May 2010 Archive
2010-05-31: New Zealand's radio broadcasters are facing a hike of nearly 60% in the cost of music royalties following a decision by the country's Copyright Tribunal to increase from 1.75% of gross revenues to 3 for music stations -backdated to November 2007 when their agreement ran out and from 0.25 per cent to 0.75 per cent from November 1, 2008, to June 30, 2014 for talk stations.
The recording industry through Phonographic Performances New Zealand (PPNZ), the body that collects the royalties, had proposed an increase to 6% whilst the radio companies argued against any increase on the basis amongst other things that airplay boosts music sales.
New Zealand's commercial radio industry is owned by MediaWorks and The Radio Network and submitted their arguments through the Radio Broadcasters Association, whose executive director, David Innes, told the New Zealand Herald that the industry was disappointed by the tribunal decision, which he said represented NZD 2.5 million to 3 million a year (USD 1.7 to 2 million), plus the backdated payments.
PPNZ chief executive Kristin Bowman said, "The tariff increases represent a very positive result for the 1600 New Zealand artist participants in our Recording Artist and Producer Fund and our 59 members."
Previous The Radio Network:
New Zealand Herald report:
2010-05-31: Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced that it has received a record number of entries - more than a thousand in 33 categories including a new Best New Digital Radio Format category for stations aired on DAB+ only - for this Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).
This year's awards ceremony, the 22nd, will be held in Melbourne on October 16 with the theme Spring Carnival Racing and will be hosted by Australian comedy duo Roy and HG (John Doyle and Grieg Pickhaver).
CRA chief executive Joan Warner said of the numbers, "This is great news for the Awards and augurs well for a great night later in the year. The Awards are highly competitive and set a new standard every year. The diversity of winners over the past few years highlights the depth of radio in Australia - and this year will be no exception with a myriad of talent on commercial radio throughout the country."
HG commented in a CRA release, "Australian radio is the best in the world and it is going through a golden age. Roy and myself are delighted to be part of radio's night of nights. It is an evening of unrivalled celebration right up there with the Logies and the Housing Industry Association Awards.
(RNW comment - Apart from the grammar - I not myself - this view that may please the audience but that a moment's thought renders mere wind - how good is his French, German, Chinese, Russian never mind querying what English stations from round the world he is qualified to comment on!).
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-30: Last week saw a steady run of radio-related decisions from all areas but no major issues moving forward anywhere: In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has also started an audit to assess licensees' compliance with local content obligations after it found that New South Wales regional commercial radio services, 2HC, Coffs Harbour; 2EL, Orange; and 2PM, Kempsey, were found to have failed to broadcast the three hours of local content required by their licences.
It directed the three radio licensees - all part of the Super Radio Network - to implement "a rigorous training program to ensure that all staff are aware of and know how to deliver on their licence obligations" and also to report to the agency on a periodic basis as to how they are meeting local content requirements (See RNW May 25).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has denied three applications for a new FM licence in Quebec, by a majority vote in the case of one application by Evanov Communications Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated (OBCI)) - for a licence for a new English-language easy listening commercial FM radio station in Québec - and unanimously in the cases of applications from Evanov (OBCI) for a broadcasting licence to operate a new French-language easy listening commercial FM (second adjacent frequency to the frequency for its proposed English-language service ) in Québec and by Michel Cloutier (OBCI) for a French-language specialty FM in Lévis.
The agency had called for applications after receiving an unsolicited application and received the three applications noted in response to which Astral Media Radio inc., Cogeco Diffusion inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., Radio-Classique Québec Inc. and RNC Media inc. filed a joint intervention opposing the three applications. In their intervention, they submitted that the Québec radio market is currently unable to accommodate a new private commercial radio station, whether it be English- or French-language.
They also noted that in 2006 the agency had denied a similar application from Standard Radio Inc. and that the CRTC at the time had determined that Québec's English-language radio market was too small to support the proposed station and that spill-over, in terms of both advertising and audience, was inevitable.
Voice of English-Speaking Québec (VEQ) had submitted an intervention in favour of adding an English-language commercial radio station to the Québec radio market and saying that among other things, that in recent years and indeed for decades, there has been a decline in English-language media in the Québec area.
The CRTC said in response to this that Québec's current radio market has very few English-language listeners - only 7,429 in 2006 - and that for all practical purposes there is virtually no advertising market in Québec for an English-language station: it was therefore concerned about the possibility that Evanov's proposed station would focus on French-language listeners.
It added that the proposed station would not be required to comply with requirements concerning the broadcast of French-language vocal music and this would give the station a definite advantage, in terms of audience, over the existing French-language stations in the Québec radio market.
As regards a new French-language station the CRTC noted that three commercial stations had been added to the market since 2007 and that although the there was growth in advertising revenues five of the 10 commercial radio stations in the market are still unprofitable.
In the case of the Cloutier application it said the business plan was weak and added that several Canadian radio stations offering the jazz and blues format have very low audience shares and, consequently, are in financial difficulty
It denied all three applications but in the case of the Evanov English-language application Commissioner Timothy Denton filed a dissenting opinion in which he said amongst other things that if the people of Quebec City wish to listen to English-language radio, or any foreign-language radio, it is not the concern of the federal government to prevent it.
He added that the regulatory burdens placed upon French-language radio have been placed upon them by initiatives of regulators wanting to foster the French language, in an effort to preserve and promote French-language musical content
He also commented that the record of the Evanov group shows that they have been able to make money out of small markets and against entrenched competition and said his view was that the Evanov group had a viable commercial proposition.
Other licensing decisions included the following:
Renewal of the broadcasting licence for Newcap Inc.'s CHNK-FM, Winnipeg, from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2013. It said the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its condition of licence relating to the broadcast of category 2 (Popular Music) selections, as well as with regulations relating to the provision of complete logger tapes and contributions to Canadian content development. The Commission denied the licensee's request to delete the conditions of licence associated with CHNK-FM's operation as a specialty format station.
Renewal of the licence of Way of Life Broadcasting's licence for low-power, English-language commercial specialty station CJIV-FM, Dryden, from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2011. It said the short-term renewal will enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's compliance with regulations relating to the provision of annual returns; contributions to Canadian talent development; and the provision of local programming.
It also renewed, with various conditions, from June 2010 to 31 August 2016 the following licences:
Newcap Inc.'s CKSA-FM, Lloydminster; and CJPR-FM, Blairmore, and its transmitters CJEV-AM, Elkford and CJPV-FM Pincher Creek.
Fairchild Radio (Calgary FM) Ltd.'sCHKF-FM, Calgary.
CAB-K Broadcasting Ltd.'s CKLJ-FM, Olds.
Corus Radio Company's CHMJ-AM, Vancouver.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CKY-FM, Winnipeg.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Newcap Inc.'s CFSX-AM, Stephenville, and its transmitters CFGN-AM, Channel-Port aux Basques, and CFCV-FM, St. Andrew's; CKCM-AM, Grand Falls, and its transmitter CKIM-AM, Baie Verte; CKGA-AM, Gander; CKIX-FM, St. John's; CFLN-AM, Goose Bay, and its transmitters CFLW-AM, Wabush and CFLC-FM, Churchill Falls; CFCB-AM, Corner Brook, and its transmitters CFNW-AM, Port Au Choix, CFNN-FM, St. Anthony, and CFDL-FM, Deer Lake; CKXX-FM, Cornerbrook; CKVO-AM, Clarenville; VOCM-AM, St. John's; VOCM-FM, St. John's, , and its transmitter VOCM-FM-1, Clarenville; and CHCM-AM, Marystown.
Atlantic Broadcasters Limited's CJFX-FM, Antigonish, and its transmitters CJFX-FM-1, Inverness and CJFX-FM-2, Pleasant Bay.
CTV Limited's CKLC-FM, Kingston, and CFJR-FM, Brockville.
Durham Radio Inc.'s CJKX-FM, Ajax, Ontario, and its transmitters CJKX-FM-1, Sunderland, and CJKX-FM-2, Toronto.
Points Eagle Radio Inc.'s Type B Native radio CKTI-FM, Kettle Point.
Fabrique de la Paroisse Sacré-Cur de Jésus de Crabtree's VF8022, Crabtree.
Radio Beauce inc.'s CKRB-FM, St-Georges de Beauce.
9183-9084 Québec inc.'s CHRC-AM, Québec.
Radio Mégantic ltée's CKLD-FM, Thetford Mines, Quebec and its transmitter CJLP-FM, Disraeli.
9022-6242 Québec inc's CHLC-FM, Baie-Comeau, Quebec and its transmitter CFRP-FM, Forestville.
Cogeco Diffusion inc.'s CFGE-FM, Sherbrooke, Quebec, and its transmitter CFGE-FM-1, Magog; CJEB-FM, Trois-Rivières; and CJMF-FM, Québec.
Réseau des Appalaches (FM) ltée's CFJO-FM, Thetford Mines, Quebec and its transmitter CFJO-FM-1, Lac-Mégantic.
Groupe Radio Antenne 6 inc.'s CKYK-FM Alma, Quebec, and its transmitter CKYK-FM-1, Alma.
Fabmar Communications Ltd.'s CKJH-AM, Melfort.
Rawlco Radio Ltd.'s CFMC-FM, Saskatoon; CIZL-FM, Regina; CKBI-AM, Prince Albert, and its transmitters CKBI-FM, La Ronge, and CKBI-FM-1, Big River; CFMM-FM, Prince Albert, and its transmitter CFMM-FM-1, Waskesiu Lake; and CKOM-AM, Saskatoon.
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CJSN-AM, Shaunavon, and CJSL-AM, Estevan.
Plus tourist and weather stations:
Dryden District Chamber of Commerce's CFCD-FM, Dryden.
Robert Wayne Fennig's VF2413, North Battleford.
Government of Yukon's VF2358, Stewart Crossing; VF2360, Carcross; and VF2366, Sourdough.
The CRTC also posted a list of administrative renewals from 1 June 2010 to 30 June 2010 of the following licences, noting that the decision does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of the licences.
Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited's CJLT-FM, Medicine Hat.
Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's CJSI-FM, Calgary and CJRY-FM, Edmonton.
CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association's Type B Community radio station CIAM-FM, Fort Vermilion and its transmitters CIAM-FM-1, Red Earth; CIAM-FM-2, Buffalo Head; CIAM-FM-3, Watt Mountain; CIAM-FM-4, Foggy Mountain; CIAM-FM-5, Weberville; CIAM-FM-6, Hines Creek; CIAM-FM-7, Slave Lake; CIAM-FM-8, Charlie Lake; CIAM-FM-10, Buckland; CIAM-FM-11, Vanderhoof; CIAM-FM-12, Cleardale; CIAM-FM-13, Peerless Lake; CIAM-FM-14, Wabasca; CIAM-FM-15, Fort Chipewyan; CIAM-FM-16, Meander River; CIAM-FM-17, Chateh; and CIAM-FM-18, Manning.
663975 B.C. Ltd.'s CKFU-FM, Fort St. John.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CKDV-FM, Prince George, and its transmitter CKMK-AM, Mackenzie.
Vista Radio Ltd.'s CJCI-FM, Prince George.
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CFEQ-FM, Winnipeg.
TFG Communications Inc.'s CJRP-FM, Saint John, and its transmitter CJRP-FM-1, Rothesay.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Coast Broadcasting Ltd.'s CKSJ-FM. St. John's.
Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited's CHOZ-FM, St. John's, and its transmitters CFOZ-FM, Argentia; CIOZ-FM, Marystown; CJOZ-FM, Elliston; CKMY-FM, Rattling Brook; CKOZ-FM, Corner Brook; CIOS-FM, Stephenville; CKSS-FM, Red Rocks; and CJMY-FM, Clarenville.
Hope FM Ministries Limited's CINU-FM, Truro.
3885275 Canada Inc.'s CJSA-FM, Toronto.
JOCO Communications Inc.'s CFSF-FM, Sturgeon Falls.
Mennonite Community Services of Southern Ontario's CHPD-FM, Aylmer.
Raedio Inc.'s CHGK-FM, Stratford.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CISS-FM, Ottawa.
Sound of Faith Broadcasting's CJFH-FM, Woodstock and CJTW-FM, Kitchener.
The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CHPB-FM, Cochrane.
United Christian Broadcasters Canada's CKJJ-FM, Belleville, and its transmitters CKJJ-FM-1, Cobourg; CKJJ-FM-2, Brockville; CKJJ-FM-3, Kingston; and CKJJ-FM-4, Bancroft.
CHFN Communications Society's Type B Native radio station CHFN-FM, Cape Croker Reserve #27, Wiarton.
9174-8004 Québec inc.'s CHEQ-FM, Sainte-Marie de Beauce.
Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd.'s CKDG-FM, Montréal.
Radio CJFP (1986) ltée's CIEL-FM-4, Trois-Pistoles.
Radio du Golfe inc.'s CJMC-FM, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, and its transmitters CJMC-FM-1, La Martre; CJMC-FM-2, Mont-Louis; CJMC-FM-3, Les Méchins; CJMC-FM-4, Grande-Vallée; CJMC-FM-5, Gros-Morne; CJMC-FM-6, Cloridorme; and CJMC-FM-8, Murdochville.
Radio Témiscamingue incorporée's CKVM-FM, Ville-Marie, and its transmitter CKVM-1-FM. Témiscaming.
Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s CKRM-AM, Regina and CHMX-FM, Regina.
Plus tourist and weather stations:
Newcap Inc.'s CILR-FM, Lloydminster.
Battlefords Tourism and Convention Association Inc.'s CHBT-FM, North Battleford.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has upheld one radio complaint in latest compliance report (See RNW May 28) and also signed a new ten year contract with UTV-owned City Broadcasting Limited (trading as Dublin's Q102 - See RNW May 25) whilst in the UK Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld two radio complaints (See RNW May 25).
Ofcom also posted consultation, with a deadline for comments of June 25, concerning format change requests by Guardian Media Group's Smooth Radio London and Smooth Radio North West.
Currently the stations, former Jazz FM outlets, are easy listening stations targeting a 50 plus audience and are required to broadcast 45 hours per week of specialist jazz programming and GMG wants to reduce the Jazz output and change the format to an easy listening music and lifestyle oriented speech station as now but with a requirement only to air 12 hours a week of specialist music programmes.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again further delayed - this time until August 23, the deadline for Sirius and XM Satellite Radio to implement their voluntary commitment to make 4% of their full-time audio channels available to Qualified Entities (See RNW May 24).
It also released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI), looking at whether its current rules promote the Commission's goals of competition, localism, and diversity, as part of the agency's 2010 quadrennial review of its media ownership rules (See RNW May 25).
In enforcement actions the agency has denied a petition from Lonnie L. Keeney seeking reconsideration of its order that a conviction for child molestation meant he lacked the character qualifications to hold an Amateur Radio License.
Keeney had 30 days to file notice of his intentions to appear at a hearing to determine on whether he was qualified to remain a licensee but failed to do so leading the FCC to issue an order revoking his licence.
In his petition for reconsideration Keeney said he has no money to defend himself at a hearing, that his license is important to him, that he previously used his amateur station to provide services to his community, that he participates as a volunteer in a jail ministry, and that he is trying to rebuild his reputation in the face of a lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender to which the FCC commented that he provided no new information to warrant it reconsidering the revocation.
It also dismissed a petition for reconsideration filed by jointly by Portland Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of KXPC-FM, Lebanon, Oregon; Bicoastal Media Licenses IV, LLC, licensee of KACI-FM, The Dalles, Oregon, and KMSW-FM, The Dalles, Oregon; and Extra Mile Media, Inc., licensee of Station KHPE-FM, Albany, Oregon, in relation to the dismissal of their proposal for a series of channel substitutions including that of 250C2 for Channel 249C2 for KACI-FM and the re-allotment of Channel 250C2 from The Dalles to Tualatin, Oregon, as the community's first local service and also the re-allotment of KXPC-FM's Channel 279C from Lebanon to Paisley, Oregon, as the community's first local service.
The petition was opposed by Cumulus Licensing LLC, licensee of KNRQ-FM, Channel 250C, Eugene, Oregon, and also jointly by Portland Broadcasting, Columbia Gorge Broadcasters, Inc., M.S.W Communications, LLC , Bicoastal, and Extra Media, Inc. in a Motion to Dismiss the Petition for Reconsideration. The latter group had entered into a Settlement Agreement with Cumulus that states that Cumulus will pay a total of USD 393,000 to resolve any and all disputes they have with respect to the proceedings.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-05-30: Beasley Broadcast Group has announced an agreement under which it will take control of oldies KOAS-FM and modern rock KVGS-FM in Las Vegas.
Under the agreement, Beasley Broadcast will provide management services for GGB Las Vegas, LLC, an entity formed by its Chairman and CEO George Beasley to acquire KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM from Riviera Broadcast Group, LLC for approximately USD 8.5 million.
The acquisition is subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010 until when GGB Las Vegas will operate the stations under a Local Management Agreement.
Beasley Broadcast Group, which owns three stations in the Las Vegas market, will use its existing sales teams to sell adverts for the stations under an agreement, initially to run for three years, and will take 40% of the advertising revenues thus generated until completion: After that it will both stations with sales and other management services and will be entitled to the greater of 50% of the aggregate monthly station operating income generated by KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM or a total of USD 10,000 per month. It also has an option, with a term concurrent with the management agreement, to purchase KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM for the 8.5 million they cost plus any losses incurred until such time that Beasley Broadcast elects to exercise the option.
The arrangement was approved by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and then by the full Board and George Beasley commented of it, "This transaction allows Beasley Broadcast Group to leverage its existing Las Vegas operating and management capabilities to immediately generate new cash flow through a structure that requires no capital commitment."
"Our existing Las Vegas cluster," he added "is benefiting from the focus we placed on identifying the right management leadership, and the 24% increase in revenue generated by our three stations in the market in the 2010 first quarter significantly exceeded the overall market which remains economically challenged On an immediate basis, the Company will generate guaranteed management fee revenue while the option to purchase these stations at an attractive price presents potential further upside to Beasley Broadcast Group. Finally, KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM complement our existing Las Vegas station cluster as their current oldies and alternative rock formats, respectively, do not overlap with our existing stations in the market."
Previous George Beasley:
2010-05-29: According to the Palm Beach Post thrice-married conservative US talk host Rush Limbaugh is to make it four times this coming week in a private ceremony at his beachfront compound.
The paper says Limbaugh, who is 58, and 33-years-old Kathryn Rogers, a West Palm Beach resident, met in 2004, when she ran a golf tournament/fund-raiser, at which Limbaugh was a celebrity guest, for golfer Gary Player's charity.
At that time Limbaugh was in the process of divorcing his third wife Marta , one of his "ditto-head" supporters and a married aerobics instructor Marta Marenda Fitzgerald when she met Limbaugh in 1990 through the Internet (Married 1994 to 2004) - he had previously been married to Rory Maxine McNeely, a sales secretary at WHB-AM, Kansas City (1977 to 1980 when they divorced) and Michelle Sixta, a college student and Kansas City Royals stadium usherette when they met (1983 to 1990, two years after she left him)
The paper adds that Rogers, a direct descendant of founding father John Adams, has "been sporting a blinding sparkler on her ring finger for more than a year now" and adds that in December last year she took Limbaugh to Hawaii to meet her family. While there he was hospitalized with chest pains (See RNW Dec 31, 2009).
The Post says that when Limbaugh was asked for details of his plans asked for privacy in an e-mail in which he said, "We try to live our lives as normal people. We do NOT seek media attention, we do not want it, especially for this. It is very special, obviously, and we just don't want any media attention."
Invitations to the wedding it adds were sent to family and friends in February this year.
Comments about the wedding plans following the Post article rang from the congratulatory to the doubtful or derogatory with others being partisan attacks on the host
Palm Beach Post report:
2010-05-29: Australia's commercial radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has agreed that from the start of July all its members are to adopt and promote the use of the Commercial Content Technical Standards and the file format Piñata, which was developed by the Commercial Content Standards Group (CCSG), a working group of CRA's Digital Technical Advisory Committee (DTAC) to meet digital radio's unique needs, although the audio quality and delivery process can be equally applied to digital and analogue broadcasting.
DTAC Chairman, Des DeCean, who is also chairman of the CCSG working group said, "We've created Piñata to distribute all elements of a digital radio commercial together for easy handling and with the highest possible quality but this process can also be used to deliver analogue ads."
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner added, "Radio advertising continues to be cost effective and quick to market and we're encouraging our members to implement these content standards to assure the advertising sector that the radio industry has a reliable production process."
Earlier Australian commercial radio broadcasters and China's Beijing Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (affiliated to Radio Beijing Corporation had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a "groundbreaking DAB+ digital radio application that will allow podcasts to be sent via the broadcast band directly to a listener's radio without the need to connect to the internet."
The "Push Radio" technology, developed by Jolon, will send an audio file directly to a DAB+ digital radio receiver instead of requiring the listener to connect their iPod or mp3 player to the internet to receive programming.
Warner said of the agreement, "Commercial Radio Australia is very pleased to announce we will be working collaboratively over the next 12 months with one of the most influential Chinese public broadcasters, Jolon, the market leader in digital broadcasting in China, to further develop and test Push Radio " and added, "To free listeners from the necessity to connect to the internet to receive podcasts and other specific information and targeted programming is a major step forward for DAB+ digital radio."
Mr Xuegang Qin, managing director of Beijing Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting Co. Ltd., said the two partners would "harmoniously work together to promote the application of DAB+ Push Radio and explore its many practical applications."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-28: After a day's break because of a public holiday, bidding resumed today in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction with brisk bidding for the top areas but no increases in bids for ten of the 22 licences on offer.
Overall bidding has now topped USD 1.1 billion - it ended today at a total for a licence in all the areas of INR 5,235.1 crore (USD 1.117 billion - a crore is 10 million) with bids for a licence in each to the five top areas -- Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka - at INR 612.96 crore ( USD 1305.5 million):
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-28: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) in its May compliance report has upheld one radio and three TV complaints out of 25 that it considered, rejecting 18 complaints, finding two more to be invalid, and deferring consideration of another until its next meeting.
All the TV complaints upheld were against TV3's Play TV programme and oOf the 18 rejected two concerned a Lisbon Treat advertisement aired on RTÉ Radio 1, four against Today with Pat Kenny on Radio 1 and another against "Off the Shelf" on Radio 1, four against Lunchtime with Eamon Keane on Newstalk 106 FM and two against Off the Ball, also on Newstalk 106FM, and one against Neil Prendeville on Cork's 96FM and 103 FM.
The radio complaint upheld was against Newstalk 106-108 FM which in its "The Wide Angle" programme on Nov 29 last year included Prof. Patricia Casey, a psychiatrist and patron of the Iona Institute (which on its website says it promotes marriage and religion") as a guest for its newspaper review.
The newspaper headlines were dominated at the time by discussions about the Murphy Report on clerical sexual abuse and Prof. Casey expressed her abhorrence at the cover-up, called for the bishops named in the report to resign and for reform in the hierarchical structure of the church. On air the presenter stated that she was receiving a lot of comments from listeners taking issue with what the professor had said and then read out three comments, two of which were not related to the issue of clerical abuse and were not linked to anything Prof. Casey had said.
The third was from Senator Norris, another Newstalk presenter, who presents the programme transmitted immediately before The Wide Angle and who made what the Committee terms "a fairly abusive attack upon Prof. Casey's views in respect of a completely unrelated subject, and without reference to anything she had said throughout the programme. "
In his message Senator Norris said in part that he was furious at Patricia Casey and went on, "She has been preaching in support of these bishops for years. She uses their teachings to say that gay people like myself aren't fit to have children. Ask her does she still think this after hearing about her so-called pillars of society treatment of children."
