September 2009 Personalities:
Meredith Attwell Baker - (2) - Republican FCC Commissioner; Tony Blackburn - veteran British DJ who launched BBC Radio 1; Hamish Blake - Hamish of Austereo "Hamish and Andy" drivetime show; Mike Carlton - Sydney 2UE breakfast co-host (with Sandy Aloisi) - to step down this month; John Cassaday - President and CEO, Corus Entertainment, Canada; Kenneth Robertson Chiampou - Ken of John and Ken Show on KFI-AM, Los Angeles; Mignon L. Clyburn - Democrat Federal Communications Commissioner; Michael J. Copps - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Tim Davie - (3) - Director BBC Audio & Music; Lou Dobbs - US radio and TV host - former CNN anchor; Chris Evans - (2) - British broadcaster and former radio mogul - to move from Radio2 drivetime to breakfast show in January 2010; John Evington - station manager, The Revolution (Oldham), and former Wireless Group Programme Director; Julius Genachowski - (4) - FCC chairman; Mike Gould - President & CEO, Eastlan Ratings; Andrew Harrison - chief executive (took up post Oct 2006) UK RadioCentre; Peter Harvie (3) - -executive chairman Austereo; Alan Jones - Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Tom Joyner - syndicated US morning host; Adrian Van Klaveren - Controller BBC Radio Five Live and BBC 5 Live Sports Extra; John Chester Kobylt - John of John and Ken Show on KFI-AM, Los Angeles; Andy Lee - Andy of Austereo "Hamish and Andy" drivetime show; Conor Maguire - chairperson Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI); Simon Mayo - BBC Radio presenter- to host Radio 2 drivetime show from January 2010; Robert M. McDowell - (4) - Republican Federal Communications Commissioner; Stephen Miron - (2) - chief executive, Global Radio; Tony Moretta- Chief Executive, UK Digital Radio Development Bureau; Michael Moskowitz - President and CEO, XM Canada; Chris Moyles - BBC Radio1 breakfast host; Jackie O - (5)- (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) - of Australian duo Kyle and Jackie O; Christian O'Connell - Absolute Radio - former Virgin Radio- breakfast host; Michael O'Keeffe - chief executive Broadcasting Commission of Ireland; Steve Penk - UK radio host and station owner; Bruce Reese - President and CEO, Bonneville International, US; Noah Samara - founder, chairman and CEO of international satellite radio company World Space; Kyle Sandilands - (5) - Kyle of Australian breakfast duo Kyle and Jackie O; Michael Savage - Conservative US radio host; Bob Shennan - (2) - Controller BBC Radio2 and 6 Music; Rod Sherwood - President & CFO, Westwood One; Gordon H. Smith - (3) -President and CEO-Elect, US National Association of Broadcasters (To take office Nov 1); Troi Torain - with Buc Wild - his half-brother Timothy Joseph, co- host of Star and Buc Wild Show; Joan Warner - CEO, industry body Commercial Radio Australia; Dennis Wharton - (2) - Executive Vice President, US National Association of Broadcasters; (Sir) Terry Wogan - (2) - BBC Radio 2 breakfast host- to step down from his Radio 2 Breakfast show at end of 2009;

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

September 2009 Archive

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-August 2009 - October 2009 -
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.

2009-09-30: The 2009 Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) Scholarship for Breakthrough Country Artist has gone to Sinead Burgess, who earlier this year released her debut EP "You Get Me" and is currently working on her debut album.
The scholarship is awarded in conjunction with the CMA (Country Music Association of America) Australian Advisory Group and includes return airfares to Nashville, USA with seven days accommodation, with an opportunity to perform at the CMA Global Artist Showcase at the CMA Music Festival, the world's biggest country music festival.
In addition Burgess receives an invitation to perform as a special guest artist at the NA2R (New Artist 2 Radio) showcase during this years annual Commercial Radio Conference and awards.
The award follows the naming earlier this month of this year's NA2R winners - unsigned acts Finabah (rock category); Mojada (pop category) and Emma Donovan (adult contemporary category).
The winners share in an advertising prize across the four major Australian radio networks with a value put at AUD 150,000 (USD 133,000) and also have the opportunity to be added to the playlists of selected radio stations for four weeks. They were chosen from nine finalists, all of whom attended a workshop held in Sydney.
The three winners will perform at the NA2R showcase event to be held in Sydney on 9 October in front of a large crowd of key music and program directors from the commercial radio sector and one winner from the acts will then be chosen to perform the following night at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs), to be held in Sydney on 10 October.
Commenting on the awards judge, Allan Cameron, program director, Macquarie Southern Cross Media said, "The quality and quantity of entries in this year's NA2R, once again shows the depth of talent in Australian music yet to be unearthed. The calibre of bands ready to emerge onto the mainstream music scene is high, which makes the judging process exciting. We have found artists that not only follow trends but have the potential to create them. The sheer number of entries this year proves the depth and potential of Aussie music and reminds us all that we need to get behind it and keep it pumping."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:

2009-09-30: Trading in the shares of The Local Radio Company ( TLRC) has now ended with the withdrawal by the company from the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a move announced last month (See RNW Aug 26) and approved at an Extraordinary Meeting on September 22.
The withdrawal - at 07:: this morning with the shares last trading at 4 pence - means that no UK radio companies are listed on stock markets following various takeovers by larger groups - amongst them the purchase by Bauer Media of Emap's radio division and by privately-held Global Radio of Chrysalis's radio operations followed by the takeover of GCap Media, and UTV's purchase of talkSPORT owner, The Wireless Group. UBC Media also sold off its radio stations.
UKRD took a majority shareholding in TLRC in May (See RNW May 14) and has since closed or disposed of a number of stations, retaining 12 that it said last month it intended to retain of which three were unprofitable..
At its peak TLRC, which began as Radio Investments Limited, owned or had interests in 21 stations, excluding digital station Jazz FM, which was sold to Jazz Investments Limited, which was formed by the company's former chairman Richard Wheatly, in April this year for a nominal GBP1 (See RNW April 9). Stations that have been closed are Abbey FM, Barrow-in-Furness, and Mix 107, High Wycombe.
UKRD has separately announced a re-branding of the three unprofitable former TLRC stations has kept - Alpha Radio in Darlington, Durham Radio, and Minster Radio in Northallerton - under the "Star" name that it uses for stations in Cambridgeshire and Somerset.
Previous Local Radio Company:
Previous UKRD:

2009-09-29: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is to set up a series of workshops starting in early November as a first step towards beginning the agency's 2010 quadrennial review of its media ownership rules.
The agency is required by law to review the rules every four years and to determine whether they are necessary in the public interest and "repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer in the public interest."
The workshops, says the FCC Media Bureau, will initially be held to "receive public input on the appropriate scope and methodology of the proceeding and later to help build an analytical and empirical foundation for a Commission decision."
Issues covered will include the state of the current media marketplace and the role of the media ownership rules in that marketplace and the Commission will seek viewpoints and information from a broad range of experts; consumers; public interest and trade associations; labour unions; media industry representatives, both traditional and new; and other interested persons.
Previous FCC:

2009-09-29: Westwood One is to institute pay cuts for its full time employees including the loss of five days pay over ten weeks and in addition will have to take five days of unpaid furlough time by the end of this year.
In a memo to employees announcing the move, President Rod Sherwood noted cost-cutting measures already taken and then added, "In spite of all our efforts, and the sacrifices our employees have made, we are not yet experiencing the kind of revenue growth we need to meet our financial goals and support our current cost structure. We have experienced a revenue shortfall this third quarter, and we face continued uncertainty in the fourth quarter. Moreover, no one can accurately predict when a sustainable recovery in the advertising marketplace and the radio business will begin. Consequently, we have to take prudent business actions to further reduce our costs now in order to protect, and position, the company for long-term success and growth in 2010."
Westwood One he said had made "every effort to avoid layoffs" and tried to be to be as fair as possible by making sure that everyone in the company shares in these sacrifices, without having people lose their jobs."
There are limited exceptions to the mandatory cuts if required because of operational necessity and the company's network and Metro Traffic ad sales departments are to put separate plans in place for sales management and employees.
The cuts are potentially balanced by a separate 2010 performance bonus plan that will give eligible employees a bonus equal to five days' pay, plus 10 percent: eligible employees will also earn an additional paid vacation day for each calendar quarter in 2010.
Previous Sherwood:
Previous Westwood One:

2009-09-29: Entercom's Sacramento vice president and marketing manager John Geary has told the Sacramento Superior Court hearing a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the company and its KDND-FM that he was unaware of a water drinking contest staged in 2007 until after the death of the woman whose relatives are suing.
Jennifer Lea Strange was found dead by a family member in her Rancho Cordova home after she had taken part in a "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which she told co-workers she was going to enter to win the prize for her children. She came second in the contest.
The station was subsequently reported to have fired ten people, including all members of its "Morning Rave" programme that staged the contest (See RNW Jan 17, 2007) after the death was put down to water intoxication.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Geary told the court he was "just stunned" by word of the death and added that he had usually had little or nothing to do with contests staged at the company's six Sacramento stations as they are overseen by in-house lawyers.
Geary also told the court that KDND's former promotions manager, Robin Pechota, had expressed to him concerns about KDND's "Morning Rave" team, suggesting that they were out of control, but he didn't accept that description and added that Pechota "had frustrations with them on housekeeping issues, but nothing on safety or danger."
Geary also testified that he had been unaware that on the day of the contest one of the DJs had asked on air "Can't you get water poisoning and die?" nor that a woman had called in to the show later that morning to say "those people that are drinking all that water can get sick and possibly die of water intoxication" to which one of the DJs responded, "We're aware of that."
Despite that he said he did not believe the team were aware of the dangers, saying, "Do I believe they knew it was dangerous? Absolutely not. I don't think any of them had any indication or sense that it was dangerous."
On Monday, a deposition from Entercom lawyer Carmela Masi was played to the jury in which she said the company had written policies that stated that contests "which are illegal, dangerous, misleading, rigged, or in bad taste must be avoided "and her own policy was that any contests that involved "physicality" or "ingestion" required the presence of an on-site medical professional. No professional was at the station when the contest was staged.
Also on Monday, Strange's mother Nina Louise Hulst told the court that he daughter's death had broken up her family: He oldest grandson, she said, used to live with his mother and half-brother and sister but now lives with his biological father not his siblings thus weakening his relationship with them although he still saw them. Entercom lawyer Douglas W. Sullivan subsequently said to the judge in the absence of the jury that the damage to the relationship was not a compensable item "and that he thought the plaintiff's attorneys were trying to prejudice the jury by detailing the relationships.
The contest winner Lucy Teresa Davidson also testified, saying that a few hours before the death, she and Strange retired to adjacent bathroom stalls to relieve themselves after having held their urine for hours, finding themselves on their knees, gagging over their respective toilets.
Davidson said she asked radio station personnel if she could go to the bathroom immediately after they declared her the winner of the contest, but they told her she couldn't until they had her sign something and interviewed her briefly on their "Morning Rave" show.
Previous Entercom:
Sacramento Bee report:

2009-09-29: Corus Entertainment has delivered an upbeat message to its investors in an update in which its President and CEO John Cassaday spoke of the company having "set the table to strong growth."
At a meeting with analysts and investors the company said it "sees a return to growth of advertising revenue in 2010" and continued, "For 2010, we are very optimistic. The consensus in 2010 will be a return to stronger levels of spending from advertising."
Corus updated its financial guidance for fiscal 2010 to a profit target of between CAD 255 and 270 million (USD 243.5-257 million).: The figure compares to 2009 fiscal year guidance given in January of between CAD 255-265 million (USD 245.5-253.0 million), lowered from previous guidance of CAD 270-280 million (USD 257-267 million) because of an advertising slowdown.
Cassaday said the new target is "a reflection of our optimistic outlook for both the economy in which we will operate and the plans we have in place at Corus."
Corus specifically suggested that the use of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings was a positive for radio and TV (it is used for both in Canada): Figures using the PPM so far have boosted TV ratings considerably for Corus.
The company also detailed cost-cutting measures taken already that have reduced overall radio costs to 2006 levels: They include a hiring freeze; cuts to travel, conferences and entertainment spending; a 5% reduction in base pay for members of its Management Committee; "voluntary" pay reductions accepted by on-air talent and some unionized Employees; and unpaid days and pension hiatus for non-unionized employees.
The comments follow a note from Desjardins Securities analyst Eric Bernofsky issued on Monday in which he said advertising may have actually become worse rather than improved as the Canadian economy turned round.
In his note he commented, "We do not believe advertising markets have significantly improved and if Canadian Broadcast Sales' (CBS) national radio results for the quarter are any indication, advertising may have worsened - which we believe could weigh on the upcoming results of both Astral Media Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc.."
The figures he cited represent around 60% of Canada's national radio market and a quarter of the total radio advertising spend , including figures for Corus and Rogers but not including Astral: They showed advertising revenues down 25.2% during the quarter ending August, compared with 13.9% decline for the previous quarter ended May.
They indicated considerable variation across the country with Quebec revenues up 8% and the Maritimes up 3% whilst Ontario, the worst hit province, was responsible for more than half the national radio sales total decline.
Trading Desk reported Bernofsky as writing, "As the year-over-year declines have accelerated on the national front...Corus reported that its local radio revenue declined accelerated from flat growth in 4Q FY08 to a decline of 15% in 3Q 2009. While we expect local radio advertising performed better than national in the quarter, we cannot ignore this declining trend; as a result we maintain a very cautious outlook for radio in the near term."
Also on Monday, FMQB announced that its production arm FMQB Productions had entered into partnership with Corus to Corus Radio's syndicated content in the US.
The programming includes Alan Cross's weekly documentary "The Ongoing History of New Music" and weekday 30-minute "ExploreMusic" rock show as well as Jeff Woods' "Legends of Classic Rock" and FMQB said it had already signed up Citadel's WEDG-FM, Buffalo and Clear Channel's WRZX-FM, Indianapolis.
FMQB quoted David Huszar, Vice President and General Manager, Corus Interactive and Integrated Solutions, as saying, "Given today's reality where listeners have access to an unprecedented amount of music, the role of trusted experts that can provide perspective, context and recommendation has never been more vital. Both Alan and Jeff are consummate storytellers who have built a huge fan base in Canada and we're looking forward to introducing American audiences to this great Canadian programming through FMQB."
Michael Parrish, Vice President, Operations, FMQB, added, "This partnership with Corus marks a natural progression in the growth of FMQB Productions as a provider of syndicated content to radio stations across America and the world. We look forward to introducing American radio to the intelligence and passion for music that both Alan Cross and Jeff Woods bring to their programs."
Previous Cassaday:
Previous Corus:
FMQB report:
Tradingdesk report:

2009-09-28: Cumulative audience estimates just released by Arbitron following its RADAR ((Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) 102 survey show that the audience listening to US Network radio is increasing - up overall by 1.05 million (from 186.66 to 187.71 million) for the 12+ demographic and up 1.03 million (from 169.59 to 170.61 million) for those 18 plus compared to the RADAR 101 survey released three months ago.
The latest survey covers 58 networks and was compiled from a sample of 345,230 panellists and respondents, scheduled to increase to 360,000 by the end of the year: It was the eighth survey to include Portable People Meter (PPM) and diary panellists and respondents with the latest survey including PPM data from 17 markets.
Arbitron also details the rankings of Networks for Cume Audiences Cume Audience to All Commercials, All Broadcasts Mon-Sun 5AM-12 Midnight for the 25-54 and 18-49, both of which show Premiere networks in top rank whereas its earlier release of average audience figures showed Dial Global networks topping the rankings (See RNW Sep 21).
For the 25-54 demographic Arbitron lists the Premiere Pearl Network in top rank with a cumulative audience of 16.243 million followed by the Premiere Pearl Plus Network with 14.471 million and Dial Global Contemporary Network with 14.181 million: In this demographic the average audience figures showed the Dial Global Contemporary Network in top rank with an average audience of 3.908 million followed by the Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 3,657 million and the Premiere Male Focus Network with an average audience of 3,034 million. Dial Global's top network for Cume was its Dial Global Contemporary Network in sixth rank with 15.256 million.
In the 18-49 Demographic the top three for Cume were the Premiere Emerald Plus Network with 17.648 million; the Premiere Emerald Network with 17.430 million and the Premiere Diamond Network with 16.672 million. In the average audience rankings for this demographic, the Dial Global Complete FM Network was in top rank with a 4.120 million average followed by the Dial Global Contemporary Network with 4.906 million and the Dial Global Adult Power Network with 2.863 million. The Premiere Male Focus Network was fourth with 2.641 million.
Bruce Supovitz, Arbitron's manager, National Radio Services, commented on the basis of them, "Network radio continues to be a highly impactful and cost-effective media for advertisers. This significant increase in listeners across the board from just three months ago highlights radio's effectiveness of reaching a mass audience."
RNW comment: Arbitron cautions that the figures are its own estimates and not precise figures; It also fails to give any estimates of US population change or comparisons with earlier RADAR numbers, making the release more of a public relations exercise than a particularly meaningful record of changes. It particularly benefits Arbitron's largest ratings customer, Clear Channel which owns Premiere.
Previous Arbitron:
Previous RADAR:

2009-09-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has withdrawn a USD 4,000 Forfeiture against CBS Radio in connection with a competitive eating competition run by WIP-AM, Philadelphia, in a consent decree under which CBS pays the same amount as a "voluntary" contribution to the US Treasury.
The agency had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for his amount in March 2007 (See RNW Licence News Mar 4, 2007) and subsequently issued a forfeiture for the amount in July last year (See RNW Licence News Jul 13, 2008) and only last month rejected a CBS appeal against the penalty (See RNW Aug 27).
The penalties related to a complaint made about failure to announce the material terms of a contest and neglecting to conduct the contest in accordance with its material terms in relation to the competitive eating contest entitled "Wing Off" run by WIP-AM: CBS had disqualified the winner after finding out that he belonged to a competitive eating association, the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters ("AICE"), a rival of another competitive eating association historically associated with Wing Bowl 13, the Independent Federation of Competitive Eating ("IFOCE"), arguing that he should have known that members of associations in rivalry with IFOCE could not compete in the Contest because the Station previously disqualified a participant from Wing Bowl 12 for the same reason.
The FCC had ruled that the station neither announced nor advertised the relevant conditions on air and had thus breached regulations governing contests.
Under the consent decree, as well as the payment, CBS had agreed to create within 30 days a Compliance Plan related to future compliance with the Act, the Commission's Rules, and the Commission's Orders: The plan is to include preparation of a memorandum explaining the FCC's Contest Rule and setting forth Station procedures applicable to conducting Station contests to be sent to all employees materially involved in the broadcast of programming, appropriate training relating to this, and the filing of compliance reports 90 days, 12 months, and three years - the date when the decree ends - after the decree takes effect.
In another case relating to competitions the agency has issued a USD 4,000 forfeiture to Saga Communications in relation to a competition run by WAQY-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts, in June and July 2005 that led to a complaint that the contest had not been conducted in accordance with its advertised rules.
Complainant Robert Naginewicz said he won the contest's "Grand Prize Giveaway" with prizes that included a free two-year lease on a 2005 Buick LaCrosse automobile, or its cash equivalent, from the co-sponsor, Bob Pion Pontiac, and a "trunk load full" of Aerosmith memorabilia.
He said that he had been assured that all the prizes would be delivered to him by July 22, 2005, but the monetary portion was not paid until August 18, that year and, despite numerous queries made of the Station's staff, he was still awaiting delivery of the memorabilia portion as of December 31, 2005, almost a half year after the contest had concluded.
Saga in its response acknowledged its failure to send the memorabilia until after the FCC was contacted, blaming it on a station "problem", and added that because of the delay it had added additional prizes.
The agency rejected arguments that no rule violation had taken place and issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) for USD 4,000 against Saga: Saga responded by arguing that the delay did not make its conduct prohibited because "promptness" is not an enumerated requirement identified in the licensee-conducted contest rule.
It also argued that it had not acted wilfully and that the delay was due to inadvertence and employee miscommunication.
The FCC in confirming the penalty said that it has clearly stated that prizes must be awarded promptly and in this case the station's own contest rules anticipated delivery of the prizes within 30 days, not seven months. It also noted in regard to Saga's other argument that Naginewicz repeatedly contacted Saga over a period of several months in an effort to obtain the memorabilia portion of the prize, but to no avail.
Previous CBS:
Previous FCC:
Previous Saga:

2009-09-28: UK Media regulator Ofcom has upheld standards complaints against three radio stations in its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it also buries in the list of complaints not upheld a total of 20 complaints made against Absolute Radio in connection with an appearance on its breakfast show by opposition Conservative leader David Cameron in which he swore on air.
The complaints upheld involved community station Radio Hartlepool, Sunrise Radio, and Radio Mast FM.
No TV complaints were upheld although details were given of one TV standards complaint not upheld: The figures compare with the upholding in the previous bulletin of one complaint against radio plus standards complaints against nine TV programmes, the partial upholding of a TV fairness and privacy complaint and the posting of details of five more such complaints against TV that were not upheld.
The complaint against Radio Hartlepool involved its Classic 9 at 9 regular Saturday late breakfast show feature in which nine music tracks from the same unidentified year are broadcast. Listeners are sometime encouraged to send in a text - at a premium rate of 25p per message - stating what they believe to be the featured year with the presenter revealing some responses on air.
A listener complained that he thought some features had been recorded and broadcast "as live", thus meaning that on these occasions respondents had no chance of their texts being acknowledged on air.
Radio Hartlepool in response to an enquire from Ofcom said that four of six broadcasts of the feature that it held on record had been pre-recorded and on these occasions, the presenter's references to named listeners and the contents of their text messages had been fictitious. It added that to avoid recurrence all pre-recording now required prior approval by station management and all its presenters had been advised to solicit and acknowledge listener feedback only "during live programming where the presenter can directly receive the feedback."
Ofcom, which has taken up the same issue before, ruled that the action in giving fictitious names "was a severe and unacceptable breach of listeners' trust" that breached codes and added that it was concerned that Radio Hartlepool had failed to note previous Findings and its Note to Broadcasters over the matter.
The breaches involving Sunrise Radio related to its "Hit of the Hour", a regular feature sponsored by G&B Windows, in which the presenter credited the sponsor by giving details of an offer and the sponsor's phone number.
A listener noted that the broadcaster had already been found to have breached codes for broadcasting a similar sponsorship credit and Sunrise was asked for its comments: The stations responded that following guidance from Ofcom after its previous breach it had considered its revised sponsor credits acceptable for broadcast and added that having sought clarification it apologised for any misunderstanding on its part, adding that it was confident that its further revised sponsor credits were now compliant with the Code.
Ofcom said it took into account attempts to revise credits following the previous ruling but said that in this case the sponsor credit still sounded more like a full advertisement than a brief branding statement and thus breached its codes.
It added that in the light of additional guidance now given to the licensee, Ofcom expects future sponsorship credits broadcast by Sunrise Radio to comply with the Code and that it might consider further regulatory action in the event of any recurrence.
In the case of Mast FM, a temporary radio service (restricted service licence) which broadcast in Bristol from 9 July to 5 August, a listener complained that a presenter's reading of advertisers' messages breached Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.
Mast FM as asked for a recording to assess the content but said it could not provide this, explaining that its studio output was usually saved automatically but it believed that some hours worth of output, including the dates requested, had been deleted due to power interruptions caused by neighbouring building works.
Ofcom accordingly held that Mast FM had breached its licence conditions by not retaining recordings, a breach that it said would be held on record.
In addition to the above, Ofcom also listed without details 157 TV complaints against 58 items and 31 radio complaints against 22 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 237 TV complaints against 149 items and 31 radio complaints against 22 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:

2009-09-27: In a generally fairly quiet week for the regulators, the main news came from North America although there the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was busier on issues of the internet than broadcasting.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made just one radio posting, a ruling that SportFM, holder of a temporary community broadcasting licence in Fremantle, Western Australia, breached its radio licence conditions by broadcasting advertisements and by exceeding the hourly sponsorship limit of five minutes.
The ruling followed a complaint about a broadcast of a commercially sourced programme "The Run Home" and the station subsequently took the programme off air and started a review of its other commercially sources programming.
The ACMA commented that it was "comfortable that these actions demonstrate SportFM's commitment to meeting its obligations" and accordingly opted to take no further action.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a number of radio-related postings including the following:
Across Canada:
*Posted notice of consultation with an Oct 16 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, regarding its review campus and community radio: In relation to this the agency has posted aggregate financial summaries for the campus and community radio sector on its website for consideration as part of the Review.
The financial summaries are based on a sample of 93 campus and community stations that have consistently filed their annual returns for the broadcast years ending 31 August 2006, 31 August 2007 and 31 August 2008: It excludes developmental stations and campus instructional statements.
*Posted notice of consultation with an Oct 13 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments relating to proposals by Astral Media to address a Canadian content development (CCD) contribution shortfall for the 2008 broadcast year relating to 65 of its commercial radio stations.
Astral said the shortfall was due to a misunderstanding of its transitional CCD conditions of licence and is proposing in relation to a shortfall of CAD 659,752 (around USD 607,500) for 2008 to make CCD contributions a total of CAD 750,000 (USD 691,000) over the next seven years from the start of September. CAD 450,000 (USD 414,000) of this would go to MUSICACTION and CAD 300,000 (USD 276,000) to the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC).
*Approval of application by Club Social la Grande for a broadcasting licence to operate a radiocommunication distribution undertaking to serve Camp Sarcelle in north-western Quebec: The undertaking will distribute the programming of CFQR-FM, CBF-FM, CKOI-FM and CITE-FM, all in Montréal.
*Approval of application by Radio Ville-Marie to operate an AM transmitter (1,000 watts daytime and 180 watts night-time) in Gatineau to carry the programming of French-language specialty station CIRA-FM, Montréal.
Also in Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that a Toronto station segment in which a disabled man was questioned about personal hygiene and his sex life breached six Canadian Broadcasters' codes (See RNW Sep 23).
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has posted a report on digital radio for the country that supports DAB+, the more advanced version of DAB, but also expresses some concerns about the viability of digital radio in the current economic climate (See RNW Sep 26) but there were no radio postings from the UK although Ofcom did post a report on Local and Regional Media in the UK.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been busier with Internet matters than broadcast but it did announce that its FM Auction 79 that closed on Sept 15 raised bids totalling USD (6,238,100.00 in total bids - USD 5,253,025 in net bids - with 53 bidders winning a total of 85 construction permits.
The winning bids ranged from USD 1,500 from RF Services Inc. for a station in Rocksprings, Texas, to USD 518,000.00 from Audion Communications, LLC for a station in Murrieta, California.
Next highest bid was of USC 485,000 from Ashley T Joyner for a station in Palm Coast, Florida, and third highest was a bid of USD 389,000 from Hispanic Target Media Inc. for a station in Buttonwillow, California.
Below this there were one further bid above USD 300,000; three further bids between USD 200,000 and USD 300,000 and ten more between USD 100,000 and USD 200,000.
The agency also posted an update regarding is AM Auction 84 following a period in which applicants for new AM stations and major modifications to existing stations were given a period to eliminate mutual exclusivity through a settlement or technical modifications: The filing window for the applications ran for five days in January 2004 and in all there were 116 mutually exclusive applications: The agency now lists a total of 28 applications in seven groups that remain mutually exclusive.
In enforcement actions the FCC announced a settlement with Daystar Public Radio, Inc., licensee of non-commercial educational station WKSG -FM, Cedar Creek, Florida, over issues related to the broadcast of underwriting acknowledgments.
Under a consent decree, the agency terminates its investigation into the matter and Daystar agrees to make a "voluntary contribution" of USD 3,500 to the United States Treasury and also set up a compliance plan including a "multi level review procedure for underwriting content" that will see all scripts examined for compliance before broadcast; the training of all new employees in relation to compliance with underwriting rules; a plan to educate prospective underwriters about appropriate underwriting content; and the filing of compliance reports file compliance reports with the Commission ninety days, twelve months, and twenty-four months after the Effective Date of the agreement , and upon expiration of this Consent Decree, three years after the Effective Date.
The FCC is also taking comment on a "Radio Rescue Petition for Rulemaking" from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) that sets out 17 points in a 57-page document, that it says are "offered to promote diversity, localism and competition, to remedy the effects of past discriminatory policies against minorities and women, and to provide an urgently needed stimulus for the broadcasting industry as a whole."
The MMTC says the US "radio industry is endangered and it needs to be rescued now" and its proposals refer to "outdated and ineffective engineering rules" and "certain archaic broadcast engineering rules" that the MMTC says "operate as market entry barriers, effectively stifling diversity and impeding competition."
It then says that "The elimination of these market barriers would improve the general state of broadcasting and ease the path of entry for small businesses and entrepreneurs by allowing stations more flexibility in station location and operations."
Proposals include a call to determine the best use of Channels 5 and 6 following the transition to digital TV - a proposal it says could probable save "AM radio while also eliminating a great deal of interference among AM stations that choose to remain in the AM band"; "elimination of the AM night-time coverage rule would allow AM radio stations to improve daytime broadcasts to consumers, reduce burdensome operating costs, and conserve the Commission's scarce resources; modifications to the principal community coverage rules for commercial stations; Allowing FM stations to specify Class C, CO, C1, C2 and C3 facilities in Zones I and IA; Removing "non-viable FM allotments" that the MMTC says "would increase spectrum efficiency by allowing others to expand into these areas"; re-affirm th4e FCC's support for the repeal of third adjacent spacing rules; maintaining the rule limiting an applicant to a maximum of 10 translator applications; creation of a new class of Low Power FMs; and relaxation of the main studio rule to allow a station to operate its main studio outside its community of licence and maintain its public file at the nearest library to the community of license - the MMTC says the proposal would "promote minority ownership and employment because it would generate savings that could be put to more productive use for the benefit of the community served by the station… The proposal would allow localism goals to be met in a cost efficient manner, therefore providing increased opportunities for small, minority and women owned broadcasters to enter the field"; and the creation of a "The Broadcast Public Engineer" post to assist small businesses and nonprofits with routine engineering matters.
The agency is also involved in consideration of the effects on minority broadcasters of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings, a topic that was brought up in addresses to the National Association Of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) 33rd Annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference by Republican Commissioner Robert M. McDowell - who also spoke to the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Capitol Hill Media Summit, highlighting issues of the former Fairness Doctrine to the latter (See RNW Sep 24).
The NABOB Conference also heard from FCC chairman Julius Genachowski on the issue of the PPM: Genachowski noted the limited authority of the agency in relation to this despite the notice of inquiry on the matter.
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2009-09-26: A report on Digital Radio for Ireland funded through the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI)'s Media Research Funding Scheme backs the Eureka DAB family of technologies but comments favourably on DAB+, which uses more efficient coding than the MP2 system in the original DAB system, and also on Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB).
"Digital Radio for Ireland: Competing Options, Public Expectations" was prepared following a survey of industry stakeholders, strategic interviews with a representative group of senior executives in the radio industry, and an audit of on-line digital radio and focus groups with radio users and it additionally comments on an "overwhelming acknowledgement of the significance of the internet and online delivery as an essential component of digital radio and the future of radio."
It adds that, "Perfect Reception and Lower Transmission Costs for Broadcasters are viewed as the most important features of DAB technology, with Excellent Audio Quality and Easy Programme
Selection as the next most important" and goes on to say that 77% of correspondents considered multimedia an important element of radio's future with 65% saying that the DAB+ system would be a better choice than DAB (70% for commercial radio operators) whilst 70% of those involved in community and special interest radio said they did not know if DAB was the right choice. Those favouring DAB+ said they did so because of its increased efficiency and around half of those interviewed said that they needed to end with a platform that was better than FM or exceeded the current service.
They argued that lessons needed to be learned from the RTÉ?led digital radio trial of 2007?8 and that a more coordinated and consultative approach, emphasizing extensive market research, was required: In addition the economic viability of digital radio was highlighted along with the difficulty in promoting the case for it during a severe recession that is already hitting Irish media.
The report also notes that digital radio was seen as failing to include all, particularly small scale operators and community services.
Regarding FM, more than 70% considered that this would remain popular in ten years time and only 36% took the view that digital would be the dominant platform by 2020.
The report also says that nearly 45% of radio operators did not believe that the country needed more radio services with just fewer than 37% of respondents supporting more services although the figure was higher from state broadcaster RTÉ, community and not for profit services.
Most commercial operators said that they should be given incentives to make a transition to digital radio over and above a proposed six- year licence extension and added that they ranked 'live internet streaming' as important to their operation and internet?related services were viewed as the most important priority with regard to future investment: The most frequently cited reasons for developing web radio services were those of extending the reach of radio beyond the FM franchise area.
Of the 91 radio services checked, more than four-fifths had a website - four of 22 community services did not and neither did 12 of the 22 temporary services - but the report noted that most were relatively basic in design and functionality although more than four-fifths offered live streaming.
Comments from listeners indicated evidence of a low take-up of new platforms - whilst 88% of households had a receiver along with 87% of car owners only some 15,000 people listen on a mobile phone, 8,000 on a portable player, 7,000 each through the Internet or a TV and around 4,000 in any other digital format.
Focus group members questioned included a third who knew about or owned a DAB receiver and whilst they said they enjoyed the features of the service, most were disappointed with the range of programming available and considered content diversity the most important requirement for digital radio.
The report concludes by noting the current high level of public support for radio and says the "advantage of late adoption of digital and the establishment of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) provide a new opportunity for the development of a national digital radio policy and strategy."
It recommends amongst other things the establishment of a Digital Radio Forum, development of policy White Paper next year, the commissioning of "detailed research on the technology, market economics and sociocultural dimensions of DTSB", and broad "engagement with the public to ensure awareness of the issues, opportunities and challenges as well as the benefits of digital radio."
Commenting on the report recommendations, Michael O'Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BCI said "We are entering a new era in broadcasting with the imminent establishment of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and the framework that new broadcasting legislation provides for the development of digital radio. I have no doubt that this research report will play a key part in assisting and informing the policy development process".
Conor Maguire Chairperson of the BCI added, "Radio has consistently displayed an undoubted strength in Ireland as measured through JNLR research, in addition to the diversity of public, commercial and community radio services. While Ireland is a relatively late adopter in terms of digital radio, there is a benefit in learning from experiences elsewhere. I welcome today's report, not alone does it provide an excellent contribution to the debate on digital radio, but it also underscores the importance of research in informing approaches to regulation."
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Digital Radio for Ireland report (2.43 Mb 118 Page PDF):
2009-09-25: According to a new Coleman Insights study Weekly Cume Rating is the measure that most often differentiates American radio stations that are highly successful in Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings: The survey, which was presented at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia, shows that "High Performance" stations had higher Weekly TSL levels - around 7% higher than a comparison group of stations; generated more periods of listening - 14.4% higher with 19.9 weekly occasions on average compared to 17.7 occasions for all stations; and had more listening from "P1" listeners - 62% of the station's listening on average with around two-and-a-half times as much listening from this group as from its other listeners.
The study -"The PPM DNA of America's High Performance Radio Stations" - is the latest in Coleman's "Mapping the DNA of PPM" series of studies and looked at key PPM data points from Arbitron's PD Advantage Web service for 874 stations from April, May and June 2009 in the first 20 markets with the PPM service.
Coleman does not produce comparative figures from predecessor diary data although it comments, "The results show that P1 listening is as critical to a station's success in the PPM service as it was when it was measured by the Diary."
Coleman Insights Vice President John Boyne, who delivered the NAB Radio Show presentation along with Arbitron's Vice President of Programming Services and Development, Gary Marince, commented of the results, "Radio stations that perform well in the PPM service obviously benefit from higher-than-average Cume and TSL levels. However, what our study reveals is that it is Cume far more than TSL that truly separates the high performers from the rest of the pack."
Marince added, "Stations in PPM markets have much more information than ever before and this study provides a valuable tool for understanding what is working and what drives higher ratings in the overall marketplace. As new markets commercialize with the PPM service, these insights will help stations learn from their peers and competitors in existing PPM markets about what makes a high performing station."
Coleman recommends that based on its findings stations need to recognize the importance of Cume and says that a "station can significantly improve its ability to achieve a high Cume with a strategic marketing and advertising plan" and would be "best served by trying to get listeners to listen to a station on more occasions rather than attempting to get them to listen for longer periods of time."
RNW comment: In the short term marketing may well drive up Cume by tempting new listeners to try the station but if, having tried it, they don't like what they get we can't see the money as having been well spent.
Maybe we're being old fashioned but it seems to us that like any other "repeat purchase", the goods on offer have to remain attractive since disappointment may well lead to rejection and that may well then cost much more to overcome than getting the product - programming in this case - up to scratch before the marketing.

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2009-09-25: Kalispell, Montana, news-talk station KGEZ-AM has been closed down by Flathead County authorities following a court ruling converting Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings started by owner John Stokes into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and thus allowing liquidation of Stokes' assets to pay his creditors.
In making the ruling Judge Ralph Kirscher said Stokes had repeatedly given incorrect statements of the value of his assets and based his plan to paying creditors on winning an appeal against a jury decision late last year that ordered him to pay USD 3.8 million against two local businessmen, Davar and Todd Gardner, for defaming them on his radio show and also on getting a large payment from the city of Kalispell for the radio towers he owns and which are in the airspace of the municipal airport.
The judge also denied a request from Stokes for the bankruptcy proceedings to be put on hold until after he could appeal the damages decision to the Montana State Supreme Court.
The Flathead Beacon in its report of the shut down noted that in an August meeting with creditors, Stokes testified that "he had never filed an income tax return for the State of Montana and that he has not filed a federal income tax return since 1985".
Stokes, whose conservative talk show was the station's flagship, also owes a number of mortgages and loans. He has not so far commented on the seizure of the station.
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2009-09-25: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that a total of 2,507 registered attendees were at the 2009 NAB Radio Show held in Philadelphia this week, down around 5% on a year ago when 2,649 attended the 2008 Show in Austin, Texas and nearly a third on the figure when it was last held in Philadelphia five years ago..
The total was the lowest of the last five years - The 2007 Radio Show in Charlotte, South Carolina, attracted 3,127, the 2006 Show in Dallas drew 3,021, and the 2005 Radio Show in Philadelphia attracted 3,705.
NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said of this year's attendance, "Given the challenging economic environment of the last year, we were extremely pleased to see such strong continued interest and participation in this year's NAB Radio Show. The NAB Radio Show remains the preeminent gathering for radio professionals looking toward a successful future, and we look forward to reconvening next year in our nation's capital."
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2009-09-24: Hyannis-based Cape Cod Broadcasting, which owns four FM stations on the Cape - AC and news WQRC-FM, soft hits and classic soft rock music and news WOCN-FM, Country WKPE-FM, and classical WFCC-FM - as well as the World Classical Music Network and the Web site, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to the Boston Herald its filing says it cannot continue operations unless the court gives the go-ahead for loans up to USD 500,000: The paper says the filing listed debts from USD 10 million to USD 50 million with under USD 50,000 in assets. It adds that court documents show the company to have 32 employees.
Boston Herald report:

2009-09-24: Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell was working both sides of the aisle today with addresses to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) 33rd Annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference and the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Capitol Hill Media Summit.
Tailoring his comments to the audiences, McDowell highlighted issues of children's media and blocking technology, broadcast indecency and the Fairness Doctrine in his comments to the NRB and diversity initiatives and Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) in his comments to NABOB.
Regarding broadcast indecency, McDowell told the NRB that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "authority to police broadcast indecency has been challenged repeatedly in recent years, and that is likely to continue. "
"In April," he noted, "the Supreme Court upheld the FCC in the Fox case, which involved "fleeting expletives" by celebrities at two awards shows," adding, "Although that decision addressed only procedural arguments, I am hopeful that the court has provided us enough certainty to move forward on our massive backlog of more than 1.3 million indecency complaints, many of which are older than some of my children."
[RNW Comment cum question: We wonder how many of these 1.3 million relate to a few programmes that were the subject of massive e-mail campaigns by various organizations. We suspect most which at the very least puts McDowell's remarks into the context of propaganda rather than a straightforward evaluation of what problems may exist.]
He then noted that the legal battle is not over and was expected to be back before the Supreme Court in around two years but said the agency "should not delay adjudicating our mountain of indecency cases because we are facing appeals."
"We are always facing appeals," he commented. "If we held up every bit of Commission business affected by litigation, we would never decide anything. Whether you are a broadcaster or complaining consumer, I hope that you agree that acting on indecency cases is something we are paid by the American taxpayers to do. It is our job, and we should do it."
McDowell ended his comments to the NRB by bringing up the issue of the Fairness Doctrine and raising the issue of challenges to other agency regulation, commenting, "As we move forward, all of our broadcast content regulations sit on an increasingly unstable legal foundation. Anyone who doubts this should just read Justice Thomas' concurrence in the Fox case. I hope that the Commission bears that in mind in the coming months, when we may face increasing calls - in the context of our next media ownership review - to act on various 'localism' proposals, such as mandates requiring community advisory boards and shortened license terms. In the same vein, our "Enhanced Disclosure" form for TV stations remains hung up, thankfully, at the Office of Management and Budget, where broadcasters made the case that the complex form is so overly burdensome that it violates government paperwork laws. Radio licensees should be grateful that the TV folks were in the cross-hairs on the form first, but it is quite possible that all broadcasters eventually will be filling it out and posting it on station websites. Keep in mind that some have estimated that the form would require each broadcaster to hire up to two more employees to do nothing all day but fill out the form.
He ended his address by then bringing up the issue of the Fairness Doctrine about which he commented, "Your association for years has provided thoughtful analysis on the legal and policy problems inherent in what some call the "Censorship Doctrine" - but which I just call "the Doctrine," to be fair. The Obama Administration and Chairman Genachowski have on several occasions stated that they are not interested in reviving the Doctrine. That is good to hear, but I will continue to speak out every now and then about my concern that a series of new broadcast regulations, operating in tandem, could achieve the old Doctrine's "viewpoint balancing" objective through a different route. If, for instance, the Commission were to require stations to fill out content-prescriptive disclosure forms that hinted at the government's programming preference, then coupled that action with shorter license terms and mandated community advisory boards empowered to shape programming decisions, wouldn't we be back to where we were before 1987? Political speech control by big government is something I will always fight to prevent.
This is no longer a short speech, for which I apologize. I'd like to stop here and let you guide the rest of our conversation with your questions and comments. I learn at least as much as you do, if not more, from our exchanges."
RNW comment: Again there seems to be some confusion in McDowell's mind here in that he makes a sound point but devalues it thrpough loose use of adjectives - by referring at one moment to "mandated community advisory boards empowered to shape programming decisions", which would presumably be local, and then to "Political speech control by big government." Had he dropped the word "big" the comments would have been accurate but leaving it in introduces a degree of contradiction weakening the argument.
When it came to NABOB, McDowell again brought up the question of legal sustainability, commenting, "FCC watchers may remember that I voted in favour of the Commission's Diversity Order back in December 2007. While not as comprehensive as some would have liked, the 2007 Order included new rules that were legally sustainable."
He referred to enforcement of one of those rules that rules bars broadcasters from accepting advertising that comes to them as part of a "no urban/no Spanish" media-buying campaign and referred to an August "incident involving a media buyer's 'no urban' solicitation on behalf of BMW. "
He also noted measures in the Order to encourage "eligible entities" - which obviously "include firms owned by minorities and women" to "enter and succeed in broadcasting."
Regarding this he then went on about using public funds indirectly to encourage such entities, saying, "I, too, am quite concerned about the decline in female and minority ownership of broadcast properties.
As a result, for some time now I have expressed my interest in working with Congress to explore the details of a new tax certificate program to promote broadcast ownership by economically disadvantaged businesses - one designed to pass muster in court. In fact, we all need to ask why such legislation has not yet reached the President's desk. Tax incentives are not a cure-all, but any Economics 101 class can teach us that the right kind of tax incentive will encourage the flow of capital. One upside to the recession is that it may produce buying opportunities in the broadcasting market. The number one obstacle facing women, minorities and small businesses in buying a station, however, is access to capital. Programs like a tax certificate incentive would undoubtedly help. "
He then went on to comment on business difficulties in operating a station even when a licence was obtained and said, "In this environment, I understand why Arbitron's roll-out of its 'Portable People Meter' to replace the paper diary system would be a sensitive matter: the reliability of audience ratings directly affects broadcasters' revenue."
Noting the FCC's inquiry into the PPM he said, ". I have been plain-spoken in raising questions about the FCC's statutory authority in this area. But, at a minimum, having FCC commissioners talk about it often could be constructive. While the FCC's authority is debated, however, it seems appropriate to me that NABOB and others concerned about the matter have been making their case in other venues, including before various state Attorneys General and, most recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee. And I hope that progress is being made."
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2009-09-23: Incoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO Gordon H. Smith has told the NAB 2009 Radio Show that has plans to "hit the ground running" when he takes up his post at the start of November and added that he was committed to being "a new President and CEO who is dedicated to advocating on behalf of all broadcasters and focused on providing the best service possible to our member."
"Too often in Washington, D.C., "said Smith, "we're defined by labels. The label I want to be defined by now is chief advocate for America's broadcasters. The issues that we face are many, and I know that there are challenges ahead. But with input from our leadership and our members, we will focus on growing our strengths, improving our weaknesses and always serving as the premier advocate for America's radio and television stations. One of our great strengths is the value that we provide as free, over-the-air broadcasting. And we must continue to drive the rollout of innovative platforms to deliver your content and demonstrate the great possibilities of radio and television."
Smith noted that as a member of the Senate - he was the Republican Senator for Oregon for two terms, he worked across party lines to get legislation passed and noted the changes technology was making with the development of HD Radio, Internet streams and radio on cell phones.
"The ability of broadcasters to operate in a marketplace free of unnecessary regulation will only help to accelerate the development of new broadcast technologies," said Smith. "You will be hearing more from me about these issues in the months ahead, so stay tuned."
Smith ended by noting the struggles many operators were having to survive in the current challenging economy but said they were in a "strong industry with a bright future" and concluded that he was "very excited to be a part of it. It is not only an honour to stand here among you -- it is also an inspiration. Thank you for having me here today. I look forward to serving as your president and CEO and can't wait to get started."
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2009-09-23: Arbitron says it is "extremely surprised and disappointed "over a statement from Office of New York Democrat Congressman Edolphus Towns, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in which he criticised the company's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings, saying that the Media Rating Council (MRC) found "persistent problems" with Arbitron's minority sample audiences across the country."
Towns served the MRC with a subpoena for documents relating to its oversight of the PPM and said they showed "Arbitron's radio ratings almost consistently are based on data they receive from an unacceptably low percentage of their sample audiences." In New York which has a 25$ African American population, the PPM African American sample was 17.7%.
The MRC also found that Arbitron made "insufficient effort to use bilingual interviews to recruit Spanish-dominant Hispanic sample participants" and Towns commented "Taken separately and together, these and other problems translate into a ratings disaster for minority-targeted radio stations. Until these items are corrected by Arbitron, the problem will only get worse."
Arbitron in a news release said that over the past four months it has " been actively engaged with Chairman Towns and the Oversight Committee Staff" and added that it has "been open and forthcoming, supplying detailed information, answering questions and providing proactive recommendations to address the challenges faced by minority broadcasters."
"We were aware of the Committee's contact to the Media Rating Council (MRC) and we are extremely surprised and disappointed at the analysis and erroneous conclusions reached by the Oversight Committee Staff and communicated in their press statement," said Arbitron.
It added, "We respect and support Chairman Towns' commitment to the health of minority broadcasters and believe that our collaboration with his staff, the MRC, as well as a number of initiatives that we have underway, will help address that challenge. We look forward to a fact-based dialogue as we clarify some of the erroneous conclusions reached in this current analysis, and will continue to work to resolve these issues."
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2009-09-23: Astral Media has announced a new line-up for its CFRB-AM, Toronto, from October 5 allied with a name change for the historic station, Toronto's oldest, to NEWSTALK 1010.
The new line-up brings in former provincial Progressive Conservative leader and Toronto Mayoral Candidate John Tory as drivetime (1600-1900)host, taking over the slot from John Moore who is moving to breakfast (05:30 to 09:00) in turn taking over the slot from Bill Carroll, who moves to the 09:00 to 13:00 slot.
The station said of Carroll's move that it will allow it to "capitalize on Bill's strongest asset, his strong opinions<" adding, "In the past the morning show limited Bill's time to express himself so we wanted to give him a chance to really deliver the thought provoking perspectives that he does best, the 9-1pm daypart allows us to let Bill shine. This move also sets us up to syndicate Bill's show across Canada later in the year. "
Jim Richards, who currently hosts the 10:00 to noon and 13:00 to 15:00 slots moves to 13:00 to 16:00 whilst Ryan Doyle retains his 19:00 to 22:00 slot.
CFRB was founded by the Rogers Vacuum Tube Company - the predecessor of Rogers Communications to promote Edward S. Roger, Sr.'s invention of a radio receiver that could run on alternating current instead of needing cumbersome batteries and also to showcase the use of the invention for transmitters,: The "RB" letters in the name stand for Roger's Batteryless and the station launched on an experimental basis in January 1927 as 9RB, becoming commercial station CFRB in March that year.
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2009-09-23: The US National Association of Broadcasters 2009 NAB Radio Show opens today in Philadelphia and will see the organization's incoming President and CEO Gordon Smith will make opening remarks at the Digital Think Tank Super Session this afternoon.
The show runs until Friday and today's sessions that will include "Financing 2009: Surviving the Meltdown"; "How Radio Can Do Video Economically and Profitably"; "Michael Harrison's Annual Report on the State of Talk Radio"; "Combining Text Messaging & Social Networking To Drive Revenue & Listenership"; and "I Saw It on the Radio: Our New Multimedia Reality".
Thursdays sessions include "Winning Strategies for Local Radio - National Trends, Local Opportunities"; "HD Radio Initiatives: Today's New Opportunities"; "Digital Best Practices for Radio"; and the "NAB Marconi Radio Awards Reception, Dinner and Show".
Friday's activities include the annual "FCC Breakfast", this year "A Conversation Between Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker (Republican Commissioner) and Steve Newberry (NAB Joint Board Chairman)"; "Minority Operating Strategies"; "Convincing Capitol Hill: How to Effectively Petition Members of Congress"; "The IBOC Power Issue - You Have Questions, We Have Answers!"; "Preparing Now for the Economic Recovery"; "The Day the Music Died? Performance Tax and Other Copyright Issues"; "How to Make Money in the Digital Gold Rush"; and "Building an Audience with Twitter and Facebook - It's Easier than You Think".
RNW comment - in general we have chosen forward-looking sessions - see link below for full schedule - but admit to considerable scepticism about how soon there will be economic recovery and thus about any schemes to turn round an industry hit by technological change as well as the state of the economy, particularly when many owners went far too optimistically in hock to lenders in the boom times.
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2009-09-23: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments made during a segment of the Dean Blundell Show on Corus's CFNY-FM (The Edge, Toronto) entitled "Spencer the Cripple" breached Canadian broadcast codes.
Following the broadcast a complaint was made that the segment was offensive and degrading towards persons with disabilities.
The segment involved featured guest Spencer Miller, a man with cerebral palsy who referred to himself as "Spencer the Cripple" and appeared on the program to speak frankly about life with a disability: In this segment he was asked about his personal hygiene habits by Dean Blundell and his co-hosts Todd Shapiro and Jason Barr and they said they did not believe Miller when he insisted that he is able to wipe himself after using the bathroom.
The exchange concerned included Blundell asking," Dean: "Do other people do that for you?... Actually wipe your bum?" followed by Spencer saying, "No! We've had this discussion" after which Blundell responded, "You do it yourself?" and Spencer said, "That's one thing I can do for myself."
Later Barr said, "Jason: But we can't just play it and expect people to know. People need to know if you wipe your bum" followed by Shapiro commenting, "We also keep asking you 'cause I don't think we believe ya. 'Cause you can't even give me five. Watch. Gimme five. No, see, you missed."
They also discussed his sex life with Shapiro mocking Spencer at one stage and Blundell later telling a crude story about a man having oral sex with his wife, who was in a coma, and choking her to death.
The complainant referred "the object of the show" being "to generally sensationalize the 'patheticness' and degrade the life and experiences of Spencer" to which the station responded by saying in part, "As you may be aware, Spencer is severely affected with cerebral palsy and has been confined to a wheel chair for his entire life. Spencer has become a motivational speaker, and refers to himself as a "cripple" as a means of dealing with his issues head on. Discussions with Spencer are always frank, and the excerpt you heard was no exception.
"While we appreciate that you were offended by the material, the CBSC does not require broadcasters to ensure that its content pleases everyone. The CBSC recognizes that personal tastes differ, and that its mandate under the Code does not require it to judge matters of taste."
The complainant responded by requesting tapes of the show as her recollection of the show was that it was "very abusive to Spencer and by extension to persons with disabilities - this indeed was the impetus for my complaint, as well as the overall offensiveness of the content."
The station refused to provide a recording and the CBSC explained that it was not able to, leading her to pursue the claim and commenting of the response she received from the station, "The Broadcaster's response is clearly an adapted standard form response simply stating it has not violated CBSC rules. I find this inadequate and in keeping with the arrogance and dismissive nature of the communications received to date. I thoroughly enjoy certain "politically incorrect" humour that likely others would find distasteful. I would not be making this request for a review if I was not totally shocked by the abusive nature of the two hosts' conduct with Spencer, as well as the abusive messaging of the broadcast to persons with disabilities and to human dignity as a whole. The Broadcaster advised that they have spoken with the hosts - this is insufficient."
The CBSC in responding noted that there was an issue regarding provision of tapes in that it receives around 2,000 complaints a year and "there is the risk that persons simply wishing the tape of a program might formulate a complaint, knowing that this would hypothetically entitle them to a recording of a program about which they had no real complaint whatsoever."
Regarding the programme it commented that "there can be an extremely positive aspect to heightening the awareness of the general public to the infrequently discussed issues associated with persons with disabilities.
"If, however, that was the noble goal here, it was quickly lost. The hosts sought no benefit in the arena of public discourse or informative discussion. They sought only humorous advantage for their own benefit. They unrelentingly made Miller the target of jokes and mockery."
It also commented on their questioning of Spencer about his sex life and said, "All in all, the Panel finds that the hosts' comments in the areas of personal hygiene and sexual performance inappropriately portrayed Spencer Miller, as a result of his disability, as helpless and incapable. It also finds that their comments in these areas were reproachful, insulting and condemnatory."
It also commented of the language and tone of the comments that there were "numerous examples of laughter and tonally inappropriate comments at Spencer Miller's expense" and added that the "collective discussion of regular coitus, laying or sitting down (during sex), wiping off, duration of the act, oral sex with Spencer Miller, and the joke about fellatio with the hospitalized woman crossed the line into unduly explicit sexual content."
Overall it described the programme as one in which "humour did not tickle; it was nasty " and ruled that the show breached six clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics including one on unduly explicit sexual comment at times of the day when children might be listening.
RNW comment: This ruling makes for some interesting comparisons between Canada and the US. We suspect that in the US there might well have been outrage from some at the comments mocking Spencer's disability but no FCC penalty whereas the sexual content might well have attracted a heavy indecency fine.
Previous CBSC:

2009-09-23: Absolute Radio has now officially announced in its Onegoldensquare blog that actor David Tennant, who is best known in the UK for playing the TV Doctor Who and who also played Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as his theatre work, is to co-host its breakfast show with Christian O'Connell in "the Autumn" (Fall).
Tennant had already broken work of the deal in a posting on twitter and O'Connell then followed up with postings including one that he started by commenting, "So, I wasn't supposed to be telling anyone this just yet bit I put it up on twitter and forget just how immense that thing is at spreading news! Absolute Radio wanted to do a proper release and aren't too happy with me."
O'Connell says Tennant will be hosting the co-hosting the show for a week in November and describes the actor and "top man, bon viveur and time Lord", adding that he had asked Tennant "if he fancied doing the show with me. We had planned to do a one off show at the weekend sometime but I meant co-hosting the breakfast show. I said he'd only have to do 2 hours or so but he wants to do the full four hours, 6am to 10am."
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. (Ultimate parent of Absolute):
Previous O'Connell:
Absolute Radio blog:
Christian O'Connell posting:

2009-09-23: Great Eastern Radio, which already owns half a dozen stations in Vermont and New Hampshire is adding two more stations from the latter state with an agreement to purchase Nassau Broadcasting Partners' Oldies WNNH-FM, Henniker, and Classic Rock WWHQ-FM, Meredith, both in the Concord-Lakes market. Great Eastern already owns news/talk WTPL-FM in the market.
No terms of the deal have yet been disclosed.
Nassau, which is controlled by Goldman Sachs following a debt-for-equity deal, has to sell these two stations plus WHXR-FM in Maine to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) market ownership caps.
Nassau has just announced a deal to sell classical station WRCB-FM to Boston public broadcaster WGBH (See RNW Sep 22)
Previous Nassau:

2009-09-22: The UK Digital Radio Development Board (DRDB), has formally announced that its work is to be taken over by a new body, Digital Radio UK, which will be based at the be based at the central London headquarters of commercial radio trade body, the Radio Centre and will incorporate the recently announced Digital Radio Delivery Group (See RNW Sep 3).
The DRDB says the new body will "become a new consumer-facing brand that will co-ordinate and manage the expansion of the digital radio platform throughout the UK."
It adds:"Representing the interests of the entire radio industry, including the BBC, Commercial Radio, and multiplex operator, Arqiva, the creation of Digital Radio UK demonstrates an industry that is mobilised and united in its commitment and resolve to meet the timetable for digital radio upgrade in the Digital Britain report."
The new company has already advertised for a CEO and expects to make its appointment before the end of this year and the DRDB says it will "work with all parties with an interest in digital radio upgrade, including the car industry, manufacturers and retailers with the key objective of meeting the planned timetable which sets out specific criteria to be achieved by 2013 so that the industry can upgrade to digital delivery by the end of 2015."
The release quoted BBC Director of Audio & Music Tim Davie as saying, "The launch of Digital Radio UK is a clear indication that the whole radio industry is committed to securing a digital future for radio. By working together, we can deliver solutions that significantly increase digital listening and help to make switchover a reality" while Stephen Miron, Chief Executive of Global Radio, Britain's largest commercial radio group, added, "The creation of Digital Radio UK is, from our perspective at Global, another big positive step forward in the drive to digital. Working with our colleagues at the BBC and across the sector in a coordinated way, will ensure that both listeners and advertisers will enjoy the benefits that will come from the switchover to digital radio. The smooth transition from analogue to digital remains an absolute priority for all of us working within radio."
For Arqiva, Paul Eaton, Director of Radio, said, "Upgrading the UK's radio infrastructure from analogue to digital delivers clear benefits for listeners across all stations, BBC and commercial, national and local. By moving to digital we open the door to a wealth of fresh opportunities and the potential to make radio a new enriched experience for the listener."
RNW comment: This release seems to us a combination of cliché, jargon and platitudes that is most notable for the fact that nowhere does it mention the interests of the listener.
It is also dishonest in that is speaks of "upgrading" radio when the DAB system in use, using MP2 encoding, delivers worse technical quality than existing FM and also worse quality than a good online signal or the audio available from some organizations on digital TV platforms.
We also suspect that, whatever Global's accountants may be calculating in terms of cost savings from not having to provide analogue transmissions as well as digital, that there will be a significant fall in listening since many people (including us) will be annoyed at finding ourselves having to keep older analogue portable receivers for use whilst travelling and also dump good quality radio equipment whilst we doubt that the programming provided will improve.
We will certainly end up with fewer radio receivers as we have no intention of spending on (yet more in our case) digital receivers and suspect many others, particularly youngsters, may like us opt instead for the Internet and portable audio players, to the detriment of our radio listening.
Ideally we would wish to see a government that curbed Ofcom, encouraged the BBC to keep its news and speech channels Radio Five Live and Radio 4) going on analogue at least until multi-standard automobile and portable receivers that can handle various digital standards including DAB+, DMB and DRM, plus the availability to connec
t to mobile Internet are available at a cost of no more than half as much again as equivalent current analogue models.
Previous Arqiva:
Previous BBC:
Previous Davie:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Miron:
Previous DRDB:

Previous RadioCentre:
2009-09-22: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says it now has the support of 251 members of the 435-strong House of Representatives plus 25 of the 100 Senators in its fight against the introduction of Performance Royalties for US terrestrial radio: Royalties are paid in most countries of the world and also by US broadcasters for online and satellite radio airing of music.
The NAB says the support comes "as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) continues to lobby in support of legislation that would require local radio stations to pay an additional fee for every song aired free to listeners" and later adds a quote from Executive Vice-President Dennis Wharton saying, "Support in both the House and Senate for free and local radio continues to grow, despite an unprecedented lobbying campaign by RIAA. We're hopeful that Congress ultimately rejects this bill and preserves the ability of local radio to freely expose new artists and new music to 235 million listeners every week."
RNW Comment: As usual the NAB comes into the pot-kettle on this one as it hardly shrinks from lobbying itself. It also in our view does not strengthen its case by using the propaganda term "Tax" for royalties and seems oblivious to any arguments in terms of principle despite claims that it makes of supporting a market as the best way for matters such as these to be decided. Perhaps the NAB should re-locate in time and place and try 1980's Moscow as a suitable home.
The NAB has also cancelled its 2009 NAB European Radio Conference that was due to take place in Athens from October 25, telling members in a letter that the decision was made because of tough economic conditions and their effect on broadcasters and exhibitors' budgets.
Despite the cancellation the NAB web site when we last checked was still listing the event with no indication of a problem until links were followed to the registration stage when the link led to a message, "Thank you for your interest in the 2009 NAB European Radio Conference. This event was CANCELLED on 21 September 2009."
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Previous RIAA:
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2009-09-22: Tom Joyner's Reach Media is suing Clear Channel over the cancellation by its WVAZ-FM, Chicago, of "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" in March (See RNW Mar 24), claiming that it is owed compensation according to its contract with the company according to the Chicago Tribune.
The paper said that Reach in a statement said id did not "comment on pending legal matters" but would state that it was given no notice of the termination that is says cost it more than USD 800,000 in affiliation fees and net advertising revenue lost from May until the end of this year.
The paper said that Clear Channel Radio Chicago responded by saying that it is "company policy not to comment on legal matters."
It adds that Reach's lawsuit, filed in the Dallas County District Court includes as an exhibit a letter from Clear Channel Radio Chicago President and Market Manager Earl Jones to Reach Media's David Kantor that indicated it would "continue our fiduciary responsibility and our barter commitment through" the end of this year.
The suit is claiming that Reach should receive USD 116,644 in affiliation fees for May through the end of this year and USD 694,416 in lost net advertising revenue for the same period, with USD 426,144 for the morning show and another USD 268,272 for Joyner's weekend highlights program.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Joyner:
Chicago Tribune report:

2009-09-22: Boston public broadcaster WGBH has announced that it is to acquire New England's leading all-classical music station 27,000-watt station WCRB 99.5FM from Nassau Broadcasting Partners of New Jersey on terms that it says not been disclosed pending filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
WGBH is to finance the purchase through a special capital campaign, "Keep Classical Alive", currently being promoted on its web site, in which it will invite both major donors and grassroots supporters to participate and become founding members of its all-classical service.
WGBH Board Chair Amos Hostetter said in a statement posted on the organization's web site, "An opportunity like this comes along once in a lifetime. The acquisition of WCRB by WGBH signals a new era for the Boston broadcast landscape, and for our city's renowned classical music tradition. WGBH's depth of experience, demonstrated leadership in radio, and commitment to excellence will bring a new level of service to this market."
It adds that over the "coming months" it plans to "fine-tune" the formats of both WGBH 89.7, which currently airs news plus classical, jazz, Celtic, blues and folk music programs, and WCRB 99.5 to create line-ups that are complementary.
WGBH President and CEO Jon Abbott commented, "From its very first broadcast, WGBH Radio has provided audiences with the best in classical music and performance. Today we are excited to reinvest in this tradition for a new generation of listeners. The acquisition of WCRB will allow WGBH to sustain the vibrant classical music tradition of the Boston area."
Nassau Chairman and President Lou Mercatanti added, "Preserving WCRB's heritage as one of the country's premiere classical radio stations was an important objective for Nassau. We are extremely pleased that WGBH will be continuing this heritage and are confident in their future stewardship of such an important Boston tradition. This is a win for everyone - most especially our loyal listeners."
Nassau Broadcasting Partners purchased WCRB, which then aired on 102.5 FM, in 2006 from Greater Media under swap deal in which Greater Media gained a new Philadelphia frequency and Nassau Broadcasting a classical format and cash allied with a frequency swap.
This gave Nassau the Greater Media's 99.5-FM then used by country format WKLB-FM, Lowell, Massachusetts plus an undisclosed cash payment and the classical WCRB-FM format that Greater Media had agreed - in a separate transaction - to acquire from Charles River Broadcasting together with its 102.5 FM frequency in Boston (See RNW Aug 1, 2006). WRCB was switched to the 99.5 frequency.
More recently Nassau was at risk of being overwhelmed by its debts and in May the Trenton Times reported Goldman Sachs was taking control of the broadcaster under a deal in which it took 85% of Nassau's equity in exchange for forgiving around two-thirds of its debt (See RNW May 12).
WRCB dates back to 1948 when it launched as an AM station featuring hockey, baseball and news, with pop music between DJ shifts. In 1979 its then owners Ted and Nathalie Jones started a trust that held the majority share of WCRB to ensure that it continued to run as a commercial classical station for the next 100 years, according to the station's Web site but the language of the trust was interpreted as a "wish" when Charles River Broadcasting Co. sold the station to Greater Media.
Previous Nassau:
Previous WGBH:

WGBH web site:
2009-09-21:  Triton Media's Dial Global retained its hold of the top-rated US radio networks according to Arbitron's RADAR 102 survey just released that shows its Dial Global Contemporary Network and Dial Global Complete FM Network holding on to the two top ranks amongst those 25-54 with the Premiere Male Focus Network moving up a rank into third place displacing the Dial Global Adult Power network, which fell to fourth
Triton then had the fifth and sixth spots with the Dial Global Female Perspective and Dial Global Music & Entertainment Networks followed by Premiere's Modern Women and Today's Men Networks before Westwood One took a spot with its WON1 Network in ninth place. The tenth spot went to the United Stations Impact Network, which moved up from 16th: Crystal Media Network's CMN Prestige Network, which was eighth in the RADAR 101 Survey, fell to 13th rank.
The Top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also posted details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 101 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 3.908 million and an average rating of 3.1 (In RADAR 101 the network was first with an average audience of 3.135 million and an average rating of 2.6.)
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 3.657 million and an average rating of 2.9 (In RADAR 101 it was second with an average audience of 3.138 million and an average rating of 2.5).
3: Premiere Male Focus Network with an average audience of 3,034 million and an average rating of 2.4 (In RADAR 101 it was in the fourth with an average audience of 2.608 million and an average rating of 2.0).
4: Dial Global Adult Power Network with an average audience of 2.948 million and an average rating of 2.3 (In RADAR 101 the network was third ranked with an average audience of 2.984 million and an average rating of 2.4).
5: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.438 million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 101 it was sixth with an average audience of 2.385 million and an average rating of 1.9).
6: Dial Global Music & Entertainment Network with an average audience of 2.418million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 101 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.406 million and an average rating of 1.9).
7: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.360 million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 101 it was ninth with an average audience of 2.188 million and an average rating of 1.7).
8: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.322 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 101 it was 12th with an average audience of 1.982 million and an average rating of 1.6).
9: Westwood One's WON I Network with an average audience of 2.221 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 101 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.305 million and an average rating of 1.8).
10: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2.190 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 101 it was 16th with an average audience of 1.754 million and an average rating of 1.4).
Citadel/ABC's highest ranked offering was its Citadel Media Prime Access in 23rd rank with an average audience of 1.397 million and an average rating of 1.0 (In RADAR 101 it was 15th with an average audience of 1.805 million and an average rating of 1.4).
Previous Arbitron:
Previous Citadel (Formerly Disney)/ABC, America):
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 101):
Previous Triton:
Previous Westwood One:

2009-09-21:  The UK's first national Christian radio service - Premier Christian Radio - has launched today on the Digital One national commercial multiplex, now owned by Arqiva, a launch that is being marked by the ringing of church bells throughout the week through a joint initiative with the Central Council of Bell Ringers and Ringing World magazine.
The station, which began as an AM service available to parts of London in 1994, has to raise some GBP 650,000 (USD 1.05 million) a year from its supporters to sustain its national presence and its chief executive Peter Kerridge said of the move, "For the past few years it's been our ambition to bring Christian radio to listeners across Britain. It's a campaign that's seen lobbying of Parliament, letter-writing campaigns to the regulator and people at prayer across the country. This is the biggest step for our radio station since its launch. We're grateful to church leaders from all of the major Christian denominations who've supported this initiative, and to the thousands of individual listeners who are backing us financially to pay for national transmission."
As well as the church bells the station is marking its launch with a number of events including a DAB National Launch Prayer Event next Saturday and a Youth Peace Rally in Trafalgar Square next Sunday, organized with London Week of Peace.
The station will broadcast a range of programming that includes Inspirational Breakfast, the daily magazine show Woman to Woman, Premier Worship, Premier Drive and Worship and Gospel Tonight plus talks, discussion programmes and specialist music programmes ranging from rock to R&B.
Premier has agreed a long-term contract and is one of five digital-only stations on the multiplex- along with Amazing Radio, the armed forces service BFBS Radio, the children's station Fun Kids, which has a temporary deal to broadcast over the summer holidays, and Planet Rock.
Previous Arqiva:
Previous Digital One:

2009-09-21:  Emmis has revealed in an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has joined the ranks of companies receiving a de-listing notice from the NASDAQ Stock Market because its stock had fallen below a minimum USD 1 closing price for 30 consecutive days.
The company has until March 15 next year to regain compliance and the company says that it intends "actively evaluate and monitor the bid price for its Class A Common Stock between now and March 15, 2010, and consider implementation of various options available to the Company if its Class A Common Stock does not trade at a level that is likely to regain compliance."
It noted that the deficiency letter it received from NASDAQ does not affect the listing of the Company's 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, which will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
The NASDAQ had suspended its minimum price rule last year after markets crashed but reinstated the rule on August 3. Amongst the options Emmis could exercise to avoid de-listing would be a reverse stock split, a move that it said during its July 14 annual meeting was under consideration.
In other US radio business news, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Citadel managed last Wednesday to make an overdue USD 2 million interest payment, thus avoiding going into default on its debt, and is now in talks with its lenders over swapping a substantial part of the USD 2 billion it owes for equity.
Quoting "people familiar with the matter", the Journal said the lenders and company remain at odds over how much debt a restructured Citadel should carry: It adds that its sources say the revamping of Citadel's balance sheet is likely to be done through a bankruptcy filing.
Previous Citadel:
Previous Emmis:

Wall Street Journal report (subscription):
2009-09-20:  Last week was another when the regulators were mainly involved in routine work although in the US all five Federal Communications Commissioners have testified to a House sub-committee about their views of the agency.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made one radio-related posting - a reminder that submissions to its investigation into live radio, launched in the wake of an on-air lie detector test in which a 14-years-old girl said she had been raped when aged 12, have to be submitted by the end of the month.
The ACMA notes that the investigation will focus on programme genres of particular concern - on-air stunts, prank calls, competitions and challenges - using the lie-detector stunt on 2-DAY FM as a key case study. It is aiming to determine whether current industry practices and provisions in its code are sufficient to meet community concerns and also if not what the most effective regulatory response should be.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a number of radio decisions including the following:
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approval of applications by Radio communautaire du Labrador inc. to add transmitters in La Grand'Terre (42 watts) and St. John's (232 watts) to its French-language Type A community FM CJRM-FM, Labrador City.
Nova Scotia:
*Approval of application from Alex J. Walling, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a licence for a 50 watts English-language, low-power Type B community FM in Liverpool.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with an October 6 deadline for interventions or comments that included one radio application - from Sortir FM inc., licensee of French-language tourist information station CKJF-FM, Québec, to increase its power from 12.7 watts to 51 watts and change frequency from 90.3 MHz to 106.9 MHz.
There were no radio decision in Ireland but there the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has posted details of the ninth funding round of Sound & Vision, the Broadcasting Funding Scheme, for Radio: Applications for funding have to be submitted by October 21.
In the UK, the only radio-related posting from Ofcom was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint (See RNW Sep 15).
In the US, as already noted, all five Commissioners gave testimony earlier this week to a House sub-committee (See RNW Sep 17): The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was also involved in a number of enforcement actions including proposing or imposing penalties totalling USD 22,000 on one day (See RNW Sep 18).
At the end of the week it added USD 7,500 and USD 250 forfeitures, the first going to Kalispell Christian Radio Fellowship, Inc., licensee of KALS-FM, Kalispell, Montana, and FM Translator Station K257BR, Polson, Montana, for late filing of renewal application and unauthorized operation.
The agency had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) totalling USD 14,000 to which the licensee responded with a request for reduction or cancellation on the basis that the failure to file the application on time was inadvertent - and related to the failure of a consultant it had retained to make all filings to do so, inability to pay, and a history of compliance.
The FCC in line with previous rulings rejected the first argument and also found that documentation provided was not adequate to reduce the penalty on the grounds of ability to pay. It also refused a reduction on grounds of a history of compliance but in view with recent decisions in which it assessed forfeitures for translator stations at USD 500 it reduced the penalty for the translator offence taking the total down to USD 7,500.
In Utah it fined Carbon County licensee of Translator Station K285AB(FX), Price, USD 250 for late filing of renewal application: It had initially issued an NAL for USD 1,500 and rejected the licensee request for reduction or cancellation on the grounds that the offence was inadvertent but reduced it to USD 250 in line with other recent decisions.
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Previous BCI:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
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2009-09-19: Johannesburg station Kaya FM has suspended its breakfast DJ Phat Joe (Majota Nkumbule), who joined it the urban station in March last year, for his comments regarding South Africa's World Champion (800m) runner, Caster Semenya who has been revealed to have mixed sex characteristics.
His comments were made after an Australian newspaper made the revelations, leading many South Africans to spring to the 18-year-old's defence amidst what one paper termed "national hysteria " and Phat Joe asked for calls on the matter, commenting, "Does this mean that at this point she has never had a period? To some extent, she should have known that something is not 100 percent right, she was still waiting for her period perhaps?"
He later added," Did she cheat when she left those women (behind) in Germany? Why is it possible that she could not have known that she is not 100 percent female?"
In an exchange with one male caller who noted the DJ had three times referred to Semenya as having testicles instead of internal testes, Phat responded, "What is the difference between testes and testicles? Let's say she has testes, what does that mean to you? Does it mean she is a man or a woman? She is either a natural phenomenon, or something is wrong and something should be fixed".
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) a non-governmental organization that says it focuses "primarily on the need to promote free, independent, and pluralistic media", has condemned the DJ for his ignorance and called for him to be fired, saying, "Kaya FM should fire him. He needs to understand that being behind the mic is powerful and should be used effectively to entertain, educate and inform it's listener's (MISA's error in using the possessive). Not to add to the existing ignorance regarding sex, sexuality and gender."
Kaya is conducting an internal investigation and General Manager Greg Maloka said listeners thought the comments were "a bit harsh."
A statement posted by the station said, "As a station we take cognisance of our listeners’ stance around the unfortunate events surrounding Caster Semenya. We will continue to inform and entertain our listeners and this will not be done at the expense of any individual or group. We are of the view that the Caster Semenya's debate is a sensitive one and should be given the thoughtful attention it deserves.
.. Further announcements will be made in due course regarding the above issue."
The Caster Semenya issue has now blown up into a row between South Africa's ministry of Sport and Athletics South Africa (ASA) with deputy minister of Sport Gert Oosthuizen calling for ASA head Leonard Chuene to be fired after he admitted that he ignored advice to withdraw Semenya from competing in the IAAF Championships in Berlin last month, and lied about knowledge of a sex test done on her before the games.
The South African government has asked the United Nations to investigate the matter, saying Semanya's by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) violated international protocols on women and sport.
RNW comment: If nothing else it is difficult to retain much respect for many involved in this matter including MISA, which in our view seems to be going directly against its stated aims in the manner in which it has reacted, and also various of those in the sports-related bodies involved.
Caster Semenya herself has told the Weekend Argus she is OK but has certainly been ill served by many and as for the status of women's sports, if nothing else this certainly throws a spanner in the works of any females claiming equality with males.

Melodika net report: Argus report:

Kaya FM statement:
2009-09-19: According to the Waco Tribune, Texas-based M & M Broadcasters Ltd. is paying just under USD 2 million for four more stations in the state - Simmons Media's four Waco- area stations -AC KLRK-FM, Marlin; Country KRQX-AM & FM, Mexia; and sports/talk KRZI-AM in Waco.
The Tribune quoted Simmons' vice president for administration Bret Leifson as saying the sale filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listed the purchase price as USD 1.98 million and adding that M&M had made the approach about buying the stations, which Simmons has owned since 2004
Completion of the sale will give M&M, which is headed by President Gary Moss, six Texas stations - it already owns Dallas-area stations KCLE-AM, a Fox Sports Radio affiliate in Cleburne, and Spanish language KJSA-AM in Mineral Wells'.
Simmons will have 29 stations following the sale and its Waco-area operations manager Tom Barfield said he didn't think the ownership change would mean any changes for Waco-area listeners.
Waco Tribune report:

2009-09-18: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has named former Gordon H. Smith as president and CEO to succeed David Rehr who announced his resignation in May (See RNW May 6). NAB COO Janet McGregor has been serving as interim acting president.
Smith, who is 57, was born in Pendleton, Oregon, and was an Oregon State Senator (Republican) before serving in the U.S. Senate for the state from January 1997 to January this year: He was defeated last year by Democrat Jeff Merkley. Smith was partly raised in Maryland to where his family moved when his father became an Assistant United States Secretary of Agriculture.
He is a Mormon who went to college at Brigham Young University and then to Southwestern University School of Law, becoming an attorney in New Mexico and Arizona before moving back to Oregon in the 1980s to become director of the family owned Smith Frozen Foods company.
The NAB describes him as a "successful entrepreneur" and says of his political career that he was "widely respected as a pragmatic lawmaker able to successfully reach across party lines."
He is currently with the government affairs and international trade practice of Covington & Burling as a senior advisor and will take up his new role on November 1 although NAB says he will be introduced to broadcasters and make brief remarks at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia next week and will be introduced to the entire NAB Board of Directors at a meeting in Dallas in mid-October.
NAB Joint Board Chairman Steve Newberry said of the appointment, "We conducted an exhaustive search to identify the very best individual to lead a great trade association. We're convinced we have found that person in Gordon Smith. His background as a lawyer, a statesman, and as an entrepreneur -- coupled with his extensive knowledge of broadcast issues from having served many years on the Commerce Committee -- make Gordon eminently qualified to represent the interests of free and local broadcasters in Washington."
Smith said of his appointment, I am honoured to have been selected as NAB's new president and consider this an opportunity of a lifetime. As radio and television stations embrace new technologies and new business opportunities, I look forward to articulating to public policymakers the unique and positive role played by local and network broadcasters in the fabric of American society."
Amongst those welcoming the appointment was Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell who in a statement congratulated the NAB for its choice and added, "I have had the pleasure of working with him for several years on communications issues and I know first-hand that he is highly intelligent, thoughtful, principled, and possesses a high degree of integrity. I look forward to working with Gordon in the coming months and years on the many issues facing broadcasters and American consumers."
Earlier this week the NAB announced that Bruce Reese, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bonneville International Corporation, has been elected AS Board Chair of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF). Reese also studied at Brigham Young University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1973 and Juris Doctor in 1976.
Amongst those welcoming the appointment was Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell, who in a statement congratulated the NAB for its choice and added, "I have had the pleasure of working with him for several years on communications issues and I know first-hand that he is highly intelligent, thoughtful, principled, and possesses a high degree of integrity. I look forward to working with Gordon in the coming months and years on the many issues facing broadcasters and American consumers."
Previous McDowell:
Previous NAB:
Previous Reese:

2009-09-18: Latest radio revenues from the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia (CEASA) show that although its revenues are down radio doing better than other traditional media: In the six months to the end of June advertising revenue in the country was down 8.5% compared to a year earlier, when the figures had risen by around 6% on 2007.
Within the figures radio revenues (regional and metropolitan) were down around 7.4% to AUD 449.7 million (USD 391.9 million) whilst magazine revenues were down 9.3%, TV was down 10.6%, Outdoor was down 13.4% and newspapers were down 18%.
Cinema advertising fared rather better - down 4.2% whilst online was up 12%.
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said of the figures, "Radio is a cost effective and efficient means of getting your message across, " adding, "These are tough times with ad expenditure down overall by a significant amount. The radio industry is working hard to promote its strengths with our latest advertising campaign, "Radio Advertising, Economically Sound", which highlights the need to trade through the economic crisis and advertise on radio"
Earlier this month the CRA released August figures from the 2009 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue as sourced by Deloitte: These showed advertising revenues at Australian metropolitan commercial radio stations, compared to a year earlier, fell by around four per cent in the month of August to a total of AUD 50.43 million (USD 43.9 million).
Within the figures Adelaide revenues were up 2.55% to AUD 4.8 million (USD 4.2 million) and Melbourne revenues were up 1.95% to AUD 15.5 million (USD 13.5 million) whilst Brisbane revenues were down 6% to AUD 7.74 million (USD 6.8 million); Perth was down 10% to AUD 6.4 million (USD 5.5 million); and Sydney was down 8.38% to USD 15.9 million (USD 13.9 million).
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Previous Warner:

2009-09-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued or proposed forfeitures totalling USD 22,000 in four enforcement actions just issued.
The highest penalties were of USD 7,000 issued to Heidelberg College, licensee of WHEI-FM, Tiffin, Ohio, and Columbia City Joint High School, licensee of WJHS-FM, Columbia City, Indiana for late filing of licence renewal applications and unauthorized operation after the licences expired.
In each case the agency had issued Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for this amount to which there had been responses requesting cancellation or reduction. On both cases the licensees argued for reduction on the basis that the failure to file the application on time was inadvertent and that the penalty would cause financial hardship but the FCC dismissed the first argument in line with its usual practice and the second because financial information provided was insufficient to justify reduction.
In California, the FCC issued an NAL for USD 5,000 to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Inc., licensee of KWVE-FM, San Clemente, for transmission of an unauthorized Required Monthly Test (RMT) of its Emergency Alert System in a manner that breached rules. The FCC received a complaint that the station had transmitted commercial programming and an advertisement as part of an EAS test message, thus causing the programming and advertisement to be retransmitted by other broadcast stations and cable systems in the area
The station admitted that an employee who intended to run a scheduled weekly EAS test instead ran an unscheduled RMT, and then failed to transmit the End of Message code and the message advising that the test had been concluded. It added that the incident was caused "solely by operator error" and said that it has since provided additional EAS training for each of the station operators to ensure that there is no repetition.
The FCC noted that there is no basic amount for the breaches that took place but noted that the base amount for not having operational EAS equipment is USD 8,000 and proposed a lower penalty of USD 5,000 on the basis that the failure to conform to the regulations is a less serious breach.
In Tennessee, the FCC imposed a USD 3,000 forfeiture to Morgan County Broadcasting Co., Inc., licensee of WECO AM and FM, Wartburg for late filing of renewal applications for each station.
It had issued an NAL for this amount to which Morgan County Broadcasting responded by requesting a reduction on the basis of an overall history of compliance with the agency's rules.
The FCC rejected the plea and confirmed the full penalty.
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2009-09-18: Austereo 2-DAY FM breakfast co-host Kyle Sandilands is to keep his job but has been suspended for a month without pay following the furore about his latest gaffe in which he suggested that comedienne Magda Szubanski, who is a the spokeswoman for a weight loss company, could lose more weight if she spent time in a concentration camp.
The company said in a statement that he would be off air until October 7 with his pay for the period to be "directed by 2Day FM to community charitable causes."
The statement by executive chairman Peter Harvie and general manager Adam Lang added, "In addition Kyle Sandilands will attend external counselling. 2Day FM has taken into consideration Sandiland's concern and remorse for statements made."
Sandilands latest gaffe followed a previous incident in which a 14-years-old girl subjected to a lie-detector test said on air she had been raped when aged 12, leading to a storm of protest and suspension of the Kyle and Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) Show and when it returned to air the company had installed a seven-second dump button, which for some reason was not used after he made the Szubanski comment.
The Australian reported that the "lost" salary will amount to around AUD 160,000 (USD 140,000) and also said that the furore has cost the station more than AUD 1 million (USD 870,000) due to withdrawal of advertising by major companies including Qantas, Optus and American Express.
It quoted an unnamed "senior Austereo source" as saying that the company would "have no tolerance for any more mistakes."
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Next column:

2009-09-17: All the members of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today testified before the House Communications Subcommittee with most of the attention going to broadband and the switch to digital TV although a number of commissioners brought up other topics of special interest to them.
Chairman Julius Genachowski in a prepared statement spoke of "seeking to revitalize and retool the agency " and went on to give details of various actions taken and plans under way before bringing up the issue of the "Fairness Doctrine", the former FCC rule requiring balance .
On this he commented, "I have also learned a few things during my brief tenure as Chairman. For one, repeating relentlessly is sometimes necessary. I do not support reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine either through a front door or a back door. I believe deeply in the First Amendment and oppose any effort to censor or impose speech on the basis of political viewpoint or opinion."
He then went on, "Revitalizing and retooling the FCC will be a marathon, not a sprint. But while I cannot promise instant results, I can assure you of my commitment to institutionalizing change and to making the FCC a 21st-century agency for the information age - one that fights for consumers and families, and fosters investment and innovation, through fair, participatory, and data-driven processes."
Of the two latest Commissioners to join the agency, Republican Meredith Attwell Baker, who was sworn-in in July, concentrated her comments on issued of broadband and spectrum and did not address broadcast issues in her statement whilst Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn, who was sworn-in in August, said the agency had to be refocused on consumers and brought up the issue of what she termed the "unfortunate state of minority media ownership in the broadcasting industry."
"Despite making up nearly 35 percent of the U.S. population," she said, "people of colour own approximately 3% of all local TV stations and 8% of all local radio stations. And while women comprise 51% of the entire U.S. population, women own only about 5% of full power broadcast stations. These numbers are shamefully low. Not only has the situation not improved, it has gotten steadily worse.
We can all agree that these numbers reflect a problem in the marketplace. But before we jump to conclusions about how to address these symptoms, we need to have an accurate diagnosis. And to do that, we need credible, reliable, and complete data. We do not have that now, and in my view, we need to get the ball rolling as soon as possible to come to terms with exactly why our broadcast industry is in the state we find it today."
In his statement Democrat Commissioner Michael J, Copps spoke of broadband and DTV and then brought up the issue of journalism, specifically broadcast journalism, which he said was in crisis, adding, Newsgathering and news dissemination expenses are being cut to the bone; investigative journalism is too often falling by the wayside; and these constraints are endangering, I believe, the vibrancy of the civic dialogue on which our democracy depends."
Republican Commissioner Robert M McDowell welcomed the newcomers to the Commission and spoke of rebuilding the agency, saying, "For some time now, I have been calling for reform of the Commission's structures and processes. To help spark discussion and progress, I wrote open letters outlining reform ideas to both Acting Chairman Copps in January and Chairman Genachowski in July. Additionally, we have shared ideas with each other from the outset."
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2009-09-17: Sirius-XM Radio says it was notified by NASDAQ on September 15 that it is no longer in compliance with the exchange's rules because its stock had fallen below USD 1 for 30 consecutive days.
The company will be back in compliance should its stock close at or above USD 1 for ten days before March 15 next year and it says it intended to maintain its listing, although it adds that it will "consider available options" if its stock is not at a level to bring it back in line.
One option would be a reverse-split: In May the Company's stockholders approved an amendment to its certificate of incorporation to effect a reverse stock split at a ratio of not less than one-for-ten and not more than one-for-fifty and the Company's board of directors has authority to select an exchange ratio within the approved range at any time prior to June 30, 2010.
Sirius XM says its board of directors only intends to effect the reverse stock split only if it determines it to be in the best interests of stockholders but adds that the move would put the company in compliance with the NASDAQ bid price requirement.
Previous Sirius-XM:

2009-09-17: Eastlan Ratings has begun service in five more markets, taking the total of new markets the company has added to its service this year to ten. It has also said that it is to start service to a further market, Richmond, Indiana, this year.
The new markets just added are Anchorage, Alaska; Billings, Montana; Corpus Christi, Texas; Tri-Cities, Washington; and Yakima, Washington.
The company has also noted that two of its ten new markets - Appleton/Oshkosh and Green Bay, both in Wisconsin - now take ratings from three services - Arbitron, Eastlan and Nielsen.
The tenth service was to Corpus Christi where Convergent Broadcasting is the initial subscriber and its Corporate Manager Ken Barlow was quoted in an Eastlan news release as saying, "we're sold on using Eastlan for both their product results and realistic pricing. It keeps us competitive in the marketplace at a cost that makes sense within our budget. The surveys provide our cluster with useful and accurate information twice a year and reduce our outlay for ratings at the same time."
Eastlan President and CEO Mike Gould commented, "We are so thankful that broadcasters like Ken are recognizing our commitment to offer a reasonably priced ratings alternative and at the same time, help save radio jobs. These values have now established that 2009 will be the biggest growth year in our company's history. We couldn't be more appreciative to small & medium market broadcasters for trusting us to serve them during these challenging times. It is our privilege to have earned their business."
In the Appleton/Oshkosh and Green Bay markets Woodward Communications Vice President Greg Bell had said when it switched to Eastlan that the "R.O.I. for the traditional diary service has become invasive to these commitments. Eastlan allows us to continue to measure the market twice a year with an increased sampling and significant savings.
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2009-09-16: TNS Media Intelligence, which in June reported a 14.2% year-on-year first quarter fall in US advertising expenditure (See RNW Jun 10) says that the fall was slightly greater in the second quarter, taking the fall in the first half to 14.3% - 60.87 billion.
Within the figures, Internet display - up 6.5%- and FSI's (free standing inserts) up 4.6%- recorded rises but all other media were down with radio doing worst - down 24.6%- followed by newspapers - down 24.2% and magazines - down 20.9%. TV fared comparatively well - down 10% overall and down 5.5% for Network TV and 3.7% for cable TV although spot TV was down 27.1%.
Within radio itself, national radio was down 29.2%; local radio was down 25.5%; and Network Radio was down 8.7%.
In terms of advertisers TNS reports that the top ten advertisers spent a total of USD 7,866.4 million down 3.5% on a year ago with the top hundred companies trimming spending by 6.2% whilst in terms of categories automotive spending was down 31.1% to USD 4,495.5 million, just retaining top rank but telecommunications spend was up 7.5% to USD 4,276.5 million. Below that Financial Services' spending was down 24.3% to USD 3,752.1 million.
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2009-09-16: Triton Digital Media, which describes itself as the leading provider of digital applications, services and content to the broadcast industry, has acquired Ando Media, which it terms the leader in online audio audience measurement and ads management but details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Triton Media Group Chief Operating Officer Mike Agovino commented of the acquisition in a release, "We believe Ando fills a critically important need in our industry's growing digital value chain. Connecting and expanding Ando's dynamic technology with Triton Digital's solutions will accelerate digital revenue growth for the industry."
Ando Media's Chief Executive Officer Bob Maccini added, "We're excited to join the Triton family. The Triton and Ando resources, technology, leadership, track record and vision for the future promises significant value for our clients and media partners."
Ando's Webcast Metrics in-stream audience measurement service is used by over 6,800 stations and webcasters throughout the United States and earlier this year it announced the development of Targeted Ad Injector, server-side ad serving technology, which allows for greatly enhanced targeting of streaming campaigns.
Last month Ando took over Spacial Audio, which provided automation, ad-insertion and an array of other digital services to primarily pure-play webcasters and earlier this month it announced that it was seeking Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for its streamed audio ratings.
Triton last month acquired loyalty marketer Enticent, which it is combining with its Mass2One to create Triton Loyalty.

Previous Triton Media:
2009-09-16: XM Canada, which was being sued by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada (NRCC) and CSI, a joint venture of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) and Montreal-based Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SODRAC) over late payment of royalties due (See RNW Sep 3) has announced that it has reached an agreement to settle with all the parties.
The settlement includes payment of all arrears owing under a retroactive tariff and on-going monthly payments under the existing tariff and XM Canada's President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Moskowitz said it was "pleased" to have reached agreement.
"We recognize the important role these organizations play in supporting Canadian artists," he added, "and this agreement allows us to balance the retroactive amount owed with the ongoing investment required to continue building on our own success."
XM Canada, controlled by Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings, distributes the XM Satellite Service in Canada.
Previous Moskowitz:
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2009-09-16: The inanities of US government agencies are highlighted in an Washington Post op-ed by D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors that supervises US government funded civilian broadcasters, in relation to the case of a Pakistan reporter for Voice of America (VOA) who was taken to the US by the VOA after the Taliban had bombed his home and terrorized his family.
Hirschberg says of 33-years-old Rahman Bunairee that the agency "decided sensibly to bring him to Washington for a year to safely continue his reporting" after his reporting made him a target but when he arrived at Dulles International Airport on Aug. 9 with a valid U.S. visa and ample documentation of his sponsorship by a U.S. government agency he was, rather than being welcomed, "interrogated at length by Customs and Border Protection officials, who ultimately rejected his visa, deemed him an 'intending immigrant' and threatened to deport him."
Bunairee ended up in jail and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, petitioned the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration matters, to free him and reinstate his visa but it took ten days and intervention by the State Department to get him freed.
Even then he was freed under conditions that he was not allowed to work - thus vitiating the intention of VOA - and the broadcaster was also barred from paying him meaning that he is having to live off charitable contributions and cannot support his family in Pakistan.
Bunairee worked for Deewa Radio, the VOA's Pashto-language service targeted to the troubled Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and Hirschberg noted, "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that "we are being out-communicated by the Taliban and al-Qaeda" in the area, a circumstance she called "absolutely unacceptable." The U.S. envoy for the region, Richard Holbrooke, has argued that Taliban propaganda "is key to the insurgency's terror campaign" and that it must be countered."
He calls for Bunairee to be given authority to work and - rather meekly in our view - comments that "the legal limbo in which Bunairee remains ensnared shows that the system needs to work better. The VOA and other news outlets must be able to recruit the talented and courageous journalists to report about Pakistan and other global hot spots."
RNW comment: We appreciate the fact that Hirschberg is unable to be blunt about the actions of Homeland Security but we are not constrained in the same way. Our view is that all those involved are jumped up jobsworths who lack intelligence and should be fired. Even if we assume that Bunairee was intending to stay in the US, the damage done to the country in terms of its potential effect on those who might be intending to work for US government organizations meant that this action would have been counterproductive.
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2009-09-15: The leaders retained their lead in the latest Australian radio ratings but co-host Kyle Sandilands controversial response when a girl said on air in a "Lie detector" feature of his show that she had been raped when aged 12 seems to have cost Austereo as listeners to 2-DAY FM's breakfast show were down by nearly a fifth.
The "Kyle and Jackie O" (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) show recorded a share 9.8%, down from 12% in the largest fall in the slot for any Sydney station and representing some 18% of its audience, a fall that may be bad news for the host as it fuelled speculation that Austereo is preparing to dump the host who delayed his return to Australia from Los Angeles and also delayed a meeting with Austereo executives that was rumoured to have been scheduled for Monday.
2-DAY also suffered heavily at drive time where Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) were down from 17.2 to 14.2.
In terms of the metropolitan capitals, talk stations 2GB, Sydney (Macquarie Radio Network); 3AW, Melbourne (Fairfax Media); and 5AA, Adelaide (DMG Radio Australia) held onto their top spots as did music stations Nova in Brisbane (Also DMG) and Mix in Perth (Austereo).
In the Sydney breakfast slot 2GB and Alan Jones, who had been absent for medical treatment for significant parts of the survey - covering June 28 to September 5 - lost share in top slot and was down from 17.8 to 16.5 whilst second-ranked ABC 702 took its share up from 10.9 to 11.4 and rose a rank to second, swapping places with FM leader 2-DAY, which dropped a rank to end up third with 9.8, down from 12.0.
In Melbourne, where Fairfax Media's 3AW held on to top rank and Austereo's Fox retained top FM rank the latter's sister station Triple M saw its overall share fall from 4.5 to 4.3 and Eddie McGuire's new breakfast show only held on to its 3.7 share - 3AW had a 20.5 (down from 21.8) share and ABC 774 had 16.3, up from 16.1 whilst Fox was down from 11.7 to 10.8 in the slot.
As usual in their comments the broadcasters ignored negatives and stressed strengths with DMG highlighting Nova's success in the 18-30 demographic, noting that it had a breakfast lead for this group in four markets and Austereo highlighting drivetime success for Hamish and Andy "with impressive gains in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane" but ignoring the fall in their share in Sydney and also noting that 2-Day retained the FM lead and breakfast lead, mentioning in relation to the latter simply that they had a 9.8% share.
Austereo also noted new breakfast shows for Triple M in Sydney and Melbourne, commenting that they "are well differentiated in their respective markets and are positioned for growth in the months ahead. The Grill Team in Sydney and Eddie McGuire with the Hot Breakfast team in Melbourne have both shown promise."
Chairman Peter Harvie commented of them, "We are looking to the new Breakfast shows on Triple
M Sydney and Melbourne to achieve growth over time and to strengthen the overall Triple M Network audiences."
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 14.1 (14.4) - same rank; SAFM with 13.8 (14.3) - same rank; ABC 891 with 13.2(12.8) - up from fourth
* Mix 102.3 with 13.00 (13.2) fell a rank to fourth followed by 5MM, which held on to fifth with 10.3 (9.7) and Nova, which remained sixth with 9.2 (9.1).
*Brisbane - Nova with 12.8 (12.4) - same rank; B105 with 12.1 (11.8) - same rank; ABC 612 with 10.9 (9.5) - up from fifth
* 97.3 FM with 10.7 (11.6) fell from third to fourth followed by 4MMM, which fell from fourth to fifth rank with 10.3 (11.3).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 16.2 (16.8) - same rank; ABC 774 with an unchanged 14.1 same rank; Fox FM with 13.4 (13.6) - same rank;
*Nova 100 remained fourth with 7.6 (7.9) followed by Gold FM which took its share up from 5.5 to 6.3 whilst Mix 101 moved into sixth place from ninth with 4.6 (4.4) pushing Vega down to seventh with 4.5 (5.1).
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 18.5 (15.8) - same rank; 92.9 with 11.9 (12.2) - up from third;
96 FM with 11.6 (12.6) - down from second.
*ABC 720 remained fourth with an unchanged 10.5 but 6PR moved up to fifth from sixth with an unchanged 8.8, overtaking Nova, which fell a rank to sixth with 7.7 (9.5).
*Sydney: 2GB 13.3 (13.7) - same rank; ABC 702 with 9.5 (9.0) - up from third; 2-DAY with 8.9 (10.7) - down from second;
*2UE moved up from sixth to fourth as it took its share up from 7.2 to 8.3, overtaking NOVA, which fell a rank to fifth with 7.6 (8.2), ahead of WSM which fell from fifth to sixth with 7.3 (7.7)
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2009-09-15: BBC Radio 2 has confirmed that Simon Mayo is to replace Chris Evans as its drivetime host from January next year when Evans moves from the slot to replace Sir Terry Wogan in the breakfast slot (See RNW Sep 7).
Mayo in telling listeners to his BBC Radio Five Live 13:00-16:00 afternoon show of the move referred to the "odd rumour" that he was to make the move and then continued, "Well, these rumours were 100% accurate." After saying ," It is very, very exciting to be asked to do one of Radio 2's iconic programmes" he continued on to say it had been a "very difficult decision to make as this has been an extraordinary place to be since 2001" he went on add that only "80%" of his show would go from the station and that he would continue to host his Friday Radio Five Live film programme with Mark Kermode, which would be "big and sparkly and bigger than ever" - it currently airs for an hour at 1500 following the first two hours of his show but will be extended to run for two hours.
Mayo was known to have said he would not continue with Radio Five Live when it moves out of London to Salford, a move scheduled for 2011: He had worked for BBC Radio 1, which he joined in 1986 and where he hosted the Breakfast Show for five years from 1988 before moving to mid-morning on the station in 1994, a post he held until 2001.
He joined Radio Five Live in May that year hosting the slot he currently retains.
Commenting on the move BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music Controller Bob Shennan said Mayo's "range as an entertainment broadcaster is broad and rich, making him the perfect host of Radio 2's Drivetime programme" whilst BBC Radio Five Live Controller Adrian Van Klaveren commented on the station's blog, "Simon's programme has been one of 5 Live's greatest successes over the last nine years, steadily building a reputation as a home of intelligent conversation and entertainment as well as the afternoon's news and sport.
"He's established himself as one of the very best radio interviewers - a tribute to his skills at asking the right questions and his always immaculate preparation and research. I'm delighted that he won't be leaving 5 Live and will continue to present an even bigger version of the successful Mayo and Kermode film show."
In other BBC radio news, the UK Telegraph has reported that continuity announcer Peter Jefferson, who is describes as for many ", the voice of Radio 4" has been dropped from the roster of announcers from next Sunday.
The paper says that Jefferson, who took early retirement in 2001 but continued to work as a freelance, had been considering stepping down in May when he will be 65 but had been received a phone call to say he would be dropped as an announcer.
He began his career with the BBC in 1964 as a librarian, subsequently working as an announcer on the BBC World Service, Home Service and Light Programme and has been at Radio 4 since 1974, where he works as a continuity announcer, as well as appearing on Quote Unquote and Poetry Please.
The paper quoted a BBC spokesman as saying, ". We are extremely grateful to him for his contribution throughout that time both as a member of staff and as a freelancer. However it is important that we look forward and it is in the light of these future considerations that we have decided to make some space on our freelance rota to provide more opportunities to newcomers."
Jefferson's last shift will come exactly a month after he was uncharacteristically involved in an incident when he swore on air but the BBC said this was not related to the decision not to continue hiring him.
Jefferson was reading a trail for "Archive on 4 when he stumbled and was heard to say, "fuck!".
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2009-09-15: Arbitron in a release in advance of the posting of its RADAR 102 National Radio Listening Report which is due out next Monday, has reported that US radio is now reaching more than 235 million listeners a week, with listening to RADAR Network affiliated stations up four million on a year ago (RADAR 98) to 214 million .
RADAR figures have been based on a mixture of Portable People Meter (PPM) and diary respondents since the December 2007 RADAR 95 report and these reports have all shown greater listening than had been recorded previously using diary-only respondents.
Within the listening Arbitron notes that listening of those 12-17 was 90% of the potential audience compared to 92% for the 12-plus audience; 92% of Black Non-Hispanic persons; and 93 percent of Hispanic persons, age 12 and older and around the same for both Black Non-Hispanics and Hispanics age 18-49.
In terms of audience make-up the report shows that each week radio reaches 95% of college graduates aged 25-54 and the same percentage of adults 25-54 with a college degree and an annual income of USD 50,000 or more and of college graduates aged 18-49 with a household income of USD 75,000 or more. RADAR-affiliated stations, adds Arbitron, reached nearly 86% of the last group each week.
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2009-09-15: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds just one complaint against radio plus standards complaints against nine TV programmes: it also partly upheld a TV fairness and privacy complaint and gave details of five more such complaints against TV that were not upheld.
The radio complaint upheld involved sponsorship by Costa Coffee of competitions in three Bauer stations - Kiss 101, Key 103 & Forth One - and credits used in trails and in the competitions that included the claim, "7 out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa coffee". Starbucks complained, saying that the claim was unqualified and could not be
Supported, specifically asserting that the meaning of the claim could be understood as a preference claim against all coffee drinks or even more widely as a claim against all aspects of its business, so including such things as "store ambiance". It added that the tasting trial that was the source of the claim and was detailed on Costa's website was limited to preferences expressed about cappuccino coffee alone and had involved tests only against two competitors, one of which was Starbucks.
Bauer when contacts said that the scripts used had been cleared in house but not sent to the central radio advertising clearance body (The RACC) and said it had studied the supporting research provided to it by the sponsor and reassured itself that the sample size of the research was satisfactory and that it was a robust survey.
Ofcom in its ruling noted that the test did indeed involve only cappuccino and that the sample size of self-defined 'coffee lovers' within the tests was 174 and commented, "Costa's tests were plainly based on a subjective and limited assessment by the test subjects of one coffee drink… Given these limitations of the trial, we do not consider that an unqualified claim such as "7 out of 10…prefer Costa coffee" could be made without appropriate qualification to the claim itself and accompanying explanatory detail." It ruled that the claim was unsubstantiated and breached relevant codes.
In addition to the above, Ofcom also listed without details 237 TV complaints against 149 items and 31 radio complaints against 22 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 933 TV complaints against 190 items - around 500 of them relating to the Big Brother programme - and 32 radio complaints against 31 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
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2009-09-14: Clear Channel has announced that it is to award a total of USD 1 million in free advertising across the company's radio, digital and outdoor platform to the top four winners of the 4A's 2009 O'Toole Awards.
The funds it says will be split into USD 300,000 awards each to the winners of the best large, mid-sized and small agency categories plus USD 100,000 for the national public service campaign winner. The winners will be announced by Clear Channel Communications CEO Mark Mays and the prizes will be presented next Monday at the Nokia Theatre Times Square during an event hosted by 4As board member Chuck Porter and Creativity Magazine editor Teressa Iezzi.
John Partilla, executive vice president of Clear Channel Communications and president of Global Media Sales, said in a release that the prizes "acknowledge creative agencies as critical partners, and we hope they will nourish creativity and demonstrate how effective radio, digital and outdoor platforms are for great content."
"Agencies of this magnitude," he added, "represent remarkable and unique examples of bold, strong work and capture the essence of digital innovation." [RNW comment- we're not quite sure what this means apart from a tendency to confuse mere wind with meaningful statements but would be quite happy to publish a clarification from Partilla. We'd also be happy to post additional detail of exactly how the sum is arrived at as we're as convinced of the likelihood of Clear Channel making available resources that it could actually sell for USD 1 million as we would be of a fence paying a hundred cents on the dollar for goods that could potentially be traced].
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2009-09-14: The US Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is claiming that "more than 45 of America's finest radio talk show hosts" are to take part in its annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and Wednesday.
The event is being organized by FAIR and Radio America Networks' Roger Hedgecock and the organization says hosts who take part will include Lou Dobbs (RNW Note: It does not name any others and as we can't see this being a matter of modesty by FAIR it seems a safe bet that none of them are well-known names outside their own localities); FAIR says the hosts will broadcast continuously live both days from the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill and will talk to listeners, immigration experts, high profile media personalities, and activists about critical immigration policy issues.
Amongst these issues it lists "the cost and impact of continued illegal immigration on jobs, wages, education, the environment and national security, the loopholes within America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 allowing illegal aliens access to tax-payer funded benefits, needed reauthorization of E-Verify, and the Obama Administration's plans for amnesty."
Previous Dobbs:

2009-09-14: The staff of the former San Francisco gay-oriented KNGY-FM ( Energy 92.7), have been dismissed following the takeover of the station by Ed Stoltz's Royce International Broadcasting whose deal to buy it from Flying Bear Media to for USD 6.5 million was announced in July
The station's former website was not operational when we last checked nor was it re-directing to the new station CHR KREV-FM (92.7FM The Revolution), which launched with Pink's "Get This Party Started."
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that around 35 staff were fired and it quoted Jason Dahlstedt, producer of KNGY's show "Fernando and Greg in the Morning" as saying "The station lasted five years. When it launched, everybody said it wouldn't make it past a year."
He added that owner Joe Bayliss of Flying Bear Media informed the staff of the sale a few months ago, but KNGY kept going until the cheque had cleared.
Reviews of the new station on were almost universally hostile and most regretted the passing of its predecessor but one comment focussed on the new station- very much in negative mode - "There's no reason at all for 92.7 to exist! Pitiful weak transmitter, playing music you can already hear on better, stronger, other stations throughout the Bay Area."
On a positive note another posting praised the change, saying, "LOVE THIS NEW STATION. The music is totally cool. Fresh out of the studios mixes of all kinds - hip hop and rep, not just dancy stuff. Energy was cool, but the constant dancing music has gotten a bit monotonous, to be perfectly honest."
San Francisco Chronicle report: postings about change:

2009-09-13: Last week saw a steady flow of radio decisions from all the regulators including a number relating to community or narrowcasting licences: In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had found that Bundaberg Broadcasters Pty Ltd, which is owned by Rural Press Ltd, part of Fairfax Media, the licensee of the open narrowcasting country music-oriented radio network KIX Country FM, breached the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 by providing a commercial broadcasting service without having a licence to do so.
KIX is a country music-oriented radio network, with 25 narrowcasting stations (both high power and low power) broadcasting in regional Queensland and regional South Australia and the agency received a complaint received that referred specifically to the services being provided in the Inglewood and Alpha areas of regional Queensland, alleging that the format was one of "broad appeal" rather than the licensed narrowcast service.
The complainant specifically referred to the greater appeal of country music in the areas concerned, arguing that this made the service no longer a narrowcast format to which the licensee responded by noting the absence of country music on commercial stations except in the case of one-off hits of which there had been less than ten recorded by country music artists in a dance/pop format. It added that no Australian commercial station aired the format and that the only change made to programming in the past three years had been to include a top of the hour national news bulletin.
The ACMA in its ruling found that KIX was when considered in the context of a whole providing a service designed to appeal to the general public but noted that although there was considerable public interest in country music only a minority of those who enjoyed country music opted for exclusively country programming (12%) whilst 67% preferred it mixed with other music.
It added that the non-music components of news and weather broadened the appeal of the service and therefore took it outside its licence conditions.
In response to the finding, the licensee has now stopped broadcasting general news bulletins and agreed that it will not in future broadcast such bulletins and the ACMA said that on this basis it is to take no further action at present although it will monitor compliance with the undertakings given.
In a similar case involving Wiseguy Pty Ltd, licensee of the open narrowcasting radio service Territory FM 98.7, Alice Springs, Northern Australia, the ACMA investigated a complaint that the station was airing programming dominated by music similar to that played on commercial stations in the area.
The station is licensed to provide a service targeting tourists and young visitors and in response to the finding the licensee said it was to substantially alter the nature of its service with changes to include the dropping of breakfast programmes broadcast on weekdays and Saturdays and a switch to a predominantly country music format, with non-stop un-hosted country music programming taking up 87 per cent of airtime.
The ACMA again said it is to take no further action for now but will monitor the implementation of the changes.
The ACMA has also posted a consultation relating to changes it is proposing to extend the Mount Beauty community radio service in north-east Victoria. Responses have to be submitted by October 9 and the changes include extending the licence area of community radio broadcasting service, 3VKV, known as 'Alpine Radio,' at Mount Beauty to cover the townships of Bright, Dederang and Falls Creek, and an associated power increase from 20 watts to 100 watts together with a change the transmission site from Mount Beauty to the Telstra CTMS site on Big Hill and frequency change.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a fairly quiet week with radio-related postings including:
Approval of application by CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association, licensee of CIAM-FM, Fort Vermilion, to change the antenna site and decrease the effective height of the antenna above average terrain of its transmitter CIAM-FM-14, Wabasca. The change is requested because of lack of space on the tower that CIAM-FM had originally proposed
British Columbia:
Consultation with a deadline of October 16 for interventions or comments that includes an application by Corus to allow temporary authority for its CFOX-FM, Vancouver, to use its transmitter CFXX-FM, Whistler, to broadcast 9 hours daily on weekdays and 5.5 hours daily on weekends of locally produced programming originating in Whistler during the month of February 2010.
The locally produced spoken word programming will consist of news and public affairs coverage of events of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and the applicant also proposes to simulcast on its Whistler transmitter some programming originating from its station CKNW-AM, New Westminster.
Consultation with a deadline of October 15 for interventions or comments related to an application by United Christian Broadcasters Canada, licensee of CKJJ-FM, Belleville, Ontario change frequencies and increase its power from 42 watts to 250 watts. The application follows the allocation in May this year of its current frequency to My Broadcasting Corporation for a new English-language FM radio station in Brighton and the increase would change the status of the transmitter from that of a low-power unprotected FM service to a protected status.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the funding of two studies on the benefits of community radio (See RNW Sep 7) and in the UK Ofcom has awarded five new community radio licences.
These went to:
Marlow FM (Marlow, Bucks) - offering community information and entertainment service for the population of Marlow.
Radio BGWS (Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley and Fleet) - offering a community radio service on AM for the rapidly growing community of ex-Gurkhas, their families and other Nepalese people in Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley and Fleet.
Seahaven FM (Newhaven, Seaford and Peacehaven, East Sussex) - offering a local radio service which will offer the people living and working in its area local information and a diversity of music programming.
The Park (Brockenhurst, Hampshire) - part of a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide a comprehensive community media service, both on-line and on air, to the New Forest.
Voice FM (Southampton) - offering enable students and those wishing to learn new skills in the Southampton city region to make programmes that will raise aspirations, showcase talent, celebrate success, encourage life-long learning and improve knowledge and understanding of how to enjoy a successful, healthy and happy life.
Ofcom also posted a consultation with a deadline for responses of October 9, concerning a request from Tomahawk Radio Ltd to change the format of Original 106.5 Bristol, currently an adult alternative album-led station of adult-oriented music, to that of an adult-alternative station playing some adult-oriented album tracks with classic rock and predominantly non-contemporary pop/rock hits.
The licence was awarded to CanWest in September 2006 against competition from five other bids - the second licence CanWest was awarded in the UK (See RNW Sep 15, 2006) and it went on air in May 2007. CanWest subsequently pulled out of UK radio (See RNW Aug 12, 2008).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has appointed a new Enforcement Bureau chief (See RNW Sep 9) and posted its latest inquiries and complaints report (See RNW Sep 8).
In licensing actions it gave the go-ahead for Sirius-XM to set up a network of terrestrial repeaters in Puerto Rico (See RNW Sep 12) and approved the sale by the New York Times of its classical station WQXR-FM (See RNW Sep 8).
In New Hampshire it has denied two petitions for reconsideration filed by Steven Rendell related to his permit for unbuilt station WXNH-AM, Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The permit was issued in 2003 for a three-year term expiring on Sept 17, 2006, and subsequently in an erroneous decision revised the construction deadline to August 28, 2008 and also gave Wendell an opportunity to document any circumstances that might warrant additional construction time by rule waiver.
Wendell requested reconsideration on the basis that shortly after the permit was issued he found that the authorized site could not accommodate his proposed three-tower array and argued that the Commission should waive the construction deadline based on matters relating to a site for which no authorization is held.
His permit is mutually exclusive with an application filed on September 18, 2008, by WLIE Inc, licensee of WLIE-AM, Islip, New York to modify its co-channel station, which opposed the reconsideration requests and the FCC denied the reconsideration request, ruling that Rendell's permit had expired on August 28 last year.
In Pennsylvania, the agency dismissed opposition from a number of minority shareholders in Farm and Home Broadcasting Company to the assignment of the licence of WFRM-AM, Coudersport, to L-Com, Inc. and gave the go-ahead for the transfer.
The objectors contended that Cary H. Simpson, President of Farm and Home Broadcasting and owner of 78% of its voting and equity interest, had breached his obligations to it by agreeing to the sale without prior approval of the board of directors.
The FCC in rejecting the objections said that it had not been provided with documentation to support the allegations made or demonstrate that Simpson lacks authority to agree a sale of assets and noted that its policy is that such matters should be handled by local courts. In this case no court order to stay the assignment, it said, had been received.
The FCC also issued a report to Congress relating to regarding commercial proposals for broadcasting radio or television programs for reception on board specially-equipped school buses and its chairman Julius Genachowski commented at a public safety news conference regarding the agency's preparedness for a major public emergency, saying in effect that the agency has shown that it is prepared to respond to communications emergencies and perform its mission but has identified a number of areas in which it can improve its emergency planning and response.
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2009-09-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given the go-ahead for Sirius-XM to set up 20 terrestrial repeaters in Puerto Rico, rejecting objections from the Radio Broadcasters Association of Puerto Rico.
The provision of terrestrial repeaters for the Sirius service in Puerto Rico was one of the provisions that Sirius-XM agreed to as part of the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radios that took place in October last year and application was made by Sirius-XM by the deadline of three months after that.
The objection was made by the Association on the basis that the application was procedurally defective and that the service would directly compete for listeners with the services of its member broadcasters.
The FCC in effect said the broadcasters had made no case and approved special temporary authorization (STA) for the repeaters for 180 days: It is currently providing STAs pending a the rulemaking to establish rules governing the use of such repeaters.
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2009-09-12: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced that Andy Berkowitz, production director for WWOT-FM, Altoona, Pennsylvania, has won its "Don't Tax That Dial" competition, set up to produce spots in opposition to proposals to introduce performance royalties for music played on terrestrial US stations.
Berkowitz will receive a prize of USD 2,500 for his winning entry, "Silence 97," in addition to travel, two nights hotel stay and registration for two to attend the 2009 NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia: The winning spot features a fictitious caller who resigns herself to dedicating on-air "silence" to her boyfriend after the radio DJ rejects her song-request.
"NAB has received an impressive number of imaginative entries through the course of this competition," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "We are extremely pleased that the 'Don't Tax That Dial' competition has resonated so well with America's radio stations, and we look forward to recognizing Andy for his outstanding entry during the upcoming NAB Radio Show."
The spot will make its debut at the 2009 NAB Radio Show during NAB Radio Board Chair Charles Warfield's opening remarks at the "Digital Think Tank" super session on September 23 and will be posted on the Web site the following day.
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2009-09-11: In what the company is claiming is the first time a music website had been transformed into a "broadcast entity", CBS Interactive Music Group has announced that, which is now owned by CBS Corporation, is to launch an all new station to be broadcast on CBS Radio HD multicast channels in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco as well a streamed online.
The new station will launch on October 5 and David Goodman, President, CBS Interactive Music Group commented, "'s newest initiative is a novel way for the CBS Interactive Music Group to exercise its radio programming knowledge with a fresh and innovative approach.
" has a large and loyal following both here and abroad, and we're thrilled to be taking this step to expose additional listeners to the world class service. Millions of people have helped create one of the best music discovery sites out there, and the information they provide us about their listening preferences will be at the core of everything we do on this new station… we believe this is exactly the type of programming that will help bring new listeners to the HD multicast frontier."
The company says programming will include a flagship show Discovers," hosted by Sat Bisla that will feature music popular on the site and up-close and personal interaction with the artists themselves. Programming for the new station will be handled by Seth Neiman, Digital Content Manager of the CBS Interactive Music Group.
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2009-09-11: According to the Daily Telegraph, Austereo is thought to be ready to dump Sydney 2-DAY FM breakfast host Kyle Sandilands following the latest gaffe by the host when he suggested that comedienne comic Magda Szubanski, who is also spokeswoman for a weight-loss company, could lose more weight if she spent time in a "concentration camp".
The paper says it understands that Sandilands, who co-hosts the Kyle and Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) Show, has exhausted the patience of network executive chairman Peter Harvie, who wants the host removed and adds that the company is preparing to dump him at a meeting planned for Monday.
It adds that an Austereo source told it,"This is a test of wills and this guy's (Kyle) got to go, noting that telecommunications company Optus has withdrawn sponsorship of The Kyle & Jackie O Show.
It also quoted 2-DAY general manager Adam Lang as denying that any decision on Sandilands' future had been made and rejecting the rumours as "entirely incorrect".
Sandilands, who was in the US when the latest comments were made, is thought to be on his way back to Sydney. He has currently been replaced on the show by Australian Idol's Andrew G and singer Dannii Minogue who have been co-hosting the show with Jackie 0 after his suspension (See RNW Sep 9).
The paper also noted that the comments may well have killed Sandilands' hope for work in the US, quoting the California Broadcasters Association president Stan Statham as saying, "The Federal Communications Commission seems to be moving in a direction that Kyle is not moving" and noting that since the maximum fine for indecency was increased to USD 325,000 US broadcasters were less inclined to take on volatile DJs
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2009-09-10: Clear Channel's KNEW-AM, San Francisco, has dropped host Michael Savage in an action that a posting on the station's web site by Program Director John Scott says was taken because it has "decided to go in a different philosophical and ideological direction, featuring more contemporary content and more local information. The Savage Nation does not fit into that vision."
His slot is being taken over by "The John and Ken Show" (John Chester Kobylt and Kenneth Robertson Chiampou of sister station KFI-AM, Los Angeles) , described as "Californians, doing a California based show, talking about things that are happening in YOUR state. Contemporary, funny, compelling. These boys are the real deal."
When we last checked there had been some 250 responses to the announcement, most of which are opposed to the decision and sceptical of the reasons given - on e posting says of the "more local" comment, "Your 'logic' is ridiculous. Savage talks about San Francisco and the Bay Area all the time. How much more local can you get?
"These guys from LA have been talking to Jack and Joe for 10 minutes are ruining this segment of the morning show.
"This is the worst decision you've made since you put on the certifiable nutcase Glen Beck. Listeners are going to abandon ship in droves."
According to Rich Lieberman's report of the story, the reason behind the decision was simply one of money. Lieberman says, "In Savage's case, his million-dollar salary was the main reason he was let go. Clear Channel is in fiscal purgatory, like many other broadcast companies and anyone who makes that kind of coin is subject to getting axed. Savage was in that category."
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KNEW blog re Savage decision:
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2009-09-10: In more signs of development of Eureka DAB digital radio systems, Pure has shown at IFA, the world's largest Consumer Electronics trade fair which has just ended in Berlin, what is says is the world's first commercially available DMB-R radio.
It says that the addition of DMB-R to DAB and DAB+, which Pure's receivers already support, makes the radios fully compatible with the first European Digital Radio Receiver Profile as defined in 2008 by WorldDMB and DIGITALEUROPE. Countries already committed to the new Digital Radio Receiver Profiles include Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
In all 19 PURE receivers that meet recently announced Digital Radio Receiver Profiles defined by WorldDMB and the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) were on display.
In a similar development, Frontier Silicon has announced that its Venice 6.2 module and Jupiter 6.2 reference platform are the first combined DAB, FM and Internet radio products to become IMDA (Internet Media Device Alliance) Profile 1 certified. This means that any radio products being developed by Frontier Silicon's customers incorporating these modules or platforms also benefit from this approval, providing a faster time for achieving certification of their final end product to consumers.
Earier this month Frontier Silicon launched its Venice 7 tuner that will handle FM plus DAB, DAB+ and DMB radio signals, saying it is the world's first mass production receiver for these signals that is fully compliant with the WorldDMB receiver profile 1 standard. (See RNW Sep 4).
It adds that the Profile defines an IP radio receiver specification that maximises interoperability between broadcasters and content providers and notes that Frontier Silicon is the first to have a certified receiver product that combines Internet radio, connected home audio streaming, DAB/DAB+ digital radio and FM radio - in a single device.
In yet another move, EtherWaves and Primula Technologies today announced a partnership to deliver a whole new range of Digital Radio solutions to manufactures of Consumer Electronics and Industrial devices, including professional Digital Radio receivers for the broadcast market.
EtherWaves it says will provide the proven ClearSignal IP that currently includes DAB/DAB+, T-DMB and DRM - both in single-tuner and dual-tuner options.
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2009-09-09: Austereo has suspended 2Day-FM breakfast host Kyle Sandilands for the second time in two months following outrage over his comments that Australian actress Magda Szubanski, whose father was a Polish Freedom fighter from a Jewish family, would be able to lose more weight if she were sent to a concentrations camp: He had already been suspended last month following his handling of an on-air lie-detector segment in which a girl said she had been raped when aged 12 and lost his post as a judge on Australian Idol (See RNW Sep 8).
In a statement 2-DAY said the host was suspended "pending further discussions" between him and station management and added of the comments that they "were unacceptable and sincerely apologises and regrets any offence they caused"
Sandilands in a statement issued by Austereo said, "It was not my intention to upset anyone and I sincerely apologise to anyone offended by my comments."
The suspension came as Sandilands and his co-host Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) were voted Australia's "most hated" people in the latest UMR online poll that showed 70% of Australians having a negative reaction to Sandilands and 60% to Jackie O, figures that UMR managing director John Utting said Kyle and Jackie O's results were the worst he had seen among entertainment personalities.
43% of the thousand people who took part in the poll, described by UMR Research as a "Nationally representative survey of Australians aged 18 years or over", said that the pair should have been fired over the rape incident with a further 18% saying they should have been suspended for a longer period (three months was suggested) compared to 19% saying the suspension of a fortnight was adequate and 12% who said they should have remained on air.
Utting told the Melbourne Herald-Sun, "It's not good at all - I think it has finished him (Sandilands) off as having any chance of being a mainstream celebrity. He can carve out a niche audience on radio but that's all. To make it on TV you've got to reach out to a lot of people."
Also attacking Sandilands was Family Council of Victoria president Peter Stokes who told the paper, "The level of disgust clearly shows the public have had enough of this" but there was a counterbalancing view from media analyst Steve Allen who commented, following an audience crash for Australian Idol, that Channel Ten might approach Sandilands to return for the ratings, saying, "There is definitely a Kyle factor in the ratings -- love him or hate him."
Since the previous incident, 2-DAY has installed a seven-second delay system but failed to use the "Dump button" during the show in which Sandilands made his latest comment - and also attacked his colleague newsreader Geoff Field whom he termed amongst other things - a "prick" who suffered from dementia.
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2009-09-09: Sirius-XM has announced that Sirius FM-5, its latest satellite, which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan pm June 30, has now gone into service, boosting the power of its network.
The satellite is in a geostationary orbit position over North America (approximately above Texas, at 96 degrees west longitude) and Sirius-XM says it is designed to provide more focused power in areas of peak population, such as metropolitan areas on the east and west coast, as well as significantly improving reception when driving under heavy foliage.
The company's Chief Engineering Officer Terry Smith said in a news release that for Sirius subscribers the "FM-5 brings significantly improved performance to their cars as well as their homes and offices" adding that they expect it to "provide exceptional service for many years to come, while improving the overall performance, reliability and longevity of our satellite fleet.
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2009-09-09: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the appointment of P. Michele Ellison, currently FCC Deputy General Counsel, as Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, commencing on September 28.
She has held her current post for 12 years and recently served as Acting General Counsel of the FCC through July 2009. She was also named Transition Counsel to Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.
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2009-09-08: Continuing their pot v kettle act over the issue of performance royalties, the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the musicFIRST coalition have put out releases relating to comments on the latter's petition to the Federal Communications Commission calling for the agency to investigate and take action against radio stations for abusing their license to use the airwaves (See RNW Jun 10).
musicFirst says that its member Music Managers Forum will be filing documents including an e-mail from college radio station WICB-AM, Ithaca, New York, to artist Aimee Mann's online message board that in part said, "Since you support MusicFirst, WICB hereby drops Aimee Mann and Til Tuesday from our playlist like a bad habit…I will encourage the college broadcasters to follow our lead, and the few commercial stations that play your music will be happy to join our cause."
Jennifer Bendall, executive director of the musicFIRST Coalition, commented of the action, "It is a sad day when a licensed radio station affiliated with a major college punishes artists for exercising their First Amendment Rights… Broadcasters enjoy broad First Amendment rights, but they can't punish artists for exercising their First Amendment rights, too. This is not about legitimate programming choices; it's not about what a radio station's listeners want to hear. It's about radio's bottom line."
The NAB in response said, "MusicFIRST's Request for Declaratory Ruling is a carefully crafted public relations document masquerading as a legal pleading. With the legislative debate on the Performance Rights Act ("PRA") becoming increasingly contentious, MusicFIRST seeks to recruit the Commission as a participant in its lobbying and public relations strategy in support of the PRA."
In support of its case, the NAB says that WTOP-FM has contacted MusicFIRST and offered to air the group's spots at the same rate that it earlier aired advertisements paid for by NAB. MusicFIRST declined to take-up the opportunity."
It goes on to say that if the group was "truly concerned about its ability to convey its message, particularly to the crucial audience of members of Congress, one wonders why it declined WTOP-FM's offer." [RNW comment: Maybe not in this case, but this could be a matter of being able to afford to take up such an offer and in our view it should stick in the craw of any democrat (small "D") that cases should rise or fall on paid-for PR rather than sound discussion of the merits.]
In what might be seen as a public relations exercise in its own filing (A 66-page PDF), the NAB later says, "The interest of broadcasters in opposing the PRA, of course, is to preserve the economic viability of free, over-the-air radio broadcasting for the public in the midst of a major economic recession" and then goes on to attack musicFIRST on First Amendment grounds.
It adds that, "NAB emphasizes at the outset that at no time did it orchestrate or coordinate any campaign of intimidation or threats against any artists. And while NAB did offer stations spots in opposition to the PRA-which it had every right to do-it did not require any station to air any particular spot. Nor could it. "
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2009-09-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rejected objections to the USD 45 million sale by the New York Times of its classical station WQXR-FM, New York, to WADO-AM License Corp (Univision) under a deal announced in July that involved the classical station being taken over by public station WNYC and moving to a weaker signal used by Univision's WCAA-FM whilst Univision takes over the stronger WXQR signal (See RNW July 15)
The objections were made on the basis that the sale might mean the loss of classical music programming but the FCC pointed out that it does not "scrutinize or regulate programming, nor does it take potential changes in programming formats into consideration in reviewing assignment applications."
The FCC has also posted its latest Quarterly Report on Informal Consumer Inquiries and Complaints in which it notes a 10% increase from 221,419 to 245,505 in total inquiries for the first quarter of this year compared to the final quarter of last year, mainly because of inquiries related to digital TV - radio and TV inquiries were up nearly a fifth to 215,928.
Complaints in the quarter more than doubled compared to the previous quarter - up from 70,836 to 245,241 with the bulk of them broadcasting complaints, which were up from 29,106 to 188,558.
Again most of these were related to Programming - Indecency/Obscenity - up from 26,743 to 181,080 of which 179,997 were made in March.
The next most numerous broadcasting complaints related to Carrier Marketing & Advertising - up from 116 to 4,390 followed by other programming complaints - down from 1,434 to 1,172.
The next most numerous broadcasting complaints related to Carrier Marketing & Advertising - up from 116 to 4,390 followed by other programming complaints - down from 1,434 to 1,172.
In other categories the second most numerous complaints related to Wireline Telecommunications - 21,355 of which 15,470 related to issues covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
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2009-09-08: Fresh from a row over his questioning of a girl who said on air that she had been raped when 12 (See RNW Jul 30) - comments that lost him the post of a judge on Australian Idol although he kept his breakfast slot with Austereo's 2-DAY FM - host Kyle Sandilands has put his foot firmly into the back of his throat again by commenting that comedian Magda Szubanski, whose father came from a Polish Jewish family and was a freedom fighter, would lose weight if sent to a concentration camp.
Szubanski is a spokesperson for the dieting company Jenny Craig and is said to have lost around 36 kg from her 110kg weight in November last year: She was quoted by the Melbourne Herald-Sun as saying of the Sandiland remarks, "I couldn't give two hoots about what Kyle says about me, but to trivialise what happened to people in concentration camps is abhorrent."
The paper adds that the comment has led Jewish leaders to call for his dismissal and quoted Australian/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council spokesman Jeremy Jones as saying of his comments, "To joke about the experience of people who are being starved to death or murdered . . . is quite horrendous. There are people who confuse freedom of speech with gratuitous, insulting, offensive behaviour. They're two quite different things."
In the exchange, Sandilands had said that Szubanski "could get another season out of them [Jenny Craig], easy . . . she's not skinny" to which his co-host Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) suggested that she might not be able to lose weight because of her build.
Sandilands then responded, "That's what all fat people say. You put her in a concentration camp and you watch the weight fall, like, she could be skinny."
In other Australian radio news Mike Carlton has announced on air that he is to step down from hosting the breakfast show on Fairfax Media's Sydney 2UE. He told his listeners, "While I'm in good health it's time to step back, take a deep breath and live a normal family life. 2UE has been very good about understanding that, which is why we are parting on such friendly terms. All good things come to an end.
"And before all the gossip columnists get fired up with rumours and shock-horror speculation, let me tell you, it's a decision that 2UE and I have happily agreed on. Very unusual in radio. It's a very friendly parting - no dramas, no shouting, no slamming doors, no blood on the floor."
Carlton joined 2UE in 1998 after starting his broadcasting career as a reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in the 60s including a spell as a war correspondent in Vietnam. His first hosting role was with Sydney 2GB in the 1980s after which he moved to London working for LBC on the drivetime and morning programmes before returning to Australia where he hosted the morning show on Mix 106.5 before moving to the ABC 702 drivetime slot from which he was poached by 2UE where he hosted the drivetime show before moving to breakfast.
Carlton is to become a weekly columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, also owned by Fairfax: He had previously worked for the paper as a columnist but was fired at the end of August last year when he refused to supply the column during a journalists' strike.
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2009-09-08: Although there has been some speculation that the topping of a 350-foot (110 metre) AM tower serving Clear Channel's WAEB-AM, Allentown, Pennsylvania, could be the work of environmental activists, the Earth Liberation Front, which last week claimed the credit for felling two towers belonging to KRKO-AM in Everett, Washington State (See RNW Sep 5), has not so far claimed responsibility for the incident which took place before the Everett action.
The Morning Call quoted police as saying the day after, "It looks like some of the cables were cut. It appears to be criminal mischief."
Nobody was injured and no damage was done to other structures in the area but the FBI has was brought in and the paper quoted FBI special agent in Philadelphia J.J. Klaver as saying it would be premature to link the cases but adding, "'These are somewhat unusual incidents,'' he said. ''To have radio towers collapse, I think, is unusual. I've never heard of one radio tower collapsing.''
The tower was one of five identical towers owned by Clear Channel on the site and the station's transmissions were unaffected.
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2009-09-07: Veteran DJ Sir Terry Wogan upstaged his BBC Radio 1 rival Chris Moyles today by announcing on air that he was to step down from his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show - the most popular in the UK with 7.93 million listeners in the latest ratings - at the end of the year with the station's drivetime host Chris Evans to move into the breakfast slot: Moyles had today become the longest-serving breakfast DJ at Radio 1, his total of 2,073 days beating the 2,072 day-record record set more than 30 years ago by Tony Blackburn. In the latest ratings his audience was 7.7 million (the figures are for the 15 plus audience and Moyles' audience is estimated at more than 8 million if younger listeners are taken into account).
Wogan has worked on the breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 for 27 years in two stints and he will continue to work for the station with a weekend show: He made his announcement on the show, saying the decision to leave was "the hardest thing I have ever done in my broadcasting career."
Wogan told his listeners, "Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own. If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans. And I hate to tell you, but it's true. I was hoping to break it to you, my loyal listener, more gently. I wanted to be the first to tell you. It's the least I owe you, for endless years, countless hours of morning companionship, friendship, good humour, and laughter. Your loyalty and support has been a beacon of love in my life.
"There hasn't been a morning, no matter how dark and drear, that I haven't had a smile on my face and a song in my heart at the prospect of your company, your marvellous mail, your wit and wisdom. It touches me deeply that I have played a part in your lives, for it seems like generations; mothers and fathers who tell me how they force their children to listen to me in the morning, just as they were forced by their parents. And many many people, alone, ill or sad, for whom Wake Up To Wogan has been a comfort and a consolation. Let me tell you, it will never match what all of you have meant to me….
"This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my broadcasting career, to say goodbye to you in the mornings. But if not this year, when? Five years, 10? I'd rather leave while we're in love, as the song says, while the programme is the most popular on British radio, while we still delight in each other's company.
"And so we will, until the end of the year, when my good friend Chris Evans takes over; I know that you'll give him the same love and affection you've always shown to me…
"However, before you heave a sigh of relief at my passing, you needn't think that you've seen or heard the last of me…I'll be there until hell freezes over with Proms in the Park (see you there on Saturday next) and of course, Children in Need. My great and good Togs will still be rallying in that great cause and I'll be with them every step of the way, including the voyage.
"And in the new year, I'll be starting a really exciting new show, live from the BBC Radio Studio at Broadcasting House in front of you, as my live audience, presenting the very pinnacle of live music, artists, guests, and of course, you, your mail, your warmth, your wit…
"So, this is not goodbye, it's not even au revoir…As they used to say when I was a lad, 'See you later alligator…in a while, crocodile'…"
Evans said in a BBC News release, "This is very much Terry's story not mine, as well it should be.
"To step down from something you have done so well and for so long and obviously still enjoy doing, must be a tough call even for such a stoic as Sir Tel.
"That said, although I will miss the drivetime show which I have loved for the last three-and-a-bit years, I couldn't be more excited at the prospect of hosting the flagship show on one of the BBC's national networks."
BBC Director, Audio & Music Tim Davie said, "Terry is a legendary talent and I'd like to pay tribute, on behalf of the BBC and his millions of devoted listeners, to his unique place in UK broadcasting history. I'd like to thank Terry for entertaining his army of fans for many years and I'm delighted that he has agreed to continue to entertain the nation on Radio 2 " and Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music, added, "Terry's contribution to the success of Radio 2 over the last 16 years is immeasurable. His unique talent has provided millions of listeners with the soundtrack to their morning. Terry is unequivocably (RNW note- we assume he means unequivocally) the most accomplished radio presenter of his generation.
"I know his TOGs and TYGs (Terry's Old Geezers/Gals or Terry's Young Geezers/Gals - he says the latter are forced to listen to him because of their parents choice of stations) would like me to thank Terry for his years of devotion to the programme and I'm delighted that Terry has agreed to present a new, exciting show on Radio 2 next year."
Wogan, who was born in Limerick, and after a spell in banking joined Irish state radio RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) as a newsreader and announcer after seeing an advert in a newspaper advertising announcer positions.
He went on to host Jackpot, a top rated quiz show on RTÉ TV in the 1960s, and when that was dropped by the station in 1967 approached the BBC about work. He began working for the Corporation on Midday Spin and when BBC Radio1 was launched he hosted Late Night Extra for two years, commuting weekly from Dublin.
He subsequently covered Jimmy Young's mid-morning show throughout July 1969, and was offered a regular afternoon slot from 3 to 5 p.m. - officially on BBC Radio 1 but also broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
Wogan took over the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show in 1972, holding the role until 1984 when he moved to TV full time. He returned to the slot in January 1993 to host the "Wake up to Wogan" show and has remained in the post since then.
The host is also well known for his work on the Children in Need programming and commentating for BBC Radio on the Eurovision Song Contest - he stepped down from that role at the end of last year after 35 years.
Moyles on his show today paid tribute to Wogan but also took the opportunity to promote himself, commenting, "Terry Wogan is a phenomenal broadcaster, it's the end of an era Terry not being on in the morning anymore. That said....yay for me. I will be the number 1 breakfast DJ in Britain." (Wogan after the latest ratings had commented of Moyles, "The little chap does his best. I think eventually he will broadcast for at least six hours a day in a desperate attempt to catch me up.").
Moyles is currently celebrating his milestone with a UK tour - he hosted his show from Plymouth today and is hosting a karaoke night at Cardiff University after which he will move to Leeds where he will host another karaoke night tomorrow then to Glasgow on Wednesday and then back to London to host a further karaoke night.
For Evans, who began his broadcasting career at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester where he worked unpaid as a schoolboy and then as a presenter from 1983 until he was fired in 1987, the move marks further rehabilitation.
His career has included firings by BBC Radio 1 in 1997 and by Virgin Radio - which he had sold as part of a sale of his empire to SMG - in 2001. His return to the airwaves began four years later when he hosted the breakfast slot of UK Radio Aid's day of programming for the victims of the Asian Tsunami, The BRIT Awards, and a number of specials for BBC Radio 2 after which he was hired by the station to host a weekly Saturday afternoon show after which he took over the weekday drivetime show in March 2006.
Previous BBC:
Previous Blackburn:
Previous Davie:
Previous Evans:
Previous Moyles:
Previous Shennan:
Previous Wogan:

2009-09-07: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced funding of Euros 16,000 (USD 23,000) each for two community radio studies under its BCI Media Research Funding Scheme which has been in operation since 2007 and up to now has funded five studies.
The two latest to get awards are called "Drivers of change? An assessment of plurality within community radio in Ireland" and "Funding Programmes, Sustaining Broadcasters; a jurisdictional analysis of programme making support schemes for community radio"
The first, under a team of Dr. Niamh Gaynor of Dublin City University and Dr. Anne O'Brien of of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, will look at the social benefits derived from community stations in Ireland.
The second study by Dr. Kenneth Murphy and Dr. Gavan Titley of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, will examine Irish and international models for supporting programme production by community radio broadcasters and will explore how those models contribute to the capacities and sustainability of the community radio sector.
Previous BCI:

2009-09-07: At a time when major UK commercial radio operators are feeling a strong economic pinch and some smaller stations have closed down, Oldham-based 96.2fm Revolution Radio is reporting a doubling of revenues and nearly doubled listening a year after DJ Steve Penk bought the station.
Penk in a release timed to mark the first anniversary of the purchase commented that he'd found the ownership challenge worse than eh expected, commenting, "The week the deal went through it was announced that Britain had officially entered recession which was just what we didn't need. But, despite the economic downturn, we've made fantastic headway with a doubling of monthly revenue and listening up by 174% year-on-year*. It became increasingly apparent, though, that we had to radically rethink the structure of the Business and reduce operating costs in order to get through these tough times."
Under the new structure the station will employ fewer sales staff with senior management taking on closer relationships with key advertisers and the station output and it is also launching new online projects including a new music service for the young multi-cultural communities of north east Manchester and a channel dedicated to Steve Penk's 'trademark' wind-up phone calls that will join its Asian channel, revolutionPlus.
Station Director John Evington commented of the problems faced, "We've had some long-standing advertisers go into receivership owing us large sums of money and others have, reluctantly, pulled campaigns due to their own cash flow problems. Our sales strategy now is focused on providing great creative ideas and we are raising the bar in client service to ensure that advertisers come back for more. We've also implemented a strict pre-payment policy - and that's working well".
Regarding the online projects he noted that the wind-up channel had already been soft launched, adding, "We're beginning to monetise this fantastic content by offering downloads via our soon-to-be-launched applications for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry."
Previous Evington:
Previous Penk:
96.2 Revolution Radio:

2009-09-06: Last week was again fairly quiet for the regulators as regards radio with no radio decisions from Australia or Ireland but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did make a number of postings including the following:
Across Canada:
Publication of determinations on its proposal to publicly disclose aggregate financial data for owners of large broadcasting distribution undertakings, multi-system operators and conventional television and radio ownership groups.
Groups affected are Astral Media inc., BCE Inc., Bragg Communications Incorporated, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canwest Media Inc., Cogeco Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., CTVglobemedia Inc., Newcap Inc., Quebecor Media Inc., Remstar Broadcasting Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and their successors.
The ownership groups identified in this policy will be required to file their confidential and public aggregated annual return forms with the Commission on or before 30 November of each year.
Posted notice of consultation, with a deadline of October 9 for submission of interventions or comments, relating to application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. to increase the power of CFVR-FM, Fort McMurray, from 20 kW to 50 kW. The licensee says the proposed changes will improve its service to the expanding community of Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo and ensure that it remains competitive by offering the same signal reach as its competitors.
Nova Scotia:
*Approved frequency change from 98.5 MHz to 106.3 MHz for Hope FM Ministries Limited's CINU-FM, Truro. This was requested to resolve an interference issue with French-language Type A community station CKRH-FM, Halifax.
*Approval of application by Truro Live Performing Arts Association for a licence to operate an English-language, very low-power developmental community FM in Truro subject to it finding a suitable alternative frequency to the 106.1 MHz requested as this is mutually exclusive with the Hope FM Ministries application for the use of 106.3 that it had approved (above)
*Administrative renewal from 1 September 2009 to 31 March 2010 of the licence of low-power CHEV-AM, Toronto. The agency noted that if the renewal application was not received by the end of October it might not renew the licence further and also that the decision does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of this licence.
*Denial of application by Bel-Roc Communications Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for CKJN-FM Haldimand County, Ontario in order to reduce the minimum percentage of musical selection from category 2 (Popular music) that must be devoted to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety throughout the broadcast week and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday from 60% to 35%.
*Posted notice with October 7 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments concerning application by Radio Boréale to increase the power of its French-language type B community station CHOW-FM, Amos, from 5,376 watts to 17,787 watts and decrease the antenna height. The licensee said the changes are needed to relocate its transmitter and its antenna at a new site.
*Approval of application by Radio communautaire de Lévis for a licence for a 104 watts French-language Type B community FM on 96.9 MHz in Lévis. The applicant had originally requested 104.1 MHz and this was opposed by Radio Bellechasse's CFIN-FM 103.9 but the Commission felt that the frequency change addressed its objections. There were also objections by Radio Basse Ville and the Centre local de développement de Québec who both opposed the application by Radio communautaire de Lévis on the grounds that, in their view, the applicant's business plan is not an original business plan and is not appropriate for the Lévis region.
In the UK, Ofcom has pre-advertised three licences - those currently held for the Arbroath area by Radio North Angus Limited, that is due to expire on 24 November 2010; for the Bassetlaw area by Trax FM Limited that is due to expire on 21 November 2010; and for the Hinckley area by Oak FM (Hinckley and Nuneaton) Limited that is due to expire on 31 October 2010..
In each case a non-refundable fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 8,200) has to be submitted with each declaration of intent to apply together with a deposit of GBP 10,000 (USD 16,400), which will be refundable on receipt of a valid application in response to the subsequent re-advertisement of the licence.
In each case the licence will be re-advertised if more than one declaration of intent is received. Should the existing licensee be the only applicant it will be invited to re-apply for the licence and it there are no declarations of interest the licence will not be re-advertised.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) eased restrictions on the use of temporary antennas in the Los Angeles area amidst fears that fire would take the Mt Wilson broadcast tower complex out of action (See RNW Apr 2) and also published latest broadcast station totals that showed a rise for all but Low Power FM radio services (See RNW Apr 5).
It was also involved in various enforcement actions including in one run the proposal of fines including USD 19,000 on Alabama station for EAS violations, another of USD 1,500o on a Louisiana AM for late filing of renewal application, another of USD 500 on an Idaho licensee for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation of an FM Translator station and in a further Alabama case substituted an admonishment for a fine (See RNW Aug 31).
In another run it levied penalties totalling more than USD 30,000, reduced from initial notices of liability to USD 49,000 in penalties (See RNW Sep 4).
In another Alabama case it substituted an admonishment for a USD 1,500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) that had been issued to of MVB, Inc., former licensee of Station WWGC-AM, Albertville, for late filing of renewal application. MVB had responded to the NAL by saying it had in fact filed the application on time but in paper form not electronically as required. The FCC rejected MVB's argument for cancellation but substituted the admonishment.
Previous CRTC
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FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:

2009-09-05: The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is claiming responsibility for the destruction of two radio towers belonging to KRKO-AM in Everett, Washington. The station is owned by the Skotdal family-owned S-R Broadcasting, which has been involved in litigation for around a decade over the construction of the initial four towers on the site - three 199-foot AMs and a further 349-foot antenna- plus the addition of two further 199-foot AM towers to be built there.
The construction of the additional two towers was approved last month by King County Superior Court Judge Douglas North who upheld a February land-use decision by the Snohomish County Council.
KRKO General Manager Andy Skotdal told the Everett Herald that he was offering a USD 25,000 reward to try to catch the people who knocked down his towers. The paper says Federal agents are now in charge of the investigation and added that the two additional towers, now under construction, did not appear to have been damaged.
The paper reported that Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said a neighbour called 911 around 03:30 to report that someone appeared to be using a bulldozer, or other heavy equipment, to knock the radio towers over and adds that there was speculation that one tower was pulled over by an excavator, while the other was pushed down. By mid-morning, it adds, the excavator remained entangled in the wreckage of one of the towers.
The Web site of the North American Earth Liberation Front press office in its report of the incident quoted spokesperson Jason Crawford as saying, "Due to the health and environmental risks associated with radio waves emitted from the towers, we applaud this act by the ELF. When all legal channels of opposition have been exhausted, concerned citizens have to take action into their own hands to protect life and the planet."
Local community station KSER-FM issued a statement from its general manager Bruce Wirth, saying they are "shocked and troubled by the recent acts of destruction visited on our fellow Everett broadcaster, KRKO."
"While KSER understands the concerns of residents in the community surrounding KRKO's towers," it continued, "acts of violence do not constitute a legitimate approach to expressing those concerns or defending their interests.
"KRKO is a locally-owned broadcaster located right here in Snohomish County and they have made significant investments in serving our community. At a time when many stations are now owned by huge national media conglomerates who have eliminated local programming altogether, KRKO has continued to broadcast live, local programming that many people in our community enjoy."
ELF press office statement:
Everett Herald report:

2009-09-05: According to latest figures from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the US had a total of 30,473 licensed broadcast stations, up from 29,690 a year earlier and 29,832 at the end of 2008.
Within this there were 14,355 licensed radio stations at the end of June this year, up 231 from the total a year earlier and up 102 from the total at the end of 2008 (The FCC has not yet posted totals for the first quarter of this year).
Within the total, the number of AM stations was up 11 on a year ago and up 3 on the total at the end of 2008 at 4789.
Commercial FMs totalled 6460, up 78 on the total a year earlier and up 33 on the total at the end of 2008 whilst the total for Educational FMs was 3106, up 142 on a year earlier and up 66 from the end of 2008.
The total of Low power FMs was 858, up seven from a year earlier and down one from the figure for the end of 2008.
Previous FCC:
Previous FCC station numbers:

2009-09-04: In the run-up to the holiday weekend, the US has seen three format flips, two from Clear Channel and one from Cumulus.
In Dallas, Cumulus flipped its Triple-A KBDN-FM, which itself had only been going a short while after the company switched to the format from Classic Rock "The Bone", to hits "i93" at noon today after two days of stunting.
Cumulus SVP/Programming Jan Jeffries said of the change, "i93 is a result of extensive research to provide a reflection of the DFW market area. It has been carefully crafted to offer a wide variety of contemporary hit music from the pop, rhythm, and alternative musical genres."
In Detroit, Clear Channel's Country WDTW-FM (106.7 the Fox) has become Rhythmic AC "106.7 the Beat of Detroit "and in Louisville it flipped its WLUE-FM (Louie) to WLGX, Louisville's Gen X Radio, with a format of grunge, heavy metal, hip-hop and pop at 17:00 local on Thursday.
The web sites of all three stations are now up and running.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Cumulus:
i93 web site:
106.7 The Beat web site:
Gen X Louisville web site:

2009-09-04: Frontier Silicon has launched its Venice 7 tuner that will handle FM plus DAB, DAB+ and DMB radio signals, saying it is the world's first mass production receiver for these signals that is fully compliant with the WorldDMB receiver profile 1 standard.
It adds that the move provides a significant step forward in meeting the needs of manufacturers seeking to deliver a single mass market low power unified digital radio for Europe and Australia thus enabling countries to achieve their plans for digital radio switchover and highlights the French government mandate that all radio receivers sold by Sept 2013 has to include a DBM-Tuner: France has opted for DMB in preference to the DAB and DAB+ options.
Frontier Silicon CEO Anthony Sethill said of the latter, "France is the next major market to drive the switch to digital radio. It is anticipated the French market will represent a sizable opportunity for receiver manufacturers from 2010 with Frontier Silicon's trusted digital tuner technology at the heart".
Frontier Silicon says it is still the only volume producer shipping DAB+ modules in volume and adds that the Venice 7 is footprint compatible with its DAB/DAB+ solutions Venice 5 and Venice 5.1, thus providing manufacturers with a fast-to-market upgrade path to offer all major digital radio standards without the need to redesign their product.
Previous Frontier Silicon:

2009-09-04: In a number of enforcement actions the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied penalties totalling more than USD 30,000, reduced from initial notices of liability to USD 49,000 in penalties.
The highest penalty of USD 18.400 went to Real Life Broadcasting, licensee of WIFI-AM, Florence, New Jersey, for operating at excessive power, failing to maintain operational Emergency Alert Signal (EAS) system, failing to maintain an effective enclosure at the base of the station's tower, and failing to maintain issues/program lists in the public inspection file.
It had initially issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) totalling USD 23,000 to which Real Life responded with a request for cancellation or reduction on the basis of remedial efforts taken, its good faith efforts to comply with the Rules, its history of overall compliance, and its inability to pay.
All the other arguments were rejected with the FCC noting that as regards financial hardship part of the claim related to the station's connection with Burlington Assembly of God (also known as the Fountain of Life Center) about which no financial information was provided, but a reduction to USD 18,400 was made because of a history of compliance.
In Wisconsin, it issued a forfeiture of USD 8,800 to Sparta-Tomah Broadcasting Co. Inc., licensee of WKLJ-AM, Sparta, and WFBZ -FM, Trempealeau, for operating the firmer at excessive night-time power and for failing to maintain a main studio for WFBZ consistent with the Rules
Initially it had issued an NAL for USD 11,000 to which Sparta-Tomah requested a reduction on the basis of remedial efforts and a history of compliance. The first argument was rejected but a reduction to USD 8,800 was made on the basis of a history of compliance.
In Pennsylvania, it issued a USD 5,000 forfeiture to Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, licensee of WGBN-AM, New Kensington, for failing to operate its broadcast station in a manner which complies with the terms of the station authorization - it had operated at a reduced power level, operating a Studio Transmitter Link on an unauthorized frequency, and failing to maintain radio issues/programs lists in the station's public inspection file.
The FCC had initially issued an NAL for USD 15,000 to which the station requested a reduction on various grounds for the individual breaches and overall on the basis of an inability to pay and a history of compliance.
The FCC rejected all the arguments, noting a previous USD 3,000 penalty in relation to a history of compliance, but reduced the penalty to USD 5,000 on the basis of inability to pay.
Previous FCC:

2009-09-03: Although not ruling the danger over, firefighters are now expressing cautious optimism that the Observatory and broadcast transmission complex on Mt Wilson will be saved from the fires affecting Los Angeles according to the Los Angeles Times.
The paper reported just after noon local time today that the fire is now 38% contained and has burned more than 144,000 acres and quoted Incident Commander Mike Dietrich as saying, "We believe the results will be positive in the Mt. Wilson area. Overall, crews have made excellent progress the last couple of days and we're beginning to reap those benefits."
The threat to the Mt Wilson complex had been reduced through brush-clearing and back burning as well as air drops of fire retardant gel.
Los Angeles Times report:

2009-09-03:The UK Digital Radio Development Bureau, which was set up by the BBC and commercial radio companies, is to be dismantled and incorporated into a newly-created body, the Digital Radio Delivery Group (DRDG), according to the UK Guardian.
The new body, whose role was outlined in Lord Carter's Digital Britain report, has advertised for a chief executive who the paper says will spearhead the drive to boost digital listening to the 50% threshold required to begin digital migration.
The advert that says the successful candidate must be an "experienced senior manager in the media or related industry with a track record of delivering outstanding results in complex stakeholder environments", with a "world-class project delivery track record gained in a similarly complex political, commercial, or technical environment" and have a "sound understanding of the structural and commercial issues challenging the radio sector"
The Guardian quoted an unnamed "source close to the decision-making process" a saying, "We don't want a shoo-in just because someone has been in the radio industry. We want someone to organise and manage the process and deliver on the digital radio targets. It is likely to be someone who has significant chief executive experience to date."
The existing staff of the DRDB - five plus chief executive Tony Moretta, who could be a candidate for the new post - are reported to have been told that their jobs will be safe.
The new chief executive, says the paper, is expected to report to Tim Davie - the BBC's director of audio and music and the first chairman of the cross-industry Radio Council - and Andrew Harrison, the chief executive of the commercial radio trade body, the Radio Centre with an appointment possible before the end of the year.
Comments in response to the Guardian report were sceptical with one saying of the requirement for a "sound understanding of the structural and commercial issues challenging the radio sector" that this would be a first and suggesting the commercial industry should be devoting its emphasis on being profitable on the Internet and others taking a similar line and noting that the audio quality on the current UK DAB system (which used MP2 encoding) is worse than that on other platforms.
Davie has also expressed scepticism about meeting the government target of a switch-off of analogue radio and move to digital by 2015: Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 "Media Show" he said of the target, "I use the word ambitious - and I mean it. I think it is tough. I think the radio industry to date has shown an incremental path towards digital. And unless you get a big step change, you'll never get there …I think radio will move to digital. At this point I believe in DAB. I say 'at this point' because I think we have hurdles to jump over."
Davie was also asked on the show about the role of BBC Radio 2, which has come under attack from the commercial sector - most recently as part of an attack by James Murdoch, chief executive of the European and Asian operations of News Corporation, on the BBC when he delivered this year's MacTaggart Lecture to the Edinburgh TV Festival (See RNW Aug 28) - for encroaching into areas that the commercial sector should be serving by targeting the younger audience.
He defended the station in terms of audience age, noting that the average age of its listeners has remained at more than 50 for the past five years and noted the inclusion in its output of speech and current affairs shows in the daytime, citing the Jeremy Vine Show and noting that commercial rivals did not offer this.
However he did say he wanted BBC radio output to be different from that offered by the commercial sector, commenting, "I can tell you on my watch, I want to make sure the BBC moves away from commercial radio. We drive distinctiveness. There's no point in offering what the commercial sector can offer."
Regarding funding through the licence fee Davie commented on the tension between "universality and ensuring we do something different" but did not think this posed an insurmountable challenge.
Previous BBC:
Previous Davie:
Previous DRDB:
Previous Harrison:
Previous Moretta:
Previous RadioCentre:
BBC Radio 4 Media Show (Links to stream or MP3 of audio):
UK Guardian report:

2009-09-03: - XM Canada has responded to lawsuits against it for failing to pay royalties by issuing a statement saying that it does intend to pay but current economic have made it difficult to do so on time.
"The company is committed to meeting its obligations but notes that its royalties include a significant retroactive tariff to 2005, coming due during a very challenging economic time," said the statement from the company, which is owned by parent Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings
Lawsuits have been filed against the company by the CSI, a group representing Canadian songwriters and music publishers, and by SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, both of which note missing payments.
SOCAN vice-president Paul Spurgeon said in a release, "SOCAN finds XM's position untenable, particularly in light of the fact that satellite radio service operators knew of their requirement to pay SOCAN royalties well before they began operations in 2005. XM's failure to pay the royalties, which are significant, deprives composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers from Canada and around the world of the compensation they deserve and to which they are entitled."
A Canadian Press report in The Journal Pioneer says the CSI is seeking an injunction prohibiting XM Radio from broadcasting songs by Canadian artists represented by CSI and the Society of Canadian Authors and Music Publishers of Canada until payment is made and adds that court documents show payments were required to be made by the end of July this year and that CSI alleges that XM has said it will not make payment until next year.
It also quoted XM Canada spokesman Peter Block as saying in an email that XM is "having a strong year relative to last year, but the industry remains unprofitable. It is important to note that this is a young industry with extensive up front capital expenditures."
In May this year the Copyright Board of Canada certified the tariff to be paid each month by the satellite radio companies - XM Canada and Sirius Canada, which were launched before the merger of Sirius and XM into Sirius-XM Radio - including retroactive royalty payments dating back to 2005, when XM Radio first went on the air in Canada.
Previous Canadian Satellite Radio/XM Canada:
Previous Sirius-XM:
Journal Pioneer report:

2009-09-03: Australia's fledgling digital radio has taken a leaf out of the UK songbook with offerings of channels broadcasting bird songs: In the UK Classic FM aired bird songs for test transmissions prior to its launch in 1992 and the audio has had a number of re-incarnations when channels became vacant on the UK Digital One multiplex, most recently until June this year when the channel it had been using was taken up by Amazing Radio (See RNW June 1).
A report in the Brisbane Courier-Mail says that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Austereo are currently offering bird noise channels: The Austereo Bird channel replaces the pop-up channel established in June to honour visiting star Pink whilst the ABC uses bird songs as the default on its ABC's Extra special events digital radio service.
The Austereo offering is being promoted as Australia's best bird song service, with the promotional tagline "Bird Is The Word" and the paper quoted Austereo Brisbane chief Richard Barker as commenting, "Who doesn't love bird noises. It wasn't the only idea we had but it was the one we went with to show the flexibility of what digital radio can do."
Barker noted that currently there were not man digital radio receivers with consumers but added that the bird song would not be permanent, saying they "are certainly not going to be locked in forever."
For the ABC Tony Walker, manager of ABC Digital radio, said his network would soon ditch the birds in favour of an information loop and added, "Quite simply we just needed something there to stop various transmission alarms going off."
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Austereo:
Brisbane Courier-Mail report:

2009-09-03: Global Radio Chief Operating Officer Don Thomson is to leave the company at the end of this month: He was formerly commercial and operations director for Chrysalis Radio which was bought by Global in 2007 for GBP 170 million (Then USD 340 million -See RNW Jul 31, 2007).
Global subsequently bought GCap Media in a GBP 375 million (Then USD 730 million deal) and Thomson was made acting Chief Operating Officer during the period in which Global and GCap interests had to be held separate for a regulatory review (See RNW May 22, 2008). The company said he had played a "key role" in the acquisition and subsequent integration of Global and GCap.
Thomson said, "Having been involved for over 24 years in the commercial radio industry, I am delighted to have served a key role in the creation of Global Radio, now the UK's largest commercial radio group, and to have played a significant part in its success.
"I therefore feel that my job is now done and I look forward to taking on the next challenge and hope Global enjoys continued success."
Global Radio chief executive Stephen Miron added: "Don has made a great contribution to Global Radio and we thank him for all his hard work. While we regret his decision, we fully understand his position and wish him every success for the future."
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Miron:

2009-09-02: - Fears for the Mt Wilson Observatory and transmission tower complex that serves both FM Radio and terrestrial TV services to Los Angeles have eased a little following the success of continuing water and gel drops on the area although fire services say the danger is not over.
In addition to the use of fireproof gel on structures, most of the brush in the area has been removed and so far broadcasts have continued.
Most of the major broadcasters using the complex have back-up plans, albeit using lower-power transmitters and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced an easing of regulations to allow stations to erect temporary antennas without getting prior permission and also to allow AMs to operate at night on full power to broadcast emergency information.
Stations using transmitters on Mt Wilson - all FM, there are no AM towers in the complex - include public station KPCC-FM, which says it has made plans to use a transmitter on Lookout Mountain; CBS Radio, which has plans in place for back-ups for JACK- FM, KTWV- FM, AMP- FM, and KRTH- FM and whose KROQ-FM uses a different transmitter site; and Clear Channel whose stations include KIIS-FM, KBIG-FM, KOST-FM, and KHHT-FM.
Other stations on Mt Wilson include KKGO-FM, whose owners Mt Wilson Inc. say they would move the signal temporarily to its 1260 and 540AM signal if the FM signal went down; and Enmmis's KPWR-FM and KXOS-FM, which also have back-up plans to use other transmission sites
The Mt Wilson Observatory had been providing regular updates on its main site, although its web cam went down at the beginning of the week, but this site also appeared down when we last checked.
The Los Angeles Times is running regularly updated cover of the fires.
Los Angeles Times web site:

2009-09-02: - The future of international satellite operator WorldSpace is again uncertain following the cancellation of a sale by its Debtors in Possession of most of its assets to Yenura Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company headed by WorldSpace CEO Noah Samara: Samara holds around 55% of Yenura, which in turn owned some 41% of WorldSpace according to a company filing in August last year after which it filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in October (See RNW Oct 17 2008) at which time it declared liabilities of USD 2.1 billion and assets of USD 307.4 million.
WorldSpace shares hit USD 26 a share a share at one stage on the first day of its Initial Public Offering in August 2005 - it priced the shares at US 21 - (See RNW Aug 7, 2005) but have moved down ever since and were trading at half-a-cent when we last checked.
The company has not made any comment since it made an 8K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week together with issuing a news release saying that it had terminated the sale agreement "after Yenura had defaulted in the payment of certain amounts payable thereunder and had failed to remedy such defaults within applicable cure periods. "
It added, "WorldSpace is in discussions with its creditor constituents regarding, and is reviewing, its strategic alternatives in light of the notification of the Yenura purchase agreement termination."
Samara was reported last month to have sold a house in the Berkley/Foxhall Crescents neighbourhood of Washington DC for USD 1.235 million (See RNW Aug 24 ).
Previous Samara:
Previous WorldSpace:

2009-09-02: - Former Emmis and Clear Channel DJ Star (Troi Torain), who was fired by Clear Channel's WWPR-FM in May 2006 for making what the New York Daily News termed "a series of shockingly ugly, racist and violent on-air remarks - including a threat to sexually molest the 4-years-old daughter of a rival deejay" (See RNW May 12, 2006) has lost his lawsuit against Clear Channel over the dismissal.
The New York Daily News reports that Manhattan Federal Judge Peter Leisure ruled that Clear Channel "did not breach the employment agreement" when it dumped the host.
The paper also notes that a lawsuit brought against Queens Democrat City Councilman John Liu who termed the host a "sick, racist paedophile" had already been dismissed.
Torain had subsequently hosted the morning show on dance music station Pulse 87 but was dropped by them in October last year and he is currently hosting a daily entertainment show on (See RNW Aug 12).
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Star (Troi Torain)
New York Daily News report:

2009-09-01: - Update - According to the Mt Wilson Observatory the US Forest Service Fire Despatch said around 18:00 GMT (10:00 PDT) that ground crews were back at the observatory this morning and air tankers are continuing operations.
The Observatory quoted the despatcher as saying that as long as the fire continues to press the mountain from one direction "you are going to make it."
Los Angeles' over-the-air broadcasters using transmission towers on Mt Wilson were still on air as of Monday evening local time but could be overtaken by fires that have led to evacuation of the complex and are threatening the towers and the historic Mt Wilson Observatory according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fire-fighters have cleared much brush from the area and also doused it with fire retardant in the hope of keeping the fire away from the complex which houses some 22 TV stations plus 25 radio stations' transmitters including radio towers for Bonneville, CBS Radio, Citadel, Clear Channel, Mt. Wilson FM, Pacifica Radio, Salem and public classical station KUSC-FM
Station personnel were evacuated on Saturday but fire-fighters remained in the area until Monday when they were also evacuated as the fire approached from two directions
A posting on the Mt Wilson observatory blog at mid-afternoon on Monday said the US Fire Service considered that passage of fire across Mount Wilson is imminent and will be fought aerially rather than with ground personnel. The link to the Observatory's tower camera was not working when we last checked.
A slightly later report in the Los Angeles Times said that fire-fighters were hoping that a concerted effort to cut fire breaks and lay down fire retardant would save the Mt. Wilson Observatory and a the communications towers complex.
Los Angeles Times blog:
Mt Wilson Observatory blog:

2009-09-01: Former DJ Simon Dee, who was the first presenter on the pirate station Radio Caroline and has also been considered as the inspiration for the character Austin Powers in the eponymous spoof films, has died of bone cancer aged 74: He had also worked for Radio Luxembourg, the BBC Light Programme and BBC Radio 1 as well as becoming a national celebrity with his TV work - his Dee Time chat show on BBC TV attracted an audience of up to 18 million viewers at its peak.
The son of a Lancashire cotton magnate, Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd was born in 1935 - in Ottawa according to a Radio Caroline biography but in Manchester according to most sources.
His radio and TV career effectively came to an end when, after leaving the BBC over his financial demands, he moved to London Weekend TV where he lasted for only one series following which he took a variety of jobs including that of bus driver and also spent some time in jail for non-payment of rates (property taxes) on his home in Chelsea.
UK Times report:

2009-09-01: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has announced that it has been told by Nasdaq that it is no longer in compliance with the requirement to have at least three independent directors on its audit committee following the resignation of Antonio Fernandez, who was a member of the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee and the Company's Board of Directors.
SBS has until August 11, 2010, or its annual shareholders meeting to come into compliance and says it fully intends to do so.
Previous SBS:

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