday repeat); "About a Dog" (Tuesday 17:30 GMT); and from Wednesday "His Master's Voice" (also 17:30 GMT) and "Ross Noble On ..." (22:00GMT).
Next drama and readings with a combination of BBC's Radio 3 and 4. From Radio 3 we note that Sunday's "Drama on 3" was Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" and on Radio 4 the "Saturday Play" was The Tricycle Theatre's critically acclaimed tribunal play "Called to Account - The Indictment of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair for the crime of aggression against Iraq - A Hearing."
Also from Radio 4 in the 14:45 GMT afternoon slot this week we suggest "The Four O'Clock Friends", in which Vanessa Collingridge examines how Walter Scott, Disraeli, Darwin and Livingstone would meet at the home of publisher John Murray forming a group they called The 4 o'clock Friends. The material is culled from the literary archives of Murray's publishing house.
And finally it has to be BBC World Service. A look at its weekly programming grid shows it to be much more news now than formerly but there is still a fair mix including weekly drama (Last week it was the comedy "Talking To Strangers", along with arts, culture, religion, sports and science programmes. Make your pick.
Previous Columnists:
Abrams Blog:
Los Angeles Times -editorial:
UK Guardian- Williams:
UK Independent- Hanks:

Next column:

2007-07-15: Last week saw no major developments from the regulators although there was a reasonable level of activity relating to radio and in the UK Ofcom's annual report provided a useful insight into the current state of the British industry.
In Australia, the only radio-related activity from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was the advertising of two new community licences for the Perth area of Western Australia.
Of the two frequencies being made available, one became free because of the cancellation of the licence held by the Western Australian Aboriginal Media Association (WAAMA) because of continuing breaches of licence conditions and the other is currently shared between to groups providing temporary community services.
Canada was rather busier with radio-related postings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) including the following (in order of province):
Across Canada:
*Administrative renewal until 31 August 2008 of the following CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) licences allied with a note that this does not dispose of any substantive issue that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences).
Alberta - CBX-FM, Edmonton.
Ontario - CBOQ-FM, Ottawa.
Nova Scotia:
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a licence for a 61,400 watts FM station to replace CBI-AM, Sydney. The CBC had also requested a 12 -month simulcast period to provide continuity of service to listeners and indicated that it intended to also apply for licences for FM transmitters to serve such areas as Big Harbour, Englishtown and the Ingonish area covered by the current AM signal. The Commission said it felt a six month simulcast period in line with previous requests and authorized simulcasting for the shorter period.
*Approval of application by Larche Communications Inc. for licence for a new Country music format commercial English language FM in Sudbury.
The Commission took the view that the market, currently served by five FMs and one AM, could sustain one further station and held that Larche's application, which would have no significant negative impact on the market in which no other station offers country music and would bring both a new voice and additional diversity to the market.
It denied five other applications - from
JOCO Communications Inc. for a 1,350 watts Oldies format English language commercial FM.
William Wrightsell, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 1,500 watts Adult Contemporary and Older Adult music format English language commercial FM.
Newcap Inc. for a 50,000 watts hybrid Contemporary Hits music format English language commercial FM.
Connelly Communications Corporation for a 66,000 watts Hot Adult Contemporary music format English language commercial FM.
The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 50,000 watts Adult Standards/New Easy Listening music format English language commercial FM.
*Approval of application by Blackburn Radio Inc. for a licence for a 960 watts new English language Country music FM at Leamington. The commission denied a request to exempt the new station from regulation of the level of hit material that may be broadcast each week, an exemption that it currently has for its other station CHYR-FM that is currently the only commercial station in the market.
*Approval of application by King's Kids Promotions Outreach Ministries Incorporated to change the frequency of Christian music CKKK-FM, Peterborough, relocate its transmitter, increase the antenna height and increase its power from 50 to 230 watts.
The application was made following approval of a conversion from AM of CHUM's CKPT-AM, Peterborough that was technically mutually exclusive with CKKK's current frequency meaning that as a low-power unprotected station it was required to relinquish the frequency.
The change was opposed by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) on the basis that if the station wished to change from a low-power unprotected station King's Kids should file an application for a new licence and expressed concerns about "back-door" entry into the mainstream commercial radio market. In this case the commission took the view that this was not what was happening and approved the application.
Commissioner Helen del Val, whilst agreeing that this application did not amount to a "back door" entry into the mainstream commercial radio market, disagreed with her colleagues decision to allow it to change from unprotected to protected status without taking part in a competitive process. She said she would have allowed use of the frequency on an unprotected basis until the frequency was needed for a Class A1 station or until King's Kids finds another low power frequency or as an alternative would have deferred consideration of the application until such time as the other applications to provide high power FM radio services for Peterborough are heard.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a deadline for submission of interventions or comments of August 13 that included the following radio-related matters:
British Columbia:
*Applications by Standard Radio Inc. to add FM transmitters at Enderby (210 watts) and Sicamous (200watts), to broadcast the programming of CKXR-FM, Salmon Arm. Standard has also applied to be allowed to continue simulcasting CKXR-FM's service on CKXR-AM until these transmitters can be installed.
*Application by Westwave Broadcasting Inc. to amend the licence of the CKAY-FM Sechelt and add a 3,000 watts FM transmitter at Powell River.
*Application by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to amend the licence of CKNR-FM, Elliot Lake, to add a 50 watts FM transmitter at Elliot Lake to improve its service to the north part of the town.
*Addition to agenda for Public Hearing to be held in Gatineau on August 27 of application by Trent Radio to renew the licence of community-based campus station CFFF-FM, Peterborough. The Commission has already noted that it is considering a status change for this station from a community-based campus to a Type B community because of its lack of association with the university (See RNW Licence News Apr 1) and the licensee has said it would accept this change.
The CRTC has also called for comments by the end of this month on proposed amendment's to the country's Radio Regulations that reflect determinations for commercial radio and digital radio set out in public notices last year with specific relation to changes of rules governing Canadian content rules for concert music and jazz and blues music ; new Canadian content development rules and the transition to the new regime (all decisions posted since June this year are subject to this); changes to broaden the definition of Local Management Agreements; and extend the regulatory framework for FM analogue services to licensees operating in the L-band.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has announced the award of seven new community licences for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
They went to:
In Scotland:
Mearns FM - Stonehaven and the Mearns, South Aberdeenshire.
Brick FM -Newtown St Boswells and St Boswells, Borders.
Dunoon Community Radio - Dunoon, Argyll.
Celtic Music AM -Glasgow.
Pulse FM -Barrhead, East Renfrewshire.
Radio Asia, Glasgow.
In Northern Ireland:
Lisburn City Radio.
Belfast Student Radio.
Ofcom has also posted its 2006-07 annual report (A 130 page 2.6Mb PDF), which focussed on the conversion from analogue to digital and allied convergence of media. It noted in particular the growth in broadband Internet availability - during the period the UK overtook the US in this and the UK now stands second in the league table of G7 countries, with only Canada ahead.
Regarding radio, chief executive Ed Richards wrote: "In radio, the importance of digital radio continued to grow, with sales of DAB sets outstripping analogue, helping to increase the average total number of hours that people listen to the radio in the UK to 24 a week. In July 2006 we launched a programme to expand DAB services by inviting organisations to bid to operate a second national UK radio multiplex and the first of 12 local DAB multiplex licences. At the end of the reporting period Ofcom had received two applications for the national licence; Ofcom plans to announce the winning bidder later in 2007, with new services beginning in early 2008."
He added a warning note, saying, "Despite the new opportunities for radio broadcasting, the commercial radio sector faces some significant challenges. For established broadcasters, the dramatic increase in choice brings new competition for listeners. Broadcasters also face higher costs from having to invest in new technologies at a time when advertising revenue growth is stalling. These factors, which were not foreseen a few years ago, are having a profound impact on the radio industry and in April 2007 we published a consultation on a possible framework for the future regulation of the sector."
The report also noted Ofcom's move to ease regulation including moves to simplify spectrum licensing, legalise low power FM transmitters to allow MP3 players and similar devices to link to radio receivers; and allow sponsorship of radio and TV channels;
Concerning pirate operators it noted its publication of research into this that looked at the levels of listening as well as awareness of interference to other services including emergency services and legal broadcasters: During the year it undertook 706 enforcement actions including 48 raids on studios used by illegal broadcasters -half of them in London - and the seizure of 661 illegal radio transmitters and secured 61 convictions of people involved.
Regarding radio it noted that total radio listening in the UK reached a record high of 45 million listeners in the final quarter of 2006, with 90 per cent of the population tuning-in every week and regarding digital radio it noted that 16 per cent of households now a DAB radio, which offers a greater choice of stations. By comparison nearly three quarters of television households are viewing digital television.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued various notices of penalties or proposed penalties including (In descending order of amount):
USD 10,000 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to CC Licenses, LLC., licensee of WZKF-FM, Salem, Indiana, and WKCI-FM, Hamden, for public file rule violations at each station and also renewed the station licences.
USD 10,000 NAL to Capstar TX Limited Partnership, licensee of WHJY-FM, Providence, Rhode Island, for public file rule violations and also renewed the station licence.
USD 7,000 forfeiture to Donald Winton, of Corpus Christi, Texas, for failure to make his CB radio station available for inspection. His station had been re-broadcasting the output of a local AM station and thus jamming other communications but he refused to allow its inspection.
Winton had said in response to an NAL that his CB transmitter was not on when the agent arrived, and that, if it was on, it must have been operated by homeless people, whom he allows access to his home. He claimed that he did not allow the agent access to his home, because the agent did not have a warrant and because he was concerned that his dogs might injure the agent and also said he was not aware of any of the Commission's Rules governing CB radios. The FCC found none of these persuasive and confirmed the penalty.
USD 4,000 NALs to AMFM Radio License, LLC., licensee of WJLB-FM, Detroit, Michigan, and WJMN-FM, Boston, Massachusetts, for public file rule violations at each station and also renewed the station licences.
USD 4,000 NAL to Citicasters Licenses, L.P., licensee of KABQ-FM, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for public file rule violations and also renewed the station licence.
USD 4,000 forfeiture to Brenau University Network, licensee of WBCX-FM, Gainesville, Georgia for failure to make available and maintain a complete public inspection file.
USD 1,500 NAL to Creative Media Incorporated, licensee of KASR-FM, Vilonia, Arkansas, for failure to file renewal application in time. It also renewed the licence.
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Ofcom Annual Report (2.62 Mb PDF):
2007-07-15: Although Howie Carr is back on air as afternoon drive host at Entercom's WRKO-AM in Boston he has had to tell his listeners that he cannot discuss with callers anything related to his plans to move to the morning slot at Greater Media's WTKK-FM (See RNW Jul 12).
Carr was handed a letter to read on air that said, "As you all know, there have been quite a number of stories circulating about me in the papers over the past few days. I want to be clear with you that I will not be discussing the situation on my show and I urge all of you who are interested to please refrain from calling in and asking me questions about it. My job is to provide you with the most entertaining and compelling show that I can do each day, not to discuss my personal matters. Thank you."
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Boston Herald report:

2007-07-14: The likelihood of a mass switch-off by Internet radio stations on Sunday has been reduced considerably by a combination of legislative moves and a commitment made by SoundExchange executive director John Simson to the House Commerce committee that small and non-commercial webcasters can continue to stream without a threat of legal action so long as good faith negotiations between the parties are continuing.
The bi-partisan legislation - H.R. 3015 -was introduced by Chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business, New York Democrat Nydia M. Velázquez and Ranking Member Ohio Republican Steve Chabot and would postpone the implementation of the new rates to allow time for webcasters and the recording industry to reach a compromise agreement.
Passage of their legislation would not impact the standing of the Internet Radio Equality Act, which has now received the support of over 130 co-sponsors in the House and continues to gain co-sponsors in the Senate.
Simson expanded on his comments in an interview with Kurt Hanson of RAIN (Friday 13th edition) in which he said, "For the people who want to comply with the law and are in bona fide negotiations with us, we don't want those people to be intimidated. And we don't want them to stop streaming...That's just so long as they're continuing to pay under the license they had."
Simson also said that SoundExchange had offered to accept DiMA's (The Digital Media Association) suggestion of a cap on the 'minimum fees' of USD 50,000 per service - USD 500 per channel up to a maximum of 100 channels subject to two conditions: "First, that they become much more complaint in their reporting obligations - only 3 of the top 20 webcasters are in perfect compliance, and only 11 have even tried - and we need to move to census as soon as we can. And we asked for their help with stream ripping, to work on a technologically-feasible solution."
Negotiations on royalty rates including the option of percentage of revenue deal continue between SoundExchange and the large webcasters.
In terms of the likely effect of any switch-off by webcasters, Bridge Ratings has updated its survey of the effect of last month's Day of Silence on which day it found that 72% of those who found their favourite station was not available tuned to other stations (See RNW Jun 29).
It surveyed a different national sample of 1050 Internet radio listeners over ten days and found that 78% now say they would tune to another station with 12% saying they would stop listening, When it came to taking action 44% said they would be very likely to contact Congress over the issue and a further 27% said that it was somewhat likely.
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2007-07-14: According to the UK Guardian, Julian Worricker, who currently hosts the BBC Radio Five Live Sunday morning programme "Worricker on Sunday" and previously co-hosted the station's breakfast show with Victoria Derbyshire, is to leave the station after 13 years.
Worricker was with the station when it launched in 1974 and is also a presenter on BBC News 24, is not renewing his contract with the corporation according to the paper, which says he is understood to be taking six months off to travel around the world, but it is not known what he plans to do on his return.
Radio Five Live controller, Bob Shennan told the paper, "Julian is taking a well-earned career break and travelling the world for a while. He will be leaving the Worricker programme at the end of September and we will make an announcement regarding who will replace him in due course. Julian is a fantastic presenter and we're sure we will hear from him on Five Live in the future."
The programme is co-produced by Radio Five and Ten Alps, Bob Geldof's production company, and the Guardian speculates on a rush of independent producers to provide a replacement programme.
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2007-07-14: Loyola University campus radio station WLUW-FM, whose day-to-day running was turned over to Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ-FM in December 2002 (See RNW Dec 7, 2002) is to be reclaimed by the University according to Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times.
At the time of the transfer WLUW was said to be losing around USD 160,000 a year and the new operators turned it into a thriving listener-supported community-based station.
Feder syas the university plans to return the station to its roots as a student-run operation and make it part of the curriculum with the change expected to take effect by June next year.
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Chicago Sun-Times - Feder column:

2007-07-14: Montreal-headquartered Astral Media has followed its Toronto-based rival Corus (See RNW Jul 11) in reporting healthy rises in revenues and earnings in its fiscal third quarter to the end of May.
Revenues for the quarter rose 8.5% on a year earlier to CAD 169.4 million (USD 162 million); EBIT was up 8.5% to CAD 55.3 million (USD 52.9 million) and net earnings per basic share, before impact of future income tax rate changes in Fiscal 2006. rose 11% to 68 cents.
Astral also noted its agreement during the quarter to acquire almost all of Standard Radio's assets (See RNW Apr 14).
President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Greenberg said, "We are delighted with the Company's strong results for the third quarter of Fiscal 2007, and with the sustained revenue growth of our three business segments, namely Television, Radio and Outdoor. But over and above these strong results, this has been a transformational quarter for Astral Media with the acquisition of Standard Radio and the approval of our proposal to provide the Toronto street furniture program for the next 20 years. They demonstrate our intention of both, achieving our business ambition, and becoming a truly national media player. Our immediate focus now turns to the successful execution of these major projects in the coming months, while striving to remain on our organic growth path."
In divisional terms Astral TV led the way with subscriber-related revenues up 9% and advertising revenues increasing by 13% followed by Outdoor with an 8% increase and then radio whose revenues were up 5% year on year.
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2007-07-13: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied webcasters' "Motion to Stay" the new greatly increased royalty rates for streamed audio due to go into effect on Sunday and also involving back payments, raising the prospect of many sites going out of business.
The "Motion to Stay" was filed at the end of May by DiMA (the Digital Media Association, representing large webcasters), small webcasters, and NPR (National Public Radio) along with an appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board's new rates by various groups.
Following its rejection DiMA Executive Director Jonathan Potter issued a statement expressing "disappointment" with the decision and adding that its members and all webcasters "are now forced to make very difficult decisions about what music, if any, they are able to offer."
"The result will certainly be fewer outlets for independent music, less diversity on the Internet airwaves, and far fewer listening choices for consumers," he added. "We're hopeful that Congress will take steps to ensure that Internet radio is not silenced, and that webcasters and SoundExchange will find a way to compromise and maintain the diversity and opportunity of Internet radio."
The decision was welcomed by SoundExchange, the body charged with collecting the royalties. Its Executive Director John Simson said in a statement, "We are pleased by this decision, which vividly demonstrates that the Copyright Royalty judges got it right when they set royalty rates and terms for the use of music on Internet radio. This is a major victory for recording artists and record labels whose hard work and creativity provides the music around which the Internet radio business is built.
Ina sop to webcasters he added, "Notwithstanding this victory, we continue to reach out to the webcasting community to reach business solutions."
SaveNetRadio reacted by calling for lobbying of politicians in favour of the Internet Radio Equality Act, saying, " We are appealing to the millions of Internet radio listeners out there, the webcasters they support and the artists and labels we treasure to rise up and make your voices heard before this vibrant medium is silenced. This situation is grave, but that makes the message all the simpler and more serious. "
"CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES RIGHT AWAY and urge them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act. If they've already co-sponsored, thank them and tell them to fight to bring it to the floor for an immediate vote. If the line is busy, call back. Call until you know your voice has been heard. Your voices are what have gotten us this far - Congress has listened. Now, they are our only hope. We are outmatched by lobbying power and money but we are NOT outmatched by facts and passion and the power of our voices. "
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2007-07-13: Former Southern Cross Broadcasting Sydney 2UE late night host Stan Zemanek, who retired from radio in December last year to fight a brain tumour (See RNW Dec 27, 2006) has died aged 60 at his home in Sydney: His funeral is to be held on Tuesday next week at North Sydney's St Mary's Catholic Church and will be open to the public as well as colleagues before a private cremation.
His family - he is survived by his widow Marcella, daughters Gaby and Melissa, and two grandchildren - Hamish, aged four and Chloe aged five months, has said that rather than flowers they would prefer donations to the "Cure For Life Foundation."
Marcella said in a statement, "We have lost a remarkable husband, father and grandfather and Australia has lost a genuine icon. Stan put up an incredibly brave and dignified fight this past year and he was buoyed and greatly comforted by the expressions of love and warm wishes we received during this protracted battle."
On John Stanley's show on 2UE on Thursday she said she had been "overwhelmed" by the response from listeners and friends since his illness became known, adding that her daughters and grandchildren Hamish and Chloe had been staying at his home when he died, adding that it was such a "wonderful privilege" for them to have been there, adding that Hamish, who is four, had commented that his grandfather was "sailing up to Heaven."
"Love him or hate him, he was a truly, truly wonderful person," she added.
2UE program director Greg Byrnes told the Sydney Morning Herald of Zemanek, "Stan made night-time radio an art form. He saw an opportunity for that shock jock approach and wore it somewhat as a badge of honour that he was the most complained about broadcaster on Australian radio."
The station aired a special tribute programme on Thursday evening and has posted on its web site audio, text and video tributes including comment from Southern Cross Broadcasting's Group General Manager Radio Graham Mott who said, "Behind the on-air persona of a hard hitting talk presenter was a person with a cheeky nature, a great sense of humour and to be frank - a real softie who dearly loved his family. We pay tribute to his great success in radio, especially his magnificent contribution to 2UE over many years and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."
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Sydney Morning Herald report:

2007-07-13: Westwood One has announced that President and CEO Peter Kosann, a CBS employee, is to leave the company when it has completed its modification of its agreements with CBS Radio including the cessation of the Company's Management Agreement with CBS Radio, which it hopes to finalize in August, but not before the end of this year or after March 18 next year.
It also announced the appointment of Gary Yusko as Chief Financial Officer from July 16: he replaces Andrew Zaref, who is "leaving to pursue other opportunities.
In another appointment it has named David Hillman to the newly created role of Chief Administrative Officer in addition to which he will continue to serve as EVP, Business Affairs and General Counsel.
In other US executive changes, Interep has named Michael Walsh to Position of President/Chief Operating Officer effective immediately.
In his new role he will report to CEO and Vice Chairman Dave Kennedy and will oversee all of Interep's radio representation firms, as well as Net Solutions, Interep's unwired network division.
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2007-07-13: Emap Executive Chairman Alun Cathcart in an Interim Management Statement has told shareholders at the company's Annual General Meeting that the group's "2008 financial year has started in line with our expectations."
"As we anticipated, and going against a strong first quarter last year, Continuing Group revenue in the quarter to 30 June 2007 was down 3% in total and down 2% on an underlying basis," he added. "At this early stage, we remain on track to deliver against expectations for the full year."
Cathcart also said the group was "actively progressing the search for a new chief executive" to replace Tom Moloney who stood down in May (See RNW May 18).
In divisional terms, Emap said its business to business revenue was up 10% overall in the first quarter with underlying revenues up 6%; Consumer magazines showed a revenue decline of 8% in total and on an underlying basis; whilst radio revenues including its Republic of Ireland stations, were flat.
It said this was "in line with the overall market which has shown some improvement recently" and added, "Excluding the Republic of Ireland stations, Radio revenue was down 2%, with the Big City network flat. As expected, London was down 9% due to renegotiation of certain advertising deals in relation to Magic 105.4. These have now been completed and will have a positive revenue impact going forward."
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Previous Emap:

2007-07-13: Bridge Ratings latest Satellite Radio Update just released shows what it terms "soft but consistent" demand for the service and it adds that first quarter subscriber numbers released by the companies showed them 20,000 short of the first quarter target that Bridge had estimated was necessary for them to add 2.9 million subscribers for the full year. It adds that this means the companies will need to add 1.56 million subscribers by July 1 to be on target and that they will achieve this with a second quarter net gain of 800,000 subscribers.
It comments on a strengthening during the second quarter, saying that because of the uncertainty caused by the proposed merger of Sirius and XM its data for the first quarter showed that 52% of potential subscribers would wait longer than previously expected before subscribing but that with this second quarter report, that has dropped to 40%.
It also notes significant churn during the first quarter with XM experiencing a 67% attrition rate - it added 285,000 from a gross gain of 868,000, whilst that for Sirius was 43%, 556,000 net subscribers in the first quarter added from a gross of 988,000 -
Bridge comments that the "consumer apathy with the satellite radio sector which Bridge Ratings began to see mid-Q2 of 2006 has affected XM more than Sirius." For the final quarter of 2005, it notes that the XM attrition rate was 35% compared to 10% for Sirius whilst for the second quarter of this year it is predicting 68% for XM and 45% for Sirius.
It also noted that the situation was clouded by different standards used by the companies - Sirius counts vehicles that have satellite radio but have not been sold in its churn rate whilst XM does not.
Bridge also lists what it terms confidence ratings, a measure on a minus five to plus 5 scale of whether a service is living up to its reputation and on this Sirius is now rated significantly higher - the two companies each had a +2.0 rating in January this year; in March Sirius had moved ahead with 1.5 to 1.0 for XM; in May it was further ahead with 2.2 to 0.7; and in June it was ahead by 2.0 to 0.5.
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2007-07-12: Wisconsin Democrat Senator Russ Feingold is questioning four major radio companies on their commitment to ending payola or "pay-for-play" practices in a letter he has sent to CBS Radio, Entercom Communications, Clear Channel Communications, and Citadel Broadcasting.
In it Feingold says he is that he was troubled by possible violations of the voluntary "rules of engagement" the groups agreed to in April following their $12.5 million settlement with the federal government over payola practices, adding that "recent reports indicate that some stations owned by one of the companies, Clear Channel, are requiring local, unsigned and independent musicians to grant a royalty-free right and license to the music upon submission to the radio programmers, which would appear to violate the voluntary agreement they entered into following the settlement."
"The settlement between the federal government and major radio broadcast companies in March was an encouraging step toward greater access and increased air time for independent and local artists," Feingold said. "But now it seems that simply relying on good faith to end the pervasive practice of payola may not be enough. The major radio companies should reaffirm their commitment to making air play decisions based on artistic merit instead of on the musicians' or labels' willingness to provide thinly veiled bribes through payola."
He quotes Michael Bracy, policy director of the Future of Music Coalition as saying, "Clear Channel has substituted one brand of payola for another type of pay-to-play. This is just payola under a different name" and implies he may reintroduce legislation if he considers it necessary saying he "held off on reintroduction of my legislation this Congress because I was hopeful that the voluntary rules of engagement combined with the consent decree could be effective in eliminating payola and related abuses."
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Feingold Letter:

2007-07-12: UK RadioCentre Chief Executive Andrew Harrison has called at the Radio Academy Festival being held in Cambridge for the BBC to share rights of major national events such as the Princess Diana concert and the 2012 London Olympics and has also invited the corporation to take part in a joint initiative to lay out the future of UK radio.
Harrison commented that the BBC and its commercial rivals had many joint interests despite their rivalry although he also said the corporation's market share should be cut to 25% from its current 56%.
Harrison said the BBC and commercial radio should join forces in buying rights: He was quoted by the UK Guardian as saying, "Together, we are a unique shop-window for the music industry's product; we are naturally complementary and they offer distinct benefits to the music industry… The same is true in sports rights, concerts and outside broadcasts... exclusivity means inflated prices for each of us and sees money transferred from licence fee payers direct to the Premier League or Harvey Goldsmith without any intervention."
Regarding the corporation's share, he said "I guess most of us would expect the public service broadcaster to target 100% reach and about 25% market share. That's significantly more share than allowing for only the bits of the market that would be commercial failure… Now, I understand it would be daft to expect the BBC to cede today's dominant position lightly and walk away. I understand the BBC needs to offer household value to all licence fee payers - but we do expect a focus on reach not hours."
Harrison went on to suggest that the industry and BBC "form a small action team now - from the Radio Centre board and the senior team at BBC Audio and Music - to tackle these [rights] issues together. Not a committee. A team. With a mandate, objectives and a commitment to report back this time next year
Harrison claimed that commercial radio's business model was close to "breaking point" as it was up against a "dominant, well-fed and in many ways unassailable" BBC and went on to predict that if cooperative action was not taken radio risked the possibility that "digital investment will go backwards - as commercial companies can no longer keep investing without an understanding of the route to an end-game" or that "we enter a twin track world, one where Britain is a digital economy; with digital video entertainment, broadband, 3G, HD... but where radio remains analogue."
RNW comment: We don't know what Harrison has been taking but our first reaction is that he should be fired and put into some suitable protected environment. As regards market share, what he is asking for behind the honeyed words is that the BBC reduce its quality to allow commercial dross a better chance: The BBC has already had to cut its radio budgets by around 15% and will have to cut them by around the same amount again and the result will be that the listeners gets worse programming.
As regards the effect of taking action to cut the BBC share - it may dominate analogue spectrum but not digital, where the commercial companies have an advantage - we suspect all this would achieve would be to lose listeners to other audio sources. What it would not do is affect the technology-driven move of advertising to the Internet so the choice is either to have a badly damaged radio industry of for commercial radio to find ways of competing or go out of business. As we have frequently said we would much prefer the survival of the BBC in good shape to an emasculation of the corporation to hand an audience to the commercial industry, which is likely to lose it down the road.
As regards digital and switch off, estimates of the numbers of radio receivers in the UK start at a base level of around 100 million, which means that even at GBP 10 for a DAB receiver, people would have to collectively spend around GBP 1 billion (USD 2 billion) on replacing receivers whilst the old ones would end up having to be disposed of. Even at today's interest rates this would be a massive cost for the sake of a commercial radio industry with very little gain to listeners. Ofcom should summon up the nerve to tell the industry to put its money where it thinks it should be put but that it is not going to switch off analogue.
And finally as regards rights, we do seem to recall various laws that would seem to prevent the collusion spoken off. Harrison is in our view pissing in the wind and should thus not complain if he ends up soaked in urine.

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2007-07-12: Australian metropolitan commercial radio advertising revenues in June were up 10.1% on a year ago at AUD 58.5 million (USD 50.3 million) whilst for the first six months of the year they rose 7.1% to AUD 301 million (USD 256 million) according to figures from industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner said, "If you look at the trends, commercial radio ad revenue has increased every year for the past five years and we are up 33 percent compared with 2002/03. That is a good result, but there is still room for radio to grow its share of the pie when you consider there is still a large gap between radio's share of revenue and the amount of time people spend with radio compared with other media."
In terms of particular markets she said, "Perth and Brisbane have performed strongly in the June half, and Sydney has come out of a weak December 2006 half with 5.3 percent growth in the June half, so we are heading in the right direction and the market is quite positive."
For the financial year 2006-07 metropolitan radio advertising revenue was up 3.7% to AUD 619.5 million (USD 532.9 million) with the greatest increase in Perth where advertising revenues were up 13.7 per cent to AUD 70.5 million (USD 60.7 million).
Next best performance was in Adelaide where revenues were up 6.8% to AUD 58.3 million (USD 50.1 million) followed by Brisbane - up 4.8% to AUD 94.9 million (USD 81.6 million) and Melbourne - up 3.9% to AUD 174.4 million (USD 150 million). Sydney revenues fell by 0.3% to AUD 221.4 million (USD 190.4 million).
Also in Australia, the commercial radio industry is inviting expressions of interest in tendering for the next radio ratings contract that will start in January 2009.
Currently the country uses diary ratings from Nielsen Media Research, which produces eight surveys a year in five metropolitan markets, three in Newcastle; two in the Gold Coast and Canberra and one in Wollongong.
Six companies have been invited to register for the tender to undertake the ratings for three years from 2009 - Arbitron; Ipsos; Nielsen Media Research; Research International; Roy Morgan Research and Taylor Nelson Soffres.
Although the Australian industry is already planning initial technical tests later this year using the Nielsen Media Research People Go Meter and the Ipsos Mobile Phone, Warner said the specifications included a request for a proposal for ratings using the current diary system as well as any additional proposals for alternative approaches.
"While we believe the diary system is working well and is the only proven and reliable ratings method used in the majority of the world at present, we are mindful that we must look at ways to improve the system and research all possibilities including exploring, over the next contract period, any advancements in electronic testing," she said.
Regarding the potential use of electronic metering, she said industry had concerns about the electronic testing devices currently available and tests conducted so far which show three major areas of concern with electronic testing: an unexplained drop in breakfast listening; problems with compliance and a cost of up to three times the diary system.
She said the technical tests would look at whether the technology worked in the Australian environment, adding, "The results of these technical trials combined with results of consumer trials planned in the UK, Canada and USA later this year and into 2008 will help us determine the future for electronic testing in this country…. It is imperative that the Australian radio audience measurement system remains the best in the world so the industry wants an approach to future surveys that will ensure continuous and ongoing improvement."
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2007-07-12: Entercom Boston host Howie Carr has gone to law in a suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court against the company to have the right to move from his afternoon slow to a morning time at Greater Media's rival talk station WTKK-FM, claiming that a clause in his contract that gives WRKO the right to match any offer from a competitor is illegal under a Massachusetts state law that prohibits covenants not to compete and post-employment restrictions in the broadcast industry.
In a statement reported by the Boston Herald, for which he writes a column, Carr says, "(WRKO owner) Entercom is willing to negotiate my contract - as long as the bottom line means keeping me as a virtual indentured servant. My lawyer suggested I not talk about this. What does he think, that I might say something controversial?"
Carr announced on Tuesday that he was defecting to WTTK to take up the morning slot that had been filled by Don Imus's show and said, "I've wanted to be on FM for a long time and being on in the mornings is the greatest challenge in radio" and then went on to make a dig at WRKO's morning host, the disgraced ex-House Speaker Tom Finneran, saying he would "bring fast-paced, felon-free entertainment to morning drive" on WTKK.
Carr's contract, which expires in September, gave Entercom the right to renew his contract for another year by March 19 but while the host extended the deadline three times, Entercom failed to exercise its option to renew it.
WRKO attorney Shepard Davidson of Burns & Levinson said the station had matched the five-year offer to him from WTTK but no details have been released of the offers.
Davidson said the clause in Carr's contract was enforceable and added, "Howie Carr expressly agreed in his employment contract with Entercom that Entercom could have up to 72 hours to match any offer of employment made to him by a competing broadcasting entity, and Entercom exercised its right in this regard in less than 24 hours because it genuinely wanted to retain Mr. Carr's services" whilst WRKO Program Director Jason Wolfe commented, "We had the right to extend Howie's existing deal for one year but instead we mutually agreed to work collectively towards executing a new long-term contract. As we said yesterday, we have great respect and admiration for Howie and we look forward to working with Howie for many more years."
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2007-07-11: Emmis has reported first quarter revenues to the end of May of USD 87.3 million, down 2.8% on a year ago, within which publishing revenues were up 6% to USD 22.3 million and radio was down 5.5% to USD 65 million.
Operating expenses were down marginally for publishing and up by 4.5% to USD 45.7 million and the company's loss from continuing operations more than doubled - up from USD 207 million to USD 509 million although per share loss remained static at seven cents whilst net income available to common shareholders moving from a positive 6.47 million to a negative 1.94 million - from a positive 17 cents to a negative five cents.
Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said the results were "in line with guidance for the quarter" and continued, "As expected, weakness in our radio division persisted, and we will continue to face challenges as we look for the changes we've implemented in our largest markets to gain momentum."
The decrease was primarily related to revenue declines at Emmis' New York and Los Angeles radio stations and the bright spot in radio came from Emmis's international operations for which revenues were up 28% to USD 8.2 million with radio station operating expenses rising 23% to USD 5.4 million.
Emmis notes that during the quarter if completed its USD 40 million sale of KGMB-TV in Honolulu, using the proceeds to pay down debt: it notes that it plans to record a gain on sale of approximately USD 10.4 million, net of tax, in its second quarter ended August 31, 2007, which will be reflected in discontinued operations.
For the quarter it says it expects radio net revenues to fall year-on-year in the mid- to high single digit percentage range with operating expenses up in the mid- to high single digit range although it ads that its international radio operations continue to perform well.
In Canada, Corus Entertainment reported for its third fiscal quarter to the end of May, achieving what President and CEO John Cassaday termed "another solid quarter with strong ad sales in Radio and Television" with its combined radio and TV revenues up 7% for the quarter and year to date and radio and TV segment profit up 11% for the quarter and 12% year-to-date.
Overall Corus's consolidated revenues for the quarter were up 9% to CAD 197.6 million (USD 187.5 million); Consolidated profit was up 10% to CAD 63.5 million (60.2 million) and net income was up 27.6% to CAD 29.6 million (USD 28.1 million - To 70 cents per basic and 68 cents per diluted share from 55 cents and 54 cents respectively a year earlier).
TV revenues and segment profit were each up 9% for the quarter to CAD 109.2 million ( USD ) and CAD 45.6 million ( USD 43.3 million ) respectively, led by continued specialty advertising growth of 12% and subscriber revenue growth of 7%.
Radio revenues were up 4% to CAD 74.8 million (USD 71.0 million) with profit up 15% to CAD 24.2 million (USD 23.0 million).
Content revenues were up 34% to CAD 14.6 million (USD 13.9 million) but profit was down from CAD 500,000 (USD 474,000) a year ago to CAD 100,000 (USD 95,000).
Cassaday said of the results, "Our program investments at W Network and Movie Central are driving growth in these key brands and our focus on attracting and retaining strong local talent for our Radio properties resulted in another strong ratings performance in the most recent industry survey. We continue to feel we are well positioned to capitalize on Canada's continued strong economic growth."
Previous Cassaday:
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2007-07-11: Ed Richards, chief executive of UK media regulator Ofcom, has told delegates at the Radio Festival being held in Cambridge that the regulator did "not believe that the government announcing a swift, forced march to analogue switch-off today would be in the interests of listeners or the industry"
Noting that some in his audience would like to see a timetable to end analogue radio broadcasts, Richards said that they had to recognize that there were clear differences between radio and TV when it came to going digital and that, unlike radio, digital terrestrial TV would not be able to achieve universal cover without analogue being switched off: The current Freeview digital terrestrial platform is capped at just under three-quarters of the country as long as analogue transmissions continue.
Richards also noted that for consumers a switch-off would mean some 100 to 150 million receivers becoming useless as there was no equivalent of the TV set-top box to allow analogue equipment to be used to receive a digital signal.
From the industry point of view, however, he said there were "very good reasons" to move forward, commenting that the "cost of dual transmission is a very real and significant burden - that's money that could be spent on content, money that could be spent on attracting listeners."
Richards suggested setting up a working group with members of the regulator and industry "tasked with identifying the key issues in transition from analogue to digital" and also said Ofcom might move forward its reviews of AM and FM frequencies that are currently scheduled to take place in 2009 and 2012 respectively and said the status quo was dead but things were open as to "how far and how fast we can change."
The UK Guardian quoted GCap Media chief executive Ralph Bernard as being encouraged by Richards' comments and saying, "I believe we're at a time when a date [for switchover] could be set as a target, not as commitment" and suggesting 2015 as the target date.
Earlier the issue of regulation was the topic of Monday evenings Guardian Media Group Debate and it ended with a vote of 177 favouring some regulation and 70 going along with the argument made by Chrysalis Radio (now being bought by Global Radio) chief executive Phil Riley in favour of the motion "This house believes that regulation is killing radio".
Riley argued that over-regulation was strangling the industry and was supported by journalist Sarah Sands who suggested Ofcom was regulating for the sake of it and also - if that is the correct term in her case by British author and comedian Louise Rennison, who seemed to be averse to sticking to any topic or argument for long.
On the opposing side former BBC Controller of Editorial Policy Stephen Whittle queried whether de-regulation would improve British radio; Tim Suter of Ofcom noted that the UK despite suggestions that the medium was dying had record listening and some 400 stations; and radio comedy writer David Quantick suggested that new ideas were boosted by stability and regulation not uncertainties.
Previous Bernard:
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Previous Riley:
UK Guardian report:

2007-07-11: Arbitron has now added Entravision to the roster of companies that have signed up to use its Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings service when it is rolled out.
The two companies have signed a multi-year agreement to use the PPM for all Entravision's stations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Sacramento and Las Vegas as and when the PPM is brought into use in the markets, all of which are scheduled to convert from the current diary system by the end of 2010.
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2007-07-11: Clear Channel Radio has ousted Mick Anselmo as its Minneapolis-St. Paul regional vice president and president and market manager of Clear Channel Radio Twin Cities according to the Star-Tribune which says Anselmo has a "reputation as a mover, shaker and long-time Teflon manager in local radio".
It adds that he had survived six ownership changes at K102, which he helped launch as the first FM country station in the Twin Cities in 1984.
The paper says Anselmo told it the move came out of the blue, saying, "I'm up at remote wilderness lodge with one of our biggest advertisers, so today's news is a surprise to me. I haven't even talked to anybody about it."
It adds that Anselmo is to be replaced by Mike Crusham, regional vice president of Clear Channel Boston.
Tom Mooney, regional controller for Clear Channel Minneapolis, said the departure was effective as of Monday but declined further comment as did Sanda Coyle, a senior vice president of marketing at the company's headquarters.
The paper notes that Clear Channel has five FMs and two AMs in the Twin Cities Metro area and 12 other stations in Minnesota according to its web site.
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2007-07-11: Veteran BBC Radio Bristol presenter John Turner is to retire on July 20 after 29 years with the station which he joined in 1978 after spells as a musician and guitar teacher as well as being in his own words, a "part-time rake and bon viveur".
He has been best known on the station for his phone-in show Talking Back and consumer programme Sounding Off.
Station Managing Editor Tim Pemberton said of Turner's impending departure, "After almost 30 years of broadcasting for the station it's hard to imagine BBC Radio Bristol without the voice of John Turner and he is going to be greatly missed by both the listeners and us, his colleagues. Whether he was presenting a marathon 12 hours of live radio for the climax of the Babe Appeal, covering an election or Concorde's last flight home to Bristol he always managed to strike the right tone switching from humour to serious discussion with consummate ease."
Previous BBC:

2007-07-11: Clear Channel-owned Katz Media has announced that its Katz Radio Group has acquired Net Radio Sales, Inc., the premier US streaming audio advertising sales company, from Aritaur Communications Inc. but has not disclosed what it paid.
Katz says the acquisition represents its most significant investment in digital media and will offer advertisers expanded opportunities to reach their audience across multiple audio and web-based platforms.
Net Radio Sales, which sells streaming audio as well as all forms of interactive advertising across its digital network of hundreds of Internet station affiliates, will be renamed Katz Net Radio Sales and will be headed by Jennifer Lane, the current president of Net Radio Sales.
Katz Radio Group resident Mark Gray said the deal offered "the opportunity to enter the exploding digital media world and is a natural extension of our business" and added, "The combination of KRG's scale and Net Radio's emerging platform will offer our clients and advertisers a powerful new way to aggregate listeners and create integrated advertising campaigns that reach a much broader audience."
As part of the transaction, Katz has entered an exclusive agreement to use the Internet radio audience measurement tools created by Ando Media, one of Aritaur's partners.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Katz:

2007-07-10: The US National Association of Broadcasts (NAB) has now formally filed a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking it to deny the proposed merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio.
The filing re-iterates points made repeatedly by the NAB, saying in part, "This is a simple and straightforward case. A decade ago, the Commission established satellite DARS as a distinct, "continuous nationwide" service that "local radio inherently cannot provide." To ensure that consumers benefited from competition in the satellite DARS market, the Commission implemented a duopoly market structure and insisted that the two licensees have no interest in each other and "prohibit[ed]" them from ever merging."
It then says that "No longer satisfied with a duopoly, which Sirius Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") Mel Karmazin has referred to as a "second best" market structure, XM and Sirius now seek to merge, consistent with Mr. Karmazin's vision that "[i]t would be great if there was a monopoly" and continues, " While Mr. Karmazin may be correct that a monopoly would be 'great' for the companies, this is not a valid reason for the Commission to reverse the explicit prohibition against a monopoly in satellite radio or ignore the harmful effects that the merger would have for American consumers."
"The proposed merger," says the NAB, "would create a monopoly in the national satellite DARS market, which would inevitably result in increased prices, fewer programming choices, less local programming for radio listeners, and other public interest harms. The Applicants, however, have not even come close to meeting their burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that there are "extraordinarily large, cognizable, and non-speculative efficiencies" that justify the creation of a monopoly.
Meanwhile the satellite companies have continued their lobbying, gaining a rather unexpected ally on Monday with an endorsement from lobby organization "American Values".
American Values President Gary Bauer in a letter to the FCC asking it to approve the merger, highlighted the combined company's "block and rebate" offering, saying of this, "Especially important to our membership is the commitment the parties have made to issue refunds to satellite radio subscribers who choose to block adult-themed programming. Like so many people, the majority of our members do not want their children and families exposed to programming they may find indecent or offensive."
He continues, "With all of the indecent and violent programming bombarding American families today, American Values applauds the efforts by XM and Sirius to empower consumers who want to avoid such content. The merger will benefit consumers by giving listeners more control when it comes to programming content. Subscribers who are not interested in satellite radio's adult-themed programming would have the ability to opt out of certain channels, as they currently do, but would receive a credit for those channels they blocked so as not to subsidize the programming they found offensive."
Bauer continues, "The merger will also benefit consumers by making satellite radio a stronger player in the audio marketplace. Not surprisingly, satellite radio competitors like traditional AM/FM radio are keen to block the merger, claiming it would create a monopoly that would have an unchecked ability to harm consumers. This argument, many experts believe, is based more on competitive fears than any realistic assessment of the audio entertainment market… We believe that incumbent competitors should be forced to respond to this consumer-oriented merger by making their own service offerings more attractive, and should not be able to simply obstruct advances in the marketplace in order to serve their self-interests."
Previous NAB:
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2007-07-10: CBS Radio has now announced officially that WCBS-FM is to return with an updated oldies format and the JACK-FM format currently on its frequency will be relegated to CBS-FM's HD 2 channel and the Internet as of 13:01 ET on Thursday.
The new WCBS's programming, says the company, will feature "The Greatest Hits Of The 60s, 70s And 80s, An Array Of Classics From The CBS-FM Archive Vault, And Highlights From The Station's Hall Of Fame."
CBS has also announced that Dan Taylor, who will be morning show host; Bob Shannon, who will handle middays; and weatherman Mr. G are to return to the station, which was flipped to the JACK format two years ago after 33 years playing oldies (See RNW Jun 4, 2005). The afternoon drive host will be Broadway Bill Lee.
Jennifer Donohue, Vice President and General Manager, WCBS-FM, said in a release, "Above all else, it is an honour to bring CBS-FM back to New York. Having been a long time employee and personal fan of the station I truly understand what an emotional moment it was when New Yorkers had to say goodbye to their favourite radio station. We acknowledge and appreciate the loyal fan base who've never stopped asking for the format's return, and now we're thrilled to be back - better than before - with updated features, incredible on-air production, the best combination of legendary New York personalities, and of course hundreds of 'The Greatest Hits Of All Time.'"
She also suggested that the introduction of electronic audience measurement would boost the ratings for the station, commenting, "We firmly believe that as the radio industry moves towards electronic audience measurement, the popularity of the classic hits format will experience a resurgence - not unlike what we're seeing at our radio station in Philadelphia, WOGL-FM. There's no denying the mass appeal a station like CBS-FM can have in the market, and hundreds of thousands of listeners won't be the only ones who benefit from the intimate connection they'll form with the station. Between the over-the-air product, our online offerings, as well as digital and mobile applications, advertisers will have more choices than ever before to reach this enormous pool of potential customers."
Commenting on the plans for the sound of the resurrected station, Brian Thomas, Program Director of CBS-FM, said in a release that it will be "a station that celebrates its past with an updated sound appealing to a whole new generation of listeners on many levels. The role we play in the community and the responsibility we have to our listeners will be treated with respect as we reintroduce the station back into the fabric of the City."
Reporting on the change before the formal announcement the New York Times spoke to Bruce Morrow (Cousin Brucie), who was the biggest name dumped by the station when it went to the JACK format: He welcomed the return of oldies as a victory for older listeners and said, "I'm thrilled that this music is getting a chance again. This music has been treated terribly, and people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s are still a very viable product in this society."
Of his own future - has is a little more than two years into a three-year contract with Sirius Satellite Radio, Morrow said, "I'm very happy at Sirius, but I'll consider every option. In one year a lot of things can happen."
RNW comment: Apart from noting the skill of CBS executives at making meaningless or false statements seem positive and worthy - had the station really been New Yorkers' "favourite radio station" - as opposed to the favourite station of a significant number - when it was axed it would have been at the top of the ratings but it wasn't and won't be - we can only wish CBS well with this move. If nothing else the appeal will be to a demographic that is growing.
We also note that Arbitron's latest American Listening Trends seem to indicate that JACK should have done better than oldies as the format and its Adults Hits siblings has increased their share from a 2.0 AQH in Spring 2005, when it is first listed, to 2.6 in Winter 2007 whereas oldies went from a from a 3.8 AQH Share to 2.6: The figures, of course, do not indicate how far this change resulted from decisions to drop one format and introduce the other.
Meanwhile can somebody tell us what Thomas meant by, "The role we play in the community and the responsibility we have to our listeners will be treated with respect as we reintroduce the station back into the fabric of the City." Seems us like mere wind, to take a line from Dr Johnson.

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New York Times report:

2007-07-10: SMG-owned Virgin Radio has launched a search for new DJ talent on-air and online with a "Christian's Opportunity Knocks" competition fronted by breakfast host Christian O'Connell.
The winner will get a two-month contract to host a weekly two-hour weekend show on the station and the station says the competition is "open to anyone and everyone around the world."
On the station web site O'Connell introduces the promotion by writing, "If you've sat listening to monkey-like DJs on the radio, like myself, and thought "I could do better than that," here's your chance. Yes, the next DJ to join the mighty Virgin Radio will be one of you."
He continues (RNW comment: With a degree of both inaccuracy and hyperbole - or maybe ignorance - or just the usual P.R. nonsense?): "This has never been done before. You have countless TV talent shows recruiting bland pop rubbish, but on Virgin we are looking to give someone with raw talent a show. Most of our DJs have had to slog around the country before getting the big shot, not you. Straight to the top!"
To enter would-be DJs - or those "currently working for a lesser radio station" - are invited to "Record yourself sounding awesome. This recording needs to be in MP3 format and must not be larger than 5mb" - and then enter appropriate details from a form on the website - including A short personal anecdote or summary of a news story and a A Virgin Radio ident, something like, "You're listening to John Smith on Virgin Radio - here's Amy Winehouse with Rehab." - and upload the MP3.
Previous O'Connell:
Previous SMG:
Virgin web site "entry" page:

2007-07-10: Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network has announced expansion of its service with the start of transmissions of data via HD Radio in 48 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and also the addition of 19 new markets for its distribution of real-time traffic data over RDS-TMC (Radio Data System Traffic Message Channel).
Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network now delivers real time traffic via RDS-TMC in 68 cities, and plans to add more markets to its Total Traffic Network data delivery via RDS-TMC throughout 2007, making the expanded coverage available to existing subscribers without additional charge.
Jeff Littlejohn, Clear Channel Radio Executive Vice President of Distribution Development, said in a news release that announced the development, "HD Radio is the future for broadcast data delivery, allowing us to not only deliver traffic data, but provide additional services as well."
Previous Clear Channel:

Previous Littlejohn:
2007-07-10: Former Coast-to-Coast AM main host Art Bell has yet again announced his semi-retirement from the show to which he had returned as weekend host in September 2003 (See RNW Sep 18, 2003) after announcing at the end of 2002 that he had signed off "for good."
Bell's wife Ramona died last year wife aged 47 following an asthma attack (See RNW Jan 7, 2006) and he subsequently married Filipina Airyn Ruiz.
Bell announced his latest retirement on his Sunday show, saying "I really want to spend my time with my wife and newborn daughter" but adding that he would continue his association with the show's syndicator Premiere Radio Networks and will be back to occasionally fill in or host special shows.
Following Bell's departure Ian Punnett will host the 22:00 to 02:00 Pacific Time Saturday show with his Coast to Coast Live early show being replaced by replays.
The Sunday night show will go live with George Noory, who is now the main host for the show, on the first Sunday of each month and other Sundays will feature best-of and classic shows with George and Art, as well as live shows with guest hosts.
Previous Bell:
Previous Noory:
Previous Premiere Networks:

2007-07-09: Last week there was no overriding topic in print comment on radio that we noted but there was a reasonable variety, one of which we thought had a little too much truth in its headline
Under the headline - "AARP Tunes In to Radio's Discarded Audience" - Marc Fisher in the Washington Post looks at the move by the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) into concert promotion and radio but what interested us was what it said about US radio.
After noting the disappearance of standards stations and problems faced by oldies and even classic rock stations, Fisher noted that "while big radio and TV companies join with the advertising industry in chasing after the 18-to-34-year-old crowd, the music that appeals to pop culture's increasingly forgotten demographic -- the boomers -- is starting to appear in all sorts of odd places."
Fisher then comments on Paul McCartney putting his new album up for sale at Starbucks and James Taylor launching his CD in Hallmark shops as well as channels on satellite radio before continuing on to AARP's move into concert promotion and "a radio service designed to do what commercial radio won't: Recognize that the fastest-growing market for the music industry is people ages 45 and older."
Fisher notes that "Unlike teenagers, who are more likely to download music, often illegally, boomers still buy lots of CDs" and quotes Steve Mencher, senior producer of digital media for AARP, as saying, "We're constantly barraged by talk of the prime demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds, and it's like nobody else matters."
In response the AARP produces daily radio features on "Music for Grownups" and a "talk show called 'Movies for Grownups,' which consists of features and reviews about flicks of interest to people 50 and older."
"Although the book and magazine industries have come to accept that it's the older generation that keeps them afloat," writes Fisher, "radio and TV continue to resist the idea that there's merit or profits to be found in appealing to older audiences" and adds that the AARP is finding that its 39 million members are eager for programming they can tap into through the latest technologies.
He quotes Emilio Pardo, chief brand officer at AARP headquarters in the District, as saying, "Our membership -- the boomers -- are looking for options. We're at a stage where we want to experience new music and share our music with our kids and grandkids."
The AARP is offering podcasts, streamed audio, a branded version of, the online music service that deploys recommendation algorithms to suggest tunes based on preferences you plug into the computer, and also online games and planning "user-created media a la YouTube."
Fisher also quotes radio analyst Sean Ross as saying tentative signs of a rebirth for oldies on commercial radio with ratings for surviving oldies stations surging and signs that some stations may be moving back towards the format although Ross comments that "If you're a serious '50s or '60s fan, you're probably going to be happier with what you find through streaming or on satellite radio. But it's still good news for a format that broadcasters might have banished entirely this year."
On then to another view critical of US radio, this time of talk radio from Michael Deeds in the Idaho Statesman.
Noting that in Treasure Valley three stations on Monday "flipped to - or added - talk radio formats" he comments, "I can't help but wonder whether the general public's reaction will be one big, yawning blah."
Of his own reaction he comments that "with the exception of occasional small doses of Jim Rome on 1350 KTIK-AM, talk radio isn't something I find myself craving"
Of the individual Boise talk stations he says that newcomer "99.1 FM 'The Man' is Idaho's first FM talk station. FM, of course, is capable of broadcasting stereo. This means that, theoretically, two radio hosts could squawk simultaneously into each of your ears".
The other talk stations referred to are AM's and Deeds, after commenting on them allows one possible virtue, writing, "One thing talk radio can do is contribute to a sense of community. For radio to thrive in the future, many analysts think local content is key."
Local content is, of course, the last thing on the mind of a number of those commenting on the issue of the Fairness Doctrine to which we referred last week and we could see little other than misinformation and bigotry in one comment from Ken Mcintyre in the Wichita Eagle.
"Stung by the demise of the 'grand bargain' on immigration," he writes, "some liberal politicians lust for a new Fairness Doctrine to exact a grand revenge on talk radio. Maybe, they reason, they could do better in the future if they could just put a lid on all that conservative "negativity" on the radio…Re-enter the Fairness Doctrine, a federal rule that once kept the airwaves freer of, well, feedback from the folks."
From the reports we have seen the linkage to immigration is misleading at least and Macintyre's own description of the idea of the Fairness Doctrine as "to induce television and radio broadcasters to air opinions from all sides of the current big issues" surely runs counter to keeping "the airwaves freer of, well, feedback from the folks." But then he is a fellow of the Heritage Foundation, one of a number of Adolf Coors' initiatives to propagate a particular point of view rather than a balanced or accurate one.
On then to the UK and a view of a different form of speech radio from Gillian Reynolds in the Daily Telegraph. She promotes the virtue of a BBC programme in an area in which she has no expertise, writing, "I try to understand business in the same way as I approach foreign films. I don't know the language but, one of these days, I might understand it a bit. This is why, like our new Prime Minister, I start the day with BBC Radio Five Live's Wake Up to Money, a genial chat at 5.30am about the mysteries of the City, the markets and those chameleons of capitalism, hedge funds."
"Gordon Brown, it is said, has his bedside radio set to it. So do I. To him, it must come as a breath of fresh air after all those consultations with international economists. To me, it's a good listen, newsy, informed, expert but informal, covering half a dozen stories in rapid succession within its half-hour - an upper, not a downer."
Reynolds goes on to contrast it with Farming Today on Radio 4 - saying she gets "overwhelmed with all the bad news on it" whereas with the Radio Five programme "bad news always seems to turn into good news through the alchemy of capitalism. If shares in X are on the slide, those in Y could rise; company A may be in massive debt, but company B wants to buy it. Yesterday's edition was full of such downs and ups."
She details some of these amongst them a comment on hedge funds made by a broker in response to a listener's query as to what they actually did.
"Basically, said the broker, they're spivs" to which Reynold's response was, "I amused myself for half an hour imagining the Prime Minister's reaction to that. "
She had no such fun with the "Concert for Diana" - and we would deduce for the Live Earth shindig - commenting of the broadcast on BBC Radio 2 that it was "utterly grisly. The acts were, without exception, dire. The sound quality was appalling. Chris Evans, presenting it for Radio 2, seemed to be locked in a cardboard box and cross about it. The onstage presenters had been offered scripts by Danny Baker. The wiser ones accepted them but the cliché rate remained at flood level throughout. … Maybe it felt like being part of history if you were actually there. Perhaps it was more entertaining on TV, although Chris Evans, presenting it for Radio 2, kept saying how many people were texting him to say the BBC TV coverage was "pants". I thought "pants" as an expression of disdain had long ago been replaced by even more colloquial pejoratives, "gay", perhaps, as so controversially used by Chris Moyles on Radio 1 last year. That, too, has doubtless floated away down the old semantic river…I thought of texting in to ask for guidance, what with words failing me by this time, but realised it would probably be a better use of energy to get up and turn the radio off. So I did."
Finally to Australia and some praise on its 75th anniversary for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from the Sydney Morning Herald that began, "When the ABC was established three-quarters of a century ago, its declared aim was to enlighten and entertain. It has certainly done that. And in doing so, it has done much more. Just try to imagine Australia without the national broadcaster. You can imagine an Australia, but not this Australia. The character of this Australia owes much to the ABC; no other institution reaches as many Australians, or touches so many so profoundly. The national broadcaster not only helps fashion Australian life, it is also a deeply personal part of innumerable individual lives."
Surprisingly TV did not, for once, dominate perceptions although there was criticism of the effects of budget cuts on TV, particularly the "deplorable disappearance of Australian drama from ABC television.
What did get a prominent mention was podcasting of which the Herald commented, "Only yesterday, even the word was a total stranger. Now the ABC is the doyenne of the download. Consider Radio National. Its fine programs range across science, ecology, classical music, philosophy, the environment - the list goes on and on, but, sadly, the audience numbers did not. Radio national languished at the bottom of the radio ratings. Podcasting has turned that on its head. Radio National alone accounts for 42 per cent of the 1.7 million downloads each month from ABC radio. And the night-time host Phillip Adams now finds an audience of 'poddies' have joined his loyal 'gladdies'".
Indeed so and after that we can only start listening suggestions with the recommendation to visit the ABC web site and a look at the range of podcasts cum MP3 downloads available -in most case the latest four editions of a weekly programme are on the site with daily ones there for a week.
From the past week we would suggest today's the last two weeks of Ockham's Razor - on how the education system can foster children's inquisitiveness and most recently on whether the sound quality of a violin costing millions is such as to justify the price tag; Sunday's "Background Briefing" on animal rights; and today's "Health Report" on obesity in the US.
And then to the BBC, whose podcasts are currently much more limited but may be extended shortly albeit the Corporation's expansion of audio and video downloads may well be accompanied by technology that limits the time for which they can be retained and/or the number of times they can be played.
And from this Corporation we begin as last week with drama - from Radio 3 and Saturday's "The Wire", which was "Eye Witness" by Tom Kelly about his brutalising experiences growing up on the streets of Belfast and from Radio 4 the "Saturday Play", which was "Avoid London...Area closed...Turn on Radio", the culmination of a week of dramas by Mike Walker, focusing on how a family coped with the events of 7/7 and how they set about rebuilding their lives.
Then from Sunday and BBC Radio 3 the "Drama on 3" slot featured "Rock 'n' Roll", Tom Stoppard's latest play whilst next Sunday the slot will have "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead", the work that made his name.
Also from Radio 3, we suggest "The Essay" - from Monday through Thursday at 22:00 GMT - that this week is on the topic "In Search of Contentment" and from Friday onwards this year's Proms: The Friday 18:30 GMT "First Night" features Walton's Portsmouth Point Overture; Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor; and Beethoven's Choral Symphony (See the Radio 3 web site for full details of this year's proms).
Finally back to BBC Radio 4 and from today at 10:00 GMT the final part of "History's Witness" looking at the work of the Historical Enquiries Team looking into all 3,268 deaths during the Troubles in Northern Ireland; plus a run of three programmes this evening- "The Radical and the Emperor" at 19:00 GMT looking at Sylvia Pankhurst's links with Ethiopia where she died in 1960 and was given a State Funeral - told by her son who accompanied his mother to the country in 1956 and still lives there; "Crossing Continents" at 19:30 GMT, which looks at America's love affair with guns; and "Jatropha: The Wonder Plant" at 20:00 GMT, in which Chandy Nath visits India where it is hoped 11 million hectares of wasteland will be given over to cultivation of the plant for bio fuel use.
And to end with from the station on Wednesday at 12:30 GMT "The Lying Game" in which comedian Sue Perkins attempts to beat the locals in the annual festival of lying in Wasdale in the Lake District to win the coveted World's Biggest Liar Competition.
Previous Columnists:
Previous Fisher:
Previous Reynolds:
ABC Australia -Radio National Podcasts:
Idaho Statesman - Deeds:
Sydney Morning Herald on ABC:
UK Daily Telegraph - Reynolds:
Washington Post - Fisher:
Wichita Eagle - Macintyre:

2007-07-08: The main regulatory news last week came from the UK with the award of a new national digital licence to Channel 4 Digital but elsewhere matters were more routine and there were no radio announcements from Australia or Ireland.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again posted a number of radio-related decisions and notices including (in order of province):
British Columbia:
*Posted public notice, with a deadline for interventions or comments of August 7 relating to application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add a 316 watts FM transmitter at Abbotsford to broadcast its programming service Radio One originating from CBU-AM, Vancouver.
The CBC had previously been granted approval for the transmitter but did not make it operational by the deadline and had not applied for an extension, thus making the original authorization null and void.
*Posted public notice with deadline for comments or interventions of August 8 relating to application by Northern Native Broadcasting to amend the licence of native Type B CFNR-FM, Terrace by deleting FM transmitter at Metlakatla and adding 22 watts FM transmitter at Prince Rupert (Mount Hays) to rebroadcast the station's programming. Northern Native says the equipment at Metlakatla fails regularly and the proposed site would be accessible at all times of the year and would provide a better coverage of the area.
Manitoba and Ontario:
*Approval of application by Corus Premium Television Ltd. to acquire the assets of urban top 40 or rhythmic contemporary hits CKBT-FM, Kitchener, Ontario and smooth jazz CJZZ-FM, Winnipeg, Manitoba from CanWest MediaWorks Inc. This approval is subject to the condition that Corus submit, within 30 days a tangible benefits package acceptable to the Commission that amounts to a minimum of CAD 870,000 (USD 830,000).
New Brunswick:
*Renewal to 31 August 2011 of licence of French-language Type B community station CKRO-FM, Pokemouche. The CRTC notes the short-term renewal against a background of an analysis of programming in January 2005 that showed only 3.8% of all musical selections broadcast during that broadcast week were from category 3 (Special Interest Music) whereas Type A and Type B community stations are required to ensure that at least 5% of all musical selections played in each broadcast week are from Category 3.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approval of application by Newcap Inc. to replace CHVO-AM, Carbonear, with a 14,000 watts that Country music format FM. All programming would be local, half live-to-air and half voice-tracked.
There had been interventions opposing the applications from Coast Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CKSJ-FM, St. John's, and by Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CHOZ-FM, St. John's.
Newcap already operates four stations in the St John's market and they contended that conversion would to allow Newcap a fifth station in the market, contrary to Commission limits with an undue negative financial impact on both CKSJ-FM and CHOZ-FM.
Newcap acknowledged the signal would reach parts of the St John's market but said its quality would be marginal but said it would accept a licence condition prohibiting it from soliciting local advertising in the St John's market. The CRTC agreed and approved the application, putting the condition into the licence. It also allowed a simulcast of programming in the AM and FM frequencies for six months, at the end of which the AM licence will be revoked.
Nova Scotia:
*Approval of application from Coastal Community Radio Cooperative Ltd. for a licence for a 4,700 watts primarily Pop, Rock and Dance English-language Type B community FM radio programming undertaking in Glace Bay.
*Approval of application from Newcap Inc. for a 9,900 watts English-language Classic Hits commercial FM at Kentville.
*Posted public notice, with a deadline for interventions or comments of August 7 relating to application by French-language community Type A radio programming undertaking CKJM-FM, Chéticamp, Nova Scotia to add a 475 watts FM transmitter at Pomque.
*Approval of two from four applications for new FMs for Sydney. These came from:
Barry Maxwell Martin, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 26,500 watts English-language Rock music format commercial FM.
Newcap Inc. for a 57,000 watts Classic Rock/Mainstream Rock English-language commercial FM.
Rejected were applications from:
Andrew Newman, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for an Adult Contemporary/Classic Hits 50,000 watts English-language commercial FM.
HFX Broadcasting Inc. for a 10,500 watts Youth Contemporary music English-language commercial FM.
*Renewal to 31 August 2014 of the following Astral Media licences:
CHRD-FM and CJDM-FM, Drummondville; CITÉ-FM and CKMF-FM, Montréal; CHIK-FM, Québec; CFEI-FM, Saint-Hyacinthe; CIKI-FM and CJOI-FM, Rimouski and its transmitter CIKI-FM-2, Sainte-Marguerite; CFZZ-FM, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu; CHEY-FM and CIGB-FM, Trois-Rivières;
*Approval of application by Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd. for licence for a new 190 watt ethnic FM serving Montréal. The approval is subject to a requirement find a suitable alternative frequency to the 106.3 MHz for which it had applied should this frequency cause interference to Aboriginal Voices Radio's service in the market: The Commission said that of various applications, the ethnic specialty service proposed by Hellenic Radio is the one that will best serve the ethnic groups of the Greater Montréal Area and will best be able to meet the growing needs of the ethnic communities of this area.
*Approval in part of application by Yves Sauvé, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 1,100 watts French-language retro hits commercial FM radio in Vaudreuil-Dorion. The approval requires the applicant to submit within 90 days a suitable alternative frequency to the 106.3 MHz.
In addition the Commission denied six applications for Montréal market licences - this also includes the market of Vaudreuil-Dorion - from:
*René Ferron, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 327 watts French-language specialty music commercial FM.
*Neeti P. Ray, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 324 watts ethnic commercial specialty FM.
*International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. for a 320 watts French-language (51%) and English-language (49%) religious (Christian music format ) specialty FM.
*S. S. TV Inc. for a 10,000 watts day and night commercial ethnic AM.
*Radio Humsafar Inc. for a 1,000 watts ethnic AM.
*Communications Média Évangélique for a 5,800 watts, daytime French-language mainly contemporary Christian gospel music commercial AM.
As noted there were no radio decision in Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has now awarded a second commercial national digital licence to a Channel-4 led consortium: At the same time it also awarded a new Derby digital multiplex licence to Now Digital (For both see RNW Jul 6).
It also published its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (Also RNW Jul 6).
Ofcom also announced its first round of 2007/08 grant awards by its Community Radio Fund Panel. In all 22 applicants were awarded grants that totalled GBP 304,000 (USD 611,000), decisions were deferred on five more applications and a further 31 did not get a grant.
The grants awarded ranged from GBP 5,000 (USD 10,000) to GBP 15,000 (USD 30,000) and went to (ascending monetary amount):
GBP 5,000 (USD 10,000) to Forest FM, Dorset, for a Fundraiser.
GBP 10,000 (USD 20,000) to Stroud FM, Stroud, for a Fundraiser
GBP 14,125 (USD 28,250) to Saint FM, Burnham on Crouch, Essex Fundraising Coordinator
GBP 15, 00 (USD 30,000) to:
shmu FM, Aberdeen, for a Project Administrator.
Raidió Fáilte, Belfast, for a Community Engagement Officer.
Féile FM, Belfast for a Volunteer and Community Outreach Officer.
Hope FM, Bournemouth, for a Sales & Development Manager.
The Voice, Cumbria, for a Station Manager
Link FM, Essex, for a Business Development Manager
Pendle Community Radio, Lancashire, for a Station Manager
Diversity FM, Lancashire, for a Volunteer Coordinator.
Life FM, London for a Station Manager.
Westside Community Radio, London, for a Station & Projects Manager.
Cross Rhythms, Plymouth, for a Fundraiser.
Radio Scilly, Scilly Isles for a Community Director.
Seaside Radio,Withersea, Yorkshire, for a Station Manager
Ofcom has also posted a consultation, for which responses must be made by August 23, regarding a request by GMG Radio to change the format of its Smooth Radio (North West England), from a station "targeted at North-West listeners of all ages who particularly like jazz, soul, blues and R'n'B" to "an easy listening station featuring easy listening music including jazz, soul, blues and R&B targeting an audience aged 50 plus."
The station was launched as JFM in 1994 by Golden Rose Communications, re-branded a year later as 100.4 Jazz FM and in 2002 was purchased by GMG. In 2003 Ofcom agreed to a format change which reduced the requirement for the jazz
genre during daytime, but increases the station's commitment to specialist jazz programming outside of daytime and in 2005 the station was re-launched as 100.4 Smooth FM with its name being changed this year to 100.4 Smooth Radio.
Ofcom has also formally consented to the transfer of 18 AM local commercial radio licences from Classic Gold Digital Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBC Media Group, to GCap Media AM Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GCap Media plc.
This puts GCap in breach of media ownership limits in six cases and GCap has been told to return to compliance in the areas involved, which are Hereford & Worcester -FM; Gloucester & Cheltenham -AM and FM; Exeter & Torbay AM and FM; and South Hams - FM.
Separately, Ofcom has published its change of control reviews which determined that no changes are required to any of the 18 licences in order to protect the provision of services.
In the US, there were no major announcements from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) but there were a number of enforcement actions that included the following radio-related penalties:
USD 500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for failure to file renewal application on time and for unauthorized operation to:
Enterprise City, licensee of FM translator Station K293AF, Enterprise, Utah.
Roswell Interarts Organization, licensee of FM Translator Station K276ED, Roswell, New Mexico
Shepherd Communications, Inc., licensee of FM translator Station K210AD, Santa Barbara, California.
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:

2007-07-08: According to Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun Times, Clear Channel's Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM is to drop morning host "Crazy" Howard McGee and replace him with the New York-based syndicated show hosted by comic Steve Harvey.
Harvey's show has been on from Crawford Broadcasting's rhythmic adult-contemporary WSRB-FM since 2005 but says Feder, has fared poorly in Chicago because of a combination of WSRB's weak signal and Crawford's failure to market his show. Crawford, he says, opted to end its contract for the show with Premiere Radio Networks a year early and is to replace it with a "a localized morning show."
Feder also says that Clear Channel is planning to drop Tom Joyner's syndicated morning show that airs on urban adult-contemporary WVAZ-FM when the contract runs out later this year with McGee mentioned as one potential replacement.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Feder:
Previous Premiere Networks:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:

2007-07-07: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has responded to a study by University of Texas Professor Stan Liebowitz that says radio airplay can hurt recording sales by producing a number of quotations to the contrary dating from 1999 to this year and by denigrating his report, albeit it has produced no significant evidence to back up its claims and comments.
NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said in response to the study, Everything's bigger in Texas, including the imagination of professors who claim that radio airplay of music does NOT boost record sales. There are certain alleged 'studies' that can be rejected out of hand as nonsense, and this one belongs at the top of the charts."
NAB then lists various quotations from recording industry figures and artists that say airplay is beneficial to sales. They run chronologically from 1999 comments by recording artist Jo Dee Messina who said radio support had "truly changed my life" and then Dreamcatcher Entertainment president Jim Mazza who said "Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water" to a comment this year from Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, who commented, "I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."
Professor Liebowitz, who has also authored a study saying that downloads did not hit record sales to the degree the industry alleged, said in the paper - "The Elusive Symbiosis: The Impact of Radio on The Record Industry" - "Americans spend approximately 2.7 hours per day listening to radio but only 40 minutes listening to pre-recorded music. Yet the main ingredient of radio broadcasts is pre-recorded music, for which radio stations pay very little if anything. If listening to radio were treated like a substitute for listening to pre-recorded music (much as blank tapes were treated as substitutes for the purchase of a pre-recorded tape by partisans for the RIAA) then simple arithmetic might suggest that five times as many records would be sold if radio didn't exist. Although we shouldn't take the math seriously, the possibility of harm is certainly worth examining."
He categorizes the effect of radio listening on recording sales in terms of substitution and exposure: substitution -listening to music rather than purchasing it; exposure - being introduced to music and then being motivated to purchase a recording;
Liebowitz says the most clear area of substitution is in-vehicle listening when the most likely alternative would be to listen to recorded music and says that of the market in general, "An individual record, particularly if consumers are unfamiliar with the creators, will benefit greatly from airplay. An individual record label will benefit if radio stations tend to focus on broadcasting that label's records. The benefit to that recording or label, however, comes at the expense of other records and other labels since increased play of one record must lead to a decreased play of other records."
Previous NAB:
Previous Wharton:
Liebowitz paper (445kb PDF) :

2007-07-07: WCBS-FM will return to the oldies format sometime next week according to a report in New York Business that cites an "industry insider with knowledge of the decision" but adds that CBS Radio has declined to comment about the report.
The station was flipped to the Jack format two years ago after 33 years playing oldies (See RNW Jun 4, 2005), a move that led to vehement protest from its listeners. The Jack FM format then performed poorly in the ratings, falling from a 3.9 share to 1.5 and never recovering from the loss- in the most recent ratings its share was 2.2, possibly in part because Sirius Satellite Radio took advantage of the dumping of long-time WCBS host Bruce Morrow (Cousin Brucie) to hire him as a host on its oldies channel.
New York Business says the format change hit revenues hard and they felt by 31% last year to USD 16.1 million according to BIA Financial Network.
It says the new station format may be tweaked a little to appeal to a slightly younger demographic and quotes radio consultant Robert Unmacht as saying, "This is righting a big wrong. That was a station that was making a lot of money and didn't have to go away."
It also notes that the change is the second format reversal in the New York market by CBS Radio Chief Executive Dan Mason who has also reverted to rock at WXRK-FM, again known as K-Rock, after a year and a half as talk station Free FM. The original format changes were made under his predecessor Joel Hollander, who was dumped by CBS in March (See RNW Mar 28).
Previous CBS:
Previous Hollander:
Previous Mason:

New York Business report:
2007-07-07: BBC Radio 1 has announced a new schedule for its dance music show In New DJs We Trust, which it refreshes every six months.
Starting from Saturday July 21 the show will rotate between new signing Kissy Sell Out's Electro Rock 'n' Rave show; Mistress De Funk's Minimal Techno/Tech; Kutski's- Hard Dance/ Hardcore; and Professor Green's Hip Hop/Grime.
Kissy Sell Out replaces dubstep star Plastician, who will stand-in for Mary Anne Hobbs' Experimental Show this month.
Ben Cooper, Radio 1's Head of Programmes, said he was "delighted to welcome Kissy Sell Out to In New DJs We Trust. He has emerged from London's cutting edge club scene and has exceptional talent and energy plus a very distinctive sound that will appeal to an important cross-section of our specialist audience. In New DJs We Trust is an ever-evolving show whose mission is to ensure Radio 1 stays at the forefront of new music. I'd like to thank Plastician who will continue a relationship with Radio 1."
Previous BBC:

2007-07-06: The 4 Digital Group Limited led by Channel 4 TV has won the commercial national multiplex licence being offered by Ofcom, one of two awards announced today: The other was of the Derbyshire multiplex, which went to the sole bidder, Now Digital (East Midlands) Limited.
The 4 Digital Group Limited has six shareholders - Channel 4 Radio Limited - 55%; Sky News Radio Limited - 10%; Emap Digital Radio Limited - 10%; UTV Radio (GB) Limited - 10%; The Carphone Warehouse Group plc -10% ; and UBC Media Group plc - 5% .
It is proposing ten services in addition to which it also proposes to provide a "wide selection of podcasts provided by a range of diverse companies". The services are:
E4 Radio - Youthful interactive entertainment from Channel 4 Radio Limited:
Channel 4 Radio - Contemporary public service speech from Channel 4 Radio Limited:
Pure4 - Intelligent contemporary adult from Channel 4 Radio Limited:
Talk Radio - News, views and entertainment from UTV Radio (GB) Limited:
Closer - Female AC, celebrity and lifestyle from Emap Digital Radio Limited:
Sky News Radio - Rolling news from Sky News Radio Limited:
Sunrise Radio UK - Asian from Sunrise Radio Group:
Virgin Radio Viva - Female-friendly pop with attitude from-SMG plc:
Original - Adult album alternative from CanWest MediaWorks UK Limited:
Radio Disney - Children's service from Walt Disney Company International:
The group says it will launch eight national services and at least nine podcast services within 12 months using a network of 174 transmitters which it estimates will provide 'outdoor' coverage of 86.6% of the adult (aged 15+) population of the UK and will add two further national digital sound programme services "at the earliest opportunity thereafter, and in any event within the following 11 months".
It has also committed itself on spending GBP 4.5 million (USD 9 million ) on general marketing of DAB in the first three years of licence in addition to a general marketing spend of GBP 25 million (USD 50 million) to support the launch of its individual services.
There was one other bidder for the licence, led by other led by National Grid Wireless (See RNW Mar 29).
Channel 4 Chief Executive Andy Duncan said in a release, "Winning this licence is a significant strategic milestone for Channel 4 and we are incredibly excited by the opportunity it represents. It gives us a platform to extend our innovative and highly diverse public service contribution into radio, challenging the BBC's dominance of the medium, opening up new revenue streams to support our broader public service role and giving our audience access to Channel 4's unique content on another fast-developing digital platform."
Channel 4's Director of Radio Nathalie Schwarz, who led the bid, added, "The prospect of launching three brand-new national stations and extending Channel 4's spirit of innovation and risk taking into radio is an inspiring one. We genuinely believe Channel 4 can add a fresh perspective to radio in the UK while extending choice for listeners and working with our partners to promote the medium and drive consumer take-up."
For Ofcom, chief executive Ed Richards said the award was "an important development for radio listeners who will benefit from a greater variety of commercial national radio services" and added that it would "give a real boost to the DAB platform, which we believe will form the cornerstone of radio provision in the future."
The Derbyshire licence winner Now Digital (East Midlands) Limited has three shareholders - Now Digital Limited (GCap Media plc) 72.5%; Sabras Sound Ltd 20%' and Chrysalis Radio Limited (Chrysalis Group plc) 7.5%: Chrysalis is in the process of selling its radio division to Global Radio UK (See RNW Jun 2It is proposing eight services plus BBC Radio Derby, which are:
Ram FM - Contemporary chart hits from GCap Media plc:
Classic Gold 945- Classic hits from GCap Media Plc:
Xfm -Modern rock from GCap Media plc:
Heart 106 - Adult contemporary from Chrysalis Group plc:
Galaxy - Dance and rhythmic hits from Chrysalis Group plc:
Smooth Radio - Easy listening from GMG Radio Holdings Limited:
Peak FM - Adult contemporary music station from Grand Central Broadcasting Limited
UCB UK - Religious from UCB Limited:
Previous Channel 4:
Previous Chrysalis:
Previous Duncan:
Previous GCap:
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Richards:
Previous Schwarz:

Previous Sky News Radio:
RNW note: For those who are interested BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours" today carried comments by Schwartz; Daily Telegraph radio critic Gilllian Reynold. RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison, and the BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas..
Shwartz to our ear was full of adjectives such as vibrant and compelling and bidspeak whilst Reynolds expressed some sensible scepticism:Douglas was there to sum up th current state of UK radio.

2007-07-06: Former Sydney 2UE late night host Stan Zemanek, who stood down just before Christmas last year to fight a brain tumour that had been diagnosed in May (See RNW Dec 27, 2006) is now in the terminal stages of his illness and only has days to live according to reports from his friends and family.
His former station, which has been posting messages from well-wishers, also has a message from his wife Marcella thanking people for their messages and saying, "I have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and support for Stan and our family on the Stan Zemanek Get Well site. Stan is now fighting the battle of his life, but I know he would be heartened by your messages. Thank you all for taking the time to post them and for your ongoing love and support. You are all very special to us... thank you for being part of the mad night time show for many years."
The Sydney Morning Herald quotes 2UE program director Greg Byrnes, a friend for 15 years of the former host who turned 60 last month, as saying, "It's my understanding that it's just a matter of time now. He is at home, he has a nurse with him and it's just now a matter of making him comfortable. It's my understanding that he will simply head into a sleep, possibly lapse into a coma and pass. I know that there is some thought that that's one good thing out of this - that he won't suffer. That's apparently from what the doctors tell me that's common with this form of tumour."
Byrnes said he met Zemanek a fortnight ago and that his condition had deteriorated markedly, commenting, "We had dinner. He was wonderful. He was drinking wine and had a lovely meal and we shared a few laughs. But deep down I actually wondered if he knew who I was."
Zemanek was best known for his controversial style and right-wing remarks but Byrnes said he would most remember him for his skill in handling breaking news such as the 2005 London bombings and the Cronulla riot revenge attacks and added, "To handle those situations, that's a real talent. When it hit the fan, from a news perspective, he handled it really well."
Zemanek, who grew up in suburban Sydney, spent most of his radio career in the city but began it in Canada, working as a researcher for C-Fun 141 in Vancouver. He then worked on John Laws programme in the 70's before a spell in America. In Australia, as well as 2UE where he was late night host for a decade, he worked for 2GB for a year hosting its drivetime programme and moved to Melbourne in 2002 to host the 3AW drive programme but failed to get ratings and returned to 2UE in 2003.
He was also the 13th and longest serving "beast" on the TV "Beauty and The Beast" talk show and hads said he intended to return to show but his health deteriorated and last month he and his wife cut short a planned holiday due to his illness.
Previous Zemanek:
2UE Zemanek Get Well pages:
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2007-07-06: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest broadcast bulletin has upheld no complaints against radio although it fined Channel 5 TV GBP 300,000 (USD 600,000) for various game show violations and upheld another TV complaint. In addition it gave details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint that was not upheld.
This compares with one complaint against radio upheld and another considered resolved by action taken by the broadcaster in its previous bulletin, which also upheld a TV standards complains considered two others resolved, listed 30 TV stations that had not provided the information required under their licence conditions concerning equal opportunity practices in relation to gender, race, and disability, and gave details of three TV Standards complaints and two TV Fairness and Privacy complaints that it did not uphold.
In addition, the bulletin also lists with no details a further 79 TV complaints involving 65 items and 17 radio complaints involving 17 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with 158 TV complaints involving 113 items and 30 radio complaints involving 29 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld in its previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:

2007-07-06: Two Russian journalists who have been given political asylum in the US have briefed the Congressional Human Rights Caucus about the dangers facing journalists in Russia and apparent immunity for people who have murdered their colleagues.
Former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent Yuri Bagrov and Fatima Tlisova, who also worked reporting from the North Caucasus for The Associated Press and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as well as for domestic outlets as the Regnum news agency's North Caucasus editor-in-chief, fled Russia to escape persecution and told of harassment, obstruction, and attacks endured at the hands of the Federal Security Services (FSB).
Since 2,000 14 journalists have been killed in Russia and so far none has been reported solved. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), whose Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova accompanied the two to the hearing, classifies Russia as the third deadliest country in the world for journalists over the past 15 years, behind Iraq and Algeria. During that period 47 journalists have been killed in Russia with most cases unresolved and the CPJ says that of the killings since 200, 13 bore the marks of contract hits.
"It is outrageous that our colleagues Yuri Bagrov and Fatima Tlisova were forced to flee their country simply because they were doing their job," Ognianova told the caucus. "Had Tlisova stayed in Russia, she would have risked the fate of Anna Politkovskaya [the Novaya Gazeta journalist
and human rights activist well known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and the Putin administration who was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in October last year], and Bagrov would have been incapacitated as a journalist. This is simply unacceptable."
Previous Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
CPJ posting:

2007-07-05: UK commercial radio body the RadioCentre has called on British media regulator Ofcom to start deregulation of the radio industry immediately, a move backed by Emap which welcomed the regulator's flexibility but wanting speedy change.
The RadioCentre on Wednesday made public its 70-page response to Ofcom's "Future of Radio" consultation and its chief executive Andrew Harrison called for ownership restrictions to be removed and for swift action concerning digital radio.
The report says there is an "urgent need to chart radio's journey towards a digital future" and says current levels of investment in digital radio are "unsustainable without such a plan."
The RadioCentre wants Ofcom to adopt a localism policy that allows self-regulation by the industry and says the "focus of this new system should be on delivery of local material rather than quotas for locally-produced programming".
It also pointed to the results of the Big Listen survey it launched last month (See RNW Jun 12) and Harrison commented, "Together with our listeners we have a stake in the future of radio. Our listeners love radio - in our Big Listen survey about the future of radio, over 10,000 listeners took part and over 91% of them said 'radio is an important part of my life'. We need to make sure that Britain's oldest universal medium renews itself to thrive as a vibrant and dynamic force in UK media through the 21st Century as it has done through the twentieth century."
"With new technologies and demands on consumers' time continuing to emerge, Commercial Radio is continuing to invest in inspiring content and multi-platform presence to win audience and revenues," he added. "We need Ofcom to play its part in enabling that investment by reducing Commercial Radio's regulatory burden."
Regarding ownership the RadioCentre welcomed Ofcom's acceptance that change and an easing of regulation was required but wants to go further and faster than Ofcom seems likely to want: It says radio-specific rules on ownership should be removed but accepts that cross-media ownership rules should be retained and that the government retain the right to intervene in mergers where there is a special public interest.
Harrison commented that new legislation was currently required to make many changes and said this hampered Ofcom's ability to act flexibly in changing markets. "We recommend that future legislation should give Ofcom greater discretion within the context of policy goals established by Parliament," he said.
Harrison was backed up at the briefing by the Radio Centre's director of external affairs, Lisa Kerr, who noted the domination of the BBC in the radio sector and called for the BBC and commercial companies to co-operate in a working group about the medium's future whilst the RadioCentre's chief policy officer Kip Meek, who formerly had the same role at Ofcom, noted that British Telecom, the largest company that Ofcom regulated had a turnover 30 times that of the entire commercial radio industry, adding "…you just wonder why commercial radio should attract the kind of attention it does when access to information is expanding so much."
Emap in its response took a similar view and in particular wanted speedy change, saying, "Emap Radio has enthusiastically invested in digital platforms and wishes to continue to do so, whether these are DAB, DTT, or other new and emerging forms of distribution. However, to do so, our services need to be regulated in a manner that is appropriate to ensure diversity and local content without unnecessary hindrance from over regulation."
It also objected to Ofcom's suggestion that existing analogue licences should be extended to the end of 2015 under the current legislation after which they would extended indefinitely but with a two year termination clause.
A two-year cut-off it said, would remove "any incentive for investment and is bound to have an adverse affect on the quality of the services provided. It will not be possible for licensees to prepare coherent business plans or, for example, negotiate contracts."
Emap says that it may well be that. Because there is no other demand for Band II spectrum, this should be retained for FM radio and in these circumstances says licences should be issued after 2015 for a further 12-year period.
Previous Emap:
Previous Harrison:
Previous Meek:
Previous Ofcom:
Previous RadioCentre:

2007-07-05: Global Radio, the investment vehicle that last month last week agreed a GBP 170 million (USD 340 million) purchase of Chrysalis's radio interests (See RNW Jun 26), has hired radio and music industry executive Richard Park, who is credited with successfully developing Capital Radio in its early days.
His appointment has led to speculation about potential future acquisitions by the group, which sees the Chrysalis acquisition as a platform for further expansion in UK commercial radio.
Park has a wide ranging background- he began as a Pirate DJ on offshore station Radio Scotland in 1966; later he joined BBC Radio 1 presenting such programmes as The Radio 1 Club and The Round Table Show and then moved to Radio Clyde which he left for Capital Radio in 1987 as its programme director.
There he signed such names as Chris Tarrant, Neil Fox and Pete Tong for the station. He also has music industry experience including consultancy work for Sony BMG and his music label, Wildstar Records, which he formed in 1996, includes Craig David among its signings.
Recently he has been a radio consultant for Emap working on the Magic and Big City networks, thus leading to speculation that either Emap or GCap could be amongst his new employer's targets.
In another UK radio move, the UK Guardian reports that Channel 4's managing editor of new media, Andrew Grumbridge, is leaving to become the digital media director at SMG-owned Virgin Radio.
He replaces James Cridland, who left Virgin to take the role of head of audio and music at the BBC (See RNW May 4) and will lead a 13-strong team to develop the station's digital strategy and find ways of getting new revenues from its multi-platform radio services.
Previous Emap:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Park:
Previous SMG:
UK Guardian report:

2007-07-04: BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons in the BBC Trust's first Annual Report which he terms "very different from previous BBC annual reports" reflecting "the new and very different governance system now operating" at the Corporation" emphasizes the challenges faced "as technology and markets change" and the need to deliver value for money but also says the Corporation "must be careful not to use its considerable economic power in ways that might stifle enterprise or initiative from elsewhere.
"Audiences," he says, "now expect to be able to decide where, when and how they consume their media, and they are increasingly adept at finding what they want. Young adults, for example, are, as we show in this report, abandoning television and radio in favour of new kinds of entertainment offered online. This is not a world in which the BBC can stand still."
The Trust says its "provisional assessment, based on our first six months as Trustees, is that the BBC is becoming more efficient and is delivering a wide range of high-quality content across all its platforms, but it must do more to respond to public demands for greater originality."
In relation to radio it uses language that might well have come from the previous "Aunty" - a nickname for the Corporation, commenting, "BBC Radio is strong and successful overall, but has not been without controversy in the year with Ofcom ruling against two presenters [RNW note: These are Chris Moyles and Scott Mills] for offensive language and the emergence of talent costs as a concern to the public and to commercial operators. We will be looking further at talent costs during the coming year.
Of individual stations it says Radio 1 and Radio 2 continue to perform well. But sounds a warning about Radio 1 both in terms of the Ofcom rulings and also in terms of reach amongst the 15-29s, which has fallen for the second year running, noting that "although this is an issue across the radio industry, Radio 1's decline is more pronounced."
"However," it adds, "increased listening via digital platforms, especially among Radio 1's target 15-29 audience, may counter this over time."
It also comments, "Our Service Licence consultation showed that the distinctiveness of Radio 1 and Radio 2 is of particular concern for commercial operators. In finalising the purpose remits and reviewing the service licences, we will consider whether these services could do more to clarify the sources of their distinctiveness and contribution to the BBC's Public Purposes" and adds, "Over the year, talent costs have emerged as a significant issue for BBC Radio, and a source of concern to the public and commercial operators. We have built this into our forward plan of value-for-money studies."
Regarding Radio 3 it says the station "has seen a decline in reach over the last few years although share remains stable. In contrast, on-demand listening to its output has grown, although we decided not to approve the download of free classical music as we believed that the public value gained could be outweighed by the loss to consumers in the commercial market."
Radio 4 it comments continues "to be highly rated among its listeners, and rated the best service for high-quality programmes" whilst at Radio Five Live it notes a "slight decline in the audience" that the station management considers largely attributable to the network's dependence on medium wave listening and also notes that is facing increasing competition for sports rights, including.
The digital radio stations it says are in general "increasing their reach and maintaining a solid performance when compared with commercial station" whilst "English local radio provides a highly valued service of local news and information for audiences who can sometimes feel underserved by the rest of the BBC" and regarding other services it notes efforts to refresh and modernise BBC Radio Scotland. The challenge is to achieve this while remaining fully distinctive in the Scottish broadcasting landscape, a record listening share for BBC Radio Wales in the final quarter of 2006/2007 and high scores for delivering public service broadcasting for BBC Radio Ulster/BBC Radio Foyle.
Also published are the BBC Executive's Annual Report and Accounts, which show that of the GBP 10.96 (USD 22) a month licence fee, 49 pence goes on websites; 75 pence on its 40 local radio stations; GBP 1.01 on broadcasting all the corporation's radio and TV services and collecting the licence fee; GBP 1.17 to the corporation's the national radio services; and GBP 7.54 on its eight national TV channels plus regional programming.
The report also lists the remuneration of top executives, ranging down from GBP 788,000 (USD 1.59 million) for Director-General Mark Thompson- a figure dramatically higher than the next in line and also the amount paid to his predecessor Greg Dyke who in his final full year (2002-03) was paid GBP 368,000 (currently USD 742,000), although he also received a bonus of GBP 88,000 (USD 176,000) : Thompson like other executives has waived his bonus this year (See RNW Jun 27).
Second-highest remuneration went to Deputy Director General Mark Byford (GBP 437,000 - USD 881,000) whilst BBC Director of radio and Music Jenny Abramsky was eighth with GBP 329,000 (USD 664,000).
Previous Abramsky:
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Previous Byford:
Previous Lyons:
Previous Thompson:
BBC Annual Reports (Links to PDFs of reports - Trust is 869KB PDF and Executive Report is 7.32 MB):

2007-07-04: BBC World Service in its Annual Review for 2006/7 says that its global audience has risen from a then record 163 million a year earlier to 183 million a week and adds that independent research "indicates that BBC World Service's reputation for trust and objectivity is stronger than that of any other international broadcaster in virtually all markets surveyed."
The service is now available on FM in 152 capital cities, up from 150 a year earlier (and one more than at the time the report was prepared), and the report notes that around the world there were a record 38.5 million online users in March 2007, up from 32.8 million a year earlier with the BBC's international news websites attracting a record 763 million page impressions in March 2007, up from 546 million compared to March 2006.
In regional terms, the report says BBC World Service's estimated audiences in Africa and the Middle East are up 9.4 million to 83 million; that in the Asia & Pacific Region are up 15.1 million to 82.2 million, including an 8.3 million increase in Bangladesh. It also noted that in Africa new near-national surveys found large audiences in DR Congo (8.9 million) and Afghanistan (9.8 million - some 60% of the population) whilst weekly audiences in India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Rwanda each grew by more than a million.
In terms of finances, the report notes that its Grant-in-Aid funding from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for 2006/2007 was GBP 239.5 million (USD 482 million - up marginally from GBP 239.1 a year earlier) and that BBC World Service delivered GBP 9 million (USD 18.2 million) in efficiency savings in 2006/2007.
Other income fell from GBP 21.4 million to GBP 2.8 million (From USD 43.2 million to USD 5.7 million at today's rates) reducing overall income from GBP 260.5 million to GBP 242,3 million (from USD 525.5 million to USD 488.8 million at today's rates)
The service closed a number of radio language services during the year whilst funding was provided for an Arabic TV service and World Service director Nigel Chapman commented in the report that while radio "will remain the best way of reaching big audiences in much of Africa and rural Asia for many years to come… in developed markets, more people now look to television for news. Moreover, where people have access to broadband internet and mobile devices, text and video services will play a proportionately bigger role."
"It is clear," he said, "that a tri-media approach, combining radio, television, and online is essential if BBC World Service is to compete in the multi-platform digital age."
Regarding variation wound the world for radio, Chapman said "There are complex forces at work behind the headlines, however, and the picture is different region by region. Audiences overall are going up in some of our biggest markets in Africa and Asia, including India, Pakistan and Nigeria. This is a significant achievement because these markets too are highly competitive and such large numbers are always vulnerable to rapid falls."
… "But it is a more mixed picture in other regions. The difficulties we can face as markets develop are apparent in Latin America and parts of Eastern Europe, such as Romania and Ukraine, where burgeoning choice has led to a decline in our audiences. In Russia, distribution problems in a difficult political climate have been a further setback, leading to the loss of FM services in Moscow and St Petersburg and a decline in listening to under one million. In China, poor access to BBC news content in what is now an aggressively competitive market has resulted in a further loss of audience."
Chapman also noted that "English language audiences for radio dropped back in parts of Africa, contributing to a decline from 42 million to 38 million in the global English radio total" and added, "Official discouragement of partnerships which would enable us to broadcast English programme material on any scale in Nigeria is a major obstacle."
In Bangladesh he noted political unrest as behind the audience increase - it almost doubled - and said this demonstrated "once again how listeners return to the BBC at times of crisis."
"In the United States," said Chapman, "listening has now reached 5.3 million, another record, showing a niche audience in robust health in one of the world's most saturated media markets."
Regarding the future, Chapman said, "We are on track to implement the BBC World Service 2010 strategy but our ability to deliver it fully must depend on the outcome of this year's Government Spending Review and its impact on BBC World Service funding."
Other matters highlighted in the report included March 12th abduction of BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston (who was released early today); the transition to TV of a number of projects that began on radio and various radio projects including humanitarian ones such as Darfur Lifeline, BBC World Service Trust's humanitarian radio service in Sudan, and drama including a new radio drama for Ethiopia that encouraged debate about rural lives and livelihoods.
There was also mention of blogs featured on BBC sites that generated worldwide attention including that of Pakistan rape victim, Mukhtar Mai, who fought for a change in traditional attitudes to women through a weekly blog on the BBC Urdu website that was written up by a local BBC journalist as she is unable to read or write.
Previous BBC:
Previous Chapman:
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BBC World Service Review (2.7 Mb PDF):

2007-07-04: Southern Cross Broadcasting's board has recommended acceptance of an AUD 17.41 per share - to be made up of AUD 17.05 cash per share plus a special fully-franked cash dividend of 36 cents per share - offer from Macquarie Media Group (MMG) for the company. In addition shareholders will be entitled to receive a fully franked final dividend for the period to 30 June 2007 of 37 cents per share that the SCB board intends to declare in due course.
The offer amounts to a 28.8% premium over the latest average broker valuations of Southern Cross and a 12.8x enterprise value to EBITDA multiple for the 12 months. MMG currently holds 13.8% of the company and the bid values Southern Cross at AUD 1.35 billion (USD 1.15 billion): It requires approval from the other shareholders in the company.
In conjunction with the offer, MMG has agreed an arrangement with Fairfax Media under which should the takeover go through, Fairfax would purchase various assets including Southern Cross's metropolitan radio businesses, Southern Star, Satellite Music Australia and other associated businesses whilst MMG would retain Southern Cross's regional television operations and associated businesses.
In a release Southern Cross said the board has unanimously recommended acceptance "in the absence of a superior proposal and pending confirmation from an Independent Expert that the transaction is in the best interests of SCB shareholders." It also notes that two key shareholders 452 Capital and Perpetual have indicated their support for the bid and will vote for it barring the emergence of a superior proposal.
Southern Cross chairman John Dahlsen commented, "Given the evolving media landscape, the Board of SCB has spent considerable time reviewing various strategic options to maximise long-term value for our shareholders and we have undertaken various initiatives to create value for shareholders, including the recently announced sale of Nine Adelaide. By achieving, in one transaction for SCB shareholders, the effective sale of our regional television business to MMG and our radio network and television production and distribution business to Fairfax Media, we have found optimum buyers for our quality media assets."
Dahlsen added that they were also "pleased the proposed transaction has been structured to allow SCB shareholders to capture incremental value from available franking credits. "
Fairfax is reported to be paying AUD 480 million (USD 410 million) for the radio business and some analysts think they are overpaying: In its report on the deal the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted CommSec media analyst Craig Shepherd as saying, "I think that on balance the value was probably a little bit lower and that in wishing to compete, to be included in this deal, they've ended up paying a little bit more than they would have otherwise."
The Sydney Morning Herald report is more positive about the Fairfax purchase - Fairfax owns the newspaper - and says that it means Fairfax will be able to tap into the growing pool of advertisers wanting to negotiate ad campaigns that run across a range of different media simultaneously and could thus challenge the acknowledged leaders in cross-platform deals, the Seven Network and PBL Media.
It quoted Fairfax CEO David Kirk as saying, "We think there's opportunities for integrated sales pitches across internet, newspapers and radio" and a Fairfax spokesman added of the possibilities of using the deal to extend its reach, "For example, 2UE might have an older audience than the Herald - and certainly than online - but its reach into suburban areas is probably better. So, if there isn't a fit, then we see that as an opportunity to actually extend our audience."
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Sydney Morning Herald report:

2007-07-04: US radio revenues for May were down 1% on a year earlier according to the latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
Within the figures, local revenues were down 2% and national revenues were flat but non-spot revenues rose 10%. The combined local and national figure was down 1%.
Previous RAB and RAB revenue figures (April):

2007-07-03: Trading in the shares of Southern Cross Broadcasting along with those of Fairfax Media Ltd and Macquarie Media Group (MMG) was suspended on Monday in advance of an expected announcement that Southern Cross is to be split up between the other two groups as part of an AUD 1.3 billion (USD 1.12 billion) bid from Macquarie Media Group in conjunction with Fairfax Media. Southern Cross shares were up 2.75 per cents at AUD 16.44 before trading was halted whilst Fairfax was down by two cents to AUD 4.68 and MMG was up 9 cents to AUD 4.94.
The Melbourne Age, which is owned by Fairfax, reported that speculation was that Fairfax would acquire Southern Cross's talk stations in Sydney talk station - 2UE - and Melbourne - 3AW, whilst Macquarie Media Group, which already owns 14.45% of Southern Cross, wants to add Southern Cross Broadcasting's regional Australian TV stations to its stable of rural radio stations.
The Age quoted Public relations consultant and former Age editor Mike Smith as saying a merger of the two groups looked like a good fit, at least commercially and adding, "In the Melbourne market, one of the things Fairfax has lacked for 25 years is sort of a media partner for cross promotion" whilst News Ltd and the Packer family had marshalled their various media properties with great effect leaving Fairfax "naked, in those respects".
Financial analyst Ivor Ries said the deal could provide cross promotional opportunities for advertisers and Fairfax would also benefit from acquiring the production company Southern Star, as it could produce content for its websites. But he suggested eyebrows could be raised over Big Brother, which Southern Star creates with Dutch-based company Endemol.
Other speculation put different priorities on the split of Assets - in addition to 2UE and 2AW Southern Cross owns other radio stations in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth plus TV stations belonging to the Seven and Ten Networks in New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania and in May sold Channel Nine Adelaide to the WIN Group for AUD 105 million (USD 90 million).
Some suggested that Macquarie would benefit from synergies between Southern Cross metropolitan radio stations and its existing regional radio network whilst Fairfax, which is currently involved in integrating properties it acquired through its purchase of Rural Press, would benefit from being able to stem the threat from Southern Cross's online to its Rural Press operations.
The consensus was that however the business was split up both Fairfax and MMG would gain more from a joint deal than fighting each other over the purchase.
Previous Macquarie Media Group:
Previous Southern Cross:
Melbourne Age report:

2007-07-03: Los-Angeles-based Mapleton Communications is expanding again on the West Coast through an agreement to buy Citadel Communications' Spokane cluster for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will add four FMs and three AMs - adult hits KBBD-FM; country KDRK-FM, oldies KEYE-FM; and rock KZBD-FM plus adult standards KEYE-AM; news/talk KGA-AM; and sports KJRB-AM to Mapleton's existing holding of 26FMs and eight AMs in California and Oregon.
Previous Citadel:
Previous Mapleton:

2007-07-03: UTV-owned talkSPORT and Emap have dominated this year's Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, taking the honours for The Arqiva gold award; Commercial station of the year; The commercial radio technical innovation award; and Commercial radio programmer of the year, won by Bill Ridley;
Other Station of the Year awards went to Gaydar Radio for Digital Station of the Year- London-based Gaydar started as an online station for homosexual men and lesbians and is now available on digital multiplexes in London and Brighton and on the Sky digital TV platform; to Belfast station Citybeat for stations with a potential audience between 300,000 and one million; and to The Local Radio Company's Portsmouth station 107.4 The Quay for stations with a potential audience fewer than 300,000;
Sales and marketing awards went to Global Radio UK's Birmingham Heart FM station (The Stations Marketing Award - Global have just taken over Chrysalis radio, which included the Heart stations); Emap's Solent station Wave 105 (Local Sales Team of the Year); SMG's Virgin Radio (National Sales Team of the Year).
Other awards were:
Arqiva/Skillset commercial radio presentation newcomer of the year - Tom Braham of Southampton Football Club's "The Saint".
Arqiva/RCS commercial radio presenter of the year - Adam Catterall of Emap's Preston, Lancashire, Big City station, 97.4 Rock FM.
Station Sound - Emap's Leeds Big City station 96.3 Radio Aire.
News Award - Emap's Manchester Big City station Key 103.
Programme or Feature of the Year - "Welcome to Liverpool 8", a retelling of the story of rioting in Toxteth from Emap's Liverpool Big City station Radio City
Station Creative Award - WYCR 'GPS' (GMG Radio's 106-108 Real Radio Yorkshire Creative Team).
Social Action Award - UKRD Group's Star Cambridge 'Liam's Mile'
The Neil Robinson Memorial Award - Nikki Murray, of Emap's Preston, Lancashire, Big City station, 97.4 Rock FM.
The Arqiva/IRN Newslink Special Award - Andria Vidler, managing director of Emap's Magic FM.
The Radio Centre chairman's award: GCap Media's digital station, The Jazz.
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Previous GCap:
Previous Global Radio, UK:
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2007-07-03: The Digital Media Association (DIMA) has slapped down the offer from SoundExchange for a limited period USD 2,500 per service voluntary cap on the total for minimum annual feeds for internet streaming that under charges set by the US Copyright Royalty Board and due to go into effect on July 15 would amount to USD "per station or channel" regardless of the overall number of stations/channels they are streaming.
In a statement DiMA Executive Director Jonathan Potter said his organization "would agree to a $2,500 per-service cap for the entire term of the CRB ruling (through 2010), but not the partial-offer presented to us in writing, which would terminate in 2008."
"Any offer that doesn't cover the full term is simply a stay of execution for Internet radio," said Potter. The looming 2009 billion-dollar threat is destabilizing and inhibits investment and growth. DiMA, like thousands of artists and millions of consumers, wants a solution that promotes long-term industry growth. A billion-dollar "minimum fee" is equally absurd in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010. It should be eliminated - period."
"DiMA," he added, "is disappointed to have to issue this statement; we would prefer to resume negotiating important issues directly with our counterparts rather than through press releases."
RNW comment: On this one we are totally with DMA and the webcasters. The USD 500 fee itself is in our view too high when it is supposed to be related to administrative costs and the idea that when one organization is involved it should have to pay this amount for each of thousands of channels is absurd.
When we reported the SoundExchange offer (See RNW Jun 30 /2007-06.html#SoundExchange3) - we working off its news release that did not mention the time limit but we nevertheless referred to it as the "usual half-misleading self-serving twaddle from SoundExchange: We see every reason to make the comment harsher.

Previous DiMA:
Previous Potter:
Previous SoundExchange:

2007-07-03: The UK Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) has launched a summer advertising campaign that will run six weeks to promote digital radio take-up with a campaign on radio stations plus advertorials in major regional newspapers and trade adverts targeting retailers.
In all Radioville has created some 40 radio adverts on the theme "Five million do it, do you?" that relates to the announcement that five million digital radio receivers have now been sold in the UK and also tie in with the BBC DAB campaign which has the slogan "Do you do digital?"
Some 100 commercial stations will carry the adverts, fronted by Jason Flemyng of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" fame and featuring unscripted vox pops in which real people talk about their DAB experience and the benefits DAB digital radio brings.
Previous DRDB:

2007-07-02: Two issues dominated US cover of radio this week, both related to regulation. One was the issue of localism, related to the holding by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its latest field hearing on the issue (See RNW Jun 30) and the other that of the Commission's former "Fairness Doctrine", where a number of -primarily right-wing - publications commented on suggestions that it could be brought back.
On the latter, we start with Kent Burkhart's blog, the latest issue of which recalls being in his Atlanta consulting office in 1987 when he was told that the Fairness Doctrine was dead.
Burkhart writes of the Doctrine: "For those of you who did not live through all those horror years of the Fairness Doctrine…it was…well…tough for broadcasters to understand and comprehend. The Fairness Doctrine stated something to the effect that an on the air response should be given to a reliable person who wished to air a contrasting view from the broadcaster. (It was more complicated than that…but let's leave it there). Many broadcasters paid for an attorney "on call" to help them in determining which subjects were risky to broadcast or mention on the air….without having to give free time to those who wanted to present a Fairness Doctrine contrasting view. Confused??? Stand by!!!
"During the life of the Fairness Doctrine most of our clients had decided to cancel local editorial or controversial programming. Can you imagine a law the prohibited newspapers or magazines from their editorial stance???? Or even in today's world…. Internet opinions and editorials???? No Way!!!
"I always thought the Fairness Doctrine should be called the Unfairness Doctrine. It was difficult to program around and many ideas pertaining to the wellness of our community were simply omitted...never got on the air…because we were in fear of violating the Fairness Doctrine and subject to a federal fine on FCC license revocation!!!!"
Burkhart, it seems to us, although obviously strongly opposed to the Doctrine as it was applied, does not stray over the line into bigoted nonsense. Not so, many right-wing commentators and hosts including Lynne Woolley who in Human Events began his comment: "The Left just can't give it up. Once you've had a virtual monopoly on the airwaves, its difficult to deal with a new landscape in which anyone can express a political opinion about anything without fear of regulation or retribution."
It may be, of course (as we weren't there) that Burkhart is misrepresenting the effects of the Doctrine but if he is not, then it must have stopped the left from expressing their views as well as the right. No such feeling from Woolley, though! Nor it would seem much understanding of the American (not English obviously in his case) language, judging by later comment: "The Left has never gotten over the fact that it once had a media monopoly… The best way for the Left to restore liberal balance to the airwaves remains the ballot box."
We can only suggest a check in the dictionary on the meanings of the word "liberal" (before bigots and propagandists like him perverted that meaning), "monopoly", and "balance" and then a long period of silence whilst thought percolates, presumably very slowly, before mind is engaged and mouth subsequently opened.
As for the arguments for the Fairness Doctrine, we suggest amongst the rather fewer articles we have seen, Dave Johnson's "Restore the Fairness Doctrine" comment in The Huffington Post.
His argument is a reasonably concise summary of the Doctrine as laid down, albeit it does not go into detail about the application of the regulations/
"How many of you have heard of the Fairness Doctrine?" he began. "Public broadcasters are licensed to use OUR airwaves. It used to be that in order to be licensed they were required to serve the public interest. One part of that public interest was to present a balanced view of different political viewpoints and to cover controversial issues of public importance. This "Fairness Doctrine" requirement was intended to protect the public from the possibility of moneyed interests buying up all of the information sources, leaving the public hearing only their viewpoint."
…" There was also a personal attack rule, which required stations to notify people or groups who were attacked on their broadcasts and give them the opportunity to respond on the air. And, candidates were given the opportunity to respond to attacks or endorsements of opponents."
His view of restoration was positive: "Restoring the Fairness Doctrine would open up America's 'marketplace of ideas.' It would help to restore civility to our public discourse. It would help restore our democracy. If the Fairness Doctrine were restored we would begin to see a variety of issues covered by the broadcast media, from a variety of perspectives. Currently we only see subjects that the corporate world is interested in, covered from a pro-corporate perspective. Imagine the effect on the country if the public were exposed to a variety of viewpoints on issues like trade, consumer protection, sustainability, unions, health care, global warming and energy, religion, the environment, nutrition, and SO MANY other issues!"
But then maybe he overreached if the practical implications of a restoration are likely to be a restoration to a situation as described by Burkhart: "Imagine the effect on our civic discourse if stations had to give time for a response to everyone that Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter smeared on the air!"
The article is followed by a range of comments for and against, some of a reasonable tone - "Or how about we let the consumer decide which news media they choose, and you let private companies decide what messages they want to broadcast??!" and "Regulating the conduct of the media does not impose on their constitutional rights any more than speed limits impose on ours. Both serve the public good" or "What about the people that can only get one source of media? Don't they deserve to get a full, fair perspective on the issue?"
Others were rather more abusive-" Poor Ahasp and StreetRodDude, it must really hurt to find out that the majority of people in America think that you guys (and others like you) are the real 'nutjobs' and America-haters" or crude, even if to the point - "The Fairness Doctrine is a load of crap" whilst others turned arguments to their advantage - "If there really is a 'Liberal Media' why did the Reagan administration abolish the Fairness doctrine?" and "And after these laws are passed, when the KKK, American Taliban, and NAMBLA want their say on a show, we have to let them!" or suggested that the whole idea was dated - "Who needs that crap anymore? If you've got something to say, what's wrong with a 'blog? Stuff like this forum...Fairness Doctrine is soooo 20th in the NOW," - or not that important -" Uh, how 'bout we work on educating, feeding, and giving healthcare to everyone first?"
And one probably the nail right on the head, bringing it down to the Almighty (dollar that is): "HuffPro is predominantly a left wing liberal channel/station that presents 'news' that has a definite liberally thinking target audience. Like every one else they sell the statistics of traffic to advertisers. In the end, it is all about pushing products and viewpoints to that specific audience that will help to sell the product. Specific agendas are products in the political and social realm. Capitalism is all about selling the "product." Everything is pre-packaged for the consumer in the target market."
After issues of fairness, on to those of localism and also those of consolidation, which is blamed by many for removing choice whilst others contend that there is now more choice than ever.
In the Seattle Times, Ryan Blethen commented that localism "like many isms, means different things to different people" and in this context said of the FCC localism meeting in Portland, Maine, that "Maine's broadcasters did a fantastic job getting their employees, station managers and charitable organizations to testify to their hyper-local identities. The other half of the nearly 200 people that drifted in and out of the auditorium were clearly disgusted with the local offerings on the airwaves."
Blethen noted that Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein in his opening remarks had said "I want to know whether broadcasters are integrated into the activities of local communities, whether their coverage is serving your local community needs and how they can better serve you. This is much more than Toys-for-Tots or the annual blood drive, as important as these initiatives are" and the broadcasters testimony that followed rather missed the point.
"Almost to a person," he wrote, "the broadcasters - who wore blue buttons touting their USD 50 million-plus raised for charity - talked about their charitable work… The degradation of local news as a result of corporate chain ownership was glaringly apparent. If the station managers could talk about their stellar newscasts, they would have. They did not."
His conclusion? "What I heard above the din of good works was that broadcast localism is lost in Maine. What I heard was a thirst for journalism that casts a sceptical eye on government, journalism that unflinchingly investigates journalism that reflects its community."
A different perspective on the matter came from Kelly Slater, Clear Channel's market manager for Augusta-Rockland, who in an article we noted in the Kennebec Journal, commented, "Some critics say radio is too consolidated and no longer provides listeners with diverse formats or diverse viewpoints. Others say that local content -- news, traffic, weather and sports -- has been compromised by federal rules regarding radio ownership. As Clear Channel's market manager for Augusta-Rockland, I can say, without a doubt, that it just isn't so. Quite the opposite. We conduct research on an ongoing basis for the very purpose of staying on top of a community's interests and needs. And when listeners talk, we listen."
Slater went on to add, "I am personally committed to the news, weather and entertainment needs of Maine citizens and to the broader needs of Maine's communities" and then list, guess what… fund raising for a "Fuel for Families "charity and various other such activities but not a word about the strength of the news coverage carried by the nine Clear Channel stations in the market.
Presumable she hadn't read the Blethen comment or simply managed to prove the degree to which news was considered important without thinking much about it.
Of course, whatever the programming content or justice of a case, the American system is one of lobbying and pressure groups- and, it would appear in quite a number of cases, one for such groups created as fronts.
In a Los Angeles Times report "Sirius, XM and American values. Got a big business deal in the works? Start lining up interest groups" Jon Healey detailed various groups for and against the satellite radio merger but then went on to note: "Given the stakes involved, it's not surprising that the process has been abused. Critics coined a term-'AstroTurf'-to describe supposedly grass-roots groups that turn out to be fronts ginned up by proponents or opponents of a merger, regulation or bill. Another tactic favoured by large corporations is to buy goodwill among community groups through charitable donations, then encourage those groups to support the corporations' agendas in Washington. There's also the practice of pouring money into supposedly independent research groups, then trotting out studies that, amazingly enough, support their benefactors' point of view."
And of this particular case he makes one point that if significant indicates lying by the satellite companies, who have each publicly stated they are in good financial health - "They've also helped XM and Sirius advance an argument that the publicly traded services can't make themselves: that the two companies are too weak to survive as independent entities."
On then to listening suggestions starting with some 8 hours of radio drama from the current BBC celebrations of author and playwright Tom Stoppard's 70th birthday.
This includes on BBC Radio 4 a special "Front Row" interview of the author by Mark Lawson today (18:15 GMT) and also productions of his work- last week's "Friday Play" was a 1988 production of his comedy "Albert's Bridge" and the "Saturday Play" was another comedy "Arcadia", both of which are delightful use of language.
On Sunday the station aired his "15-Minute Hamlet" humorous take on Shakespeare that contains all the famous lines, although not necessarily in the same order.
Buried in the BBC7 schedule on Saturday were three plays broadcast from 20:00 to 23:00 - all available until this Saturday through the listen-again facility. These were "In The Native State" (20:00-22:15), a production featuring Peggy Ashcroft and Felicity Kendal that was originally broadcast in 1991; "The Dissolution Of Dominic Boot" (22:15-22:45), an adaptation with Derek Fowlds and Maria Aitken originally broadcast in 1978; and a 1989 re-edit of the 1970 production of "Where Are They Now?" (22:45-23:00) featuring Timothy West. (The Listen again appears on a quick check to play the whole run - 3hrs 7 minutes when the first is selected; the second two - 52 minutes- when the second is selected and the final play when the third is selected.)
BBC Radio 3 is to air "Rock 'N' Roll", Stoppard's most recent play on Sunday in the "Drama on 3" slot (19:00 GMT) - it spans Czechoslovakia's recent history from 1968 to 1990, from the dual perspective of Prague, where a rock 'n' roll group symbolises the resistance to communism, and the British left, through the eyes of a Marxist philosopher at Cambridge.
In two weeks time it will in the same slot (but at 20:40 GMT) air his first major play - "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead", which re-tells Shakespeare's Hamlet through the eyes of two of the play's lesser characters: Rosencrantz, played by Danny Webb, and Guildenstern, played by Andrew Lincoln.
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern is also the subject for discussion on Radio 3's "Night Waves" (20:45 GMT) on Thursday when Matthew Sweet's guests include Derek Goldby, the director of the very first production that was staged at the Edinburgh Festival when the playwright was an unknown 29 year old.
Back to Radio 4 and from Sunday we suggest the latest (and last in the current series) edition of "In Business": "Car Crash" featured Peter Day looking at the history of and the troubles with the modern car industry and talking to industry experts along with the Chairman of Toyota. Best comment we heard from the point of view of the US was optimism about the potential future of General Motors.
And from today on the station at 10:00GMT "History's Witness", the first of two programmes by Kevin Connolly, the BBC's Ireland Correspondent, who has been given exclusive access to the work of the Historical Enquiries Team - set up set up two years ago to review every single unsolved death from more than 3,000 in Northern Ireland from 1968 to 1998.
Moving away from the BBC, we next suggest the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "All in the Mind"that last Saturday was the second part of a two-part "Mind Reading" series and dealt with the ways scientists can now look into the mind and the neural code behind thought with potentially revolutionary implications from being able to detect lies or allow machines to be controlled by thought alone.
Then we suggest from the US "On the Media" and from the ABC last week's "Media Report".
Both looked at Prime Minister Tony Blair's legacy,with the ABC in "Blair's Spin Machine", providing a different perspective on the former UK Prime Minister than the encomiums we saw aired in the US and the domestic comment from UK media and also Sunday's "Night Air". The latst, in "Liquid Architecture Remix" featured four leading Australian sound artists explore the concept of the radiophonic remix.
After that, having crammed the week with drama, we return to the BBC for BBC Radio 3's "The Essay" that this week has four British cultural figures exploring how their first impressions of America developed and then BBC Radio 2 for varying music with the latest "Best of Jazz"(Monday 22:30 GMT) now that the series is back, and also Wednesday's latest in the "Classic Singles" series (22:00 GMT), which looks at the Rolling Stones' hit Brown Sugar before ending the week with comedy and "The Now Show" from BBC Radio 4 (17:30 GMT Friday with an 11:30 GMT Saturday repeat).
Previous Columnists:
Kent Burkhart site:
Huffington Post - Johnson:
Human Events- Woolley:
Kennebec Journal - Slater:
Los Angeles Times - Healey:
Seattle Times - Blethen:

2007-07-02: According to the UK Observer, Sir Richard Branson and Charles Allen, the former ITV chief who chairs the newly-formed investment vehicle Global Radio that last week agreed a GBP 170 million (USD 340 million) purchase of Chrysalis's radio interests (See RNW Jun 26) could launch a bid for Virgin Radio, which current owner SMG is planning to spin-off through an initial public offering in the autumn (fall) (See RNW Jun 28).
The paper says the two men have held secret talks about a plan "that would see SMG, Virgin Radio's current owner, spin off the station into a new private company which would involve Branson, Allen and SMG becoming the principle shareholders."
Branson's private company holds rights to the Virgin name but he sold the station itself to DJ Chris Evans' Ginger Media Group in 1997 with the latter, which also included a TV production business, being bought in 2000 (See RNW Jan 13, 2000) by SMG for GBP 225 million (Then USD 371 million). SMG currently values Virgin Radio at around GBP 105 million (USD 210 million) on its books.
The Observer says that Allen refused comment on the Virgin Radio project, saying he is "bound by confidentiality agreements" and adds that the main obstacle to the agreement is SMG Chief Executive Rob Woodward, who is holding out for a float or a sale to private equity.
In the UK Independent on Sunday, Tim Luckhurst, who is professor of journalism at Kent University, speculates on whether Allen and Global Radio could be the strong player that could challenge the dominance of the BBC.
Luckhurst quotes Andrew Harrison, chief executive of industry body the RadioCentre, as saying, "If he can bring this off, he has a spectacular opportunity to put commercial radio at the heart of Britain's digital future".
Harrison adds, "When commercial radio was established in the early 1970s, it was the only place to go for local news and advertising. Now media proliferation has changed the fundamentals of our market" and identifies three crucial challenges: consolidation, regulation and the BBC.
"Little old radio is being strangled by draconian rules that shackle us in the face of competition from modern, dynamic digital businesses," says Harrison, who has attacked Ofcom's regulation of analogue radio - station formats specify obligations as to programming and local content - whereas digital stations are much more lightly regulated and Internet stations are unregulated.
Luckhurst comments that even UK commercial radio's greatest supporters acknowledge a crisis with acute pressures on companies faced with more and more stations competing for listeners and stations such as BBC Radios 2 and Five Live sounding more "commercial" than ever and quotes former BBC Radio 1 head Paul Robinson, now a media consultant, as saying, "Commercial radio is contracting and revenue is half what it was only five years ago."
Scott Taunton, managing director of UTV Radio, which owns talkSPORT, notes of commercial radio, "There are 70 different owners of 300 stations. They have not worked well together as an industry. People have not worked cohesively… There is no silver bullet… [But] if you get consolidation and fewer local network obligations, for example, then you can invest more in programming. Larger companies get more purchasing power with advertisers too and don't have to discount airtime as much."
Harrison also commented on competition from the BBC, saying, "Its share of radio is much bigger than its share of any other medium. It has 56 per cent share and 90 per cent reach" and adding that he fears audience fragmentation will encourage the corporation to make channels such as Radio 1, Radio 2 and Five Live still more commercial in style.
"I think Ofcom does understand the need to be radical," explains Harrison whose body in its submission to Ofcom's "The Future of Radio" review that is to be published on Wednesday calls for immediate and bold action from the regulator, "but I'm not sure it understands the urgency. To let us compete with the scale of the BBC and its huge distortion of the market, we need a really radical liberalization of franchises."
Woodward commented, "We have absolute faith that the medium is robust, but the structure of the sector is not robust. We need a smaller number of stronger groups. That is where the industry is headed. Most of the pieces are in place."
Robinson added of Global Radio, "Just buying Chrysalis does not change much, but if Global were to acquire GCap, Emap or UTV, they could create a mega group. I assume Charles wants to be a consolidation player."
RNW comment: One of the positives about UK radio is that listening is at an all-time high and the proliferation of new ways of listening including mobile devices including cell phones and players- frequently now being combined - plus digital radio broadcasts and radio channels on digital TV platforms as well as the Internet - offers more opportunities. On the other side, Internet advertising is increasingly taking share from other players, with local advertising particularly vulnerable with consequent knock-on effects on the print and broadcast industries.
In terms of the transition to digital, UK commercial radio benefits much more than the BBC, which has a much greater share of analogue spectrum than it does of digital, and plans by Ofcom to charge broadcasters including the BBC for the spectrum they actually use will also have an effect.
There is some justification for commercial radio comments about BBC radio - Radio 2, for example, has moved quite a lot of programming of more interest to an older demographic into later slots and changed earlier programming to attract a younger demographic, but we have comparatively little sympathy for many players who took the deliberate decision to target the young audience at a time when the population was ageing - and has much of the wealth - and then complained when the BBC became dominant. Additionally we have no time for calls to gut BBC output - particularly that of speech channel Radio 4, because commercial radio cannot compete: In other words to take away a quality product so that comparative rubbish gains an audience for lack of other options.
Such a move in our view, at a time when people can choose many other options, will not work but will weaken the medium overall and lead to fewer listeners whilst not reducing competition, particularly from Internet-based sources and Internet competition for advertising. It would be a small-minded, unimaginative and negative and ineffective response.

Previous Allen:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Harrison:
Previous Ofcom:
Previous RadioCentre:
Previous SMG:
Previous Taunton:
Previous UTV:
Previous Woodward:
UK Independent on Sunday report:
UK Observer report:

2007-07-01: In a generally routine period, the most significant regulator activity last week came from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called for comment on the planned Sirius-XM merger and also held its latest localism field hearing.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has accepted formal undertakings from Sydney 2GB licensee Harbour Radio Pty Ltd (a Macquarie Radio Network subsidiary) concerning new training procedures on vilification put in place following an April ruling that it had breached the country's (See RNW Jun 27).
The ACMA also posted details of updated Codes of Conduct including a code for Open Narrowcasting radio services
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again posted a number of radio-related decisions and notices including (in order of province):
British Columbia:
*Approval of an application by the application by the Hornby Community Radio Society for a licence for a 5 watts English-language, low-power, developmental community FM radio programming undertaking on Hornby Island. The Commission noted a previous decision in 2004 to approve a prior application from Hornby but this was not put into operation by the relevant deadline and no extension was requested, thus meaning that the approval became null and void. This approval requires the station to be operational within 24 months of the approval unless a request for an extension is approved.
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to operate a 37,800 watts FM transmitter at Timmins to rebroadcast the programming of the CBC's national, French-language network service Espace musique originating from CBBX-FM, Sudbury.
*Approval of application by Ottawa Media Inc. for an 875 watts New Easy Listening format English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Hawkesbury
*Following receipt of one application for a commercial FM, posted a public notice calling for other applications - to be submitted by August 21 - for a licence to serve Peterborough.
Ontario & Quebec:
*Following receipt of one application for a commercial FM, posted a public notice calling for other applications - to be submitted by August 21 - for a licence to serve Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. The Commission notes that this does not mean that it will necessarily issue a new licence or licences for the area.
The Commission also posted public notices that included the following radio-related matters:
*With an August 1 deadline for submission of interventions or comments:
*Application by Burlingham Communications Inc. to add a 9,900 watts FM transmitter at Meaford, Ontario to broadcast the programming of CIWV-FM, Hamilton.
*With an August 2 deadline for submission of interventions or comments:
Nova Scotia:
*Application by Atlantic Broadcasters Limited to add a 43.5 watts low-power FM transmitter at Pleasant Bay, Nova Scotia to broadcast the programming of CJFX-FM, Antigonish.
*Application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited on behalf of Fawcett Broadcasting Limited to delete current licence conditions relating to Canadian Talent Development from the licences of the CFOB-FM, Fort Frances, CJRL-FM, Kenora, CKDR-FM, Dryden, CKDR-5. Red Lake, CKDR-5-FM, Red Lake, CKDR-2 and CKDR-2-FM, Sioux Lookout, - and replace them with a condition requiring a contribution in line with the Commission's 2006 Commercial Radio Policy.
The Commission notes that the application for the transfer of shares and effective control of Fawcett Broadcasting Limited to Northwoods Broadcasting Limited was approved in April.
*Application by CIRC Radio Inc. to use a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel to broadcast predominantly Vietnamese-language programming by ethnic radio station CIRV-FM. This service is currently provided on an SCMO channel of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.'s CKAV-FM, Toronto, whose low power is said to cause reception problems. If this application is approved the CKAV service will be terminated.
*With an August 3 deadline for submission of interventions or comments:
Across Canada:
*Applications by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to delete all current licence conditions of the following stations and replace them with a condition saying the licensee within twelve (12) months of the date of this decision shall devote a minimum of 25% of its weekly broadcast schedule to the broadcast of local programming; shall broadcast regular daily local newscasts; shall ensure that a minimum of 2% of all spoken word programming broadcast during each broadcast week is in a Canadian Aboriginal language; shall ensure that a minimum of 2% of all vocal musical selections aired during each broadcast week is in a Canadian Aboriginal language; shall ensure that a minimum of 35% of all musical selections from content category 2 (Popular music) aired during each broadcast week are Canadian selections, broadcast in their entirety; shall devote minimum 20 hours a week to spoken word programming and shall also adhered to codes on gender portrayal and advertising to children.
AVR has also suggested other conditions relating to spoken word programming as an alternative.
Stations involved are CKAV-FM, Toronto, CKAV-FM-2, Vancouver, CKAV-FM-3, Calgary, CKAV-FM-9, Ottawa and AVR undertakings at Edmonton, Kitchener/Waterloo and Montréal.
*Application by CKUA Radio Foundation to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CKUA-FM, Edmonton and its transmitters CKUA-AM, Edmonton; CKUA-FM-1, Calgary; CKUA-FM-2, Lethbridge, CKUA-FM-3, Medicine Hat, CKUA-FM-4 Grande Prairie, CKUA-FM-5, Peace River, CKUA-FM-6, Red Deer; CKUA-FM-7, Hinton; CKUA-FM-8, Edson; CKUA-FM-9, Whitecourt; CKUA-FM-10, Athabasca; CKUA-FM-11, Fort McMurray; CKUA-FM-12, Spirit River; CKUA-FM-13, Drumheller; CKUA-FM-14, Banff; and CKUA-FM-15, Lloydminster.
Nova Scotia:
*Application by Seaside Broadcasting Organization to increase the power of community Type B station CFEP-FM, Eastern Passage, from 50 watts to 1,400 watts, an increase that would change the status of the station from that of an unprotected low power service to a regular Class A service.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has signed a ten-year contract for a youth service - targeting 15-34 year olds in the South West of Ireland (counties of Kerry, Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary and South-West Laois) - with SPIN South West Limited.
The service will be a mix of music and speech including news and sport and specialist shows focusing on music genres, primarily dance and urban.
Commenting on the signing BCI Chairperson Conor J. Maguire said, "We are delighted to conclude contract negotiations and to sign this 10 year contract with SPIN South West Limited. The station will add to the diversity of services available in the South West Region and will provide a greater choice for the 15-34 year old audience."
The BCI has also announced that it received five applications for a multi-city FM service to of Dublin City and County and commuter belt, Cork City and County, Limerick City and County, Co. Clare and Galway City and County.
The applications were for the following stations:
CREAM (Broadcast Radio Limited), County Limerick:
LEGEND FM (Legend FM), Dublin:
MORE FM (TV3 Television Network Limited), Dublin:
RADIO 3 (Far Away Radio Land Limited), County Galway:
4 FM (Choice Broadcasting Limited), Dublin.
In the UK, Ofcom has received applications for 12 new community licences and also posted the reasons for its award earlier this month of five community licences and the local digital multiplex for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire digital multiplex earlier this month (See RNW Jun 30).
It also posted its June Radio Broadcast Update that listed amongst other things details of various agreed format changes.
These included changes to five Midlands CN stations - Touch FM, Coventry; Touch FM, Stratford; Touch FM, Staffs (Tamworth); Rugby FM; and Oak 107FM, Loughborough - where CN was requesting a reduction in local origination hours for the stations from 18 hours to 16 hours daily to allow more daytime regional shared programming using networking and a Reduction of weekday news requirement to remove requirement for 8pm and 9pm news bulletins on 107.1 Rugby FM to facilitate a live presented network evening programme, replacing voicetracking.
Other analogue stations where format changes were approved were UTV stations Peak FM and The Pulse, where the company requested a reduction in local programming allow the stations to share output with other northern UTV Radio stations during off-peak times; and for The Local Radio Company's Kirklees and Calderdale station, Home FM, which has struggled to fulfil the daily phone-in requirement in its licence.
Home FM has successfully introduced a phone- in programme after sports games that attracts more callers than it can put to air but not enough for its other phone-ins. It therefore wished to change the weekday phone-in obligation to a weekly Saturday Sports phone-in, while offering the provision to host additional phone-in programmes following evening matches. It also wanted to reduce its Asian output from nine to six hours a week.
Also included were a number of Digital Station format changes where a request was allowed to introduce "Traffic Radio" and replace other services in some areas, add it in others, and in the case of the South Wales and Severn Estuary replace the "Capital Disney" service with Xfm.
In addition in the following areas Traffic Radio is to replace Capital Disney - Greater London I, Leicester, Nottingham, South Hampshire, Swindon and West Wilts.
It will replace "Smash Hits" in Manchester, Central Lancashire, Humberside, Leeds, Liverpool, South Yorkshire, Teesside, Tyne & Wear and be added to the existing services in Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Exeter and Torbay, Kent, Norwich, Peterborough, Plymouth and Cornwall, Reading, Southend and Chelmsford, Wolverhampton, Bradford and Huddersfield.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has, already noted, held the fifth of it sixth planned localism hearings in Portland, Maine (See RNW Jun 30). It also called for comment on the application for the transfer of XM and Sirius licences to a new body that would be required were the merger of the two companies to go ahead (See RNW Jun 28 )
On the enforcement front the commission has proposed or confirmed various penalties on radio operators including - in descending order of amount:
*Issued USD 4,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALF) to Capstar's WSNE-FM, Taunton, Massachusetts, for public file violations and also renewed the station's licence.
*Issued USD 4,000 NALF to Clear Channel's KBAC -FM, Las Vegas, New Mexico, for public file violations and also renewed the station's licence.
*Issued USD 500 NALF to Educational Radio Foundation of East Texas, Inc., licensee of FM translator Station K214BE, Shreveport, Louisiana, for failure to timely file renewal application and unauthorized operation. It also renewed the licence.
*Issued USD 500 NALF to J.L. Brewer Broadcasting, LLC. licensee of FM translator Station W227AK, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for failure to timely file renewal application and unauthorized operation. It also renewed the licence.
*Issued USD 250 NALF to Bible Broadcasting Network, Inc., licensee of FM Translator station W201BW, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, for failure to timely file renewal application. It also renewed the licence.
*Issued USD 250 NALF to M&D Translator, LLC., licensee of FM translator Station W267AL, Syracuse, New York, for failure to timely file renewal application. It also renewed the licence.
In New York State it accepted an application from the Debtor-in-Possession of WJJL-AM, Niagara Falls, for licence renewal and rejected an application by Joann Nicola Lutz DiStefano Phillips who identified herself as the "owner" of the station is her application.
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Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
ACMA web site:

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

2007-07-01: BBC Radio 4 has announced that it is to transmit its first-ever poetry slam competition this summer with some of the UK's best-known as well as up-and-coming spoken word performers will battle it out for the title of Radio 4 Slam Winner 2007.
Poetry Slamming - knockout performance poetry competitions in which poets perform their own work to a time limit and are given scores based on content, style, delivery and level of audience response -began in the US in the 1980s and are thriving round the world with some hundreds of them being held in Britain each year.
Caroline Raphael, Radio 4 Commissioning Editor said of the competition, "Poetry Slamming is an exciting contemporary approach to poetry and I'm sure the Radio 4 audience will find the enthusiasm and high octane energy that surround these events infectious. Competition will be fierce, the rhymes will come thick and fast and the very best contemporary slam and performance talent from the current scene will be highlighted.
The station will transmit the semi-finals of the competition - to be held in London and Manchester in August- and the final, which will take place at the Bristol Poetry Festival in September. Nine heats have already been held with 18 contestants going through to the semi-finals and these will be winnowed down to six finalists.
All three events will be hosted by Dreadlock Alien a well-known figure on the slam and performance circuit who was Birmingham's Poet Laureate in 2006.
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