Presenter Karen Coleman then put it to Prof. Casey that she represented an element in society in this country which has probably forgiven, forgotten or ignored the kind of abuse that these people had been capable of over the years and Prof. Casey was astonished by these comments, asked Coleman to repeat the question and made explicit, on air, her concerns about such a question. She reiterated her absolute condemnation of the abuse.
Professor Coleman in her complaint said she believes she was unfairly and aggressively treated by Ms. Coleman and that no matter what she said (and it did not differ from what the other guests said) Coleman seemed determined to pigeonhole Prof. Casey resulting in an unbalanced, hostile and unfair interview.
The station in its response says that all three comments read out were relevant to Prof. Casey and the context of the discussion on clerical abuse, following the publication of the Murphy Report and added that two of them related to concerns about the care of people who had been sexually abused by clerics and those who made them wanted to put their points directly to Prof. Casey, in her capacity as a psychiatrist.
It added that Prof. Casey had plenty of time to respond to the question and put her points live on air and completely reiterate her condemnation of the abuse. She was given every possible opportunity to rebut any critical views and to clearly state her opinions on the matter.
The Committee said comments by the presenter that there had been a "spate of texts" against the Professor had been unfair and noted that the two texts read out were not critical of what had been said by the professor or had position as patron the Iona Institute but called on her to answer specific questions about psychiatric hospitals in her role as a psychiatrist: It added that she was not given an opportunity to answer these texts until much later in the discussion when she returned to these questions of her own accord but that instead, the presenter asked her to respond to a third text which related to her past support of the bishops and their moral teachings.
It also commented that a comment made by the presenter that the professor was "not a defender of paedophiles" but then went on "could you be one of the people representative of society who has excused, hidden away or ignored the problems and conduct of the church over the years?" was inappropriate, unjustified and contrary to what the complainant had asserted at all times in the preceding discussion.
It concluded that the interview with the complainant in the programme was conducted in an unfair and non objective manner.
Previous BAI Complaints:
2010-05-27: BIA/Kelsey has raised its forecast for the US radio industry this year from an earlier estimate of a 1.5% rise on a year earlier to USD 13.9 billion to a 3.7% increase to USD 14.21 billion.
It says it has "slightly raised" its forecast "based on first-quarter results from a number of radio ownership groups, other market intelligence and a renewed optimism for the industry as a whole."
It adds that the higher forecast, which appears in the second edition of BIA/Kelsey's quarterly "Investing In Radio Market Report," also reflects radio's continued success in incorporating digital and mobile plans into its overall strategy.
BIA/Kelsey vice president Mark Fratrik, PhD, commented in a release, "We're confident that there is still a lot of room for growth in radio, but it will be a slow and steady rise that shouldn't be measured by the results of a single quarter. The impact of this year's growth will be seen across many markets and is likely to reflect the areas around the country that have seen an economic upturn."
Over five years from last year, when revenues were down to USD 13.7 billion from USD 16.8 billion in 2008, BIA/Kelsey is forecasting a steady rise to reach USD 16.5 billion in 2014 and according to its Media Ad View reports over-the-air radio ranks fourth in 2009 U.S. local media revenues, with 10.5 percent of the USD 130.2 billion total.
Fratrik commented in relationship to other media, "In order for radio to maintain its position in the wider local media marketplace, it needs to continue to grow its broadcast revenues concurrent with its digital prospects. Returning to revenues that were last seen by the radio industry in the early part of the last decade will come from utilizing traditional over-the-air assets combined with mobile and other digital solutions."
2010-05-27: The "Radio Amnesty" scheme [RNW note - a misleading description of a scrappage scheme under which people can get a (fairly small) discount on a new DAB radio when they hand in an analogue receiver - See RNW May 22), developed by Digital Radio UK/Get Digital Radio and currently being promoted on the BBC and many UK commercial radio stations has come under attack by two commercial radio operators.
First off came comments from the UKRD Group, which has refused to broadcast the advertising campaign on any of its fifteen radio stations, describing it as "morally and ethically suspect."
UKRD's Chief Executive Officer William Rogers commented of the campaign and the decision, "We are not prepared to encourage any of our listeners to go and replace their perfectly satisfactory analogue radio set with a DAB one which may not be able to pick up a DAB signal at all and if it can, it may be a signal which may be wholly inadequate. Even worse, the very station that the listener may have heard the advertisement on may not be on DAB or even have a DAB future. This is absolutely appalling and one has to question both the moral and ethical basis for running such a campaign."
He continued, "It is quite extra-ordinary that both the BBC and some parts of the commercial sector should broadcast a proposition which both know to be fundamentally flawed in many parts of the country. At a time when people are concerned about making best use of every penny they have, for those people to be urged to scrap their FM/AM sets in favour of a DAB set that might not even work in their area is disgraceful. Many parts of the country have no signal, others where a signal does exist find it to be unsatisfactory and far less effective than FM, and many stations presently listened to by the public won't even be available on DAB, as the Government has made a complete lash-up of the migration path chosen."
Rogers said that he was considering reporting the campaign to the Advertising Standards Authority and the BBC Trust, claiming that it is "blatantly misleading and an encouragement to spend money on something that is potentially a waste of a purchase in many parts of the country."
The predecessor to Get Digital Radio, the UK Digital Radio Development Bureau, has already had to withdraw one advert after the Advertising Standards Authority found its claims about the advantages of digital over analogue were misleading (See RNW Mar 31) and Rodgers said of the current campaign, "We will not be a party to this suspect campaign and I am delighted to hear that many other stations appear to be taking the same view. I am not about to have UKRD's name tarnished by this shabby little campaign. Misleading people is not appropriate and we will have no part in it."
Rodgers comments were backed up by independent operator Steve Penk, who owns Revolution Radio and who has written to new British Prime Minister David Cameron to express his "concern, anger and frustration" over recent industry developments that he claims have "hindered" his station, 96.2 Revolution Radio, and "forced many others off the air".
Penk described the 'Radio Amnesty' initiative as "farcical, misleading and dishonest" and added, "An 'Amnesty' is generally understood to be when something dangerous, illegal or harmful can be handed in with no risk of penalty. The inference of the 'Radio Amnesty' campaign - now being ADVERTISED heavily on BBC Radio - is that conventional FM radio sets are about to become 'white elephants' and that the only way to listen in the future will be via DAB. What utter nonsense!"
Penk then calls for the scrapping of DAB, writing, "I urge you to seriously consider an immediate end to the madness that is DAB. I'm deadly serious. Draw a line and move on. Yes, FM will one day face the same fate as short wave and medium wave platforms, (although they both still exist), as online and WiFi radio listening grows but the industry will deal with it. By calling an immediate end to the proliferation of DAB you will save countless millions of pounds, face zero risk of upsetting the general public and, bizarrely, this strategy could save thousands of jobs up and down the country at radio stations just like my own."
RNW comment: As part of a household that owns five DAB and half-a-dozen analogue receivers as well as being able to get radio from digital TV platforms, this writer has an interest in the continuation of both analogue and digital signals but this site has consistently taken the view that the case for switching off analogue signals has not been made and for a while now we have taken the view that this is an area where the marketplace not the government should decide.
Our support for DAB has waned as the system itself has been overtaken by DAB+ with more efficient coding rather than the old MP2 used in DAB and the technical quality overtaken by the quality of signals streamed on the internet and on digital TV platforms never mind the fact that the bandwidth used has meant the signals transmitted are of inferior technical quality to a good FM signal - for speech there is no problem but for music the DAB signal really isn't up to scratch.
There will obviously be considerable egg on the faces of many in the radio industry if DAB is scrapped but we suspect that given a free choice many commercial broadcasters would opt to drop DAB - as a number already have done with some stations - rather than analogue.
We have also noted that the current proliferation of digital systems - as opposed to the worldwide availability of AM, FM and short-wave - means that receivers could well be territory-limited and taken the view that there should be no switch-off of analogue until a truly universal analogue and digital receiver is available at a reasonable price.
That isn't going to happen and we now feel that the best bet is to let the marketplace decide or alternatively make a condition of switch-off that rather than a minor discount when an old receiver is handed in all listeners should be entitled to a universal receiver of equivalent quality at no charge. As the commercial industry MPs and the executives at Ofcom would all go bankrupt had they to provide this, the BBC could spend the money better on programming, and the government isn't going to stump up the money in a time of economic depression, we think that allowing the decision to be made on a commercial basis - which would mean some egg on faces and loss of face for the regulators and politicians, who jumped on a slogan bandwagon but didn't really know what they were pushing, is the best way forward.
We think that this would mean a continuation of analogue for all broadcasters with DAB continuing for those broadcasters who choose to use it but not developing much further, and inevitable technological development as of wireless internet that might well take over eventually albeit for emergencies we think radio will continue to have an edge for a long while as it can be received on portable battery (or wind-up) receivers when power outages have cut off TV and online.
So far Digital Radio UK has not responded to these latest criticisms, which follow earlier criticism of DAB plans by a number of UK radio groups.
Previous Digital Radio UK/Get Digital Radio:
2010-05-26: Reports suggesting that CBS and ABC could be put up for sale have elicited a very firm denial from CBS Executive chairman Sumner Redstone that he has any intention of selling either CBS Corporation or its sister company Viacom, both of which are controlled by the Redstone family through the family-controlled National Amusements theatre chain.
The matter was brought up by a shareholder during CBS's annual meeting in New York today, prompting Redstone to respond, "I will never, N-E-V-E-R, sell Viacom or CBS."
2010-05-26: Emmis Communications has announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement which will result in Emmis being taken private by JS Acquisition, LLC, a company formed by its Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey H. Smulyan.
Details of the plan, which involves a cash offer of USD 2.40 per share for the company's C lass A Common stock, an exchange offer of 12% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2017 for its Preferred Stock, and amendments to its Articles affecting the Preferred Stock and a back-end merger were announced a month ago (See RNW Apr 26) and the Emmis Board of Directors has unanimously approved the plan after it had been recommended by a Committee of Disinterested Directors of Emmis.
The cash price represents a 74% premium over the 30-trading day average closing price of the Class A Common Stock and a 118% premium over the 180-trading day average closing price of the Class A Common Stock as of April 26 when the proposal was made public.
Financing for the deal will be provided by an affiliate of private asset management company Alden Global Capital.
The Indianapolis Star reported today that following the announcement, Emmis's COO and CFO Patrick M. Walsh told staff in an e-mail that "Successful completion of the go-private transactions is estimated to take three months."
He continued, "During this process and after the process concludes, regardless of the outcome, our work is unchanged: execute our strategy, hit our budgets and key metrics, and deliver for our listeners, readers and advertisers. We will keep you updated, but stay focused on what matters most in this important rebuilding year for Emmis."
Walsh also said Smulyan "would ordinarily communicate this important information to you, but given his direct involvement in the transactions, I am pinch hitting for Jeff ... The transaction should not result in changes to how we operate the business."
Indianapolis Star report:
2010-05-25: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI), looking at whether its current rules promote the Commission's goals of competition, localism, and diversity, as part of the agency's 2010 quadrennial review of its media ownership rules.
Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments, 45 days after publication and among topics to be considered are whether the current rules continue to foster competition, localism, and diversity; How to define, measure, and promote competition, localism, and diversity and how ownership structure affects these goals; and how to weigh these public interest goals if they conflict with each other.
Commenting on the move, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said in a release, "We live in an ever-changing media world, but the core public interest goals are the same The Commission is committed to fostering a strong and independent broadcast media that provides Americans with multiple and diverse sources of news, public affairs, and entertainment programming. The input we seek in this proceeding will help ensure that our media ownership rules continue to protect consumer interests in today's marketplace."
Statements were released on the move by Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps and his Republican colleague Robert McDowell, each following lines that are in line with their general positions on regulation.
Copps noted the concentration of ownership - "a 39% decrease in the number of commercial radio station owners between 1996 and 2010" - and a 33% decline in the number of TV station owners and added, "It is difficult to fully quantify the harmful effects that media consolidation has had on the news, information and entertainment we receive. Fewer and fewer voices do not an informed electorate and robust democracy make."
"Our country," said Copps, "urgently needs a media that is reflective of our diverse communities and interests. While minorities currently comprise roughly 34% of the nation's population, they own only 3.15% of full-power commercial TV stations. And, while women make up 51% of the population, they only own 5.87% of full power commercial TV stations. These numbers are appalling."
McDowell on the other hand stressed the "challenging difficulties that the regulated media face in a turbulent time of their transition to the digital media era" and then pushed for market solutions, adding, "The strides being made by online media are creative and exciting, and the future evolution of sustainable business models is hard to predict. I am confident, however, that the answers will come from those actively engaged in media enterprises and not from Washington bureaucrats. "
"Burdensome rules that have remained essentially intact for more than a decade," wrote McDowell, "should not be allowed to continue impeding, or potentially impeding, the ability of broadcasters and newspapers to survive and thrive in the digital era. It is not at all clear, of course, that relaxation or elimination of the existing rules necessarily will lead to a major wave of ownership consolidation."
He later expanded his comments into more detail, saying, "I am concerned, for example, by the suggestion that the Commission might attempt to use measures of 'civic engagement', such as voter turnout data or citizen knowledge of government officials and issues, to evaluate the degree to which broadcasters in a particular market are fulfilling the agency's localism goal. The possibility of the government monitoring core protected speech should send shivers down the spine of anyone who cherishes liberty. I similarly question the possible focus on counting the number of journalists employed at broadcast stations. In a free society, the government has no business attempting to influence the Fourth Estate watchdogs of state action."
RNW Comment: McDowell is consistent in his view and presumably he also thinks that the government should keep out of regulating oil companies' drilling activities. Although there are important points relating to the comments he made they do seem to us to be examples of setting up the coconuts - obviously the quality of journalism matters more than a mere count of the numbers of journalists but if there are none at broadcast stations quality journalism if unlikely and without any government monitoring should be obvious to anyone who is not blinded by their prejudices that far too much broadcast news is of matters that attract an audience rather than serve the public interest (such as a lot of show business tittle-tattle - to term it news is to abuse the language) and even then far too much of it is a reworking of the output of just a few agencies.
As for the suggestion that the internet has provided other sources, far too often we find then trying to check something out that the vast majority is comment rather than reporting of facts, and far too often prejudiced comment without paying much attention to facts anyway.
2010-05-25: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has directed three radio licensees - all part of the Super Radio Network - to implement "a rigorous training program to ensure that all staff are aware of and know how to deliver on their licence obligations" and also to report to the agency on a periodic basis as to how they are meeting local content requirements.
The action was launched after New South Wales regional commercial radio services, 2HC, Coffs Harbour; 2EL, Orange; and 2PM, Kempsey, were found to have failed to broadcast the three hours of local content required by their licences when monitored on September 8 last year.
The licensees had claimed that they had met their obligations by the broadcast of the networked Grant Goldman Breakfast Program but the ACMA said that the programme aired that day "did not contain three hours of content that could be considered material of local significance (local content) for any of the three licence areas."
The ACMA says it has also started an audit to assess licensees' compliance with local content obligations. The audit will focus on local content obligations, including minimum service standards for local news and other information for affected licensees.
2010-05-25: Bidding in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction was brisk on its second day today with the total for a licence in each of the 22 areas on offer - there are two licences on offer in each area - rising from INR 2353.18 crore (USD 501 million)- a crore is ten million after the end of the first day to INR 3197.79 crore (USD 672.4 million).
The price for a licence in top seven areas - Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu - was INR 332.96 crore (USD 70.01 million) but in the bottom five area - Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Assam, North East, and Jammu and Kashmir - it did not increase from the starting price of USD 15 crore (USD 3.15 million).
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-25: UK Media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld one radio fairness and privacy complaint and also ruled that a Cambridge community service that had ceased broadcasting because of financial difficulties was thereby in breach of its licence conditions: It also upheld standards complaints against seven TV broadcasters and considered a further complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcasters ruled that there had been breaches of advertising scheduling regulations by seven TV broadcasters, partly upheld a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint and posted details of three more TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld.
The figures compare with a similar ruling in its previous bulletin against five commercial radio licensees whose stations had ceased broadcasts; a radio standards complaint considered resolved; and standards complaints upheld against adult TV chat services, four other TV standards complaints, two TV Access complains (subtitling) and three TV advertising scheduling complaints upheld in the previous bulletin.
The community station involved was 209radio Ltd, which went off air at the end of February this year and Ofcom has formally recorded a breach of licence and is considering "the most appropriate next steps, including possible revocation of the licence."
The radio Fairness and Privacy complaint was against BBC Radio Five Live, which aired a discussion as to whether "Britain's foreign policy was likely to lead to terror attacks in the future" during which guest Ed Husain, a guest on the programme, who was described as a "former radical Muslim" who now campaigned against extremism criticised the Islam Channel.
Husain commented " there's a channel here and I'll name it, Islam Channel, Sky 813, when suicide bombings occur, they refer to them as human operations, taking the sting out of the issue, partly funded by Saudi Arabia " leading the Channel to complain.
Ofcom found that the comment likely to suggest to listeners that Islam Channel might be responsible for radicalisation of Muslims and that this was a serious criticism of Islam Channel.
It added that the Islam Channel was entitled to be given an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond to this but no such opportunity was given and the presenter failed to intervene appropriately in the discussion resulting in unfairness to the TV channel.
The BBC had noted that only in the case of this remark and subsequent discussion when presenter Nicky Campbell said the channel referred to Israel as "the Zionist state"and Husain added or 'the Zionist entity' " had a channel been named and that these comments rested on direct observation by Mr Husain and (in the case of referring to Israel as "the Zionist state") Mr Campbell.
The BBC said it believed them to be statements of fact in respect of the terms used in Islam Channel broadcasts and considered that there was no unfairness in making them.
In regard to not giving the station an opportunity to respond it said the complaint concerned one brief exchange in an hour-long discussion which was mainly focused on whether UK foreign policy rendered the UK more or less likely to be the subject of terrorist attacks but conceded that the remarks constituted the kind of criticism which would normally call for an opportunity to respond, or, in the absence of that opportunity, appropriate intervention by the presenter.
As well as these complaints, Ofcom also listed without details 209 TV complaints against 105 items and 20 radio complaints against 20 items it did not uphold: This compared to 533 TV complaints against 171 items and ten radio complaints against ten items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-05-25: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed a new ten year contract with UTV-owned City Broadcasting Limited (trading as Dublin's Q102), which began broadcasting under the new licence today.
This is the second ten year contract for the station's mainstream adult contemporary and soft adult contemporary service to Dublin City and County and BAI chairperson Bob Collins commented at the signing, "Dublin's Q102 is one of a range of commercial local radio services which provides quality and diversity in programming to listeners in the Dublin area. We wish them every success over the term of their second ten-year sound broadcasting contract".
2010-05-24: BBC World Service's weekly audience is down by eight million on last year to 180 million although overall the Corporation has increased its weekly global audience for its international news services by three million to 241 million according to latest figures just released.
Within the figures, BBC World Service attracted around nine million new viewers to its television, online and mobile services but listening to short wave radio was down by 20 million.
Particular falls were noted in India - down 8.2 million; Bangladesh - down seven million and Nigeria - down 2.9 million although this was partly offset by gains of 1.4 million in Tanzania and 600,000 in the US, mainly through BBC programmes being used on local FM and medium wave radio partner stations.
The service also notes strong impact in Afghanistan where its weekly audience is 10 million; Iraq, with a weekly audience of 4.5 million and Burma, where the weekly audience is 8.5 million.
The multimedia BBC Arabic service attracted an audience of 22 million a week, including 12 million watching BBC Arabic television and the BBC Persian service, whose TV satellite service has been jammed by the Iranian authorities, who also block its online services, is reported to have a weekly audience of 3.4 million, including 3.1 million watching BBC Persian television in Iran.
BBC Global News Director, Peter Horrocks said of the figures, "BBC Global News's record audience demonstrates that people come to us for journalism that is challenging and asks difficult questions, yet respects different points of view and actively encourages debate."
"The figures," he added "also show the success of our multimedia strategy and investments for global audiences. But the continued dramatic decline in short wave listening shows that those audiences are rapidly changing the way they access international news. Unless BBC World Service can accelerate its response to those changes, it will face a rapid deterioration of its impact as other technologies become more prominent in international media markets."
2010-05-24: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again further delayed - this time until August 23, the deadline for Sirius and XM Satellite Radio to implement their voluntary commitment to make 4% of their full-time audio channels available to Qualified Entities.
The condition was imposed as part of the approval of the merger of the two companies into Sirius XM Radio in July 2008 and was later extended by the agency with the most recent extension being until February 24 this year (See RNW Oct 22, 2009) as it was still considering comments made to it about the mechanics of the channel lease administration and allocation and had deferred a decision as to specific implementation details for the Leasing Condition..
As with the previous extension the FCC says that it anticipates Commission action on the implementation guidelines in the near future, and thus this brief extension is appropriate.
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-05-24: The Indian government, whose 3G spectrum auction ended last Wednesday having raised INR 67.719 crore (USD 14.62 billion - a crore is 10 million - See RNW May 19) today launched its BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum auction. Bidding at the end of the day totalled INR 2353.18 crore (USD 501 million) after five rounds.
Two licences are on offer in each of 22 service areas and in some areas bidding was a third above the base price compared to 12% on the opening day of the 3 G auction.
Communications and IT Minister A Raja said he expected demand to be very high and added that he was expecting to raise INR 15,000 crore from the auction: The government has already allocated BWA spectrum, for which they will have to match the winning bid, to state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in their respective service areas.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-24: Fans of BBC digital station 6 Music, which is to be closed under management plans, have gained some succour from comments by the new Minister for Media and Arts Ed Vaizey suggesting that he would favour a reprieve and from the submission about the closure sent to the BBC Trust, which has carried out a public consultation regarding the future of the station, by the BPI (The former British Phonographic Institute).
The BPI that says the closure would weaken the BBC's compliance with its Charter requirements, failing current and future generations of British artists by removing a key national outlet for unique alternative music.
Vaizey made his comments in an interview with the UK Sunday Times about the future of the BBC, noting that what he termed a "fantastic" digital station has almost doubled its audience in the most recent ratings (See RNW May 13) and adding, "It is also not a station which the commercial sector can or might offer."
In a news release," BPI Chairman Tony Wadsworth said, "The BBC's own Charter makes crystal clear that the Corporation is specifically tasked with stimulating creativity and cultural excellence. It defies belief, therefore, that the BBC is proposing to close a radio station that excels at doing exactly this, particularly when 6 Music's audience is growing in leaps and bounds and virtually the entire UK music community is united in support of it. We strongly urge the Trust to do the right thing and insist the station is kept on air."
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor added, "6 Music is exactly the kind of programming the licence fee is there to support - distinctive, high quality broadcasting that the commercial market would not provide. This is a chance for the Trust to stand up for the rights of the listener, and save a national treasure. Signing its death warrant would not only let down music fans, it would fail generations of British artists who do not get played otherwise."
The submission says that the role performed by the station could not be achieved elsewhere on the BBC and says that trying to provide its output via BBC Radio 2 would be a mismatch, failing to satisfy either station's listeners.
It adds that the station does not 'compete head on' with the commercial sector, as the BBC maintains, nor is it driven by the commercial imperatives of audience share or demographic, but by its emphasis on diverse and high quality music and says the station provides better value per listener than BBC Radio 3, which has a near identical remit but with regard to classical rather than popular music.
