August 2010 Archive
2010-08-31: Canada's private radio industry revenues in 2009 were down 5.2% on 2008 at CAD 1.5 billion (USD 1.41 billion) according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, which notes that the decline was the first since 1993: It adds that the fall in advertising revenue was 5.5%.
Statistics Canada puts the decline down to the general economic downturn and says that it also affected profit before interest and taxes (PBIT), which was down to 17.9 cents per dollar of revenues, the worst performance since 2002.
There was a significant regional variation with operating in revenue up 6.7% in Saskatchewan and up 1.1% in Quebec but down in all other regions whilst in terms of profitability Alberta registered the worst performance since 1998 with 19.5 cents per dollar of revenue: Ontario, which was the most profitable in 2009 produced 21.7 cents profit per dollar of revenue.
In linguistic terms Francophone stations posted increased operating revenues - up 1.7% on 2008 - whilst English-language stations, which recorded strong growth for each of the three previous years, were down 6.6% and ethnic stations were down 1.1%.
AM stations fared worse than FMs with advertising down 7.7% to CAD 205.4 million (USD 277.0 million) compared to a 5% fall to CAD 1.178 billion (USD 1.105 billion) for FMs and larger markets fared worse than smaller ones - for the five largest census areas revenues were down 8.7% to CAD 662.9 million ( USD 621.5 million) whilst for other census metropolitan areas they fell 4.3% to CAD 402.5 million ( USD 377.4 million) and the fall in non-census metropolitan areas was 1.3% to CAD 408.1 million ( USD 382.7 million).
In terms of PBIT, AM station margins were down from 8.1% to 6.9% whilst for FMs the fall was from 24.5% to 20.7% and overall margins were down from 21.1% to 17.9%. In market size terms the fall in the five largest census areas revenues was from 25.4% to 23.4%; for other census metropolitan areas it was from 19.2% to 16.7% and for Non-census metropolitan areas the fall was from 15.6% to 10.2%.
Previous Statistics Canada:
2010-08-31: CBS Radio has dropped the Smooth Jazz format on its WJST-FM, Tampa, Florida, and at 3p.m today re-launched the station as hits format, Play 98.7 albeit retaining smooth jazz on the frequency's HD2 channel.
The former station website (wsjt.radio.com) re-directs to Play-98.7 whose site says, "All your favourite artists now have a home, from John Mayer, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5 and Train to Rob Thomas, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Adam Lambert and a whole lot more!" The new station is to be programmed by Orlando Davis, current Program Director and morning show host for WLLD-FM (WiLD 94.1 - CBS moved the rap and dance WLLD-FM to WSJT's 100,000 watts former frequency, 94.1, in August last year and put the smooth jazz format on the 50.000 watts 98.7 frequency): Davis is currently assembling the on-air staff, and will announce appointments and updates in the coming weeks.
Commenting on the launch, CBS Radio Tampa SVP/Market Manager Don Howe said in a news release, "Play 98.7 will connect a number of great artists to their local fans and diversify CBS Radio's offerings in Tampa. The station will provide the Tampa Bay Area with a great radio experience along with an integrated and interactive platform for Adult CHR music and its fans to be heard."
The release also said that the smooth jazz format would remain online at www.wsjt.com (this produced an error message when we tried it), www.radio.com (in the Jazz/Blues section), AOL Radio, and Yahoo! Music and that "Smooth 98.7 HD2 will remain a dominant voice in the community and continue to hold and promote local events on-air and online."
2010-08-31: Radio One, Inc. has further extended - this time to 17:00 ET on September 15 - the deadline for its offer to exchange its 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 and its 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 for new 8.5%/9.0% Second-Priority Senior Secured Grid Notes due 2016.
The company said that as of 17:00 ET yesterday approximately 91.8% of the outstanding Existing Notes had been validly tendered into the exchange offer and not withdrawn but the conditions necessary to consummate the exchange offer, originally made in June, had not been met.
It added that it is in continuing discussions with representatives of the ad hoc group of holders of a significant portion of its Existing Notes relating to certain amendments to the terms of the exchange offer and the related exchange notes, and with its lenders under its existing senior secured credit facility relating to an amendment to the credit facility. The Company needs to reach agreements with both groups in order to proceed with an amended exchange offer.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-08-31: GMG Radio has appointed Andy Carter, managing director of its north-west operations, as managing director of the company's national Smooth Radio, which is to launch on October 4, in addition to his current duties.
The new station will replace the company's Smooth Radio analogue stations in England and will also be available online and on DAB (digital audio broadcasting) and digital TV.
Announcing the appointment, GMG Radio chief executive, Stuart Taylor, said: "Andy has a great understanding of both the Smooth brand and of UK commercial radio in general and is the perfect person to lead Smooth Radio as it enters the next, important phase."
Previous Guardian Media Group:
2010-08-31: Clear Channel has disclosed in a filing that it spent USD 1.37 million lobbying Congress in the second quarter of this year, up from USD 710,000 a year earlier.
Issues on which is spent included performance royalties, media-ownership rules, broadcast localism, indecency enforcement, and the campaign spending legislation under the DISCLOSE ACT.
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-08-31: UTV Media has reported revenues for the six months to the end of June up 9% on a year ago to GBP 59.2 million (USD 91.2 million), saying that the World Cup Soccer boosted both its radio and TV revenues in Great Britain but with GB radio driving the increase: In Ireland it adds that the decline in its Irish radio revenues had been arrested and 3% growth is now expected in the third quarter.
Group operating profits, including associates, were also up 9% - to GBP 12.2 million (USD 18.8 million - from 6.32 pence to 7.36 pence per diluted share); pre-tax profits were up 17% to GBP 9.4 million (USD 14.5 million) and the group has trimmed its debt by GBP 18.4 million (USD 28.4 million) over the past 12 months to leave GBP 77.3 million (USD 119.1 million). It is proposing an interim dividend of a penny per share compared to no dividend a year earlier.
As far as GB Radio is concerned UTV not only noted the boost from World Cup Soccer for talkSPORT but also said that the station is expected to benefit from the two significant rights packages obtained for the Premier League in the second half of the year.
Group chief executive John McCann commented of the results that "The first six months of 2010 saw a better trading performance due to the improving economic environment and the stimulus of the World Cup and this improvement in trading appears to be continuing in the third quarter."
Chairman John B McGuckian in his statement said "The improving economic environment and the stimulus of the World Cup underpinned a better trading performance in the first six months."
He noted that the profit increase was driven primarily by a strong performance from radio where operating profit was up 17% to GBP 9.8 million (USD 15.1 million) whilst TV operating profit was down 22.2% to GBP 1.4 million (USD 2.2 million) and that for New Media was flat at GBP 1 million (USD 1.54 million)
Pre-tax profits he added were lifted by a 10% reduction in net interest costs to GBP 2.7 million (USD 4.2 million).
GB radio revenues were up 22% to GBP 25.1 million (USD 38.7 million) and those for talkSPORT were up 23% to GBP 12.6 million (USD 19.4 million) whilst local radio revenues were flat at GBP 10.3 million (USD 15.9 million):Overall GB radio operating profits were up 38% to GBP 6.6 million (USD 10.2 million) including an operating profit of GBP 500,000 (USD 771,000) from Sport Magazine, which the group acquired for a nominal sum in May 2009 and which had previously been making losses. talkSPORT operating profit was up 48% to GBP 3.9 million (USD 6.0 million) and that for local radio was down 4.5% to GBP 2.2 million (USD 3.4 million).
Irish radio was hit by continuing difficult economic times but the fall in advertising revenue was reduced - on a like-for-like basis it was down 4% for the six months but in June was up 6%.
TV revenues were up7% to GBP 15.0 million (USD 23.1 million) but New Media revenues were down 5.1% to GBP 5.6 million (8.6 million) but costs were also trimmed by GBP 300,000 (USD 462,000).
Looking ahead UTV says it expects GB radio revenues to by up 10% in the third quarter with talkSPORT revenues to rise 15%, boosted by the acquisition of Premier League rights and it also expects Sport magazine to sustain its first half success.
Irish radio it says will also be up - by 3% even though the market remains weak and it also forecasts a 15% rise in TV revenues in the third quarter whilst, despite pricing pressures that may hamper revenue growth, new media should enhance its margins and maintain operating profit.
2010-08-30:Alden Global Capital has backed out of financing the deal set up by Emmis founder, chairman, and CEO Jeff Smulyan to take the company private, and the deal now seems likely to collapse although Thursday has now been set as a new date for a shareholders' meeting to consider the offer, whose deadline has been extended to the same time (17:00 ET September 2).
Emmis said in a news release that before Alden withdrew its support it had signed an "agreement in principle" on revised terms for the deal, which had been held up by a group of preference shareholders who held enough stock - 38% whilst the buyout needs two-thirds support - to prevent the deal going through and had agreed to the new terms, which it did not detail. In the release it commented, "JS Acquisition believes it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached with either Alden or the group of holders of preferred stock."
News of the pullout sent Emmis's common shares tumbling - at 11:00 they were down 15% to a low of USD 1.68 compared to a bid of USD 2.40 from JS Acquisition, which Smulyan had set up specifically for the deal, and a Friday closing price of USD 2.02. They later recovered - touching USD 1.75 in early afternoon but then fell again and closed at USD 1.71
Alden has not commented publicly but is said by Emmis to be holding internal meetings in connection with the offer this week leading to speculation that it might be trying to push the price paid to the preference shareholders down from that in the revised deal - under the original deal they were being asked to take new higher rate (12%) notes due 2017 in exchange for their percent Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock at a rate of USD 30.00 principal amount of New Notes for each USD 50.00 of existing stock.
RNW comment: We said on Friday after yet another postponement of theshareholders meeting to consider the buyout that the dissident group of stockholders had enough of a hold on this deal to push Smulyan into an increased offer - if Alden would back it - or have to walk away. That assessment still holds but we now wonder if Alden, which is already a significant holder of both common and preferred stock in Emmis, has had enough of the deal and may walk away in any case, in which case high-stakes bluff from the dissident group will be called, or whether there is still a compromise to be reached on the preference shares. Smulyan already has received tenders for some 21 million of the Class A shares and expects to be able to meet the two-thirds threshold as far as they are concerned.
2010-08-30: Westwood One has announced that its founder Norman J. Pattiz is retiring as chairman and is to be succeeded by Mark Stone, Senior Managing Director of the Gores Group: Pattiz will become Chairman Emeritus and a consultant to the company and in a news release commented, "I've been sitting in the same seat for over 30 years, and will continue to do so as a Consultant to the Company. I am, however, relinquishing my seat at the Board table. This allows me to play an active role at the Company I founded, working with people that I admire and respect, while continuing the other activities that are very important to me." (Pattiz is Chairman of the Department of Energy's Los Alamos and Laurence Livermore National Security Laboratories, and a Regent of the University of California.)
Stone added, "As Chairman, my mandate is to drive customer-oriented initiatives that will further strengthen Westwood One's leading market position. We are fortunate to have Norm's continuing expertise as we build the Company's future."
Previous Westwood One:
2010-08-30: An auction by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of five new high power open narrowcasting licences has raised a total of AUD 795,000 (USD 711,000) with the top price of AUD 320,000 (USD 286,000) being bid by FM 104.9 Network Pty Ltd for a Perth licence for which there were six bidders and the reserve was AUD 10,000 (USD 8,900 - See RNW Aug 22).
Second highest bid was from TasRadio Pty Ltd of AUD 260,000 (USD 232,000) for a licence in Launceston in Tasmania after which a licence for Griffith in New South Wales fetched AUD 165,000 (USD 148,000).
Bidding for the two other licences was much lower - of AUD 30,000 (USD 27,000) for a licence in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and AUD 2,000 (USD 1,800 - the reserve price) for a licence in Kambalda, Western Australia.
2010-08-30: CBS Radio has appointed media veteran Steve Carver as Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Los Angeles, to replace Ed Krampf, who has left CBS.
Carver, who from 2006 to 2009 was Publisher, President and CEO of The Hartford Courant, was most recently Senior VP/Market Manager for CBS Radio in West Palm Beach having served in the same role for CBS Radio in Cleveland after leaving Tribune Co., which owns the Courant.
He had been with Tribune Co. For 11 years and his past posts include spells as GM for Tribune's WGN-AM, Chicago and General Manager at CBS's WBBM-AM and FM.
CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason said in a release, "Those who have worked closely with Steve, myself included, boast about his exceptional leadership and depth of knowledge that only comes from years of experience overseeing radio and television stations, and a newspaper. Elevating Steve to this new role will make the most of his considerable talent."
Krampf was appointed to the Los Angeles post at the end of March last year, moving from Tampa, where he had been SVP and Market Manager for the company. Before that he was Clear Channel Western Region SVP.
2010-08-29: Last week was yet again a quiet one for the regulators as regards radio with no postings from Australia and only a few elsewhere.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a number of radio licensing decisions and has also issued a Notice of Consultation in which it calls for comments on standardized conditions of licence and expectations for Category B (Special) services and proposes certain minor changes to its approach to the licensing of Category B services. The deadline for comments is 24 September 2010.
Category B applicants have in the past usually been given the option of choosing an 18-hour or 24-hour broadcast day but the Commission says it now considers that a common broadcast day should be established, suggesting that this be from 0800 to midnight.
Currently the CRTC also distinguishes between Category B specialty and Category B pay services but it is to eliminate the distribution and linkage requirements in favour of a set of simpler packaging rules and thus the distinction between the two services will be the way in which Canadian content obligations are established and the fact that pay services are not permitted to air advertising. In view of this the agency is proposing a single Category B licensing scheme.
The CRTC also posted the following radio licensing decisions:
Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario:
*Issued short-term renewal from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2012 of the licences of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.'s CKAV-FM, Toronto; CKAV-FM-2, Vancouver; CKAV-FM-3, Calgary; CKAV-FM-4, Edmonton; and CKAV-FM-9, Ottawa.
The CRTC notes that the short-term licence renewals will enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence and that Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR) has in 2006 been called to a public hearing to discuss its apparent non-compliance with its condition of licence requiring that at least 25% of all programming broadcast during each broadcast week be spoken word programming, In addition its Toronto station was required to discuss non-compliance with regulations concerning logger tapes, and the filing of annual returns: The Commission also had concerns about the level of local programming broadcast on the AVR stations.
It added that in subsequent monitoring AVR programming in July last year it again noted possible failure to comply with the spoken word requirements of the licence and indicated that it intended to inquire into the current staff levels of AVR stations, the stations' funding, local newscasts, continuity of the originally proposed AVR service and the quality of service provided in each market.
The CRTC also imposed a imposes a mandatory order requiring AVR to comply at all times with requirements relating to the filing of annual returns and put AVR on notice that any future non-compliance may result in additional measures, including short-term renewal, suspension, non-renewal or revocation of licence.
*Issued short-term renewal from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licences of Vista Radio Ltd.'s CFBV-AM, Smithers and its transmitters CKBV-FM, New Hazelton and CHBV-FM, Houston; CIRX-FM, Prince George; CFLD-AM, Burns Lake and its transmitter CHLD-AM, Granisle; CKBX-AM, 100 Mile House; CKCQ-FM Quesnel; and CFNI-AM, Port Hardy and its transmitter CFPA-FM, Port Alice. The CRTC noted that the short -term licence renewal will enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's compliance with regulations and that the licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to contributions to Canadian talent development (CTD) for and the provision of annual returns.
Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories:
*Approval of application by Klondike Broadcasting Company Limited to add a 44 watts FM transmitter at Inuvik, Northwest Territories, to rebroadcast the programming of its English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKRW-AM, Whitehorse
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) posted one radio announcement - of the signing of a contract with Ballyhoura Community Radio Limited for a new community service in County Cork (See RNW Aug 25) and in the UK Ofcom also made only one radio-related posting - of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint (See RNW Aug 24).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)has been involved in a number of radio enforcement actions including the issuing of a USD 4,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Nassau Broadcasting in connection with a competition and also the substituting of an admonishment for USD 7,0000 NALs issued to two Florida stations (See RNW Aug 25).
It also reduced NALs issued to an Illinois AM and a North Carolina FM (See RNW Aug 28) but in Kansas it denied a request on behalf of Community Christian Broadcasting, former licensee of FM Translator Station K294AI, Scandia, to cancel a USD 500 NAL issued for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The cancellation request was filed by Herbert J. Hedstrom and the station said that he suffered a stroke that rendered him unable to file the renewal application: It also said that it had no budget. The FCC, whilst expressing sympathy over Hedstrom's health said that this did not allow its rules to be breached and in relation to the budget comment noted that no financial information had been provided to justify it cancelling the penalty.
Previous Licence News:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-08-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced proposed penalties on an Illinois and a North Carolina station for breaches of licence renewal requirements: In the Illinois case Hawkins Broadcasting Company, licensee of WWHN-AM, Joliet, was issued with a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for late filing of renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation and responded by requesting reduction or cancellation on the basis that it had attempted to file its renewal application, albeit not until February 2005 when the application was due in August, 2004, and also on financial hardship grounds.
The FCC, although it noted that an attempt had been made to file the renewal, rejected that argument but on the basis of financial documentation provided reduced the penalty to USD 4,000.
In North Carolina, Communications Systems, Inc. , licensee of WFMI-FM, Southern Shores, was issued with a USD 1,500 NAL for late filing of licence renewal and responded by arguing that the penalty should be cancelled because its failure to file for renewal on time was inadvertent and on the basis of a history of compliance.
As is its standard practice, the FCC rejected the first argument but it reduced the penalty to USD 1,200 on the basis of a history of compliance:
2010-08-27: Emmis has yet again delayed - for the fifth time - its vote on a bid from the company's founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan to take the company private - yet again because a group of preferred shareholders are holding out for a higher price for their stock.
Tonight's meeting like the one scheduled for last week was not formally convened and negotiations are said to be continuing with the dissident group: The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Emmis officials have said they will not be setting a date for a new shareholders meeting until Monday unlike previous occasions when the meeting and deadline for acceptance of the offer were put back a week.
