November 2008 Archive
-October 2008 - December 2008 -
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 October comment -White spaces, white noise! Argues in favour of using the unused parts of broadcast spectrum for wireless Internet as being in the wider public interest albeit proceeding with caution and regulating to as to not to cause interference to broadcast signals.
2008-11-30: Last week was yet another fairly quiet one for the regulators as regards radio decisions with the most significant decision coming from Australia where the Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking an AUD 130,000 penalty on Sydney 2UE for breaches of licence conditions requiring disclosure of financial interests when making announcements (See RNW Nov 26).
The ACMA has also proposed to make spectrum available to improve reception of the commercial radio service 4CC-AM, Gladstone, Queensland, which suffers from deficiencies in Livingstone Shire, specifically along the coast between Yeppoon and Keppel Stands.
To this end it proposes to allow make a low power in-fill FM frequency available and seeks comment on the proposal by Jan 9 next year.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted just one radio decision, the approval of a station swap between Newcap Inc. and Rogers Broadcasting Limited and conversion to FM of the stations involved - CFDR-AM, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and CIGM-AM, Sudbury, Ontario, (See RNW Nov 25).
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a deadline of January 5 for the submission of interventions or comments that included an application by Tiessen Media Inc. change the frequency of its transmitter CFIT-FM-1, Cochrane, Alberta and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from - 42 metres to 135 metres.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has advertised six new community and community of interest services (See RNW Nov 25) but in the UK there were no radio licensing postings although Ofcom did post its most recent Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Nov 27).
In the US, because of Thanksgiving, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a shorter working week and it was also rather quiet as regards radio decision although Democrat Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein did post a letter commending FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin for seeking public comment for an inquiry by the agency into Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings service.
In his letter Adelstein then requests that the FCC "immediately open a formal investigation to determine whether the PM ratings methodology undermines the goals of Congress and the Commission to enhance media diversity and expand opportunities for minority-owned businesses to own viable broadcasting outlets."
Adelstein then refers to comments heard "from numerous broadcasters and advocates for diversity that the continued deployment of the PPM in new markets without accreditation from Media Ratings Council (MRC) constitutes a clear and present danger to media diversity."
Adelstein argues that the Communications Act gives it "clear authority" to conduct an investigation and says that the commission has recognized the importance of advertising "in ensuring a diverse ownership of broadcast assets", citing a prohibition last year of "no urban/no Spanish" dictates.
The FCC also issued a USD 15,000 penalty on a Mississippi AM (See RNW Nov 26).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2008-11-29: In yet another move forward for DAB+, Switzerland's Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM) has started a consultation regarding the launch of a second DAB+ digital radio platform intended for French-speaking Switzerland - the first digital multiplex in the country, using DAB, is that of public broadcaster SSR-SRG. DAB+ uses more advanced coding to enable more efficient use of spectrum and is being adopted by a number of countries including Australia, where the service launches next year, and Malta, where a trial service is currently on air.
In all seven commercial broadcasters have expressed interest in a licence on the proposed Swiss multiplex and opinions on their proposals have to be submitted by December 23 with decisions to follow next spring.
The broadcasters involved are:
ROM Radio (projet lié à Rouge FM)
FriRadio (projet lié à Radio Fribourg)
Radio Jazz International (Monsieur Philippe Zumbrunn)
Radio Roc (projet lié à Radio Chablais)
Maxxima (projet lié à la webradio Maxxima et à Rouge FM)
Radio Verticale (projet lié à Radio Rhône)
Soprodi Sàrl (projet lié à Monsieur Pierre Steulet, en collaboration avec Romandie FM SA)
Swiss OFCOM news release (French - this release is also available in German and Italian but not English):
2008-11-29: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has received a fillip in the fall ratings just released by the BBM Canada (the former Bureau of Broadcast Measurement) and showing that for the first time CBC Radio One has taken the top ranking in Toronto. CBC Radio also topped the rankings in Victoria, British Columbia, where it was launched a decade ago, although this success was tempered by a fall in listening to CBC Vancouver in the market.
In Vancouver and the region, Corus-owned news/talk CKNW-AM held on to its top ranking with a 12.4% share of listeners 12 or older, followed by CBC's CBU-AM with 9.9% (CBU-FM took 5.3% and was in ninth rank) then CTVglobemedia's CHQM-FM (QM-FM) with 7.6%.
In Toronto the CBC's success - it took its listening share up a point to 9.4% - pushed CTVglobemedia's CHUM-FM into second rank with 8.8% (down 0.1 over a year ago) and Rogers' CHFI-FM into third with 8.4%, having fallen 1.2% from a year ago when it headed the rankings.
CBC-AM also took top spot in Calgary with 10.8% followed by Corus's talk CHQR-AM with 10% and Corus's CKRY-FM (Country 105) in third with 8.8%.
2008-11-28: Allegations of corrupt behaviour by St Vincent's Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves aired by Kingstown radio station Nice have cost it more than USD 160,000.
Host Elwardo Lynch had alleged that Gonsalves used government money to pay for a family trip to the Vatican to see Pope John Paul II six years ago and now the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has ordered the host and BDS Ltd., the station's parent company, to pay a total of XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollars) 430,000 (USD 164,000) for defamation: The award is made up of XCD 160,00 (USD 61,000) each from Lynch and the company, XCD 33,000 (USD 12,600) for Dr Gonsalves' High Court costs and XCD22,000 (USD 8,400) for his Appeal Court case plus interest on the amounts.
The PM, who says he intends to give the money to charity, told reporters after the judgment was announced that the ruling should be a lesson to those who try to destroy his character, adding, "Don't run a campaign against me based on lies and falsehoods which damage my character. I will take action."
2008-11-28: British radio and TV host Terry Christian has lost in his claim of unfair dismissal by BBC Radio Manchester, which did not renew his two-year GBP 180,000 (USD 277,000) when it ran out in April this year.
Christian had claimed unfair dismissal and also said he was under detailed control by BBC management including being given scripts on how to interview guests on his show.
He had signed the two year agreement in 2006, initially working on the breakfast show and being moved to drive time in May 2007.
The Manchester Evening News says Judge Murray Creed, who rejected the host's claims, noted that Christian also had a show on talkSPORT at the same time and ruled that he was hired by the station as a self-employed freelance and was not a permanent employee.
The BBC had denied that Christian was a full-time employee and said the "scripts" he complained of were simply aide memoirs.
Manchester Evening News report:
2008-11-28: Malta's rollout of DAB+ digital radio is now under way with coverage once the system is fully deployed planned to offer wider coverage than current FM stations. A trial commenced in September serving more than four fifths of the island's population on the DigiBNetwork with stations involved including Radio 101, RTK, Super 1 Radio, Capital Radio, 89.7 Bay, Smash Radio, Calypso 101.8 and Campus FM.
A range of DAB+ receivers is already in stores in Malta before the Christmas seas including four PURE models ranging in price from Euros 85 (USD 108) for a portable receiver to Euros 195 ( USD 248) for the EVOKE Flow which combines DAB digital radio with Wi-Fi technology and FM
2008-11-27: The bidding for the five stations that Global Radio has to dispose of as a condition of approval of its takeover of GCap Media (See RNW Aug 8) has now entered its second round with at least five parties said to be in the race with bids rumoured at between GBP 30 million and GBP 40 million (USD 45-60 million).
Four of the stations involved are in the West Midlands - BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon - and the fifth is Heart 106 in the East Midlands.
Amongst those who have declared an interest are former BRMB programme controller and operations director Mike Owen who said in August he was putting together a consortium to buy the West Midlands stations and Bauer Radio, which took over the former Emap stations. Another former radio executive said to be involved in a bid is the former Chrysalis Radio chief executive Phil Riley.
Previous Global Radio:
2008-11-27: Patty Wente, the long-time general manager of the University of Missouri-St. Louis station KMWU-FM who was reported in June to have been fired (See RNW Jun 6) has now reached a settlement with the station that includes a statement that she resigned but was not fired.
The St Louis RiverFront Times (which has posted a PDF of the agreement) in its report refers to its June report saying she was fired after it published a cover story revealing fiscal improprieties and allegations of mismanagement during Wente's 19 -year tenure at the station and says its investigation also brought to light questionable fund-raising practices at the station and personal expenses charged to Wente's KWMU credit card.
It says the agreement reached pays Wente a lump sum of USD 50,000, with USD 15,000 of that sum going directly to her attorney and notes that this is less than half the USD 118,000 in salary and bonus she earned during her last full year at the station in 2007.
The essence of the agreement is that Wente drops a grievance she filed with the university following her dismissal and agrees not to file any lawsuits against it nor ever seek employment from KWMU or any school in the University of Missouri sys. She also agrees to forego any disparaging remarks against KWMU and the university and assist KWMU in any additional fact-finding or review of KWMU or its affiliates.
The University for its Part agrees not to disparage her in any way, to "deem her termination a resignation" and has included in the settlement agreement a letter of recommendation for Wente from UMSL Chancellor Thomas George.
The paper reports that the university is said to be close to hiring a permanent replacement for Wente whose post is currently filled by interim station manager Mike Dunn who is scheduled to return to his full-time job as general manager of KBIA-FM in Columbia, Missouri, in January.
RiverFront Times report (Includes link to 267 KB PDF of agreement).
2008-11-27: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no radio complaints but did uphold two TV standards complaints, considered another resolved through action taken by the broadcaster, gave details of yet another not upheld, and also upheld five sets of TV Fairness and Privacy complaints, all relating to the collapse of a money transfer company that had affected the Bangladeshi community in the UK. A further fairness and privacy TV complaint related to this matter was not upheld.
In addition to the above Ofcom also listed without details 201 TV complaints against 99 items and 46 radio complaints against 21 items - 26 of these against one BBC 6 Music programme -that it did not uphold or were considered out of its remit: This compares with 226 TV complaints against 115 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items that it did not uphold or were considered out of its remit in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2008-11-26: In an echo of the country's cash-for-comment scandal of 1999 that involved various prominent radio hosts including John Laws and Alan Jones accepting funds from companies for favourable comment but not disclosing that they were being paid by the companies - the then regulator, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) reacted by proposing tougher disclosure requirements (See RNW Feb 8, 2000), the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has filed a lawsuit seeking a civil penalty order against Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd over breaches last year of its licence conditions relating to disclosure.
2UE had continued to offend and in December 2003, the ABA found that 2UE had breached the Disclosure Standard on 19 occasions (in relation to sponsors Telstra and NRMA) and that the re had been found six breaches of the special licence conditions imposed on 2UE in March 2000, following the Commercial Radio Inquiry (See RNW Dec 5, 2003).
The ACMA says that Laws, 2UE's then morning host - he retired at the end of last year (See RNW Dec 2, 2007), failed to disclose his commercial relationships in on-air announcements on 13 occasions during broadcasts of the John Laws Morning Show: It and Fairfax Media, which now owns 2UE, which it acquired in a takeover of Southern Cross Broadcasting (See RNW Oct 22, 2007) , have agreed that a suitable penalty would be AUD 130,000 ( USD 85,000) - AUD 10,000 (USD 6,500) for each breach - and it is now up to Australia's Federal Court to determine the penalty to be imposed.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman commented in a news release, "ACMA has taken the step of applying for civil penalty orders against 2UE, having earlier tried to address 2UE's compliance failures through other means. These latest breaches occurred at a time when 2UE had given ACMA an enforceable undertaking to improve its performance, particularly in relation to the John Laws Morning Show."
The ACMA noted that an enforceable undertaking was offered by 2UE and accepted by ACMA in September 2007 in response to ACMA's findings that 2UE breached the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure) Standard 2000 (the Disclosure Standard) 20 times during a broadcast in August 2006. The broadcast included extended discussion of the issue of Telstra's privatisation.
Chapman added, "ACMA notes that Fairfax Media only acquired control of 2UE late in the period during which the breaches occurred, and acknowledges the cooperation of Fairfax inherent in conceding these breaches and working to improve compliance at 2UE. However, ACMA -and the Australian Broadcasting Authority before it- has emphasised in previous findings against 2UE that the obligation to comply with program standards lies with the licensee itself; in fact it goes to the heart of a licensee's obligations."
He continued, "Broadcasting licences are not given out lightly by government and convey significant benefit to those to whom a licence is granted. It is a licensee's unrelenting responsibility to manage its business, including its presenters and production staff, so as to ensure satisfactory compliance with the regulatory requirements.
"Company management put at real risk the retention of these licences when they allow on-air personalities or other staff to breach the rules. One consideration informing the Authority's agreement to consenting to the civil penalty order was its assessment that Fairfax genuinely accepts that proposition."
Previous Fairfax Media:
2008-11-26: This week we start our look at print comment on radio with issues of British radio hosts - notably Jonathan Ross, who is currently suspended by the BBC following the row over rude comments made by him and Russell Brand, and former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt, fired after calling a councillor a Nazi.
In Ross's case the knives still appear to be out for him in various quarters but in Gaunt's case he has attracted considerable support including that of Human Rights' group Liberty whose director Shami Chakrabarti he once branded the "most dangerous woman in Britain" in his newspaper column.
He also regularly disparaged the group on his radio show, lending a little extra spice to Chakrabarti's support.
In a letter she wrote to talkSPORT, Chakrabarti writes, "We understand that the grounds given for summary termination are Mr Gaunt's on-air references to the 'health Nazis' he felt were responsible for banning smokers from fostering children in Redbridge. This strikes us as the most bizarre and disproportionate approach to someone who was no doubt contracted to excite political debate among a whole host of listeners who might not normally engage with news and current affairs programmes."
She continues on to remind the station that "any court must read Mr Gaunt's contract in the light of his right to free expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. While this is far from an absolute right (particularly in the context of broadcasting), to be meaningful it must extend to contentious as well as consensual speech" and she goes on to distinguish his comments from those of Brand and Ross, writing, "While we appreciate that recent weeks have been a delicate time for all broadcasters, we see Mr Gaunt's case as materially different from the now notorious example of privacy intrusion and broadcast bullying that the BBC has done its best to grapple with."
She ends with a reference to her experiences with Gaunt, commenting, "From a personal point of view as someone who has been on the receiving end of Jon Gaunt's blunt polemic in print and on the radio, I believe that the airwaves of a great democracy would be the poorer for his absence. I urge you to reinstate Mr Gaunt's programme without delay and have offered him support in the unlikely and unfortunate event that recourse to the Human Rights Act proves necessary."
Her letter is quoted widely in various papers including the UK Independent in a report from its Media Editor Ian Burrell that noted support for Gaunt from Honorary Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun V.C., one of only nine surviving Victoria Cross winners, and one of the three last surviving Gurkha VCs who notes that Gaunt was the first radio presenter to champion his right to live in the UK and says, "His good deeds campaigning for the Gurkhas should be taken into the balance when you consider this honourable man."
Gaunt himself told the paper, "Adversity breeds strange bedfellows. I am delighted in Liberty's support and truly humbled by the support of a real British hero like Mr Pun. This isn't about Jon Gaunt or 'shock jockery' - it's about freedom of expression and freedom of speech."
In the UK Guardian, a paper that has been disparaged by Gaunt in the past, Henry Porter in his blog terms Gaunt's sacking as "typical of New Labour's age of censoriousness and control" and quotes the host as saying in a recent interview, "I think there's a general fear, a general worry which is not good for British broadcasting, it's not good for democracy that broadcasters are worried because you are not going to get that sparky caller that might lead to the massive story or change people's attitudes."
Of Gaunt's offence he comments, "As to the remark, it is probably offensive to call someone a Nazi on live radio, but it is not an offence and besides Gaunt's apology was accepted by the local councillor. All this incident required was a reprimand but the pusillanimous nitwits at the station terminated his contract in a panic that is becoming all too familiar in New Labour's age of censoriousness and control."
The issue of free speech was also taken up by Gail Walker in the Belfast Telegraph in which she cited the firing of Gaunt and the illicit release of names and addresses of members of the British National Party, both stories that she says "illustrate that the spectrum of acceptable opinion is narrowing dramatically."
"Gaunt's sacking," she comments, "shows - after the entirely different Brand and Ross farce - just how nervous our media is of offending anyone. Gaunt is a populist commentator, who was employed by TalkSport precisely to speak his mind. Yes, he overstepped the mark, but he immediately attempted to apologise and explain that he meant to call the Tory councillor a 'health Nazi'. Of course, he had no real explanation for calling his guest an 'ignorant pig' except that, as a child who had been fostered himself, he felt passionate about his subject."
"No one," she continues, "could seriously accuse Gaunt of slandering the councillor. The Nazi allegation couldn't be taken seriously by anyone and the 'ignorant pig' comment was just abuse. That's not to say it should have been taken lightly. Gaunt deserved censure because, passionate or not, he can't go about abusing people. But sacking? Isn't that indicative of a knee-jerk fear of being seen outside the cosy confines of political correctness?"
Walker also notes that freelance presenter Rod Lucas has been dropped by talkSPORT for being on the list of BNP members and continues, "There's no evidence of Lucas ever having abused his position by broadcasting pro-BNP views. He says he joined as part of his investigative duties, and also signed up to 20 other organisations at the time including the Animal Liberation Front and Save the Panda."
Enough of Gaunt and on to Ross who, as we've already indicated is not getting the same support:
In the UK Daily Telegraph he in fact gets the reverse, albeit partially also an attack on the BBC, Charles Moore, a former editor of the paper, heads his comment, "The BBC was too scared to sack Jonathan Ross, so the obscenity goes on".
He starts off by citing the Latin inscription in the entrance hall of Broadcasting House, the BBC Headquarters, that says in part that the governors (in 1931) desired "that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness."
Moore then goes on to say the BBC Trust's report on the Ross/Brand case "fails to explain the pattern behind the events, even though it also attacks Brand's repetition of how he slept with Mr Sachs's grand-daughter on the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio 1, the videocast based on the original programme that went out afterwards (adding "a crude graphic") and the offensive non-apology apology on the next Brand show on October 25."
After giving more detail Moore comments, "The trust does not join up the dots. Surely what is so striking is that no one in the BBC thought the show was out of the ordinary or noticed that it was cruel. Even after people started to complain, the attitude was minimal, routine ("some Tory MP" was making a fuss, texted a press officer with an almost audible yawn). There was a certain amount of anxiety - though very sloppily acted on - about complying with procedures for use of the f-word, but not one single executive, producer or compliance-wallah raised any moral concern. And of course "Russ and Jonathan" thought it was great and Russ and Jonathan are big stars."
The Trust, says Moore, wants to portray the affair as out of the ordinary but it in fact was "part of the pathology."
The Mail on Sunday, which gave the affair prominent cover, also hasn't hung up the knives: It carries a report by Miles Goslett saying that Ross is to be "phased out" of presenting his Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 Show, to be replaces by (Sir) Terry Wogan. One of the reasons says Goslett is that Ross is unlikely to be allowed to broadcast live and will be so heavily policed that radio broadcasting will cease to be a 'pleasure' for him.
Goslett says the move is part of wider scheduling changes that will see Wogan give up his weekday breakfast show and take over the Saturday slot that Ross occupied and also be offered a Sunday show.
He quoted an unnamed "insider" as saying, "Jonathan Ross is going to be phased out. This has been discussed at high levels within the BBC. There is a lot of anger towards him at Radio 2. Presenter Jeremy Vine is on record as saying he cannot see how he'll ever come back. Others feel the same.
'Whoever the new station controller is, they will be under pressure to police him and Ross will not want to work with ten executives sitting on his head. Who will produce his programme? How many executives will have to listen to it before it can be cleared? He probably won't be allowed to broadcast live, so the pleasure goes out of it."
Of the changes the same "insider" says, "Wogan will take over from Ross on Saturdays, Ken Bruce will take on Wogan's weekday show and Simon Mayo will get Bruce's weekday show. It's a sort of musical chairs."
On then to listening suggestions and first of all issues of free speech in the week's "Moral Maze "on BBC Radio 4 (Wednesday) and also the Ross/Brand row that features briefly on this week's Media Show as part of a discussion on the BBC Trust (Also on Wednesday) - worth a listen if only for a report about the conversion of the Manchester Evening News into part of a multi-media outlet and also for comment in a report on the new media centre being developed at Salford Quays including comment from Michael Joroff, a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about his vision of the future ( The first brought the thought jacks-of-all-trades to mind and we just don't buy the argument that quality doesn't suffer from too much multitasking and the latter spurred thought if not agreement).
Also from BBC Radio 4 we suggest the regular weekday programming in the form of "Book of the Week" - Christopher Bigsby's biography of the American playwright Arthur Miller; the "Woman's Hour Drama" - "Aubrey's Brief Lives", a collection of anecdotes by John Aubrey; the "Afternoon Reading" - this week a series of readings that reflect the experience of immigrants to the UK over the past 60 years and following "A Load of Rubbish" in which Ian Marchant explores the hidden infrastructure of rubbish; and "Book at Bedtime" - "Black Orchids" with readings from Gillian Slovo's love story, set in 1950s Ceylon and London.
We'd also note that this week's Archive Hour (next Saturday 20:00 GMT) is "Studs Terkel - Back in the Wax Museum" in which Alan Dein looks back at the life of the American oral historian Studs Terkel.
We then suggest last Sunday's "QE2: Portrait of an Ocean Liner", telling the story of the liner that has just arrived in Dubai where it is to become a floating hotel ; Monday's "Born with Down's" in which Felicity Finch follows parents who decide to continue with their pregnancies knowing their babies will be born with Down's syndrome and "Crossing Continents" that looked at the human impact of the economic crisis in Iceland ; Tuesday's "Music Feature" -" Paying the Piper: the Coal-Man and the Hosier" that looks at the stories of hosiery manufacturer William Gardiner, who introduced the unknown Beethoven to England, and the coal merchant Thomas Britton, whose musical gatherings above his coal store in Clerkenwell attracted some of the greatest musicians of the late 17th and early 18th century; Wednesday's "In Living Memory" that looked at how Dutch Elm Disease wiped out England's elms in the mid-1960s (thanks it would appear to the navy importing elm from Canada); Thursday's "A Fine Defence of Enid Blyton" in which children's author Anne Fine examines the enduring appeal of the stories of Enid Blyton and "It's My Story" - "Earfull - From Silence into Sound" that follows deaf actor Tim Barlow as, over the space of a year, he has tests, consultations and finally a cochlear implant, a story interwoven with a performance of his one-man play Earfull, which chronicles his move from WWII soldier to actor and his loss of hearing some four decades ago; and Sunday's "Analysis" that has Frances Cairncross in "Paying the Piper" taking a look at lessons to be learned from the current credit crunch.
Changing stations we suggest the regular "Essay " series from BBC Radio 3 - this week featuring five writers considering their ideas of freedom; Monday's "Jazz on 3" featuring David Sanchez at The London Jazz Festival; Thursday's "Night Waves" - another "Free Thinking Special"; Saturday's "Between the Ears" - "Crossing the Same River Twice" in which dramatist Lou Stein explores the tensions between selective memory and identity; and Sunday's "Drama on 3" - a production of "Pericles" and the following "Sunday Feature" - "Yiddish: A Struggle for Survival", "Words and Music" on the theme of winter: and "Jazz Line-up" in which Julian Joseph presents the BBC Big Band and Roy Hargrove at the London Jazz Festival 2008.
Then from BBC Radio 2 we opt for Monday and the final episode of "For the Good Times - The Kris Kristofferson Story"; Tuesday and "Bob Dylan's Big Freeze" in which Bob Harris tells the story of Bob Dylan's first visit to London during the winter of 1962 plus the second part of "Long Players", David Quantick's story of the LP; and Friday's final episode of "The Judy Garland Trail."
RNW note: We continue to hope that other pressures will allow us time to supplement the above with various suggested listening from podcasts/MP3s.
Belfast Telegraph - Walker:
Mail on Sunday - Goslett:
UK Guardian - Porter blog:
UK Independent - Burrell:
UK Telegraph - Moore:
2008-11-26: Clear Channel-owned Katz Media is now the only major radio rep company in the US following a decision by Judge Robert Drain in the US Bankruptcy Court in New York to approve an agreement under which for a USD 3.64 million payment it can negotiate with Interep's customers and employees.
No white knight appeared to save Interep and Katz has already announced that it has reached agreements to represent CBS Radio - with some 140 stations - and Entercom - with 110 stations, Interep's two largest clients. So far there's no word on the situation regarding other Interep customers including Spanish Broadcasting System, which had filed a "Limited Objection" asking the court to rule that Interep's national rep contracts were being "terminated", thus allowing it to negotiate with whomever it chose for national representation.
Katz Media Group CEO Stu Olds said they were "delighted" to represent its two newest customers, adding, "Radio is undergoing transformational changes with aggressive expansions into online, on-demand, mobile text, real-time data, and digital broadcasts, resulting in a significant expansion of the medium's audience and more engaged listeners. We're thrilled to create new partnerships with broadcasters on the leading edge of these advancements, and we look forward to building long-term relationships that will create exceptional value."
CBS and Entercom will be represented by a new New York-bases sales organization to be led by Jana Cosgrove, former President of Interep's CBS Radio Sales. Cosgrove will report to Katz Radio Group President Mark Gray who commented that they were confident that its "talented sales force, under Jana's strong leadership, will be able to maximize the potential of both the CBS and Entercom stations. We will provide the highest levels of customer service and create even more effective sales solutions by working with national advertisers to further their unique cross-platform integration opportunities."
CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason said his company had already "positively benefited from Katz representation at a number of our stations and believe this enhanced partnership has significant advantages for our radio stations and the way in which we work with our clients Including all of our stations and diverse assets in their messaging will help strengthen radio's overall place in an advertiser's media mix."
For Entercom President and CEO David Field added, "We are very excited to enter into this new relationship and bring the rest of our station group into the Katz family. No other medium offers a greater value proposition or is better positioned for success in the current economic climate than radio. And with the continued development of innovative content, new digital technologies, and integrated marketing capabilities, radio is fundamentally reinventing itself for tomorrow. We are excited to be part of this evolution."
2008-11-26: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined Perihelion Global, Inc., licensee of WTKN-AM, Corinth, Mississippi, USD 15,000 for failure to enclose its antenna structure within an effective locked fence or other enclosure, failure to maintain a main studio, and failure to transmit the station identification.
It had tried to schedule an inspection in February after receiving complaints but its calls were not returned and it then monitored the station for two hours on February 25, noting that it did not air any of the required identification s in this time. The following day an agent inspected its transmitter site, finding a large hole in the locked gate for its protective fence. The agent also attempted to find and inspect the main studio but without success - calls were not returned and the only known local address for the station was that of the transmitter site.
On the same day an attorney for the station sought permission to modify a previously submitted Special Temporary Authorization (STA) and allow it to operate without a main studio, saying the main studio was located at the transmitter site and weather had rendered the access path to the main studio impassable a majority of the time.
The FCC subsequently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for USD 15,000 to which the company responded asking to be allowed to pay in six instalments.
The FCC noted that the offences were not denied and also that the company had failed to provide the requested documentation and good faith payment for the instalment payment plan and accordingly said it could not grant the requested instalment payment request for the moment.
2008-11-25: The former BBC Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas, who resigned in the wake of the row about crude comments left by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on the answer phone of actor Andrew Sachs, has been hired by Universal Music as its director of programming and business development with a remit to run Universal's television and radio production business, and also be responsible for business development.
Universal has a limited TV operation, mainly producing documentaries about artists, and it hopes Douglas will be able to expand on this by recruiting artists to take part in other TV programming.
She will report to David Joseph, the chairman of Universal Music UK, who said of the appointment, "Our company and our artists have worked with Lesley for many years. She has an exceptional rapport with artists and is simply one of the best media executives and leaders in the business."
In a message to Universal staff he added, "As director of programming, Lesley will drive the development of Globe Productions, our fast-growing TV division Under Lesley's guidance, Globe's remit will extend beyond music properties to dramas and comedies across all media.
"In addition Lesley will oversee Universal Music's UK business development strategy, also reporting to me. This will include non-traditional artist rights, sponsorships and strategic marketing partnerships such as the hugely successful pairing of Take That with Marks & Spencer."
"As we continue to diversify our business, I am excited about what Lesley's immense experience, constantly innovative approach and fresh perspective can bring to our biggest growth areas."
Douglas, who had been with the BBC for 23 years, will take up her new role on December 8: She said of her new role, "Over the past few years I have loved working closely with the music industry and the musicians within it. Being given the opportunity to work closely with the breadth of artists across Universal Music is a brilliant opportunity. It is an exciting, dynamic company and I am delighted to have been asked to join them."
2008-11-25: Tribune-owned WGN-AM, Chicago, has named its afternoon host John Williams as the successor to morning host Spike O'Dell, who is retiring next month. In an announcement on the station's web site it says Williams will take up his new role on Monday, December 15 but it has not so far named a replacement for Williams in the afternoon shift.
WGN Radio Vice President and General Manager Tom Langmyer commented of the appointment, "It's an exciting time for WGN Radio and I'm proud to announce John Williams as the new voice in morning drive. In John's 12 years with the station, he has shown passion, dedication, community involvement, creativity and commitment to building WGN's brand across multiple platforms. He is a well-known, popular host on WGN, known throughout Chicagoland and beyond. A great broadcaster deserving of this promotion."