The submission also notes support for the station from the British music community and notes that amongst those who have expressed support for the station are Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Damon Albarn, Depeche Mode, The Ting Tings, The Cure, Delphic, Katie Melua, Kaiser Chiefs, La Roux, Elbow, Doves, Bloc Party, Brett Anderson (Suede, The Tears), Peter Hook (New Order, Joy Division) Duran Duran, Friendly Fires, Editors, Athlete, Sigur Ros, The Zutons, The Courteneers, Bolt Thrower, Peggy Seeger, Isaac's Aircraft and Patch William.
It concludes by saying 6 Music is the only national radio station whose programming introduces music fans to the full wealth and breadth of popular music culture, mixing new music with historical influences and serving passionate music fans with authoritative, eclectic and highly informed presentation. It is a national treasure which enriches the life of the nation, and it must not be lost.
The BPI also compared the station's output with that of other stations, saying that 60.8% of songs played were "unique" compared with 25.4% for Radio 1, 21.8% for NME Radio and 9.6% for Xfm London (it calculated the figures from the number of unique tracks played by each station for a survey and dividing the figure by the total number of plays): It also noted the support for independent labels - 41% of the 6 Music playlist, just above the 40% for BBC Radio 1, and well ahead of the 26% for Xfm.
The BPI earlier this month said that a survey conducted via its 6 Music campaign website thejoyof6 (here - but obviously a self-selecting group that would be likely to favour the station) showed 49.1% of 6 Music's listeners are tuning in every day, with a further 32.5% listening most days of the week with 98.1% of them agreeing that the station played a lot of music they didn't hear on other stations. 97.7% also liked discovering new music and 75.0% said they went to see bands play live after hearing them on 6 Music.
Taylor commented, "6 Music's listeners have told us that they love discovering new bands, and, for them, the station is airing new music that isn't getting playlisted elsewhere. The proposed closure of 6 Music would mean less exposure for new music, which would have a significant and negative impact on Britain's cultural heritage.
Of the artists who have openly supported the station Coldplay commented, "We would like to voice our strong opposition to the dropping of 6 Music and the Asian network [also scheduled for closure] from the BBC's roster. We have noticed, on our travels, that two of the things which people most love about Britain are its musical output and the BBC. They're both widely recognised as being second to none."
"Part of the reason for this," added Coldplay "lies in the varied and sometimes experimental content that the BBC, not having always to answer to commercial requirements, is able to programme. 6 Music, for example, nurtures and celebrates the music that hasn't yet joined the mainstream. It provides an important platform for developing and left of centre artists, and its loss would be a significant blow to Britain's music industry both creatively and commercially."
Peggy Seeger commented, "It always amazes me how we take these great British musical institutions for granted. 6 music must be saved. It's important to people who play music and to people who love music - please let's not do another bloody top of the pops!"
thejoyof6 web site:
UK Sunday Times report:
2010-05-23: Last week was another very quiet one for the regulators as regards radio with no announcements from Australia and only a few elsewhere.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted the following radio decisions:
*Approval of application by CAB-K Broadcasting Ltd. to increase the effective radiated power change of CKJX-FM, Olds, from 6,700 watts to 35,000 watts.
*Approval of application by UFV Campus and Community Radio Society to change the frequency of its English-language community-based campus station CIVL-FM, Abbotsford, and increase its power from 92 watts to 220 watts, move its antenna and reduce its effective height above average terrain from 336.8 metres to 121 metres.
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to change the frequency of its transmitter CBU-1-FM, Abbotsford, which carries the signal of CBU-AM, Vancouver, and also move the antenna, increase its power from 67 watts to 2,390 watts, and decrease the effective height of the antenna above average terrain from 150.4 metres to 121.2 metres
*Revocation at the licensee's request of the licence of Fabrique de la Paroisse Saint-Roch de Rock Forest's religious FM VF 8000, Rock Forest.
*Renewal of licence of Diffusion Laval inc.'s French-language commercial station CFAV-AM, Laval, for four years and of amendment to licence to increase from 30% to 35% the level of Canadian content broadcast in each broadcast week and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.
*Administrative renewal from 1 June 2010 to 31 August of licence of CKLX-FM, Montréal.
*Short-term renewal from 1 July 2010 to 31 August 2013 of licence of Aylesford Community Baptist Church's religious station VF8023, Aylesford. The CRTC notes that the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review the licensee's compliance Radio Regulations concerning the submission of annual returns.
*Renewal of licence of -power tourist information station CHTW-FM, Wadena, from 1 July 2010 to 31 August 2016.
It also posted a public notice, with a June 21 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments that included the following radio matters:
*Application by the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to relate the transmitter for its English-language commercial station CHPB-FM, Cochrane. The effective height of the antenna above average terrain will go down from 36 metres to 13.7 metres and its signal will cover fewer people.
*Application by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to station CKAP-FM, Kapuskasing, from 1,200 watts to 72 and relocate the transmitter because the original antenna and transmitter site is no longer available.
*Application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to re-locate its transmitter CJLR-FM-3, Prince Albert, which carries the signal of its Type B station CJLR-FM, La Ronge; increase its maximum power from 249 watts to 49,000 watts (class A1 to class B) and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 21 metres to 148 metres.
In addition it posted a Notice of Consultation, with a June 21 deadline to submit interventions or comments related to applications to be considered at a meeting on July 19 at its headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec, that included the following radio applications:
*Application by Astral Media Radio (Toronto) Inc. and 4382072 Canada Inc., partners in Astral Media Radio G.P., to convert CKGR-AM, Golden, to an 8,900 watts Adult Contemporary FM and also to simulcast the programming of the new station for three months after it goes on air..
*Application by 5777152 Manitoba Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 3,440 watts Popular Music English-language commercial FM in Virden.
*Application by Pritchard Broadcasting Inc. for authorization to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of English-language commercial station CJRP-FM, Saint John, and its transmitter CJRP-FM-1, Rothesay, from TFG Communications Inc. .
*Application by My Broadcasting Corporation for a licence to operate a 1,370 watts Gold-based Adult Contemporary music format English-language commercial FM in St. Thomas.
*Application by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for authorization to acquire the assets of the radio programming undertaking CJJM-FM, Espanola from JOCO Communications Inc.
*Application by 7545398 Canada Inc. for authorization to acquire from 591991 B.C. Ltd. as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the French-language commercial station CKRS-FM, Chicoutimi/Saguenay: Both licensees are owned by Corus Entertainment.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has handed students from two Dublin schools- Gaelcholáiste Reachrann, Donaghmede and Blackrock College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin - the prizes they won in Gael Linn's Radio Programme Competition 2010.
Gaelcholáiste Reachrann accepted their first prize (Euros 300/USD 375) in Section A (for Gaelcholáistí and Gaeltacht Schools ) for their programme 'Scéal Lúthchleasaí' ( An athlete's story ) that documented the lifestyle of Pádraig Ó Conchúir, a student in the school, who has been making great strides as an athlete of late and Blackrock College won first prize (Also Euros 300) in Section B (for post-primary schools, excluding Gaelcholáistí and Gaeltacht Schools) for their magazine programme 'An Rock-Fachtóir' (The 'Rock' Factor ).
The BAI noted that further awards ceremonies for the other Section A and Section B prize-winners will take place shortly in KCLR 96FM, Kilkenny and RED FM, Cork.
In the UK, Ofcom posted no radio licence decisions but it did issue its latest Media Literacy report, which showed radio as having the most trust when it came to news content (See RNW May 18).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a very quiet week regarding radio. Amongst its postings were of the procedures it is to use in its scheduling of permit-but-disclose proceedings in connection with Tribune Company's application to assign its licences in connection with its proposed re-organization to exit from bankruptcy.
All requests for meetings with Commission staff in this proceeding are to be made on-line although there is are back-up phone contact numbers for those without internet access.
The FCC also held its latest media ownership workshop on Friday at Stanford University (See RNW May 17).
It also announced a Consent Decree under which Danville Christian Radio, Ltd. licensee of DWVOV-AM, Danville, Virginia, will pay USD 17,000 - to be paid in 30 equal instalments -in relation to alleged breaches of public file requirements and operation after its licence had expired.
Under the agreement, the licence will be renewed and the licensee will set in place a compliance plan to run for three years to ensure future compliance with the FCC's Public File Rule
In Kansas, it opted to levy a 25% late-fee penalty on KHCA Inc., licensee of KHCA-FM, Wamego: KHCA had said it had attempted to file its licence renewal application on time but had failed to pay the relevant USD 150 fee: Immediately it realised this, it re-filed it s application and sent a letter of explanation before action was taken on the original application.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-05-22: Digital radio's proponents have been delivering an upbeat message in various countries although to varying degrees with receiver sales in both Australia and the US said to be going well and the launch of a "scrappage" scheme for analogue radio receivers in the UK.
In Australia, industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced that it is to hold two additional free digital radio creative workshops, one in Sydney on June 9 and the second on June 16.
The workshops are targeting advertising creative teams and CRA chief executive Joan Warner commented, "Advertisers and agencies have started to look at the opportunities in digital radio with sponsorship of new digital stations already in place. The creative workshops provide hands-on experience of how DAB+ digital radio ads can integrate images and text to complement traditional radio advertising."
Participants also have the opportunity to see the file format Piñata that links all aspects of the Digital Radio Commercial Content Standards - audio, text, images and scripts. Developed by the Commercial Content Standards Group (CCSG), a working group of CRA's Digital Technical Advisory Committee (DTAC), Pinata has been created to synchronise the visual and audio components for advertising on DAB+.
Australian digital radio receiver sales - the country has adopted the DAB+ system - have exceeded expectations with some 104,000 sold in the first six months with a large spike in sales in December last year when some 27,000 were sold but the promotion of receivers for Mother's Day last week is rumoured to have been well below the Christmas sales figures.
Around half the 40 or so stations available in Sydney and Melbourne are digital-only stations with a number of them running commercial free and others opting for sponsorship arrangements rather than conventional advertising.
In the UK where the change of government has led to some speculation about a possible curbing of media regulator Ofcom and also that the decision to switch-off analogue radio could be put on hold, the Get Digital Radio body (the new site for what was the UK Digital Radio Development Bureau) is promoting what it terms a radio amnesty.
Under this arrangement - a scrappage scheme was what a similar one for automobiles was called - people will be able to hand in any portable analogue radio, whether working or not, from today until June 26th, and get a discount from participating retailers on selected receiver models.
The event is being promoted by both commercial radio and the BBC - with BBC Radio Five Live laying special emphasis on cover of World Cup, Wimbledon and Test Match cricket cover, some of which will only be available on its digital sister station 5 Live Sports Extra.
Receivers that are handed in will be checked and reconditioned where appropriate with the latter being sent to support children's radio projects set up by the Children's Radio Foundation and UNICEF in Southern Africa.
The others says Get Digital Radio will be recycled responsibly as required under the UK governments WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive. (RNW comment: Get Digital Radio seems to have as blithe a disregard for using language accurately in using the term amnesty for this promotion as it and its predecessor bodies have sometimes displayed in their promotion of digital radio's quality. It also gives no firm details on the discounts to be offered but they are expected to be around 10% and we suspect that shopping around and buying online could probably save as much or more without the scheme. What is not on the cards, of course, is moving to the more efficient DAB+ system - the UK is on the original DAB with MP2 encoding - or increasing the spectrum available for digital radio to boost the technical quality. As Internet streams already offer better quality in some cases, as do those on digital TV platforms, the benefits of DAB are already being whittled away by development of other platforms and there seems to us insufficient benefit from DAB as opposed to analogue to justify an enforced move to an inferior system).
In the US, where the system adopted is iBiquity's HD IBOC (in-band-on channel) system, iBiquity CEO Bob Struble has been doing his best to boost the system in his latest posting in which he presents an upbeat message regarding radio from last month's NAB Show in Las Vegas commenting that it was "a positive gathering that showcased an undeniable industry recovery and renewed optimism in AM/FM" and adding "I also came away more convinced than ever that HD Radio Technology will play a fundamental role in the long-term success of radio."
"AM/FM," writes Struble, "is going to have a tough time battling a wide array of digital competition if it is the last remaining analogue medium in a fully digital world" and he adds, "As radio broadcasters begin to generate meaningful incremental revenue from their HD Radio investments, the industry's adoption of the technology will accelerate. And to generate revenue, there has to be a solid installed base of HD Radio receivers, hence our focus on the consumer side."
Struble then says they have done "Really, really well2 with receiver sales, citing "breakthrough progress in automotive over the last 12-18 months" and noting that 15 different automakers are now offering HD Radio receivers in their cars with HD available on "more than 80 different vehicle lines, with almost half coming as standard."
Struble says there has been strong growth in receiver sales with twice as many sold last year as in 2008 and more sold in the six months to the end of March than in all of 2009 with some 2.5 million receivers now sold. (RNW To put this in context, Sirius XM satellite radio has some 18.5 million subscribers and more than a year ago a third of US households were estimated to have at least one HDTV receiver; iBiquity's HD description is a marketing device and is not linked to the high definition as in HDTV).
Struble, of course, has a vested interest in being positive about HD just as the Prometheus Radio Project, which is concerned about potential interference to low power FMs has an interest in ensuring there is no interference: In its submission to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year about the proposed ten-fold increase in HD power- from 1% to 10% of the analogue power of a station, Prometheus objected to a blanket increase and said the proponents of the increase had "not yet addressed concerns regarding the impact a power increase will have on low power stations and the impact of self-interference."
The increase was approved by the FCC in February this year and Prometheus has now called on the agency to review the decision saying that its Media Bureau acted "without consideration of any of the substantive concerns and recommendations submitted by Prometheus and other affected parties." Concern has also been expressed by a number of broadcasters concerning potential interference including Press Communications , which filed an Application for Review and Request for Stay, noting noted a disproportionate impact of interference on Class A stations in general and those in the Monmouth-Ocean market in particular and commenting, "Let's call this Order for what it really is an unparalleled assault on analogue FM Radio listeners and to further re-order the competitive landscape to the favour of higher power large market broadcasters."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-21: Following a year that showed progressive improvement throughout 2009- starting with a first quarter fall of 24% on a year earlier and ending with an 8% fall in the final quarter, the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has reported a year-on-year 6% rise for the first quarter of this year.
It comments of the figures that, "Reflecting growing signs that the U.S. economy is back, Radio delivers its best results in quarter-to-quarter revenue comps since Q1 2007 with a 6% overall increase to USD 3.687 billion."
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley added, "Our growth in this recovery is showing signs that Radio's momentum is outpacing that of other traditional media. This gain underscores Radio's inherent strength with advertisers demonstrating renewed enthusiasm for spending in our medium."
Within the figures local revenues were up 2% to USD 2.450 billion; national revenues were up 19% to USD 568 millions - combined they were up 6% to USD 3.018 billion; Network revenues up 6% to USD 260 million; Digital revenues up 18% to USD 123 million whilst off-air was flat at USD 286 million.
RAB also noted that the Eastern Region outpaced the rest of the nation in ad spending gains for -up 12.7% - followed by the Southwest - up 9.7%; Central - up 6.7%; West - up 4.5%; and South - up 3.5%.
In terms of spending categories, Financial Services were up 49% to USD 191.6 million with the second highest percentage increase being 39% to USD 230.6 million for Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers/Rentals followed by 27% to USD 187.2 million for Grocery/Convenience/Liquor Stores; 23% to USD 276.2 million for Television/Networks/Cable Providers; 18% to USD 31 million for Home Improvement; 6% to USD 350.5 million for Communications/Cellular/Public Utilities.
2010-05-21: Boston WRKO-AM afternoon host Howie Carr has resorted complaints to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office to get payment of bonuses and a pay rise in the three years since Entercom prevented him from moving to Great Media's WTKK-FM (See RNW Jul 12, 2007) according to the Boston Herald, for which Carr writes a column.
The paper says it received details of the complaints under a Freedom of Information Act request and that Carr declined to comment: The first complaint says the paper was filed in September and in it Carr said Entercom failed to pay him a USD 13,333 quarterly performance bonus he had earned for the spring ratings period.
The paper adds that Carr was earning USD 12,200 a week at the time according to the complaint and that after he made it Entercom sent a cheque - which came to USD 8,694.87 after taxes and authorized reductions - to the Attorney General's office to be forwarded to the host and in an accompanying letter said the failure was because on the basis of a "premature, and apparently incorrect" ratings report, he was not entitled to the bonus.
The next complaint was filed in December 2008 and related to a USD 5,000 annual rise due under his contract. Entercom was contacted by an investigator with the Attorney General's Fair Labor & Business Practices and in January last year a company attorney told the investigator that a check had been mailed to Carr.
The final complaint was made this year following Entercom's decision last month to suspend Carr for a week because he had attacked the station on air (See RNW Apr 18) and is still pending.
Boston Herald report:
2010-05-21: The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has joined with commercial broadcasters in calling for an easing of Commercial Radio Standards: In a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the AANA says restrictions on radio are much more restrictive than those on other media and calls for "more flexibility and less prescriptive disclosure and compliance requirements."
Its CEO Scott McClellan commented, "The regulations applicable to other media, such as television, the internet and print media, currently allow a greater level of flexibility to advertisers than the current regulations for the commercial radio sector. We believe that the review should maximize flexibility and promote a 'level playing field' to ensure a competitive market."
The AANA also wants the ACMA to change its definition of an "advertisement" in the Standard to align it with the AANA definition and McClellan added, "With a marked increase in cross media campaigns over the years, it is counter?productive for advertisers to have to apply different definitions for the same campaign depending on the media concerned."
The AANA says that it, like industry body Commercial Radio Australia, supports self-regulation and adds that approaches to the regulation of advertising must be 'principles' and 'risk' based for consistency across all media platforms.
Regarding radio, on which restrictions were imposed following the cash-for-comment affair in which various hosts accepted large payments from sponsors but did not disclose the relationship when conducting interviews or airing reports that involved them as well as mentioning them, McClellan said, "Commercial radio should be afforded similar opportunities to other media regarding placement of advertisements, including within program material. The regulation of commercial radio should not act as a disincentive for advertisers to use this media channel."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-20: Bankrupt international satellite radio company WorldSpace, which at one time seemed likely to be bought by Liberty Media in a deal that fell through (See RNW Mar 16), may now be bought by a company controlled by its founder and former chairman, president and CEO Noah Samara, according to rapidtvnews, which has been keeping a continuing eye on the company.
Its report says that a deal was stuck on May 9 with Yazmi USA LLC., under which assets including those of AsiaStar and AfriStar and "those of 'SatCo', the shadowy company that has one director (James Laramie, an executive at WorldSpace since 1990) as well as some considerable WorldSpace assets" will be bought by Yazmi for USD 5.5 million.
Rapidtvnews adds that a fresh schedule of assets was filed with the Delaware bankruptcy court on May 18, listing its assets as being worth USD 234.6 million and its debts totalling USD 889.4 million.
Another filing made the next day in relation to the de-orbiting of the company's satellites that was ordered by the court on March 24, over objections by Liberty (See RNW Mar 20) says that the order made parties aware that the Debtors might prefer a sale to a de-orbiting".
Rapidtvnews adds that potential buyers were narrowed down to two contenders of which Yazmi's bid was "superior": Yazmi also made USD 100,000 available to the debtors to consummate a de-orbiting of the satellites should the purchase not be closed and also paid USD 500,000 to help fund operations.
The report does not indicate what intentions Samara has for the company if the deal goes through: A previous offer for the company made in 2009 by Yenura Pte. Ltd., another company controlled by Samara, collapsed (See RNW Sep 2, 2009) after which, Liberty, which had acquired a majority of WorldSpace's secured debt (See RNW Nov 12, 2009) entered into talks to buy the assets but broke them off in March as already noted above.
It had been speculated that Liberty, which has a 40% holding in Sirius XM following its provison of a USD 530 million loan (See RNW Feb 17, 2009), would use the WorldSpace satellites to take Sirius XM's service global.
Previous Liberty Media:
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-05-20: US radio and TV host Glenn Beck has fired back at comments attacking conservative US hosts in a report on precious metals dealer Goldline Inc by Rep. Anthony Weiner (Democrat- Queens and Brooklyn), deriding the comments and Congressman and is also reported to have set up the Weiner Facts web site as part of his attack, albeit the site does not carry any open attribution to Beck.
Weiner in his report on Goldline refers to the company, which sells bullion and coins whose annual sales he says exceed USD 500 million, as having "gained national prominence recently by sponsoring conservative talk show hosts" and goes on to say "These paid spokespeople have happily agreed to promote Goldline by playing off the fear of inflation, to encourage people to purchase gold as an investment that will protect them from an out of control government.
"In reality Goldline is a company that uses conservative rhetoric, high pressure sales tactics and tall tales about the future of gold to sell over priced coins that can be bought somewhere else for cheaper."
Specifically the report accuses the company of overcharging -with an average mark-up 90% above the melt value of the coin and having an average mark-up on the best price on competitor's websites of 47%; falsely claiming it is offering "good" investments; having sales people who misrepresent themselves as "Investment Advisors" or "Financial Advisers"; and - the headline that probably incensed Beck most of forming "An Unholy Alliance with Conservative Pundits to Drive a False Narrative."
Under this the report says, "On numerous occasions, Glenn Beck has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president. He will often promote the purchase of gold as the only safe investment alternative for consumers who want to safeguard their livelihoods. When the show then cuts to commercial break, viewers are treated to an advertisement from Goldline."
Beck on his site carries a transcript of a report he aired in which he said "This is again another arm of this administration coming out to try to shut me down" and later "Any sponsor that stays with me, now they are targeting through - you want to talk about the McCarthy era! Look at what this country is becoming! Is there anyone, anyone that has the courage to stand up against these monsters? Look at what they are doing! It's incredible! Incredible."
Of Goldline itself, after executive producer "Stu" said that the price of gold had risen by more than 50% since Beck began talking about it, comment he says," I have no idea. I have no idea. It is fascinating to me. If my people that do financial advising - because I'm worth - you don't listen to me for financial advice and that's why I've said don't - I buy it not as an investment. I buy it as insurance policy. If my people, my advisors would allow me to buy 50%, I'd have 50% of my savings in gold. But they all say that's nuts. 10%, no more than 10%, no more than 10%. I think I have 15? 15, maybe 20% of mine in gold. From Goldline. Now, you tell me. If I'm such a scam artist, why would I be scamming myself?"
RNW Comment: Back seems to be adopting what by now seems to be an almost automatic response by many in the US of attacking those making criticisms rather than responding to the actual criticisms. We are pleased to note however that his advisers control him rather than vice versa when it comes to buying gold. However, based on Weiner's figures if he bought his gold from Goldline at the standard rate, he's still lost on what he bought: If he got a special rate, it is misleading not to say so and invalidates his comment.
Beck may well be correct about political motivation behind the attack but equally it would be difficult to expose any scam being promoted through the assistance of any group without mentioning the group so again the point as made evades the point rather than enlightens his audience.
As for the Weinerfacts site, it seems as fair and balanced as many US issue sites - but at least one entry makes a good points about other offers involving coins - "...the cost of a US Coin Proof Set is USD 31.95. The actual value of the coins is just under USD 3.00. Wow, a 1000% mark-up on the coins." Not sure how that's a defence of anything as an investment however!
Beck web site report:
Weinerfacts web site:
Weiner report on Goldline (276 kb 8-page PDF)
2010-05-19: India's 3G spectrum auction finally ended on Wednesday after 183 rounds of bidding over 34 days with the government set to gain INR 67,719 crore (USD 14.62 billion - a crore is 10 million) but with no operator winning licences in all 22 areas where licences were being offered: Two firms Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications each won in 13 zones on offer; Idea Cellular won in 11; and Vodafone Essar and Tata each won a total of 9.