The dissident group hold 38% of the preferred stock and are being offered new higher rate (12%) notes due 2017 in exchange for their percent Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock at a rate of USD 30.00 principal amount of New Notes for each USD 50.00 of existing stock.
Smulyan is thought to have enough stock and acceptances to get the deal through as regards common stock: His JS Acquisitions, set up specifically for the buyout with backing from Alden Global Capital, is offering USD 2.40 per share but the stock closed at USD 2.02 today indicating doubts that it will go through.
RNW comment: Earlier there were reports that Emmis was considering "alternative structures" to take the company private (See RNW Aug 14) but we have heard no more about this so such structures are presumably easily available. In the end we suspect the dissident group has enough of a hold to either push Smulyan into an increased offer - if Alden will back it - or as with his previous attempt in 2006 to take the company private have to walk away from the bid.
Indianapolis Business Journal report:
2010-08-27: Following a decision by India's Copyright Board to approve a new music royalties rate that would drastically reduce the payments from radio companies (See RNW Aug 26), India's music companies - which are being offered 2% of revenues but wanted up to 30% - are reported to be considering legal action to prevent it from coming into effect.
The Press Trust of India quoted Saregama India (formerly The Gramophone Company of India and owner of the Saregama, RPG Music and HMV labels in India) Managing Director Apurv Nagpal as saying the music companies were "together and will take legal action against this" and adding "The issue is big. It will not only impact the music companies alone but also the entertainment industry at large as some share of the royalty payment gets distributed to writers and composers as well."
Nagpal was not specific about the music industry's planned actions but he was backed up - in fairly extravagant language by Super Cassettes Industries Vice President (International Business, Publishing & Digital Content) Neeraj Kalyan who said, "This partial control by the state is discriminatory, counter productive to the (music) industry and will lead to placing of unprecedented check on freedom of trade in the history of Independent India."
Others saw the move as bringing India more in line with practice in other countries and Ernst & Young Entertainment Practice Associate Director Ashish Pherwani said, "Globally the royalty ranges between 1-3 per cent, so the 2 per cent figure in India is just fine. It will benefit both the FM radio channels and the music industry in a longer run."
He estimated a slightly larger reduction in the amount paid to estimates reported earlier by the Economic Times of India - from around INR 100 crore (USD 21.4 million - a crore is ten million) to INR 18-205 crore (USD 3.9 to 4.3 million) but said the new rate would allow smaller stations to become profitable and estimated that around 800 new licences would be issued.
Previous Indian Radio:
Business Standard/Press Trust of India report:
2010-08-26: US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) EVP Dennis Wharton has again jumped into the fray over the issue of mandating FM receivers in cell-phones with a posting on the organization's blog that he terms "A fact-based response to the critics of radio-capable cell phones."
Wharton accuses critics of "NAB's support for the inclusion of radio receivers on mobile phone devices" of arguing against this "pro-consumer feature" using a customary Washington tactic of being "long on exaggeration, rhetoric and factual inaccuracies."
Wharton presents no direct examples of the critics' factual inaccuracies but goes on to say that latest Arbitron figures show radio's audience is growing and provides a link to reports that indicate a greater take-up of tuners in mobile devices outside the US than in it and says that when given the choice consumers like radio-capable cell phones. He also cites a "2008 study from TNS found that 45 percent of mobile users in Latin America and Asia cite AM/FM radio as one of their top three reasons for purchasing a mobile phone", another that says "Fifty-four percent said they would listen to local radio more if they had a radio-enabled mobile phone" and a "2008 study commissioned by NAB's technology advocacy program, NAB FASTROAD, concluded that the growth of FM capability in mobile handsets is "very robust" from a global perspective, and expected to reach 45 percent by 2011." (Links to all three reports are in the blog.)
RNW comment: In our view, Wharton's description of the tactics of those opposed to the proposal from the NAB and the Music industry strikes us a pretty good description of most things emanated from Wharton and the NAB.
In this case he effectively begins with the big lie or misrepresentation: The NAB proposal is not just one to support the inclusion of FM tuners in call phones but to make them mandatory for all such phones. We support the first and strongly oppose the latter.
Wharton, as we have noted fails to give specific examples of the critics' "factual inaccuracies" and the NAB does in our view have a point in that the way the US mobile communications industry operates does in fact reduce consumer choice albeit the way to deal with this is in our view not to mandate features but to increase that choice.
This could be done fairly simply by a different mandate - one that stops the mobile industry from prohibiting devices from third parties being able to access their networks: In the case of two of the big four suppliers - AT&T and T-Mobile who use the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) system with SIM (Subscriber Interface Module) Cards that is in use in most of the world this is very simple since it is the card not the phone that carries the information to activate use of a device.
In the case of Verizon and Sprint, who use the incompatible CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) system that currently means that it is the phone that has to be activated, it would not be unreasonable to mandate that phones from now on have to offer the SIM equivalent - the R-UIM card - that is used in some parts of Asia.
If this were done then manufacturers would be able to sell phones independently of the mobile operators as is the case in most of the world albeit this would not prevent the operators providing phones that limit a subscriber to their network more cheaply - the deal is of course tied to a contract to ensure that the handset subsidy is recouped.
This would mean two things - firstly that manufacturers could market any mix of features they like according to consumer demand and secondly that organizations like the NAB could easily put their money where their mouth is and offer deals to promote handsets with FM built in (We effectively discount AM despite the reference to it by Wharton for reasons that are made clear in the report he links to).
Such a mandate would, of course, be opposed by the mobile industry which almost certainly is opposing the inclusion of FM because it wants to push people into having to pay for its services to access anything but which would bring up many other points against the plan: However in this case there is plenty of evidence from the rest of the world that such a system is workable and the opposition on the basis that people would be forced to buy something they don't want as proposed by the NAB becomes dead in the water since this kind of system widens the choice open to consumers but does not force them into purchasing handset features they may not want.
In other words, what Wharton's propaganda post indicates is being what NAB wants could be achievable in a manner that genuinely gives consumers a choice - indeed expands the choices available to consumers. Of course it doesn't do what the NAB really wants, which is to force radio receivers into all cell phones but the arguments for it can be honestly made (Oh dear. Is that another reason for automatic NAB opposition?).
There is more in Wharton's blog that we provide a link to but do not think in any way relevant to the crucial principle at stake and to summarize, we think the final paragraph of Wharton's blog needs the addition of a phrase - one we have put it in bold italics: "Americans deserve a better choice than what is being offered by the gatekeeper critics. Sound public policy and public safety considerations warrant free and local radio-enabled cell phones being made readily available." [RNW comment: We also consider the "free and local" propaganda phrase to be superfluous. The over egging would be better directed to Wharton's person rather than his statements.]
NAB -Wharton blog:
2010-08-26: India's Copyright Board has approved a revenue sharing rate between radio broadcasts and music companies that will cut radio royalty costs significantly. Under the new deal, broadcasters will pay 2% of their "net advertising revenue" as a royalty that goes to "all music providers" instead of the current agreement, which came into effect in 2002, under which they pay a fixed rate per hour of music aired - ranging from INR 300 to 1,200 (USD 6.4 to USD 26), irrespective of the station's location.
The new arrangement will be of considerable benefit to stations in smaller towns and cities and will boost the third phase of private FM licensing in India.
The Economic Times of India says that industry estimates are that in 2009-10 private FMs' music royalty costs were more than INR 100 crore ( USD 21.4 million - a crore is ten million) and the new arrangement will cut these costs to INR 20-25 crore (USD 4.3 to 5.3 million).
It quoted Entertainment Network India (ENIL) CEO & executive director Prashant Panday as saying the new agreement removed the anomaly that existed and brings India's royalty regime in line with global trends.
He added, "The radio players acknowledge the sincere efforts made by the minister for information & broadcasting, Ambika Soni, to find a solution to the royalty issue. Ms Soni had written several times to the minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal, who was also keen to see the resolution happen soon. The order will help reduce the bleeding within the radio industry and will help bring a semblance of viability to the radio industry."
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (ENIL parent):
Previous Indian Radio:
Economic Times of India report:
2010-08-26: UK independent radio producers have expressed disappointment with a call from the BBC Trust to open up more of available programming hours to independent producers: Currently a tenth is guaranteed to independents, a share exceeded by at least 2% in nine of the last ten years, but the Trust wants this figure doubled to a fifth whilst the independents wanted it increased to at least a quarter.
The Trust made its recommendations on the basis of a report from independent media analyst and Grant Goddard, who began his radio career in the early 1970s on London pirate stations and subsequently worked in various trade publications and UK commercial and community radio.
In the 82-page report Goddard notes that whereas inclusion of independent productions within output is a statutory requirement for TV broadcasters there is no such requirement for radio and that although the BBC has introduced a voluntary quota the commercial sector has made no commitment to independent productions. He also adds that the BBC's radio stations cumulatively have greater funding for fewer stations than the commercial sector and that the latter's profitability has been reduced to "near zero" over the past decade.
As a result the independent radio production sector is much smaller than that for TV with a turnover of around GBP 20 million (USD 31 million) per annum (2% of total funds for radio broadcasting) and Goddard says it is unlikely that the commercial sector will increase its very limited use of programmes from external suppliers.
At the BBC, Radio 4 in 2007 adopted a 'Window of Creative Competition'(WOOC), a commissioning system for both independent and in?house production, as a result of which independent productions contribute between 10% and 20% of Radio 4's 'eligible output ' although Goddard notes that "significant proportion of programmes are commissioned from a relatively small number of external producers."
He comments that the Corporation "seems eager to recognise the creative strengths of the independent radio production sector" but also "appears to find it an administrative burden to process the thousands of creative proposals received annually from external suppliers, particularly as these are submitted individually to commissioners within each of the radio networks." Whilst independents have expressed concern about the work necessary to submit proposals that ultimately are not commissioned by the BBC and, as well as wanting the 10% quota increased to 25% and the window for competition increased to 50%, also wants commissions offered to a wider range of suppliers.
"Underlying these concerns," comments Goddard, "is the apparent economic weakness of the independent radio production sector which, after 18 years of BBC commissions, still seems unable to transform itself from a 'cottage industry' into a profitable commercial media sector" and he says that the two sides "exhibit a lack of understanding of other's positions, the result of not having been in constructive dialogue about the most fundamental issues."
The BBC has proposed New terms of trade will soon be announced, which will be much more beneficial to the independent sector, has launched a research and development fund for independents, is reviewing the commissioning process for BBC Radio 4 to make it simpler, and its management will also create a central contact point for independents to work with on compliance issues, and join forces with television to extend the online information available to independent companies wishing to work with the BBC.
Commenting on the Trust proposals David Liddiment, the Chair of its Audiences and Performance Committee, said, " this review has shown that the BBC's approach to commissioning from the sector does not always work as well as it should. Putting more of the programmes up for grabs will help promote competition for the best ideas, wherever they come from. That will be good for licence fee payers, whose interests the Trust is here to serve. And we are particularly keen to see a much more open and fair approach to commissioning from the independent sector."
The Trust has now asked the BBC Executive to come back to it with detailed plans to implement the extension of the Window of Creative Competition (WoCC) and says it expects the new WOCC to be in place for the 2012/13 financial year.
BBC Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie in a news release commented, "We welcome this report and, with the help of the independent production community, will implement the Trust's recommendations and ensure we continue to offer listeners the highest quality programmes. We have a good track record of meeting our independent production targets and look forward to working with the sector to deliver competition for more commissions."
He added, "We recognise that independent producers are an integral part of our success and play an important role, alongside our in-house production teams, in delivering public value. We are committed to developing our relationship with them."
The Radio Independents Group, which represents independent producers, noted that after the exemption for news and current affairs less than a fifth of BBC radio programming would be open to independents under the plan, which is said "both inconsistent with the BBC's approach to creative companies in TV and online, and shows a lack of ambition."
Although it welcomes the changes proposed it expresses disappointment and continues, "The trust states that radio audiences register high levels of appreciation and increasing the indie quota risks adversely affecting this. We believe this is short sighted, complacent and contradictory to some of the trust's own recent network reviews."
"We believe," it says, "that maintaining the status quo offers a greater risk. Any organisation wishing to equip itself for future challenges would seek to move forward, rather than protect its current position - the licence-fee payer would expect no less."
BBC Trust - Independent Radio Productions report (940 kb, 82-page PDF):
Radio Independents Group web site:
UK Independent - Mark Goodier article:
2010-08-25: BIA/Kelsey in its latest "Investing In Radio Market Report" is forecasting a 4.4% increase over last year in US radio over-the-air revenues to reach a total of USD 13.93 billion, with another USD 459.3 million in revenues coming from digital and online sources.
It forecasts larger increases in the top markets-station in the top ten markets it says will average a 6.26% increase whilst San Francisco and Philadelphia can expect overall revenue growth of 8% due primarily to an increase in spending by national advertisers and cities in some other markets can expect growth of 7.5% or above including Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida (7.5%); New Haven, Connecticut (7.7%); Syracuse, New York, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Springfield, Massachusetts (85) and Denver, Colorado (8.5%) whilst for markets 11 to 25 the increase will average 4.05% and others will see average revenue increases of between 2.73% and 3.66%.
Mark Fratrik, Ph.D., vice president, BIA/Kelsey., commented in a release, "We're glad to see positive growth in most U.S. radio markets but still feel there remains enough uncertainty in the country's overall economic performance to tread carefully stepping into the second half of the year. Bear in mind, too, that the third and fourth quarters of 2009 were better than the first half of that year, so we do not expect the change to be that large by the end of this year."
"Radio's performance this year," he added, "will largely be driven by the success of the top markets; however, its impact will resonate to smaller ones."
BIA/Kelsey also noted a small volume of station sales this year putting this down to revenue and profit declines and a lack of bank financing: It said that as of July there were only USD 168 million in transactions compared with USD 207 million in 2009.
"Station owners," said Fratrik, "are hesitant to sell at today's lower multiples, while potential buyers' view the growth potential conservatively in light of the economic uncertainty. Additionally, the inability to get sufficient debt financing to lower the cost of capital leaves the transaction marketplace stuck in neutral."
2010-08-25: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed a contract with Ballyhoura Community Radio Limited, whose BCR FM is expected to launch in mid September providing a community radio service to the town of Charleville, County Cork, and its environs.
The station will initially broadcast only at weekends but plans to extend its broadcasting hours next year.
2010-08-25: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 4,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Nassau Broadcasting's WWEG-FM, Myersville, Maryland, in connection with a "Father's Day" competition it ran in 2008 but has cancelled USD 7,000 NALs issued to two Florida stations.
In the WWEG case, a complainant said the promotions of the contest by the station said it would run "through June 13, 2008" but when she tried to enter on the 13th was told that a winner had been picked the day before.
In response to a letter of inquiry (LOI) from the FCC, Nassau said that would-be entrants were told to log onto the station's website through June 13 and that a winner would be chosen on June 13 but that they also made it clear that the winner would be announced at 07:12 on that day, meaning that when the complainant arrived at the station 08:30 the contest had already closed. It contended that this meant that the contest's "material terms were fully and accurately disclosed and the Contest was conducted substantially as advertised."
The FCC disagreed and commented that although daily winners had been announced at 07:20 for the contest it was promoted as being open through the 13th and thus Nassau violated the material terms of the contest and had not conducted it substantially as advertised. It therefore proposed a standard penalty of USD 4,000.
The NALs cancelled were each of USD 7,000 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation - one issued to Faith Bible College, Inc., licensee of WTGF-FM, Milton, Florida, and the other to Metz, Inc., licensee of WTCL-AM, Chattahoochee, Florida . In each case an admonishment was substituted for the penalty.
Faith Bible College had filed its renewal application on time but did not do so electronically as required and on this basis the FCC substituted the admonishment for the penalty.
In the Metz case the station's mailing address had changed but the FCC was not notified of this, thus meaning that the FCC reminder did not arrive until after the licence expired. President Donald Metz, who said that he and his parents, Harold and Betty Metz own and operate the station, also argued for cancellation on financial grounds and submitted details including revenues for 2002, 2003, and 2004 and his parent's bankruptcy filing made after rebuilding the station after a lightning strike in 2001 exhausted the family's resources and its business closed.
The FCC dismissed Metz's arguments but accepted that penalty would cause financial hardship and substituted the admonishment.
2010-08-24: UK Absolute Radio today launched a five-week trial of its Absolute 90s station on the commercial national DAB 1 multiplex running until the end of September. It is marking the launch with a 90s weekend on Absolute Radio over the weekend and Monday Bank Holiday in the UK, starting every hour's programming with five classic 90s tracks and will also be giving away DAB receivers every hour throughout the day.
The station was already available online and on the Sky digital TV platform.
Absolute has also announced a suspension of its operation of its dabbl experimental online station, that allows listeners to browse or search for songs then vote for the tracks they want aired with the most popular tracks then being played over the next hour.
Absolute says its team "have a lot more ideas for dabbl, so for now the radio station bit is taking a break whilst we can experiment with how dabbl can continue to democratise the playlist."
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Ultimate owners of Absolute):
2010-08-24: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has responded to letters sent by a coalition of six technology industry associations to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees opposing attempts to mandate FM receivers in mobile devices with a statement avoiding addressing the point made in the letter and then going on to note the take-up of such technology in other countries.
In the statement, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton comments, "Countries around the globe have added radio-enabled cell phones that are increasingly popular with consumers. The reality is that 239 million Americans tune in to free and local radio every week, and seven million new radio listeners were added just last year."
"Day in and day out," he adds, "local radio stations serve as a reliable lifeline in times of crisis and weather emergencies. In an increasingly mobile society, it would be unfortunate if telco gatekeepers blocked access to public safety information offered by free and local radio."
The NAB says thetechnology companies "expressed their opposition to the adoption of a radio receiver in cell phones" but the letter from the technology industry associations refers to attempts to mandate such receivers in legislation "addressing an unrelated conflict between the broadcast and recording industries over royalties."
"Calls for an FM chip mandate are not about public safety but are instead about propping up a business which consumers are abandoning as they avail themselves of new, more consumer-friendly options," the associations wrote. "It is simply wrong for two entrenched industries to resolve their differences by agreeing to burden a third industry - which has no relationship to or other interest in the performance royalty dispute - with a costly, ill-considered and unnecessary new mandate."