Williams, a onetime WGN-AM 720 intern, began his broadcasting career at WSPY, in Plano, Illinois; then hosted middays at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis for four years and spent ten years at WMBD in Peoria. He became WGN midday host in 1997 and moved to his current afternoon shift in February 2000.
He commented of his new role, "I'm thrilled to be the new host of morning drive, but let's face it, there's no replacing Spike O'Dell. One thing that won't change is reliable news and fun, friendly, smart conversation that Chicago can count on."
Previous Tribune Co.:
2008-11-25: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has given the go ahead for a station swap between Newcap, a subsidiary of Newfoundland Capital Corporation, and Rogers Broadcasting.
Under the deal, Rogers gains CFDR-AM, Dartmouth. Nova Scotia, together with permission to convert it to FM and Newcap gets CAD 5 million ( USD 4.06 million) in cash plus CIGM-AM, Sudbury, Ontario, also with permission to convert it to FM.
Under a Letter of Intent between the companies, CFDR was valued at CAD 7 million ( USD 5.69 million ) and CIGM at CAD 2 million ( USD 1.63 million ) but the CRTC commissioned its own valuation from DMCT Transaction Services Inc. as a basis for determining the fair market value of the stations using the discounted cash flow (DCF) method and this produced a value of CAD 5.48 million ( USD 4.46 million ) for CIGM that was then increased to CAD 6.532 million ( USD 5.31 million ) on the basis that a the 5.25% risk premium proposed by Newcap should not be included in the discount rate for purposes of valuing the transaction. On the same basis CFDR was valued at CAD 9.58 million (USD 7.79 million).
Each company had proposed tangible benefits packages of 6% of their valuations in line with usual practice to be allocated over the next seven broadcast years in the proportions 3% to the Radio Starmaker Fund and 2% to FACTOR in each case with the remaining 1% to go to the Sudbury School Board in relation to CIGM and to Music Nova Scotia for CFDR.
The CRTC noted that its valuation increased the benefits package for CIGM from Cad 120,000 to CAD 391,920 (from USD 98,000 to USD 319,000) and that for CFDR from CAD 420,000 (USD to CAD 574,920 (from USD 341,000 to USD 467,000) but proposed allocation in the same proportions.
2008-11-25: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is seeking applications for six new community and community of interest radio services during the course of next year.
It had asked for expressions of interest in such services in September (See RNW Sep 18) and received a total of 16 applications. The new services to be advertised are two community services for Donegal (Inishowen and south-west Donegal), two in the Mid -West (East Limerick and Shannon), and one in Athlone plus community of interest service for the student community of University College Dublin.
In addition, the Commission approved the re-licensing of four existing community radio services, whose licences are due to expire in the next eighteen months: These are West Dublin, West Limerick, Roscommon town and environs and Dundalk town and environs.
Michael O'Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BCI said of the decision, "The Commission is pleased to see the significant level of interest in the provision of community and community of interest services. This is particularly welcome in the context of the current Broadcasting Bill and the proposed legislative recognition of community broadcasting as a viable and sustainable sector. We look forward to facilitating its continued growth and to ensuring the services' continued adherence to the principles of community radio in the years ahead."
2008-11-25: Two small UK radio station are reported to be potentially facing closure unless a buyer can be found. CN Group subsidiary Touch Broadcasting Ltd has put its Touch FM stations in Manor Park, Banbury, and Coventry up for sale and CN Group managing director Julie Fair said that she hoped buyers would be found but if not the stations would be closed.
Touch owns another station in Stratford that is not affected.
Previous CN Group:
Banbury Guardian report:
2008-11-24: US radio revenues in October were down 10% on a year ago with local revenues hardest hit - down by 15% compared to a 1% decline for national markets and an 11% decline for local and national combined according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). Off Air revenues increased but by only 2%.
The results are a little worse than those for September when total revenues were down 8% but a little better than August when the fall was 11%.
For the first nine months of the year, revenues are now down 8% to USD 10.435 billion and for the third quarter they are down 9% to USD 4.967 billion within which off-air is up 9% to USD 1.347 billion for the first nine months and up 5% to USD 458 million whilst local revenues are down 8% to 10.435 billion for the first nine months and down 10% to USD 3.457 billion for the quarter; national revenues are down 11% to USD 2.195 billion and 12% to USD 767 million respectively and local and national combined are down 9% to USD 12.63 million and 11% to USD 4.224 million respectively. Net work revenues were down 1% to USD 8.552 billion and 3% to USD 285 million respectively.
The RAB highlighted the off air success but also quoted David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, as saying that, "a weakening economy will continue to be a challenge for all forms of advertising-supported media."
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley added, "Although Radio companies are not immune to the current economic downturn, radio's flexibility across traditional and emerging platforms provides advertisers multiple channels for consumer engagement. By leveraging the strength of Radio's on-air brands, advertisers can communicate with their customers in relevant environments."
RAB notes that most companies have curtailed advertising spend across media but says radio experienced some growth in key categories, notably insurance and restaurants.
Insurance was up 16% to USD 242.1 million in the third quarter and up 18% in the first nine months to USD 734.6 million but professional services advertising has slumped - it is up 11% to USD 407.9 million for the first nine months but down 3% to USD 70.1 million in the third quarter.
Beverage advertising was up 6% to USD 799.3 million and up 3% to USD 301.6 million respectively whilst restaurants advertising was up 4% to USD 1.172 billion and up 3% to USD 353.3 million respectively.
Retail was also up - by 2.5% for the first nine months - with particular increases from KMart - up 215%; Target (Up 63.2%) and Wal-Mart (up 41.6%).
Another area of increases was political advertising where the 2008 presidential race boosted revenues: In the 35 markets that report advertiser detail to Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., campaigns on Local and National Radio spent around USD 20.6 million in the third quarter taking the first nine-months total to USD 54.9 million. Network radio also benefited according to TNS Media Intelligence which has recorded USD 6.2 million in revenues in the third quarter and USD 13.8 million for the first nine months.
Previous RAB (September figures):
RAB first half of year & Q2 report:
2008-11-24: BBC Radio 5 Live has announced that from January 12 neat year it is to extend its breakfast show, which will start at 06:00 with an extra hour hosted by current co-host Shelagh Fogarty who will be joined by her co-host Nicky Campbell at 07:00. Campbell will take calls on the days top news from 09:00 to 10:00 before handing over to Victoria Derbyshire whose morning (10:00 to 13:00) show will according to a news release "focus on original journalism - much of it coming direct from 5 Live listeners" of which Derbyshire commented, "At last there is a prime time programme on 5 Live devoted to original journalism where the listeners are truly in charge... I'm hoping it will redefine the sound of morning radio."[RNW comment: Draw your own conclusions when it airs about how much of this is both original and worthwhile as opposed to listeners pushing pet topics of limited interest to the population at large and of little real importance.]."
The current Midday News on Five Live is to be dropped from the schedule but its host Aasmah Mir will remain with the station and is to host a range of programmes.
Station controller Adrian Van Klaveren said the changes "will build on 5 Live's key strengths of talking about the issues which really matter to people and letting everyone have their say in a way which is intelligent, lively and engaging."
2008-11-24: Bubba the Love Sponge (formerly Todd Clem) has added four more markets for his morning terrestrial show that originates on Cox Radio's WHPT-FM in Tampa, Florida.
It was already simulcast on Cox's WFVY-FM in Jacksonville and will now be heard from January 5 next year on three more Cox FMs - WHDR-FM, Miami; WHTZ-FM in Orlando and WDYL-FM in Richmond, Virginia plus Beasley Broadcast Group's WRXK-FM, in Fort Myers.
Bubba had been aired by Clear Channel on WXTB-FM in Tampa but was fired after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed USD 715,000 in fines for material broadcast on his show in 2001 (See RNW Feb 25, 2004).
Following his dismissal, Clem was off air until 2006 when Howard Stern gave him a slot on his channels on Sirius Satellite Radio (See RNW Jan 10, 2006) and then at the end of 2007 was hired by Cox (See RNW Dec 11, 2007).
Previous Bubba the Love Sponge:
Previous Cox Radio:
2008-11-24: Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey has told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that US radio is facing "a pretty big shakeout and I think that half the companies in business today will be gone within 36 months" but adds that his company - the second largest in the US in station numbers with 344 stations - can outlast the storm.
Dickey said broadcasters are facing the most challenging time for 20 years but did not name groups that he thinks are most at risk: A number of groups are facing financing problems and may have to sell assets to stay in operation.
Cumulus itself reported revenues down but an improved bottom line in its third quarter to the end of September (See RNW Nov 6): it has approaching USD 720 million in long-term debt but has not defaulted on any payments and has agreements with lenders that should allow it to borrow up to a further USD 75 million if needed although Dickey told the Chronicle that the "largest impediment to consolidation right now is the brutally difficult financing markets."Cumulus," he added, continues to be a buyer.
Atlanta Business Chronicle report (Subscription required):
2008-11-24: Adelaide radio breakfast announcer Jodie Blewett has raised controversy with comments on Australian Radio Network (ARN) station Mix 102.3 about running around the studio naked that went on air in error and have revealed that less than half of those who responded to an Adelaide Now online poll now consider use of the F-word on air to be offensive.
Blewett, who had not noticed that the "tiny orange light" was showing that her microphone was live commented in the lead up to the station's AUD 1,000 Minute Quiz, "And if any fucker gets question Number 9 I will run around the studio naked. I will do it. I will hobble on my crutches naked around the studio."
Adelaide Now, which has posted audio a 37 second 600Kb 128kbps MP3 at this URL) of the incident, reported that Blewett said afterwards, "You know how it goes. I'm really sorry if I caused any offence. Obviously it's not something I would have said if I knew the mic was on, of course."
The paper ran an online poll on whether people still considered use of the F-word offensive which when we last checked, had attracted 1,280 responses of which 312 (24%) said it was still very offensive; 325 (25%) that it was offensive but not so much these days; 427 (33%) that it wasn't offensive but was impolite: and 216 (16%) that it wasn't offensive at all.
Question 9 was "What does IQ stand for?" The answer: "Intelligence quotient."
Adelaide Now report:
2008-11-23: Last week was another fairly quiet one for the regulators with no radio postings from Australia or Ireland and the main news concerning the Federal Communications Commission's involvement in indecency cases - an appeal by Fox TV against a ruling that it breached FCC rules that is currently being heard by the US Supreme Court and the FCC's attempt to get the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling against it by a Federal Court in relation to fines imposed on CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show (See RNW Nov 21).
As already noted there were no radio postings from Australia but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission was involved in a number of routine radio decisions and postings.
These included (In order of province):
Approval of acquisition by Vista Radio Ltd. of CFNA-FM, Bonnyville, and CKLM-FM, Lloydminster, from 912038 Alberta Ltd.
Denial of application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership (collectively the Pattison Group) to acquire CIGV-FM, Penticton, and its transmitters CIGV-FM-1, Keremeos, and CIGV-FM-2, Princeton, from Great Valleys Radio Ltd.
*Approval of application by Maritime Broadcasting System Limited to extend to 27 November 2009, the deadline to bring into operation its new FM station in Windsor that was approved in 2006. The approval required submission of another frequency to that applied for in order to convert CFAB-AM to FM.
*Approval of application by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to add a 1,200 watts FM transmitter at Big River to carry the programming of CHQX-FM, Prince Albert.
*Approval of application by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to add a 1,200 watts FM transmitter at Big River to carry the programming of CKBI-AM, Prince Albert.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a December 23deadline for the submission of interventions/comments in which Evanov Communications Inc. applies on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated to use 106.1 MHz for the new English-language commercial FM at Winnipeg, Manitoba, approved in June. It also seeks to increase the effective radiated power from 6,500 watts to 40,000 watts and decrease the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 206.1 metres to 175 metres. The original frequency applied for was not available.
There were again no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom posted its International Communications Market 2008 (See RNW Nov 22) and also the reasons for its award of community licences to Gaydio and Unity Radio for services in Manchester (See RNW Licence News Nov 9).
In the case of Gaydio, which will provide a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of central Manchester it noted evidence of support provided, the fact that its target group is under-served by local radio services, and its success in attracting volunteers in the past, and plans to offer appropriate volunteer training.
As regards Unity Radio, a youth-focused social enterprise, it noted experience with an Internet service and local services using Restricted Service Licences. Unity already has two fully equipped broadcast studios some secured funding as well as experience in fundraising and financial management.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted has added to its indecency count before the Supreme Court by filing a petition petitions to overturn the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal ruling against its USD 550,000 fine against CBS for the Super Bowl Show baring of Janet Jackson breast (See RNW Nov 21).
It was also involved in a number of more mundane enforcement actions including issuing a USD 6,400 forfeiture to Black Crow Radio, LLC, ("Black Crow"), licensee of WNDB-AM, Daytona Beach, Florida, for failure to ensure that emissions removed by 60 kHz to 75 kHz from the WNDB fundamental frequency of 1150 kHz are attenuated 65 dB below the unmodulated carrier level and failure to maintain effective locked fences around the bases of two antenna towers.
The FCC had investigated claims of interference at 1070 KHz and 1230 KHz and general interference up and down the AM band in February and on February 26 told the station it would have to correct problems within three hours or close down and also noted whilst at the transmitter site that the station's two AM antenna series fed towers were not enclosed within effective locked fences.
Two days later they monitored the station on a standard car radio and observed that the station could be heard up and down the AM band, but to a lesser degree than before and measurements showed the signal to be in breach of FCC rules and also observed that the AM towers were in the same condition as before. As a result they issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for USD 23,000 in response to which Black Crow admitted violation of two rules, submitting a payment of USD 12,000 for the violations but requested cancellation or reduction of the remaining USD 11,000 proposed forfeiture.
In relation to this it said it does not have the necessary equipment to detect spurious emissions and relies on annual measurements and inspections by its consulting engineering firm to ensure compliance with Section 73.44(a) of the Rules and that when it had been inspected in September last year there were no spurious emissions It claimed that the problems could have been caused by vandals damaging transmission equipment. It said that the day after the first inspection it had reduced power and was unaware that the reduction in power had not solved the spurious emissions problem and said that it had contacted the manufacturer of its transmitter on February 26, 2008, ordered new parts on February 27, 2008, and repaired the transmitter late on February 28, 2008, after the agents' second observation.
The FCC took the view that Black Crow should not have remaining on air when it did not know if it was emitting spurious emissions and noted that had it monitored the AM band with a normal receiver it would have found the station still could be heard up and down the band. It also noted in relation to the fencing breaches that the company was able to repair the fence within two days of the inspection but had known about the problem for some two weeks prior to the inspection.
It dismissed Black Crow's arguments but did accept that a reduction was justified on the basis of a history of compliance and reduced the penalty from USD 11,000 to USD 6,400.
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2008-11-22: UK Media Regulator Ofcom in its International Communications Market 2008 report just posted notes a significant variation in the popularity of the medium in different countries - only 38% of Japanese adults say they listen to radio at least once a week compared to 83% in Germany and almost 80% in the US and Canada - and also that online listening is most popular in the UK, France and Germany - 37% of those questioned in France said they used their home internet to listen to radio, 34% in Germany and 33% in the UK - Japan again had the lowest level at 17%.
In terms of satellite radio, the US is still well in the lead with almost 20 million subscribers although the report notes WorldSpace's plans [RNW note: This report would have been prepared before the current credit crisis and economic problems that may well put WorldSpace out of business] for a service to Italy in addition to its current services, predominantly to India where it has around 200,000 subscribers.
In terms of listening via cell phones some one in four mobile users in the larger Western European countries said they had used their mobile phone to listen to MP3 tracks and around one n five in Japan but in the US and Canada it was 14% and 12% respectively. Listening to radio on a mobile device was most popular in Italy - one in five of mobile users followed by 16% in the UK and 13% in France and Germany but down to 4% in Canada and 3% in the US.
There was also a considerable variation in the declared effect of the internet on listening to traditional broadcast radio o in Japan and France around a third said they were listening less since acquiring Internet access but in the UK, Germany, Italy, the US and Canada, the proportion was about one in five. On the other hand some 18% of Italians said listening had risen since they got the Internet with rather less elsewhere - some 13% on average in the seven large comparator countries surveyed said they listened more and 23% that they listened less. In Japan 33% said they listened less and only 6% that they listened more.
Regarding digital radio the report notes work on developing the Eureka 147 DAB system by improving compression technologies with DAB+ and DMB now available and that countries that have not yet launched DAB services may launch with new variants : it also notes the use of HD radio in the US and trials of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) using AM spectrum.
In business terms, the report says total world radio revenues reached GBP 23.6 billion (currently USD 35.3 billion) in 2007, up by GBP 300 million (currently USD 449 million)/ 1.47% on the previous year: The seven countries considered in this part of the report (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada and Japan) accounted for around GBP 19 billion (currently USD 28.4 billion) - 79% of the total with the US accounting for GBP 10.6 billion (currently USD 15.9 billion), some 45% of the world total.
In terms of growth - or otherwise - Canada and Italy have the fastest growing radio revenues - up 24% in Canada and 21% in Italy over the past four years whilst US revenues were down 5.1% on a year earlier, those in Japan down 3.8% and those in France down 2.1%.
In terms of public funding, the majority of revenues in five of the seven countries - UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - was from a public funding source, ranging from 79% in Germany down to 54% in Italy whereas in the US only 0.7% of total radio revenues came from public funding - some GBP 50 million (USD 74.8 million) of Federal Funding though the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for public radio services whilst National Public Radio (NPR) spent around GBP 76million (USD 113.7 million) on public programming and distribution.
The highest percentage of listening to public radio was n Sweden, where Swedish Radio (SR) took a 62% share of all listening, and the UK, where the BBC attracted a 55% share, in 2007: In comparison, Spain's national public network, RNE (Radio Nacional de Espana) accounted for 7% of all listener hours in 2007 and in the US public programming took an estimated 5% share.
As a percentage of total advertising revenues, the highest figure came from Canada where radio spend was 12.2% of total advertising expenditures in 2007 compared to 9.4% in the US - down from 9.9% a year earlier.
In terms of the number of stations per head of population the highest figure is in the US - an average of 47 stations per million people- and Canada - almost 38 stations per million in Canada. The figures compare with around three stations per million people in Italy, Germany and Japan and eight in the UK.
When it comes to listening, however, the highest figures came from Poland and Ireland with 4.8 hours and 4.2 hours per day.
Ofcom International Communications Market 2008 (323 pages1.47 MB):
Ofcom report- Radio section only ( 22 Page PDF):
2008-11-22: An Illinois radio station that set up a date between two of its listeners is being sued after the male pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the female listeners and was sentenced to two years probation and 12 months periodic imprisonment.
NextMedia's WXLC-FM, Waukegan, had run a promotion in which it encouraged female listeners to go on a date with Travis Harvey, who it turned out had been convicted in March 2006 of misdemeanour and felony charges for violating a domestic battery order of protection. He was described as being "kind" and a "great guy " and his attorney said the station's morning show was attempting to find a date for Harvey because he was a single father and too busy for the dating scene.
He was introduced to his victim at a station sponsored event and the couple went on a date the following Saturday at which, according to the lawsuit, Harvey drugged the victim before raping her.
Attorney Robert Baizer commented that the station should have done more research before the promotion, telling the Lake County News-Sun, "What we don't know, and certainly we'll find out is how they came upon (Harvey) as the prize. Obviously they did not do a criminal background check."
He added that NextMedia representatives were made aware of the incident, but they never offered apologies or condolences to the victim who in her lawsuits is seeking more than USD 50,000 from Harvey and NextMedia.
Lake County News-Sun report:
2008-11-21: The BBC Trust has opted to stick with BBC management's decision to suspend Jonathan Ross for 12-weeks over the crude remarks he and Russell Brand left on actor Andrew Sachs' answer phone but says the calls should never have been made or broadcast by the Corporation and puts most of the blame on the Corporation and two Radio 2 executives - Controller Lesley Douglas and Head of Compliance Dave Barber, both of whom have resigned as has Brand.
The Trust has posted a 58 page report (955 KB PDF) by the BBC Editorial Standards Committee detailing what happened including emails to and between BBC executives that reveal that no senior executive had listened to the whole exchange before the programme was aired and that BBC compliance rules had not been followed. It has also been revealed that both Brand and Ross had recently attended a BBC "safeguarding trust" course - set up and designed to ensure no repeat of the breaches of viewers' trust and editorial standards - including various competition-related issues, some of them on Brand's 6-Music show, that have dogged the corporation recently.
The exchanges show that Russell Brand Show producer Nick Philps, who worked for the BBC but was seconded to Brand's independent production company, Vanity Projects, had brought the comments by Ross and Brand about the latter "fucking" the actor's grand-daughter to the attention of Barber. The Trust said that Philps "joined the BBC in 2004 and had completed relevant training but was relatively inexperienced to take sole charge of a talented but challenging performer. Moreover, the arrangements put in place between the BBC and Vanity Projects meant the Producer was being paid to act in accordance with the instructions of Vanity Projects while remaining an employee of the BBC. This was unsatisfactory and likely to lead to conflicts of interest."
It said there was a "lack of direct control by Radio 2" over Vanity productions.
In his e-mail, Philps, who had not, as required completed a compliance form before the show was broadcast on November 18, said, "Scroll through to the phone call at 52 mins in. Russell and Jonathan call Manuel's answer phone (Andrew Sachs AKA Manuel is aware of it and happy - I spoke to him afterwards). The problem comes when Jonathan says that Russell 'f*cked' Sachs' granddaughter . I would say take it out, but it forms the crux of the call and is VERY funny. In the second hour of the show, they go on to call the answer phone back about three times to apologise and it makes for some brilliantly funny radio Let me know what you think! Russ and Jonathan both VERY keen for it to go out."
Philps says the report did not mention that Andrew Sachs had asked for the content to be toned down and Barber said he listened to the identified section of the programme twice and then rang the Producer who confirmed that he believed that Andrew Sachs was content for the calls to be broadcast. T
He subsequently emailed Douglas saying, "Russell is pre recorded this week with Jonathan Ross as his co-host.
"Jonathan uses the f-word 52 mins into the first hour in a sequence about Russell f******' Andrew Sachs granddaughter. They are speaking into Sachs's answer machine at the time, and it's very funny - there then follow more calls to the answer phone in the 2nd hour, again v funny.
"Having discussed it with [the Producer] and listened to the sequence, I think we should keep in and put a 'strong language' warning at the top of the hour. I think it's editorially justified in this context and certainly within audience expectations for Russell's show and the slot. Certainly preferable to bleeping, which would make it obvious anyway (and we don't bleep now for this reason). Jonathan also apologises and Russell's shocked reaction is hilarious.
"Andrew Sachs is aware and is happy with the results which were recorded his end for him to hear). Are you happy with this as a plan of action?"
Douglas was away that day but later sent a ne-word "Yes" reply from her Blackberry. She said her reasoning for the authorisation was that she had been informed that Andrew Sachs was happy for Jonathan Ross's remark about his grand-daughter to be included and it was also on the basis of the judgement of the Head of Compliance, whom she assumed had listened to the programme. She also said that she had assumed that Mr Sachs had participated in the programme.
She also said she trusted the judgement of her Head of Compliance who in her experience had 'never got it wrong before'. If he had heard the material and judged it acceptable and funny, then she was prepared to trust that judgement provided Andrew Sachs was also happy which she had been told he was. The issue then became one of language and she was prepared to sanction the use of the word 'f*****' provided there was a strong language warning at the beginning of the programme."
The Trust, which noted that ultimately the BBC received 42,851 complaints regarding the Russell Brand Show, also found a breach of BBC privacy guidelines in a subsequent interview with Brand on the Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 although in this case the programme team were unaware that Brand was going to raise matters relating to the calls and Sachs' granddaughter Georgina Baillie and that when he did Moyles moved the subject on. It noted here that the audience would have included children under 15, possibly 300,000 of them, and that, although the allusions had been veiled so that young children might would not have understood what was being said (Brand referred to having "met" Baillie's "brains out", the "material should not have been broadcast when children were likely to have been listening."
In connection with the Brand show it said "The recording and broadcast of these remarks was humiliating to Mr Sachs, Ms Baillie and their families and represented an unacceptable and deplorable intrusion into their private lives" and concluded there had been three failings by the BBC - to assert editorial control by Radio 2, a failure to follow the compliance systems in place and a failure of editorial judgement.
"Had satisfactory editorial control been in place," it concluded, "it may have prevented the recording of the material in the first place" and it added, "Had the compliance processes in place been followed and had the correct editorial judgements been applied this material would not have been broadcast."
BBC Editorial Standards Committee report (58 Page, 955 KB PDF):
2008-11-21: Three Chicago radio veterans have left their posts - John Gehron who has stepped down as general manager of Harpo Radio and Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon (Eddie and JoBo) who have been taken off air by CBS Radio's WBBM-FM (B96).
Gehron, a former SVP/Programming for Infinity Broadcasting, now CBS Radio, and then RVP/Market Manager in Chicago for Clear Channel joined Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions in 2006 to launch Harpo Radio was dropped as part of a "restructuring" according to the Chicago Tribune, which quoted Harpo Inc. spokeswoman Lisa Halliday as saying, "We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to him for helping us to establish a new division of the company and for creating a foundation that we will build upon in the future." .
Harpo Radio is now being overseen by former XM EVP/Programming & Broadcast Operations Eric Logan who joined Harpo in July as EVP with responsibility for Harpo Radio, Harpo Print and Harpo Retail.
Volkman and Bohannon had been at WBBM since 1988 with a two-year hiatus - they were dropped in late 1994 after former WMAQ-TV news anchor Joan Esposito sued for comments about the death of Esposito's husband - and are coming to the end of a seven-year contract that was said to have been paying them each around USD 1.5 million. The contract runs to July next year but their show ended on Friday and CBS2, Chicago, said that according to Volkman the station wanted to go in a different direction and maintain its hold on a younger crowd.
"We're paid for the next eight months, which is like the longest paid vacation I've ever had," commented Volkman "and our keycards still work to go in the station, unlike when we were fired before in '94 and had to be escorted out by security guards. And I never did get my headphones back."
After that firing they got their jobs back and a multi-million dollar deal with CBS but this time the future seems more uncertain: Volkman cracked, "There's an old saying by radio people: There's a lot of stations I can work at right now -- Mobil, Shell, BP Amoco."
CBS 2 report:
Chicago Tribune report:
2008-11-21: Communicorp's Irish national stations Today FM and Newstalk, which are now located in the same building, are to pool their reporters but insist they will retain separate newsrooms according to the Irish Times.
The paper quotes Today FM chief executive Willie O'Reilly as saying the two stations will "continue to have separate newsrooms with separate newsreaders, political correspondents and management, but there will be pooling of reporters" and adds that it understands that the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is opposed to a newsroom merger.
The paper adds that it understood two freelancer working in the Newstalk newsroom had been dropped but says O'Reilly said nobody was being made redundant at Today FM and Newstalk chief executive Elaine Geraghty said the same applied to it although she went on to say that the pooling arrangement "allows us to reduce dependence on freelance services. The ability to pool resources is a pragmatic and sensible approach given the climate we are facing. It's an efficient way of using the resources both stations have."
Irish Times report:
2008-11-21: Not content with one case before the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing an appeal by Fox TV against a ruling that Bono's "fucking brilliant" comments at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards breached Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules concerning indecent utterances, the agency is now attempting to take a second indecency ruling to the court.
This time it concerns the USD 550,000 penalty it levied on CBS stations for the wardrobe malfunction" that led to it showing a brief glimpse of Janet Jackson's breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show (See RNW Licence News Sep 26, 2004).
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in July that the commission and chair Kevin Martin "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in fining the CBS stations for the nine-sixteenths of a second exposure (See RNW Jul 21 )and the agency has now filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the ruling.
CBS commented in response to the FCC petition that it hopes the Supreme Court will recognize there are rare instances, particularly during live programming, when it may not be possible to block unfortunate fleeting material, despite best efforts" and added, " Doing so would help to restore the policy of restrained indecency enforcement the FCC followed for decades."
The US government has asked the Court to postpone its decision on whether to take up the case until after it has ruled on the Fox petition.
2008-11-20: BBC Radio 3 has announced that it is to launch a John Milton season from December 2 to January 7 to mark the 400th anniversary of the poet's birth: It will feature a rang of programmes covering his life and works including an edition of "The Early Music Show" (Dec 13) that focuses on Milton's masque in honour of chastity, "Comus", recorded at Ludlow Castle, where Milton's masque was first performed in 1634.
There will also be a new production directed by John Tydeman of "Samson Agonistes" in the "Drama on 3" slot (Dec 14) that will feature Iain Glen in the title role, with Samantha Bond as Dalila, Philip Madoc as Harapha and Michael Maloney as The Messenger; and a reading of the complete 12-book "Paradise Lost" by Anton Lesser (Dec 22- Jan 2).
Other readings by Robert Glenister will be broadcast from Dec 7 to 14 and during the same week the station's regular "The Essay" slot will be taken up by editions on Milton as an essayist.