The highest bids were in Mumbai ( INR 3,316.93 crore - USD 749.3 million) and New Delhi (INR 3247.07 crore - USD 733.5 million) where Vodafone, Bharti and Reliance each won a licence followed by Karnataka (INR 1579.91 crore - USD 356.9 million) where the three winners were Tata, Aircel and Bharti; Tamil Nadu ( INR 1464.94 crore - USD 330.0 million) where the winners were Bharti, Vodafone and Aircel; and Andhra Pradesh (INR 1373.14 - USD 310.2 million) where the three winners were Bharti, Idea, and Aircel).
In all nine major telecommunications companies had bid in the auction with three 20-year licences on offer on top of which a fourth licence will go to state-run BSNL and MTNL
The auction was staged to prevent operators from signalling their intentions to rivals with auctioneers the auctioneer (NM Rothschild & Sons and DotEcon) presenting bids in an ascending order and giving the bidders the option of either accepting or declining.
The Economic Times commented that the "success in the 3G auction sets the stage for frenzied bidding in the soon-to-start auction of broadband wireless (BWA) or WiMax spectrum" but added that "the end of the process marks the start of life under a pile of debt that could strain balance-sheets for years."
It said Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had budgeted a total of INR 35,000 crore from both 3G and WiMAX spectrum auctions, was visibly elated, telling reporters, "It is good... It will give me that much more elbow room."
Mobile operators were less ebullient with Bharti Airtel, which failed to achieve its objective of a pan-India 3G footprint, saying "the auction format and severe spectrum shortage along with ensuing policy uncertainty drove the prices beyond reasonable levels."
Previous Indian Radio:
Economic Times report:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction preliminary results-PDF format ):
2010-05-19: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced that a further 90 radio and TV stations have joined it, nearly half of them from Virginia Beach-based Max Media, which owns or operates 44 radio and television stations in 10 states and Puerto Rico.
It notes that CBS Corporation and Fox rejoined last week (See RNW May 10) and says other broadcast groups that have recently joined include Communications Corporation of America, Lafayette, Louisiana.; Boswell Broadcasting, Kosciusko, Mississippi.; Brothers Broadcasting, Rensselaer, Indiana.; Eagle's Nest Inc., Roanoke, Alabama.; KSBJ Educational, Humble, Texas.; Living Faith Broadcasting, Abingdon, Virginia.; Neuhoff Communications, Jupiter, Florida.; and White Knight Broadcasting, Lafayette, Louisiana.
The NAB has also posted its submission to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau's (PSHSB) request for comments on potential changes to the Commission's Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The NAB argues that EAS training should be federally funded, saying, "Public alerting is a critical function of emergency managers, yet there are no generally accepted standard operating procedures that officials can reference when deciding how and when to activate the EAS, or how to draft EAS messages. "
The NAB says it would "encourage the Commission to launch a comprehensive, nationwide effort to provide EAS training for state and local emergency managers, and as part of this process, develop a manual of standard operating procedures for designing and releasing EAS alerts that officials can easily and quickly reference during emergency situations."
The NAB also argues that the move to CAP (Common Alerting Protocol)-based alerts currently requires EAS participants to be able to configure their networks to accept these within 180 days of FEMA (The Federal Emergency Alert Agency) announces the technical standards for the use of CAP as the basis for FEMA-generated alerts but that this may not be enough time to allow manufacturers to get their equipment certified and stations to deploy the equipment: It also says that purchase of the equipment could cause financial problems for some EAS participants and the Commission should consider providing increased flexibility for EAS Participants with budgeting or other resource constraints in meeting the 180-day requirement or amend the rule to allow 12 months for the deployment of compliant equipment.
The NAB has also posted its submission to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit regarding FCC ownership restrictions, which it regards as too onerous: Most of the filing relates to TV but the NAB also says the FCC has failed to adequately explain the basis for the ownership and cross-ownership restrictions it has applied and argues that the court should vacate the FCC's local television rule, that local radio ownership restrictions should be relaxed to "give local radio broadcasters more leeway for making efficient ownership arrangements to allow them to compete in today's digital, multichannel marketplace" and that the Newspaper-Broadcast cross ownership ban should have been eliminated rather than relaxed and that the radio-television cross-ownership rule along with other rules should be relaxed.
It concludes by saying that the Court should "vacate the local television ownership rule and, at a minimum, remand the other ownership rules for the Commission to further consider repealing or reducing their restrictions."
NAB comments re EAS rules (133 kb 14-page PDF)):
NAB filing re ownership regulations (405 kb 78-page PDF):
2010-05-19: The BBC, which broadcast a rather ham-handed apology on Tuesday at the start of the afternoon show on BBC WM (West Midlands) after suspending normal afternoon host Danny Kelly for a week after he played the National Anthem and said the Queen had died during his show on Monday, appears to have successfully buried audio of the comment with none of the usual sources where such audio is likely to be posted offering it when we last checked.
The station's web site has removed audio of the show - normally on the site for a week after broadcast - and on Tuesday, Molly Green, who is standing in for the week of Kelly's suspension opened the show with a statement about the incident, although not mentioning significant details.
She said at the start of the show, "First I have a statement to read. Yesterday afternoon Danny Kelly made an inappropriate remark about the Queen here during his show radio show here on BBC Radio WM. The BBC apologizes unreservedly for it. BBC WM takes these comments very seriously and due action has been taken ."
The WM site, which says of Kelly's show "You never know what will happen next, but it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face" carried a number of links to news reports of the incident including one in the Birmingham Post, which says it is believed the comment was a reference to a fan on the show's Facebook page.
A comment following the report says that blame should also be attached to Kelly's producer Mark Newman who it says, when the anthem was playing, "joked that it sounds like he's about to announce the queen is dead So Danny Kelly said yeah laughing 'if you have just tuned in the queen is dead' then Mark Newman said no she hasn't then Danny Kelly said Charles get off the phone!! but then said no seriously the queen is ok and got on with his announcement."
BBC News report:
BBC WM- Kelly Show page (Links to audio):
Birmingham Post report:
2010-05-18: Citadel Broadcasting Corporation has won court approval for its plan to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland rejecting objections from dissident shareholders who say the company is worth more than its executives and bankers value it at.
Citadel CEO Farid Suleman had testified that on the basis of an updated projection for 2010 EBITDA from about USD 210 million to USD 232.4 million Lazard values the company at USD 1.91 billion to USD 2.165 billion, with a midpoint of USD 2.04 billion, less than its USD 2.28 billion in secured and unsecured claims.
"These are our best estimates as we understand them," said Suleman.
Bloomberg in its report quoted the judge as saying, "The debtor has met the burden of confirmation" and noted that he had refused to allow testimony from a professor of finance about the value of the company in the basis, argued by Citadel's lawyers, that the Gregg Jarrell, a professor at the University of Rochester, did not have expertise in valuing broadcasters.
Allan Brilliant, a lawyer for Aurelius Capital, which with two affiliates owns around 5.5% of the company, asked the judge to postpone the rest of the hearing to give shareholders time to come up with new expert testimony about the valuation and was given one hour.
It adds that Christopher Ensley, a former radio industry analyst at Bear Stearns who testified for Aurelius earlier was asked by Brilliant to develop an opinion on Citadel's valuation during a recess and take the stand again: After the recess Brilliant argued that extra time was needed to prepare the valuation but this was refused by the judge.
Aurelius together with Orlando-based hedge fund Virtus Capital LLC and the Kenneth S. Grossman Pension Fund argued that the updated predictions were still too low and valued Citadel at USD 2.6 billion and Virtus co-founder Steve Gidumal said, "What testimony has shown is we have an industry recovery and EBITDA is rising quickly" adding that the "Lazard banker spent only 45 minutes vetting the increased projections by the debtor."
Louis Zachary, the Lazard banker who supervised the Citadel valuation, said in court May 12 that he "had ample justification that management's projections were appropriate" and added that the bankers had received no offers to buy Citadel since summer last year when Citadel was examining options including restructuring its debt or selling itself.
Following the ruling, Suleman commented, "We're glad it's over and we can get on with running the company."
RNW comment: Although no fans of Suleman, we think that the failure of the shareholders objecting to the valuation to have prepared adequately so as to have responses available when their valuation was queried - as it almost inevitable would be - means that they have no cause to complain about the ruling: Indeed the cynic in us speculates that what was actually going on was an attempt by funds that picked up stock cheaply from the end of March to extort the maximum they could wring from the process rather than demonstrate that their case was well founded. We do regret, though that the judge did not in allowing them an hour to come back with substantiation of the valuation did not also suggest they could easily settle the argument by raising the USD 2.6 billion themselves and making an offer for the company.
2010-05-18: LBI Media has reported first quarter revenues up 9.9% up on a year earlier to USD 23.6 million but led by a 21.5% increase in TV revenues to USD 11.8 million whilst radio remained flat at USD 11.8 million.
Operating expenses were reduced by 72.9% to USD 19.0 million, primarily because of a USD 51.466 million impairment charge - USD 19.58 million for TV licences and USD 31.886 million for radio licences - recorded in the first quarter of 2009, without which they increased by 2.7%.
In divisional terms radio went from an operating loss after impairment charges of USD 29.764 million to income of USD 3.927 million
Adjusted EBITDA was up 30% to USD 71 million, primarily because of a USD 1.6 million cash gain on the assignment of the asset purchase agreement related to KDES-FM (Bought in 2007 for USD 10.5 million from R&R Broadcasting subject to gaining permission to relocate the signal from Palm Springs, California, to Redlands, California, and then in July last year assigned the agreement to LC Media, a deal completed in February this year with LBI being paid USD 5.9 million and in turn paying USD 4.2 million to Spectrum Scan, in place of the USD 7 million that as part of the original deal was to be paid to it to terminate its option to purchase KWYX-FM, Cathedral City, California, and for assistance in the relocation) and increased TV advertising and net loss was reduced from USD 37.709 to USD 2.531 million.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Lenard Liberman - CEO and president (Formerly Executive vice-president), LBI Media said, "We are pleased to announce that during the first quarter, we generated year-over-year revenue growth. We are encouraged by our improving financial results and the positive trends we are seeing in the advertising market."
After comments on success for its Estrella TV network, he continued, "Our focus for the balance of 2010 is sustaining the momentum generated during the first quarter and building upon our successes. We will continue to strengthen our line-up by introducing new and innovative programming, pursue additional opportunities for expanding the distribution of EstrellaTV and effectively utilize our radio and TV broadcasting assets to drive increased revenue and ratings performance."
2010-05-18: UK media regulator Ofcom's latest Media Literacy report shows use of digital media increasing - 91% of households have mobile phones; 89% have digital TV (RNW comment -as analogue in the process of being phased out, this is hardly surprising), and 71% are on the internet: It also shows that when it comes to considering to be reliable and accurate traditional media score well above the internet - 52% for TV, 50% for radio and 31% for the internet whilst for news content radio tops the list with 66% of adults saying they trust the medium, compared to 58% for news websites and 54% for TV.
When it comes to concern about content, however, the internet tops the list - 55%, with a significant increase for internet users (61%) compared to non-internet users (40%) - followed by TV with 39%; mobile phones and gaming, each with 26%; and finally, attracting least concern is radio with 9%.
In terms of take-up trends, Ofcom says that since its 2007 report there has been an above-average increase in household take-up of the internet since then among those in DE socio-economic groups but at 48% take-up in these groups, those aged 55-64 (65%) and those 65 and over (33%) is low compared to the overall figure for 71% of households.
It also notes that 31% of people use devices such as mobile phones and other devices, games consoles and media players to go online with use of these much higher amongst younger groups and with those in DE socio-economic groups (partly-skilled or unskilled) more likely to go online only using such devices than UK adults as a whole (5% v 2%).
As regards radio, adult listening via digital platforms -DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), digital TV, or online - has increased from 23% to 35%: In demographic terms the increase covers all groups - 45% vs. 38% for those aged 25-34; 34% vs. 24% for those aged 55-64 and 24% vs. 17%for those aged 65 and over and all socio-economic groups except for Group C1 (intermediate and junior non-manual workers).
When it comes to the media they would miss most, 50% cite TV but the internet is cited by 15%, up by 12% from 2007.
As regards regulation perceptions relating to beliefs about content regulation have changed little for TV - 80% now think it is regulated compared to 79% in 2007 but rather more for other media - 67%, up from 59% for radio; 37% , up from 26% for the internet; 23%, up from 20% for mobile phones; and 36% , up from 29% for games.
Ofcom has also posted reports on media literacy "...in the nations" for both children and adults.
The Children's media literacy in the Nations report is mainly devoted to other media but does note higher weekly listening to radio at home in Scotland (6.9 hours) and Wales (6.2 hours) than in England (6.0 hours) - Data for Northern Ireland is not listed due to a low base size of 85 children aged 5-15 who listen to the radio at home.
The Adults' Media Literacy in the Nations report does not give data for England: However it does show that Scots are more likely to listen via a digital platform than UK listeners as a whole (95% compared to 94%) and are less likely to believe that content on radio and TV is regulated than the overall UK figure of 67%- the Scottish figure has risen from 51% to 58% since 2007; to be less concerned about what is on radio (down from 11% in 2007 to 8% --9% for the UK as a whole).
In Wales, where take-up of radio listening on a digital platform is lower than that for the UK (86% compared to 94%) listeners are least likely to think that radio is regulated (55% now compared to 48% in 2007) but most likely to have concerns about radio content ( 11%- down from 14% - compared to the UK figure of 9%.
Ofcom Adults Media Literacy report (92-Page 576 kb PDF):
Ofcom Adults' Media Literacy in the Nations: Summary report (220 kb 92-page PDF):
Ofcom Children's Media Literacy in the Nations: Summary report (146 kb 23-page PDF):
2010-05-17: Sirius XM has increased its predictions for subscriber numbers, revenues and income for this year.
It now says it expected add some 750,000 net subscribers compared to a prediction of 500,000 when it released its first quarter results earlier this month.
Pro-forma revenues, forecast then as more than USD 2.7 billion is now predicted to be around USD 2.75 billion with predicted pro-forma adjusted income from operations of around USD 550 million now expected to be around USD 575 million.
It ahs also put a number for free cash flow, which was predicted to be "positive" for the full year, and which it now says it expects to exceed USD 100 million.
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-05-17:Both Radio One Inc. and Westwood One have reported reduced losses in the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago with mixed revenue figures: Radio One Inc. reported first quarter net revenues down 2.1% on a year earlier at USD 59 million within which Radio One revenues were up 4% to USD 49.22 million but Reach Media revenues were down 23/6% to USD 8.01 million, put down primarily to the transition starting January 2010 from a guaranteed revenue sales representation agreement with Citadel Broadcasting Corporation to sell all advertising inventory for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, to a commissioned based agreement with Citadel selling out-of-show inventory
Station operating income was up 5% to USD 17.8 million and an operating loss of USD 42.8 million became operating income of USD 3.8 million. Net loss was reduced from USD 59.4 million to USD 4.6 million (From 84 cents per share to nine cents per share).
The company's President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, said of the figures, "The first quarter brought some much needed revenue growth to our core radio business, driven predominantly by national business, which was up 17.7% year-to-year and some uptick in local business, up 3.6%." "Our core radio business," he added, "also saw its second consecutive quarter with over USD 1.0 million in internet revenue, which had growth of 72.0% year-to-year. We continue to see healthy pacings in second quarter, with national pacing up 27.0% and local up 1.0%, although national has cooled somewhat over the past two to three weeks. I anticipate our second quarter core radio business finishing up with high single-digit growth."
Westwood One first quarter revenues were up 8.1% on a year earlier to USD 92.8 million with network radio up 8.6% to USD 55.6 million and its Metro Traffic up 7.5% to 37.3 million and an operating loss of USD 19.6 million reduced to a loss of USD 6.6 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was USD 2.1 million compared with a loss of USD 6.9 million in 2009.
Net loss was down from USD 15.186 million to USD 6.912 million and net loss applicable to common stockholders was cut from USD 16.650 million to USD 6.912 million (From USD 22.95 to 34 cents per basic and diluted share).
The company put the revenue increases down to an increase in network advertising sales, primarily from increased sports advertising revenue and for Metro Traffic an increase in revenue from television and radio advertising, primarily in the automotive and quick service restaurant sectors.
Westwood One President Rod Sherwood said that the increases reflected "increased advertising spending both nationally and locally" and added, "In addition to reflecting the initial signs of growth in the economy, this increase is also a result of our strategic focus on meeting the needs of our advertising and affiliate customers, and investing in areas with the most potential for revenue growth."
As far as the rest of the year is concerned the company said it remained "cautiously optimistic about growth in advertising spending during 2010" and added, "Industry research sources are revising their earlier forecasts slightly upward, but local radio remains at relatively low levels of growth."
Westwood One also announced the promotion of Mark Wilson, Senior Director, Affiliate Sales, to the post of Vice President Affiliate Sales, Entertainment Division. In his new role, Wilson, who oversaw the distribution of all Westwood One Urban and CHR properties, will now oversee and manage the affiliate sales efforts for Westwood One's CHR, Urban and Latin Entertainment programming. He will continue to report to Dennis Green, EVP Affiliate Sales.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Previous Westwood One:
2010-05-17: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced details for its media ownership workshop to be held on May 21st at Stanford University.
There will be two panels, a morning panel that will be on Changing Distribution Channels and an afternoon panel on The Changing Financial and Business Model for Media in the 21st Century.
2010-05-16: Last week was yet another quiet one as regards radio for all the regulators with yet again the main activity coming from the US: In Australia, there were no radio licence decisions but the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) held a forum concerning its review of commercial radio standards. Fewer than 20 people turned up for the meeting - maybe not that surprising as in the past decade only nine complaints have been made about advertising, disclosure or compliance of which only five were upheld.
The standards were originally introduced following the cash-for comment row in which a number of hosts - notably Alan Jones and John Laws, both of them then working for Sydney 2UE - were found to have been accepting substantial amounts from sponsors but not disclosing their financial interests when commenting on matters involving the sponsors. The then Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) was unable to impose penalties and brought in mandatory codes on disclosure that the industry has opposed, claiming that talk stations have to bear substantial costs in complying.
Industry body Commercial Radio Australia would like the codes, which it terms "unnecessarily prescriptive and burdensome, without flexibility and almost impossible to implement", repealed and a return to voluntary codes.
RNW comment: We would tend to agree on the basis of a straightforward requirement with draconian penalties for breaches after which matters can be left to the industry. We would suggest a back-up defining gross abuse of the principles involved with a massive fine - say a minimum of a hundred times the amounts the hosts had collected from the sponsors over the past three years due immediately where such abuse is found to have taken place. The industry would squawk but would ensure abuse was constrained: Hosts would find themselves with contracts that could bankrupt them if they are cavalier about such matters whilst licensees would actively police the hosts deals - not expensive - just require the hosts as now to declare their interests on a station web site (Commercial Radio Australia says it is unfair that the amounts involved have to be revealed but we disagree on this matter) and to make their interest clear when the broadcast is of a contentious matter.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a Notice of Consultation with a June 17 deadline for responses or comments involving two radio applications:
*Application by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to renew the broadcasting licence for its English-language CHMC-FM, Edmonton, which expires 31 August 2010, and to remove from the conditions of licence various requirements relating to its current Smooth Jazz music format: It says it has suffered significant financial losses operating the Smooth Jazz format and that the format is not viable in the market. It proposes to provide a middle-of-the-road format but adds that it would be prepared to commit, by condition of licence, to a weekly two?hour specialty Smooth Jazz program.
*Application by Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd. to change the frequency of CKDG-FM, Montréal, from 105.1 MHz to 106.7 MHz and increase its power from 141 watts to 407 watts: It says that this amendment would allow it to have both of its ethnic radio services (CKDG-FM and a new ethnic service approved in 2007) in adjacent frequencies on the 106 band, which would facilitate the promotion and the advertising sales of the stations.
In Ireland the only radio releases from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) were the release of latest ratings, showing a slight fall in the percentage of adults listening to the medium daily (See RNW May 14) and of revised Broadcasting Codes (See RNW May 12) and in the UK Ofcom's only radio-related release was of its latest Bulletin in which it warned that it may revoke the licences of five stations that have ceased broadcasting. (See RNW May 11).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as we have already reported has on the menu for its Thursday meeting its "WCS-SDARS Report and Order" that would ease restrictions on spectrum adjacent to Sirius XM's satellite radio spectrum, a move that the company says could cause crippling interference to its service (See RNW Licence News May 2).
It also acceded to a request by Tribune Co. in connection with the transfer of its broadcasting licences - a number of which are grandfathered waivers of cross-ownership limitations - under its bankruptcy reorganization plan should be made a "permit-but-disclose" ex parte proceeding.
The agency also issued or proposed a number of penalties including the following:
*Issued USD 21,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to World Media Broadcast Company, licensee of WCLM-AM, Highland Springs, Virginia, for failing to maintain its Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment, failing to provide functioning transmission system remote control equipment, and failing to maintain and make available a public inspection file. The penalty is made up of the base-level amounts for the breaches of USD 8,000; USD 3,000; and USD 10,000 respectively.
*Issued USD 10,000 forfeiture to Ronald Reid of The Bronx, New York, for operating a pirate transmitter. It had issued a USD 10,000 NAL in January to which it received no response.
*Issued USD 10,000 forfeiture to Marixsa Rolon of Plainfield, New Jersey, for operating a pirate transmitter. It had issued a USD 10,000 NAL in January to which it received no response.
*Issued USD 3,000 forfeiture to Burken Broadcasting, LLC. for failure to notify the agency of change in ownership of a tower serving its Spanish Talk KRLV-AM, Las Vegas. The FCC had issued a USD 3,000 NAL in connection with the violation in August last year to which it received no response.
*Issued USD 3,000 forfeiture to Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, for failure to to notify the agency of change in ownership of a tower in Pomona, California. The FCC had issued a USD 3,000 NAL in connection with the violation in May last year to which it received no response.
In various licensing decision the FCC has accepted an application from the University of Wyoming for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM at Evanston, Wyoming, following withdrawal of interest by its initial selectee for the frequency, Oscar Aguero Ministry(OAM), which was to have provided a service to Park City, Utah.
OAM was one of a group of four mutually exclusive applications for the frequency during the October, 2007 filing window along with Wyoming University, Silver Fish Broadcasting, Inc., and Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer and had been given preference.
Both the University and Silver Fish had filed petitions to deny the award on the basis that OAM "did not have reasonable assurance of site availability to construct the proposed station" and OAM in response to a letter from the agency said its application was no longer worth pursuing as it had "re-evaluated all the documentation available in this proceeding and believes that ". . . the proposed site will be unavailable to construct at any time in the foreseeable future."
Accordingly the FCC accepted the University of Wyoming application, which has preference.
In Texas the FCC has granted an application to transfer the licences of Simmons-Austin's KLRK-FM, Marlin; KRQX-AM and FM, Mexia; and KRZI-AM, Waco to M&M Broadcasters, Ltd, rejecting an objection from Daryl O'Neal, a former Simmons-Austin President, who alleged that the FCC should set up a hearing as to whether Simmons was qualified to be a licensee - an investigation that would prevent the transfer - because the company had misinformed the FCC during an earlier investigation concerning the operation of Simmons' 'St Louis KSLG-AM at daytime power during night-time hours.
The company had admitted the breach but said it was caused by damage to the lines to the transmitter that prevented the station's chief engineer from changing the power as required during the period from October 2006 to January 2007: O'Neal and in June 2007 it agreed a Consent Decree in which it paid USD 25,000 to the US Treasury and agreed to implement a specified internal program to ensure future compliance.