They then continue, "The proposed imposition of an FM chip mandate is not necessary for resolution of the dispute between performance artists and broadcasters and, if adopted, it would be bad policy for several reasons:
"Mandating that every wireless device include an FM chip would require consumers to pay more for a function that they may not desire or ever use.
"The groups that are parties to the discussions over the performance rights royalty issue lack any expertise in the development of wireless devices and are in no position to dictate what type of functionality is included in a wireless device.
"Development by the technology industry and government of a mobile broadcast emergency alerting system makes the requirement unnecessary."
RNW comment: In our view at the very least the NAB is again engaging in fairly dishonest self-serving propaganda and it is to the shame of US broadcasters that they do not reign in the tripe it dishes out.
Should there be a massive demand for such phones, we have no doubt that the industry - which started off without cameras in phones but includes them in almost every model nowadays - would meet that demand, just as it is increasingly meeting demand to combine phone devices with players and internet access.
The NAB is being disingenuous in the statement it put out, is calling for a Soviet-style solution, and showing how much it actually believes in a market economy if it thinks it can sew up the kind of deal that many of its members would condemn in other countries and contexts.
We see nothing stopping the radio industry from putting its money where its mouth is and ordering large numbers of phones that do include tuners - if the demands there, and the scale of the order is such that the price is right, then presumably the phones would sell and the NAB's aim would be achieved at little real cost.
Broadcasters would, of course, have to take some risk with their own money rather than trying to impose costs on others to their benefit through a political process. Frankly, we'd like to see US politicians to hoist the NAB and recording companies, who are in an unholy alliance on this one, with their own petard and propose a large levy on the broadcasting industry and recording industry to fund provision of such phones - say around USD 10 billion - with exemptions for companies in the two categories who are not members of or associated with the trade organizations calling for this imposition.
We doubt the call for compulsory inclusion of chips would survive a day after such a levy was proposed and with luck a few of the individuals involved would be metaphorically castrated by the members of their trade organizations.
2010-08-24: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld just one radio standards complaint and also TV standards complaints against ten channels; upheld one advertising scheduling complaint and considered one more resolved -the broadcasting of an advert during the soccer World Cup finals group match between England and USA on the high definition version of ITV1 that led to viewers missing the only England goal of the game - and five advertising minutage complaints resolved; and partly upheld a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint and gave details of 8 more, three against one programme
The radio complaint upheld related to West Midlands community station Raaj FM which in a Punjabi programme The Raj Show was said to have repeatedly plugged details of the programme's sponsor.
Ofcom noted that the presenter appeared to promote the programme?s sponsor within four lengthy sponsor credits. Each credit lasted between approximately one and three minutes. The credits not only stated that the programme was sponsored by Cape Hill Solicitors, but also included advertising messages and gave details of the firm's telephone number and contact addresses.
The station in response said that believed that these credits were distinct from advertisements, as the presenter had announced the sponsorship arrangement and presented the credits in full. It added that, by contrast, all Raaj FM's advertisements were introduced as such by the presenter, pre-produced and included music or jingles.
In the case of the presenter concerned it said that other presenters would have adopted a different style and that it has reviewed its policy concerning the broadcast of sponsor credits, which are now pre-scripted, rather than left for the presenter to deliver in an individual style, and scheduled to be presented at specific times. In addition it had "reinforced" its training of presenters, "to highlight the difference between advertisements and sponsorship.
Ofcom ruled that there had been a breach of codes in this case but noted the action taken.
The numbers compare with the upholding of one radio standards complaint, the rejection of two TV fairness and privacy complaints and a TV standards complaint as a number of standards complaint against STV in relation to Scottish Government sponsorship of programmes in its previous bulletin in which it also imposed sanctions totalling GBP 157,250 (USD 250,000) on adult TV service Bang Channels for various breaches on a number of its channels and also of GBP 17,500 ( USD 27.800) on a digital TV channel in connection with an advertisement.
Ofcom also listed without details 605 TV complaints against 216 items and 24 radio complaints against 21 items it did not uphold: This compared to 225 TV complaints against 125 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-08-23: Citadel Broadcasting, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has registered the issuance of 10 million shares of new class A stock in the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in June (See RNW Jun 3 ) and is to grant around a quarter of them to executives.
The lion's share (RNW comment: Maybe that term is out of place when it comes to Suleman - readers can suggest their own animal) goes to President and CEO Farid Suleman who gets nearly two million shares (1,901,042 to be exact) under an Equity Incentive Plan with half to vest on June 3 next year and the remaining half on June 3, 2012, if Suleman is still employed by the company.
Other executives to receive stock are COO Judy Ellis (100,000 shares); CFO Randy Taylor and SVP/General Counsel Jacquelyn Orr (Each to get 80,000 shares); and SVP/Finance & Administration Patricia Stratford (56,250 shares) on top of which directors Doreen A. Wright, Gregory Mrva, Paul N. Saleh, Jonathan Mandel, Billy Campbell and John Sander each get 47,530 shares with the same conditions applying to their stock as to that for Suleman.
Citadel in the filing estimates the value of the stock, which has yet to be traded, at up to USD 22.875 per share, making Suleman's grant worth up to USD 43.5 million.
In an 8K filing the company has also disclosed that its Company's Compensation Committee "adopted, approved and ratified the Citadel Broadcasting Corporation Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (the "Plan") for the Plan's only eligible participant, Farid Suleman", a benefit under which Suleman gets a lump sum cash payment when he reaches 65 (or if sooner on his departure from the company), to be calculated on the basis of excess of the present value of a single life annuity paying Mr. Suleman four percent (4%) times his "Years of Service," as defined in the Plan, up to a maximum of 25 years times his "Final Average Compensation" divided by the present value of any benefits accrued under any other Company-sponsored retirement plan that are attributable to contributions by the Company and its affiliates (other that salary deferral contributions) and the accumulated value of any prior distributions under the Plan.
Suleman is currently 58 but has been with the company since March 2002 which would make his service years at 65 some 15 years and in 2008 received a salary of USD 1.25 million plus some USD 4.8 million of restricted stock awards to make a nominal total of around USD 6.1 million. However without more detail it is almost impossible to work out exactly what Suleman's payoff amounts to - possibly a not unintentional obfuscation by Citadel.
RNW Note: For more on Suleman, whom he has nicknamed "Fargreed", see Jerry Del Colliano's post today on Insidemusicmedia. We did look for comments from anyone who thought Suleman to be worth his reward but so far without success.
Insidemusicmedia - del Colliano blog:
2010-08-23: BBC Radio 3 has announced that Andy Kershaw is to return to the station in the autumn (fall) to present "Music Planet", a series the station is terming "BBC Radio 3's most significant and ambitious world music project ever."
Kershaw was known for his world music shows on the station but was dropped in spring 2007 amidst turmoil in his personal life - he was jailed for a period in 2008 breaking a restraining order that barred him from approaching his former partner Juliette Banner (See RNW Jan 16, 2008).
For the series Kershaw and fellow presenter Lucy Duran travel to remote destinations around the world to record music: The series accompanies the BBC TV Human Planet anthropological series, which will feature the same locations and Radio 3 says that its series will give "listeners unique access to sounds from around the world", singling out sounds of the Bat People of Papa New Guinea, the mystical voices of the shamans of Mongolia and Greenland's "katajjaq", a vocal contest between two women with songs that involve throat singing and imitating animal cries.
Kershaw commented, "I am thrilled to be back on Radio 3 working again with a team of bright, imaginative, enthusiastic people who also happen to be dear friends. Nowhere on Earth is safe again from my attentions. So far, we have, literally, hacked through mountain jungles to bring Music Planet listeners extraordinary music from some of the world's most isolated locations. And I cheerily risked incineration at a rocket festival in Thailand to take our Radio 3 audience into the fiery thick of the action."
He added, "I have been even to Switzerland, the last country in which I expected to find myself. And, if listeners thought that yodelling was valuable only as a device to evict stragglers at the end of a party, or as a sure-fire way to secure an international novelty hit in 1956, the music we recorded in the Alps will - like so much to be heard in Music Planet - shatter such preconceptions and, simultaneously, delight and exhilarate."
Music Planet producer James Parkin said of the series, "What makes Music Planet so exciting for me is that one minute you're listening to Cambodian hip-hop, and the next Swiss yodelling recorded in the Alps. And this is the music that people are making right now, all over the world, recorded especially for Radio 3."
2010-08-22: Last week was again fairly quiet for the regulators as regards radio with only a few announcements from anywhere - Canada provided most postings and there were no specific radio postings from the UK or Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is to auction licences for five high power open narrowcasting radio services in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Kambalda in Western Australia, Griffith in New South Wales and Launceston in Tasmania.
The auctions will be held on 26 August 2010 at the ACMA's Canberra office and there is an AUD 10,000 (USD 8,900) reserve for the Perth licence and an AUD 2,000 (USD 1,800) reserve for the other four.
There are six applicants each for the Perth and Griffith licences; four each for the Kalgoorlie and Launceston licences; and two for the Kambalda licence.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted details of the number of staff employed in the country's over-the-air commercial broadcast sector over the past decade (See RNW Aug 18).
It also posted a number of radio decisions including (in order of province):
British Columbia and Alberta:
*Denial of applications by CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association to add 50 watts low-power transmitters in Prespatou and Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and Three Hills, Alberta to rebroadcast the programming of its type B community radio programming undertaking CIAM-FM. Fort Vermilion, Alberta
*Approved application by Hornby Community Radio Society for a licence to operate a 5-watts very low-power, English-language developmental community FM radio programming undertaking on Hornby Island: The CRTC noted that in 2007 it approved an earlier application from Hornby but the station was not launched due to various circumstances and that it has now indicated it has the support to start operations.
*Renewal of licence of Arctic Radio (1982) Limited's English-language commercial station CFAR-AM, Flin Flon.
*Approval of application by Pritchard Broadcasting Inc. for authority to acquire from TFG Communications Inc. as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CJRP-FM, Saint John, and its transmitter CJRP-FM-1, Rothesay.
*Denial of application by Durham Radio Inc. to decrease the power of its transmitter CJKX-FM-2, Toronto, from 122 watts to 31 watts.
*Denial of application by San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre to decrease the daytime transmitter power from 10,000 watts to 6,250 watts and increase the night time transmitter power from 1,000 watts to 6,250 watts for its Type B community radio station CHHA-AM, Toronto.
The CRTC noted that the licensee had submitted late its annual returns for the broadcast years 2005, 2006 and 2007 and that it normally denies licence amendments where the licensee is in non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
*Approval of application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to allow it to use CFOB-FM, Fort Frances, as the programming source for its rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6-AM, Atikokan, and to delete the transmitter from the licence of its CKDR-2-FM, Sioux Lookout.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2013 of the licence of RNC Media Inc.'s French-language commercial station CKLX-FM, Montréal. The CRTC notes that this will enable it to review the licensee's compliance with Canada's Radio Regulations and the conditions of its licence- the CRTC noted that it the licensee may have failed to comply with its condition of licence relating to CTD contributions for the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 broadcast years by not meeting the payment deadlines and also underpaying by a total of just under CAD 200,000: The CRTC also granted in part an application concerning the allocation of its Canadian talent development contributions over the new licence term.
Citing financial problems RNC had requested that it be allowed to allocate the two payments of CAD 200,000 (USD 190,000) remaining due in its first seven years of operation over the seven years of the next licence term rather than the first two years. The CRTC noted that in relation to the shortfall that for the whole period the licensee had exceeded the amount it was required to pay by almost CAD 51,000 (USD 48,600) and according opted not to require that these payments be made. As regards the remaining two payments it is to allow these to be made over the next licence term albeit this will now be four rather than seven years.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc's English-language commercial station, CFQR-FM, Montréal. The CRTC noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with Radio Regulations relating to the broadcast of Canadian musical selections from content subcategory 34 (Jazz and blues).
In relation to this the licensee had said the non-compliance occurred during the program entitled "Chill," a new weekly three-hour "smooth jazz" programme and explained that it had not been able to properly identify Canadian musical selections in this program because it had purchased a database in which the Canadian "smooth jazz" selections had not been properly labelled. The licensee added that it only became aware of the problem upon being informed of it by the Commission.
*Approval of application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to relocate the transmitter of its type B Native radio station CJLR-FM, La Ronge, increase its power from 249 to 49,000 watts (class A1 to class B), and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 21 to 148 metres. The licensee said the current technical parameters and location do not permit adequate coverage of all the native communities in the Prince Albert region and also that reception has been problematic in Prince Albert.
The CRTC also posted a consultation with a September 23 deadline for submitting interventions or comments that included an application by Stillwater Broadcasting Ltd. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter in Benito to broadcast the programming of its CJSB-FM, Swan River, both in Manitoba.
Another consultation with a September 24 deadline an application by Miramichi Fellowship Centre, Inc. to renew the broadcasting licence of its low-power, English-language specialty station CJFY-FM, Blackville ,and its transmitter CJFY-FM-1 Miramichi, both in New Brunswick and expiring 30 November 2010 :The CRTC noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with its conditions of licence relating to contributions to Canadian talent development for the 2008 broadcast year and contributions to Canadian content development for the 2009 broadcast year.
In the UK, Ofcom made no radio postings but it did issue its latest Communications Market Report that amongst other things showed radio to be more opular with older demographic groups (See RNW Aug 19)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a fairly quiet time as regards radio beyond routine announcements with its main action being yet another extension for Sirius XM Radio to make channels available to qualified entities as per its voluntary agreement when the merger of Sirius and XM was given the go ahead (See RNW Aug 21).
The agency also posted details of its second mailing of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) audit letters for 2010 to randomly selected radio stations: In all 129 letters were sent out to stations in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rica, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Washington State, and Wyoming.
The FCC also posted one enforcement notice, the issuing a USD 500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Keene Foursquare Church d/b/a Hope Chapel licensee of low power FM WKHP-LP, Keene, New Hampshire, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. It also renewed the licence.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-08-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again further extended - this time from August 23 to November 21, 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 has repeatedly been extended by the agency: 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:
2010-08-20: Emmis has yet again postponed a shareholders vote on a bid to take it private from JS Acquisition Inc., a group set up for the purpose by its founder, chairman, President and CEO Jeff Smulyan and is to continue talks with a group of preferred shareholders who want an increased offer: Together a group of dissident shareholders control 38% of the company's preference shares, enough to block the deal, which requires two-thirds support.
As with the previous four scheduled meetings, the vote has been postponed for a week and is now due next Friday.
Smulyan, whose bid is backed by private equity company Alden Global Capital, is offering USD 2.40 per share for the company's common shares - they closed at USD 2.09 today, up three cents on Thursday's closing price but still at a level that indicates the market thinks the deal may well fall apart - and has enough support for the deal as far as this stock is concerned.
The preferred shareholders are being offered a deal under which they would exchange their 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock for new 12% notes due in 2017 at a rate of USD 30.00 principal amount of New Notes for each USD 50.00 of liquidation preference of Preferred Stock. That offer was due to expire today and has now been extended for a further week.
2010-08-20: US radio revenues in the first half of this year were up 6% on a year ago to USD 8.239 billion with the second quarter also up by 6% - to USD 4.522 billion - according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) .
It terms this "an impressive overall revenue gain of 6%, powered by back-to-back quarters posting increases at that same level" and adds "As noted in RAB's Q1 report, this performance represents the best in nearly a decade (since Q3 2000, +8%)."
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley added, "Radio benefited from strong returns in top advertiser categories in Q2 led by Automotive, Financial Services, and in our largest category, Communications, which grew 14%. This reinforces Radio's strategic importance to a wide range of marketers."
"Every revenue source," said Haley, "is up in first half, led by Digital (+22%) and National Spot (+17%). The momentum we've built through the first half bodes well for Radio compared to other traditional media going forward."
Within the figures for the second quarter local revenues were up 3% to USD 3.044 billion (Up 2% in the first quarter); national revenues were up 16% to USD 702 million (Up 19% in the first quarter); combined they were up 6% to USD 3.746 billion (Up 6% in the first quarter); Network revenues were flat at USD 274 million (Up 6% in the first quarter); Digital revenues were up 25% to USD 157 million (Up 19% in the first quarter); and off-air was up 2% to USD 375 million (flat in the first quarter).
For the first six months local revenues are up 3% to USD 5.494 billion; National revenues are up17% to USD 1.270 billion; combined local and national is up 6% to USD 6.764 billion; network is up 2% to USD 534 million; digital is up 22% to USD 280 million; and off-air is up 1% to USD 661 million.
In terms of spending categories, the largest percentage increase in the second quarter came from Professional Services, which were up 40% to 83.9 million followed by Auto Dealers/ Dealer Groups/ Manufacturers/ Rentals - up 26% to USD 336.4 million and Financial services - up 25% to USD 250.9 million: The top categories for the quarter were Communications/Cellular at 385.3 million (Up 15%), Auto as noted above at USD 336.4 million, and Beverages at USD 256.6 million (Up 11%).
For the half-year the top spenders were the same - Communications/Cellular at USD 759.7 million (up 9%); Auto Dealers/ Dealer Groups/ Manufacturers/ Rentals at USD 648.3 million (Up 28%) and Television/ Networks/ Cable Providers at USD 548.8 million (Up 12%).
In percentage increase terms Auto's 28% was top followed by Financial Services - up 24% to USD 500.0 million and Grocery/Convenience/Liquor Stores - up 23% to USD 461.2 million.
2010-08-20: Tribune Co.'s reorganization plan to escape from bankruptcy is now in disarray after two of the main backers of the plan - JPMorgan Chase and the investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Company - pulled out of the plan under which they would have exchanged their debt for equity in the company.
The Los Angeles Times, which along with the Chicago Tribune, is owned by the company reported that Tribune lead attorney James Conlan said that in the wake of failed negotiations, the Chicago company would file an amended reorganization plan next week that reflects management's own best estimate of what is a fair deal for everybody, adding that it still hoped to gain widespread support although it agreement could not be reached Tribune would launch litigation over claims central to the case that a 2007 leveraged buyout led by Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell rendered the company insolvent.