Radio 3 has also announced details of the next season of its "Between The Ears" strand. This will start on Saturday with "When Silence Sings", an audio walk through Venice conducted by Tonie, a Norwegian psychologist and author now in her mid-fifties who has been deaf from birth.
The following week Brooklyn-born dramatist and theatre director Lou Stein looks back on experiences in his life that he's recorded on mini-disc in the "Crossing The Same River Twice."
Other editions include "In Mole Jazz" (December 6), in which, Leni, widow of Ed Dipple, who was the force and life behind specialist vinyl record shop, Mole Jazz, remembers her late husband; "Woven In Time" (Dec 27), an evocative and poetic story about black female identity as told through the words of poets, Zena Edwards, Khadijah Ibrahim and Jean Binta Breeze. The series concludes with "Weather Reports You" (Jan 3) in which American artist Roni Horn explores the power of the weather to tell us who we really are.
2008-11-20: Following severe damage from Hurricane Ike, Arbitron has closed its southwest calling centre in Houston with the loss of 298 jobs, 269 of them part-time. It had kept them on the payroll since the storm on September 13 but has since told the Texas Workforce Commission it has decided not to re-open the centre.
The part time staff will be paid up to October 24 and the 39 full-time staff to the end of the year and the work will be moved to its Southwest and Columbia, Maryland, centres. It will retain its field operations in Houston, using door-to-door recruiters for the Houston Portable People Meter (PPM) panel.
2008-11-20: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments about homosexuals made on the Harjinder Thind Show broadcast on CKYE-FM (Red FM), Vancouver, on January 31 this year, breached the Human Rights Clause of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics.
The show in question featured a discussion on a Settlement Agreement to deal with possible changes to the British Columbia school curriculum to ensure the proper representation of homosexuality in the curriculum and included a representative from Parents for Democracy in Education, an organization opposed to the curriculum changes being proposed.
The host took a number of calls from listeners, most of whom supported the guest's view and some of which were translated into English from Punjabi by Thind: One caller said, in Punjabi, that young people who feel an attraction to members of the same sex are "sick" and that homosexuals are "a little sick group", while another alleged that homosexuality "is a sickness" that also contributes to the spread of AIDS and HIV.
A complaint was made that the comments that the complainant said were "negative and false views" which were being communicated to a "new immigrant population that needs to be better educated about [the] Canadian Charter of Rights and our community."
Red FM responded that it had intended to provide "a fair and balanced representation" and encourage "healthy dialogue".
The CBSC Panel, apart from a reservation concerning an allegation that the Settlement Agreement had been made "in secret", when in fact it had received news coverage ruled that "no aspect of the school curriculum discussion" was close to breaching Codes regarding balance but said that a couple of callers had crossed the line in their comments.
It said it understood that a number of new Canadian communities were "quite conservative on issues of homosexuality", something that posed no problem until comments became excessive and said that in this case the comments describing gays and lesbians as sick, assimilating homosexuality to a sickness, and attributing the causing of AIDS to homosexuals do exceed the tolerable threshold.
It noted that should a caller make such a comment, the host is in a position to mitigate its effect by his or her observations and that this opportunity was doubly available in the present matter, since the host played a translating role for callers and the audience and adds that he ought to have known his responsibilities pursuant to the CAB Code of Ethics and says that to the extent that he did not, it was the responsibility of the broadcaster to ensure that such comments not air.
2008-11-19: This week for our weekly look at print comment on radio, we focus on things that are to disappear or have already gone starting in the US with the effects of the Sirius-XM merger and a report in arstechnica by Matthew Lasar.
Laser cites negative reaction from a number of customers of the merged company -long-time Sirius subscriber Stan Petrov who has lost access to NBA games (the company says the reason was that the contract moved to XM), felt he had been sold short by what he termed "'manipulating the market/consumer" and Rick Aristotle Munarriz of The Motley Fool who commented of the day the merged service began, "A feeling of pleasant surprise turned to horror this morning after I started up my XM-subscribed car. At first, I was greeted with some of my favourite Sirius music channels, like 1st Wave, on the air. Then I discovered that most of my favourite XM channels were gone."
Lasar goes on to note that a number of people had also expressed dissatisfaction and some had cancelled subscriptions before commenting with heavy sarcasm, "We're shocked
Who would have thought that Sirius and XM would change their schedules after joining forces? They only repeatedly pledged to do that during the Federal Communications Commission's proceeding on the union. To be fair, Petrov opposed the marriage. But the protests of plenty of other subscribers sound something akin to Captain Renault's famous comment in Casablanca: 'I am shocked, shocked, to find Sirius and XM doing what they promised they would do after merging.'"
Lasar says of the announcement of the changes that the "happy-talk-style press release" cheerfully proclaimed, "With this new programming line-up, subscribers will receive the same number of music and non-music channels on the Sirius and XM services as they have in the past" but then notes that "what the release glossed over is that the same number of channels doesn't mean the same channels, and that's the rub, since subscribers have receivers that only access one of the services."
Not everyone disagrees of course, and Lasar cites one comment to this effect in response to the Munarriz article: "Bring on the merger and now all the sudden I get the best of both worlds. Baseball in the summer and football all season long! The music is good on both Sirius and XM so if they need to cut out some of the stations, it only makes since not to have two similar things on the air."
Lasar also notes other pressures on Sirius XM, specifically lobbying by Clear Channel - a big investor in iBiquity HD - to try and get the Federal Communications Commission to require satellite radio receivers to include HD Radio reception capacity, something that opponents say would make the receivers much more expensive. [RNW comment: Our view on this is that the FCC should tell Clear Channel, since Sirius XM has agreed to allow manufacturers to make such equipment, that all it will do is require Sirius XM to make no copyright/patent charges for equipment that Clear Channel develops to receive Sirius, XM and HD signals. It would then be up to Clear Channel to subsidize such receivers to the point they're cheaper than satellite-receive only equipment and the problem goes away. Or rather Clear Channel does, we rather suspect!].
Moving on to the Munarriz article, he comments of the changes made by Sirius-XM, "It's easy to follow the logic. More content overlap means lower staffing costs. It doesn't have an impact on the royalties that Sirius XM will pay out to the record companies, since that is based on a percentage of total revenue, but it does make it easier to hire fewer DJs and station managers.
"Unfortunately, making XM and Sirius more alike is a terrible marketing tool. Wasn't this the same company that was trying to get subscribers to pay USD 4 more a month for a "Best of Both" program? Sirius XM will still sell the plan (since the overlap doesn't include the premium talk content like Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey), but isn't this programming change an incentive to downgrade to the cheaper plan that costs USD 6 less a month and lets users cherry-pick 50 stations?
"After all, if Sirius XM is cocky enough to think it knows which channels are superior by giving others the boot, two can play that game as it pertains to my eardrums."
He then comments on other Internet radio and mobile phone options available and asks, "Does Sirius XM really want to alienate a subscriber base that is already experiencing decelerating growth?"
"I've been a Sirius subscriber since 2004 and an XM member since 2006," he writes. "I realize I'm not like most of the 18.9 million subscribers in having dual accounts, but the overlap today makes it less likely that I'll stick with both tomorrow. I'm sure many listeners will love the changes. The problem is that many won't. With more than USD 1 billion in debt to pay back next year, does Sirius XM really want to ignite the venom, uproar, and online petitions that accompany forced changes?"
On next to the UK where the row over crude comments made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 still rumbles on despite Brand's resignation and the suspension of Ross's show for 12 weeks.
The Daily Telegraph - no friend of the BBC on this one - carried a report by its TV & Radio Editor Neil Midgley that says there is feeling from staff and other hosts at the station that Ross should be dropped completely.
It quotes on Radio2 DJ, whom it does not name, as commenting, "Jonathan is such a big name across the BBC that it doesn't seem like our senior management has focused on what all this has done to Radio 2. We've spent years building Radio 2 up into a brand that's popular with all sorts of people, but where is that brand now? If this was just a Radio 2 problem, and Jonathan didn't have his chat show on BBC1, would we really let him come back on Saturday mornings after all this?"
Some presenters have of course gone public - and the paper reports that breakfast host Sir Terry Wogan has described the BBC's action in suspending Mr Ross as "terminal" to his career; Paul Gambaccini said that Mr Ross had no place on Radio 2; and lunchtime host Jeremy Vine has commented, "I'm not quite sure how it's going to work."
Concern has also continued about the future of digital radio in the UK with James Ashton in the Sunday Times reporting that commercial radio stations have warned they could abandon digital radio by Christmas if they cannot strike a deal with the government and masts owner Arqiva to slash the cost of broadcasting simultaneously across FM and digital frequencies.
Supporting dual broadcasts collectively costs commercial stations an extra GBP 30 million (USD 45 million) a year reports Ashton who adds that taken alongside a 15% fall in advertising revenues, some groups are barely breaking even although he notes that a withdrawal from the technology is complicated because Ofcom made digital transmission a condition of FM licence extensions. [RNW note: What was done was to make renewals automatic if a station provided a service on the local multiplex and Ofcom could presumable re-advertise the FM licence is a station pulled out of digital.]
The commercial companies, adds Ashton, are hoping to break the link between digital and FM licences, as well as negotiate lower transmission fees.
Also in the Sunday Times, radio columnist Paul Donovan bemoans plans to cut down its "Law in Action" programme on BBC Radio 4 and quotes Edward Garnier, QC, the shadow justice minister, as saying of the plans, "It seems strange that, at a time when the BBC is under attack for producing offensive and infantile broadcasts at enormous public expense and of little public service value, it proposes to reduce Law in Action, which makes a real contribution to public awareness of what could otherwise remain a dry, esoteric and hidden subject."
Donovan who says he endorses the sentiment also quotes Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, a judge at the Mental Health Review Tribunal as saying, "It's absolutely crazy. The BBC is a desert of legal programming as it is. What about that mission to explain? But there are dozens of current affairs series. We don't need another."
Yet another quote came from Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, the former director of public prosecutions, who told Donovan, "It's a great shame. The decision will leave a big hole. Though serious, it is never dull, so it appeals to general listeners, too."
That, says Donovan, is the key point: "Law in Action, which dates from 1984 and goes out on Tuesday afternoons, is a consistently lively magazine programme that covers the law in all its aspects: house repossessions, sharia, crime figures, DNA, blasphemy, issues of anonymity, divorce, the courts. Two of its editions, on judicial review and Operation Trident, won Bar Council legal reporting awards earlier this month. It is also, I believe, the only regular show about the law in the whole of our national broadcasting, with the exception of Clive Anderson's Unreliable Evidence (a single-issue studio discussion on Radio 4 eight times a year)."
He then notes that complaints are being made by various individuals and organizations including the Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, and concludes that even if the programme is weakened, the presenter and other "well-heeled legal types who have appeared on it. But listeners will be the poorer."
On then to lsitening suggestions and since most BBC audio is only there for seven days, we begin with output from the Corporation and with music and a note that this week's "Law in Action" (available as a podcast/MP3 or an audio stream) was on budget cuts in the UK courts, bilingual juries in Wales and a Dutch alternative to the UK's media-shy judges..
Then from BBC Radio 2 we opt for two Saturday programmes - last Saturday's "Come in from the Cold: The Return of Joni Mitchell" and next Saturday's "40th Anniversary of the White Album", a look at the making of an album that marked the beginning of the end for the Beatles.
Then from during the week we go for Tuesday's "Long Players", the first of a four-part series in which David Quantick tells the story of the LP; Wednesday's Mike Harding Show, which included the announcement of the nominations for the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; and Friday's "The Judy Garland Trail", the fifth in a six-part series.
Moving to BBC Radio 3 we opt for jazz to begin with in a fairly strong period that includes various programmes from the London Jazz Festival notably last Sunday's "Jazz Line-Up" ; Monday's "Jazz on 3"; and Tuesday's "Performance on 3" that featured the opening of this year's Festival. We also suggest last Saturday's "Jazz Library" - in which Alyn Shipton and Julian Joseph select Herbie Hancock recordings - plus next Saturday's programmes in which pianist Danilo Perez joins Alyn Shipton to select the highlights from his recorded career (16:00 GMT) and Alyn Shipton and Brian Priestley, pianist and historian, consider pianist Art Tatum's work (A repeat programme being aired at midnight GMT).
Then for those with a choral bent we note that last Sunday "The Choir" featured the youth and adult choirs in the "2008 Choir of the Year" finals whilst next Sunday the programme has the remaining category finals.
For classical music on the station - apart from consulting the schedules - we intend to opt for Saturday's "Opera on 3" -Rossini's "Matilde di Shabran" and Friday's "Performance on 3" that features The BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda performing Rachmaninov's First Symphony and his one-act opera "The Miserly Knight".
Within the programme in the "Twenty Minutes" slot, Stephen Critchlow reads Alexander Solzhenitsyn's short story "Matryona's House" and following it is "The Verb" that this week includes Norwegian writers and the poet Lemn Sissay amongst the guests.
For other genres we note that last Saturday's "World Routes" was the second of two programmes from 2008 WOMEX festival in Seville and also that last Sunday's "Ian Burnside" explored Australian music from ancient song to Percy Grainger.
Moving on to speech and drama on the station we opt for last Sunday's "Drama on 3" - "Tamburlaine: Shadow of God" whilst next Sunday the slot has Antony Sher playing William Shakespeare in a play about the Bard's life - "The Pattern of Painful Adventures" whilst for speech we recommend this week's "Essay" - weekday nights at 23:00 GMT - it's on the theme "The Lives of Others" with contributions from Prof Maurice Bloch on his work in Madagascar with Malagasy villagers; Prof John Gledhill discussing the responsibilities of anthropologists; Adam Kuper asking to what extent are we still influenced by our own culture; Rebecca Cassidy looking at the social life of betting shops and doing anthropology 'at home'; and Laura Piacentini on how Russia's prisons provide insights into the UK's growing jail population.
Also from Radio 3 we note that "Night Waves" this week features two Free Thinking special editions -on Tuesday about bridging the Generation Gap and Thursday in which Trevor Phillips of the Equality and Human Rights Commission comments on democracy's tough choices
Moving on to BBC Radio 4 and we start with music in the form of the latest "Music Feature" - "Celebrating Cecilia" in which Catherine Bott tells the story of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music (Tuesday with a Saturday repeat) and then go on to cinema locations with "Lights, Camera, Landmark" in the quarter-hour slot that follows 15:30 "The Afternoon Reading" (This week five stories about the city of Berlin) on weekdays. The locations concerned have been used in films over the years and run the gamut of Battersea Power Station ( a location in "RocknRolla" and "The Dark Knight"); Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin (Used in "The Italian Job", "In the Name of the Father" and "Michael Collins" ); Lacock, Wiltshire (Featured in such period dramas as "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "Pride and Prejudice."; Alnwick Castle, Northumberland ("Elizabeth", "Mary, Queen of Scots" and "The Virgin Queen"); and Greenwich Old Royal Naval College ("The Duchess", "The Young Victoria" and "The Golden Compass."). Also on the topic of movies, we suggest Saturday's "The Making of Easy Rider" in which Micky Dolenz explores how two producers, hot from the success of The Monkees TV series, kick-started an artistic renaissance in Hollywood with their counter-culture movie.
Then to memories and history starting with Tuesday's "Remembering Alistair Cooke", a tribute from James Naughtie to broadcaster Alistair Cooke, who would have been 100 this week and later that day "Alistair Cooke Memorial Lecture", delivered by David Mamet before an invited audience at the newly opened Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California, on the subject of language.
Rather more depressing history next with Wednesday's "The Lament of the SS Mendi" in which poet Jackie Kay remembers the sinking of the SS Mendi in the English Channel in 1917 - most of the 650 who drowned were black South Africans coming to Britain to do their bit for the war effort and those on board the British ship that rammed it in the thick fog did nothing to help save the drowning men.
And on an entirely different note from later that day "Historians in the Tent of the General" in which Andrew Roberts considers the historical tendency for politicians to consult historians - in this programme he talks to Dr Henry Kissinger about his relationship with various US presidents.
And on yet another note, mixing history and photography, Thursday's "Shooting Soviets: Cartier-Bresson in Moscow" in which Mark Haworth-Booth tells the story of the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's journey to the Soviet Union in 1954, when he was the first Western photographer to be admitted behind the Iron Curtain since WWII.
Also on the topic of photography later that day is "Journey of a Lifetime" telling the story of Chris Brown, who won the 2005 BBC/Royal Geographical Society's annual competition for travellers who want to fulfil their dream journey - He joined the nomadic Rupshu tribe of Ladakh in their long annual trek at high altitude, and happened to do it in the worst winter for more than three decades.
And travel of a totally different kind from Friday in "The Goulash Archipelago", the story of travels through the Carpathian mountains by British jazz bass player Arnie Somogyi and his friend the Hungarian guitarist Zsolt Bende who ate only what they were given in exchange for playing their music.
After that broadcasting and "The Archive Hour" next Saturday - "Here's Kenny" in which music journalist Mark Paytress reassesses the pioneering disc jockey and comedian Kenny Everett.
And as last week we end with comedy in the form of "The News Quiz" - Friday with a Saturday repeat (and also available as a podcast/MP3).
RNW Note- We will update with suggested MP3s from other broadcasters later.
Arstechnica - Lasar :
Motley Fool - Munarriz (Has large number of response comments pro and anti Sirius XM changes):
UK Sunday Times - Ashton:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Telegraph - Midgley:
2008-11-19: UTV's talkSPORT has now fired its morning host Jon Gaunt following an internal investigation after he called a local councillor Michael Stark a "Nazi" and an "ignorant pig" during an interview eleven days ago (See RNW Nov 11), a decision that the former host says on his website has left him "bemused".
A statement from talkSPORT Programme Director Moz Dee said it had "terminated presenter Jon Gaunt's contract following an interview with Redbridge Councillor Michael Stark on Friday November 7th" and continued, "The decision follows an internal talkSPORT investigation that was instigated following complaints about the content and nature of the broadcast. The radio station has apologised to the councillor for the manner in which the interview was conducted."
Gaunt on his site said, "I am bemused by their decision particularly as the 48 complaints Ofcom received (last year) were not upheld - indeed they were celebrated by talkSPORT who issued a press release congratulating me for being the most controversial presenter in the country."
The remarks were made in the context of the council banning fostering by people who smoke and Gaunt although apologizing said his view concerning children in care remained unchanged.
"I am particularly disappointed by their decision when I apologised for the incident to both the audience and the councillor," said Gaunt. "The councillor has accepted my apology and agrees that we all need to focus on the bigger picture."
He continued, "I have received tremendous support from hundreds of fans as well as national celebrities following this story and my views remain the same.
"The main issue is not about Jon Gaunt making controversial statements or about him losing his job. It is about the thousands of kids in care who don't have a voice. So if someone wants to smoke but will offer a child care, why shouldn't they be allowed to look after children?
"If I have to lose my job and go through a legal battle to be able to stand up for children in care, so be it. I have been there. I know the emotional trauma they are going through. It happened to me when I was in care.
"If I am guilty of anything it is that I have stood by my principles. I regret the words used but not the passion behind them."
talkSPORT had put Ian Collins in Gaunt's spot during the investigation and says he will not be in the slot "indefinitely."
Also in the UK, BBC Director General Mark Thompson and BBC Trust chairman Sir Michel Lyons have come under pressure from Members of Parliament over the crude calls made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross that were left on actor Andrew Sachs' answer-phone and later broadcast.
Speaking at a Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, Thompson, who had been on holiday when the row blew up, said that he was out of telephone contact when the Mail on Sunday published details of the broadcast that ultimately led to some 45,000 complaints to the corporation.
Thompson said of his knowledge, "I was told there had been a serious editorial breach on Radio 2 and that the BBC had issued a comprehensive unreserved apology that morning and that an inquiry had already started" and then went on to say of the broadcast that it showed a "really serious editorial lapse which is not close to a boundary where you can debate it. It is absolutely well on the wrong side of the line in terms of invasion of privacy and in terms of a lapse in duty of care to some of the individuals -- Mr Sachs's granddaughter being at the centre of that."
Following the row Brand resigned from his BBC Radio 2 Show and the station's Controller Lesley Douglas also resigned whilst the Corporation suspended Ross without pay for 12 weeks.
Brand's show was produced by his own company. In this instance, a BBC producer had been drafted in to work for Brand's company whilst the show's regular producer was away and Lyons, facing criticisms that the Corporation should have fired Ross and Brand for "gross misconduct" said that the "primary failure" was not the performer's antics but the fact that the broadcast was allowed to go ahead: He added that one of the things being considered by the Trust was "whether it is right to leave a young producer implanted in a company that is owned by one of the performers."
"Until we have finished our investigations, I would be careful about terms like gross misconduct which have contractual implication," said Lyons but added that he thought Radio 2 had been premature in announcing - before the Trust had completed its investigation - that Ross would be returning to the station in January. He said that nothing was being ruled in or out by the Trust in conducting its enquiry, whose report is due out on Friday this week, and commented, "Let me be clear the trust has not finished its deliberations. All of these matters are subject to the final decision."
Subsequent to the hearing and media speculation concerning further action against Ross the BBC Trust issued a statement concerning Ross saying that it ratified BBC management's decision to suspend him for three months without pay and continuing, "The Trust will not pre-empt its own inquiry, but based on the oral updates it has received since 30 October, it does not expect the director general's final report to provide new information of substance relating to Jonathan Ross's role which would lead it to change its view on his part in this incident."
[RNW comment: If the suspension is for 12 weeks, simple arithmetic would produce a date in January but then 12 is above the number of digits the chairman has on his hands and we sometimes wonder whether some senior BBC people can count beyond ten without removing shoes to see their toes. Lyons does not really have this excuse as he worked for two years as a part-time street trader as well as becoming a lecturer in economics and pubic sector economist and Chief Executive of three local authorities in the UK, the first role at least being one in which he would have had to count a little. The Trust has acted diplomatically in the manner in which it responded to its chairman's comments but Lyons in our view seems to have acted injudiciously in this instance. Gaunt could probably find blunter but still accurate words to fit the bill but maybe he'll be hoping to return to BBC Radio for whom he was working when he won three Sony Gold Awards.]
Gaunt official website:
2008-11-17: Cumulus Media and Clear Channel have announced an agreement under which they will use radio ratings and audience measurement services from the Nielsen Company starting next year, bringing a competitor to Arbitron and Eastlan in small markets and potentially future radio ratings competition for Arbitron in larger ones.
Cumulus will use the service in 50 small- and mid-sized U.S. markets and Clear Channel will also use it in 17 of them.
The agreement follows a Cumulus "request for proposal" issued in April (See RNW Apr 14) along with a note that from the start of next year it will no longer subscribe to the Arbitron Radio Market Reports currently published in 50 markets below the top hundred.
Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey commented in a news release of his company's move, "We initiated the RFP to improve the quality and value of radio ratings. That opened up a transparent process which gave us the option to talk to the best research practitioners in the world. We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. Nielsen is the Gold Standard for television advertisers who make nearly USD 80 billion worth of decisions in the U.S. based on Nielsen data. This is a great development for Radio."
He said of the choice of supplier, "We talked to a number of great companies, but Nielsen was the clear leader in terms of their focus on quality and customer success. We also see a very important long-term benefit in this engagement. Nielsen is committed to, and uniquely capable of, delivering a multi-media measurement solution -- what they call their Anytime, Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative, which has significant appeal to consumer marketers. As a part of this integrated measurement solution, we believe that we can better serve the advertising communities and strongly position radio and its digital extensions for the future."
Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan added, "Clear Channel Radio is delighted to have the choice to move to an improved audience measurement approach in these important markets and applauds Nielsen for bringing their exemplary business practices to radio. This gives radio ratings greater accuracy, stronger accountability, and full transparency, and shows the true power of radio to reach the most coveted consumers."
Nielsen is to use address-based sampling (ABS) - the use of randomly selected addresses - that it pioneered for its TV ratings to recruit sample households: It says this enables it to reach the 34% of U.S. households that are not covered by current sampling methods, including cell-phone only and many unlisted landline phone households.
It says it will also offer large samples; a significant investment in oversampling and differentiated incentives to improve response rates and representativeness among hard-to-reach demographics; An "e-diary" option for 2010 that will appeal, in particular, to younger demographics that are more comfortable participating online; and Robust, single-source qualitative measurement of lifestyle, consumer behaviour, and purchase intent."
Nielsen Vice Chairperson and Executive Vice President Susan D. Whiting added, "Cumulus and Clear Channel have made it clear to us that they want to challenge the status quo in these markets by seeking new ways of measuring this important medium. Nielsen agreed to develop this service only after we became convinced there was a market need we could fill by calling upon our broad experience in media measurement."
Arbitron responded by denigrating the deal: Its president, chairman and CEO Steve Morris said in a statements, "Once a year measurement is a step backward. Advertisers have told us that radio markets need more than a once-a-year survey in order for stations to maintain accountability and recapture revenue from out-of-home, Internet and online media."
He added, "We are committed to continuously improving our services for the benefit of the radio industry in markets of all sizes and we have already initiated an aggressive program of enhancements to our diary service" noting amongst these the addition of cell=phone only households to its panels (See RNW Nov 17); Enhancing 18-34 participation by redirecting cash incentives from older to young respondents; and Accelerating the development and deployment of electronic and online alternatives to the paper and pencil diary for all markets.
Later in a conference call, Arbitron said the loss of its Cumulus and Clear Channel deals affected by the new deal would cost it nearly USD 10 million in revenues in the first year but they would fight hard to protect their business in the small markets where they have now lost out.
"Radio audio measurement is our core business, and we are aggressively going to protect it," promised Morris. "We have no intention of exiting these markets."
Arbitron had been co-operating with Nielsen in the Project Apollo project whose closure was announced in February (See RNW Feb 25).but both are still involved in Scarborough Research, the in-depth, lifestyle research company that measures media consumption habits, and Morris said the company would need to "evaluate what impact" the Nielsen radio ratings deal would have on Arbitron's relationship with Scarborough.
Eastlan Ratings disparaged the deal: In a statement its President and CEO Mike Gould said the announcement "is absolutely inconsistent with what we are hearing daily from small and medium market broadcasters nationwide. Stations want and deserve quality research at an economic price, one that allows them return on investment in these challenging financial times. They are fighting like hell to save jobs because we all know great people are going to be the salvation of radio stations not continued expensive diaries-sticker book or otherwise."
"Today's news is akin to GM announcing they have improved the Hummer," he continued. "This news may resonate with big Wall Street controlled radio firms, but what the broadcasters in the trenches are looking for is how to squeeze another mile per gallon or two out of their Prius.
"While we welcome any service that gives small & medium market broadcasters more choice, expensive once-a-year sticker book diaries are not the answer. Eastlan is emboldened by today's news. Broadcasters are clamouring for a quality, low-cost ratings alternative and we will continue to be alone in that arena. The simplicity and economy of Eastlan will save hundreds of radio jobs in the coming months: In fact, we'll have a series of announcements in the next few weeks of companies opting to saving jobs rather than subsidizing huge ratings experiments."
Previous Clear Channel:
2008-11-18: Westwood One has announced that its common stock will be suspended from trading on the New York Stock Exchange before the market opens next Monday because it has failed to maintain a minimum USD 25 million market capitalization level.
It adds that it is considering whether to appeal the de-listing and is assessing a possible listing on the AMEX or NASDAQ, each of which would require a reverse stock split and shareholder approval, and could be affected by the Company's decision whether to appeal the NYSE decision: In the meantime it intends to trade on the OTC (over the counter) Bulletin Board beginning on Monday.
Westwood One says that to regain financial flexibility in 2009, the Company is in active discussions with its lenders and bondholders to restructure its debt and believes it will likely be successful in these negotiations.
Previous Westwood One:
2008-11-18: Chicago WLS-AM morning hosts Don and Roma Wade have agreed a further four-year contract with the Citadel-owned station according to the Chicago Tribune.
It quotes WLS-AM General Manager Mike Fowler as saying, "They've been a huge part of the radio station and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. I love having them start off the mornings on WLS."
The duo, who will have been married for 30 years next year, have been with WLS since December 1985 and in the morning slot since 1989.
Previous Don and Roma Wade:
Chicago Tribune report:
2008-11-18: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments made by CKRS-AM, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, host Louis Champagne on February 19 last year about homosexuals breached the Human Rights Clause of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics.
Champagne, host of the "Champagne pour tout le monde" morning show was interviewing Alexandre Cloutier of the Parti Québécois and he queried whether a party with an openly gay leader and other homosexual candidates would fare well.
Among his comments he commented "Ho - guys from Alcan, you're going to sell him to the Alcan boys and the Price boys - a homosexual" and then when Cloutier asked "Do you think that I plan on going, um, going into factories to talk about the sexual orientation of the candi-, the party leader?" responded by saying, "Well, you will hear about it, that's for sure! In Jonquière, do you really think that when you present them with another homosexual, you won't be asked the question: 'Look here, is the Parti Québécois a club for fags? (Coudonc, le Parti Québécois, c'est tu un club de tapettes?).' "
Later the host pushed the issue of homosexuality further with his interviewee, who said "an individual's sexual orientation is none of my business. I'm in politics" and added," And I won't comment. I'm sorry but those whose sexual orientation differs from mine, but on that score I, I, I, won't follow you there."