O'Neal had alleged that the company had directed that the power not be reduced and had engaged in a cover-up to which Simmons had responded that O'Neal had been "deeply involved" in the preparation of the response to the FCC at the time of the breach.
The FCC noted that the objection did not refer to the stations to be assigned to M&M and had been filed late and also said that "O'Neal has failed to raise a substantial and material question of fact calling for further inquiry into Simmons-Austin's qualifications.": It dismissed it and allowed the deal to go ahead.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-05-16: The bankruptcy hearings of Citadel Communications and Tribune Company are both on court agendas next week - in Citadel's case a continuation on Monday of the hearing that began in New York on Wednesday (See RNW May 12) whilst Tribune's case is to start on Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware.
Citadel's reorganization plan is opposed by dissident shareholder Aurelius Capital that with two affiliates owns around 5.5% of the company and in Tribune's case the objectors include a group of lenders owed around USD 3.6 billion, bondholders represented by Wilmington Trust Corp., and the US Department of Labor.
At its hearing the company will ask the court to approve an outline of its restructuring plan that will permit it to send the plan to creditors for a vote although confirmation hearings will not commence until August 16 so as to allow independent examiner Kenneth Klee the opportunity to investigate the leveraged buyout deal under which real-estate mogul Sam Zell took control of the company.
The Chicago Tribune's report on the bankruptcy refers to a "a new objection from a previously silent group of senior creditors angry over its treatment in the company's plan of reorganization"; an objection from hedge fund Oaktree Capital that says "the settlement was too generous to junior creditors and didn't share the costs of the settlement between lenders and other exposed parties, such as Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell and the company's former shareholders" as well as a Department of Labor filing that says the plan does not give ample disclosure to the agency's investigation into whether Tribune Co.'s contested 2007 leveraged buyout that used a complex structure reliant on an employee stock ownership (ESOP) plan violated federal labor laws: Most of the objections, says the report, claim that Tribune Co. didn't provide enough information about how the settlement plan was reached or how it took into account charges brought by junior creditors that the 2007 LBO was an example of "fraudulent conveyance," meaning the debt-heavy deal rendered the company insolvent from the start.
The paper also reports that the federal district court in Chicago recently denied Tribune Co.'s motion to dismiss a class-action suit against fiduciaries to the ESOP, including Zell, charging that they had breached their fiduciary duty by engaging in "prohibited transactions." It also contested a provision in Tribune Co.'s settlement plan that would release Zell and others from any claims arising from ERISA violations.
Tribune in a statement said "The plan of reorganization we have filed with the bankruptcy court is fair to our creditors and in the best interests of all parties involved with our Chapter 11 process," the company said. "We remain confident in our ability to get the plan approved by our creditors and confirmed by the bankruptcy court."
The reorganization plan also includes the transfer of Tribune's broadcasting licences and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week ruled that the transfer should be made a "permit-but-disclose" ex parte proceeding as requested by the company. Petitions to deny the transfers and continuation of Tribune's existing cross-ownership waivers have to be filed by June 14.
Previous Tribune Co.:
Chicago Tribune report:
2010-05-15: Bidding in India's 3G auction reached INR 15,814 crore (USD 3.57 billion - INR 158.1 billion - a crore is 10 million) on Saturday after 31 days and 172 rounds of bidding
Mumbai leads the bids with a total of INR 3,032.85 crore (USD 685.1 million) followed by Delhi with INR 2,998.66 crore (USD 677.4 million) and Karnataka with INR 1,564.27 crore (USD 353.4 million).
Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja, who had made a similar prediction a week earlier, said on Friday the auction is expected to conclude in a few days
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-15: Metropolitan radio advertising revenues in Australia were up 2.58% on a year earlier in April to a total of AUD 51.04 million (USD 45.23 million) according to figures released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
According to the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, Melbourne showed the strongest growth - up 4.8% to AUD 15.64 (USD 13.86 million), followed by Brisbane, up 3.67% to AUD 8.29 (USD 7.35 million), and Sydney up 3.21% to AUD 16.00 million (USD 14.18 million): Adelaide was down 0.4% to AUD 4.89 million (USD 4.33 million) and Perth down 3.22% to AUD 6.21 million (USD 5.50 million).
The increase was considerably down from March when total revenues rose 15.6% to AUD 59.2 million (USD 54.7 million) and for the first quarter in which revenues were up 7.7% to take the total to AUD 151.1 million (USD 139.6 million- See RNW Apr 16).
Although noting that the increase had slowed down, Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner remained positive, commenting, "The growth for the month of April reflects similar growth to earlier months of the 2010 year and is a good result for the industry in very competitive trading times."
Commercial Radio Australia has also announced that Advertising agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has won the country's 2010 Gold Siren award for best radio ad of the year - the third time the agency has won the top gong in the six years of the Awards. The ad, called "Clothes" was for for international brand Tena, developer of absorbent hygiene products, and was written by Julian Schreiber and Tom Martin.
It will automatically be entered into the Cannes Radio Lions to be held next month at the Cannes Advertising Festival and also took a Silver Siren for winning the single advertisement category.
The other Silver Siren award - for the 2010 craft category - went to an ad for HBF, called "Passenger" that was produced by sound engineer Paul Taylor from production studios, Eardrum and Sound Reservoir in Sydney.
Warner said the Gold Siren winning ad provided a great example of radio's unique ability to deal with products that are a little more personal: "Products in pharmaceutical, hygiene and medical categories are particularly well suited for radio because you can have quite intimate conversations with the consumer," Ms Warner said.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-14: The BBC has confirmed that Graham Norton is to take over the Radio 2 Saturday 10:00-1300 slot currently held by Jonathan Ross, who is to step down in July after hosting the Jonathan Ross Show since 1999.
Norton is currently deputising for the station's breakfast host Chris Evans while he is on holiday and Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan commented of the appointment, "Graham is one of the nation's favourite entertainment presenters and I'm hugely excited to welcome him to his new permanent home on Radio 2."
"From this autumn," he added "our Saturday daytime schedule will kick off with Zoe Ball at 6am, into one of the most listened to shows on UK radio, Sounds Of The Sixties presented by Brian Matthew, leading into Graham (Norton), Dale Winton, Dermot O'Leary, Alan Carr, Paul Gambaccini and Steve Lamacq. This rare combination of diverse talent is what makes Radio 2 the much-loved network that it is today."
Regarding Ross, whose departure was precipitated by the row over lewd calls left on actor Andrew Sachs' phone answering machine that led to Ross's suspension and the resignations of Russell Brand, on whose show the comments were aired and then Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas, Shennan commented, "I'd like to thank Jonathan for making the Saturday morning slot on Radio 2 such a huge success over the past 11 years, and during that time, contributing fully to the renaissance of Radio 2."
Norton said, "I'm thrilled to be a part of it. My liver is also delighted that I'll now have an excuse to leave the pub early on a Friday night."
An announcement is still to be made on stand-in presenters for the period after Ross leaves and before Norton starts his show on October 2.
2010-05-14: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) show stable radio listening in the country: For the period from April last year to March this year there was a slight fall compared to the previous ratings that covered Jan to Dec 2009 - from 87% to 86% - in the percentage of the adult population listening daily to radio. The figure was unchanged compared to the ratings for April 2008-March 2009
Listenership to any multi-city/regional/local radio service was unchanged at 58% but up from the year earlier figure of 55%.
Among national stations weekday reach for RTÉ Radio 1 was down a point to 25% - the same as a year earlier; unchanged for RTÉ 2FM at 15% -16% a year earlier; Down a point to 14% for Today FM - 10.6 % a year earlier; down a point to 7% for Newstalk - 3.6% a year earlier; and unchanged at 3% for RTÉ Lyric FM - 4% a year earlier.
In overall market share for weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 the figure was up 1.3 to 51.9% for any regional/local station (49.1% a year earlier). Within the national weekday share figures RTÉ Radio 1 was down 0.5 to 22.9% (22.7% % a year ago); RTÉ 2FM was down 0.4 to 9.7% (11.6% a year earlier); Today FM share was down 0.3 to 9.6 % (10.6% a year earlier); Newstalk was down 0.1 to 3.9% (3.6% a year earlier); and RTÉ Lyric FM was unchanged at 1.6% (1.7% a year earlier).
Of the regional stations Beat 102-103FM had a weekday reach figure down a point to 19% (20% a year ago) with its market share down 0.1 to 12.1% (12.3% a year ago); regional youth service Spin South West was unchanged at 18% (17% a year ago) with its share unchanged at 9.8% (9.2% a year ago) ; North-West regional service i102-104FM was up two points to 19% (13% a year earlier) with share up 0.9 to 11.9% (7.3% a year earlier).
Newcomer North-East/Midlands regional service i105-107FM took its listenership up from 3% to 6% and share up 1.6 to 3.6% and multi-city service 4 FM held an unchanged 2% reach with market share up 0.1 to 1.5%
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five stations (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were Highland Radio up 1% to 69% Limerick's Live 95FM with an unchanged 53% ; Mid West Radio -up two points to 52%; Tipp FM and WLR with an unchanged 50% and down 1 to 50%. After this Radio Kerry (unchanged) was on 47% together with Shannonside/Northern Sound (down three points).
In weekday share terms the top five were Highland Radio with 64.1% (Down 1.4); Tipp FM with 55.3 (up 1.8); Radio Kerry with 53.6% (Down 1.1).Mid West Radio with 51.5% (Up 0.6); and Shannonside/Northern Sound with 46/2% (down 0.7).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 29% (Down 1); FM 104 with 19% (down 1); Dublin's 98 with an unchanged 15%; Spin 1038 -down 1 to 13%;and Q102 with 12% (down 1) whilst in weekday share terms they were RTÉ Radio 1 with 32.8% (Down 0.1); Dublin's 98 with 11.6% (Up 1.2); FM 104 with 10.5% (down 0.2); Q102 with 9.4% (Up 0.8) and RTÉ 2FM with 8.1% (down 0.2)
In Cork the leaders in weekly reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 48% (down 2); Cork's 96FM with 38% (down 1); RTÉ Radio 1 with 26% (down 1); Cork's Red FM with 21% (Up 1); and Today FM with 16% (Down 1) whilst in weekday share terms they were
Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 43.6% (down 1.4); Cork's 96FM with 33.8% (down 1.1); RTÉ Radio 1 with 21.7% (Up 0.3); Cork's Red FM with 10.3% (Up 0.5); and Today FM with 9.9% (Down 0.5)
*RNW note: In some earlier ratings reports we have used weekly rather than weekday reach but have now opted to use the weekday figures.
In its comment on the ratings RTÉ singled out "Huge year-on-year gains to weekends on RTÉ Radio 1" for mention and added, "RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm remain the number one and two most-listened-to radio stations in Ireland. Year-on-year gains across RTÉ Radio 1's weekday schedules see household names Joe Duffy, Ryan Tubridy, Ronan Collins, Pat Kenny, Mary Wilson and Derek Mooney dominating the national top-twenty with significant gains across the year. Morning Ireland, News at One and Drivetime remain the nation's most-listened-to radio news and current-affairs programmes."
Ana Leddy, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said, "RTÉ Radio has 18 of the top 20 programmes in Ireland and RTÉ Radio 1 dominates the list. The year-on-year gains for Radio 1, in the context of the massive gains at weekends, show that Radio 1, during the day, in the evening and at weekend, remains the first choice for listeners nationwide."
Previous Irish Ratings:
2010-05-13: The Florida Attorney-General's office is investigating consumer complaints about Sirius XM Radio according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, which says consumer agencies have received more than consumer complaints about its automatic renewal and business practices.
A posting on the Attorney-General's web site says the case, Number L10-3-1082 , relates to a civil, not a criminal, investigation and that it is being handled by the Economic Crimes Division in Tallahassee, Florida.
The paper says that according to state officials over a period of several years more than 200 complaints have been received by the attorney general's citizen services offices, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau over several years.
It quotes Mike Galvin, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, as saying that consumers claimed they had been automatically re-enrolled for services they did not want, or that the satellite radio provider made it difficult for them drop coverage and that Sirius' collection agents aggressively pursued them when they refused to pay for services they felt they had not authorized.
RNW comment: If we assume a reasonably even distribution of complaints around the US -Florida has a population of some 18.5 million out of a total for the country of 307 million - this would indicate around 36,000 complaints nationwide over several years for a company that now has more than 18 million subscribers. If take several as meaning two years this is around one complaint per thousand customers and the received wisdom is that for every one dissatisfied customer who complains another half dozen will be dissatisfied but do nothing. This then extrapolates to around 64 people being made aware of complaints of whom around a quarter in a normal market situation will take their business elsewhere.
The implications therefore, were there two competing satellite radio companies, would be that the complaints reported could lose around 760,000 customers a year but in this case there is no such competition so we would calculate that the number of customers lost if the complaints are justified would be much lower.
We would love to see some accurate statistics on complaints about Sirius XM to enable a reasonable estimation about their effect but the best we have is the churn rate, which seems to indicate improving satisfaction from customers - for the first quarter of this year for self-pay monthly customers the churn rate was 2.0% in the first quarter 2010, down from 2.2% in the first quarter 2009
Previous Sirius XM:
Florida Sun-Sentinel report:
2010-05-13: Latest UK radio ratings released today by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) show listening at an all-time high with 46.5 million listeners tuning in each week:
Listening via digital platforms has continued to rise with DAB listening up from 12.7% in the first quarter of 2009 to 15.1%; listening via digital TV platforms up from 3.4% to 4% and Internet listening up from 2.2% to 2.9%.
Overall some 19.7 million people listen to radio via a digital platform each week - up from 17.2 million a year ago whilst digital listening hours are up 18% to 243 million hours a week. Listening via mobile phones has remained steady at 12.6% of adults.
Within the listening the BBC's share was up from 55.2% in the final quarter of last year and 56.3% a year earlier to 56.5% whilst commercial radio's share was down from 42.6% in the final quarter of 2009 and 41.6% in the first quarter of 2009 to 41.3%,
In terms of reach both the BBC and commercial radio reported increases - for the BBC from 33.264 million a week in the final quarter of 2009 and 33.809 million a year earlier to 34.877 million whilst for the commercial sector it was up from 3.374 million and 31.498 million to 32.162 million respectively.
Most players had cause to celebrate the results, particularly BBC Radios 2 and 6 Music and specifically Chris Evans whose record 9.53 million listeners per week for the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show helped the station to a record 14.569 million listeners a week, up from 13.473 million in the final quarter of 2009 and confirmed its status as Europe's most popular radio breakfast show: (Sir) Terry Wogan, who preceded Evans had a record audience of 8.104 million in the first quarter of 2008 and Evans' success will quieten critics, who had suggested he would initially lose audience. The Radio 2 share was also up - from 16.5% in the precious quarter to 17.2%.
BBC 6 Music, which is to be closed under management cost saving plans, performed strongly with its audience up by more than 50% - it reached 1.23 million listeners a week, up from 695,000 in the previous quarter and 681,000 a year ago, giving some ammunition to groups campaigning against the closure of the station, which took two Sony Gold Awards earlier this week (See RNW May 11): They have already staged one demonstration on March 27 outside the BBC's Broadcasting House headquarters and have announced that a second day of protests is planned for May 22.
Unsurprisingly the BBC headlined Evans' success with its Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie commenting in a release, "I'm delighted to see Radio 2's listeners have taken to Chris in such a positive way. He is one of the best broadcasters of his generation and has earned his popularity."
He added, "This quarter's figures are also great news for the industry as all radio listening has grown, and for BBC Radio, where our efforts to produce ambitious, high quality programming have resulted in healthy listening figures."
BBC Radio Scotland was also celebrating, having added more than 90,000 listeners quarter-on-quarter to reach 955,000: the station's Head Jeff Zycinski commented, "It's been a good news week for us at Radio Scotland winning a Gold award at this week's Sonys for our popular Sportsound programme plus a Bronze for our Jazz Line Up team and now a very encouraging set of listening figures. We've gained more than 90,000 listeners in the past quarter and once again we're in sight of having a million listeners a week.
For the commercial sector as a whole, the RadioCentre stressed the success of the medium with listening at an all-time high and increased reach for commercial radio. Its Chief Executive Andrew Harrison commented, "It is fantastic to see the greatest number of listeners tuning into commercial radio since 2002. Commercial radio remains part of the fabric of British daily life, despite the plethora of new devices now competing for listeners' time. It is also very encouraging to see digital's share of listening increasing, with almost a quarter of all listening now being via a digital platform."
Of the major commercial players, Bauer Media's Group MD Radio Dee Ford commented, "These are a great set of RAJAR results for our national, local and digital stations across the Bauer Radio Network. Whether in London, where Magic 105.4 reclaimed its place as the only commercial station in London with more than two million listeners every week or Inverness, where Sony Award winning MFR now reaches an incredible 54% of its population every week, the individual personalities of our stations and the passion we have for the local communities they serve continues to drive listening and engagement across the UK."
The company also headlined the success of KISS 100 - this year's Sony Station of the Year for those with a potential audience of a million plus - with Steve Parkinson, MD of Bauer Radio London adding, "Kiss 100's dominance in London within the 15-44 age range is testament to the great content and special programming delivered by the station, a unique offering that can not be found anywhere else. As the brand grows in popularity across the country we look forward to a summer of events such as partnering the Wireless festival."
Global Radio, the biggest commercial group, on its site headlined its ownership of the "number 1, 2 and 3 commercial radio brands in the UK, with Heart, Classic FM and Galaxy respectively with its sales site noting a quarter-on-quarter 427,000 increase in reach to 18.559 million but also a fall in total listening hours - down 1,049 to 164509 and in share from16.60% to 16.40%.
Absolute Radio in its comment on the station's blog, headlining a quarter-on-quarter gain of 149,000 listeners quarter on quarter for the Absolute Radio Network, which includes Absolute Radio, Absolute 80s & Absolute Classic Rock and had an audience of 1.822 million whilst the total for Absolute Radio itself was down by 97,000 - from 1.493 million to 1.396 million.
Within the figures compared to the third quarter and a year ago:
*BBC Radio 1 gained 974,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 11,737 million but listening share was down from 9.8% to 9.5% (10.3% a year ago when it had 11072 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 gained 1,096 million listeners and had a weekly audience of 14,569 million with listening share up from 16.5% to 17.2% (15.9% a year ago, when it had 13,457 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 gained 151,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 2.025 million and listening share was up from 1.1% to 1.2% (1.1% a year ago, when it had 1.992 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 gained 188,000.00 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.029 million but listening share was down from 12.5% to 12.2% (12.5% a year ago when it had 9.982 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, gained 375,000.00 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6,481 million, with listening share down from 4.9% to 4.6% (4.8% a year ago when it had 6,211 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it gained 375,000.00 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6,563 million and a listening share up from 4.6% to 4.7% (4.8% a year ago when it had 6,323 million listeners).
*BBC World Service gained 61,000.00 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1,288 million and listening share unchanged at 0.6% (0.8% a year ago when it had 1,470 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network lost 3,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 357,000 and an unchanged listening share of 0.2% (0.2% a year ago when it had 405,000 listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd's (Times of India parent) Absolute Radio - the former Virgin Radio - (total including all AM and FM) - lost 97,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.396 million and listening share unchanged at 1.1% (1.2% a year ago when it had an audience of 1.693 million).
The Absolute Radio Network, which also includes digital stations Absolute 80s & Absolute Classic Rock, gained 149,000 listeners to end with 1.822 million and listening share up from 1.3% to 1.4 %( 1.3% a year ago when it had 1.878 million listeners).
*Global Radio's Classic FM gained 381,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.515 million and listening share up from 3.5% to 3.7% (3.7% a year ago when it had 5.414 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT lost 128,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.368 million and listening share down from 2.1% t0 1.6% (1.8% a year ago when it had 2.416 million listeners.).
Among digital stations the top ten stations in the survey had a weekly audience as below - (previous quarter in brackets) - this excludes Bauer's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and had a total weekly reach of 1.203 million including its analogue stations (down from 1.215 million quarter on quarter and down from 1366 million a year ago) but includes BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network:
Among digital stations the top ten stations in the survey had a weekly audience as below (previous quarter in brackets) - this excludes Bauer's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and had a total weekly reach of 1.203 million including its analogue stations (down from 1.215 million quarter on quarter and down from 1366 million a year ago) but includes BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network:
1: The Hits (Bauer) -1.055 million (up from 1.011 million but down from 1.300 million a year ago).
2: BBC 7- 1.049 million (up from 931,000 and from 984,000 a year ago).
3: BBC 6 Music 1.023 million (Up from 695,000 and 681,000 a year ago).
4: Smash Hits (Bauer) 853,000 (Down from 858,000 and from 996,000 a year ago).
5: Planet Rock 694,000 (Down from 698,000 but up from 674,000 a year ago).
6: BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra 685,000 (Up from 663,000 and from 642,000 a year earlier).
7: BBC 1Xtra 663,000 (Up from 531,000 and from 616,000 a year earlier)
8: Jazz FM 471,000 (Up from 446,000 and from 408,000 a year earlier).
9: Heat (Bauer) 447,000 (Unchanged from previous quarter and up from 4238,000 a year earlier).
10: BBC Asian Network 357,000 (Down from 360,000 and from 405,000 a year earlier).
*NME Radio was in 12th rank as listening rose from 177,000 to 226,000 taking it within striking distance of Bauer's Q whose 231,000 was up from 219,000.
RNW Note: We noticed after posting this report that we had corruption in our spreadsheet and have re-posted the digital listening rankings sections:We also still have to tidy up links for this report.
Previous RAJAR (Q4, 2009 Ratings):
2010-05-12: Bidding in India's 3G auction has now reached nearly INR 14,500 crore (USD 3.27 billion - INR 145 billion - a crore is 10 million) after 28 days and 157 rounds, more than four times the base price of INR 3,500 crore (USD 791 million) set by the government.
Mumbai leads the bids with a total of INR 2,661.85 crore (USD 601.3 million) followed by Delhi with INR 2,612.42 crore (USD 590.2 million) and Karnataka with INR 1,503.25 core (USD 339.6 million).
The bidding appears to have slowed down and there were no increases in seven areas - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-12: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has issued two revised broadcasting codes that update the standards that radio and television advertising, sponsorship, product placement and other forms of commercial communications broadcast in Ireland must meet. All Irish radio and television broadcasters will be legally required to comply with the revised Codes June 10: The General Commercial Communications Code covers all advertising, sponsorship, teleshopping and product placement and the Children's Commercial Communications Code covers them where they are of particular interest to children and/or broadcast during children's programmes.
The codes replace the previous codes - the BCI General Advertising Code and the BCI Children's Code - issued by the BAI's predecessor, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI).
Both Codes give legal effect to the requirement to transpose into Irish law new European television regulations included in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) to which all EU TV channels must comply.
2010-05-12: Citadel Communications' Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearing is taking place in New York today with the company hoping to gain approval of its re-organization plan, which is opposed by dissident shareholder Aurelius Capital.
Witnesses to testify include Citadel CEO Farid Suleman who will start off the proceedings to be followed by the company's CFO Randy Taylor. Aurelius, which with two affiliates owns around 5.5% of Citadel, is also to give evidence.
Aurelius has already been duelling with Citadel in the courts where Citadel, which claims that Aurelius made its deals anticipating litigation has asked that its share purchases be voided because they breached earlier court orders requiring purchases of a "substantial" share in the company to give advance notice of their intentions (See RNW Apr 19): Aurelius says that the three funds involved are independent and thus its purchases did not breach the court order (See RNW Apr 23).