"The debtor has tried mightily to bring the parties together," Conlan said. "That hasn't happened."
Tribune lost its exclusive right to file a reorganization plan earlier this month giving other parties the right to file their own plans and the paper reported that sources say that talks are now in progress that exclude the Tribune management. That plan came under pressure last month when court-appointed independent examiner Kenneth Klee said in his report that the manoeuvres that led to the 2007 leveraged buyout of Tribune Co. bordered on fraud and denounced the behaviour of Tribune's management, board and some of its lenders, commenting that he thought it somewhat likely" a court would conclude some fraudulent behaviour occurred.
The Times reports that original settlement had been opposed by a group of senior creditors led by Oaktree Capital Management who said that although they have little exposure to the leveraged buyout claims, they are being asked by JPMorgan and other parties who do have exposure to help pay the $450 million it took to appease junior creditors and notes that hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management has been amassing junior bonds on the open market hoping to profit from a settlement.
The New York Times in its report quotes from an e-mail sent to employees by CEO Randy Michaels and COO Gerald A. Spector in which they say, "Next week, we'll file our monthly operating report for July and once again, our financial results will be strong. All of our media businesses are profitable, and our creditors recognize how well we are performing."
Previous Tribune Co.:
Los Angeles Times report:
New York Times report:
2010-08-19: The US National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has weighed in on the controversy over Conservative US talk host Dr Laura (Schlessinger) and her use of the word "nigger" on her radio show, with its President Kathy Times saying in a news release that the host "does not have the right to use racial slurs on public airwaves" and continuing, "She says she will not do radio anymore, but there are deeper issues that must be addressed by the company that syndicates her show - Premiere Radio Networks. Why wait until the next on-air personality slips up?"
Times say in the release, "I will never forget the first time I was called the n-word. In fact, a young white man in Alabama hit me with a double dose of hate and called me a n----- b----. It was 2002. It was my first day on a new job as an investigative reporter. It took a few seconds for the full impact of the slur to hit me. Then, it felt like I'd been sucker punched in the gut.
"I can imagine that is how the African-American caller felt when she and other listeners heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger use the n-word 11 times... taken aback, shocked, and speechless.
"When will people learn it's never OK to use the n-word, no matter how many times it is uttered in the name of entertainment, sarcasm or disgust? Instead of helping one of her callers, Dr. Laura chose to go on a tirade that appeared to reveal deep-rooted thoughts on politics and black America."
She goes on to ask, "Is it time for the n-word and other racial epithets to be added to the list of seven dirty words (made famous by comedian George Carlin)? The use of those words hit broadcasters where it hurts them most - on the bottom line with fines and lost advertising revenue. But the fear of losing ad dollars should not be the only reason to end this era of hate on the public's airwaves."
Times then says it is "past time for a movement to address 'Talk Show Hate' and goes on, "I believe most people are open to embracing people of all races based on the content of their character. We invite Dr. Laura and Premiere Radio Networks to join us in a conversation leading to change in the public discourse, which both embraces their right to free speech and our desire to end the use of racial slurs and epithets on the public's airwaves."
Dr Laura, meanwhile, has told the Los Angeles Times that she had already been considering ending her radio career for the past year, adding that although she did not make the decision public until her appearance on Larry King Live on CNN (See RNW Aug 18) she had in fact made it last Friday.
"I was just sitting here, looking over the ocean," Schlessinger said in an interview Wednesday morning from her Santa Barbara home. "It was sort of a peaceful wave of awareness - an inner voice just said, 'We're done with this.' The second it came over me, I felt very energized."
The paper goes on to quote Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine as expressing doubts, and commenting, "I think Dr. Laura really, really cares and is sensitive and suffers great emotional stress when these things happen to her. And I think this one just pushed her over the edge."
Harrison, who noted that hundreds of radio stations depended on the hose, said it would be a shame for Schlessinger not to do radio and described Schlessinger as "the most important female talk show host of all time" and was "quitting at the peak of her career."
As well as the NABJ other groups have also issued statements attacking Schlessinger and in the case of four of them - Media Matters for America; Unity Journalists of Color; the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); and the Women's Media Center - implicitly calling for a boycott companies that advertise on her show.
"By choosing to sponsor her, Dr. Laura's advertisers are not only funding her offensive radio show, but are implicitly endorsing its content," they said in a news release, adding "This week, we will hold these advertisers accountable and find out exactly where they stand."
RNW comment: We hold no brief for Dr Laura but some of the comments now being made are as indefensible and foolish in our view as a number of comments made in the past by Schlessinger.
In this instance the US First Amendment makes it crystal clear that Dr Laura has every RIGHT to use any word she chooses, however offensive it may be to Kathy Times, who should have known much better than to say the host does "not have the right to use racial slurs on public airwaves."
Times however, also has the right to take the view that it is never OK to use some words, just as we have every right to disagree and take the view that to ban words can be abused as a way to alter history.
We consider that context changes things - and agree with the thinking behind the English legal concept of action likely to lead to a breach of the peace being considered a criminal offence in some contexts thus meaning that to use some words in some places and at some events could quite reasonably result in a jail sentence for the offender.
This, however, is a long way from banning the use of a word and we think Times should take note of the fact that Carlin was- quite effectively and justifiably in our view - poking fun at those who would ban his seven words.
Media Matters and others who are calling for advertisers to cease support for shows also have every right to put pressure on those advertisers but we think they may be on dangerous ground if they do so without thinking things through: If they campaign on this matter they cannot reasonably oppose similar campaigns against views they hold, something that might well lead to a degree of discomfiture at GLAAD in view of the strongly held (and in our view ignorant and bigoted) views of many members of a number of major religions, some of which have a disturbing history of cruelty and intolerance when they have been in a position to exercise power (think of Auto-da-fés and Archbishop Cranmer when it comes to the Catholic Church up to recent barbarities by the Iranian regime and Taliban when it comes to Islam, to take just two or on a more general basis the burning of witches and use of torture in Medieval times).
Overall we hold hard to the view that the best persuader in the long term is the power of argument and logic backed by evidence, whatever short-term discomfiture this may cause to those with strong views who are unable to persuade a majority to share them. In this case we doubt that there is much need for any action to persuade most Americans that Dr Laura was at the very least offensive in the way she made her comments.
Previous Dr Laura (Schlessinger):
Los Angeles Times report:
2010-08-19: Westwood One has reported second quarter revenues down 0.4% to USD 83.4 million although for the first half year they are up 4% to USD 176.3 million: it put the second quarter decline down to a fall in advertising spend in the quarter.
Within the figures network radio was flat for the second quarter and up 4.7% for the half year whilst Metro Traffic was flat in the quarter (a 3% rise in radio was offset by a 10.2% decrease in Metro Television) whilst for the half-year it was up 3.2% within which radio was up 3.2% and TV was up 3.1%).
In operating terms, the company trimmed its loss in the second quarter to USD 3.0 million from USD 8.3 million a year earlier whilst adjusted EBITDA was up from USD .47 million to USD 6.0 million and net loss was cut from USD 10.0 million to USD 5.4 million (from USD 29.48 per diluted share to 26 cents per diluted share, figures that reflect a 200-1 reverse split of the company's common stock in August last year).
For the first six months the operating loss was down from USD 27.9 million in 2009 to USD 9.5 million with adjusted EBITDA moving from USD 2.1 million to USD 6.8 million and a net loss of USD 25.1 million was down to a net loss of USD 12.1 million (From USD 62.38 per diluted share to 59 cents per diluted share, again reflecting the 200-1 reverse split).
Commenting on the figures, Westwood One President Rod Sherwood commented, "As many radio companies have reported, advertising spending during the recovery from the 2009 recession slowed down in the second quarter of 2010. While this affected our second quarter revenue trajectory, revenue increased for the first six months of the year, driven by a strong first."
Looking ahead the company says it is positioned to take advantage of a stronger marketplace with an expanded sales force, and investments in new programming that the Company believes will help drive growth in the future and adds that it is showing increased bookings in both Metro Traffic and Network Radio in the third and fourth quarters, as advertising spending regains momentum.
The company also noted that on August 17th, it renegotiated its capital structure and modified its debt leverage covenants with its lenders to provide the Company with additional liquidity, and increased operating and financial flexibility. The Gores Group is infusing additional capital of up to USD 20 million in the form of USD 15 million of equity and USD 5 million by guaranteeing an increased revolver. USD 10 million of this capital will be provided by September 7th. The remainder will be provided by Gores no later than February 28, 2011 unless the Company receives net cash proceeds of at least USD 10 million from the issuance and sale of Company equity from any other party. As part of the amendments, the quarterly debt leverage covenants were eased for the remainder of the term, beginning with September 30, 2010. These new covenant levels will provide the Company with a significant increase in operational and financial flexibility, reduce financial risk, and allow the Company to manage its business strategically, including considering investments and other opportunities for growth.
Previous Westwood One:
2010-08-19: Its seventh Communications Market Report just released by UK media regulator Ofcom says that Britons are increasingly multi-tasking in their use of media - to the extent that the 16-24 year old age group squeeze 9.5 hours of media consumption into just over 6.5 hours actual time, spending the largest part of their time on computers and mobiles.
The report indicates a substantial gap in the pattern of media consumption amongst this demographic - nearly 30 per cent of their media consumption is "simultaneous" and those 55 and older for whom the figure is 12%.
As far as radio is concerned, the report provides a mixed picture - of record reach - to new high of 90.6 per cent (46.5 million adults) on a weekly basis by the first quarter of 2010 - accompanied by a 5.3% fall in the time spent listening to radio over the past five years. Within the radio listening, total listening hours to all BBC Radio stations were down by 1.2 per cent during 2009 and down 2.2 per cent in five years whilst the total for commercial radio listener hours was stable in the year but down 10.1 per cent over five years.
The report notes a change in the way in which people access media - Broadcast television viewing and radio listening have remained comparatively stable year on year but nearly four in ten people claim to watch television services online, while 14% listen to radio over the web.
In financial terms, communications industry revenue (based on elements monitored by Ofcom) declined by 2.3% during 2009 to GBP 52.8 billion ( USD 8.22 billion): It fell across all industry sectors with radio hit hardest - its revenue was down by 4% to GBP 1.1 billion (USD 1.7 billion with commercial radio revenues down 11.5% to GBP 432 million -USD 673 million); telecoms revenues by 2.7% to USD 40.6 billion (USD 63.2 billion - Operator-reported retail telecoms revenue declined by 2.6% in 2009 to GBP 30.4 billion (USD 47.3 billion) the lowest annual figure since 2006); and television revenue fell by 0.4% to GBP 11.1 billion (USD 17.3 billion).
In demographic terms there was potentially worrying news for broadcasters - Older consumers spent most of their media and communications time using TV and radio sets, while younger people spend half of their time with computers, mobile phones and handheld devices.
When it comes to the medium they would miss, TV remains top with half the population saying it is the medium they would miss most - down to 36% for those 16-24; followed by the internet (15%) although the mobile phone is second for those 16-24 (a third compared to a tenth overall); using a mobile phone (15%); listening to radio (9% - radio ranks second amongst those 55-64 at16%); and reading newspapers or magazines (4%).
TV tends to be an activity that people watch to the exclusion of doing other things (83% of viewing) as is radio (81%) and reading (71%) but 55% of mobile use and 62% of computer use takes place concurrently with other media activity: However more attention is given to media that require active involvement (playing a game through a TV set has a 4.2 out of five score compared to 3.0 for watching TV and 2.90 for listening to radio).
In day part terms, radio is more popular than TV in the morning (nearly half of all media activity at 06:00) but this is reversed in the evening, when TV accounts for more than half of media activity.
Ofcom Communications Market Report (379-page 1.87 MB PDF):
2010-08-18: Conservative US host Dr Laura (Laura Schlessinger) has announced on "Larry King Live" on CNN that she is to leave radio as a result of her comments a week ago when she repeatedly used the word "nigger" on her show in response to an African-American woman caller.
Schlessinger said that she will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of the year but would not be retiring, commenting, "I will be stronger and freer to say my mind through my books, my YouTube Channel, my blog and my website."
Schlessinger said that she was to end her radio show following the comments, for which she had already apologized on her web site (See RNW Aug Laura 1) and commented, "I want my 1st Amendment rights back, which I can't have on radio without the threat of attack on my advertisers and stations" and said her right to freedom of speech had "been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate -- they want to eliminate" adding "I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry or some special-interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my piece and not have to live in fear anymore."
Schlesinger, who is now 64, is not a medical doctor - she gained a PhD in physiology from Columbia University in 1974: The same year she called Los Angeles shock jock Bill Balance's show and he began to feature her in a weekly segment (The married Balance also began an affair with her, an affair that led to a 1998 contretemps when a judge ruled that nude images of Schlessinger that he had sold could continue to be posted on a web site).
This led to her hosting her own shows on a number of stations and in 1994 to a daily show on KFI-AM that was nationally syndicated in 1994 by Synergy, a company owned by Schlessinger and her then husband.
Three years later, Synergy sold its rights to the show to Jacor Communications, Inc., for USD 71.5 million and after Clear Channel took over Jacor a company co-owned by Schlessinger, Take On The Day, LLC, acquired the production rights. The current show Dr. Laura Show is a joint effort between Take On The Day, which produces it, Talk Radio Network, which syndicates and markets it to radio stations, and Clear Channel-owned Premiere Radio Networks, which provides satellite facilities and handles advertising sales.
When we last checked she had not posted anything on her web site about her plans to end the radio show, which Talkers Magazine says is the third highest rated in the country, behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity: It does still have her original apology and a later comment from Monday this week headed "What I've Learned From the Events of the Past Week".
It ends with the following; " Now, when I first started out in radio, people would disagree...they DISAGREED...they didn't HATE. They didn't try to censor, they didn't try to destroy an opposing point of view. Instead...they just argued and debated, and argued and disagreed, and debated and argued. But our society has changed dramatically. Self-appointed activist types breed hate, breed anger, breed destruction should anyone hold up a mirror or dare to disagree. This environment, as you know, is not only in radio and television...it is in politics; it's in every area of our society...in your neighbourhoods, in your school districts, at work...
"But for those of you who don't accept my apology, I'd like to say... that's your choice. But I hope, in time, through what I say and what I don't say... through what I do and what I don't do... you'll change your mind.
"For those of you who accept my apology: Thank you. And I hope I will continue to earn your good will and grace."
Previous Dr Laura:
CNN-Larry King Live:
Schlessinger "What I've learned" blog:
2010-08-18: The number of employees in Canada's privately-owned over-the-air broadcasters declined from 17,868 in 2007-2008 to 16,939 in 2008-09 according to a decade's figures just released by Canadian regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
For radio they declined from 10,467 in 2007-2008 to 10,192 in 2008-09 whilst for TV they fell from 7,401 to 6747.
In radio the total number employed was 10,390 in 1989-90 and within the radio totals programming and production staff numbers went from 5,850 in 1989-90 to a high of 5,487 in 2007-08 and then down to 5,270 in 2008-09 - the lowest number in the period was 4,432 in 1988-9; technical staff numbers began the decade at a high of 407 and ended it at 358 in 2008-09 with a low for the decade of 333 in 19899-2000; sales and promotion staff numbers were 2,458 in 1989-90 and 3,130 in 2008-09 - the lowest number in the decade was 2.375 in 1991-2 whilst the highest was 3,185 in 2007-08; and administration and general staff numbers were 1,675 in 1989-90and 1,433 in 2008-09 with the lowest number in the decade 1,279 in 1999-2,000 and the highest 1,746 in 1990-91.
2010-08-17: Radio One Inc., which is struggling to refinance its debt, has reported second quarter revenues up 7.6% on a year earlier at USD 75.2 million but operating expenses were up 16.8% to USD 61.4 million and station operating income was down 5% to USD 28.4 million and operating income was down 26.6% to USD 13.8 million. Net income was down even more - from USD 7.2 million to USD 2.0 million (from 12 cents per share to four cents per share)..
For the half-year net revenue was up 3% to USD 134.2 million but operating expenses were down 32.2% and operating income moved from a loss of USD 24 million - after a USD 49 million impairment charge - to net income of USD 17.6 million. Net income moved from continuing operations moved from a loss of USD 49.5 million to a loss of USD 2.0 million with net income attributable to common shareholders moving from a loss of USD 51.5 million to a loss of USD 2.5 million (from a loss of 79 cents to a loss of five cents per share).
Radio One noted that at the end of the quarter it was not in compliance with the terms of its senior credit facility that requires a total leverage ratio of 7.25 to 1.00 and that of July 1, when it was required to maintain total leverage no greater than 6.50 to 1.00 effective for the period to the end of September next year it was also not in compliance. It added that it and its subsidiaries negotiated a forbearance agreement "that, among other things, extended the termination date of the Forbearance Agreement to September 10, 2010, unless terminated earlier by its terms, and provided additional forbearance related to an anticipated default that may be caused by an opinion of Ernst & Young LLP that may raise substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern that may be issued in connection with the restatement of our financial statements."
Under the Forbearance Agreement and the Forbearance Agreement Amendment, Lenders maintained the right to deliver "payment blockage notices" to the trustees for the holders of the 87/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 ("2011 Notes") and/or the 63/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 ("2013 Notes") and such a notice was delivered on August 5 in relation to the 2013 notes.
Under its agreement, Radio One cannot make any payments related to these notes - including interest payments that were scheduled for last Sunday - but has a 30-day grace period before the non-payment of interest puts it into default and Radio One says it is actively pursuing "various financing alternatives with its lenders and the members of an ad hoc group of the holders of its 2011 Notes and 2013 Notes." It announced yesterday that it had extended until the end of this month the deadline relating to its previously announced exchange offer for its 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 and its 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013, adding that as of August 13 approximately 89.8% of the outstanding Existing Notes had been validly tendered into the exchange offer and not withdrawn.