The exchange, says the CBSC, appears to have gone "relatively unnoticed until a couple of weeks after the broadcast. Then, CKRS and Corus Quebec, following a public outcry, suspended Louis Champagne from March 6 until March 12. On March 8, CKRS issued a press release which announced that Champagne would be back on the air on March 12, that he [translation] "recognized that he made unacceptable comments and has agreed to apologize", and that, on that date, he would make the following statement to his audience: "The comments expressed could have been interpreted as homophobic. I now realize that I should have chosen better words to use and I am sincerely sorry. So, to those who were shocked or offended by my statements, I offer my apologies and I assure you that my comments on homosexuality were not intended to be hurtful, disrespectful or discriminatory."
A complaint was subsequently sent to the CRTC on March 22, three days after the date until when the station was required to keep its logger tapes in which the complainant said the host was getting off with a "slap on the wrist from his employer" and adding dissatisfaction about the apology concerning which the complainant commented, "How could comments such as 'Is it becoming a party of fags?' in referring to the fact that there are two gays in the Parti Québécois, be made without any hurtful, disdainful or discriminatory intent? The only answer that comes to mind is that he thought the majority of his audience shared his view."
The complainant added, "It is as if I said, in reference to a party with several Black MPs, "Is it becoming a party of n*gg*rs?", and I then apologized by saying I meant to say "Is it becoming a party of Blacks?" and that I said n*gg*r without any offensive or racist intention."
The complaint was passed on to the CBSC and this complainant also sent a subsequent further letter directly to the CBSC calling for "the resignation of the Director of CKRS as well as of the President of Corus Québec, as they have clearly displayed their inability to condemn such low behaviour as making homophobic comments on the air, in Quebec, in 2007."
THE CBSC in making its ruling that codes had been breached commended CKRS for its actions and efforts in resolving the matter since the station and parent company "agreed with the complainant, admitted the inappropriateness of Champagne's comments, dissociated themselves from those comments, suspended the host for a week, generated an on-air apology from the host himself, and had its lawyers send the host a letter making its standards clear and requiring the signed acknowledgment of the host."
It also noted that the complainant had said the comments aired eight days after they had actually been aired and that "it was only thanks to the collaboration of the broadcaster that the correct date was determined and a recording of the broadcast located" and added, "This initial misinformation did, however, result in considerable additional delays before the complaint could be adjudicated."
2008-11-18: Conservative web sites in the US are claiming a victory for host Michael Savage in his legal fight with CAIR - the Council on American-Islamic Relations - because a US District judge has ruled that CAIR is not entitled to attorneys' fees and costs from Savage who had lost one part of his lawsuit and withdrawn another.
Newsmax heads its report "Michael Savage Beats CAIR" and does not mention the ruling against Savage over his copyright claim that CAIR had taken quotes and audio from his show and used them for fundraising purposes as well as damages the copyrighted value of the excerpts.
Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for Northern California, whom as the sites point out is a Clinton appointee, had dismissed the copyright claim "with prejudice" and also dismissed Savage's further civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) claims although in this case leave was given to amend the suit but Savage failed to do so and judgment was entered accordingly.
CAIR subsequently attempted to recover costs - Newsmax says they "attempted to extract attorney's fees and costs from Savage that totalled close to USD 200,000.00" and WorldNet Daily and others also use the term"extract" in their reports.
Savage told WorldNet Illston was a "bona fide liberal, yet she followed the law in the fees motion" and added, "This is a huge victory for me, personally, but also for the rest of America who is afraid of this lawsuit-happy group of intimidators."
He continued, "CAIR tried to tell her in their claim that she 'should get' me, because they were all liberals," he said. "You have to read their sloppy claim to believe it. Now, people will not be afraid to file suits if they have a legitimate claim against CAIR or any other Soros-funded group."
RNW comment: Savage seems from across an ocean to be a rather unpleasant character for whom Matthew 7:5 (Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.) might have been especially written.
As regards the issue of CAIR being a "lawsuit-happy group of intimidators", the facts are that Savage launched a lawsuit against them on two grounds after they had launched a campaign against him. The judge, whilst not treating the copyright suit as completely frivolous, slapped him down sharply and he chose not to pursue his RICO allegations.
We would have a little more consideration for him but for his own actions in trying to get sites critical of him taken down - he lost his case against www.savagestupidity.com - and attempts to use copyright law to stifle criticism.
Were the use being made of his material to compete with his own outlets, he would have a point, but the use is being made to take up and contest his statements, something that in our view clearly comes under the description fair comment.
2008-11-17: Univision has reported third quarter revenues down 2.4% on a year ago to USD 511.3 million within which TV was down 2.3% to USD 397.2 million; radio was down 3.1% to USD 102.6 million and Internet was down 0.9 % to USD 11.5 million. Adjusted operating income Before Depreciation and Amortization5 was down 2.7% to USD 213.7 million and overall Univision reported a net loss of USD 2.87 billion after taking into account a USD 3.67 million impairment charge. A year ago it reported a loss of USD 26.8 million.
For the first nine months of the year its revenues were down 0.8% to USD 1.503 billion within which TV was down 0.8% to USD 1.173 billion; radio was down 0.4% to USD 300.3 million and Internet was down 9.2% to USD 29.5 million. Adjusted operating income Before Depreciation and Amortization was down 4.6% to USD 584.8 million and overall Univision reported a net loss of USD 3.14 billion after taking into account a USD 3.67 million impairment charge. A year ago it reported a loss of USD 113.4 million.
CEO Joe Uva in the company's news release concentrated on TV, noting , "Despite continuing pressure on the advertising market as a result of the current economic conditions, Univision's net revenue excluding incremental revenue from major soccer and political increased 0.3% in the third quarter, whereas the television industry decreased 9.4%3 and the radio industry decreased by 8.6%."
Of its radio operations Univision commented, "In the markets which continue to be measured by the Arbitron diary method, Univision Radio has continued to post solid ratings and share improvement" and noted top rankings amongst all Adults 25-54 for stations in Dallas, San Diego, Puerto Rico and Fresno as well as top-ranking Spanish-language stations among Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54 in Miami, Dallas, San Antonio, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Fresno.
2008-11-17: UBC Media has reported revenues for the six months to the end of September down 15.2% on a year earlier to GBP 6.42 million ( USD 9.62 million) with a loss from continuing operations up 28.2% to GBP 464,000 (USD 695,000) after what it termed an "extremely challenging" few months that saw its Commercial Networking division produce revenues down 14.7% to GBP 4.64 million (USD 6.95million) . Pre-tax losses were up 50% to GBP 528,000 (USD 791,000).
The company says it has put into effect a scheme to cut costs by GBP 500,000 (USD 749, 00) a year and had "significantly reduced" its exposure to digital radio - it said it had put GBP 150,000 (USD 225,000) into the second digital multiplex consortium led by Channel 4, which abandoned the project last month (See RNW Oct 10).
During the period UBC closed the loss-making mobile phone version of its Cliq music downloading service take-up of which has been slower than expected since its launch in December last year and on which it had spent some GBP 2.0 million (then USD 3.9 million) in development costs (See RNW Jun 10) .
It commented of the Cliq service that "Having closed loss making digital joint ventures at the end of last year, we have now integrated the Cliq intellectual property to provide a business-to-business service in the connected radio industry of the future. We have published significant patent applications around this software in the period and are confident of the grant of these patents in the next two years."
UBC had more positive results from its traffic and travel bulletin business which now serves all of Global Radio's stations as well as Bauer's 35 stations (See RNW Oct 15).
Chief Executive Simon Cole said of the results, "This has been a testing six months for UBC and I am immensely proud of the determination shown by our senior management and staff in making the tough changes necessary to position the company correctly. We have reduced our losses from continuing operations and implemented substantial savings in our central overheard which should deliver further improvement."
Amongst the cuts the company has combined the roles of finance director and company secretary, with the exit of Gavin Rigby and Simon Howell. Also leaving is non-executive chairman, John Hodson, who will be succeeded by Paul Pascoe.
2008-11-17: Emmis has announced the appointment of Alexandra Cameron, sales leader at Emmis-New York, as Senior Vice President/General Manager of the its New York cluster (Hot 97 - WQHT-FM; Kiss FM - WRKS-FM; and 101.9, WRXP-FM) to replace Dan Halyburton, a Texas native who has led the cluster since May 2006 but has decided to return to Dallas to launch a media technology company.
In a company release Emmis Radio Division President Rick Cummings said of the choice, "I have had the privilege of watching Alex since she took on the role as Hot 97's General Sales Manager, and I've seen her take on greater responsibilities and build a winning track record every step of the way. She's a high-energy, passionate believer in radio, who also serves as a leading voice of change and creativity in our industry. I'm certain she'll take Emmis New York to even greater levels of performance."
Cameron, who was promoted from the Hot 97 GSM role to Director of Sales for Emmis' three New York radio stations in August 2006, commented, "At this critical time in our industry and our country, it's more important than ever to explore and maximize all talent, re-invent and redefine excellence in much of what we do and how we do it in order to push the boundaries of high performance results."
"The term 'radio'", she added, " is unfortunately outdated considering everything we are capable of and everything this dynamic, creative medium offers including its tentacles, dimensions and yes, results! Our business today is about compelling, relevant content that is co-created and inspired for, with and by both our audience and advertisers in an authentic way that serves both. That content can be engaged with over the air, the internet, with mobile devices or within lifestyle-oriented events and rituals, some of it even on-demand. It blows my mind that our medium continues to be so clearly undervalued and misunderstood. My greatest passion is to be instrumental in changing that and leave some small legacy for the medium I love and find infinitely cool, including the people that are part of it."
2008-11-17: Arbitron, which last week announced details of the first 50 diary markets in which it is to add cell-phone only households to its panels with a further 75 to be added for the Fall 2009 surveys, says that in Portable People Meter (PPM) rated markets, the use of an off-the-shelf, cell-phone modem commonly used for security systems has increased the participation of cell-phone-only households.
It had started the use of standalone cellular modems, which allow PPM equipment in cell-phone-only households to send ratings data back to Arbitron without the installation of a dedicated landline in April this year, noting that before this such households had to be provided with a conventional landline just for its PPM equipment. This installation meant, it says, people taking time off work to be in for the installation and as a result, PPM equipment installation rates in cell-phone-only households were nearly 20 points lower than install rates in households with a landline.
Introducing the cellular modems it says has helped improve representation in the 18-34 demographic and has also helped it in its programme to increase the cell-phone-only sampling rate from 7.5 percent to 10 percent. Over the last three months it says the installation rate for PPM equipment in cell-phone-only households has been above that of households with a landline.
2008-11-17: The SaveSirius shareholders group, which is accusing Sirius XM management of unjustly enriching themselves at shareholders' expense, says it has now served formal letters of demand on the Sirius XM board that include calls for a postponement of the vote to further dilute the company's common stock by increasing the number of shares in the fully diluted float from 4.5 billion to 8 billion and postponement of a proposed reverse split.
It also wants and also for the immediate suspension of all stock compensation plans and other bonuses in view of what it terms an abysmal stock performance and dire financial situation with re-instatement only when return to these compensation plans would be commensurate with the concept of "performance based compensation".
Spokesman Michael Hartleib said in a release, "Given the NASDAQ's reprieve of delisting securities below a dollar, there is sufficient time for the Board to convene an emergency meeting to consider other options, such as but not limited to, self-funding by shareholders" and continued, "If the board continues with the scheduled vote, we will believe that to be a violation of their fiduciary duties and will have no choice but to seek injunctive relief."
The group also says the board has "been notified that the proxy being distributed to Sirius XM shareholders is deficient as there is no mention of pending litigation in Federal District Court charging management with racketeering, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties; or the appeal before the D.C. Circuit seeking review and remand of the FCC's merger decision in part due to the failure to hold management responsible for violation of the interoperability mandate and allowing such management to continue in office to the detriment of shareholders and satellite radio consumers."
It adds that so far it has had no response from the company.
2008-11-17: Long-time Rochester, New York, host Brother Wease (real name Alan Levin) who was taken off-air by Entercom's WCMF -FM at the end of last year after two decades with the station and then dropped in February when contract negotiations failed (See RNW Feb 8) has now re-surfaced in the market on Clear Channel's 95.1 FM The Fox.
The station's Website is currently heavily featuring the host's five-hour (06:00-11:00) morning show and a report on the station's site quotes him as saying of his time off air - he was prevented from an immediate return by a non-compete clause - "I got phone calls from all kinds of different people, it's phenomenal, now I gotta pay off...it's been heart-warming, the people I meet in the street that I don't know that say stuff, that miss the show."
Newport Television's 13WHAM.com quotes Wease as saying of his return to air, People know about myself and my family and what I feel and they went through my cancer treatment with me" and adding that, although his show would not be political he happens "to be a liberal and pro-Obama and a bunch of other stuff. There's no way in five hours of talk in the morning that I won't bring this up and respond to listeners that have certain feelings."
Previous Clear Channel:
The Fox website:
2008-11-16: Last week was another of only a fairly level of routine radio licensing postings from the regulators with notices being more common than decisions.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has registered new codes of practice for community radio broadcasting services following extensive consultation coordinated by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) during 2007-08, including public consultation during February and July 2008.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said in the release, "The codes, which are a quantum improvement on past codes, have been amended and strengthened to assist the community radio sector in better understanding their obligations and corporate governance requirements and we congratulate the CBAA on the energy they've poured into this responsibility."
Under the new codes, he added, "Licensees will now be required to have written corporate governance policies and procedures that support their management, financial and technical operations, as well as documentation that substantiate their efforts to encourage community participation. These are all signs of a rapidly maturing sector. ACMA is currently developing community broadcasting representation guidelines to provide greater clarity on how licensees can encourage community participation in the operations of a service and in the selection and provision of programs, so it is encouraging to see the community radio sector taking this approach."
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted two public notices, both with a deadline for the submission of comments of December 18 that included the following radio-related items:
*Application by Touch Canada Broadcasting (2006) Inc. (the general partner), and 1188011 Alberta Ltd. and Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc. (the limited partners), carrying on business as Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership for a 50,000 watts day-time and 20,000 watts night-time Gospel music English-language commercial AM in Calgary.
*Application by 3937844 Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Newcap Inc., to convert CHLW-AM, St. Paul, to a 16,000 watts FM.
*Application by 3937844 Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Newcap Inc., to convert CKVH-AM, High Prairie, to a 25,000 watts FM.
*Application by Merritt Broadcasting Ltd., a corporation controlled by N L Broadcasting Ltd., to convert CJNL-AM, Merritt, to a 200 watts FM. This application is linked to an application filed by N L Broadcasting Ltd. licensee of CHNL-AM, Kamloops, British Columbia, to add an AM transmitter at Merrit (See below)
*Application by N L Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CHNL-AM, Kamloops, to add a 1,000 watts, day-time and night-time AM transmitter at Merritt.
*Application by the Cowichan Valley Community Radio Society for a 3.7 watts English-language FM developmental community radio programming undertaking in Lake Cowichan.
*Application by Sun Country Radio Ltd. to acquire the assets of the radio programming undertaking CKKO-FM, Kelowna, from Sun Country Cablevision Ltd. as part of a corporate reorganization.
*Application by Northern Lights Entertainment Inc. for authority to acquire from Nunavut Nalautinga Ltd. (Nalautinga) the assets of CKIQ-FM, Iqaluit. Following the proposed transaction Northern Lights, a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. Glenn Craig, would become the licensee. The transaction value is CAD 185,000 (USD 150,000) and the applicant is requesting an exemption from the tangible benefits policy.
*Application by Acadia Broadcasting Limited for a 10,000 watts country music English language commercial FM in Bridgewater.
*Application by Newcap Inc. for authority to acquire from The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. the assets of CHMS-FM Bancroft; CFBG-FM Bracebridge; CHPB-FM, Cochrane; CKNR-FM Elliot Lake and its transmitter CKNR-FM-1, Elliot Lake; CFZN-FM, Haliburton; CFIF-FM, Iroquois Falls; CKAP-FM, Kapuskasing, and its transmitter CKHT-FM, Hearst; CFXN-FM. North Bay; CKLP-FM. Parry Sound; and CHMT-FM. Timmins.
Newcap Inc. is also seeking authority to acquire the assets of CFBK-FM. Huntsville. from Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting Limited (Muskoka), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Haliburton.
The CRTC notes that the total value of the transaction is CAD 18.95 million (USD 15.31 million) and that the applicant has proposed a tangible benefits package totalling CAD 1.137 million (USD 920,000) to be paid over a seven-year period (6% of the value of the transaction).
In relation to a public hearing to be held in Orillia concerning applications for commercial radio services for Orillia, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, Ontario, the CRTC listed the following:.
Services to Orilla:
*Mutually exclusive applications proposing the use of 89.1 MHz:
Application by Nick Montague, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 332 watts classic rock and country music English-language commercial FM.
Application by Larche Communications Inc. for a 1,000 watts Hot Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM.
Application by Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation for a 21,000 watts Soft Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM.
Application by Newcap Inc. for a 1,000 watts Contemporary Hit English-language commercial FM.
Application by Debra McLaughlin, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 2,900 watts Adult Album Alternative English-language commercial FM.
Application by Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 5,600 watts Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM.
Application by Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd. for a 6,000 watts Hot Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM.
Other Orilla applications:
*Application by Instant Information Services Incorporated for a licence to operate a 50 watts low power English-language tourist information FM
*Mutually exclusive applications for Bracebridge and Gravenhurst:
A: Applications to use 101.7 MHz from:
*JOCO Communications Inc. for a 1,780 watts Oldies English-language commercial FM in Gravenhurst.
*JOCO Communications Inc. for a 1,780 watts All Hits/All Canadian English-language commercial FM in Gravenhurst.
And to use 101.9 MHz from Instant Information Services Incorporated for a 50 watts low power English-language tourist information FM in Gravenhurst.
Mutually exclusive applications to use 102.3 MHz:
*Application by Larche Communications Inc. for a 17,000 watts Country music English-language commercial FM in Bracebridge
*Application by Bill (William) Wrightsell, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 15,000 watts Gold Based Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM in Bracebridge
*Application by Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation for a 12,500 watts Classic Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM in Bracebridge
*Application by Evanov Communications Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 2,484 watts Easy Listening English-language commercial FM in Bracebridge
*Application by Subanasiri Vaithilingam, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a commercial ethnic AM in Scarborough with a power of 1,000 watts day-time and 87 watts night-time.
*Application by Kumar Nadarajah, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a commercial ethnic AM in Markham with a power of 1,000 watts day-time and 175 watts night-time.
*Application by Five Amigos Broadcasting Inc. for a 570 watts Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM in Wallaceburg.
*Application by My Broadcasting Corporation for a 650 watts Adult Contemporary/Gold English-language commercial FM in Brighton.
*Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to convert CBE-AM, Windsor, to a 3,200 watts FM. In addition the CBC has that it will apply, within 30 days of the implementation of the proposed FM transmitter at Windsor, for the revocation of authority granted for a nested FM transmitter on the 102.3 MHz frequency in Windsor.
*Application by Quinte Broadcasting Company Limited to renew the licence of the English-language commercial station CJBQ-AM, Belleville, expiring 31 August 2009. The CRTC noted that this licensee may have failed to comply with regulations concerning the broadcast of Canadian content for category 2 music and with conditions of its licence regarding its contributions to Canadian talent development for the 2006 broadcast year.
The commission also notes that it has received complaints regarding Pellpropco Inc. licensee of the English-language commercial station CHSC-AM, St. Catharines, concerning allegations that it has re-oriented a significant portion of its programming to serve the Italian community of Toronto and additionally noted that over the course of the station's current licence term it found numerous instances of apparent non-compliance with radio regulations relating to Canadian content in category 2 music and third-language programming and also that it had not filed its annual return for the fiscal year 2004-2005. It also notes failure to supply requested logger tapes in both 2007 and 2008.
Additionally it noted that in response to local programming orientation complaints the licensee had confirmed that it no longer operated from its original St. Catharines office and studio facilities has not so far confirmed that its new St. Catharines based studio and office facilities are operational.
Finally it notes that it has received inquires relating to ownership and control issues related to Pellpropco Inc. and has called Pellpropco Inc. to the public hearing, to show cause why a mandatory order requiring the licensee to conform to the Radio Regulations, 1986 concerning Canadian content, the broadcasting of third-language programming, the filing of complete annual returns, and the provision of logger tapes, program logs and music lists should not be issued.
Prince Edward Island:
*Application by Newcap Inc. to add a 990 watts FM transmitter at Elmira and a 1,600 watts at St. Edward to rebroadcast the programming of CKQK-FM, Charlottetown.
*Application by Newcap Inc. to add a 990 watts FM transmitter at Elmira and a 1,600 watts at St. Edward to rebroadcast the programming of CHTN-FM, Charlottetown.
*Application by Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting Limited to increase the power of CFBK-FM, Huntsville, from 5,000 watts to 43,400 watts and decrease the effective antenna height. This would lead to a partial overlap with the Bracebridge market.
There were no radio licensing announcements from the UK or Ireland but in the latter the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is involved in the release of ratio ratings that have showed listening remaining steady in the country (See RNW Nov 14) whilst in the UK Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upheld two radio complaints (See RNW Nov 10)..
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a fairly quiet week as regards radio decisions although there were a number of enforcement actions:
*Confirmed USD 3,000 forfeiture to Jason Communications, Inc., licensee of WDOW-AM, and WHPD-FM, Dowagiac, Michigan, for failure to file licence renewal applications on time.
The FCC had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for this amount to which Jason had sought reduction or cancellation on the basis that that its owner, Joseph Urbanski, made a good faith attempts to file its renewal applications; had believed he had completed the application process but the completed application never appeared in the Commission's database and when the error was later realized by the proposed assignee of the licenses and brought to his attention had correctly filed the renewal applications.
The FCC noted that the first attempt to file, which was said to have failed for technical reasons, had taken place two weeks after the deadline for filing the applications and declined to reduce or cancel the penalty.
*Cancelled USD 3,000 penalty in NAL issued to Glen Iris Baptist School, licensee of WQEM-FM, Columbiana, Alabama, for failure to maintain its public inspection file and substituted an admonishment.
Glen Iris had declared deficiencies in the file and had explained that when it purchased the station in January 2003 it had found no issues/programs lists for the entire term, from April 1, 1996, through December 31, 2002, predating Glen Iris's ownership of the Station: It said it had recreated the issues/programs lists for which it would have been responsible as licensee, all four quarters of 2003, and placed them in the public file and that it has instituted a system to avoid this omission in the future. It also contends that it is a school-operated station with no professional management whose staff was unaware of the requirement to maintain an issues/programs list, but that it has recreated all of the documents it was required to maintain during its short tenure as licensee.
The FCC dismissed all the arguments apart from a claim that the penalty in this case was excessive, accepted that only three not four issues/programs lists for which Glen Iris was responsible, were missing and substituted the admonishment for the fine.
In contested licence decisions the commission rejected an application calling for the denial of the award of a new FM station at Pineland, Texas, to James M. Lout, who was the provisional winner of the bidding for the permit in the Commission's FM Auction 70. The FCC noted that the objection was filed late and also that of the six allegations made against Lout three concerned off-air behaviour that whilst if true would not reflect favourably on Lout but were not sufficient to challenge his qualifications as licensee, and three concerned alleged on-air behaviour at KJAS-FM where he was alleged to have broadcast whilst under the influence of alcohol and used his talk show, now discontinued, to amongst other things "embarrass, harass, criticize or intimidate local townspeople, telling negative, often completely fabricated or grossly misleading stories about them and accusing them falsely."
The FCC noted that these allegations even if true were not sufficient to render him unqualified to hold a broadcast licence, rejected the application, and granted Lout the licence.
In a further licence-related action, the FCC ruled that all the tentative selectees it had selected for a new low-power FM in Newport Beach, California, were qualified to hold an LPFM authorization.
The four were Second Samoan Congregational Church; Newport Beach Community Radio Station 284, Inc. (NBCR); International Crusade of the Penny (ICOP) ; and Rock 'n Roll Preservation Society.
NBCR had filed a petition to deny the ICOP application; Gold Coast Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of KCAQ-FM, Oxnard, California, filed Petitions to Deny the ICOP, NBCR, and Samoan applications; RNR and its president John Spencer jointly filed Petitions to deny the ICOP and Samoan applications.
Gold Coast had argued that amongst other things all four applicants failed to obtain reasonable site assurance for their proposed transmitter sites and the FCC in essence agreed: In dismissing all the applications it reminded "any of these tentative selectees who may be thinking of applying for reinstatement on reconsideration that the sine qua non for granting reinstatement on reconsideration is an affidavit from the site owner or agent of the site owner describing discussions it had with an applicant prior to the filing of the application and the site owner's or its agent's inclination to permit the applicant to use the site."
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2008-11-15: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ has announced that on Tuesday it is to broadcast what it says will be the first-ever live commercial aired in Ireland and also the first European cross-media live advert.
The 90 second ad for 11850 (Conduit Ireland's phone directory services) will be performed and transmitted live across RTÉ Radio 1 LW, RTÉ Two TV and RTÉ.ie during half-time of the Munster versus All Blacks match.
RTÉ Cross-Media Manager Gavin McAuliffe noted that other markets had run live TV adverts recently (RNW Note: Most notably Honda's live parachute jump TV advert aired on UK Channel 4 TV in May this year) and added that his company is "taking this to another level by leveraging the strength of our cross-platform offering by going live simultaneously across TV, Internet and Radio"
RTÉ Television Commercial Director Geraldine O'Leary added, "We decided to stage a live cross-media event as we wanted to create an opportunity for an Irish advertiser to connect with their audience in an innovative way. The Munster v All Blacks game provided a perfect platform for us to stage this live cross-media event and we're delighted that 11850 have embarked on this adventure with us to create broadcasting history."
The advert will feature Irish actors Paul Reid and Feidhlim Cannon, who play the parts of 118 and 50 in the brand's TV commercials and 118 50 Marketing Director Bird Drohan-Stewart commented, "We are really excited about this opportunity. Consumers want a 'nifty' directory enquiry service and we felt that the production of a live commercial was exactly what our brand represents. 118 50 is a young and dynamic brand so we felt this ad was a perfect fit. We are an innovative brand and have recently added directory enquiry text to our services. It's great to do such an innovative marketing campaign which connects with consumers in a dynamic and relevant way."
2008-11-15: Bonneville Seattle has announced that it is to split its current KIRO AM and FM simulcasts into news/talk to be broadcast on FM and a new "710 ESPN Seattle" station that will broadcast sports exclusively on AM and whose programming will include radio play-by-play and comprehensive coverage of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners.
It will also broadcast local Seattle-based sports news and sports talk programs, along with selected nationally-syndicated programs from ESPN Radio Network and Dave Pridemore, 710 ESPN Seattle Vice President/General Manager, said the intention was to make the station "the most significant sports station and one of the most dominant radio stations in the Pacific Northwest."
The company and the Mariners earlier this year had announced a three-year deal to bring the team's games broadcasts back to 710 from next year through the 2011 season and together with Seahawks games this gives the new station rights to the two biggest professional sports franchises in Washington state.
2008-11-14: LBI Media has bucked the trend of recent US results and reported third quarter revenues up 1.7% to USD 30.8 million with the increase "primarily attributable to increased advertising revenue in the company's radio segment and incremental revenue in the company's Utah television market."
The gains were partially offset by revenue declines for its Texas and California TV operations, partly because of lower infomercial advertising and partly because of the effects of Hurricane Ike.
It did not buck the trend when it came to the bottom line, however, thanks to the effect of USD 46.7 million in non-cash broadcast licence impairment charges - up from USD 3.1 million a year earlier but partially offset by the USD 16.7 million net tax benefit primarily resulting from this increase in impairment losses - with the result that a net loss of USD 11.1 million a year ago became a net loss of USD 29.4 million in the latest quarter.
For the first nine months net revenues are up 3.7% to USD 91.3 million with a net loss of USD 49.0 million a year earlier reduced to a loss of USD 28.9 million this year, a change LBI says partially reflects the USD 61.1 million decrease in the company's income tax provision and the absence of the USD 8.8 million loss on note redemption, partially offset by the USD 43.6 million increase in non-cash impairment of broadcast license charges.
Within the figures, radio net revenues for the quarter were up 6% to USD 17.5 million and up 12% for the first nine months to USD 51.0 million whilst TV revenues were down 3% for the quarter to USD 13.4 million and down 5% for the nine months to USD 40.3 million.
EVP and Secretary Lenard Liberman commented of the performance, "We delivered solid results during the third quarter, despite a very challenging advertising market. Our third quarter revenue growth was primarily driven by our radio operations, which outperformed our peers and the industry. We saw strength across all of our radio markets during the quarter, as we converted our strong audience shares into advertising dollars. At our Texas stations, we continue to benefit from the changes we made to our programming, which have led to audience growth and a strong advertiser response, despite very difficult comparisons to last year and the negative impact of Hurricane Ike during the period."