Citadel filing says its plan is supported by the company's lenders and a committee of unsecured creditors and it defends the valuation of the company laid down in the reorganization plan.
2010-05-11:Latest Australian radio ratings (covering the period from March 28 to May 1) show Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB extending its lead in Sydney with a 15.6% share, up 0.9, whilst commercial rival Fairfax Media's 2UE lost share- down by 0.4 to 4.9 and second-ranked ABC702 held on to second rank with share up 0.3 to 11.4%
In Melbourne Fairfax owns the long-time market leader 3AW, which also increased its share - up by 0.4 to 15.0: New talk rival Melbourne Talk Radio, a joint venture of Macquarie Radio Networks and Pacific Star Network only launched on April 19 and its predecessor on the frequency, 3MP lost share - down 0.2 to 2.0%.
In individual terms, Alan Jones took 2GB's breakfast share up again - from 17.2 to 18.7% - in his 150th survey win and the 51st consecutive ratings lead - 2GB is in its 49th consecutive survey lead. At ABC 702 Adam Spencer took his second-ranking share up by the same amount as Jones - up 1.5 to 13.9% with Kyle and Jackie O (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neill Henderson) holding on the third rank but losing share - down from 12.2 to 11.5. Jones' commercial talk rivals John Stanley and Sandy Aloisi at 2UE fared badly - down from 4.9 to 4.0 and from sixth to eighth rank.
Amongst Sydney music stations, Austereo's 2-DAY held onto its third rank in Sydney and DMG's Nova remained fifth with an unchanged 6.5.
Around the country Austereo, which in the previous survey had the FM lead in all the metropolitan capitals, lost top FM spot in Adelaide where the Australian Radio Network's (ARN) Mix102.3 moved up to second rank, pushing SAFM into third spot.
DMG Radio Astralia had a weak survey losing listeners to its Nova stations in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne and although its Sydney Vega/Classic Rock - Vega went off the air on March 11 to be replaced by Classic rock on the 12th - increased its share from 3.2% to 3.5% - the change did not alter the Vega/Classic Rock share of 3.4% share in Melbourne.
Austereo in its comment highlighted success in Sydney where 2-DAY held the top FM rank for the 29th consecutive survey and the 3.2 point lead it had over its nearest FM rival, ARN's WSFM.
In Melbourne it highlighted the success of Fox FM, the leading FM in the market, and its success in attracting a significant increase in listeners in the 18-24 demographic, a demographic success mirrored in Brisbane where Triple M took the leading rank, displacing the company's B105.
It also noted the continuing success of Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) in drive - they led the ratings in Melbourne (21.3% share- down from 21.7%); Brisbane (18.4% share, up from 18.3%); Adelaide (17.9% share - down from 18.1%); Perth (17.2% share, down from 19.5%) and Sydney (13.6% share - down from 14.2%).
In Perth, Austereo's Mix 94.5 (No connection to other MIX stations in Australia) was the top station for the 84th consecutive survey and its 92.9, which carries Hamish and Andy, was second in the ranks.
Austereo Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson said of the performance, "To maintain our ongoing results is an amazing feat and something we're very proud of. Both the Today and Triple M Networks are maintaining solid results around the country and we're anticipating holding these positions throughout the year."
DMG again emphasised its success with the 18-39 demographic: Nova leads in this group in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 13.9 (14.0) - same rank; Mix 102.3 with 12.9 (12.0) - same rank; SAFM with 12.1 (12.0) - same rank.
*ABC 891 with 11.8 (11.6) remained fourth but 5MM moved up a rank to fifth with 9.6 (10.0), swapping places with Nova, which was sixth with 8.7 (10.3).
*Brisbane - 4MMM with 12.3 (11.8) -Up from third; B105 with 12.1(13.0) - Down from top rank;
Nova with 11.7 (12.5) - down from second;
*97.3 FM with 11.2 (10.8) -remained fourth followed by ABC 612, which retained fifth rank with an unchanged 10.1.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 15.0 (14.6) - same rank; Fox FM with 13.5 (13.6) - same rank; ABC 774 with 12.9 (12.5) - same rank;
* Nova 100 remained fourth with 7.5 (8.3) followed by Gold FM, which remained fifth with 7.1 (8.0), after which 3MMM remained sixth with 5.2 (5.4). 3JJJ was then up a rank to seventh with 5.1 (4.3), swapping ranks with Mix 101, which was down to eighth with 4.9 (5.0).
DMG's Classic R9ck, the former Vega, remained 11th with an unchanged 3.4
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 17.0 (15.8) - same rank; 92.9 with 11.4 (12.5) - same rank; ABC 720 with 11.0 (11.3) -same rank.
*96 FM remained fourth with 10.7 (11.1) followed by Nova with 9.6 (8.7), then 6PR in sixth rank with 9.0 (7.9).switching places with 6JJJ, which was down to seventh rank with 7.4 (8.3)
*Sydney: 2GB 15.6 (14.7) - same rank; ABC 702 with 11.4 (11.1) - same rank; 2-DAY with 10.2 (10.3) - same rank.
*WSM remained fourth with 7.0 (6.6) and Nova stayed at fifth with an unchanged 6.5 after which 2CH at sixth was up slightly with 5.7 (5.6) ahead. In seventh rank was 2MMM, up from ninth with an unchanged 5.3, ahead of 2UE, which remained eight with 4.9 (5.3), ahead of Mix 106.5, which was up a rank at ninth with an unchanged 4.7 followed by 2JJJ, which lost three places to end up tenth with 4.5 (5.4).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-05-11: Saga Communications has reported first quarter revenues up 7.1% on a year earlier at USD 28 million and station operating expenses down 5.8% to USD 22.6 million with free cash flow up 140% to USD 2.3 million.
Overall a net loss of USD 362,000 in the first quarter of 2009 became net income of USD 3.3 million (From a loss of nine cents to net income of 78 cents per diluted share.).
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) revenues were up 11% to USD 30.86 million with radio up 12% to USD 27.080 million - helped by special events and local sales, as economic conditions continue to improve - and TV up 4% to USD 3.766 million and operating income moved from a loss of USD 9.7 million to a positive 4.4 million, mainly due to the increase in net revenue and a decrease in our impairment of assets and restructuring costs of USD 10.6 million
Operating income before depreciation and amortization, loss on the disposal of assets, net, and impairment of assets and restructuring costs more than doubled - up from USD 2.566 million to USD 5.962 million within which radio was up 36% to USD 10.419 million, TV was down 1% as its loss increased from USD 2.206 million to USD 2.236 million whilst corporate moved from USD 2.611 million in the red to USD 2.01 million in the red.
Overall SBS moved from a net loss of USD 10.946 million to a net loss of USD 828,000 with net loss applicable to common shareholders going from a loss of USD 13.428 million to a loss of USD 3.31o million (from 19 cents to five cents per basic and diluted share): Q1 2009 included USD 10.616 million in impairment charges compared to no impairment charges this year.
Commenting on the performance, Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. said, "Our first quarter results reflect the positive impact of the recovering ad market, combined with our efforts to monetize our audience shares, while aggressively controlling costs."
"The fundamentals of our business," he added, "continue to improve, and we have now generated improved cash flow from our operations for the fifth consecutive quarter. As the economy continues to rebound, we believe advertisers will increasingly recognize the benefits of our multi-media platform in reaching the nation's fast-growing Hispanic population. We remain focused on further strengthening our audience shares, while maximizing our proprietary content across our radio, television and online properties. We will also continue to seek avenues to drive efficiencies across our business, with the goal of converting our revenue growth into improved operating margins and increased cash flow."
SBS, which had authorized a reverse stock split should it be needed to regain compliance with the NASDAQ's minimum dollar price but has regained compliance (See RNW May 5) also noted that it would not be exercising the split option.
2010-05-11: BBC digital stations 6 Music and the BBC Asian Network, both of which are facing closure under costs cutting measures have picked up three Sony Radio Academy Gold Awards - two for 6 Music (Best Comedy and Rising Star Award for Jarvis Cocker) the Best Speech Programme for the Asian Network - with BBC Radio 4 taking five awards, BBC Radio 1 taking three and BBC 5 Live two as well as one Gold each for BBC Radios 2 and 3 and the World Service.
In terms of individuals Zane Lowe took Golds for Specialist Music Programme and Music Broadcaster of the Year but there was disappointment for Nick Ferrari, who was Speech Broadcaster of the Year last year and had been nominated in five categories but only managed to pick up a silver - for Best Speech Programme - and bronze award- for Speech Broadcaster of the Year: Amongst commercial broadcasters Bauer took three Gold awards including the Gold for Station of the Year Award for stations with a potential million plus audience for the second year running, this time for KISS 100: It won last year with Kerrang! 105.2
The full list of Gold Awards is:
UK Station of the Year - BBC Radio Five Live.
Digital Station of the Year - Planet Rock.
Station of the Year (One Million plus): Bauer's Kiss 100
Station of the Year (300,000 - 1 million) - BBC Radio Derby.
Station of the Year (up to 300,000) - Moray Firth Radio.
The Gold Award - Trevor Nelson
The Special Award - BFBS Radio (British Forces Broadcasting Service)
Programme & Production Awards:
Best Entertainment Programme - The Capital Breakfast Show - Global Radio's 95.8 Capital FM
Best Sports Programme - Sportsound - BBC Radio Scotland Sports for BBC Radio Scotland
Best News & Current Affairs Programme- Newshour - BBC World Service News & Current Affairs for BBC World Service
Breakfast Show of the Year (10 million plus) -BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million) - Dixie & Gayle, The Real Breakfast Show -GMG Radio's Real Radio Yorkshire
Best Speech Programme - Nihal on BBC Asian Network - BBC News for BBC Asian Network
Best Breaking News Coverage - Alzheimer's Tragedy - BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio Ulster.
Best Live Event Coverage - Absolute Blur - TBI Media with Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio (ultimately owned by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd).
Best Music Special - Elvis By Bono - White Pebble Media / Ten Alps Radio for BBC Radio 4.
Best News Special - Crossing Continents: Chechnya - BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio 4.
Best Feature - Archive on 4: Working for Margaret - Brook Lapping Productions for BBC Radio 4.
Best Comedy - Adam and Joe - BBC 6 Music/BBC Audio & Music for BBC 6 Music
Best Drama - People Snogging in Public Places - BBC Radio Drama for BBC Radio 3.
Best Community Programming - The New Ballads of Reading Gaol - BBC Radio Berkshire & Company Paradiso for BBC Radio Berkshire.
Best Internet Programme - Hackney Podcast - HackneyPodcast.co.uk.
Best Use of Branded Content - NME Radio for Skins Radio - NME Radio.
Best Single Promo/Commercial - Dear Stan - talkSPORT Creative for UTV's talkSPORT.
Best Promotional/Advertising Campaign - Vote Joe - Real Radio Programmes for GMG Radio's Real Radio North East.
Best Competition - Who's Calling Christian? - Absolute Radio (ultimately owned by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd).
Best Station Imaging - Oxfordshire's 106 JACK fm.
Music Radio Personality of the Year - Scott Mills - BBC Radio 1.
Music Broadcaster of the Year- Zane Lowe - BBC Radio 1.
News Journalist of the Year - Lyse Doucet - BBC World Service News & Current Affairs and BBC Newsgathering for BBC World Service.
Speech Radio Personality of the Year - Frances Finn - BBC Radio Nottingham
Speech Broadcaster of the Year - Sir David Attenborough - BBC Natural History Unit Radio for BBC Radio 4.
Best Specialist Contributor - Mark Kermode - BBC Radio 5 Live.
Best Interview - Jenni Murray interviews Sharon Shoesmith - Woman's Hour, BBC General Factual for BBC Radio 4
Station Programmer of the Year - Euan McMorrow - Bauer's Radio City 96.7
Rising Star Award - Jarvis Cocker- BBC 6 Music.
Previous Sony Awards (Sony 2009):
Sony Awards site:
2010-05-11: BIA Kelsey analyst and BIA Advisory Services SVP Mark Fratrik in his latest Digital Strategies for Broadcasters blog sounds an upbeat note about the prospects for US radio, noting the 9% revenue rise for CBS Radio in the first quarter (See RNW May 5) and continuing, "As most of you know, we've been somewhat optimistic about the radio industry for 2010 and this first quarter growth exceeds what we were expecting. The reasons for this stronger growth should come of no surprise: economic improvement; radio is a medium advertisers will continue to return to; and, because radio has been gently stepping into the online world where they are sure to reap returns. Let's be real, though. You can't have anything but substantially higher returns this year when you are on the heels of 2009's rock-bottom revenues."
Fratrik then goes on in a cautious mode noting that "2009 was such a bad year, any increase in revenues will show large percentage jumps "and then saying that after this year BI Kelsey believes "over-the-air advertising revenues will only grow in the 3-4% range moving forward. Not a bad thing, just not especially strong growth."
He also posts BIA/Kelsey's annual list of top radio ownership groups, noting that the top 15 companies were unchanged in 2009 compared to 2008 although there were some small changes in ranking and adds, "In fact, the same could be said of even four years ago. Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel, Cumulus, Entercom, are the perennials. What is interesting is that the industry decreased uniformly overall, with no clear out-of-the-box performer. We'll see a similar uniformity as these broadcasters get more involved in mobile, digital, and online endeavors and these same groups should continue as the leaders."
Fratrik also contrasts the number of stations that Clear Channel holds - 847 - with an average number of around 96 stations owned by the major groups mentioned and then adds, "We observe that groups in the 40-230 scale seems to have reached a valuable level of efficiency to help them maintain effective control, while also being be cost effective in purchasing equipment, testing things in the market, and being nimble enough to make change."
The top 15 groups listed by BIA/Kelsey in 2009 were:
1 - Clear Channel with 847 stations in 153 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 2.358 billion.
2 - CBS Radio with 130 stations in 29 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 1.260 billion.
3 - Citadel Broadcasting/ABC with 229 stations in 57 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 595.39 million.
4 - Cumulus Broadcast/Cumulus Media Partners with 340 stations in 68 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 412.775 million.
5 - Entercom with 112 stations in 24 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 384.550 million.
6- Cox Radio Inc with 85 stations in 19 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 362.45 million.
7- Univision with 70 stations in 20 markets and 2009 revenues of SUD 324.925 million.
8 - Radio One Inc. with 52 stations in 16 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 226.2 million.
9 - Bonneville International Corporation with 28 stations in 9 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 216.125 million.
10 - Emmis Communications with 23 stations in 7 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 182.775 million.
11 - Salem Communications with 95 stations in 35 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 165.1 million.
12 - Greater Media Inc with 23 stations in seven markets and 2009 revenues of USD 152.475 million.
13 - Spanish Broadcasting System with 20 stations in six markets and 2009 revenues of USD 134.25 million.
14 - Saga Communications with 91 stations in 14 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 107.875 million.
15 - Beasley Broadcast Group with 43 stations in 11 markets and 2009 revenues of USD 92.65 million.
2010-05-11:UK Media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin has said that it is considering sanctions including licence revocation against five stations, which went off the air in March this year: It also considered another radio standards complaint resolved through action taken by the student station concerned and upheld Standards complaints against a number of broadcasts of an adult chat TV service (Five in all). In addition it upheld four further TV complaints- two involving sponsorship and two others relating to retention of recordings; Access Service (subtitling) complaints involving two TV services; Advertising scheduling complaints against three TV channels that had exceeded the allowed advertising minutage (limited to 12 minutes per hour in the UK)
It recorded on Fairness and Privacy TV complaint that it did not uphold.
The radio case that may lead to revocation of licences involved five radio stations, whose parent company, South West Radio Ltd., is in administration.
The stations were held to have breached rules concerning control of the licences and also licence conditions requiring a service that has not been provided since the stations went off air in March this year.
The administrator had requested that the licences of Bath FM; Quay West Radio stations in Bridgewater and West Somerset; Brunel FM, Swindon; and 3TR FM (Three Towns Radio, Warminster) be transferred to Your Media Communications Group Ltd. (YMC), but Ofcom rejected the application.
Your Media had become involved in the running of the services and production of individual programmes and the administrator was reminded by Ofcom that control had to be retained by him under the UK Communications Act 2003.
The administrator in response to formal queries from Ofcom said that since selling the business and assets of the Licensees to YMC, he had retained no control or influence over the output or programming of any of the radio stations since 22 August 2009 and that YMC "has full control over the output and programming of the radio stations."
The services went off air on March 24 this year and Ofcom again contacted the administrator regarding breach of licence conditions by ending broadcasts but received no response.
Ofcom accordingly ruled that there had thus been a breach of the licence conditions, which was continuing as the services remained off air, and added that it was "now considering the most appropriate next steps, including possible revocation of the licences" and had formally notified the licensees of this.
Ofcom also considered a complaint involving Restricted Service station CUR1350 (Cambridge University Radio) resolved through action already taken by the broadcaster following a complaint about a music competition 'Music and Lyrics' that is run during its daily programme LunchBreak. In the case concerned no information was given about how the winning entrant would be selected - it goes to the contestant who submits the first correct answer but the complainant had assumed that the winner would be chosen at random from those who contacted the station to indentify a song that had been aired.
The station responded by saying that in this case the person scheduled to present the programme had cancelled at short notice and the replacement had not hosted the show solo before: It noted that the prize was only worth GBP 3 (USD 4.5)) and that there were no entry costs apart from a standard rate phone call or text and said that after the incident all presenters of the programme had been briefed on how they should present the competition.
Ofcom said it considered there had been no intent to deliberately mislead listeners and in view of the action taken to ensure compliance considered the matter resolved.
As well as these complaints, Ofcom also listed without details 533 TV complaints against 171 items and ten radio complaints against ten items it did not uphold: This compared to 268 TV complaints against 70 items and six radio complaints against six items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-05-10: Clear Channel Media Holdings has reported first quarter revenues up 5% on a year ago at USD 1.26 billion, although it notes that excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates the increase would have only been 2%.
Operating expenses were down by 5% - they would have been down by 7% but for the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates - and the company notes that they include approximately USD 19.3 million of restructuring charges related to the Company's restructuring program and USD 8.1 million of non-cash compensation expense
OIBDAN (Operating income before Depreciation and amortization, Non-cash compensation expense, and other operating income (expense) - net) was up by 50% to USD 260.8 million and consolidated net loss was down from USD 428 million in the first quarter of 2009 to USD 179.6 million.
In divisional terms radio revenues were up 3% to USD 623.2 million - driven primarily by increased national advertising; Americas Outdoor was effectively flat at USD 271 million; and International Outdoor was up 8% at USD 337.8 million with radio expenses down 8% to USD 429.1 million, Americas Outdoor expenses down 5% at USD 181.8 million and International Outdoor up 1% to USD 45.8 million.
Radio OIBDAN was up 41% to USD 194.1 million; US outdoor OIBDAN was up 13% to USD 89.2 million and International Outdoor OIBDAN was up 254% to USD 31.9 million.
CC Media Holdings President and CEO Mark Mays commented of the results, "The advertising rbound continued in the first quarter, with business trends improving across many of our markets. As our top line returns to growth, we are demonstrating significant improvement in our operating margin due to the positive impact of our restructuring program."
"Advertisers," he added, "are increasingly recognizing the need to target their core audiences as consumer purchasing activity rebounds and brand competition increases. Our global platform is second to none in delivering highly effective and efficient advertising campaigns in the out-of-home media market. As the economic outlook continues to brighten, we believe we can maximize returns from our businesses as a result of the steps we have taken to strengthen our management team, execute our cost restructuring program and strategically build our digital infrastructure. Given our strategic position and evolving market dynamics, we remain optimistic about our outlook in the year ahead."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-05-10: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced that CBS Corporation and FOX Broadcasting have rejoined it - Fox left more than a decade ago and CBS in 2001 amidst disagreements over national caps for the reach of a TV owning group.
The move brings back into the fold CBS's 29 TV stations and 130 radio stations plus Fox Television's 27 owned and operated TV stations and the MyNetworkTV programming service.
In a release NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith commented, "Today is a great day for broadcasting, for NAB, and for the tens of millions of Americans who rely every day on CBS, FOX and other broadcast programming for highly-valued content. Both CBS and FOX currently have superb advocacy arms in Washington. We are delighted by their vote of confidence in the NAB team, and we look forward to presenting a seamless display of broadcast unity inside the Beltway. Our challenges are many, but the mission of free and local broadcasting remains a worthy cause."
For CBS Martin D. Franks, Executive Vice President for Planning, Policy and Government Affairs, added, "As the media landscape evolves ever more rapidly, over-the-air broadcasting faces a number of clear opportunities and some significant challenges. One of the very best ways to address these issues is through a resurgent NAB under Gordon Smith's leadership. We look forward to adding CBS's voice to NAB's efforts to preserve and enhance broadcasting on behalf of the public we serve."
For Fox, Jack Abernethy, Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Stations, commented, "The interests of our industry, our company and our viewers are best served by speaking with one voice on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and in the Courts. We look forward to working with Gordon Smith and the other member companies of the NAB toward our common goal of enhancing the enduring values of over-the-air television."
2010-05-10: Emmis Communications in its 10K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its 2010 fiscal year to the end of February has reported revenues down by 21.2% on 2009 at USD 242.566 million - the 2009 revenues were down by 8.3 on 2008.
Within the figures domestic revenues were down 20.8% at USD 226.373 million (having fallen by 9.8% in 2009) and international revenues, which were up by 17.4% to USD 22.05 million in 2009, were down by 26.6% to USD 16.193 million: Emmis failed to get renewal of the licence for its Hungarian Sláger Radio last year (See RNW Nov 19, 2009) although it subsequently claimed as a "triumph" a court ruling that the award of the licence to the FM1 Consortium breached Hungarian law (See RNW Jan 19) and is now left with stations in Bulgaria (Radio FM+, Radio Fresh and Star FM) and Slovakia (Radio Expres), all of whose licences expire early in 2013. It lists its former radio operations in Hungary and Belgium and also its former Los Angeles TV Tu Ciudad Los Angeles and Emmis Books, as discontinued operations.
It put the fall in revenues down to "the precipitous decline of advertising spending in our domestic and international radio markets due to the global recession."
Operating expenses were also down - by 13.7% overall to USD 206.160 million and by 13% to USD 141.557 million for radio and by 15.4% to USD 64.03 million for publishing and a 2009 operating loss of 339.341 million including impairment charges of USD 373.137 million was down to an operating loss of USD 165.486 million including impairment charges of USD 174.462 million: Excluding the impairment charges operating income would have been USD 33.8 million in 2009 and USD 9.2 million in 2010.
Within the figures a 2009 radio operating loss of USD 281.774 million was halved - to USD 140.120 million and a publishing loss of USD 27.585 million was down by two-thirds to USD 9.200 million.
Overall Emmis reported a net loss of 118.492 million, down by nearly 60% on the 2009 loss of USD 249.953 million, mainly because of the reduction in impairment charges. Net Loss attributable to Common Shareholders was reduced from USD 309.202 million to USD 131.777 million (from USD 8.50 to 28 cents per diluted share).
In a note concerning its investment strategy, Emmis says that its ability to make acquisitions is significantly limited by its Credit Agreement [which] "imposes significant operating and financial restrictions on us" adding that that this currently limits "our ability to grow our business through acquisitions and could limit our ability to respond to market conditions or meet extraordinary capital needs."