The Company also noted that it has filed a 10Q notification of late filing of its reports for the second quarter and that it is in the process of restating its consolidated financial statements for the years ending on December 31 2007, 2008, and 2009 but that these are solely result of an error of measurement and classification of a non-controlling interest in Reach Media, Inc. as presented. This error overstated stockholders' equity but the company says it did not affect other details such as previously reported net income or earnings per share. It adds that it expects to file the 10Q for the period to the end of June by the extended deadline of August 23.
Commenting on the results and the company's refinancing problems, President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, was upbeat about revenues, commenting, "The recovery in radio revenues continued in the second quarter, led by national business, which was up 17.5%. Our overall radio revenue growth of 8.4% was in line with expectations, however as I previously indicated we had upward pressure on the cost base, driven by a combination of contractual increases, such as in PPM fees, severance costs and non-cash compensation expenses. Reach Media made excellent progress with its in-house sales effort during the second quarter, although revenues and EBITDA were both adversely impacted by the lack of guaranteed revenues. Our internet business is growing strongly, with revenues up 48% from the second quarter of 2009, and we continue to believe that our on-line platform will be a major source of revenue and EBITDA growth for the future."
As regards the refinancing he added, "The volatility in the credit markets has made our refinancing much more complex than we could have anticipated when we started the process. While we have triggered certain defaults under the terms of our credit facility, our business remains viable and we are actively engaged in constructive dialogue with our lenders and bondholders. We are confident that we will be able to solve both for the defaults under the credit facility and for our upcoming debt maturities in a manner that permits the Company to maintain both strategic optionality [the word used but as to its meaning there is no point in consulting a dictionary] operational flexibility."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-08-17: Veteran British DJ Simon Bates is to leave Global Radio's Classic FM, where he currently hosts a mid-morning weekday show, to become the breakfast host on GMG Radio's national Smooth Radio.
The Smooth line-up will also include Mark Goodier in the mid-morning slot; Dave Lincoln - who currently hosts the mid-morning show on Smooth North West in afternoons; Carlos (Carl Emms) from Smooth Radio, West Midlands in the 1600-2000 drivetime slot and Andy Peebles from 2000 to midnight.
Smooth launches on October 4 but Bates is not available until January next year until when Lynn Parsons will cover the slot.
Bates, who was born in Birmingham, worked in radio in Australia and New Zealand as a teenager and joined the BBC in 1971 when he returned to the UK. He initially worked for Radio 4, then joined Radio 2 in 1973 and in 1976 joined BBC Radio 1, initially as a stand-in for T9m Browne, then as host of the Sunday morning show and later as host of the mid-morning show for 16 years from 1977. He has also worked on BBC Radios 3 and Five Live.
After leaving Radio 1 he had a spell on the Irish-based long-wave station Atlantic 252 and on talkSPORT before joining Classic FM in 1997 as host of the weekly Classic Romance programme: He also hosted a Sunday morning show on BBC Southern Counties Radio and a weekday evening show on the Classic Gold network until late 1998. In 1999 he became breakfast host on LBC, holding this post until 2002.
In 2003 he became Classic FM's weekday breakfast host (See RNW Jun 10, 2003), remaining in this slot - although in 1976 his hours were changed from 0700-1100 to 0800 to noon - until he was moved to the 0900-1300 slot earlier this year.
He said of his move that he had "had a very enjoyable and happy time at Classic FM " but was looking forward to joining the new national Smooth Radio. Global Radio's Director of Broadcasting Richard Park wished him "all the best in the next phase of his career" whilst GMG Radio's Group Programme Director John Simons said: "We are delighted that Simon Bates will be joining the station in the New Year. He was part of our audience's youth and his warm style of broadcasting will no doubt be a great draw for listeners."
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Guardian Media Group:
2010-08-16: Citadel Broadcasting Corporation has reported net revenues in the second quarter up 3.3% on a year earlier at USD 194.4 million within which radio markets (radio station) revenues were up 5.3% to 164.5 million; Radio Network revenues fell by 5.7% to USD 31.2 million and eliminations were up from a loss of USD 1.06 million to USD 1.26 million.
Operating income moved from a loss of USD 944.1 million - including asset impairment charges of USD 985.7 million - to income of USD 56 million: Excluding the impairment charge operating income was up 34.6% from 41.6 million and EBITDA was up 21.4% to USD 72.5 million.
For the first six months net revenue was up 3.3% to USD 194.4 million within which radio markets were up 5.3% to USD 302.6 million and Radio Networks were down 4.6% to USD 59.2 million with operating income was up 25.3% to USD 127.5 million within which radio markets operating income was up 18% to USD 118.52 million and Radio Networks moving from a loss of USD 1.87 million to income of USD 9.01 million.
EBITDA in the second quarter was up 19.5% to USD 72.48 million and a total operating loss of USD 929.8 million became a positive USD 93.1 million.
The current year's period follows a bankruptcy declaration filed in December and the subsequent exit from bankruptcy in June of a re-organized company.
Commenting on the performance, CEO Farid Suleman said, "The Company's continued focus on profitable programming and the improvement in the overall economic environment in the radio industry has resulted in increases to revenues in the first half of the year. The higher revenues were primarily driven by an improvement of approximately 5.4% at our Radio Markets segment. In addition, the Company has been able to simultaneously reduce operating expenses, resulting in an EBITDA growth of over 24% for the first half of 2010."W
At LBI Media, second quarter revenues, driven by TV, were up 9.4% to USD 30.7 million whilst for the first six months they rose by 9.6% to USD 54.3 million. Within the figures radio revenues in the second quarter were down 1.7% to USD 16.4 million whilst TV was up 25.7% to USD 14.3 million and for the first six months radio revenues were down 0.8% to USD 28.3 million whilst TV was up 23.8% to USD 26 million.
Operating expenses were up 31.5% to USD 25.2 million for the quarter and down 50.4% to USD 44.2 million for the half-year with adjusted EBITDA down 1% to USD 9.8 million for the quarter and down 4.7% to USD 16.8 million for the half=year and overall LBI recorded a net loss of 1.3 million in the quarter - compared to net income of USD 500,000 a year earlier and a net loss of USD 3.38 million for the first six-months compared to a year earlier net loss of USD 33.4 million when the figures included an additional USD 49.7 million in impairment charges partly offset the USD 15.5 million change in income tax (provision) benefit.
Commenting on the company's earnings results, , Chief Executive Officer and President Lenard Liberman singled out TV's performance, saying, "Our second quarter results represent our second consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, which was driven by improvement in our TV segment and by the performance of EstrellaTV, our national television network.
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) second quarter revenues were down 3% to USD 35.84 million with radio down 4% to USD 31.82 million and TV up 4% to USD 4.01 million whilst for the first six months its total revenues were up 3% to USD 66.68 million within which radio was up 3% to USD 58.90 million and TV was up 4% to US D 7.78 million.
Operating income before depreciation and amortization loss (gain) on the disposal of assets, net, and impairment of assets and restructuring costs, was up 16% in the quarter to USD 12.76 million (radio was up 16% and TV was up 3%) and up 38% for the first six months to USD 18.72 million (radio was up 17% and TV up 8%)
Overall SBS reported net income for the quarter up from USD 459,000 to USD 9.43 million whilst for the first six months a net loss of USD 10.49 million - including USD 10.69 million in impairment and restructuring costs - to income of USD 8.60 million.
The net income applicable to common shareholders moved from a loss of USD 2.02 million to income of USD 6.95 million (from a loss of three cents to income of ten cents per basic and diluted share) for the quarter whilst for the first six months it moved from a loss of USD 15.45 million to income of USD 3.64 million (from a loss of 21 cents to income of five cents per basic and diluted share)
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. said that during the second quarter the company "continued to focus on aggressively managing our costs given the improving, but volatile advertising environment."
"The double digit increase in our operating cash flow," he added, "reflects our ongoing efforts to drive further efficiencies across our operations, while continuing to prudently invest in our content and sales resources. Looking ahead, we remain focused on building our brands, increasing our audience reach across our radio, television and online properties and maximizing our share of advertising revenues in each of our markets."
Previous LBI Media:
2010-08-16: Cox Radio has dropped its Atlanta hip-hop station WBTS-FM (The Beat) from FM and is simulcasting its news/talk station WSB-AM on the frequency in a move that it says is aimed at attracting a younger audience: The Beat web site is still live and carries an "Important announcement" saying, "I wanted to let our loyal listeners know that 95.5 FM The Beat is no longer on the air as a contemporary hit radio format but now a 24-hour simulcast of News/Talk WSB" and then links to a longer comment. The home page shows a link to a live stream but did not when we checked mention that the signal is now being carried on the
In this WSB Radio VP/Market Manager Dan Kearney starts by thanking listeners to the Beat and then continues, "We evaluated the marketplace and made some difficult choices with regard to finding the best way to run our business operations while still meeting the needs of our listening audience and our valued advertisers. While The Beat's format was popular on the radio, we had to look for ways to running all of our businesses more efficiently and leveraging our most valuable asset in this highly competitive environment.
"The decision to simulcast our 24-hour news/talk format will offer valuable news and talk radio content to a wider listening audience, while affording us the opportunity to continue our role as a strong, valued community leader."
He then goes on to note that the Beat is still available online and also on the HD2 channel of Cox's 97.1 FM signal, home of "The River, Atlanta's Classic Hits Station", which was launched in 2006 to replace Cox's contemporary Urban Hits station JAMZ 97.1: Kearney does not make it clear that the HD station will air without the Beat's main personalities.
Kearney then notes that "many of you will be disappointed The Beat will not be there for your drive to and from work and school, and not hearing the friendly voices of "Murph Dawg and CJ In the Morning" and our other talented DJs will be hard to get used to" and says he shares the disappointment before going on to plug WSB as the home "to syndicated talk show hosts Neal Boortz, Clark Howard and Sean Hannity" and "the station Atlanta depends on for News, Weather and Traffic."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in its report quoted Cox Atlanta vice president and market manager for programming Tony Kidd as saying, "Fewer people under the age of 40 are listening to AM. By being on FM, this will enable WSB to draw from a bigger pool of potential listeners."
It then goes on to note that Kidd said that most of the Beat on-air and sales staffs are losing their jobs- including morning hosts C.J. Simpson and Murph Dawg, afternoon jock Maverick and mid-day host K-Dub - but will be considered for other positions in the Cox radio family
The paper also notes that the Beat has lost more than a quarter of its audience over the last 18 months with an even higher fall of 54% amongst those 25-54 and is competing in a crowded market. It suggests that the big gainer from the change could be Clear Channel's WWVA-FM (The Groove), which has moved its playlist closer to that of the Beat over the last three months - it ranked 23rd in July with a 1.5% share and 443,000 cume (It was 17th amongst 18-43 year olds whilst The Beat was fourth).
The main urban Competitor in the market, WVEE-FM (V103), owned by CBS Radio, meanwhile has held on to its top ranking in Atlanta - in July Arbitron gave it an estimated 7.9% share and cumulative audience of 1.191 million compared to a 3.9% share and cumulative 991,000 for the Beat, which ranked 16th.
WSB-AM was ranked third with a 5.9% share and 818,000 cume - Citadel's Country WKHX-FM was second with a 6.0 share and 857,000 cume.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution report:
The Beat web site:
2010-08-15: Last week is almost seemed that radio had disappeared from the remit of the regulators with no radio announcements at all from Australia, Ireland and the UK and very few from North America except for routine matters.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did make a few radio postings including the following:
*Approval of application by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of the radio station CJJM-FM, Espanola, from JOCO Communications Inc.
The value of the transaction is CAD 125,000 (USD ) on top of which are consulting fees of CAD 24,000 and the agency accordingly notes that Haliburton had proposed a tangible benefits package equal to 6% of the proposed CAD 125,000 value of the transaction (CAD 7,500) over the next seven years to be allocated to a new Canadian music marketing and promotion fund such as the Radio Starmaker Fund (3%), FACTOR or MUSICACTION (2%) and the remaining 1% to be divided between these or to go to other Canadian Content Development initiatives, or to other eligible third parties.
It adds that in view of the revised transaction amount the total will rise to CAD 8,940 and that based on its new approach to tangible benefits this should be divided over seven years between the Radio Starmaker Fund (CAD 4,470); FACTOR (CAD 2,235); the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CAD 1,490); and CAD 1,490 to any of the above initiatives, to other Canadian Content Development initiatives, or to other eligible third parties. (RNW Note we have not converted the figures to USD as the Canadian Dollar is now worth approximately 96 cents).
Prince Edward Island:
*Approval of application by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. to change the frequency of its rebroadcasting transmitter CIOG-FM-1, Summerside, which carries the programming of CIOG-FM, Charlottetown, from 91.1 MHz to 92.5 MHz. The licensee says the change is needed because the unprotected 91.1 MHz frequency has been allocated to another broadcaster.
*Approval of application by Canada Inc. (a subsidiary of Corus) for authority to acquire as part of a corporate re-organization the assets of French-language commercial radio programming undertaking CKRS-FM, Chicoutimi/Saguenay from 591991 B.C. Ltd. , another Corus wholly-owned subsidiary.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a very quiet week as regards radio matters with no important postings made regarding the medium: On a more general note it issued latest figures on consumer inquiries and complaints that showed a drop in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter (See RNW Aug 12) followed by a massive rise in the first quarter of this year (See RNW Aug 13).
The FCC also posted guidance concerning payment of regulatory fees for the 2010 Fiscal Year: The fees are due by noon ET on August 31 and the agency's online "Fee Filer" system will continue with no changes from last year and as last year no hard copy bills will be mailed for four fee categories -
Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs); Satellite Space Station Licensees; Earth Station Licensees; and Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) Licensees.
Payment may be made by cheque, money order, wire transfer, ACH (Automated Clearing House) / debit from bank account (online) via fee filer and credit card but the last will only be accepted up to USD 99,999.99. Payment has to be made using the fee filer system.
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2010-08-15: A new DAB+ digital radio trial has now started in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory of Australia, following a trial in the country's capital, Canberra.
Three services are being broadcast - Hot 100 and Mix 104.9 and a digital only service called Top Country NT with a further digital-only service to follow. The trial was announced by industry body Commercial Radio Australia and Grant Broadcasters, which has interests in a total of 33 stations covering every Australian state and territory.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer, Joan Warner said the trial in Darwin indicated how enthusiastic regional commercial broadcasters are to provide digital radio services to their clients and listeners, commenting, "The family owned and operated Grant Broadcasters has been a leader in local regional radio for more than 60 years and is representative of the enthusiasm for, and interest in, DAB+ digital radio in regional areas."
As with the July trial in Canberra that was announced in May (See RNW May 5), the trial will be at relatively low power for the trial: In addition in the first couple of weeks there may be minor interruptions as the start up procedures are fined tuned but it is still expected to cover a large part of Darwin.
For Grant, director Grant Cameron commented, "We are supporting the digital radio trial to ensure the people of Darwin get to experience the benefits of digital radio first hand We also want to demonstrate to Canberra that people and broadcasters in regional Australia are just as interested in digital radio as those in the five capital cities that have already been given the right to have permanent digital radio services."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-08-14: Emmis has yet again - for the third time - adjourned its special shareholders meeting called to vote on a bid by Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Smulyan to take it private. The next meeting is now scheduled for this Friday, Aug 2, which has also been set as a new deadline for acceptance of the tender by JS Acquisitions - set up by Smulyan for the deal with the backing of Alden Global Capital.
As with the earlier adjournments, the issue is a decision by a group of shareholders who hold 38% of the preferred stock (Double Diamond Partners LLC, Zazove Aggressive Growth Fund, L.P., R2 Investments, LDC, DJD Group LLC, Third Point LLC, the Radoff Family Foundation, Bradley L. Radoff, and LKCM Private Discipline Master Fund, SPC) to sign a lock-up deal under which they will reject the deal on offer to exchange the stock for new notes, due 2017.
Smulyan controls enough of the common stock to take the deal - at USD 2.40 for this stock - through but the buyout also needs the support of holders of two thirds of the preferred stock. Emmis is still in talks with these stockholders and has said that should no agreement is reached with them it will explore "alternative structures" to take the company private.
2010-08-14: Following two trials in which the jury deadlocked, a Federal Jury in Brooklyn has found right-wing Internet radio talk show host Hal Turner guilty of a charge of threatening to assault and murder the chief judge and two other judges of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by writing in a June 2009 blog post that they "deserve to be killed" for their ruling upholding handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois: The juries had been deadlocked at previous trials in December last year and March this year.
As well as his comments about killing the judges on his blog, Turner also posted their photographs and court addresses, along with a map, actions that the prosecution said was evidence of his intent to intimidate and impede the judges in the performance of their duties.
Turner was arrested by the FBI in July last year following the filing of a Federal Complaint that alleged that he issued threats to assault and murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago in retaliation for their ruling upholding the handgun bans (See RNW Jul 28, 2009).
Testimony was given at this trial and the previous one by the judges, who said they felt personally threatened, particularly by Turner's references to the murders of the mother and husband of Judge Joan Lefkow, one of their judicial colleagues.
Turner had also spied on white supremacists for the FBI and at the third trial prosecutors, for the first time, put two of Turner's Joint Terrorism Task Force handlers as rebuttal witnesses after Tuner's defence rested: FBI Special Agent Steven Haug and New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Leonard Nerbetski - contradicted Turner's testimony and denied giving him legal advice on the difference between protected and unprotected speech, or that he was told to "ratchet up his rhetoric" to help the FBI find the killer of Lefkow's family in 2005.
Turner had testified that he was recruited by the FBI in 2003 and paid thousands of dollars to provide intelligence on white-power extremists who gravitated to his show and that similar remarks to the ones as issues, directed at another judge, were sanctioned by his handlers, who coached him on the limits of lawful speech.
North Jersey.com (The Bergen Record) reported that the judge ordered Turner jailed immediately following an investigation into an attempt to temper with the Haug's evidence or intimidate him. It was said that Haug had been threatened in a text message that if his testimony contradicted Turner, the host would release information that would ruin his career and show him to have lied under oath.
The message sent from a disposable phone, concluded, "Your career will be destroyed because you won't be able to testify anywhere else again. I'm telling you this because i like you. You're in a tough spot. Better get your [résumé] in order. You have a few minutes to reply by text message before i destroy this burn phone."