Regarding Houston he added, "We own nine radio stations and one television station in Houston, and estimate that lost air-time and ad cancellations caused by the hurricane negatively affected our third quarter net revenues by about 100 basis points. In Los Angeles, revenue growth from our radio cluster continues to outpace the market, as we capitalize on the programming success of our flagship television station, KRCA-TV, and offer creative advertising solutions for our clients."
"Looking ahead, "he continued, "I am encouraged by LBI's performance during these very challenging times. Despite difficult near-term economic conditions, we are committed to executing our strategy and investing in our content with the goal of further increasing our market share. Our programming investments are leading to audience growth and we remain on track in our plans to launch a new Spanish language television network, Estrella TV, in early 2009. Our station portfolio has never been stronger and we believe the steps we are taking will strengthen our strategic position and ability to serve the rapidly growing and vibrant Hispanic community."
2008-11-14: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/TNSmrbi survey covering October 2007- September 2008 show 85% of the country's population listen to radio each day, the same as in the previous survey and a year earlier
Within the figures, listenership to any regional/local radio increased 1% to 54%- up 2% on a year ago - but national weekday reach figures were unchanged compared to the previous survey- at 23% for RTÉ Radio 1; 17% for RTÉ 2FM (down 1% on a year ago); 16% for Today FM at 16% and 6% for Newstalk 106-108 - apart from RTÉ Lyric FM whose reach increased 1% on both the previous survey and a year ago to 4%
In market share for 07:00 to 19:00 there was an increase from 48.8% to 49.2% for any regional/local station 48.0% a year earlier; within the figures compared to the previous ratings, RTÉ Radio 1 was up 0.2 to 21.5%; and RTÉ Lyric FM was up 0.1 to 1.7% whilst RTÉ 2FM was down 0.1 to 12.3%; Today FM share was down 0.7 to 11.0%; and Newstalk was down 0.1 to 3.6%;
Of the regional stations Beat 102-103FM had a weekday reach figure of 19%- unchanged on the previous survey (but up 1% on a year ago- the other stations have no figures for a year ago); regional youth service Spin South West was up 2% to 16% whilst new North-West regional service i102-104 in its second figures was up 4% to 9% - its share was up 3.6% to 5.2%
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five stations (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were Highland Radio with 66% - up from 64%; Limerick's Live 95FM with 58%, down from 61%; WLR FM and Midwest Radio with 49%- unchanged and down from 50% respectively; and Shannonside Northern Sound with 48% - down from 49%.
In weekday share terms the top five were Highland Radio with 59.3% (Down 1.1); Mid West Radio with 55.8% (Up 0.5); Shannonside/Northern Sound with 54.2% (Down 0.4); Tipp FM with 46.0 % (down 2.3); and Radio Kerry with 45.9 % (up 1.1).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekly reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 35% (unchanged); FM 104 with 32% (Unchanged); Dublin's 98 (former 98FM) with 23% (unchanged); RTÉ 2FM with 19% (unchanged); Spin 1038 with 19% (Up 1) and Newstalk with an unchanged 18%.
In Cork the leaders in reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 68% (down 1); Cork's 96FM with 55% (unchanged); RTÉ Radio 1 with 34% (unchanged); Cork's Red FM with 32% (Up 1); Today FM with 30% (Up 3); and C103 with 27% (unchanged).
RTÉ in its comment on the ratings stressed the success of Radio 1, saying they showed the station "taking over the Top 10 again for the first time since early 2006" and adding that its weekday audience was up 24,000 over a year ago to 817,000.
Adrian Moynes, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, commented, "Once again RTÉ Radio outperforms the competition in all the primetime slots. This is the fifth report in a row confirming that our schedules are delivering for our audience. I congratulate the broadcasters and programme makers who achieve these results time after time."
Previous Irish Ratings:
2008-11-13: Citadel-owned ABC Radio Networks has announced that it has signed former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee for a twice-daily show "The Huckabee Report".
The short form news features will launch on Jan. 5 next year and will be broadcast on weekday morning and afternoons: ABC says it will "provide listeners with the top news stories of the day while also drawing on Huckabee's experiences as a former governor and presidential candidate."
Huckabee, who already hosts "Huckabee" on the Fox News Channel, said in a release, "My first job at the age of 14 was reading the early morning news, sports, weather and even commercials at our local radio station, so in a sense, this is an opportunity for me to return to my roots. I worked my way through high school and college in radio and loved every minute of it."
In other talk radio news, the Talk Radio Network has appointed former ABC Radio Networks/Citadel Vice President of News/Talk programming Phil Boyce as President of Talk Radio Network Syndications and also of President of Programming for The Original Talk Radio Network, Talk Radio Network Enterprises, Talk Radio Network Entertainment, and Talk Radio Network-FM.
Boyce, who programmed stations for ABC beginning with WJR-AM, Detroit, in 1991 and later at WABC-AM, New York, was credited with the creation of shows by Curtis and Kuby, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin.
Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters said of the appointment in a release, " There is nobody in the radio industry that has more experience in programming and harvesting new talent than Phil Boyce" and Boyce responded, "This is a natural transition for me, and I felt the timing was perfect for me to strike out as an entrepreneur. The best of them is Mark Masters. I was always a multi-tasker, and I became a syndicator out of necessity so I could make sure my shows had the TLC it takes to make it. I patterned much of my success after what I learned from Mark. It makes perfect sense for us to join forces now, and help radio out of this difficult economic situation."
2008-11-13: BBC Radio 2 has announced that Zoë Ball and Danny Baker, currently host of BBC Radio 5 Live's football phone-in 606 on Tuesday nights, are to co-present four Saturday morning shows on the station in the Saturday morning slot formerly taken by the Jonathan Ross Show, which is currently off air following Ross's 12-week suspension for his crude remarks that were left on actor
Andrew Sachs' answer phone and broadcast on the Russell Brand Show, which was also dropped by the station.
Ross is to return to Radio 2 on weekly Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show on January 24.
Since Ross was taken off air Richard Allison has hosted the period and he is to continue until November 22 when Ball and Baker take over - their last show is on December 13. Announcements are yet to be made who will then fill the slot.
2008-11-12: Interep may have taken a further step towards the end of the road through a filing by its trustee Kenneth Silverman asking the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to allow a deal under which for a USD 3.64 million fee its sole competitor, Clear Channel-owned Katz Media, would be allowed to open negotiations with Interep's clients without risk of any legal action.
The filing says that Silverman approached Katz about any interest it might have had in acquiring any Interep operations or assets and adds, "The proposed agreement would allow the debtors' current clients to transition to their business to a more stable long-term service provider, like Katz, without fear of liability to, or the need for litigation with, the Debtor's estates.
The arrangement would not transfer any of Interep's contracts to Katz and its customers would be free to negotiate representation deals elsewhere. Silverman can also consider other offers for all or part of Interep until (and if) the Katz agreement is approved by the court.
CBS Radio, which has so far not given any open hints about its plans, is the largest customer affected by Interep's problems following the rep firm's application last month to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy status to Chapter 7 liquidation to pay off debtors (See RNW Oct 27).
2008-11-12: Sirius XM today unveiled its new channel line-up following the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radios that has enabled it to kill-of some channels that it considered duplicates and fire a number of staff.
Details of the new line-up for Sirius and XM customers (RNW Note: The XM site appeared down when we chiecked around 17:00GMT) are available on Sirius and XM web pages and the company's president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein said in news release, "This is the ultimate evolution for our channels and sets a new bar for audio entertainment. The breadth and quality of the new programming line-ups make it clear that everything worth listening to is now on Sirius XM."
Amongst the programming that Sirius XM highlights in its release are additions for XM subscribers of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio; Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville: Metropolitan Opera Radio; comedy channels The Foxxhole and Blue Collar Radio and NPR Now.
For Sirius customers amongst the services it highlights are Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour; Tom Petty's Buried Treasure; Grand Ole' Opry; and XM's Artist Confidential series, hosted by Lou Brutus.
Amongst the shows they say have been "enhanced" by the change are The Loft, which will continue to be led by Mike Marrone and will now add exclusive shows by rocker Lou Reed, Vin Scelsa, Dave Marsh and David Johansen; Deep Tracks, which will add veteran rock DJ Pat St. John; and POTUS, which combines XM's channel for the presidential election, POTUS '08, and Sirius' channel for the independent voter, Indie Talk and will air on both Sirius and XM.
Previous Sirius- XM:
2008-11-12: This week in our look at print comment on radio we first return to the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, both off BBC Radio 2 following their crude calls left on actor Andrew Sachs' answer phone, but still making the pages of British newspapers.
Amongst comments on their demise Paul Donovan in his weekly "Radio Waves" column in the UK Sunday Times began by writing, "Bland has replaced Brand at Radio 2. This is inevitable and we must put up with it. The pendulum will at some point swing the other way, as pendulums always do. The challenge this time - for those who object not just to the lewd and crude, but to the thoughtlessly cruel and hurtful - will be to prevent it from reaching the same point that has precipitated the current crisis."
He then went on in a more positive tone, "In any case, I do not mind returning after a week away to a BBC that seems more interested in good language than "strong" language, keener on restraint than licence, less excited by sex, ratings and "edgy" humour and more concerned with propriety, trust and tradition. That change of tone is manifest in the array of impressive and affecting 90th-anniversary Remembrance programmes (on Radios 2, 3 and 4), but it may also apply to Britain's most popular, and now leaderless, network, and its sister stations, as they seek to eradicate the unjustifiably offensive."
Of the replacements for Brand and Ross he said of Alex Lester, who is in the Brand slot, "His initial selection of Santana, Rod Stewart, Snow Patrol and plenty of album tracks was entertaining, but he was very dull. Doubtless this is what the bosses want. 'Safe pair of hands' is the phrase that comes to mind. "
And of Ross's replacement, Richard Allinson he simply noted: "slick, smooth, chirpy, ex-Capital - who has broadcast on Radio 2 for 11 years, latterly as a stand-in. "
Next an intriguing story of "censorship" and end-runs round it, involving Clear Channel, The New Haven Independent, and YouTube amongst others.
The story begins with an interview conducted by Tom Scott , then of of WELI-AM with Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd that focussed on VIP loans Dodd received from "Countrywide Financial, a predatory lender he was supposed to be regulating as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee" and his involvement in crafting the USD 700 billion bailout of Wall Street.
The Independent notes that Scott hosted the weekday Drive Time Show on WELI, which it says is a "once a fully-staffed Greater New Haven news station turned into a right-wing talk radio syndication outlet by owner Clear Channel Communications" until his interview with Dodd on October 29.
The interview was never aired but audio was posted by the paper and later turned up on YouTube and eventually as the paper with some satisfaction later reported on a Clear Channel station (It was still there when we checked on Nov 13).
The paper notes that when it posted the audio a lawyer from Clear Channel demanded its removal from the site because it was Clear Channel property. The 6 minute 4mB MP3 is still on the paper's site.
It quotes Todd Thomas, Clear Channel's regional operations manager as declining to say why the interview never aired beyond saying it was "something that happened behind closed doors" and Scott as saying it could fallen victim to an ongoing dispute between him and his show's producer, Ryan Gorman.
The paper says Gorman, who comes from Florida, appears as a sidekick called "Jordan" on Clear Channel's KISS-FM's "Courtney & Company" and after that show would drive to Hamden to work the boards for Scott's WELI show and throw in straight-man comments where he increasingly became a co-host, commenting and conducting interviews.
This caused tension with Scott who says they had agreed on a time to tape the Dodd interview but Scott showed up early to find Gorman already conducting the interview at which stage he went into the studio and started asking his questions about Dodd's "scandals" to which Gorman reacted by ripping of his headphones and "storming out."
Management, says the paper, then switched to the Sean Hannity's syndicated show to fill the local show's spot that afternoon and Scott told management he refused to do the show with Gorman anymore. Gorman said he wished he could give his version of what happened but that it had to "come from corporate" and called Scott's departure "a business decision."
Scott was offered his own show after drive time- which is now being hosted by Gorman - but he refused and the paper says the station is interviewing local candidates to replace Scott.
In a later report it said that the interview finally made it onto a Clear Channel station but in Birmingham, Alabama, not New Haven.
In Alabama WERC 960 AM posted a story about the interview complete with audio to which the paper posts a link and in its report responds by asking, "Let's see how long it stays up."
Finally another comment from Jerry Del Colliano's Insidemusicmedia blogs, this one asking pertinently, "Why They Don't Fix Radio?"
He starts off, "It's not that radio CEOs are stupid. They're not. Yet you wonder, how is it that almost everyone but these CEOs know that radio is headed in the wrong direction?"
He then lists various stock prices for radio companies of which he says, "I still can't believe these prices! When Clear Channel sent me to academia for four years back in 2002, radio was a thriving business. But there were ominous signs on the horizon that the men at the top ignored."
As to why those problems have been allowed to grow he comments, "A lot has to do with the chummy way the companies were set up."
He then says there is more - the declines in radio revenues even before the US economy tanked - and the response of cost cutting of which Del Colliano comments, " we know that the ten years of clipping and nipping at radio's essentials didn't work then and won't work now. Never mind that the product is watered down even for those older listeners who still want to listen to radio. Forget the next generation -- radio has."
He notes that every group has "let people go to pair down expenses" and then continues, "I understand economics. You can't spend more than you take in (unless you are the Federal government). But these 'economies of scale' are like putting an anorexic on a diet. Death is imminent."
Del Colliano also comments on various attempts eh considers desperate to increase business - such as selling spots cheap " Doesn't anyone know that prostituting your prices because you can't sell ads -- let's just say it because that's what it is -- never works" and also cutting back on sales staff and in a dig he's made before "Of course, the folks at Sleepy Hollow (Radio CEOs) must know that the Internet has arrived. But no -- they obsess about satellite radio -- satellite frickin' radio! Their professional association aka The NAB spent millions last year fighting -- you guessed it -- satellite radio."
For the rest read his blog.
On then to listening suggestions and to start with we concentrate on the BBC - and also in a week of Remembrance Day and Veterans Day on war, particularly with reference to the First World War.
This year, 90 years after its end, only three veterans attended the UK Remembrance Ceremony- one of them aged 112 - and the ranks of those who remember the conflict are rapidly thinning, so this could be the last year in which any veterans will attend the ceremony.
That was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the station has been airing a number of war-related items over the course of this week but digressing for a moment this week's "Learning Curve" on the station indicated there could potentially be a veteran still alive for the centenary of the conflict.
In a consideration of learning by people at advanced ages it noted the story of Jeanne Calment, who died aged 122 years and five months old having appeared briefly as herself in the 1990 film "Vincent and Me" when she was 114 and in 1996 released a CD "Time's Mistress" of her speaking over a background of rap and hip hop. Before that she'd taken up fencing when 85 and was still riding a bicycle when a hundred. She even smoked until she was 117 - quitting because she couldn't see well enough to light cigarettes.
On however to war and first last Sunday's Radio 3 and "Drama on 3" - a production of "All Quiet on the Western Front" that was followed by the Sunday Feature - "Artists in the Great War" in which Richard Cork explored how World War I influenced Europe's early avant-garde artists and then by "Words and Music" on the theme "War and Peace."
BBC Radio 2 had less material on the subject but last Saturday the 19:00 GMT slot, normally used for a music-related documentary, was "War Horse", the story of Joey, a horse sold to the army at the outbreak of the First World War and on Tuesday the second in its series "Don't Start Me Talking About...War" was on the Falklands War.
Then to BBC Radio 4 and first its regular weekday features - the "Book of the Week" is "Florence Nightingale - The Woman and Her Legend" ; "The Afternoon Reading" - a series of stories of the best and worst of the British abroad under the heading "Parlez-vous British?" and following slot "24-7", a series looking at the effect of round-the-clock society on people's everyday lives.
Bask to war again and we first suggest Sunday's "The Menin Gate", a report from Ypres where the Last Post has been played there by local buglers every night since 1929, except during WWII; "Nobody Told Me to Oil My Boots" in which Sir Antony Sher tells the story of the WWI poet Isaac Rosenberg, whose reputation has been overshadowed by many of his better-known contemporaries; and "File on 4" - "The Home Front" in which Allan Urry looked at claims that Britain's National Health Service is failing soldiers traumatised by their experiences in Afghanistan and other war zones.
From Tuesday we suggest "In Afghanistan" -"30 Years of Conflict and Chaos" in which the BBC's former Kabul correspondent Alan Johnston reflects on decades of turmoil in Afghanistan, from the Soviet occupation in 1979 to the intervention by the West in 2001 and from Thursday in the same In Afghanistan series "Should We Bring Home the Troops?", a debate from Chatham House in London about the future direction of Britain's involvement in Afghanistan.
On Friday "Ramblings" in the first of a new series marks Armistice Day through a meeting by Clare Balding with Geoffrey Wellum, who flew Spitfires during the Battle of Britain and, now 86, took her to some of the areas near his home in Mullion, Cornwall, where he was able to find the isolation and solitude he needed after returning from war. And on Sunday (16:30 GMT) in "Poetry from the Front Line", BBC correspondent Jonathan Charles finds out about the poetry that is being written as a result of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sticking with speech but away from war we suggest the regular BBC Radio 3 "Essay" series that this week is on "on the topics "Loss"; "Ambition"; "Courage"; "Bitterness"; and "Pride".
We'd also suggest Jazz from the station in the form of "Jazz Library" last Saturday; Friday's "Jazz on 3" from the London Jazz Festival and Sunday's "Jazz Line-Up", also from the Festival.
Sticking with Radio 3 we also suggest last Saturday's "World Routes", form the WOMEX festival in Seville as will be this Saturday's programme.
Then for more musical suggestions we opt first for BBC Radio 2 and Monday's "For the Good Times - The Kris Kristofferson Story", the second of a four-part series and Friday's "The Judy Garland Trail", the fourth of a six part one.
To that we'd add BBC Radio 4 and Tuesday's "Music Feature" - "50 Years of Little Richard"; Thursday's "From Manchester to the Mississippi" in which CP Lee tells the story of the Manchester leg of the 1964 concert tour that included Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Sister Rosetta Tharpe and whose broadcast inspired many young British musicians; and next Sunday's "Disappearing Art of the Mix Tape" in which broadcaster and journalist David Quantick celebrates the home-produced compilation cassette.
Then for documentary from Radio 4 we suggest last Saturday's "Archive Hour" - "Adventures in the BBC Archives" in which the former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington uses the BBC archives to examine the impact of the 'Cambridge spies' on the British establishment, and on her own life plus Tuesday's "File on 4" that looked at how England's soccer clubs have got into a financial mess.
The latter is available as a podcast/MP3, which takes us to more download suggestions including Thursday's "Material World ", which if noting else makes the case for supporting scientific investigations that make use of the fruit fly (whatever US Republican presidential hopefuls may think); from BBC World Service "Hard Lessons from Afghanistan" (Parts 1 & 2 are currently on the site) and "Animal Migration in a Climate of Change" (Parts 1 to four currently on the site), and to end with a little comedy in the form of "The News Quiz" from the Friday evening comedy slot on BBC Radio 4.
Del Colliano blog - Why don't they fix radio?:
New Haven Independent - Dodd interview censored:
New Haven Independent - Dodd interview audio turns up on Clear Channel site:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
WERC-AM - report regarding Dodd interview including audio link:
2008-11-12: New York leads the US in terms of listening to the Internet streams of terrestrial stations according to an analysis of October's Portable People Meter (PPM) figures released by Arbitron.
The analysis looked at ten PPM markets - excluding Houston because of the effect of Hurricane Ike on listening there - and covered 233 streams. It found that overall streams took 1% of the total listening with the highest figures in New York (1.3%) followed by San Francisco and Atlanta, each with 1.2%. Washington DC was at the bottom of the list with 0.6% behind Dallas-Ft Worth with 0.7% and Philadelphia with 8%.
In terms of station formats most listened to Arbitron said Adult Contemporary headed the list with 15.8% of unweighted listening to streams followed by News/Talk with 14.9%; Classic Hits with 7.1%; Hot AC with 7.0% and Classic Rock with 6%.
In terms of place of listening it found nearly three-quarters took place away from home and most was by people in full-time employment. The listeners it said are more likely to be in younger demographics ( 73% more likely than the general population to be between 25-34; 40% more likely to be 35-44; and 28% more likely to be 45-54); nearly a third more likely to be in full time employment than the population at large and nearly a quarter more likely to be college graduates.
RNW note: Most of these results are hardly surprising as it would seem likely that it is easier in many offices to listen to stream than over-the-air signals and that, if three quarters of listening is at workplaces, those doing the listening are more likely to be in employment. Equally the education system would have to be incredibly at fault if graduates were less likely to be employed and it would also be rather odd if the younger generation were less likely to use computers and be in employment.
We're not sure however what the factors are that affected listening in the markets involved as there are no obviously predominant factors.
2008-11-12: Two Hampshire local commercial stations are to effectively merge in a deal between Tindle Radio, licensee of Winchester station Dream107.2, and Town and Country Broadcasting, which took over Southampton-based Radio Hampshire 15 months ago from Southampton Football Club.
The new station will be an enlarged Radio Hampshire in which Town and Country Broadcasting founder Jason Bryant and Radio Hampshire investor Mike Franklin will be the principal shareholders along with Tindle Radio Holdings. Broadcasts will originate from Southampton and the two stations will simulcast for all but four hours a day.
It will operate as a singleton operation not as part of Town and Country, which will focus its attention on its other stations - in South Wales.
Bryant said the deal left his country able to focus on its Welsh stations and gave the enlarged Radio Hampshire the opportunity to develop a stronger business and Tindle Radio Holdings chairman added that there was sound "commercial logic" to the deal.
Previous Tindle Radio:
2008-11-11: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that Roger Broadcasting's CKNW-AM breached Canadian broadcast codes in reports and teasers concerning safety on Vancouver's SkyTrain transportation system it broadcast in May this year.
The mass-transit system, which is the world's longest automated light rapid transport system was developed through extensions to the Expo line that was built for the Expo 86 World's Fair.
CKNW was running news reports about violence on the system (which has recorded no derailments or collisions since it was brought into operation) and according to a complaint from SkyTrain's owner TransLink the reports and its promotions left the impression that SkyTrain's CEO Doug Kelsey (who was occasionally misidentified as TransLink's CEO) believed the system was unsafe, when in fact his full commentary - posted on its web site - said safety on SkyTrain had been improved, although he had said he would not allow his children to go anywhere alone at night because travelling in a group and in well-lit areas was simply the prudent thing to do.
The station had responded that its broadcasts were not inaccurate and were merely worded in such as way as to generate audience interest.
The CBSC disagreed and held that "the reports, and especially the teasers, had "distorted" Kelsey's comments; that the editing of interviews by CKNW "also rendered the content inaccurate"; and that the promos were misleading.
Its panel commented that CKNW had taken the interview and "decontextualized it, and recast it in ways that had little or nothing to do with the original material", reshaping a SkyTrain web-based interview with the CEO "to make it conform to the story and teasers CKWX wished to air."
It added in regard to children travelling alone at night that a broadcast comment that Kelsey wouldn't let his kids travel on it by themselves late at night was technically accurate it was misleading because he explained that the issue was not "a SkyTrain thing, it's a societal thing."
It continues, " with respect to the teasers, there was no shocking admission, nor any surprising news, at least for any parent, in the CEO's stating that he would not permit his child to travel "alone at night". The Panel presumes that most parents would not either. Common sense, exaggerated language."
CKNW said the ruling made at least seven references to recent violence without giving a context and had been "creating an impression of safety issues without grounding its story in reality."
The station it said had claimed that "many people were extremely concerned about their safety, yet they provided no information about safety concerns and interviewed only one SkyTrain user about her thoughts" and had also given the impression that the CEO's comments came from an interview with the station when in fact they had come from a clip posted on SkyTrain's website. This omission of source it said violated the RTNDA (Radio Television News Directors Association) Code.
2008-11-11: UTV-owned talkSPORT has suspended its weekday mid-morning host Jon Gaunt following comments made on his show last Friday during an interview with a councillor concerning the decision of the London Borough of Redbridge to bar smokers from fostering children.
During the exchange Gaunt, who spent his early teens in a care home, called Conservative councillor Michael Stark a "Nazi" and an "ignorant pig", later toning down his remarks and saying the Councillor was a "health Nazi." At the end of the show he was made to broadcast an on-air apology to Stark and was suspended.
A talkSPORT spokesman said complaints had been made about the broadcast and had added that it had "taken the decision to suspend Jon Gaunt whilst the matter is investigated", continuing, "When we have all the facts at our disposal, we will take whatever action, if any, that we deem appropriate."
The host himself has made no comment over the matter and his official website did not even mention it when we last checked but his agent Nick Canham, told The Independent that he found the extent to which his client's views had been misinterpreted "bizarre" and added, "All Jon is willing to say at the moment is that he welcomes the investigation, because ultimately all he's saying is that he believes in getting the best for the children. That's the point of the debate. He probably didn't put it in the correct terms ... but he was just trying to say we've got to give the kids the best for their future."
Gaunt had made similar comments in The Sun tabloid newspaper, for which he writes a regular column. Last Friday's under the headline, "Fags didn't stop my foster mum caring for me", began, "I've never smoked but I HAVE been in care and I know what it feels like as a kid to be alone, completely alone, with no one to love you.
So that's why I know that the politically correct twits (with an A) at Redbridge council, East London, who have banned smokers from fostering children, are completely and utterly wrong."
Later he concluded, "Today it's Redbridge but, unless we all make a noise now, tomorrow it will be a national policy and thousands more children will fall victim to the health and safety Nazis and be left in a home alone."
Comments sent in response to the column were mixed about the policy but on the talkSPORT site there were a number of comments supporting the host.
In another incident involving a UK radio host, BBC Radio Bristol, has fired its weekday afternoon host Sam Mason, who only took over the slot at the end of September having previously worked as an HTV presenter, for off-air comments made to a taxi company.
The Sun newspaper posted audio of a call Mason made ordering a car for her 14-years-old daughter and saying she wasn't being "racist" but didn't want an Asian driver and asking for an English person, ideally a woman. During the exchange the cab company said that they could not meet the demand because it would be racist and would penalize the Asian drivers to which Mason responded by saying they had "managed it before"
The paper in its report quotes Mason as saying during the call "I work at the BBC. I'm far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one." She says of her daughter: "I don't want her to turn up with a guy with a turban on; it's going to freak her out. She's not used to Asians. She's not racist - her godparents are black."
The paper says Mason was suspended when it alerted the BBC and fired 24 hours later and quoted a spokesman for BBC Bristol as saying, "Although Sam Mason's remarks were not made on air, her comments were completely unacceptable."
BBC Radio Bristol - which still listed her show in its schedules when we checked this evening - carries a link to a BBC News report on the firing in which the cab company concerned saying that the exchange had been "illegally recorded by an employee" and that the employee "was dismissed for similar offences on 3 November."
BBC News report re Mason dismissal:
UK Independent report on Gaunt suspension:
Sun Newspaper - Gaunt column:
Sun Newspaper on Mason dismissal (Carries link to audio):
talkSPORT forum -comments re Gaunt suspension:
2008-11-11: US National Public Radio (NPR) has named Vivian Schiller as its President and CEO to succeed Dennis L. Haarsager, who has been interim CEO since March when Ken Stern left after a decade with the broadcaster (See RNW Mar 8).
Schiller joins NPR from The New York Times where she is Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com: She will take up her new role on January 5 next year. Before joining the New York Times Schiller spent four years as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications and before that she was Senior Vice President of CNN Productions, where she led CNN's long-form programming efforts.
NPR Board Chairman Howard Stevenson said of the appointment in a release, "Vivian is a talented and proven leader with superb skills and broad experience in the media industry. Her roots in the news business, as well as her inclusive management style and operational expertise make her an ideal fit for NPR. These are crucial assets for partnering with our member stations and generous donors who care about and support excellence. Vivian has generated quality programming and superior results at every step of her career, and we look forward to continuing the important work of extending NPR's reach under her leadership."
Schiller commented, "NPR is among the nation's most vital and trusted news organizations, unique in its original programming and distinctive voice. I couldn't be more honoured and excited about the opportunity to join such an important institution and its many talented and dedicated people. I look forward to working with the stellar management team, station managers and associates across the country to build on NPR's solid foundation and grow its audience base of listeners and users."
2008-11-10: Clear Channel Media Holdings, the new parent of Clear Channel Communications since it was taken over by private equity interest, has reported third quarter revenues of USD 1.7 billion, down 4% on a year earlier: The figures- the company's first since it went private - include a USD 20.2 million increase on currency movements without which the fall would have been 5%.
Within the figures radio revenues were down 7% to USD 843.9 million and outdoor was down 1% to USD 813.4 million with other revenues down 3% to USD 53.8 million.
Operating expenses were up 5% to USD 1.2 billion but if the effect of a USD 18.1 million increase due to foreign exchange movements is excluded the rise would have been only 3%: The figures also include a USD 30.6 million non-cash compensation charge, up from USD 7.9 million a year earlier.
Overall the company made a loss before discontinued operations of USD 86.1 million compared to net income of USD 253 million a year earlier, a figure that includes approximately USD 148.8 million in merger related expenses this year.
OIBDAN (as Operating Income before Depreciation & amortization, Non-cash compensation expense, Merger costs and Gain on disposition of assets - net) was down 16% on a year ago to USD 496.5 million.