It also notes that its regularly reviews its "portfolio of assets and may opportunistically dispose of assets when we believe it is appropriate to do so" and adds, "In particular, we have one radio station in New York City and two radio stations in Chicago where we believe the sale value could exceed the prospects for cash flow generation as part of our portfolio. Although we remain optimistic about the growth potential of these stations, as the market for buying and selling radio stations improves, we may from time to time explore sales of one or more of these stations."
It also says that the interests of its President and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan, who controls 65% of the voting stock in the company could conflict with those of other investors: In April Smulyan, who tried to take the company private in 2006, launched another bid to take it private, this time through a tie-up with private asset management company Alden Capital (See RNW Apr 26).
2010-05-09: Last week was yet another where issues of broadband and spectrum in general got more attention from the regulators than broadcasting and there were few radio announcements - none from the UK, only one each from Australia and Ireland, and only a few in North America.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one radio posting, finding that Prime Radio (Cairns-AM) Pty Ltd, the licensee of commercial station 4EL Cairns (Radio 4CA), breached Australia's commercial radio advertising standard during the John Mackenzie Show by failing to present advertising material in a manner that was clearly distinguishable from other program material.
The ACMA had investigated the broadcast on the show of paid appearances of the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Ms Val Shier, on the Ask the Mayor segment of the John Mackenzie Show: It found that a substantial purpose of the paid appearances of the Mayor was to promote the Cairns Regional Council's products and services and ruled that as payment had been provided by the Council for the appearance, it 'crossed the line' from the promotion of its community services to rate payers, to paid advertising.
It commented that as the licensee is undertaking remedial measures, the ACMA will not take any further action in relation to this investigation and added that the ACMA is considering the paid on-air radio appearances as part of its current review of the commercial radio standards.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved an application by Powell River Community Radio Society for authority to acquire from Powell River Model Community Project for Persons with Disabilities (PRMCP) the assets of the English-language low-power Type B community FM, CJMP-FM Powell River. The purchase price is CAD 5,000 (USD 4,800) and payment of tangible benefits is not required.
In Ontario it renewed the licence of Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CIKZ-FM, Kitchener, but denied a request to reduce the minimum percentage of Canadian musical selections in content category 2 broadcast between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday from 40% to 35%.
As already noted there wwas only one radio postings in Ireland - a Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) decision to award in principle a community licence to West Limerick Community Radio Limited - and none in the UK.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continued to devote its main attention to broadband but it also posted a number of radio enforcement decisions including the substitution of a consent decree (involving the same payment) for a USD 6,000 penalty on CBS Radio in connection with a "competition" where a host had announced a prize of USD 1 million and a USD 10,000 penalty on a Florida pirate station operator (See RNW May 3 for both)
The agency also posted details of a number of radio licensing decision including:
Posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, with a June 24 deadline for comment and July 9 deadline for replies relating to an application filed by Educational Media Foundation proposing to allocate Channels 224C2 and 232C2 at Fairbanks, Alaska, for which it said it would bid at auction if they are allowed.
Denied informal objection from ROI Broadcasting, Inc. to the grant of Saga Communications of New England, LLC's application to modify the licence of its FM translator station W277BS, Ithaca. ROI claimed that Saga was using the translator station to circumvent the FCC's local ownership rules by using its two additional digital ("HD") programming streams in combination with its "high-power" FM translators to effectively create two new FM stations in the Ithaca Metro. The FCC said Saga was not breaching its rules and denied the objection.
Re-issued license of Simply Living's licence for low power FM Station WCRS-LP, Columbus, to restore operating hours set out in a time share agreement: Bexley Public Radio Foundation, licensee of LPFM station WCRX-LP, Columbus and party to a time-sharing agreement with Simply Living in relation to WCRS-LP, had objected to an August 2008 re-issuance, which extended Simply Living's hours of operation on the basis that because Simply Living failed to obtain the written consent of each party to the Time Share Agreement before modifying its operating hours and requested re-instatement of the hours as set out in the time share agreement.
Simply Living argued that the FCC had the power to modify the operating hours and said that to revert to its previous operating hours after a year of expanded operations would harm its viability.
The FCC agreed with Bexley that the hours set out in the time share agreement should be restored, voided the original re-issuance and issued the licence to reflect the time share.
Granted petition from Liberman Broadcasting of Dallas License LLC, licensee of KNOR-FM, Krum to remove from the station's Construction Permit a condition that prohibits Liberman from implementing operations until Susquehanna Radio Corporation initiates broadcasts of its KIKT-FM from Cooper instead of Greenville.
Liberman argued that that Susquehanna has warehoused its frequency allotment at Cooper and continues to operate the formerly licensed KIKT facilities at Greenville, Texas, pursuant to an "implied STA (Special Temporary Authorization)." It requested that the Commission cancel this authorization and compel Susquehanna to move KIKT-FM- to the Cooper Facilities in order to permit Liberman to move forward with its KNOR-FM upgrade.
Susquehanna opposed the petition, saying that it is not subject to any order that requires construction of the Cooper Facilities by any specific date and also mentions financial hardships and its inability to reach agreement with Liberman regarding a payment to facilitate the KIKT-FM modification.
The FCC said that under its rules stations operating with an STA are entitled to no protection from operating stations, construction permits, pending applications or subsequently filed applications: It added that when Cumulus Media Partners, LLC gained control of KIKT-FM in May 2006 (when it took over Susquehanna Radio) it was fully aware that the Station's continued operations in Greenville received no protection under the Commission's technical rules.
It ruled in favour of Liberman being allowed to go ahead, noted that Cumulus/Susquehanna's permit requires completion of construction of the Cooper Facilities no later than December 28, 2012, but denied a request from Liberman to cancel Cumulus/Susquehanna's STA although it added that if Cumulus/Susquehanna fails to expeditiously complete construction of the Cooper facilities it will consider cancellation of the STA.
Denied petition from St. Francis Xavier Gift Shop for reconsideration of staff dismissal of its application for a new non commercial educational (NCE) FM in Wenatchee: The application was one of four mutually exclusive applications and Spokane Public Radio's application for a new NCE FM Brewster, Washington, had been given preference.
Dismissed because it was filed too late a petition from Powell Meredith Communications Co. to reconsider its denial of an application to modify the construction permit of Station KHNY-AM, Big Horn, Wyoming -to specify Huntley, Montana, as the community of license.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2010-05-08: Bidding in India's 3G spectrum auction closed on Saturday with bids approaching INR 13,000 crore (INR 130 billion - USD 2.937 billion - a crore is 10 million) and spectrum in Mumbai and Delhi above INR 2,000 crore (USD 451.8 million) and above INR 1,000 crore (USD 225.9 million) in six other areas.
Topping the rankings is Mumbai where bids on Saturday after 25 days and 143 rounds are now at INR 2,315.79 crore (USD 523.1 million) followed by Delhi at INR 2,208.59 (USD 498.9 million) and Karnataka at INR 1,374.51 crore (USD 310.5 million)
The other areas where bids are now above INR 1,000 crore are Tamil Nadu at 1,171.75 crore (USD 264.7 million);Maharashtra at INR 1,127.47 crore (USD 254.7 million); Andhra Pradesh at INR 1,070.84 crore (USD 241.9 million) and Gujarat at INR 1,023.86 crore (USD 231.3 million).
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-07: Univision has announced first quarter revenues up 10.6% on a year earlier at USD 453.7 million led by TV, whose revenues were up 13% to USD 280.1 million whilst radio was down 3.3% to USD 64.3 million; Interactive was up 24% from the low start of USD 7.5 million to USD 9.3 million.
Adjusted OIBDA (Operating Income Before Depreciation And Amortization) was up 17.2% to USD 180.3 million within which TV up 18.7% to USD 172.2 million, radio was down 1.9% to USD 10.1 million and Interactive Media had a loss of USD 2.0 million compared to a loss of USD 1.6 million for Internet a year earlier.
Operating income was up 34.7% to USD 138.3 million and a 2009 Q1 loss from continuing operations of USD 54.3 million was cut to a loss of USD 3.2 millions with a net loss of USD 55.2 millions was cut to a net loss of UD 3.4 millions
President and CEO Joe Uva commented, "We have continued to see a recovery in the advertising market in the first quarter and are expecting to benefit from the upswing due to a heightened interest in reaching our target demographic. Our first quarter results continue to prove that Univision's leading television, radio and interactive platforms are the undisputed first choice in reaching the rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic consumer group - a group which currently represents purchasing power equivalent to the 14th largest consumer economy globally."
"During the quarter," he added, "we announced an important strategic realignment that more clearly defines and organizes our approach to news and entertainment, allowing Univision to expand the impact of our news operations across all platforms while continuing to strengthen our unmatched entertainment offerings."
2010-05-07: St Louis has joined the ranks of US cities losing its classical music station with the approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the sale by Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of KFUO-FM to Gateway Creative Broadcasting, which airs Christian Contemporary pop music as Joy FM on KPVR - FM in Bowling Green and KHZR-FM in Potosi.
The St Louis Post Dispatch says that the contract for the deal - for USD 18 million plus around USD 8 million in interest - calls for closing as soon as five days after the approval but adds that Vicki Biggs, the synod's director of public affairs and media relations, said in a statement, "The transfer will take effect at a mutually agreeable time that has not yet been determined. It is not likely to happen within five days."
Payment is to be spread over a decade - Gateway paid USD 150,000 when it signed the contract and is to pay USD 1.35 million at closing with smaller payments until a final payment of USD 14 million is made in the tenth year.
There was significant objection to the sale and a number petitions opposing the sale were filed with the FCC alleging amongst other things Gateway's lack of financial qualifications; an illegal arrangement that would allow the synod to retain an interest in the station's HD channel; missing required documentation; violations of FCC anti-discrimination laws by not offering to all buyers; and damage to the arts community with the loss of the station and its classical format.
The synod dropped its interest in the HD channel and provided the relevant documentation and other objections were dismissed by the agency.
Donna Wilkinson of the Radio Arts Foundation Board, one of the bodies filing petitions (See RNW Dec 2, 2009), told the paper, "We're disappointed, but we have been in the process of exploring other options for quite some time," and added that the foundation was "very committed to keeping a classical radio station to serve the St. Louis community and region. This will probably accelerate our efforts."
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra president Fred Bronstein said that the approval, "with its intended ultimate demise of the classical music format, is a sad event for St. Louis. What is heartening is how hard so many people in this community fought to save the station." The orchestra's final live concert broadcast is taking place on Saturday night on the station.
St Louis Post Dispatch report:
2010-05-06: Salem Communications has announced first quarter revenues down 0.7% on a year ago at USD 48.3 million with operating expenses were down 1.2% to USD 40.2 million and operating income from continued operations down 9.2% to USD 8.1 million.
EBITDA was down 9.6% to USD 11.6 million - adjusted EBITDA fell 7.7% to USD 12.0 million - and net income was down from USD 2.9 million a year earlier to USD 200,000 (From 12 cents to one cent per diluted share).
Its broadcasting revenues were down 2.3% to USD 41.4 million - Same station net broadcast revenue decreased 2.5% to USD 41.3 million - whilst non-broadcast revenuesUSD 4.50.were up 10.4% to USD 6.9 million; station operating income was down 2.3% to USD 15.4 million;
Salem noted that this year's figures included USD 300,000 non-cash compensation related to the expensing of stock options compared to USD 100,000 for this in the first quarter of 2009 when the figures also included a USD 100,000 benefit related to the change in fair value of our interest rate swaps.
It also noted that at the end of March it had net debt of USD 293.9 million and was in compliance with the covenants of its credit facility and bond indenture.
Looking ahead to the second quarter it is projecting total revenue to increase 3% to 5% over second quarter 2009 total revenue of USD 50.5 million and operating expenses before gain or loss on disposal of assets, terminated transaction costs and abandoned license upgrades and impairments to increase 3% to 6% as compared to the second quarter of 2009 operating expenses of USD 40.6 million.
The markets marked the company up - its stock ended the day 8./7% higher at
2010-05-06: Entercom has reported first quarter revenues up 7% on a year earlier at USD 80.8 million - same station revenues were up 8% - with station expenses up 1% to USD 59.2 million, operating income up 28% to USD 21.6 million - same station operating income was up 30% - and EBITDA up 34% to USD 17.3 million.
Net income was down from USD 5.336 million to USD 4.2 million (From 15cents to 12 cents per basic and diluted share).
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO David J. Field said "I am very pleased to report strong first quarter results as we capitalized on improving business conditions. For the quarter, Entercom delivered an 8% increase in same station net revenues, a 34% increase in EBITDA and a 135% increase in Free Cash Flow. Innovation within our Company and the industry is enhancing our appeal to our listeners and customers at the same time as radio continues to post outstanding audience listening levels and remains the most cost-effective reach medium."
Entercom shares were down 7.56% on Thursday to close at USD 12.71
2010-05-06: Indian media company DB Corporation, which publishes seven newspapers in 11 states, has announced that it is to move its radio business from its subsidiary Synergy Media Entertainment Ltd (SMEL) into itself.
The radio business owns 17 FM stations operating under the MY FM brand and myiris.com quoted SMEL CEO Harrish Bhatia as saying of the move, "The restructuring proposed with DB Corp reinforces our growing confidence in the growth potential of the radio business. Our ability to achieve EBITDA breakeven this year, driven by a top line growth of around 30% in the shortest period of time of launch of its all stations and in an aggressive media foray, reflects our growing position and strong value proposition to customers."
DB Corp owns DBCL holds a 56.82% stake in SMEL and its board has approved a share issue ratio of 10:1 for the demerger: It cannot issue shares to itself because of the controlling holding.
Previous Indian Radio:
2010-05-06: Macquarie Radio Network has updated its predicted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the 2009-10 fiscal year upwards from AUD 8 million (USD 7.2 million) to AUD 9.5 million (USD 8.6 million), primarily because of stronger advertising revenues from its Sydney market-leading station 2GB: In 2008/09It reported normalised EBITDA of AUD 6.5 million (Currently USD 5.9 million).
Chairman Russell Tate said that last year "like everyone, I suspect, we were reasonably conservative with our forward projections."
The Australian also reports that the company is looking at ways to boost the signal strength of its Melbourne Talk Radio, which was launched last month in a joint venture with Pacific Star Network (See RNW Apr 20 ) as part of investment plans for the three-week-old station.
The paper did not give any details as to options being considered. The new station is competing against long-time Melbourne market leading station 3AW, owned by Fairfax Media and Tate commented of its performance, "It's very, very early days but I'm absolutely delighted with the content. I think we have invested pretty wisely in the talent and we will continue to invest in all sorts of things, including the signal strength. MTR uses the old 3MP signal. It is one of the weaker AM signals."
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
The Australian report:
2010-05-05: CBS Corporation has reported first quarter revenues up 12% on a year ago at USD 3.53 billion "led by 19% growth at Local Broadcasting, 15% growth at Entertainment, which included the 2010 telecast of Super Bowl XLIV on the CBS Television Network, and 8% growth at Cable Networks."
Within the local broadcasting figures TV revenues were up 29% to USD 323.7 and radio was up 9% to USD 282.7 million with revenues in the ten largest radio markets up 15%.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization ("OIBDA") was up 40% to USD 351.3 million and Adjusted operating income was up 94% to USD 210.5 million.
An adjusted net loss of USD 36 million a year earlier became adjusted net income of USD 34.3 million (from a loss of five cents to income of five cents per diluted share.) and a reported net loss of USD 55.3 million for the first quarter of 2009 was reduced to a net loss of USD 26.2 million (From a loss of eight cents to a loss of four cents per diluted share).
Commenting on the figures, Executive chairman Sumner Redstone said, "I could not be more pleased with how CBS performed in the first quarter of this year, and I'm confident that Leslie (President and CEO Leslie Moonves) and his management team will build on this success as the economy continues to recover. We've focused on strengthening our already solid financial position, building new efficiencies throughout the Company, and investing in our top-quality content businesses and I look forward to all that we will do to build on these accomplishments this year and beyond."
Moonves added, "We got off to a tremendous start in 2010, as our businesses across the Company capitalized on the improving operating environment. Network television is enjoying a robust scatter market, and with CBS in first place, we will be able to monetize what promises to be a very active Upfront the economic recovery has also been a boon to our expanding Interactive platform, and our local TV and radio operations, which are in the midst of a dramatic upswing. Ad sales and pacing for these businesses have been up sharply so far this year, and we expect political advertising to heat up as the November elections approach. "
In other US broadcast business news Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has now formally confirmed that the NASDAQ Stock Market has told it that it is now in compliance with the market's dollar minimum closing bid price requirement: As we noted last month when Sirius XM regained compliance, SBS stock had moved above the dollar closing price on the same dates and thus would have regained compliance at the same time (See RNW Apr 27).
2010-05-05:Australian multilingual broadcaster SBS and Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) have announced that a regional DAB+ digital radio trial - to be funded by SBS and commercial radio broadcasters, Capital Radio, ARN and Austereo - is to be launched Canberra, the country's federal capital, in early July this year: Planning is also under way for a further trial in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory, and CRA says it is also considering trials in Townsville in Queensland and Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
Ten services will be available in the Canberra trial - Capital Radio Network's 2CA and 2CC plus two additional services to be announced; Austereo/Australian Radio Network's Mix 106.3 FM and 104.7 fm plus two additional services to be announced; and SBS Radio 1, Radio 2, Pop Asia and Chill.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner said the first regional trial of DAB+ - transmissions are already on air in Sydney, Melbourne. Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth - is the next step in making digital radio services available to all Australians
"In 2009, " she added "Nielsen research showed 32% of commercial radio listening occurs in the car. In order to ensure rapid integration of digital radio into cars, the automotive industry needs a clear signal from the Federal Government that DAB+ digital radio will roll out across the country. The ability to advertise and promote the sale of digital radios in all markets is also important to ensure the ongoing support of the retail sector."
In the initial stage of the Canberra trial, a relatively low power signal will be transmitted from the Broadcast Australia transmission tower on Black Mountain and in a second phase the trial signal will be retransmitted into Parliament House to allow Federal politicians to experience digital radio first hand.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-05-05: Bidding in India's 3G spectrum offer topped INR 11,000 crore (110 billion - - a crore is 10 million) on Wednesday after 22 days and 128 rounds and will recommence on Thursday at INR 1105 crore (INR 110.5 billion rupees - USD 2.46 billion).
Mumbai remains the most costly area with bidding reaching INR 1,909.18 crore (USD 431.2 million) followed by Delhi at INR 1,845.11 crore (USD 416.8 million) and Maharashtra at INR 1,051.64 crore (USD 237.6 million).
After that only fourth-ranked Karnataka is also above 1,000 crore - its total was INR 1,030.69 Crore (USD 232.8 million) and at the bottom end Himachal Pradesh plus Jammu and Kashmir remain at their opening price of INR 30 crore (USD 6.78 million) .
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-04: Sirius XM Radio has reported first quarter pro forma revenues up 11% on a year earlier at USD 670.6 million with pro forma adjusted income from operations up 45% to USD 670.6 million, and as already announced had 18,944,199 subscribers at the end of the quarter, up 344,765 from a year earlier and up 171,441 from 18,772,758 at the end of 2009.
Overall the company reported net income of USD 41.6 million compared to a year ago net loss of USD 52.6 million and net income attributable to common stockholders of USD 41.6 million compared to a net loss of USD 238.8 million a year earlier (From a loss of seven cents to income of one cent per basic and diluted share) on total revenues of USD 663.8 million, up from USD 587 million a year earlier.
The company said pro forma average revenue per subscriber (ARPU), which includes the U.S. Music Royalty Fee, was USD 11.48, an increase of 10% from pro forma ARPU of USD 10.48 in the first quarter 2009and its self-pay monthly customer churn rate was 2.0% in the first quarter 2010, compared with self-pay monthly customer churn of 2.2% in the first quarter 2009.
It also noted that Programming and content costs decreased 6%, or USD 6.2 million, in the three months ended March 31, 2010 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2009 due mainly to savings on certain content agreements and production costs, partially offset by increases in personnel costs and general operating expenses.
Looking ahead the company says it expects net subscriber additions of over 500,000 for the full year and continues to expect to record more than USD 2.7 billion of pro forma revenue in 2010 and to achieve pro forma adjusted income from operations of approximately USD 550 million. Free cash, which went from a loss of USD 3.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 to a loss of USD 127.2 million it added "is expected to remain positive for the full year (The company's English and figures in its release: We don't quite see how a loss remains positive!).
Chief executive Mel Karmazin said of the results, "Continued positive subscriber growth, double-digit growth in revenue, and a sharp focus on costs resulted in the highest quarterly adjusted operating income in the company's history. As the leader in audio entertainment, these results show the tremendous appeal of our service and the strength of our business model. The continuing recovery of the automotive sector and expanding signs of increased consumer spending are encouraging signs for the company's growth prospects."
CFO David Frear highlighted the company's ability to retire debt, noting that it had already announced that it was to redeem all of the remaining USD 114 million of XM's outstanding 10% Senior PIK Secured Notes due 2011 (See RNW Apr 29) and continuing, "Our strong cash position, strong year-to-date subscriber growth and the improving outlook for the economy have put us in position to retire USD 175 million of high cost obligations a year ahead of schedule. The early retirement of the PIK Notes and the deferred payments will reduce interest expense and increase our free cash flow."
At the company's conference call Karmazin skirted round issues of the future of Howard Stern's show, saying that the best way to find out what Stern was thinking about his contract renewal was to listen to his show: Stern had said earlier this year that he was considering replacing Simon Cowell on the American Idol TV Show (See RNW Feb 8) having earlier suggested that he might not renew his contract with Sirius XM but has been quiet on the issue recently.
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-05-04: Digital station BBC 6 Music, currently slated for closure under BBC management cost-cutting proposals, has announced that the late John Peel's son Tom Ravenscroft is to take over the Friday 2100-midnight slot on the station from Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson from June 4.
Ravenscroft, who is 30, commented in a BBC release that he was "I'm thrilled that 6 Music have asked me to present a weekly show" and added "It's great to be offered a home on a station with such amazing DJs, who open your ears to lots of exciting music, both new and old. I intend to do the same and can't wait to get started."
6 Music Editor Paul Rodgers said Ravenscroft "a great young broadcaster with all the knowledge, passion and articulacy that you might expect from someone of his lineage. Tom is much sought-after and we are thrilled that he thinks that 6 Music is the best way for him to reach his audience."
At BBC Radio 2 announcements have been made of two-stand ins this month: The station's breakfast show is currently being hosted by Graham Norton for this week and next whilst Chris Evans is on holiday and former Capital Radio breakfast host Chris Tarrant, who also hosts the TV "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" show is to stand in for Steve Wright in the latter's afternoon show for the week of May 17-21.
2010-05-04: UTV in its Annual Report says that no bonuses were paid in 2009 - a year when the company's operating profits excluding exceptional items fell by 16.3% - lists a 1.8% remuneration increases for chief executive John McCann to GBP 450,000 (USD 686,000) and of 4.3% to GBP 290,000 (USD 442,000) for radio chief executive Scott Taunton.
Non-executive directors' remuneration was unchanged except for the amount for one director who joined the board part-way through 2008 and included GBP 119,000 (USD 181,000) for non-executive chairman John McGuckian.
The overall remuneration for all directors - down by 14.5% to GBP 1.32 million (USD 2.01 million), largely because of the departure of one director who had cost GBP 397,000 (USD 605,000) in 2008 whilst a new director appointed in 2009 cost only GBP 136, 000 (USD 208,000). .
2010-05-04: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that what it termed "Mild Sexual Discussion" aired in the "Josie & The City" segment of Ottawa CIHT-FM (Hot 89.9)'s morning show a year ago did not violate Canadian Broadcasters' Code of Ethics.