Prosecutors wanted to introduce the message as evidence but the judge refused to allow them to do so and Turner's family deny that he sent the text, whose contents were included in a court filing requesting an emergency pre-trial conference.
North Jersey.com saidt the latest jury took only two hours to reach a guilty verdict and says that U.S. District Judge Donald Walter ordered Turner locked up as a danger to the community pending sentencing, for which no date was set.
Turner faces up to 10 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine and the publication reports that Turner's mother, wife and 16-year-old son expressed shock and angrily denounced the verdict.
It quotes his mother Kathy Diamond as saying "There goes the First Amendment for everyone. Their job is to protect the Constitution, not shred it."
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald welcomed the verdict, commenting, "There is no place in society for threatening federal judges with violence. Period. We are grateful that the jury saw these threats for what they were and rejected any notion that they were acceptable speech."
NorthJersey.com report (also carries comments from readers on the case - most of which are sympathetic to Turner or defend him):
2010-08-14: DMG Radio Australia has announced the appointment of Paul Jackson, Group Programme Director for Global Radio's 95.8 Capital FM, The Hit Music Network and The XFM Network since 2008, as its Group Programme Director.
His appointment was announces shortly after Dean Buchanan quit after ten years in the post: Buchanan had launched the Nova network and also the launch in March this year of classic rock stations in Sydney and Melbourne to replace the ailing Vega stations (See RNW Mar 12).
Buchanan in a statement following his departure said he had "loved my time with DMG and in particular the development of the Nova Network from inception," adding "After ten years it is time to have fresh ears and direction on the brand, and it's a good time for me to pursue new challenges. DMG is a great company and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented people."
DMG CEO Cathy O'Connor in a statement said Buchanan had "made a significant contribution to DMG over the past 10 years" and commented of Jackson in a release; "A winning vision for the future programming direction of DMG Radio Australia's brands all starts with strong leadership. Paul Jackson is a high calibre executive who brings both significant experience and strong creativity to this important role. It's exciting to bring a fresh set of eyes and ears to the programming table at DMG. Paul inherits a team of exceptional programmers and presenters who are ready for his strong leadership and who are as passionate about creativity and success as he is."
Jackson will join the company in November until when Assistant Group Programme Director, Dan Bradley, will take on the role of Acting Group Programme Director. In addition Nova 100 Programme Director, Todd Campbell, will also take on additional responsibilities as Nova Group Programme Manager - Online.
The announcements follow the appointment of Tony Thomas, formerly Head of Advertising and Media for Coles Supermarkets, founder of digital communications agency The Population, and former Director of Marketing for web portal ninemsn, the new position of Group Marketing Director. He joined the company last week.
In July, Jenny Parkes joined the company as its Group Sales Director: She had been with Austereo for 12 years, most recently as Director of Sales, Sydney, and also for most of 2009 as Acting General Manager of 2DAY-FM and Triple M.
At Global Radio, Jackson is to be replaced at Capital by James Brownlow, currently senior programming director for Manchester and the north at Global's Galaxy network of stations.
Richard Park, Jackson's father and director of broadcasting at Global Radio, said of his son's decision to emigrate to Australia with his family, "We are of course sorry to lose Paul. He has been a programming giant at Capital over the years, and integral to its great success."
Jackson had joined Capital Radio in 2007 from what was then Virgin Radio - the frequency was subsequently bought by a Times of India subsidiary and in 2008 the station was re-branded Absolute Radio - as its managing director. He was moved into the group PD role after Global in 2008 took over what had become GCap Media - formed through the merger of Capital Radio and GWR .
That merger also led to the departure from GCap of its then programme director Scott Muller, who had been hired from DMG's Sydney Nova station in 2006. His role was discontinued and Jackson took over the duties. Muller returned to Australia and is currently Program Director for Nova 937 in Perth.
Previous Global Radio:
2010-08-13: Townsquare Media has now formally announced that it has acquired GAP Radio Broadcasting, a move that it says adds 111 radio stations and associated digital assets in 23 markets to its holdings, taking the total number of stations and associated digital assets it now owns to 171 in 36 markets.
It also confirmed the rumours of last month when it applied to the FCC to take over Gap's licences (See RNW Jul 16) that GAP President George Laughlin and GAP WEST President Erik Hellum would stay on in senior roles: Both are to be Senior Vice Presidents in which role they will oversee the company's two divisions and will report to Townsquare Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven Price.
Price commented of the deal, "The acquisition of GAP represents another step in the process of transforming Townsquare Media into the local media business of the future. With this transaction, the company greatly expands its audience and advertiser reach. New opportunities to capitalize on our scale are abundant."
"George and Erik," he added "bring a wealth of experience, talent, and energy and we are excited to welcome them to the team. They will be an integral part of transforming our company into a new type of local media business."
2010-08-13: Following its release yesterday of complaints for the final quarter of 2009, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now released figures for the first quarter of this year showing that complaints more than tripled compared to the previous period - increasing from 53,661 to 177,589 with most of the increase relating to broadcasting complaints which rose nearly fourteen-fold from 9,740 to 132,416.
Virtually all of the broadcasting complaints related to "Programming - Indecency/Obscenity" - 130,651 or nearly 99% and of these 127,655 were made in January.
RNW comment: The FCC as usual renders the figures almost useless in assessing the real situation as it does not detail how many related to a particular issue, thus meaning that an orchestrated e-mail campaign can easily lead to a large number of complaints, some of which relate to programming outside its remit: In February SNL Kagan issued figures it obtained through a Freedom of Information request that showed the FCC Enforcement Bureau had a backlog of 1.45 million complaints pending and 12,049 open cases on indecency at the end of 2009 and also reported in February that a Fox TV "Family Guy" episode from March 2009 in which a baby uses horse semen in lieu of milk for cereal topped the list with for the number of indecency complaints against a programme with 188,368 complaints. Second was a CBS 9/11 documentary that attracted 182,129 complaints and third and fourth were two more Fox TV programmes - a NASCAR Food City 500 one that attracted 159,824 complaints and an NFL Saints v Eagles one that attracted 149,235 after cameras panned over a fan wearing a T-Shirt on which was the slogan "Fuck the [Philadelphia] Eagles". In fifth place was an edition of ABC's "Good Morning America".
Previous FCC& FCC complaints:
Los Angeles Times report re complaints (Links to SNL Kagan reports referred to):
2010-08-13: Saga Communications has announced second quarter operating revenues up 4% on a year earlier to USD 32.9 million with net income up 27% to USD 3.7 million (from 63 cents to 87 cents per fully diluted share.
For the first six months operating revenues were up 5.4% to USD 60.9 million with net income more than trebled - from USD 2.3 million to USD 7.0 million ( from 55cents to USD 1.66 per fully diluted share).
2010-08-12: Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth in his latest "Corner Office" posting on the company's web site has backed the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) talks with the recording industry over performance royalties for terrestrial radio (See RNW Aug 7) although still feeling he also has to go on record as being opposed to them.
In the posting he refers to the possibility of "removing a Sword of Damocles that has been dangling over radio for years" but then goes on "Don't get me wrong: I hate the idea of taxes, royalties, fees or whatever you want to call new payments that might go to record labels and artists. I don't want our company to pay a 1% net revenue fee for the "privilege" of promoting artists and their music."
After the genuflection to the principle of opposing the introduction of the fee - he also re-iterates the NAB argument about the promotional value of airplay, Smyth went on to express a pragmatic view about the talks, commenting "...when you move beyond the rhetoric and look closely at the proposed terms that are under discussion, it seems clear: The conceptual framework provided by NAB's leadership team is something that the leaders and owners in this great business should seriously consider."
The dialogue, he suggests could lead to "the regulatory certainty needed to re-open access to capital and provide long-term opportunities for growth" and he says the "biggest "get" from any resolution of a performance tax settlement would be the removal of the onerous and unpredictable Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decisions that threaten radio's profitability."
The CRB says Smyth "has been downright hostile to the interests of free and local radio" and he also comments that the "NAB framework includes plenty of other potential benefits for radio" including settlements of AFTRA issues that have prevented many stations from streaming commercials, and prevented Arbitron from including our streaming audiences in the ratings and also the expansion of radio's reach through the incorporation of radio receivers in mobile phones - one of the ideas in the NAB proposals.
Summing up Smyth says that radio executives should not "ignore the potential long-term benefits we can realize under the terms of the royalty proposal being discussed" and ends by commenting, "There may come a day - maybe not this year, and maybe not next year, but in the foreseeable future - when Congress moves forward and legislates a performance tax of 5% or more on radio revenues. If that happens, my guess is that our peers of tomorrow will judge quite harshly a decision to pass up the opportunity that presents itself today."
RNW comment: Unless the NAB has changed its spots, this comment and the talks itself would seem to indicate that the NAB has decided that this is one fight its lobbyists will lose at some stage and thus its best course of action is to get the best long-term deal that it can. We suspect that the NAB has assessed this one correctly albeit the proposals do somewhat render many of its previous arguments redundant - and certainly indicate its devotion to any principle is a significantly less than the devotion to benefits it can gain - in other words only one principle applies, that of self-interest. Which is fine were it to stop the blather that suggests it has others.
Previous Greater Media:
2010-08-12: Conservative US talk host Dr Laura Schlessinger has posted an apology on her web site following widespread criticism of comments she made on her radio show in an exchange with a black woman married to a white man and who had called concerning her resentment at racist comments made by her husband's friends and in which Schlessinger used the word "nigger" a number of times,
Saying she "did the wrong thing", Schlessinger comments, "I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done. I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the "N" word all the way out - more than one time. And that was wrong. I'll say it again - that was wrong."
A transcript of the exchange was posted by Media Matters - it says she used the "racial slur 11 times" and notes that after the caller asked about the "N-word", Schlessinger responded, "Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger... I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate."
In a later part of the programme, following a commercial break, Schlessinger asked about use of the word said, "It's -- it depends how it's said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it's OK" and when the caller pointed out that she and the caller's husband were both white responded, "Oh, I see. So, a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can't do much about that."
There was then an acrimonious exchange between the two women after which Media Matters reported that Schlessinger commented, "And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think -- and it's really distressting [sic] and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear "nigger, nigger, nigger." I didn't call anybody a nigger. Nice try, Jade. Actually, sucky try."
The organization also said that Schlesinger had commented of the caller," You know what? If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race. If you're going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, 'OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?" Of course there isn't a one-think per se. But in general there's 'think'" and had also later added that "hypersensitivity" is "being bred by black activists."
RNW comment: In that we do not consider that banning the use of words is a justified approach we think there is a point buried in this exchange that could merit discussion on air. However when a word has been used as a denigratory term for many years use of it should sensibly be limited and dependant very much on context since use in certain contexts and places it can amount to criminal conduct and even if not causing this magnitude of offence certainly demands tact and thought about the way an audience or listener may react..
In this case we consider the handling of the matter by Schlesinger insensitive although it its is simplistic nonsense, philosophically or otherwise, to consider that comments that hurt people, whether intended do so or not, are thus made "the wrong thing to do."
What we would agree as being wrong is to overdo the use of examples and in this case Schlessinger made the rod for her own back in asking the caller to give examples of a "racist comment" in the context of some people being "hypersensitive" over issues of race.
Huffington Post report (Embeds Media Matters audio)
Media Matters report- includes transcript:
Schlessinger web site apology:
2010-08-12: Figures just released by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for final quarter of 2009 show a reduction from 62,660 in the 3rd quarter to 53,661 in the total number of complaints but within the total radio and TV broadcasting complaints were up from 6,700 to 9,740: In the final quarter of 2008 the total number of complaints was 70,836 within which broadcasting complaints totalled 29,106.
Two thirds of the broadcasting complaints - 6,475 - again concerned obscenity and indecency issues with 5,215 - more than 80% - being made in November.
Previous FCC complaints figures (Second and third quarters of 2009):
2010-08-11: Eastlan Ratings has announced that it is to provide ratings for Federated Media in its three largest markets - Fort Wayne, South Bend and Elkhart in Indiana starting from Fall this year.
Federated Media's Chief Operating Officer Tony Richards said the decision was primarily one of cost, commenting, "The fact of the matter is, in this climate our current vendor is cost prohibitive" but then continued "Plus, if you continue to collect data the same way for over 42 years and rely on the United States Postal Service as your primary delivery system, you get what you get. We're going in a different direction as I suppose most radio stations are in this day and age. We are excited to be working with Eastlan to bring more reliable, cost effective results for our stations and clients."
Richards added that they were also impressed with recommendations from other Eastlan customers, saying, "Eastlan has over 80 markets now and the folks I've talked with who use them are thrilled with the service and the price."
2010-08-11: A radio advert for an Anti-Terrorist hotline placed by The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has been found by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to have breached radio advertising codes on Good taste, decency and offence to public feeling and has to be taken off air in its current form.
In all 18 people complained about the advert which aired on UTV's talkSPORT, ten of them saying it encouraged people to report law-abiding citizens and was therefore offensive; 16 who believed that it could encourage people to harass or victimise their neighbours and thus was harmful; and nine who alleged it made an undue appeal to fear.
The advert as broadcast said, "The following message is brought to you by Talk Sport and the Anti-Terrorist Hotline. The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself. He pays with cash because he doesn't have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions. We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious, call the confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 XXXXXX. If you suspect it, report it".
The Metropolitan Police on behalf of ACPO said the advert addressed the issue that terrorists lived within communities and sometimes what appeared to be an insignificant behaviour could potentially be linked to terrorist activities and that the activities and behaviours in it were based on trends identified by police and had been amongst evidence given in court at recent terrorism trials. It also said that it was not heard in isolation but in the context of a wider Anti-Terrorist Hotline awareness-raising campaign.
talkSPORT in its response said the script avoided stereotyping and made no appeals to prejudice and that rather than suggesting that certain types of individuals were more likely to commit a terrorist offence, the focus was on the activities which "together" could "add up" to indicating the presence of illegal activity. They did not believe that the ad could be construed as offensive or divisive or that it could lead to harassment or victimisation in that it made an undue appeal to fear, because the tone and content were measured and factual and did not seek to sensationalise or exaggerate a serious issue..
The advert had been cleared by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) which said it believed most consumers would understand the ad to be a legitimate call to action to help the police, should they see anything suspicious that could comprise a terrorist threat. They pointed out that the ad stated "This may mean nothing but together it could add to you having suspicions ... We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious ..." and argued that it therefore made clear to listeners that it was not one, but a combination of behaviours that may point to terrorist activity. They therefore did not consider that the ad was offensive nor that it was harmful since it considered listeners would regard it as a call to take action to report something suspicious not as an encouragement to harass or victimise. Like talkSPORT it described the campaign's tone as restrained and said that it did not play upon fear without a justifiable reason.
The ASA in its ruling noted that the ad described a man who always paid with cash, did not speak to his neighbours and kept his curtains closed during the day and that this was based on behavioural trends identified by the police.
However, it added it considered that this could also describe the behaviour of a number of law-abiding people within a community and that some listeners who might identify with these behaviours could be offended by the implication that their behaviour was suspicious. On this basis it upheld the complaints that the advert could cause offence.
It did not uphold the other complaints, commenting that the advert was delivered in a measured and reasonable tone, was not sensationalist and did not suggest that listeners approach, harass, or victimise anyone but only asked them to call a police hotline. It also said the wording was conditional and appropriate and said that it did not breach rules relating to appeals to fear.
2010-08-10: Latest Australian radio ratings just released (comparing the periods from May 9 - Jun 12 and Jun 27 - Ju1 31) show the leaders retaining their ranking but although this included Macquarie Radio Network's retention yet again of its Sydney crown through 2GB, the good news in general was for rivals as the new Melbourne Talk Radio in which MRN is a partner t remained bottom in its market and lost share whilst MRN rivals Fairfax Media-owned 2UE in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne both increased their share.
On the FM front both Austereo and DMG claimed success with the former commenting on "another round of solid results, winning FM leadership in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and achieving a close second position in Adelaide" and adding "In addition, Austereo also won the key advertising buying demographic of 25 - 54s, almost a million listeners ahead of the competition."
Austereo Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson commented "Austereo continues to dominate the FM radio market. This FM leadership and strength online enables us to deliver integrated initiatives for our clients. Brand health is incredibly important when you have an explosion of media choice and Austereo is committed to being first in entertainment solutions" and Chairman Peter Harvie added, "This is a solid strategic survey outcome for both Austereo Networks. The consistency of results, coupled with the extraordinary talent line-up will ensure ongoing leadership in the market."
DMG presented the results differently commenting of its success with Nova - "The best performing network of the survey" and adding that four of its five stations had seen audience increases - it highlighted the addition of 29,000 to reach 768,000 a week for its Sydney station - and also continuing to show "strong gains in its target audience of 18-39s." (RNW note: The ratings are broken down into 18-24 and 25-39 and as regards the two largest markets in Sydney where DMG highlighted a 1.1% to 13% it was behind Austereo's 2DAY in both demographics - 2-DAY led by 19.6 to 18.6 for the 18-24 group and by 16.3 to 10.9 for those 25-39. In Melbourne, where DMG highlighted increases for 18-24; 18-34 and 18- 39 it was behind Austereo's FOX FM which led by 43.9 to 13.5 for the 10 to 17 group; by 28.3 to 23.3 for those 18-24 and by 18.5 to 11.6 for those 25-39).
In the AM talk contest, 2GB held on to the lead in Sydney but its share was down from 14.7 to 14.3 - Alan Jones at Breakfast was down from 17.2 to 15.9 but ABC 702 was also down - from 13.9 to 12.2 - whilst 2UE moved up from fifth to fourth - at breakfast it was up from 5.9 to 7.0 - and took its overall share up from 7.3 to 6.1, good news for former 2GB Program Director Peter Brennan who moved to 2UE.
In Melbourne, 3AW not only held onto the lead but took its share up from 15.9 to 17.7 overall with Neil Mitchell at Breakfast up 1.5 to 17.6%: The station's General Manager Shane Healy termed it "one of 3AW's best results in recent memory" and added "The station is the dominant player in the vital 40-54 demographic and wins most key sessions."