CEO Mark P. Mays said of the results, ?The unprecedented macroeconomic challenges introduced in the third quarter impacted some of our largest advertiser groups almost immediately. As a result, we now share the issues affecting virtually every U.S. business sector. In this context, we think it's significant to note that our third quarter performance compared favourably to our peers." "While Outdoor fared better than Radio last quarter, "he continued, "our top line results reflect softening demand and other dynamics of our business are under pressure. Even as we continue to benefit from our globally diversified footprint, it is more important than ever to manage our expenses tightly. Moving forward, we are intensely focused on mitigating declines in our businesses. We will invest in those areas that are crucial to our future and continue to take stringent measures to lower costs while exerting strict discipline on our capital spending during this difficult period."
Sirius XM Radio in its third quarter has reported pro-forma revenues up 16% year-on-year to USD 613 million with the subscriber total up 17% to 18.92 million and a pro-forma adjusted loss from operations of USD 37 million before purchase accounting and restructuring costs: Its pro-forma net loss, which excludes impairment charges, and stock-based compensation expense - was USD 217 million (nine cents a share) compared to USD 265.5 million ( 18 cents a share) a year ago.
Actual figures showed third quarter subscriber revenues more than doubling year on year for the quarter -up from USD 226.8 million to USD 456.4 million and increasing by more than 50% for the first nine months - up from USD 627.3 million to USD 976.5 million with total revenues up from USD 241.8 million to USD 488.4 million and from USD 672.3 million to USD 1.04 billion respectively.
Overall loss for the quarter was up from USD 120.1 million to USD 4.879 billion for the quarter (from eight cents to USD 1.93 per basic and diluted share) and from USD 399 million to USD 5.067 billion (from 27 cents to USD 2.76 per basic and diluted share) for the first nine months: The figures include a USD 4.751 billion impairment charge.
CEO Mel Karmazin said the third quarter results demonstrated "strong revenue growth, solid cost control and most importantly a clear path to positive cash flow," and continued, "Despite a continued tough economy and further weakening in auto sales, pro forma revenue grew 16% and ending subscribers grew 17% as compared with last year. In addition, self-pay monthly customer churn remained flat from last year at an impressive 1.7%." Karmazin added that in the first 60 says since the Sirius CM merger the company was "operationally very close to breakeven" and added, "As we realize the substantial synergies associated with the merger, we expect to quickly bring the company to positive EBITDA and free cash flow. We have provided new long term financial and operating projections based upon slower auto production and greater cost savings and we now anticipate positive free cash flow of USD 1 billion in 2012."
Sirius XM, despite a "dramatic and recent slowdown in auto sales" that it says has hit subscriber growth for 2008 and 2009, is predicting a total of 19.1 million subscribers at the end of this year and 20.6 million at the end of 2009.
Thereafter it is predicting subscriber numbers to grow year-by-year to 22.1 million, 24.0 million, 26.2 million and 28.4 million (in 2013) with revenues to hit USD 3 billion in 2010 and top USD 4 billion in 2013 with adjusted EBITDA to grow from USD 300,000 in 2009 to USD 1.5 billion in 2013 and free cash flow to rise from break-even to USD 1.4 billion over the same period.
At Tribune Co. third quarter net income from continuing operations of USD 84 million in the third quarter of last year turned into USD 124 million loss this year as publishing revenues fell 13% to USD 654 million and Broadcasting and Entertainment revenues went down 6% to USD 383 million: Within the latter TV revenues were down 8% to USD 264 million but radio/entertainment revenues were up USD 1 million.
Westwood One reported third quarter revenues down 10.9% on a year ago to USD 96.3 million, a decrease put down primarily to the effects of a soft economy that it says particularly impacted local advertising: Westwood One said local and regional advertising was down 16.6% compared to a 4.3% fall in national revenue.
The company said Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter (operating income (loss) plus depreciation and amortization, special charges, restructuring charges, and non-cash stock-based compensation) was down to USD 8.1 million from USD 28.1 million a year earlier, a figure that included a USD 10.6 million restructuring charge.
This charge was given as the prime reason for operating income of USD 19.7 million a year earlier turning into an operating loss of USD 7.6 million - Westwood said that plans it had announced to the traffic operations of its subsidiary Metro Networks and to address underperforming programming and implement other cost reductions would produce an aggregate restructuring chare of around USD 26.1 million comprised of USD 10.3 million of severance, relocation and other employee related costs; USD 8.3 million of facility consolidation and related costs; and USD 7.5 million of contract termination costs.
Overall the company made a small net loss - below USD 10,000 - whilst a year ago it had net income of USD 8.5 million (Ten cents per basic and diluted share).
For the first nine months of the year, net income of USD 16.1 million has become a loss of USD 205 million including USD 226.4 million in Goodwill impairment, restructuring and special charges
President and CFO Rod Sherwood said 2008 was a "year of developing and implementing a turnaround plan for Westwood One" and added, "The actions are beginning to produce increasing traction and momentum despite the soft economic environment. We are taking aggressive steps to drive revenue improvement initiatives, reduce costs and restructure our debt to give the Company increased financial flexibility going forward."
Of the current climate he said the company had to "navigate through one of the most challenging economic environments in recent history," adding, "Like other media companies, Westwood One is feeling the impact of advertisers cutting their budgets or waiting longer to commit their advertising dollars."
Regarding the risk of being de-listed - Westwood is one of a number of media companies that have received delisting notices, in its case from the New York Stock Exchange - Sherwood said the company was considering a reverse stock split or alternative listing on the NASDAQ or Amex exchanges but there could be a period when the company was no longer listed.
He also expressed confidence about restructuring the company's debt but noted that this would mean Westwood would probably have to raise additional capital in a difficult market. Failure to raise the capital needed, he warned would have an adverse effect on the company's ability to continue as a going concern.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Tribune Co.:
Previous Westwood One:
2008-11-10: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds two radio standards complaints, one relating to a competition and the other to the f-word: It also fined a TV channel GBP 15,000 for breach of various rules in relation to a homeopath's promotion of his services and upheld complaints against it in relation to the use of premium phone lines - for which its service provider had already been fined GBP 25,000 by PhonepayPlus as well as upholding two further TV standards complaints, considering yet another resolved through action already taken by the broadcaster, and partly upheld two fairness and privacy complaints against another TV programme.
It also gave details of another complaint that was out of its remit because the programme about which complaints were made was broadcast only in Pakistan and not on the service in the UK, although Ofcom received numerous complaints from people who had seen it on the Internet and thought it had been broadcast in the UK. The broadcaster had in fact considered the programme would breach Ofcom rules and repeated a different edition of the programme.
The radio competition complaint upheld involved Bauer's Kerrang! in the West Midlands and the "Shine a Light" competition aired on its breakfast show: The station had offered as a prize two tickets to attend the premiere in London of Shine a Light", a feature-length documentary on the Rolling Stones. Listeners were invited to call a standard rate number for a chance to enter.
Presenter Tim Shaw said he wanted a Stones' fan to win and his co-presenter then posed the question "Where was Brian Jones born?" after which the first caller aired answered correctly and was awarded the prize.
A complainant claimed that the presenter had planned to award the tickets to a friend, pre-recorded his 'entry' and played it 'as live', instead of running a genuine competition.
Bauer said that as soon as the complaint was received it suspended Shaw, interviewed all employees connected with the competition and visited the winner to gain "an accurate record of events."
Shaw admitted he had run the competition as alleged but told Bauer he believed he was "doing the right thing by rewarding a loyal and deserving listener", whom he knew both suffered from a chronic and debilitating illness and was a fan of the Rolling Stones and had contacted the listener the day before the broadcast to advise him that a feature of interest would be aired.
He explained the details of the competition to him but the listener said that, due to his medical condition, he was not confident that he would be able to respond quickly on air.
To show the listener that he was capable of a quick response, the presenter decided to record him as if on air and play it back to him. However, this did not convince the listener. Wishing to give him the opportunity to win that he was denying himself, the presenter decided to play the recording on air the following morning, 'as live', pretending that he was the first caller to the studio.
Bauer added that the presenter had acted alone. His co-presenter was relatively inexperienced and had not realised what had happened. Also, while the programme's producer had agreed the competition mechanic with the presenter the previous day, she had left the studio for a short period, during which the feature had been broadcast.
It subsequently dismissed the presenter and a week later ran an apology hourly throughout daytime.
Ofcom ruled that "However well-intentioned the presenter's intervention may have been in these particular circumstances, his decision to ensure a specific winner was not only in contravention of the competition's terms and conditions, but was also a serious breach of trust with the audience."
It also noted that he had presenter had also explained his decision to play the pre-recorded content on the basis that there were no other callers lined up at the time who could be put to air but commented that, given that the time between the question being asked on air and the pre-recorded entry being broadcast was approximately 13 seconds, it considered that other listeners would not yet have had sufficient time to attempt to enter the competition, as evidenced by calls being lined up for selection after the presenter's intervention."
Ofcom said it had considered referring this case to the Content Sanctions Committee for the imposition of a statutory sanction but opted not to because consumer harm was limited, as no calls were answered and on receiving the allegation the broadcaster took swift action to investigate fully and resolve the matter, including the regular broadcast of an appropriate apology.
The other radio standards complaint upheld involved Scott Mills' show on BBC Radio 1 and a feature "Badly Bleeped TV" in which extracts from TV or radio are played with words 'bleeped' out with the words themselves later revealed as being not offensive.
On this occasion, two of the clips included words that began with 'f' and these were edited in such a way that the listener believed that he had heard the word "fuck".
The BBC said the feature belonged to "the saucy seaside postcard tradition of comedy, than to anything more offensive" and added that the words that were 'bleeped', as referred to by the complainant, were "fated to meet" and "fantastic".
It said the word "fuck" was not used and the words that were 'bleeped' bore no resemblance to that word and the real missing words were revealed very quickly, leaving the listener in no doubt as to what was omitted.
Ofcom said it accepted that the feature itself was in keeping with the irreverent humour of the Scott Mills show and that its suggestive style was likely to have been in line with the expectations of regular listeners and that while listeners had been led to believe the word "fucked" was the missing word, the word "fucked" was not clearly audible.
It noted however that the beginning and end sounds of the 'bleeped' word were 'f' at the beginning and a strong 'ck' after the 'bleep' and that this was played twice and clearly - and for all intents and purposes - sounded like the word "fuck".
It ruled that found that, by broadcasting a word that had been purposefully edited to sound identical to the word "fuckfuck", the programme was in breach of its codes.
In addition to the above Ofcom also listed without details 226 TV complaints against 115 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items that it did not uphold or were considered out of its remit: This compares with 295 TV complaints against 156 items and 26 radio complaints against 26 items that it did not uphold or were considered out of its remit in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2008-11-09: Last week was another comparatively quiet one for the regulators with the main news a general broadcasting issue of "fleeting" indecent utterances in the US where the Supreme Court is heading an appeal by Fox concerning the 2003 Golden Globe Awards ceremony.
There were no radio announcements in Australia but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made a number of radio-related postings. They included (In order of province):
*Renewal to 31 August 2015 of licence of Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s English-language commercial station CKUV-FM, High River.
*Approval of application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to move the transmission facilities of CKMH-FM, Medicine Hat, from a tower owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to one owned by the CKUA Radio Foundation.
Alberta, British Columbia & Saskatchewan:
*Approval of application by Care Radio Broadcasting Association to add low-power transmitters for its English-language Type B community station CIAM-FM, Fort Vermilion, in:
Alberta - Chateh (14 watts); Cleardale (50 watts); Fort Chipewyan (50 watts); Manning (50 watts)Meander River (50 watts); Peerless Lake (50 watts); Wabasca, (50 watts).
British Columbia - Vanderhoof (50 watts).
Saskatchewan: Buckland (50 watts).
*Renewal to 31 August 2015 of licences of Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's English-language commercial stations CIBH-FM, Parksville; CJDR-FM, Fernie, and its transmitter CJDR-FM-1, Sparwood; CHDR-FM, Cranbrook, and its transmitter CFIW, Canal Flats.
*Renewal to 31 August 2015 of licence of Maritime Broadcasting System Limited's English-language commercial station CKWM-FM, Kentville.
*Renewal to 31 August 2012 of licence of Wired World Inc.'s English-language Type B community station CKWR-FM, Kitchener. The CRTC noted in relation to the short-term renewal that the licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to the provision of annual returns for 2001, 2002 and 2004.
*Renewal to 31 August 2015 of licence of Rawlco Radio Ltd.'s CKCK-FM, Regina.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a deadline for the submission of interventions or comments of December 11 that included the following radio-related applications:
*Application by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to delete from the licence of its commercial specialty station CIGY-FM, Calgary, a licence condition requiring it to contribute an annual minimum of CAD 10,000 (USD 8,400) to the Women in Media Foundation (which has ceased operating) and re-direct this annual minimum to the University of Regina's School of Journalism, in the form of 2 student internships per year, at USD 5,000 (USD 4,200) per internship.
Application by Diffusion Laval Inc. to amend the licence of its French-language commercial station CFAV-AM, Laval, in relation to its current conditions to Canadian Talent Development, proposing to change these to the new basic Canadian Content Development (CCD) regime in which contributions are based on a total revenues in the previous broadcast year.
The change would reduce the current requirement to contribute CAD 8,000 (USD 6,700) a year to CAD 500 (USD 420) and the licensee notes that the station is currently showing losses that the change would ease.
*Application by Radio Ville-Marie to allow its French-language specialty station CIRA-FM, Montréal, to use a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel to broadcast a predominantly Hispanic radio service, Radio Latina.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has now signed a contract with iRadio North East & Midlands Limited (trading as i107 FM) for the provision of a new youth-based regional service for the midlands and north-east of Ireland (See RNW Nov 5) and also announced the award of Euros 1.24 million (USD 1.59 million) for radio programming in the seventh round of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme, Sound and Vision (See RNW Nov 8).
In the UK, Ofcom has pre-advertised the Cambridge commercial FM licence currently held by Cambridge Radio Limited (broadcasting as Star Radio) that is due to expire on March 22, 2010.
In accordance with its usual practice declarations of intent to apply have to be submitted - by December 1 in this case - accompanied with a GBP 20,000 (USD 31,500) deposit, refundable upon receipt by Ofcom of a valid application in response to the subsequent re-advertisement of this licence, and a non-refundable fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 7,900). If only Cambridge Radio applied it will then be invited to re-apply but if there are other declarations of intent the licence will be re-advertised. It will not be re-advertised should no declarations of intent be received.
Ofcom has also awarded two new community licences in Manchester. They went to Gaydio, which will target and promote the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of central Manchester, creating awareness and challenging homophobia and homophobic practices; and Unity Radio, a youth-focused social enterprise that aims to improve the quality of life of young people in the city of Manchester.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was involved in no major radio decisions albeit radio could be significantly affected by the outcome of the current the Supreme Court Hearing concerning "fleeting" indecent utterances - brought by Fox following an FCC ruling that Bono's "fucking brilliant" comments at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards breached its rules.
The FCC has also allowed a 30 day extension for Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications (jointly "Media Parties") to file amendments to pending waiver requests or renewal applications or to file requests for permanent waivers of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.
It noted that the extension was necessary to provide additional time for the Commission to consider the Media Parties' request that the deadline be delayed until 90 days after the issuance of a final court order on pending judicial challenges to the Commission's modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.
In enforcement actions, the commission:
*Issued USD 1,500 forfeiture to Star Power Communications Corporation, licensee of WIQR-AM, Prattville, Alabama, for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment and failure to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file. Star Power was also admonished for failing to operate in accordance with its terms of authorization.
The FCC had issued a USD 19,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for the breaches and failing to enclose its tower within effective locked enclosures to which Star had responded requesting reduction or cancellation and had argued that it had corrected the fencing violation and erected a new fence; that the tower concerned did not have "current going to it since we were
broadcasting omni-directional from the middle tower" - a breach of its authorization that requires it to operate with a directional pattern and the use of all of its antennas in respect of which the general manager had claimed that a former chief engineer who had told him he had submitted a request for Special Temporary Authority to operate at variance with the station authorization had intentionally failed to do so to sabotage the station; and that the forfeiture would pose financial hardship.
On this basis, the FCC cancelled the forfeiture related the enclosure violation but added the admonishment and also reduced the penalty to USD 1,500 on the basis of inability to pay.
*Cancelled a USD 10,000 penalty and substituted an admonishment of a Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, man/youth (the name was redacted because of his age) for operating radio equipment on channels reserved for public safety entities.
The man, who was arrested for offences unconnected with his operations that caused interference to police channels, was issued with a NAL for USD 10,000 for the offences but requested a cancellation on the basis of inability to pay and this argument was accepted.
In contested licensing decision, the FCC allowed R&R Radio Corp., licensee of KDES-FM, Palm Springs, California to change its transmitter site and change its community of license to Redlands, California.
It rejected an informal objection by SBR Broadcasting Corp., licensee of KCAL-FM, Redlands, and an opposition to the community of licence change filed by Gold Coast Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of KCAQ-FM, Oxnard, which also filed a Motion to Dismiss or Designate for Hearing.
Gold Coast had argued that the move does not meet the Commission's standards for a "preferential arrangement of allotments" and claimed that granting the Application would "take away long-standing service from a small regional market to move the station into a larger urban market that is already well-served" and that although the station when relocated would meet FCC co-channel spacing requirements would still cause "massive harmful interference" to reception of KCAQ.
SBR conceded that Palm Springs currently has seven aural services (and a population of 42,807), whereas Redlands currently has only three local transmission services (and a population of 63,591) but argued that the current allotment causes a distortion in that there are fewer stations (26) "home" to the Palm Springs Arbitron Metro (Market 137, population 318,000) compared to the larger number of stations (34) that are "home" to the Riverside-San Bernardino Arbitron Metro (Market 25, population 1,806,800).
R&R argued that the net population gain from the relocation was a strong public interest factor supporting its case and disagreed with Gold Coast's engineering conclusions, which it said were predicated on assumptions about the antenna/tower combination proposed by R&R.
The FCC concluded that the move was in the public interest and approved R&R's application.
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2008-11-08: This year's US Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony is being held tonight in Chicago with Adam Carolla acting as host.
Three people are being inducted posthumously - Jess Cain, the morning personality for 34 years of mornings on WHDH AM in Boston (from 1957 to 1991); Bob Collins, who was best known for his time at WGN-AM in Chicago, which he joined in 1974 and where he was top rated in a number of time slots until killed after his plane was in a mid-air collision with another plane in 2000; and Dick Whittinghill, best known for his three decades on KMPC-AM, Los Angeles.
The other inductees are former Coast-to-Coast AM regular host Art Bell, who still does occasional fill-ins after a number of "retirements"; Boston conservative talk host Howie Carr; and the most controversial award this year to Dr. James Dobson/Focus on the Family (See RNW Oct 31).
The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, which organized the Hall, is offering a live stream of the ceremony.
Previous Museum of Broadcast Communications:
Museum of Broadcast Communications web site:
2008-11-08: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announce the award of Euros 1.24 million ( USD 1.59 million) for radio programming in the seventh round of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme, Sound and Vision, that has so far put Euros 5.7 million ( USD 7.3 million) into radio projects.
In this round 181 radio applications were received and awards made in 95 cases, ranging from Euros 2,000 ( USD 2,560 - to LMFM for a cultural documentary "Cluas Eile") to Euros 45,000 (USD 58,000 to Raidió na Life for children's programming "Raidió na n-ÓG").
Of the awards some two thirds were for documentaries; 11% for drama; 6.8% for children's programming; 4.7% for sport and 4.5% for factual with 49% of them to be broadcast on community stations, 36% on commercial stations, 9% by public service broadcasters, and 5.4% by special interest radio services.
2008-11-08: Salem has joined the ranks of US radio companies reporting a third quarter loss thanks to an impairment charge and reduced revenues compared to a year ago.
Its revenues for the quarter were down 4.3% to USD 54.4 million within which broadcasting revenues were down 6.9% to USD 47.4 million. Station operating income was down 13.3% to USD 16.4 million and same station revenues fell 6.9% to USD 45.5 million with same station operating income down 11.6% to USD 16.5 million.
Non-broadcast revenues were up 17.3% to USD 7.1 million with operating income up 36.8% to USD 600,000.
Overall Salem reported an operating loss of USD 14.2 million from continuing operations for the quarter compared to net income of USD 10.0 million a year earlier and the company made a not loss of USD 11.0 million compared to net income of USD 2.1 million a year earlier (From nine cents per diluted share income to 47 cents loss.) including the effects of a USD 20.3 million impairment charge (86 cents a share) related to its Cleveland radio operations and a USD 2.0 million non-cash compensation charge (USD 1.2 million or five cents a share net of tax) related to stock options.
Salem notes that the results reflect reclassification of its Columbus, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, radio stations am dots CCM Magazine as discontinued operations: The radio stations had produced net broadcast revenues of some USD 900,000 and a profit of USD 200,000 in the third quarter of 2007 with revenues of USD 400,000 and a profit of USD 100,000 this year.
For the year to date revenues were down 2.7% to USD 170.5 million; operating income from continued operations plummeted from USD 32.6 million to USD 8.9 million; and net income of USD 8.0 million a year ago turned into a loss of USD 2.5 million ( from income of 34 cents per diluted share to 11cents loss). Within these figures broadcast revenues were down 5.1% to USD 145.2 million with station operating income down 10.6% to USD 50.6 million and same station net broadcast revenues down 5.5% to USD 140.1 million with same station operation income down 9.4% to USD 50.4 million.
These figures include the impairment charge already noted and also gains of USD 2.1 million net of tax from the sale of WRRD-AM and WFZH-FM in Milwaukee; a gain of USD 3.5 million that came primarily from the sale of KTEK-AM in Houston, Texas; and a USD 3.4 million pre-tax gain from the sale of selected assets of WKNR-AM in Cleveland, Ohio, partially offset by the pre-tax loss of USD 500,000 recognized on the sale of WVRY-FM, Nashville, Tennessee and various fixed asset disposals.
Salem CEO Edward Atsinger noted during the company's conference call that the 45 fall in its revenues in the quarter compared to an industry fall of 9% and commented, "We face the same challenges as our general-market counterparts for the advertising dollars, and that business has declined 11 percent for us. But our block-programming business again demonstrated its resiliency, with a decline of only 2 percent, and our non-broadcast businesses grew 17 percent."
He added that Salem had tried to minimize the effects of the downturn by cost-cutting - it has trimmed its payroll by around USD 7 million a year - and asset sales, noting the sales of WRVI-FM, Louisville, Kentucky (for USD 3 million to non-commercial WAY-FM Media Group Inc.) and WRFD-AM, Columbus, Ohio (for USD 4 million to Christian Voice of Central Ohio), that are expected to close in the final quarter of this year and further expected sales.
Atsinger noted that the challenge for radio was not in listener demand but in a fall in advertising revenues, partly to online over the past decade and also from the economic downturn, which had not hit non-commercial operators as severely as commercial stations.
Atsinger termed radio "still a good business" with consumers still there but one that needs to "figure out an adjusted business model."
2008-11-07: The row over crude remarks aired on the Russell Brand Show three weeks ago tomorrow has now taken the scalp of another BBC Executive with the resignation of Dave Barber, the Radio 2 head of specialist music and compliance: The station's controller Lesley Douglas and Brand had already resigned (See RNW Oct 30 & Oct 29) and Jonathan Ross, who first blurted out the information that Brand had "fucked" actor Andrew Sachs' granddaughter, has been suspended for 12 weeks without pay (See RNW Oct 30).
Douglas had been aware of the content of the (recorded) broadcast before it was aired (See RNW Oct 31) but in addition it was said at the time that a "senior editorial figure" had approved it although nobody was named. The resignation does not identify Barber as that figure but compliance role made him responsible for preventing the broadcast of content that breached BBC guidelines on taste and decency.
Confirmation of Barber's departure came in an internal e-mail from acting BBC 2 Controller Lewis Carnie that became public around the same time that the BBC gave details of the public apology it is to broadcast tomorrow on the station in slots formerly occupied by the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand shows.
BBC management had been ordered by the BBC Trust to broadcast an apology following the row (See RNW Oct 30) and some 42,000 complaints to the Corporation, and will be aired at 12:03 GMT and 21:03 GMT tomorrow when the two shows would have started.
It reads, "On October 18, the BBC broadcast an exchange between Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on The Russell Brand Show on Radio 2.
"This concerned the actor Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie. Some of this exchange was left on the voicemail of Mr Sachs.
"The conversation was grossly offensive and an unacceptable intrusion into the private lives of both Mr Sachs and Ms Baillie. It was a serious breach of editorial standards, and should never have been recorded or broadcast.
"The BBC would like to apologize unreservedly to Mr Sachs, Ms Baillie and to our audiences as licence fee payers."
Previous Brand & Ross:
2008-11-07: Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., the parent of XM Canada, has announced full year 2008 revenues up 86% year-on-year to CAD 39.5 million (also USD 39.5 million as the Canadian and US dollars currently have the same value) with positive cash flow in the final two quarters: In the fourth quarter to the end of August it had a Pre-Marketing Adjusted Operating Profit of CAD 2.0 million, positive cash flow of CAD 500,000 and total revenues up 72% year-on-year to CAD 11.8 million.
Adjusted operating loss for the year was down from CAD 50.6 million to CAD 30.7 million and Pre-Marketing Adjusted Operating Loss improved by $17.8 million from a loss of CAD 22.1 million in 2007 to CAD 4.3 million for 2008. For the final quarter adjusted operating loss was down from CAD 12.2 million to CAD 4.1 million on revenues up from CAD 6.8 million to CAD 11.8 million, mainly because of an increase in subscribers to 497,400 on August 31 compared to 439,900 at the end of the previous quarter and 315,200 a year earlier. Of those self-paying subscribers totalled 310,100, up from 280,400 at the end of the third quarter and 185,400 a year earlier. .
Average Monthly Revenue Per Subscriber (ARPU) was up from CAD 11.32 to CAD 11.85 for the year - partly because of a subscription increase to CAD 14.99 a month but Subscriber Acquisition Cost (SAC) increased from CAD 51 for fiscal 2007 to CAD74 for fiscal 2008, put down to negative margin on equipment sales and management's decision to shift expenditures from general advertising and media towards target marketing via hardware promotions at retailers.
The Cost Per Gross Addition (CPGA) was down from CAD 208 to CAD144 as a result of lower marketing costs and higher subscriber additions.
XM Canada President and CEO Michael Moskowitz commented of the results, "XM Canada had a very successful year capped by two consecutive quarters of positive cash and our first ever quarter of Pre-Marketing Adjusted Operating Profit" and added, "Revenue nearly doubled due to our strong import automotive sales, a significant improvement in automotive conversion and growth from both the retail and wireless sectors. Top line revenue growth, together with our sharp focus on maximizing the return on investment, has significantly strengthened our financial performance and cash position. We are confident we can operate our business without having to raise additional capital."
"It is clear that our business strategy is working and we are making great progress towards generating long-term sustainable growth and profitability," continued Moskowitz. "With our solid strategy, sound financial position, an accelerating base of more than half a million total subscribers and 130 channels of the best programming, I am confident we will continue to be Canada's premium digital audio entertainment and information company for years to come."
Previous XM Canada/CSR:
2008-11-06: Latest US radio results - from Citadel, Cumulus, Entravision, Radio One Inc., Regent Communications, and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) all show revenues in the third quarter down with SBS showing the largest fall and Radio One the smallest.
At Citadel, revenues totalled USD 213.9 million, down 10.9%, which it attributes principally to a radio revenue fall of USD 20.9 million and Radio Network fall of USD 5.4 million, which it says was due primarily to lower revenues from the Paul Harvey and Reach Media shows.
For the first nine months of the year, revenues are up 36.8% as reported to USD 648.9 million but down 8.8% on a pro-forma basis (excluding figures related to the acquisition of ABC radio and dispositions in 2007) to USD 646.35 million.
Operating income for the third quarter was USD 45.2 million 0 a year earlier it was a loss of USD 427.4 million including an asset impairment and disposal charge of USD 495.8 million compared to USD 7.3 million in 2008 and net income for the quarter was USD 28.0 million (11 cents a share- in the previous year the net loss was USD 447.9 million - USD 1.71 a share - because of the charges already noted.).
Citadel also noted that in the third quarter it repurchased USD 160 million of debt - USD 74.3 million of its convertible subordinated notes and approximately USD 85.7 million of its senior debt - and during the first nine months has educed its convertible debt by USD 254.8 million and its senior debt by USD 109.0 million.
Chairman and COE Farid Suleman said of the companies approach, "In the current economic environment, the Company continues to focus on the reduction of costs in all areas as well as the repayment of debt, while continuing to invest in profitable programming."
At Cumulus, net revenues for the quarter were down 5% to USD 80.0 million and down 3.1% for the first nine months to USD 236.5 million with station operating income down 8.7% to USD 29.2 million and 5.7% to USD 81.6 million respectively.