In the show concerned, Josie talked about the Oprah Winfrey Show and how it was featuring more sexual topics in order to boost ratings, said the "O" now stood for "orgasm" and mentioned an episode of Oprah in which sex therapist Doctor Laura Berman had suggested that young females be introduced to vibrators so that they don't rely on males for pleasure.
Male co-host Rush responded, "Hey, we can't shake that fast" and the exchange led to a complaint from a listener who said that that he was driving his children, aged 13 and 10 when the segment aired and commented that the "way beyond the realms of what I consider to be appropriate for a station whose primary demographic includes pre-teen and teen listeners" and said warnings should be given of such discussions.
The station responded by saying its "target demographic is females 25 to 34, and, as a result, our conversations are often considered inappropriate for younger listeners" and as the programme was living it did not give warnings.
The listener then took his complaint to the CBSC which in its ruling said that although t had "considerable sympathy for the position of the father driving his daughter to school" and had found "considerable sexual banter that is on the edge" in this exchange but nothing that went over it.
2010-05-04: Scottish police have still made no arrests in connection with the removal of a Lanarkshire station's transmitter from the 17th floor of an office block in Hamilton whilst the station was on air.
The Daily Record reported that Lanarkshire L107 is the subject of a bitter dispute between its former and current owners, having been taken over after claims that former major shareholder Alan Shields had failed to pay creditors and DJS.
New owner John Prendergast who bought out the shareholding of DJ Scottie McClue and offered cash guarantees to creditors and staff commented of the incident, "It would be like something out of the Keystone Kops, if it was not so serious. What we know is that two men got into the office building saying they were from L107 and gained access to the room where the transmitter was."
After the station went off air he said "Maintenance guys checked the roof of the County Buildings and found the antenna was still in place. But when they checked the transmitter room, they found it was gone. What the people responsible did not know though was that the council has recently installed a state-of-the art CCTV system." "
The transmitter is valued at GBP 50,000 (USD 75,000). The station's web site currently just has a message "Opps!...try back later."
Daily Record report:
L107 web site:
2010-05-03: Regent Communications' new owners have wasted no time in making changes since they gained formal control of the company and have announced a name change to Townsquare Media, Inc. and the appointment of a new CEO and Chief Financial Officer.
Despite earlier statements about retaining senior Regent executives William Stakelin and Anthony Vasconcellos have resigned as President and CEO and CFO respectively to be replaced by Steven Price, co-founder of media investment firm FiveWire Ventures as chairman and CEO and FiveWire co-founder Stuart Rosenstein, who becomes Executive Vice President as well as CFO of the Company.
In a news release, Price commented, "Stuart and I are pleased to join Townsquare Media and look forward to building, through internal growth and acquisitions, a leading provider of local media, entertainment and commerce in small and mid-sized markets," said Mr. Price. "The radio business is undergoing massive change and we are excited to invest in and build upon Townsquare Media's leadership positions in its markets to develop a new media business for the 21st century, focused on local media across multiple platforms."
Rosenstein added, "I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the Townsquare team as it starts a new chapter and concentrates on expanding its audience, serving advertisers and driving innovative digital products. Together, we are focused on strengthening the Company's operational execution and creating value for all of our stakeholders, particularly our clients, employees and investors."
The majority stake in the new company is held by Oaktree Capital Management whose Senior Vice President Andrew Salter said, "We are excited about this partnership and the new leadership at Townsquare Media. At the same time, we thank Bill and Tony for their longstanding service to the Company and their stewardship during the bankruptcy process. As we focus on the future, we look forward to building a market-leading, valuable media business with Steven and Stuart."
Stakelin commented in the release, "Tony and I are both very proud of our accomplishments at Regent, which has consistently performed as a radio industry leader due primarily to the outstanding abilities of our employees. We wish the Company well and wish the new owners and management team well with their decision to take the Company in a new direction. (RNW question - we wonder how large a cheque was being clenched between his teeth?)"
The company has also posted open letters to its advertisers and vendors detailing the new ownership of the company, the backgrounds of the new executives, the new name and ending, "Ultimately, our restructuring and management change should benefit your business as well, ensuring that as we move forward we can do business with our vendors on the same terms and conditions as in the past. We appreciate and sincerely value our business relationship and look forward to continuing to work with you. We know that at times like these, it is important that we communicate quickly, completely and in a coordinated fashion with all of our constituencies."
Townsquare which as Regent emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week and announced a new board that included Stakelin (See RNW April 27) operates 62 radio stations in 13 mid-sized markets,
Previous Regent (Now Townsquare Media):
2010-05-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a Consent Decree with CBS Radio in which it cancels a USD 6,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) issued last year in relation to a "contest" aired on KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh, but the company pays the same amount to the US Treasury and also institutes a compliance plan that includes a memorandum to all relevant employees explaining the FCC's Licensee-Conducted Contest Rule, sets out procedures to avoid violations, and also institutes training in relation to the rules. CBS is to file compliance reports 90 days, two years, and three years from the date of the Decree.
The NAL was issued following a complaint that host Marty Griffin had announced that he would give away one million dollars to the thirteenth caller, and that he would give away "a million an hour thereafter but that the complainant, who had been told he was the 13th caller, was later told that there was no such prize and that the comments were made as a joke (See RNW Feb 6, 2009).
CBS argued that the comments were at most a "harmless prank" that was neither a contest nor a hoax prohibited under the Commission's rules.
The FCC also issued a USD 10,000 forfeiture to a Florida pirate operator, Balthazard Senat, of Orlando. It had sent him a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture of this amount in March to which it received no response.
2010-05-03: According to the UK Sunday Times, the BBC World Service is bracing itself for budget cuts of up to a quarter in the next budget covering the three years that start in April 2011.
The paper says the Foreign Office, which funds the service, had indicated a reduction of between 18% and 25% in the GBP 272 million (USD 414 million) annual budget and quotes an unnamed World Service source as saying the effect of a 25% cut would be "pretty much terminal."
The service had already axed a number of radio services, most recently in South Asia (See RNW Feb 24, 2009) before which it ended its Romanian service in June 2008 (See RNW Jun 26, 2008) and this year a drop in the value of the pound has caused a funding shortfall leading to it being asked to trim its budget by GBP 7.7 million (USD 11.7 million).
The paper adds that BBC sources say that the BBC Arabic and Persian TV services are vulnerable because they cost GBP 34 million (USD 52 million) a year between them and that more minority language services may also be at risk. A large number of language services were dropped in changes in 2005 that included the launch of the Arabic TV channel (See RNW Oct 26, 2005).
UK Sunday Times report:
2010-05-03: Tribune Company has announced that Ed Wilson, its Chief Revenue Officer and president of its broadcasting division, it stepping down from the posts and will become a consultant to the company.
His departure will leave Jerry Kersting, who was named chief operating officer of Tribune Broadcasting in December, as the division's top ranking executive. He joined the company in 2008 as Executive Vice President, having previously served as EVP and CFO for Clear Channel Radio for nine years (See RNW Apr 18, 2008)
Commenting on the move, Wilson said in a Tribune release, "The time is right for both the company and me to make this move. It has been an amazing ride since I came onboard and I'm grateful to (Tribune Co. Chief Executive) Randy Michaels for giving me this opportunity. The future for Tribune is a bright one."
Michaels commented, "Jerry's done a great job since becoming COO of our broadcast group. He's smart, innovative and driven-our stations have been expanding news, adding new programming and building audience. WGN America is stronger than ever. Jerry's leadership will keep us on the right path and drive even better results."
Also in Chicago, Alison Scholly, who left Chicago Tribune Interactive as vice president and general manager in August 2008, has been named to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer of Chicago Public Media, the parent of WBEZ-FM and Vocalo.
Previous Tribune Co.:
2010-05-02: Yet again the main regulatory news last week came from the US and yet again it was related to broadband but in this case to do with proposed rules concerning the use of wireless spectrum next to that of Sirius XM for broadband purposes, rules that Sirius XM says could cause "crippling" interference to its service.
Elsewhere things were very quiet again with only one radio announcement from Australia where the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one radio announcement - of plants to make FM frequency available for ABC NewsRadio to serve Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Kempsey on the North Coast of New South Wales.
The service is scheduled to start in 2012 as part of phase three of the ABC's rollout of NewsRadio.
In addition the ACMA is to make spectrum available for a new community radio broadcasting service to serve Coffs Harbour and also to make a new FM frequency available to the commercial radio broadcasting service 2HC, to rectify deficient coverage in the town of Woolgoolga, located to the north of Coffs Harbour.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted only one radio decision - to allow Radio Mégantic ltée to increase the power of its CJLP-FM, Disraeli, which transmits the service of CKLD-FM, Thetford Mines, Quebec, from 57.2 to 114.4 watts.
The CRTC also posed notices concerning various applications received: The first, with a June 3 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, included one radio application - from Salt Spring Island Radio Corporation to decrease the power of its CFSI-FM, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, from 3,300 watts to 1,300 watts. The CRTC noted that the change reflects the technical parameters established following construction of the transmission facilities and that there would be a significant reduction in the coverage area.
The second, with a June 4 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, also included one radio application - from La radio communautaire de LaSalle to relocate its studios and its transmitter site to zone LaSalle City Hall and to change the antenna's radiation pattern from omni-directional to directional, reduce its power from 250 to 110 watts, and increase the antenna height. The changes it says will improve the signal quality.
In Ireland there was only one posting from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) - of its latest complaints rulings in which it upheld two radio complaints (See RNW May 1) and in the UK Ofcom also made only one radio related posting - of its latest Broadcasting Bulletin in which it upheld radio complaints (See RNW Apr 26)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as already noted, has launched a Spectrum Task Force with chairman Julius Genachowski commenting on the need for it, "To lead the world in mobile, the FCC must ensure that our nation's spectrum is being put to its highest and best use. Maximizing this essential 21st century resource will create jobs, drive economic growth, and encourage innovation and investment. The FCC's National Broadband Plan lays out a comprehensive roadmap for promoting greater spectrum efficiency and flexibility, and ensuring sufficient spectrum for broadband. The Spectrum Task Force will keep us on this charted course."
On the tentative agenda for its May 20 Open Meeting, which is primarily devoted to various telecommunications issues, is its "WCS-SDARS Report and Order" that the agenda says, "enables robust mobile broadband use of 25 MHz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) band while protecting neighbouring incumbent operations."
Unsurprisingly Sirius XM Radio, which does not benefit from FCC plans, which would ease restrictions on power levels that could be used by companies that won spectrum to use it for mobile wireless internet, is opposing the plan. A dispute about power levels and potential interference has prevented holders of the WCS spectrum from rolling out their services and Sirius XM has been involved in a lobbying effort with automakers to prevent the planned changes.
As well as automakers including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Land Rover and Toyota, the American Trucking Association is amongst those who have supported Sirius XM, commenting in a letter on the value of the service to truckers and adding, "The 'return on investment' made by trucking companies and drivers outfitting trucks with SDARS is dependent on continuous high quality, uninterrupted transmission " and in March Howard Stern took up the issue on his Sirius XM show (he based his comments on a Satwaves article "Will The FCC Interfere With Sirius XM Yet Again?- available here) , suggesting that the FCC seemed to be going after him in any way possible.
Sirius XM also commissioned and submitted to the FCC a technical analysis of potential interference (Technical Analysis of the Impact of Adjacent Service Interference to the Sirius XM Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services (SDARS)- here on the FCC web site) prepared by Dr. Theodore S. Rappaport of the Telisite Corporation and the William and Bettye Nowlin Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin
Rappaport, who in 2000 had performed an analysis for groups wishing to develop low-power FM (LPFM) and testified before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection that far more people (between 64 and 680 times as many) would benefit from LPFM than the maximum of 1.6% of potential listeners who might suffer from any interference to existing FM stations, has in this case argued that there could be "crippling" interference with the satellite radio service.
Sirius says his study demonstrates that the proposed FCC rules will "unacceptably reduce the availability of satellite radio services, causing disruptive muting to a significant portion of satellite radio users."
It also says that Rappaport's "findings confirm that there is a possible technical solution that will allow robust deployment of mobile broadband services in the WCS spectrum while also protecting satellite radio" and adds that "also conclusively demonstrate that the proposed rules in the Staff Public Notice are not consistent with that optimum solution."
Rappaport comments on the differences between cellular systems, which he says have signal levels that allow them to both intrasystem and interservice interference" whilst "Satellite systems operate with very low link margins and are thus unable to tolerate even moderate sources of unplanned-for-interference."
He says there are three potential forms of interference - "out-of-band emissions, overload, and intermodulation" - and that analysis of the commission's rules relating to the first of these shows that the result "would be to wipe out satellite radio in some cases, rendering the satellite radio service useless by allowing interferers to have an order of magnitude greater power than the protected signal. This study concludes that to obtain its original quality of service under the proposed rule, Sirius XM would have to increase the power of its satellite transmitters by about 33 dB, an impossible feat considering that Sirius XM is already using one of the highest power satellite designs in the industry."
Rappaport also says that satellite radio receivers would need greater protection from WCS mobile transmitters than is being proposed by the FCC and adds that a simulation for an I-85 area west of Charlotte, North Carolina, shows that at in normal busy highway conditions one in 18 listeners would "experience significant interference and muting effects" and that even more restrictive rules than those being proposed by the FCC might lead to a "decrease in availability that renders the service commercially unacceptably by broadcast consumer standards."
Before adopting the changes, says the report, the FCC should consider Dr Rappaport's "analysis of the potential harm to over 30 million satellite radio listeners."
The agency also held the second of its Future of Media Workshops - on "Public And Other Non-commercial Media In The Digital Era" in Washington D.C. and posted details of a number of enforcement decisions including the issuing of a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Saga Communications for false certification of an FM translator in New York State and a Consent Decree under which a Colorado non-commercial station is to pay USD 1,000 in relation to the airing of underwriting acknowledgements (See RNW Apr 28 for both) and also confirmed a USD 16,000 penalty on Spanish Broadcasting System (See RNW Apr 26) for the recording of a telephone conversation for broadcast without providing prior notification to the called party.
In another Consent Decree Hazard Community Broadcasting, licensee of NCE WLZD-LP, Hazard, Kentucky (formerly WRZD-LP and WZYQ-LP), is to pay USD 7,000 in connection with the broadcasting of underwriting acknowledgments. Under the agreement Hazard has also agreed a compliance plan and will file compliance reports 90 days, 12 months, 24 months and three years after the effective date of the agreement.
The FCC has also posted a list of tentative selectees under its points system in the cases of 32 mutually exclusive applications for NCE stations made in its October 2007 filing window.
The stations concerned are in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Also in connection with the 2007 filing window, the agency granted an application from Catholic Radio Network, Inc. (CRN)for a construction permit for a new NCE FM in DeKalb, Mississippi, rejecting petitions from Greene/Sumter Enterprise Community and The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama for a new NCE FM station in Livingston, Alabama.
The three applications made in the FCC filing window in October 2007 were considered mutually exclusive and preference was given to CRN. Greene/Sumter filed a petition for reconsideration on the basis that its application did not conflict with that of CRN and also arguing that it would prevail in a points hearing over University's Application, with which its application does conflict and the University opposed this petition.
The FCC granted CRN's application and dismissed petitions from the other two applicants.
In California, the agency dismissed a petition for reconsideration of a staff decision to grant an application from the Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh Day Adventists for a new NCE FM in Bishop. The station was mutually exclusive with an application by Chord, Inc. for an NCE to serve Mammoth Lakes and was preference was given to the Bishop application, which was named as tentative selectee. No objections were filed within the 30-day deadline to do so and the application was granted but subsequently Benett Kessler filed a petition for reconsideration on the basis that Nevada-Utah's proposed operation would cause significant blanketing interference problems to the listeners of Bishop, California, and that Nevada-Utah did not have reasonable assurance of site availability when it filed the Application.
In rejecting the petition the FCC notes that the station was not yet in operation but would be subject to its blanketing interference rules were there to be interference and added that Kessler had failed to provide evidence in relation to tower availability.
In Pennsylvania, it granted an application for a new NCE FM in Evans City from Fourteen Hundred, Inc., rejecting a petition to deny filed by New Testament Baptist Church of Butler
Previous Licence News:
Previous Sirius XM:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-05-02: Thousands of people have signed the book of condolence for Irish broadcaster Gerry Ryan who was found dead at his Dublin home aged 53 on Friday: Ryan who had worked for Irish state broadcaster RTÉ for more than two decades had called in the previous night to say he was ill and would be unable to host his show on RTÉ 2fm on Friday.
RTÉ Chairperson Tom Savage in a news release said Ryan was "a phenomenon and an icon in the evolution of Irish broadcasting" and RTÉ Director General Cathal Goan added "This is a moment of inexpressible grief. We have lost a broadcasting colleague whose presence, voice and work defined a broadcasting genre in Ireland and defined a generation. Those who had the privilege of working with him will have a sense of bewilderment at the suddenness of his leaving us, and an abiding affection for a broadcaster who was a one-off."
RTÉ Radio Managing Director Clare Duignan said, "It is with immense shock that I learned earlier of the death of Gerry Ryan. Gerry was not only one of Ireland's finest broadcasters, he was a beloved friend and colleague to so many in RTÉ Radio and Television. Our thoughts at this time are with Gerry's family, his children and his friends. Gerry was at the heart of RTÉ for over 20 years - he was a highly entertaining larger-than-life broadcaster and colleague. He is truly, truly irreplaceable."
She said that when he spoke with people to say he would not be in for his show "they obviously expressed concern and asked whether he needed a doctor. But he said not, he was fine, but he wouldn't be in today".
Amongst others paying tribute were Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Brian Cowen who termed Ryan "one of the greats of modern Irish broadcasting on radio and television" and former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern who said "Gerry was a giant of Irish broadcasting for over 30 years. He had an incredible personality which won over the hearts and minds of many Irish people, evidenced by his legion of fans. He was an accomplished presenter and a gifted communicator."; Irish President Mary McAleese who said "His unique communication skills and larger than life persona entertained and enlivened a national audience over many years " ; fellow RTÉ broadcaster Joe Duffy who said Ryan was "was the best company you could ever have. He was bold in every sense of the meaning of that word. He was brave in his broadcasting; he was brave in his life; he lived his life to the full" and U2 singer Bono
Ireland's commercial broadcasting body The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland said in a statement, "A great voice has been lost to Irish radio and the entire industry is deeply saddened to lose one of Ireland's most professional broadcasters."
Ryan had been hosting The Gerry Ryan Show on RTÉ 2fm since 1988: He was born in Dublin and studied law at Trinity College, Dublin, where he began his radio career in pirate radio, hosting shows for Alternative Radio Dublin and then for Big D before joining RTÉ 2fm as a DJ when it was launched in 1979. Ho hosted a number of radio and TV programmes including Ryan Confidential which recently ended its seventh series on RTÉ One TV.
He leaves a widow Morah and five children: On Wednesday he was reported to have dined in a Dublin restaurant with his South African partner Melanie Verwoerd
2010-05-01: Bidding in India's 3G spectrum auction topped USD 2 billion on Saturday, the 19th day of the auction: After 110 rounds it had reached INR 952.1 Crore (USD 2.15 billion - INR 95.21 Billion - a crore is 10 million).
The auction had been forecast to end early next week but increased bidding over the past few days suggest it could go on longer: In terms of area the total bid in Mumbai remains highest at INR 1,617.08 Crore (USD 365.3 million) followed by Delhi at INR 1,549.75 Crore (USD 350.1 million) and Maharashtra at INR 1,020.73 Crore (USD 230.6 million).
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-05-01: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) in its April complaints report just released upholds 13 of 36 complaints, two of them relating to radio, considered, partly upheld two more and held over one complaint that it said could "could not be fully assessed due to lack of relevant material."
All the TV complaints related to TV3 output as did three of the 12 TV complaints rejected and four of the eight radio complaints rejected were against RTÉ Radio 1.
The radio complaints upheld or partly upheld involved RTÉ Radio 1 and Youth-oriented regional station i102-104 with the RTÉ complaint relating to a February editions of its Drivetime in which presenter Mary Wilson discussed a recent manslaughter case in which a man killed his wife.
Crime reporter Paul Williams, one of the panel, referred to Wayne O'Donoghue, the son of the complainant, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Robert Holohan in 2005 but received a lighter sentence than the man in the case being discussed.
Williams claimed that Wayne had spread a rumour that a particular individual, whom he named, was responsible for Robert Holohan's death and said that in this case the sentence should have been tougher than in the case being discussed.
RTÉ in response to the complaint said that it did not believe any harm was caused to Wayne O'Donoghue and noted that Williams had reported at length on the case.
The BAI Compliance Committee said that the presenter should have challenged the assertion, which had serious and real consequences and the fact that it was not challenged amounted to unfairness although it did not consider that complaint did not amount to undue harm and offence as detailed in its Code and rejected that part of the complaint.
The i102-4 case related to complaint about an internet site mentioned in "iWork with Dave O'Connor" and her nine-years-old son, who had been listening some two weeks later suggested that they should look at the site, an adult pornographic website, which he had remembered. Her nephew, who happened to be with her son at the time, disconnected from the site and reported its contents to her.
She then searched for the term and found a "most disgusting display of the female genital area."
The station responded by saying that the i102-104 agreed that the initial broadcast where the presenter first talks about the text he received advising him to Google the site was an entirely unacceptable action, agreed with the complainant's sentiments, and said that it had taken disciplinary action against the presenter.
It contended, however, that contrary to the complainant's statement that there was no warning, there was in fact ample warning as the presenter had advised listeners to take the action 'at their own risk' and said that it nearly made him 'sick'.
The committee noted that on hearing the broadcast, it was evident that the presenter had viewed the site, that his manner of presentation was flippant and of the 'dare you' nature.
He was, it said, encouraging listeners to log on and in his apology later in the programme his presentation style was again flippant and of the 'dare you nature'.
It added that he evidently was not taking the issue seriously and in his 'supposed' warning referenced the site and 'I'm feeling lucky button' three times.
It ruled that its codes had been breached, commenting that the reference to Googling a pornographic website and the tone and manner of presentation, was not what parents would like their children to hear and adding that the broadcaster did not exercise due care and/or due regard for the likelihood of children being in the audience.
Previous BAI Complaints:
2010-05-01: Latest figures from the BBC on the use of its online sites and services show that BBC 6 Music, which BBC Director General Mark Thompson confirmed last month is to be closed as part of cost cutting at the Corporation (See RNW Mar 2) made the largest gains in terms of online listening of any BBC radio station compared to a year ago
It increased its live listening in March by 58.6% compared to the figure for February - from 1,025,461 hours to 1,628,838 - more than doubled it from the 696,608 hours in March 2009: The Average number of Weekly unique users were up 26.5% month on month from 105,624 to 133,653 and up 50% from the March 2009 figure of 88,895.
The increase, which is almost certainly related to the publicity the station gained from the campaign against its closure - the BBC Trust has not yet accepted the paln, are ahead of the online figures for BBC Radio 3 and digital stations 1Xtra, BBC7, and The Asian Network - which is also to be closed.
BBC Radio 3 recorded 710,605 live listening hours and 97,342 Average Weekly unique users in March this year - up from 459,402 live listening hours and down from 121,395 Average Weekly unique users in March 2009.
Overall the monthly live listening hours for all BBC Network stations had increased by 16.6% from 22,444,317 to 26,173,399 hours month on month and by 54.3% from 16,957,928 hours year on year with the figures for Average Weekly unique users up 4.1% from 3,314,915 to 3,449,744 month on month but down 9.5% from 3,811,702 year on year.
BBC Listening figures are here:
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