At MTR, which is a joint venture between Macquarie Radio Network and Pacific Star Network, with a share down to 1.3% - some 8,000 listeners - Program Director and Breakfast host Steve Price commented that he was not "at all despondent" and added, "'We always knew it would be hard so we're not looking over our shoulder. We're here for the long term.''
In an MTR release Price added, "This is where we start from. People are still finding us. We are putting to air a good alternative talk product which we think is compelling listening. Our challenge is to change listener's habits in a crowded and competitive radio market. We intend to make inroads over time."
Pacific Star Network CEO Barrie Quick backed up Price, commenting, "The station's establishment will take time and patience. We have been on air four short months and every day we are reviewing and refining the content and technical capabilities of the station."
"Talk back callers have increased and website traffic is up substantially," he added. "The Nielsen Time Spent Listening (TSL) figure for all people (10+) has increased from 8.43 to 9.53. MTR is attracting and retaining listeners looking for an alternative talk radio station because our team are discussing and debating issues and telling it like it is."
3AW in its station blog did not mention MTR but the Sydney Morning Herald, which like 3AW is owned by Fairfax Media, had a diary story in which it quoted unnamed insiders as saying that Price "could be relieved of his duties as program director at MTR within days" and adding, "'Expect to see Price being read the riot act in the next few days and to have his programming responsibilities revoked or diminished.'' (RNW comment: We can't see how reading the riot act would have any positive effects - if Price were capable of improving things speedily it must be assumed he would already have taken the appropriate action. However we could easily see his PD responsibilities being removed if MTR thinks it has someone else who can do better).
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 14.0 (14.7) - same rank; ABC 891 with 12.7 (11.9) up from fourth; Mix 102.3 with 12.2 (13.1) - down from second;
*SAFM with 12.0 (12.7) was down from third to fourth and 5MM remained fifth with 9.6 (9.1), followed by Nova, which was sixth with 8.3 (7.9).
*Brisbane - B105 with 13.1 (12.3) - Same rank; 97.3 FM with 11.4 (11.7) -same rank; Nova with 10.9 (11.1) - same rank;
*ABC 612 with 10.9 (9.7) was then fourth, exchanging places with 4MMM which fell to fifth with 10.3 (10.9)
*Melbourne - 3AW with 15.2 (14.8) - same rank; ABC 774 with 12.7 (12.7) - up from third; Fox FM with 12.2 (13.2) - same rank;
*Magic was up from fifth to fourth with 7.4 (6.8) swapping places with Gold, which fell a rank to fifth with 7.3 (7.2) after which Nova 100 remained sixth with 7.0 (6.8) and 3MMM remained seventh with 5.6 (6.0).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, remained 11th with an unchanged 3.3 and the newcomer Melbourne Talk Radio, in its first full ratings (the previous ratings reflected listening to 3MP up to April 18 and MTR from April 19) remained bottom with its share down from 1.7 to 1.3. In the breakfast slot 3AW retained the lead with 19.2 (19.4) and MTR remained bottom with 1.4 (1.7); in Mornings 3AW again remained top with 17.7 (15.9) whilst MTR was bottom with 1.5 (1.8) and at Drive time, where Fox FM led with 20.0 (20.8) and 3AW was second with 12.7 (12.9), MTR was again bottom with 1.2 (1.6): It's highest share in demographic terms was a 2.1 (down from 3.0) with those 55-64 whilst it had 1.9 shares with those 40.54 (down from 2.3) and 65+ (down from 2.5). For younger demographics its share ranged from 0.1 to 0:4
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 15.3 (16.0) - same rank; 92.9 with 13.5 (11.6) up from third; ABC 720 with 11.6 (11.8) - down from second.
* Nova moved up from fifth to fourth with 10.3 (9.7), swapping places with 96 FM in fifth with 8.9 (9.9) followed by 6PR, still in sixth rank with 8.8 (9.3)
*Sydney: 2GB 14.3 (14.7) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.3 (11.5) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.4 (9.7) - same rank.
*2UE moved up from fifth to fourth with 7.3 (6.1), swapping places with WSM which was down to fifth with an unchanged 6.6 after which DMG's Nova remained sixth with 6.5(6.1). Below this Australian Radio Network's Mix 106.5 was again up a rank at seventh with 5.4 (5.0), ahead of 2CH, which was up from ninth to eighth with 4.8 (4.9), and MMM in ninth rank with 4.8 (5.3) and then JJJ still in tenth place with 4.6 (4.7).
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, remained 11th but share was down from 4.5 to 4.3
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous ARN (Australian Radio Network):
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-08-10: BBC Radio 5 Live has announced a revamp of its Sunday evening schedules including new programmes to launch on September 5: Tyhe station highlights new current affairs programme "5 Live Investigates" to be presented by former "Watchdog" reporter Adrian Goldberg and will run from 21:00 to 22:00 local time. Before this the schedule will include an hour long "Pienaar's Politics" programme in starting at 19:00 local which the station's chief political correspondent, John Pienaar will interview key political figures and provide acute analysis of the big events in the political calendar: This will be followed by an hour-long business programme, "On the Money" presented by former BBC Breakfast and Working Lunch presenter Declan Curry.
The new schedule will see the end of the current 20:30 to 23:00 "Weekend News" programme and will also include changes in the Saturday line-up that are still to be announced The evening will conclude with a three hour show hosted by Stephen Nolan who currently hosts a two hour show after The Weekend News..
Goldberg commented of his new show in a BBC release, "This is a great opportunity and I'm delighted to be working on the show. I've already been involved with the team on a couple of stories and want to help develop a programme with real cutting edge, where we'll take up listeners' campaigns and make the authorities sit up and take notice."
Also at the BBC, Radio 2 has announced that Priscilla Presley is to appear at "Elvis Forever", a concert celebrating the music of Elvis Presley, who would have turned 75 this year, with Radio 2 Breakfast host Chris Evans, in Hyde Park, London, on Sunday 12 September 2010.
Other names confirmed for the concert include Craig David, Marti Pellow, Tony Hadley, Suzi Quatro, Scouting for Girls, Imelda May, Nell Bryden and Fran Healy, all of whom say they are Elvis fans.
Priscilla Presley commented of her appearance, "I am delighted to be appearing at Elvis Forever which I know will be a memorable celebration of Elvis' life and career. He has many fans throughout the UK and we are all looking forward to this celebration at Hyde Park in London. I know Elvis would have been very pleased."
The concert will culminate in a fireworks display and as well as the live broadcast highlights will be aired on the station's daytime shows during the following week whilst the station website will feature additional material including backstage footage and interviews from the event.
The concert starts at 18:30 local with gates opening at 17:00
2010-08-10: Salem has joined the ranks of US radio companies reporting second quarter revenue rises, in its case of 5.2% over a year ago to USD 3.1 million whilst reducing operating expenses by 24.4% to USD 43 million: The 2009 figures however included various one-offs including a USD 13.7 million impairment charge and excluding these were up 6.1%.
Operating income from continuing operations went from a loss of USD 6.5 million to income of USD 10.1 million; EBITDA went from a loss of USD 2 million to USD 12.7 million and overall it moved from a loss of USD 5.0 million to net income of USD 700,000 (From a loss of three cents per share to net income of 21 cents). This year's figures include a USD 1.1 million loss USD 600,000, net of tax, or three cents per share) on the early redemption of long-term debt due to the repurchase of
USD 17.5 million of Salem's 9 5/8% senior subordinated notes due in 2016;
Within the figures net broadcast revenue increased 3.5% to USD 45.5 million with Station operating income ("SOI") up 4.0% to USD 16.5 million whilst same station net broadcast revenue increased 3.3% to USD 45.2 million and same station SOI increased 4.1% to USD 16.6 million. Non-broadcast revenues were up 16.9% to USD 7.7 million.
For the first six months of the year total revenue is up 2.3% to USD 101.4 million and operating expenses are down 13.9% to USD 83.3 million from USD 96.7 million but excluding various one-off charges including impairments were up 3.7%; EBITDA more than doubled from USD 10.8 million to USD 24.3 million and net income went from a loss of USD 2.1 million to income of USD 900,000 (from a loss of nine cents to income of four cents per share).
Within the figures net broadcast revenue increased 0.6% to USD 86.9 million with station operating income ("SOI") increased 0.8% to USD 31.9 million while same station net broadcast revenue increased 0.5% to USD 86.5 million and same station SOI increased 0.8% to USD 32.0 million. Non-broadcast revenues were up increased 13.7% to USD 14.6 million.
During the company's conference call CEO Ed Atsinger highlighted an increase in both revenue and EBITDA for the first time in three years and said that he was looking forward to political advertising, which went from around USD 100,000 in the second quarter of last year to around USD 650,000 would also significantly increase in the final quarter of this year.
2010-08-09: Clear Channel Media has reported second quarter revenues up 4% on a year earlier at USD 1.49 billion with OIBDAN (Operating income before Depreciation and amortization, Non-cash compensation expense, and Other operating income (expense) up 14% at USD 456.9 million and a consolidated net loss down from USD 3.68 billion to USD 77.2 million: The 2009 figures included impairment charges of approximately USD 4.04 billion and gains of USD 440.3 million associated with debt repurchases.
Within the figures, radio broadcasting revenues were up 4% to USD 748.7 million; Americas Outdoor revenues rose 3% to USD 323.8 million; International Outdoor was flat at USD 377.6 million and "other" revenues rose 27% to USD 62.7 million whilst radio OIBDAN was up 20% to USD 312.9 million; Americas Outdoor OIBDAN was flat at USD 117.7 million; International Outdoor OIBDAN was up 2% to USD 307.5 million and "Other" OIBDAN was up 319% to USD 16.5 million.
President and CEO Mark Mays said of the results, "Our second quarter results reflect the positive impact of the global advertising market recovery combined with the ongoing execution of our strategic plan to maximize our performance and improve profitability across our operations." "During the quarter," he added "we saw improvement in both revenue and profit margins across our radio and outdoor platforms. The fundamentals of our business are clearly improving, as we return to revenue growth and attain the benefits of our cost reduction efforts."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-08-09: Fisher Communications has reported second quarter revenues up by 28% on a year ago at USD 40.8 million, driven by TV whose revenues were up 37% to USD 31.1 million whilst radio was up 8% to USD 6.4 million and Fisher Plaza was up 1% to USD 3.5 million. Overall the company moved from a loss of USD 2.1 million - including a USD 1.2 million pre-tax gain on extinguishment of debt- a year earlier to net income of USD 328,000 this year (From a loss of 24 cents to income of 4 cents per share|).
This year's income included a USD 842,000 pre-tax gain on Fisher's Sprint Nextel asset exchange and a USD 309,000 pre-tax gain on insurance reimbursements related to the July 2009 Fisher Plaza electrical fire.
Within the figures TV Broadcast Cash Flow leapt by USD 5.3 million to USD 6.4 million and BCF margin was up from 5% to 21% whilst radio BCF was down USD 312,000 to USD 1.1 million.
For the first six months revenues were up 26% to USD 76.18 million and a net loss of USD 6.4 million was reduced to a net los of USD 1.85 million (From a loss of 73 cents to a loss of 21 cents per share).
Commenting on the results President and Chief Executive Colleen B. Brown said, "Fisher benefited from the strong revenue growth in the television advertising market, the sustained recovery in local advertising and our ability to capture a larger share of the markets we serve. Our second quarter results demonstrate the power of our brands and the popularity of our news and entertainment programming. In particular, we are pleased with the operational performance of our television stations, which included the top rated stations in the Seattle and Portland markets."
Looking ahead she said the company was "optimistic that the increased advertising spending will continue to drive growth opportunities for local broadcasters."
2010-08-09: The UK government is to ease local media cross ownership regulations and only prohibit ownership of an analogue radio licence by a group that already owns a regional Channel 3 licence whose potential audience includes at least 50% of that radio stations potential audience or owns one or more local newspapers which have a local market share of 50% or more in the coverage area but a recommendation by media regulator Ofcom suggests it should go no further. Ofcom in the context noted, however, that there are other safeguards for plurality and says it also considers that "there is probably a reasonably low risk" of this king of consolidation even if the rule is removed.
Ofcom in its formal response to the Secretary of State (Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport) relating to its proposals for Local Media - cross media ownership rules notes that any decision is matter of judgement and one which is rightly made by Government and Parliament" but has re-iterated its original recommendation made in November last year to "significantly liberalise the local cross media ownership rules."(See RNW Nov 18, 2009). It notes the government is to implement this liberalisation but also asked Ofcom to look "the feasibility and implications" of removing the remaining restriction.
The agency adds that since the recommendation there are signs of a recovery in the general advertising market but the structural pressure on radio and TV broadcasters as the internet increases its share of total advertising is unlikely to ease.
It also noted that the government has now placed emphasis on local media, in particular making proposals for local television, which have the potential to have a positive impact on both the diversity and plurality of news and information at the local level.
Taking these factors into account it says its original advice was that a combined ownership of the Channel 3 television licence, a local commercial radio station and the main local newspaper(s) may confer too much control over the local news agenda into the hands of one person or company and that limited plurality of news and opinion in a local area could restrict local debate and accountability and that the concerns remain: It does however note that the cornerstone of plurality remains the combination of the BBC and the commercial sector, that competition authorities may also prevent concentrations in the local media through the merger regime and that the Secretary of State (Business, Innovation and Skills) can intervene, at his discretion, in newspaper, broadcasting and cross media mergers if he believes that the merger raises "public interest considerations".
Ofcom was also asked to look at possible regulatory barriers to entry in local media and says it does not consider that there are significant regulatory barriers to entry to the local media market (within our remit). It adds that it did not consider regulation beyond its own remit such as trading standards regulations that apply to newspapers and commercial/market barriers to entry.
In this context it says spectrum availability is the principle potential concern and notes that market based solutions could help resolve the challenges for local media in acquiring spectrum because it is generally packaged on a national basis or the quality and quantity of local allocations has been limited.
As far as radio is concerned, it says the costs of compliance with format and localness requirements is relatively low compared to the costs of setting up a radio business and adds that in its view they do not "meet the high level that would constitute a 'barrier to entry' although they clearly effect the economics of any individual licensee."
Of community radio it says its regulations directed to secure "social gain" do not appear to be a barrier to entry in the context of the "appetite" for such licences.
Ofcom response on Local Media - cross media ownership rule (102 kb 20-page PDF):
2010-08-09: Australian metropolitan radio revenues in July were up by 6.28% on a year ago at AUD 53.85 million (USD 49.35 million) according to latest figures from the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte that have been released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The figures show an increase in all markets with Perth up 10.9% to AUD 7.06 million (USD 6.47 million) followed by Brisbane - up 9.69% to AUD 8.50 million (USD 7.79 million); Melbourne up 7.18% to a total of AUD 16.72 million (USD 15.32 million); Sydney up 3.21% to AUD 16.67 million (USD 15.27 million); and Adelaide - up 2.02% to a total of AUD 4.91 million (USD 4.50 million).
Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said the strong result for July followed a better than expected result for the financial year ended June 2010, with growth of 2.25 per cent for the 2009/10 financial year and added, "The industry continues to gather momentum in attracting advertising revenue and remains optimistic for the next twelve months. However, we must continue to work hard to promote the strengths of radio for advertisers with initiatives like the recent brand campaign ads, launched early this week, which highlight that commercial radio reaches over 16 million Australians in an average week."
Previous Australian radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-08-08: Last week was yet another generally quiet one for the regulators as regards radio: There were no radio announcements from Australia but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did post a number of decisions including the following:
*Denial of application by Houssen Broadcasting Ltd. to increase the power of its English-language Christian music specialty radio station CKOE-FM, Moncton, from 50 watts to 3,700 watts, relocate its transmitter and reduce the antenna height from 141 meters to 112 meters..
The agency noted that it does not usually grant applications by licensees in breach of regulatory requirements and notes that Houssen may have failed to provide its annual report for the 2009 broadcast year and annual Canadian Content Development (CCD) for that year and also Canadian talent development (CTD) for the 2007 and 2008 broadcast years: It directed it to pay the contributions by the end of this month.
*Approval of application by Radio MirAcadie Inc. to add a 250 watts FM transmitter in Neguac to rebroadcast the programming of its French-language, Type A community station CKMA-FM, Miramichi.
*Approval of applications by RNC MÉDIA Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio station CJGO-FM, La Sarre, by adding an FM transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda and to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio station CHGO-FM Val-d'Or by deleting its transmitter CHGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda. The licensee will now use the rebroadcasting transmitter that it currently operates at Rouyn-Noranda to broadcast the programming of CJGO-FM instead of the programming of CHGO-FM.
Short-term administrative renewals from 1 September 2010 to 30 November 2010 of the following licenses: The Commission notes that this does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences.
*Sunshine Coast Radio Society's specialty C-Vue FM Sechelt, British Columbia, plus the following commercial stations:
*Edmonton Urban Partnership's CHBN-FM, Edmonton.
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHFM-FM-1, Banff, and its transmitter CHFM-FM, Calgary.
*Miramichi Fellowship Center, Inc.'s CJFY-FM, Blackville, and its transmitter CJFY-FM-1, Miramichi.
*Norwesto Communications Ltd.'s CKQV-FM, Vermilion Bay, and its transmitters CKQV-FM-1, Dryden; CKQV-FM-2, Kenora; and CKQV-FM-3, Sioux Lookout.
*MZ Média Inc.'s CFMZ-FM, Toronto and CFMX-FM, Cobourg.
*4352416 Canada Inc.'s CJMB-FM, Peterborough.
*Astral Media Radio inc.'s CITE-FM-1, Sherbrooke, Quebec and its transmitter CITE-FM-2, Sherbrooke; and CITF-FM, Quebec.
*Wilderness Ministries Inc.'s CIOT-FM, Nipawin.
Ontario & Quebec:
Short-term administrative renewals from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 of the following religious programming licences: The Commission notes that this does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences.
Faith Baptist Church of St-Thomas's VF8016, St. Thomas.