Net income for the quarter went from a loss of USD 70.5 million a year ago to a net USD 6 million (from USD 1.63 loss to 14 cents income per common share - the previous year figures included a USD 81.3 million impairment charge) whilst for the year net income has gone from a loss of USD 69.8 million to a net USD 32.1 million (From a loss of USD 1.62 to 75 cents per diluted share).
Looking ahead the company says it expects fourth quarter revenues to be down between 9% and 11% with station operating expenses to be down around 5%.
Entravision revenues were down 5% to USD 64.1 million for the quarter and 4% for the first nine months to USD 179.6 million with a net loss applicable to common shareholders of USD 354.5 million compared to a net loss of USD 1.25 million a year ago (From a loss of 13 cents to USD 3.80 per share ) whilst for the first nine months net income of USD 13.9 million turned into a net loss of USD 349.9 million (from a positive 13 cents to a loss of USD 3.8 per share): The figures were impacted by a USD 440 million impairment charge this year.
Within the figures radio revenues for the quarter were down 3% to USD 23.5 million whilst TV was down 6% to USD 37.5 million.
Commenting on the figures, chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa said, "Our third quarter financial results were impacted by the economic environment and related advertising slowdown across the majority of our markets. We have taken steps to reduce our costs and operate as efficiently as possible in an effort to maximize our cash flows, without sacrificing the quality of our content or marketing efforts. We have also maintained a strong balance sheet and ample financial flexibility. Our audience shares remain strong and we remain focused on further growing our presence in the nation's fastest growing and most densely populated markets. We believe we are in a solid position to capitalize on our market leadership when the economy recovers."
Entravision also noted that during the third quarter is spent just above USD 10 million on repurchasing 3.1 million shares of its Class A common stock and that since the end of September is has spent a further USD 1.9 million on the purchase of 900,000 shares.
At Radio One, revenues were down 2%in the quarter to USD 86.2 million whilst for the nine months they are down 1.2% to USD 242.1 million with net income of USD 4.7 million in the third quarter a year ago turning into a net loss of USD 315. 6 million including a USD 337.9 million impairment charge ( from 5 cents income to a USD .281 loss per basic share) - for the full year the figures went from a positive USD 76 million to a loss of USD 285.3 million ( from three cents income to a loss of USD 3.05 per basic share).
President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, said of the results, "Clearly all advertising based companies, including radio are experiencing extremely challenging times given the slowdown in consumer spending, and I expect this to continue through all of 2009. Our focus remains on increasing our radio market share, cutting costs and diversifying into TV and online revenues. We continue to make progress on each of these goals, by outperforming our radio markets by 170 bps year to date, restructuring our radio workforce, and generating solid revenue growth in TV One and Interactive One."
At Regent Communications third quarter net broadcast revenues were down 1.6% to USD 25.3 million whilst for the nine months they were virtually flat - down USD 330,000 to USD 72.6 million but the bottom line was affected by an impairment charge of USD 57.5 million.
This took a third quarter net loss of USD 1.3 million a year ago to a loss of USD 46.3 million (From a loss of three cents per share to USD 1.19 per share) whilst for the firs nine months net income of USD 600,000 became a net loss of USD 43.6 million (From a cent a share n the black to USD 1.12 per share in the red).
President and CEO Bill Stakelin commented, "During the third quarter, we outperformed our industry by a wide margin despite a very difficult period for the economy and advertising business."We also generated healthy increases in our cash flow, as we intensified our cost management without sacrificing key investment in our content, sales and interactive initiatives. We are benefiting from our focus on building and supporting market-leading station brands and consistently generating results for our advertising partners at the local level. Looking ahead, visibility is limited, but our audience share is strong, our sales teams are working aggressively to attract advertising dollars and we are committed to operating as efficiently as possible."
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) fared worst of all with net revenue for the quarter down 12% to USD 41.3 million within which radio revenues were down 18% to USD 7.9 million whilst TV was up 99% to USD 2.4 million. The company said the radio fall was primarily due to lower local sales in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago offset by an increase in Puerto Rico with national revenues down in all markets.
For the first nine months SBS revenues were down 8% to USD 122.9 million within which radio was down 13%.
Net income went from a positive USD 2.5 million for the quarter in 2007 to a net loss of USD 443,000 (the loss applicable to common shareholders was USD 2.9 million or four cents a share compared to a positive USD 124,000 - nil per share - a year earlier) whilst for the nine month its loss moved from USD 1.3 million to USD 307.7 million (Two cents a common share to USD 4.25 a share) thanks to the impact of a USD 396.3 million impairment charge.
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. said of the figures, "Our third quarter financial performance reflects the impact of a slowing economy and an industry-wide weakness in advertising demand, offset in part by strong growth at MegaTV. During the quarter we aggressively lowered expenses, streamlined personnel and eliminated any unnecessary discretionary spending in order to stabilize operating performance in anticipation of what is expected to be a prolonged economic downturn. We fully expect to realize the benefits of these savings in the coming quarters as we continue to strengthen the leadership position of our heritage radio brands in the nation's top Hispanic markets."
SBS also noted that it had incurred around USD 2.2 million in a cost-cutting restructuring that it expected to yield savings of USD 11 million to USD 13 million over the next twelve months and also that the failure of Lehman Brothers had impacted its request for a USD 25 million drawdown under its senior secured credit facility agreement: It received only USD 15 million as Lehman was unable to fund its USD 10 million share.
The funding was used to help repay a non-interest bearing secured promissory note of USD 18.5 million.
SBS has also received a delisting notice from the NASDAQ - suspended until January (See RNW Oct 30) - and says it intends to "use all reasonable efforts to maintain the listing" but cannot guarantee success.
Previous Radio One Inc:
2008-11-06: UTV in an interim statement covering the period to the end of October reveals a sharp slowdown in the most recent months of the year with revenues up 6% compared to an 8% rise in the first six months of the year (See RNW Aug 26).
Radio revenues, which in the first six months were up 15% year-on-year, are now flat, a figure that compares with an overall market down by an estimated 6% and the company says it expects November and December revenues to also be in line with a year ago compared to an estimated industry fall of around 10%.
The company notes in relation to actions it had taken to try and turn round its Edinburgh talk107 that "despite some improvement, it now seems unlikely that this station can be brought to profitability in a reasonable timescale, particularly in the current market conditions" and continues, "Therefore, we have decided to curtail our investment in talk107 by offering it for sale (See RNW Oct 29). In the event that sale terms can't be agreed, we would propose to close the station and return the licence to Ofcom."
It also criticizes Channel 4 over its decision to pull out of the second UK commercial digital multiplex (See RNW Oct 10), saying, "As a shareholder in the consortium which won the licence to operate the second national digital multiplex, we were surprised by the majority shareholder C4's unilateral decision to withdraw from the provision of digital radio services. This decision undermined the business model upon which the consortium's application was based and, consequently, it would seem unlikely that the multiplex will launch in the foreseeable future."
Of radio it notes a strong performance in Ireland where revenues grew 50% in the ten months, with translation gains and acquisitions accounting for 15% and 32% of the growth respectively whilst like for like growth was 3%.
UTV says that it expects radio revenues for the final two months of the year to be broadly flat compared to a year ago whilst for TV, whose revenues were down 6% in the first ten months of the year is expected to be down 10% for these two months.
In connection with financing it notes that its rights issue in July (Announced in June See RNW Jun 6) raised the expected sum of around GBP 49.9 million (USD 77.9 million) with the net proceeds used to reduce debt. It has also put in place a revised banking facility which comprises a five year, GBP 95 million (USD 148 million) and Euros 50 million (USD 63.5 million) debt facility.
Previous Channel 4:
2008-11-06: Austereo has started clearing the decks to re-position its Sydney Triple-M, which fared poorly in the most recent Australian ratings (See RNW Nov 1).
After dropping its breakfast show "The Shebang" - which had been moved to the slot from its previous drive time - at the end of last week with a best-of show - six weeks before it had been due to end, it has announced that the current drive time team Wil and Lehmo (Wil Anderson and Anthony "Lehmo" Lehmann) are to finish at the end of this month.
Austereo Chief Executive Officer Michael Anderson said they were "allocating resources elsewhere in the station and going with a different direction in drive," adding, "We explored other opportunities for Wil and Lehmo, but they've decided not to pursue them."
He paid tribute to the duo, commenting, "We're sad to say goodbye to Wil and Lehmo as they are incredible talents and have been great presenters for Triple M, they provided high quality content and are very entertaining guys to have dinner with" and the two themselves responded in complimentary terms about their time with the station where the show made its debut in April last year. Austereo's Group Content Director Guy Dobson added, "Wil and Lehmo have been a great team and we're grateful to them for all the hard work they've done on and off the air."
Anderson commented in an Austereo release, "My time at Triple M was some of the most creative and exciting of my career. It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to make some of the best work of my life alongside one of my best friends. I look forward to spending the next three weeks trying to make great radio and stealing icy cold cans of coke."
His partner, with whom he will continue to work in TV, added, "Spending the last two years at Triple M and working alongside Wil has been a real honour. We had a lot of fun and it was an absolute pleasure to come to work everyday and have the flexibility to be as creative as we have been. I too am looking forward to making great radio over the next three weeks and when it's all over, I'll miss the Triple M whisper, being referred to as 'Triple M's Lehmo' and having access to the world's biggest collection of 80s music!"
2008-11-05: RNW Note: We regret a rather significant election has deflected our attention from other matters and we will again be delayed in posting our weekly look at print comment on radio.
We are therefore posting initial listening suggestions, starting with a long interview/conversation (around 45 minutes) with the late "Studs" Terkel conducted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Bruce Shapiro in 1997
Shapiro, now presenter of the ABC's "Late Night Live", got to know Terkel when he was a student in Chicago and the item - downloadable as a separate MP3 from Tuesday's programme (or as part of the whole programme - it's around 13 minutes in) - covers a range of topics including Terkel's persecution in the McCarthy era and relationships with various as well as ordinary people.
Worth listening to if only for the tale of how a former Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan and a black woman came to move from loathing to mutual respect while serving on a school board together, a development that only happened because of President Lyndon Johnson's civil rights legislation as indeed did the election of Barrack Obama as US President.
Also from Late Night Live we suggest Monday's programme for "Mr Firth Goes to Washington", a conversation with film maker Charles Firth about a documentary looking at the US presidential campaign and the similarity between American politics and American screenplays.
Sticking with downloadable programming and US politics for a little longer we then suggest from the BBC World Service documentary archive the fourth part of "Is al-Qaeda winning?"; "Failure or Fraud" concerning the lawsuits that are shedding some light on international finance; "America's First Principles" in which Alan Little presents his appraisal of Thomas Jefferson; "The Lost Veterans" in which Andrew Purcell investigates the struggle of US veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts to re-integrate into civilian society"; and "Hard Lessons from Afghanistan-Part One" in which former BBC Kabul correspondent Alan Johnston reflects on the turmoil in Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion of 1979 onwards.
Also in the BBC documentary archive but with a different emphasis is "Rat Attack", a story of rats, famine, and insurrection in North East India.
Moving then to the US, we suggest last week's "On the Media" from WNYC - and of course this week's programme if only to see how cover of the US election is considered before and after the event.
RNW Note: Depending how busy a night we have, we hope to update listening suggestions tomorrow morning.
2008-11-05: In more US radio results Beasley Broadcast Group and Cox Radio have both reported third quarter revenues down on a year ago but for Beasley its net income, boosted by a USD 1,5 million reduction in interest expenses was up 136.6% - without which it would have been down 21.4% - whilst that of Cox was, coincidentally actually down 21.4%.
Beasley's third quarter net revenues were down 8.2% to USD 30.6 million for the quarter and by 8.0% to USD 91.0 million for the first nine months of the year with operating income for the quarter up 18.8% to USD 6.0 million and down 0.9% for the nine months to USD 17.1 million with net income for the quarter up 133.6% to USD 2.3 million (from 4 cents to ten cents per diluted share) and up 39.1% for the nine months to USD 5.9 million (From 18 cents to 25 cents per share).
Beasley said the revenue decline in the third quarter reflected a USD 1.6 million "decline at the Company's Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market cluster partially attributable to the Company's election to not renew certain sports programming broadcast rights (primarily rights to Miami Dolphins games), which contributed USD 0.9 million during the third quarter of 2007. It noted that the decreases in this market and in its Greenville-New Bern market cluster - USD 1.9 million in all - contrasted to a USD 300,000 increase in Philadelphia.
The increase in operating income for the third quarter was put down primarily to a 13% reduction in total costs and expenses and that for the nine months reflected a 9.5% reduction in total costs and expenses.
Commenting on the performance, George G. Beasley said, "Given the many challenges that the industry faced during the third quarter of 2008, we believe that the notable rise in our SOI, net income and diluted EPS during the period highlights the ability of our station and corporate personnel to effectively manage our portfolio of stations."
He noted that excluding the impact of Miami sports rights third quarter revenues were down 5.6%, adding that this compared "favourably with the industry's overall performance during this challenging period" and continued, "During the third quarter, we also continued to drive significant high margin revenue growth from our interactive and 'off air' revenue initiatives with revenue from these sources rising approximately 43% to USD 1.5 million from the comparable year-ago period."
He added of the current climate, "The advertising slump and deteriorating economic conditions impacted our ability to grow revenues during the period. However, we've taken significant steps company-wide to cut costs not vital to our sales and programming efforts. The benefit of this approach is highlighted in the third quarter margin improvements and Beasley remains positioned with the right combination of resources and cost disciplines to quickly recapture momentum as radio advertising demand returns to more robust levels.
"In terms of capital allocation, we continue to believe that applying cash from operations to the reduction of debt is prudent both on a near- and long-term basis. The reduction of debt, along with lower interest costs, decreased interest expense during the quarter, which contributed significantly to pre-tax income rising two and a half times over what was recorded in the third quarter of last year.
"Reflecting this focus, total debt fell to approximately USD 179.1 million at September 30, 2008 from approximately USD 191.1 million at December 31, 2007."
At Cox Radio its third quarter revenues were down 6.2% to USD 104.9 million whilst for the first nine months they were down 5.9% to USD310.9 million and station operating income for the quarter was down 16.3% to USD 39.2 million and down 11.9% for the nine months to USD 116.7 million.
Net income for the quarter was down 21.4% to USD 15.9 million (Down from 21 cents to 19 cents per diluted share) whilst for the nine months they went from net income of USD 54 million to a loss of USD 46.7 million, including the effect of USD 147.6 million in impairment charges in this year's figures.
Cox Radio President and CEO Robert F. Neil said the third quarter results reflected "the impact of the economic downturn across the majority of our markets, offset in part by our efforts to control costs, while continuing to make strategic investments in our programming content."
"Through our stations and our expanding digital platform," he continued, "we strive to consistently deliver significant audiences, attractive demographics and, ultimately, results for our advertisers. Despite the weak advertising climate, we remain committed to prudently executing on our operating strategy, carefully managing our expenses and maintaining a strong balance sheet."
Previous George Beasley:
Previous Cox Radio:
2008-11-05: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has reacted predictably to the unanimous vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow so-called white space devices - unlicensed, personal-portable devices that operate in television spectrum - by damning the move with a smidgeon of praise.
In a statement its Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton commented, "While we appreciate the FCC's attempt to address significant issues raised by broadcasters and others, every American who values interference-free TV should be concerned by today's Commission vote. By moving the 'white space' vote forward, the Commission appears to have bypassed meaningful public or peer review in a proceeding of grave importance to the future of television.
"Fortunately, today's vote is just the beginning of a fight on behalf of the 110 million households that rely on television for news, entertainment, and lifesaving emergency information. Going forward, NAB and our allies will work with policymakers to ensure that consumers can access innovative broadband applications without jeopardizing interference-free TV."
In its order the FCC said the rules "rules represent a careful first step to permit the operation of unlicensed devices in the TV white spaces and include numerous safeguards to protect incumbent services against harmful interference."
It continued, "The rules will allow for both fixed and personal/portable unlicensed devices. Such devices must include a geo-location capability and provisions to access over the Internet a database of the incumbent services, such as full power and low power TV stations and cable system head ends, in addition to spectrum-sensing technology. The data base will tell the white space device what spectrum may be used at that location."
As well as DTV signals the FCC is proposing to protect wireless microphones and says locations where they are used can be registered and protected "the same way as other services."
All devices will be subject to equipment certification by the FCC Laboratory with "a much more rigorous approval process" for those devices that do "not include the geo-location and data base access capabilities, and instead rely solely on spectrum sensing to avoid causing harmful interference" and adds that it will, "act promptly to remove from the market any equipment found to be causing harmful interference and will require the responsible parties to take appropriate actions to remedy any interference that may occur."
2008-11-05: CBS Radio which at the beginning of this week flipped its Baltimore FM talk station WHFS to sports as WJZ-FM (Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan), airing local sports and sister station WJFK-AM to an ESPN Radio Network affiliate as WJZ-AM (See RNW Nov 3) is now to flip its WPGC-AM, Washington, DC, to Talk on Monday.
It had dropped urban gospel format on WPGC-AM on October 7 and switched it to a simulcast of Urban WPGC-FM as an interim measure before it made a more permanent change in which it expected to take the WHFS call sign and brand itself The Big Talker.
2008-11-05: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the signing of a contract with iRadio North East & Midlands Limited (trading as i107 FM) for the provision of a new youth-based regional service for the midlands and north-east of Ireland: The service will cover the counties of Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kildare, Offaly, Westmeath and North-East Laois.
i107FM will operate a mix of speech and music programming targeting 15-34 year olds in the region and the service is the fourth and final regional youth radio service to have been licensed by the Commission in the current licensing round,
2008-11-05: Arbitron has moved forward the commercialization of the Portable People Meter (PPM) in four markets but delayed it in another five.
The four - Kansas City, San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas -had been due to commercialize with the March 2010 PPM Survey report but are now scheduled to commercialize with next month's PPM report, which is to be released on December 31 The last diary-based audience survey for these markets will be the summer 2009 survey (June 25 to Sept. 16).
The other five - Milwaukee, Charlotte, Columbus, Providence and Orlando - that had been due to commercialize with the release of the June 2010 PPM survey are now scheduled to make the move with the release of the September 2010 report and the last diary ratings for these markets will be the Spring 2010 survey (April 1 - June 23.).
2008-11-04: Saga Communications has reported third quarter net operating revenues almost flat compared to a year ago - USD 36.192 million this year compared to USD 36.218 million last year with station operating expenses up 2.4% to USD 26.588 million; operating income down 7.2% to USD 7.401 million and net income down 6.7% to USD 3.097 million (Down from 17 cents to 16 cents per basic and diluted share).
For the first nine months of the year, net operating revenues are down 1.4% to USD 105.066 million; station operating expenses are up 0.3% to USD 79.255 million; operating income is down 8.9% to USD 18.706 million ; and net income is down 5.1% top USD 7.467 million (from 30 cents to 38 cents per basic and diluted share).
Within the figures radio net operating revenue was down 1.9% to USD 31.306 million for the quarter whilst same station radio revenues were down 2.7% to USD 31.842 million with reported operating income down 8.7% to USD 8.589 million and same station operating income was down 9.3% to USD 8.520 million with corresponding nine-month radio revenues down 2.5% to USD 91.316 million and same station radio revenues down 3.5% to USD 90.299 million and radio operating income down 7.5% to USD 23.88 million with same station operating income down 8.5% to ISD 23.030 million.
President and CEO Ed Christian speaking on the company's conference call said he thought radio basics are "absolutely sound" and noted that in adverse times smart retailers build share through advertising.
Business he said is "not easy, but it definitely isn't over" and he evaluated Saga's performance in current circumstances as "pretty good" although he continued, "Are we pleased with it? Absolutely not! We'll never be pleased until we get back to where we were."
2008-11-04: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ Radio, which for the past 20 months has trialled a selection of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) services on a trial licence issued by Comreg says that it intends to proceed with five new services from Monday, December 1, the day after the trials end.
Three of the services will be music, one a speech service, and the other a children's only service: The digital radio music services, sister stations to RTÉ 2fm, are RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ 2XM and RTÉ Chill; The speech service, a sister station to RTÉ Radio 1, is RTÉ Choice; and the final station aimed at children aged 2 to 10 is RTÉ Junior.
The trial services, which are also available online, can reach around 45% of the population in the Greater Dublin and North East Coast area plus Cork and Limerick cities, and the new services will continue on the same basis.
The broadcaster says it intends to increase DAB coverage to around 56% of the population over the next three years but will not move forward with its plans until there is a regulatory framework in place that will allow commercial broadcasters to move to digital radio thus ensuring that the whole industry moves together for the benefit of the listener.
J.P. Coakley, Head of Operations at RTÉ Radio commented of its DAB plans, "Recent EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and World DMB agreements on European-wide standards for digital radio sets mean that the industry as a whole is now moving together on digital radio. We are keen to make progress but given the present economic climate we have to be patient."
In other DAB news the UK Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) is to become the central consumer marketing point for digital radio, taking on the role previously handled by individual multiplex operators. Under the new structure it will promote the concept of digital radio and also be concerned with the evolution of the technical platform, new sector development, including in car, and digital radio strategy working with shareholders, Ofcom and Government. To support the move it has appointed Diane Wray, who joins it from regional DAB multiplex operator MXR, as Director of Marketing. Moving over to the Bureau from MXR with her are Marketing Manager, Claire Pilkington, and Press and PR Executive, Christopher Goymer.
Wray commented of the plans, Bringing all consumer DAB marketing under one roof makes perfect sense. I'm looking forward to working with a wider portfolio of radio stations, encompassing both the BBC and commercial sectors, to help grow the digital radio market" and DRDB chief executive Tony Moretta noted that a "model where one body takes responsibility for marketing and product development has proven successful for other digital platforms, such as Freeview." "With shareholders including the BBC and major commercial radio broadcasters," he added"the DRDB is ideally placed to take on this role."
2008-11-04: Radio Mirchi operator Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) has posted a standalone loss of INR 32.77 million (USD 690,000) for the quarter to the end of September on revenues up 15% to INR 615 million (USD 12.9 million): A year earlier it made a profit of INR 6.39 million (USD 113,000) and the company - a subsidiary of the Times of India, which in turn is owned by Bennett, Coleman, & Co. Ltd. - put the loss down to amortization of licence fees and depreciation charges on equipment at 22 new stations.
Managing Director AP Parigi said of the results, "Our strong brands, innovative value propositions and experienced management teams not only drive growth in good times but build resilience to face a challenging business environment; anticipated in the coming months."
Consolidated total income increased 27.3% to stand at INR 1.09 billion (USD 22.9 million) and consolidated net loss was up 5.9% to INR 182.1 million (SD 3.8 million).
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2008-11-03: CBS Radio has flipped its Baltimore FM talk station WHFS to sports as WJZ-FM (Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan), airing local sports whilst sister station WJFK-AM becomes an ESPN Radio Network affiliate as WJZ-AM.
Making the announcement, Dave Labrozzi, CBS Radio Baltimore's Vice President of Programming, said in a release, "With wall-to-wall sports programming on AM and FM radio, we can now offer Baltimore sports fans the ultimate package. No topic will go uncovered. No perspective will go unchallenged."
The new FM will feature hosts Ed Norris, Mark Viviano, Bruce Cunningham, Scott Garceau and Anita Marks among others, and include play-by-play coverage of the Baltimore Orioles and the University of Maryland Terrapins.
Norris, a Baltimore City Police Commissioner and Maryland State Police Superintendent who joined WHFS in 2005 and most recently hosted its afternoon drive, will host mornings on the new station.
Labrozzi said of his appointment, "We took the most dynamic talk personality in all of Baltimore and moved him to the biggest radio stage-morning drive."
Norris is followed in the schedule by Mark Viviano & Damon "the Bulldog" Yaffe (10:00-13:00); Bruce Cunningham (13:00-15:00), Scott Garceau and Anita Marks (15:00-18:00); two-hour player shows hosted by Baltimore Raves players (18:00-20:00); and "Playmakers with Ken Weinman" (20:00-23:00).
2008-11-03: UK commercial radio trade body The RadioCentre has named Dianne Thompson, chief executive of UK lottery operator Camelot, as its non-executive chairman to replace Paul Brown, who is standing down at the end of the year.
Thompson, who joined Camelot in 1997 as commercial operations director and was promoted to chief executive three years later, hosted a one-hour special on London talk station LBC 97.3, in September 2007 interviewing lottery winners and organisations that have received lottery funding. She will take up her new role at the start of February next year.
She commented of the appointment, "Radio is one of my true loves. I am delighted to be taking over the mantle from Paul and helping to play a role in shaping radio's future. I want to underline and further enhance RadioCentre's reputation as the voice of the industry and a strong advocate for commercial radio - working together with the groups and stations we can really make a difference."
Brown who began in radio three decades ago worked in forces and commercial radio as a presenter and manager from 1970 until 1984 when he joined the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) as head of radio programming.
He was deputy chief executive of the Radio Authority from 1990 to 1995; chief executive of the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) from 1995 to 2006 - and was a driving force behind the formation of the RadioCentre which brought together the CRCA, Radio Advertising Bureau, the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC), network programme company Hit40UK and the Joint Industry Committee for Radio IT; President of the Association of European Radios (Association Européenne des Radios -AER) from 1998 to 2000, chairman of the UK Digital Radio forum from 1999 to 2001 and Vice President of WorldDAB from 2000-2005.
He commented of his replacement, "I am absolutely delighted that Dianne has agreed to take over. In the last year, we have seen a wealth of changes in our industry with new owners and new personalities; now feels like the right time for a new chairman. I am pleased that RadioCentre has secured a well-known national figure - and someone who knows the advertising and marketing industry inside-out - to help move commercial radio forward.
"When I started out at Radio 210 back in the 70s, I had no idea that I would stay in the industry for so long; it has been a great honour to have helped shape the framework of a sector that has flourished from a handful of stations to over 300 - I will now enjoy more time to tune in as a regular listener."
RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison added, "We're in a new era and this is an exciting time for our industry - Dianne has always been a strong advocate of radio and I am thrilled that she has agreed to come on board. Her experience as a radio advertiser, as well as working with government and regulators, for The National Lottery - which delivers funds for local Good Causes - is a perfect fit with commercial radio's role as part of the fabric of local communities. I would also like to express my gratitude to Paul for the work he has done for commercial radio over the years. In more recent times, RadioCentre's stature within the sector reflects Paul's hard work, determination and wisdom."
2008-11-03: A group of Sirius hareholders terming themselves "Save Sirius" has filed a lawsuit in California accusing Sirius XM management of breach of fiduciary duties and violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and the Sherman Act.
Claiming to be 500 strong and growing in number they accuse the company's management of unjustly enriching themselves at the expense of shareholders and say their suit "seeks to prevent management from further damaging its shareholders with massive amounts of additional dilution (8 billion shares in the fully diluted float) and as much as a 1 for 50 reverse stock split."
Spokesman Michael Hartleib who in a release was said to be speaking on behalf of Save Sirius and its members, commented, "We are working to gain control of our company by seeking to remove current members of the board as well as top executive Mel Karmazin."
He quoted a September 15 Wall Street Journal item in which Karmazin spoke of taking the company private but noting problems in raising finance in current market conditions (See RNW Columnists Sep 17).
"It is clear," says the release, "that management under Mr. Karmazin's leadership has an agenda to steal this company from its shareholders" and it cites in support of this proposition management actions in locking shareholders into "the longest merger delay in history"; preventing it from "seeking alternatives or potential suitors; "Failing to commercially introduce interoperable radios"; "insistence on going forward with the merger at any and all costs"; and "Consummating the merger issuing 300 million shares to the financiers of XM's debt to be sold short on the open market."
The group says shareholders have lost more than 90% of their value under Karmazin and Hartleib added, "In light of the aforementioned, it is clear that they have lost sight of their obligations to shareholders and have breached and will continue to breach their fiduciary duties in the future. We, as a group, will not stand for this and will use any means possible to prevent and preclude them from stealing this company from its rightful owners -- we the shareholders."
So far Sirius-XM has not responded publicly about the suit.
RNW comment: Much as we have some sympathy with this group, the business facts indicate some very woolly and wishful thinking. We do regret, however, that in circumstances where companies have lost value massively there seems to be no way of preventing executives who were in charge at the time from collecting bonuses or large payoffs before the company has been turned around. Something like a five year period under which such bonuses are put into escrow and only paid if the company is then successful might lead to longer term and more responsible thinking. As for resignations in such circumstances, we would take the view that it should be illegal to make pay-offs. Executives who have fouled up and enforce a contract to gain a pay-off when they are being forced out should have to carry a record of dismissal into their futures.
2008-11-03: 12 years old Harry Bradford from Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace in London and 14 years old Alice Halstead, from St Alphee Church in Solihull have won this year's BBC Radio 2 "Young Choristers of the Year" titles.
The final, which was held at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Friday was broadcast last night on the station and hosted by Charles Hazlewood.
Eight finalists - four boys and four girls - each performed a sacred song and a hymn in front of a live audience: The judging panel was chaired by Andrew Carwood, director of music at St Paul's, Carrie Grant and the director of the winning choir in Last Choir Standing, Tim Rhys-Evans.
BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers (Links to audio stream- available until next Sunday):
2008-11-02: Last week activity from the regulators was most notable for a further consent decree in relation to broadcast indecency in the US but things were fairly quiet elsewhere as regards radio with no radio decisions from Ireland and only the posting of its latest Broadcast Bulletin by UK regulator Ofcom.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) posted just two radio decisions, both related to breach of advertising restrictions by community stations.
It found that Highland Media Co-operative Ltd. licensee of 2WKT, Bowral, New South Wales, and Central Victorian Community Broadcasters Inc, the licensee of Bendigo, Victoria, temporary community radio service Phoenix FM, each breached licence condition by broadcasting advertisements.
It noted, however, that each station has already made changes to its operations to prevent recurrence and said it was satisfied that each station had taken reasonable steps to ensure that it does not breach the licence condition prohibiting the broadcasting of advertisements in the future.
In Canada, there were only three radio-related postings from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
In British Columbia the CRTC approved an application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership to acquire the assets of CKIZ-FM, Vernon, and its transmitter CKIZ-FM-1, Enderby, from Rogers Broadcasting Limited
In Ontario the commission approved an application by LE5 Communications Inc., a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. Paul Lefebvre, to acquire the assets of the commercial radio stations CHYC-FM, Sudbury, and CHYK-FM, Timmins, as well as its transmitters CHYX-FM, Kapuskasing, and CHYK-FM-3, Hearst, from The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.
The CRTC also posted a public notice, with a December 3 deadline for the submission of comments or interventions, which included an application by Astral Media Radio Inc. to increase the power of CJMM-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, from 349 watts to 1,904 watts.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland and in the UK Ofcom's only radio -related posting was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint and considered another resolved (See RNW Oct 30). Ofcom also confirmed that it is to investigate the broadcast on the Russell Brand Show on BBC Radio 2 of crude remarks left by the host and Jonathan Ross on the answer phone of actor Andrew Sachs.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted posted details of a USD 85,000 USD 85,000 consent decree with Beasley Broadcast Group to settle indecent broadcasts complaints (See RNW Oct 31) and was involved in a number of other enforcement actions including (Descending amount order):
*Reduced from USD 25,000 to USD 20,000 the forfeiture it had imposed on Paulino Bernal Evangelism, former licensee of KBRN-AM, Boerne, Texas, for failure to maintain a main studio in its community of license; failure to install and maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment during the hours of station operation; and failure to make the station's public inspection file available.
Evangelism had been issued with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for USD 25,000 in December 2003 following an inspection in October that year and had responded by arguing that it did not violate the public inspection file requirement and that the proposed forfeiture should be reduced or cancelled on the basis of its inability to pay and history of overall compliance.
The Enforcement Bureau had rejected the arguments and confirmed the full penalty, to which Evangelism responded with a petition for reconsideration on similar grounds and this was rejected, leading Evangelism to file a petition for review.
In this it did not deny the EAS violations but argued that it substantially complied with the main studio and public inspection file requirements and that it has a history of overall compliance. The FCC rejected all the arguments except the one relating to overall compliance, although it notes a previous breach by KUOL-AM, San Marco, Texas, which is licensed to SM Radio, Inc., a company that the Enforcement Bureau had held to be under the same ownership.
Evangelism argued in relation to this that the FCC was incorrect and that Paulino Bernal, although a director of Evangelism but owned no stock in Evangelism, a non-stock corporation, and did not control it. The FCC accepted this argument and reduced the penalty accordingly to USD 20,000.
*Issued USD 12,800 forfeiture order to Viva Communications Group, LLC, licensee of WSDE-AM, Cobleskill, New York, failing to maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment, failing to sign off at local sunset time, failing to maintain daytime operating power at more than 90% of the authorized power, and failing to maintain a complete public inspection file.
The FCC had initially issued an NAL for USD 16,000 to Viva in December last year to which Viva responded by arguing for cancellation in view of remedial actions it had taken before the FCC inspection. The FCC accepted that some reduction - but not cancellation - was warranted on the grounds of the remedial actions taken and reduced the penalty to USD 12,800.
In licensing decisions the FCC became involved in another party-line split in relation to decisions on changes to the community of licence in two cases.
One case involved Alabama and Florida and the other Illinois with the commission in each case denying petitions to reconsider earlier decisions.
In the first case, the FCC decision, at the request of Gulf Coast Broadcasting Company, former licensee of WPGG-FM, Channel 227C1, Evergreen, Alabama, the Media Bureau substituted Channel 272C2 for Channel 272C1 at Evergreen; re-allotted Channel 272C2 to Shalimar, Florida, and modified the Station WPGG license to specify operation on Channel 272C2 at Shalimar. In this situation, the re-allotment resulted in Shalimar (with a population of 718 persons according to the 2000 U.S. Census) having its first local service while Evergreen (with a population of 3,630 persons according to the 2000 U.S. Census) will continue to receive local service from WIJK-AM. Shalimar is located within the Fort Walton Beach Urbanized Area but the FCC noted that consistent with the guidelines set forth in Tuck, its Report and Order determined that Shalimar is independent of the Fort Walton Beach Urbanized Area and entitled to consideration as a first local service.
Qantum of Fort Walton Beach License Company, LLC. had opposed the decision on the basis that Shalimar is dependent upon the Fort Walton Beach Urbanized Area and not entitled to consideration as a first local service and that re-allotment from a rural to an Urbanized Area would result in the removal of a second local service from Evergreen and a withdrawal of service to 97,195 persons with 9,062 of these potential listeners receiving fewer than five aural services
It also noted that the re-allotment would result in Cumulus Media, Inc., the "largest broadcaster" in Fort Walton Beach, having an additional outlet in the Fort Walton Beach Urbanized Area.
In the Illinois case, acting on a request from Saga Communications, licensee of WMHX-AM, Channel 230B1, Lincoln, Illinois, the Media Bureau related Channel 230B1 from Lincoln to Sherman, Illinois, and modified the WMHX license to specify Sherman as the community of license. In this situation, the re-allotment resulted in Sherman (with a population of 2,871 persons) gaining its first local service while Lincoln (with a population of 15,369 persons) retained local service from WLLM-AM and non-commercial educational FM Station WLNX-FM.
This decision was opposed by Long Nine, Inc., which argued that the re-allotment proposal is not entitled to a preference as a first local service because Sherman is interdependent with the Springfield Urbanized Area. Long Nine also disputed the Saga Communications claim that Sherman is not located within the Springfield Urbanized Area. It also demonstrated that there are transmitter sites available that would enable Station WMHX to provide a 70 dBu signal to more than 50 percent of the Urbanized Area.
The FCC said in relation to this case, that after the 2000 U.S. Census became available and confirmed the fact that Sherman is located in the Springfield Urbanized Area, Saga was requested to submit a Tuck showing and after receiving additional information the Media Bureau held that Sherman is independent of the Springfield Urbanized Area, and determined that the Sherman re-allotment proposal is entitled to consideration as a first local service.
In each case, the FCC upheld the staff decisions but Democrat Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps dissented and issued a joint statement in which they commented, "One of the more tangible ways in which the Commission's arcane allotment policies have an impact on localism is how we address the migration of radio stations from rural to urban markets.
"Not to make light of a serious matter, but this has almost become a parlour game. The goal of the game-whether you're applying for a new station or a station currently licensed to a rural area-is to move as close to a big market as possible. The closer you get to a big market, the more potential listeners you can reach and hence the more advertising dollars you can attract."
They went on to note a catch in that the FCC is required to "provide a fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service" to "the several States and communities" and added, "The FCC cannot simply permit radio stations to relocate from rural areas to well-served urban markets without violating that mandate."
FCC rules meant that preference was given in FM allotments they said to "any applicant that proposes to serve a community with no current licensees-i.e., not that the community doesn't receive radio service (it could receive service from dozens of stations) but that no station lists that particular community as its "community of license."
These cases they said fitted the scenario of winning the game by providing "first service" to a close-in suburban community while being able to cover the larger market.
"Why else," they asked, "would Saga want to change its community of license from Lincoln, Illinois (population 15,369) to the much smaller Sherman, Illinois (population 2,871)-other than Sherman's adjacency to the Springfield urban market? Similarly, why else would Gulf Coast seek to change its community of license from Evergreen, Alabama (population 3,630) to tiny Shalimar, Florida (population 718)-other than Shalimar's proximity to the Ft. Walton urban market? "
They then went on to criticize the majority for the "lax" way they applied the Tuck Test and argued that "the majority's Tuck analysis is so feeble that it scarcely amounts to a test at all."
Specifically they referred to coverage - a factor they said the majority had ignored - thus ignoring the question of whether the prime interest was in serving the smaller community or the broader urban market; Relative Size and Distance Factor - pointing out the proximity of the new communities of licence to much more populous urban areas; and the Independence Factor, noting amongst other things that "Shalimar is only about one mile long The average commute time for Shalimar residents is 16.3 minutes. Somehow, the majority concludes from these facts "that a significant number of Shalimar residents work in or very near Shalimar." This astonishing assertion is unsupported in the record and contrary to common sense."
After commenting on other factors where they felt the majority decision was questionable they commented, "The residents of Lincoln, Illinois have lost one of their three local stations (and only commercial FM station), and the residents of Evergreen, Alabama have lost one of only two local stations (and their only FM station). Those stations were allowed to pack up and leave because the Commission no longer provides a meaningful check under Section 307(b). The pay-off for station owners can be swift. Gulf Coast Broadcasting has already sold its Shalimar station to radio giant Cumulus and the station is now part of Cumulus's four-station cluster in the Ft. Walton market. So Gulf Coast won a big payday and Cumulus was able to further consolidate its holdings in Ft. Walton. Game over."
In other licensing decisions (In order of state involved), the FCC:
*Missouri: Denied petition from Serendipity Educational Broadcasting, Inc. for reconsideration of dismissal of its application for a new non-commercial educational - FM - at Preston, Missouri. The application was rejected after an engineering review showed a breach of its rules for protection of Channel 6 station KMOS-TV, Sedalia, Missouri. Serendipity then amended the application to provide a consent letter from KMOS TV's licensee, the University of Central Missouri (UCM), under which it agreed to an arrangement under which Serendipity would not begin broadcasting until after KMOS-TV moved to digital broadcasting. The staff decided that the arrangement did not meet its rules and the application was dismissed.
Serendipity in its petition agrees with the FCC staff's analyses but seeks reconsideration on the basis of further conditions it proposes to meet in relation to operations of the station and that UCM had consented to. The FCC said that the new proposal remained inconsistent with its rules and rejected the petition.
* Northeast, Pennsylvania: Denied a petition by Family Life Ministries, Inc. (FLM) for reconsideration of the denial of its application for the renewal of its licence for translator station DW245AV and also an application for modification of the Translator license specifying a new site. FLM had been granted its licence in 2005 but said the translator had "utterly failed" to provide its intended coverage, leading it to remove the equipment and cancel its "prohibitively expensive" tower lease.
Subsequently it pursued a lease for another tower (the "Second Tower") owned by Adelphia Communications Corporation, which FLM knew was in bankruptcy and attempting to sell its tower to a third party but by the time it filed its application for renewal of the translator licence the translation was still inoperative and more than a year after this staff informed FLM that the licence would have been deemed expired unless operations were resumed by March 30, 2007.
In May last year FLM said the translator was still silent and asked that the licence be re-instated, a request that was rejected on the basis of the time it had been silent and because the station was taken off the air because FLM wanted to meet its requirements in a more economical manner.
In the petition FLM said it had not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement with the owner of the Second Tower but now had permission to locate at another site and repeated its arguments for re-instatement adding that but for the "appalling lack of responsiveness of the telecom companies, FLM probably would have been able to get on the tower within the 12-month period."
The FCC noted that there was no explanation why the translator "utterly failed" to provide its intended coverage from its original site and also queried the "exorbitant cost" argument on the basis that it could not see why in that case it agreed to the lease in the first instance. It also did not accept that the inability to find a new site in time was beyond FLM's control and accordingly dismissed the petition and application.
*Virginia: Agreed to allow Potomac Radio, LLC's WAGE-AM, Leesburg, Virginia, to increase its power from 5.0 kW to 50 kW daytime and from 1.0kW to 3.0kW night-time using a three-tower directional antenna array at a new site for daytime and a four-tower directional antenna array at the presently licensed site night-time. The FCC denied an informal objection by Birach Broadcasting Corp. and related responsive pleadings.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2008-11-02: More than a fortnight after the show that led to the resignations of BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas and Radio 2 show host Russell Brand plus the suspension of Jonathan Ross, who along with Brand made the crude remarks that led to more than 30,000 complaints to the Corporation, it still remains unclear who exactly approved transmission of the pre-recorded show on October 18.
BBC Director General Mark Thompson was pushed on issues of responsibility for the approval on the BBC Radio 4 "Feedback" programme today but did not reveal any details.
He was specifically asked about the fact that the show was produced by Brand's company, thus making it difficult for the producer to gainsay the host, and responded with comments about the BBC approval system and enquiries still continuing but no specifics although he did say in response to questions about the amounts paid to top names that in the current climate stars could expect to be paid less in future contracts.
The Corporation has already come under political pressure about the amount stars are paid - Ross has a 3-year GBP 18 million (USD 28 million) contract for his BBC radio and TV shows - and the implications for the licence fee by which it is funded if it is seen to pay very large amounts.
There is also pressure over the implications of allowing stars' shows to be produced by their own company with consequent potential problems of supervision.
In the case of the Russell Brand Show, the UK Independent on Sunday, says that based on information from a BBC source it put a series of questions to the corporation including one in which it asked if it was true that it was customary for changes to be made to Brand's show only if authorized by Radio 2's controller Lesley Douglas.
The paper says a spokesman also "declined to confirm or deny that the compliance form detailing any potentially offensive content was sent direct to Ms Douglas, and also refused to say to whom the form was sent or what alarms it had raised" and added, "We're not going to say anything ... the recent events are subject of an investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment while this is ongoing."
The paper says a Radio 2 source told it that Brand had become a law unto himself and it notes that on Friday another BBC Radio 2 host Paul Gambaccini in an interview with Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio Five Live's Breakfast Show, had commented, "Lesley had a commitment to Russell, which was almost obsessive ... She stood by him through thick and thin, even while he was alienating almost everybody else in the building."
Gambaccini has also said that he sent a protest cum warning e-mail to Douglas when Brand was hired - the only such message he'd ever sent.
On Radio Five Live Gambaccini in response to the question, "I hear he had five or six producers and whenever one said no to him, he went and got him or her sacked?" responded: "You heard accurately."
The paper says its sources say that, if challenged by a producer, Brand was likely to declare "controller's decision", thereby suggesting he could go over everyone's head directly to Ms Douglas.
The paper also noted that the broadcasting trade union BECTU has attacked the corporation for fostering a culture that puts junior staff at the mercy of celebrity names and quoted Helen Ryan, the union's BBC supervisory official, as saying, "They're not going to stand up to them [celebrities] because in reality those stars will say we don't want to work with that person again. There is a culture where junior members of staff are put under a lot of pressure to make decisions they're not qualified to make. There are tighter budgets, but also the culture of the preciousness of the celebrities."
Previous Brand & Ross:
BBC Radio 4 feedback programme - ( links to audio stream-this had not updated when we checked but we expect it to be working later today:)
BBC Radio 5 Live - Breakfast Show (Links to audio stream with Gambaccini -full 3 hour programme link for Friday was working when we checked but not the link to the 30 minute version that also lists Gambaccini).
Independent on Sunday report:
2008-11-01: Montreal radio hosts Sébastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette, whose past "victims" have included Queen Elizabeth II, former French president Jacques Chirac whom they convinced was speaking to Canadian PM Stephen Harper (See RNW Jan 26, 2002), singers Bono, Mick Jagger and Britney Spears, and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy, have added Alaska Governor and Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's scalp to their list.
Sarkozy was imitated by Trudel and the call was said by Audette, who described it as the duo's "most explosive coup so far", to have been difficult to get because their request had to pass Palin's entourage and Secret Service detail.
The duo host the afternoon programme Les Cervaux de l'info on CKOI-FM and are known to their fans as "Les Justiciers Masqué
Palin is standing along with Presidential candidate Senator john McCain whose campaign said in a statement, "Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C'est la vie."
The call, which runs for around six minutes, begins with a call by Audette which goes through to an aide who after being told the caller is with Sarkozy, puts the Governor on the line.
She says "This is Sarah" to which the mock aide to Sarkozy responds in strongly-accented English, "Oh Yes. Governor Palin" and asks her to hold on for a moment before putting her through to the Audette, the mock President, who, also in accented English, says "Hello"-after waiting whilst Palin is heard chatting but not speaking directly into the phone.
After pleasantries in which Palin thanks "Sarkozy" for "calling us" and stresses the "Great respect" she and McCain have for him, the mock President says he has "followed your campaign closely with my special American adviser Johnny Hallyday [RNW Note; the name of one of France's biggest stars, who has 18 platinum records to his name].There is then talk about the campaign -Palin says they are "Very confident and thankful that the polls are showing that the race is tightening" - and in his responses "Sarkozy" refers to her as "My dear" and then says "I'm real and you appear to be someone who is real as well" to which she responds in rather more mangled English than his.
He suggests she may be president one day to which she responds with a giggle and continues, "In eight years."
"Sarkozy" then says they have a "lot in common because one of my favourite activities is to hunt too, to which she replies, "Oh. Very good. Then we should go hunting together."
"Exactly, we could try go hunting by helicopter like you did. I never did that. Like we say in French, 'on pourrait tuer des bebe phoque s, aussi [we could also could kill baby seals] '" responds the mock president and then later says -after she had commented on having "a lot of fun together" and killing "two birds with one stone that way" - "I just love killing those animals. Mmm. Take away life. That is so fun."
After another giggle from the governor, the mock President adds," I'd really love to go, so long as we don't bring along Vice-President Cheney" to which the governor says she'd be "a careful shot".
Giving the governor another clue that the call may be fake, Audette then says," Yes, you know we have a lot in common also, because except from my house I can see Belgium. That's kind of less interesting than you [A reference to seeing Russia from Alaska - Sarkozy has residences in Paris and the Riviera. Paris is around 200 km/120 miles from the Belgian border and the Riviera much further.].
The governor responds, "We're right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes." And Audette then gets Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's name wrong, saying," Some people said in the last days and I thought that was mean that you weren't experienced enough in foreign relations and you know that's completely false. That's the thing that I said to my great friend, the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse" to which the governor responds ," Well, he's doing fine, too "
Palin does not pick up the error and Audette tries again referring to his good friend "Mr. Richard Z. Sirois" the Prime Minister of Quebec [The Quebec PM is Jean Charest: Zirois is another co-host on their show] attending one of her rallies, to which Palin responds," I haven't seen him at one of the rallies but it's been great working with the Canadian officials. I know as governor we have a great co-operative effort there as we work on all of our resource-development projects. You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife. Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of yours [Sarkozy has two sons by his first wife, one by his second wife, and none with his current wife Carla Bruni].
The mock president picks up on the reference by responding that "Carla would love to meet you" and says she is a "popular singer and a former top model and she's so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you."
After Palin says she didn't know this he says, "Yes, in French it's called de rouge a levre sur un cochon, or if you prefer in English, Joe the Plumber...it's his life, Joe the Plumber" and after Palin's description of "Joe the Plumber" as "not my husband but he's a normal American who just works hard and doesn't want government to take his money" says, "Yes, yes, I understand we have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France. It's called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit."
Later pushing thins further the mock president says, "Gov. Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life. You know Hustler's Nailin' Paylin?" to which he responds, "Ohh, good, thank you, yes."
Audette then says, "That was really edgy." To which Palin replies, "Well good".
At this stage he ends the deception, saying, "I really loved you and I must say something also, governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal."
"Ohhh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this?" she asks to which he says "CKOI in Montreal" and the governor says, "In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters" and is then cut off.
Toronto Globe and Mail transcript of call - also has audio but with adverts:
YouTube - Audio of call:
2008-11-01: Latest Australian ratings covering September 14 - October 18 show all the leading stations in the main metropolitan markets retaining their lead although in Sydney Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB slipped back a little whilst ABC702 in second rank and Australian Radio Network's WSFM in fifth had the largest share rise.
In Sydney, Fairfax Media's 2UE, which under a promotional campaign deal with Nintendo is temporarily 2U-Wii for the three weeks from the beginning of last week, lost the most share and dropped a ran from fifth to sixth with a share down from 7.8 to 7.1: Leader and 2UE's commercial talk rival 2GB was also down as noted - from 13.4 to 13.0 - whilst the Australian Broadcasting Corporation talk station ABC702 moved up from third to second as it took its share up from 8.7 to 9.9.
In the Sydney breakfast rankings Alan Jones lost share with 15.3 compared to 15.7 in the previous ratings when Olympics rights boosted the station: Jason Morrison had been standing in for Alan Jones after he went into hospital for prostate cancer treatment in July.
Lower down the rankings Austereo's Triple M dropped to its lowest ever share - down from 4.9 to 4.4 and behind DMG Radio Australia's Vega FM for the first time as the latter took its share up from 4.3 to 4.5.
Austereo in its release on the ratings opted to emphasise the positive, noting the success of Today network duo Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) , who have the nation's top-rated drive show and in Brisbane took their share in the 1600-1800 period by 4.3 to 21.9%.
Triple M was mentioned only in the context of its performance in Brisbane and Adelaide where its stations were third in the FM rankings: it also noted that its drive team of Wil and Lehmo (Wil Anderson and Anthony Lehmann) are the number three drive team in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Austereo chief executive officer Michael Anderson commented, "Overall the Triple M Network has had a solid result with the number one breakfast in Perth, the bedding in of new breakfast shows in Adelaide and Melbourne and consistent results from Brisbane and a new line up to take effect in Sydney in 2009.Meanwhile the Today Network continues to set the benchmark of performance amongst the FM stations nationally."
The company's chairman Peter Harvie added, "In the face of strong competition, Austereo has maintained FM leadership in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with solid number two places in Perth and Adelaide."
DMG in its release noted increased share for its Nova stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide an in particular an improvement amongst under 40's and 18-39s. It also noted vega's increased share in Sydney and the fact that this put it ahead of Today FM there.
At ARN, whose WSFM in Sydney and MIX stations in Adelaide and Melbourne each increased their share whilst its Sydney MIX lost a little, the emphasis was on its 25-54 "core audience" with Chief Executive Bob Longwell commenting, "We are pleased with the results of the second last survey for the year. Among our core listeners - those aged 25 to 54 - the combined Sydney stations now account for 20 per cent of the total market, well ahead of our FM competitors."
"Our stations," he added, "continue to provide listeners with terrific programming, and this is reflected in the results today, especially at WSFM in Sydney and MIX in Melbourne."
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 16.6 (16.3) - same rank; Mix 102.3 with 13.2 (12.8) - same rank; SAFM with 12.8 (12.7) -same rank.
*ABC 891 with 11.7 (12.1) remained fourth; and 5MMM with an unchanged 10.3 remained fifth although Nova, with 9.9 (8.9) closed the gap.
*Brisbane - Nova with 13.8 (13.3) - same rank; B105 with 13.0 (11.7) -same rank; Triple M with 11.4 (11.6) - up from fourth.
* 97.3 FM with 11.0 (11.7) was down from third to fourth and ABC 612 with 9.9 (11.0) remained fifth.
*Melbourne - Fox FM with 14.6 (15.1) - same rank; 3AW with 14.0 (14.9) - same rank;
ABC 774 with 10.3 (10.0) - same rank;
* Nova 100 with 8.3 (7.4) remained fourth; Gold FM with 6.0 (6.8) remained fifth; and Triple M with 5.9 (6.5), remained in sixth rank.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.8 (16.7) - same rank; 92.9 with 11.9 (11.3) - up from third; 96 FM with 11.7 (13.0) - down from second;
*ABC 720 with 11.2 (11.1) - remained fourth followed by 6PR which remained fifth with 10.2 (10.8) and Nova, which remained sixth with an unchanged 10.1.
*Sydney: 2GB 13.0 (13.4) - same rank; ABC 702 with 9.9 (8.7) - up from third; 2-DAY with 9.6 (11.4) -down from second;
*Nova with 9.0 (8.2) remained fourth, ahead of WSFM, which moved up from seventh to fifth with 8.0 (6.8), overtaking 2UE - which fell to sixth with 7.1 (7.8) and MIX 106.5 which fell from sixth to seventh with 6.7 (7.0). 1170-2CH remained eighth with 5.40 (6.0).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Fairfax Media:
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2008-11-01: Studs Terkel, known worldwide for his audio chronicling of the lives and thoughts ordinary Americans and also a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, long-time radio host theatrical actor, and television pioneer, has died in his Chicago home aged 96.
Louis Terkel was born in New York City on May 16, 1912, but his family moved to Chicago when he was eight and spent his youth amongst the guests at the Wells-Grand Hotel, a rooming house run by his parents Robert, who was a tailor, and, Anna (Finkel), who was a circus performer
He graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1934 but never used the qualification, becoming an actor. In that year he was in the cast of Clifford Odet's play "Waiting For Lefty'' and during the depression he appeared in radio soap operas, often portraying a gangster, and was also involved in the WPA (Works Progress Administration) Federal Writers' Project. He also adopted the nickname "Studs", taken from James T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan trilogy and said to have been applied when he was acting in a play with another actor named, Louis, which led the director to give him the name to separate the two.
In 1939 he married his wife Ida (Goldberg), who died in 1999, and they had one son, Dan. During the Second World War he served in the Army Air Corps entertaining troops and after the war began his broadcasting career.
The NBC programme "Studs Place" that ran from 1950-1953 made his name nationally but he became one of the victims of the anti-Communist fervour of the times, spurred on by Senator Joseph McCarthy. NBC yielded to pressure and dripped the show and Terkel was blacklisted and could not find regular work.
In its report on his death the Chicago Sun-Times notes that in 1976 he told it, "To give you an idea of the fear an important soap opera producer once asked me to do some test scripts. I did them, but the sponsor said, 'No, we can't use him.' The producer berated me, as if it were my fault, 'How come you didn't tell me?' That's how deep the fear was."
The paper adds that Terkel eked out a living making speeches but "even there, Studs was often hounded by Edward Clamage of the Illinois American Legion, who would tell sponsors of Studs' talks that they were hiring a 'dangerous subversive.'"
"Sometimes I would get cancelled and other times they would let me speak," Studs recalled. "Then I'd write a letter to Clamage: 'Clamage, it comes to my attention that you are at it once again. Thanks to you, my fee was raised from USD 100 to USD200. I owe you an agent's fee. Signed Terkel.' It wasn't true of course, but it made him furious. It was a way of getting back."
Studs also credited the hounding for helping his subsequent writing work and getting the talk show - The Studs Terkel Program - that he hosted on WFMT from 1952 to 1997.
"In a strange way, it helped me," Studs told the Sun-Times. "I probably would never have gotten into writing books otherwise, or into WFMT. I was never publically pilloried; I was able to continue to make a living."
Amongst his books were "Giants of Jazz", published in 1956; "Division Street America", published in 1966; "Hard Times" (1970), "Working" (1974), "Talking to Myself" (1977), "American Dreams: Lost and Found" (1980) and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning "The Good War: An Oral History of World War II" (1985).
His final book, "P.S. - Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening" is to be published on Monday.
Much of his work was based on his "oral history" style and he told the Sun-Times, "A tape recorder is a revolutionary instrument. It's no good for a talk with a movie actress or a politician, because they're so plastic. But a tape recorder on the steps of a housing project is something else again. There a person who a moment ago was just a statistic starts talking to you and becomes human, becomes a person. Then it gets exciting."
His son told the paper, "He had a very full, eventful and sometimes tempestuous life. It was very satisfactory" and added that a celebration of his life will be scheduled in a few months.
Chicago Sun-Times report:
2008-11-01: Richard Wheatly is to step down as executive chairman of the Local Radio Company to take on the same role at its Jazz FM, re-launched as a digital station last month following a licensing agreement with Guardian Media Group which retained the name after it converted its Jazz FM stations to the Smooth FM format (See RNW Aug 29).
Anthony Gumbiner, currently a non-executive director, will become non-executive chairman of the group in which, through investment firm Hallwood Investments, he holds 28.3% of its issued share capital.
Wheatly will become a non-executive director of the company which said in a release, "Jazz FM represents a major growth opportunity for the company and the board believes its continued development has the potential to deliver significant value to shareholders. In his new roles Richard will be able to focus on capturing the opportunities available to the company through Jazz FM and its associated businesses, whilst continuing to play a strategic role in the ongoing development of the Local Radio Company as a whole."
The company has also appointed finance director Alistair Mackenzie as chief operating officer with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company as well as its finances and Rhys Davies, a director of Hallwood Investments, will become the company's investment director.
He will be responsible for managing investments and divestments as well as representing the company on the boards of its investee companies Jazz FM, First Radio Sales and Quadrant Media.
Wheatly said of the move, "The revised board structure recognises the new opportunities and challenges faced by the company. With the support of our major shareholder, the presence of the skills and experience to deliver growth through Jazz FM and the optimisation of our existing local radio business, I believe the board is now very well positioned to deliver our objectives."
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