Fabrique de la Paroisse de St-Philippe de Windsor's VF8009, Windsor
Fabrique de la Paroisse Saint-Georges d'Aubert-Gallion's VF8011, Saint-Georges-Ouest.
Fabrique de la Paroisse de Saint Mathieu's VF8014, Montmagny.
Fabrique de la Paroisse St-Janvier de Weedon's VF8008, Weedon.
Fabrique de la Paroisse de Ste-Praxède de Bromptonville's CJRF-FM, Bromptonville.
Fabrique de la Paroisse de la Patrie's VF8005, La Patrie.
Fabrique de la Paroisse Saint-Joseph de Hull's VF8012, Gatineau.
Fabrique de la Paroisse de Piopolis's VF8006, Piopolis.
Fabrique de la Paroisse St-Augustin de Woburn's VF8004, Woburn.
Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame de la Guadeloupe's VF8003, La Guadeloupe.
Fabrique Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours's CFPP-FM, Sherbrooke.
Fabrique de la Paroisse St-Camille de Cookshire's CILA-FM, Cookshire.
The CRTC also posted public notices relating to the following radio applications:
1 - With a September 6 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments:
Application by Newcap Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of its English-language commercial station CKMP-FM, Calgary, to allow it to allow a portion of the amount contributed to the ''Making of a Band'' initiative in 2009 be transferred to the 2010 broadcast year and that the balance caused by the reduction in the 2009 amount be added to the 2014 broadcast year. It also requests that due to the fluctuating nature of its ''Making of a Band'' local CCD initiative, its cumulative CCD spent for this initiative be permitted to vary up to 20% annually from the cumulative commitment amount according to its condition of licence.
The CRTC notes that the licensee may have failed to comply with its condition of licence relating to Canadian Talent Development in the 2007 and 2008 broadcast years
Application by Newcap Inc. to add a 190 watts FM transmitter at Grande Cache, to carry the programming of its English-language commercial station CFXE-FM, Edson. The transmitter would replace Newcap's existing rebroadcasting transmitter CFXG-AM, Grand Cache.
*Application by Sunshine Coast Radio Society to renew the broadcasting licence of the specialty audio undertaking known as C-VUE FM, expiring 31 August 2010. The CRTC notes that it intends to renew this broadcasting licence for a full seven-year term, subject to interventions.
*Application by Instant Information Services Incorporated to change the frequency of its English-language low-power FM tourist information service CIRM-FM, Moncton, from 101.9 MHz to 90.1 MHz following the granting of a licence to Maritime Broadcasting to operate a station at 101.7 MHz in Amherst.
*Application by Newcap Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of the English-language commercial station CILV-FM, Ottawa, to allow it to vary up to 20% annually the Canadian Content Development (CCD) payments it is required to make. The licensee says the request is made due to the fluctuating nature of its ''Big Money Shot'' local CCD initiative and the Commission notes that the licensee may have failed to comply with its condition of licence relating to Canadian Talent Development, and more specifically with the ''Big Money Shot'' initiative, in broadcast year 2006 and 2007
*Application by Communications CHIC (C.H.I.C.) to increase from 300 watts to 3,400 watts the power of its French-language specialty commercial station CHIC-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, and to increase from 35 metres to 103.3 metres the effective height of its antenna.
*Application by Radio Communautaire MF Lac Simon inc. to increase from 499 watts to 3,400 watts the power of its Native Type B French-language radio station CHUN-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, and to decrease from 108.7 metres to 103.3 metres the effective height of its antenna.
*Application by 9202-1617 Québec inc. to add a 250 watts FM transmitter in Mont Ste-Claire to broadcast the programming of its French-language commercial radio station CKGS-FM, Saguenay (zone La Baie).
The licensee proposes to change the authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power from 499 watts to 3,400 watts (non-directional antenna with a decrease in the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 108.7 metres to 103.3 metres). All other technical parameters remain unchanged.
2- With a September 6 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments: These applications will be considered at a hearing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on October 6.
*Application by Barry Alan Wall, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence for a 1,700 watts Classic Hits English-language commercial FM in Prince Rupert.
*Application by Astral Media Radio (Toronto) Inc. and 4382072 Canada Inc., partners in Astral Media Radio G.P. for a broadcasting licence for a 160 watts FM to replace its existing station, CHTK-AM, Prince Rupert.
*Application by 7253231 Canada Limited for a 5,000 watts Adult Album Alternative English-language commercial FM in Prince Edward County.
*Application by Paul Lefebvre, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a licence for a 51,400 watts Adult Pop French-language commercial FM in Nipissing.
*Application by the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for a licence for a 12,000 watts Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM in Barry's Bay.
*Mutually exclusive applications by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a licence for a 59,000 watts Variety Hits English-language commercial FM and from Fabmar Communications Ltd. for a 100,000 watts English-language Classic Rock commercial FM, each in Humboldt
*Application by Island Lake First Nations Radio Inc. for a licence for a 33.3 watts low-power, English-language Type B Native FM in Island Lake: The applicant proposes to broadcast programming in the English and Cree languages.
*Application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a licence for a 100,000 watts Classic Rock and New Rock English-language commercial FM in Estevan.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed a 10-year contract for Dublin's classic rock station (See RNW Aug 4) whilst in the UK, Ofcom's only radio posting was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint (See RNW Aug 3). It also agreed to a request from GMG Radio to be allowed to merge two Real Radio stations in Wales into a single pan-Wales service (See RNW Aug 6).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a quiet week as regards radio but it did post details of a number of enforcement actions including the commencement of a hearing whether Walter Edward Floyd, aka Eddie Floyd, licensee of FM Translator Station K273AF, Carson City, Nevada, is qualified to be and remain a Commission licensee.
Floyd has entered a guilty plea to one count of money laundering and another of aiding and abetting a felony crime in relation to the provision of property for the purpose of cultivating marijuana.
In relation to this he received from Daren Mabunda totalling USD 37,500, which Floyd deposited in his bank accounts. In December 2003, Floyd gave Mabunda 400,000 shares of stock in a company he owned, "Nevada Matters," in exchange for approximately USD 110,000 and in February 2004, Floyd gave Mabunda an additional 100,000 shares in the company in exchange for USD 27,500: The court found these payments constituted money laundering by Floyd in the total amount of USD 175,000.
He was sentenced to 48 months in Federal prison and whilst there filed an application seeking to transfer the license for Station K273AF to Wilks License Company-Reno LLC and in relation to this certified that no party to the application had been subject to an adverse finding or an adverse final action "been taken by an court or administrative body in a civil or criminal proceeding brought under the provisions of any law related to the following: any felony; mass media-related antitrust or unfair competition; fraudulent statements to another government unit; or discrimination."
He made a similar declaration in 2007 in relation to his assignment application regarding the rebroadcast of another station and also to an application for modifications to the licence of K273AF.
Accordingly the FCC has ordered Floyd to show cause why his licence for the station should not be revoked.
In another ruling the FCC imposed a USD 500 forfeiture on Floyd for late filing of renewal application for the stations and for subsequent unauthorized operation: It had initially issued a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for the violations but reduced this to USD 500 in line with other recent decisions relating to such breaches of translator station licences.
In a further enforcement action, the FCC has issued a USD 8,500 forfeiture to a Florida FM for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment when the station was in operation and failing to maintain a full-time managerial and staff presence at the station's main studio (See RNW Aug 4).
In licensing decisions the agency has posted details of tentatively selected applications from each of the 26 mutually exclusive groups of applications for non-commercial education (NCE) FM licences made in its October 2007 filing window.
The stations involved are in Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-08-07: No criminal charges are to be filed against Todd Schnitt, host of the "The MJ Morning Show" on Clear Channel's Tampa hits station WFLZ-FM over a turkey frying stunt that went awry and resulted in the destruction of a station van in December (See RNW Dec 18, 2009) but the Tampa Tribune reports that the stunt will still cost Schnitt, two members of his crew and Clear Channel at least USD 15,000 in donations to Tampa Bay area charities that support fire and burn victims.
The paper says that state attorney Mark Ober said the stunt was irresponsible and childish but not a serious crime and that instead of facing misdemeanour charges Schnitt and the two crew members will have to enter a pre-trial diversion program for first-time offenders.
They also will engage in a four-week public service campaign to support the charities that will include five recorded announcements per day voiced by members of the show and a live broadcast from an event sponsored by or benefitting such a charity that would include interviews with victims, parents, volunteers and firefighters.
In the stunt the crew lowered a frozen turkey into a deep fryer in the van through with the result that it caught fire and Ober said ice was probably designed to accelerate the fire, and at 600 degrees Fahrenheit the oil was twice as hot as recommended for turkey frying.
The paper said that the group waited at least 15 minutes before calling Tampa Fire and Rescue and on the air, Schnitt was heard telling a crew member not to use a fire extinguisher and saying, "I want the tires to melt." It also reported that the group took steps to limit the damage, removing the van's gas tank and removing other flammable liquids from its engine.
Ober found that the group violated the county's open burning ordinance and the station paid a USD 200 fine to the city of Tampa for conducting a burn without a permit.
Previous Clear Channel:
Tampa Tribune report:
2010-08-07: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), whose Radio Board is talking to the MusicFirst Coalition about an agreement on performance royalties for music aired on terrestrial radio stations has now released its proposed terms for a deal.
NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said on Friday that the board "had a full and productive exchange of ideas today on the status of discussions with MusicFirst representatives and added "The talks are part of an ongoing dialogue with the board and NAB membership on possible alternatives to pending legislation that would be devastating to the future of free and local radio. No votes were taken at today's board meeting. The board reiterated its strong opposition to the pending bill in Congress, while agreeing that it is appropriate for NAB representatives to continue discussions with MusicFirst. Interested parties will be updated quickly if and when new developments emerge."
Being proposed it a tiered system of payments; a permanent end to Copyright Royalty Board jurisdiction over rates for music aired or streamed by terrestrial stations; a reduction in current streaming rates; the inclusion of radio chips on all mobile phones; and issues with AFTRA over commercials on webcasts.
The tiered rate would distinguish between commercial and non-profit stations and the basic proposals for annual payments are:
For stations - commercial and non-profit - with annual revenues of below USD 50,000 the lesser of USD 100 or 1% of annual revenue.
For stations - commercial and non-profit- with annual revenues between USD 50,000 and USD 100,000 a payment of USD 500.
For non-profit stations with annual revenues more than USD 100,000, a payment of USD 1,000.
For commercial stations with annual revenues between USD 100,000 and USD 500,000 the lesser of USD 2,500 or 1% of revenue.
For commercial with annual revenues between USD 500,000 and USD 1.25 million, a payment of USD 5,000.
For commercial stations with annual revenues of more than USD 1.25 million, 1% of revenue.
The charges would not apply to stations such as news, talk and sports formats where the use of music is incidental and which would not pay and in addition religious services, but not religious music ones, would also be exempt.
So far MusicFirst has not commented formally on the talks but we did note that amongst the "facts" on its web site, it still listed as No 2: "Radio stations are Wall Street-owned corporations making big profits", a clear indication that some of its members have not been paying attention to the financial reports of most groups over the past couple of years.
RNW comment: Our view remains as formerly, namely that if there is a belief in the marketplace, the system needs to reflect his not rely on lobbying - in essence bribery or extortion thereof put in polite terms - of politicians to pervert that market. We still think the best way of doing this is to have charge bands for music under which performers would have to opt for a band for a specified period and thus would have an incentive if they needed exposure to opt for a nil charge whilst if popular would feel they could afford to charge a higher band and risk a reduction in airplay: With modern technology it should not be difficult to make such a system fairly simple to operate and it would fairly speedily show have strong is the NAB's argument in terms of the value of exposure via airplay.
2010-08-07: Emmis has further delayed - until next Friday (the 13th) the vote on a bid by founder, chairman, president and CEO Jeffrey Smulyan for the company: It had rescheduled the vote for Friday night from Tuesday, when it also extended until Friday the deadline for an offer to issue new notes for its 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock (See RNW Aug 4).
Shareholders who hold 38% of the preferred stock whilst the deal needs approval of two-thirds - could block the deal and after that meeting the company said negotiations were continuing with the groups involved.
As with the Tuesday meeting, Smulyan did not attend the Friday meeting, and the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Smulyan was considering other avenues to complete his purchase of the company, including one that would not require their consent.
It quoted Emmis' general counsel Scott Enright as saying of the talks, "We continue to engage in discussions with preferred shareholders. The tenor of those talks has been encouraging, but we can't make any assurances at this time."
RNW comment: It would seem from the outside that Smulyan has no interest in tending to any concerns of holders of common stock, since he already has enough of this to get the deal through and the issue now is one of whether the preferred stockholders calculate that they can get the price they receive up to a level they will take and Smulyan will bear or whether Smulyan thinks he can find a cheaper way to achieve his ends by bypassing them.
Our money at this moment is on either a deal being stuck or the buyout collapsing as did Smulyan's 2006 attempt to take the company private.
Indianapolis Business Journal report:
2010-08-06: A Minnesota woman has been accused of stealing up to USD 2 million from two broadcasting firms over the past seven years: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that 54-years old has been charged with eight counts of theft by swindle with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of up to 20years in prison and a USD 100,000 fine.
The paper says that according to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court Schultz-Scheck, an office manager and comptroller is accused of taking at least USD 290,317 from Ingstad Brothers Broadcasting and Iowa City Broadcasting. She is alleged to have used a company American Express card and company checks to pay her personal expenses and her credit card bills
Minneapolis Star-Tribune report:
2010-08-06: UK media regulator Ofcom has agreed to a request from GMG Radio to be allowed merge the output of its Real Radio stations in Wales - Real Radio (South Wales) and Real Radio (North and mid Wales), which is yet to go on air - and also to change their format in line with the consolidation into a pan-Wales service. The two stations will also be allowed to co-locate.
The format change substitutes the requirement for provision of "regional information" to one of provision of "information about Wales" but the station's primary character a full service adult contemporary station targeting primarily 25-54 year olds would remain unchanged as would listener interactivity requirements.
Ofcom held a public consultation about the request with a deadline of July 16 and received four responses, two of which were non-confidential and posted, one opposing the change and one for it, both from members of the public: In allowing the change its licensing committee noted that would not change the range of programmes in the area and felt that "any loss of 'regional information' from both services would be balanced by the gain in information about Wales."
Previous Guardian Media Group:
2010-08-06: Australian radio has celebrated the first year of DAB+ digital radio broadcasting in the metropolitan capitals of Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with figures showing an average weekly audience of 533,000 and approaching 150,000 receivers sold, three times the predicted number.
The launch of DAB+ in all the capitals was marked at an industry event on August 6 last year (See RNW Aug 5, 2009) but transmissions had begun on commercial stations in Perth on May 4 (See RNW May 4, 2009).
Up to 18 new digital-only stations are on air in each market and Joan Warner, chief executive of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said they had "opened up a raft of new opportunities for the development of new Australian on air radio talent as well as providing more broadcast opportunities for Australian musicians and comedians."
"The industry," she said "continues to work together to promote digital radio with advertising on air and by launching fresh new digital only content which should encourage listeners to try digital radio."
In all broadcasters have invested around AUD 50 million (USD 46 million) on DAB+ infrastructure and nearly half as much again in on-air promotion. Some 60 receiver models from 20 manufacturers are on sale in the country and Gerry Harvey co-founder of Australia's leading retailer Harvey Norman said, "Digital radio has certainly shaken up the audio market. We're one of the top advertisers on radio and very pleased to see the industry supporting the new technology. I see that the radio industry is putting its money where its mouth is and committing lots of airtime to the promotion of digital radio. The category will grow even more when the Government gives the green light to make it available throughout Australia."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-08-05: Entravision has reported second quarter revenues up 10% on a year ago to USD 53.43 million with operating expenses up 5% to USD 31.1 million and corporate expenses up 3% to USD 4.48 million.
Adjusted EBITDA was up 16% to USD 18.97 million and a net loss of USD 1.83 million a year ago became net income of USD 6.96 million (from a loss of two cents per share to income of 8 cents per share).
For the first six months, revenues are up 7% to USD 96.5 million with operating expenses down 1% to USD 60.9 million and corporate expenses down marginally to USD 7.23 million.
Adjusted EBITDA is up 24% to USD 28.49 million and a net loss of USD 16.32 million became net income of USD 4.78 million ( From a kiss if 19 cents to income of six cents per share).
Chairman and CEO Walter F. Ulloa said that in the quarter the company "generated solid revenue growth, primarily driven by World Cup advertising and retransmission consent revenue."
He continued, "Our audience shares remain strong in the nation's most densely populated Hispanic markets, and we believe that our U.S. Hispanic audience will continue to grow. In addition, our recently-completed bond offering and new revolving credit facility extend the maturity of our debt and provide additional financial flexibility as we continue to seek to enhance shareholder value."
2010-08-05: Latest UK radio ratings from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd) show the medium reaching a record 46.8 million UK adults - 90.6% of the 15 plus population - in the second quarter of this year: The previous record, set in the first quarter was 46.5 million and a year ago the reach was 46.3 million.
Within the figures listening via a digital platform the percentage has increased from 21.5% a year ago to 24.6% with DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) remaining the most popular platform although there have also been substantial rises in listening via digital TV platforms (up from 3.6% to 4.1%), and through the internet on mobile devices, and online (Up from 2.2% to 2.9%).
Digital listening hours were up from 217 million to 253 million a week and in terms of weekly reach some 20 million people - up from 18 million a year ago - listened via a digital platform: Some 18.2 million people now live in a household with a DAB receiver, up from 16.9 million and listening via mobile phones had remained steady with 1.25% of adults saying they have used their phones to listen to radio.
Within the listening the BBC share was down from 56.5% for the previous quarter to 54.6% - the same as a year ago whilst commercial radio's share went up from 41.3% in the first quarter to 43.2% (42.7% a year ago). The BBC's weekly reach was also down by 292,000 to 34.585 million as the gains in sports and news were below the falls, for BBC Radio 2, which lost 840,000 listeners compared to the previous quarter and BBC Radio 3, which lost 167,000.
The increased listening was down largely to sport - particularly the soccer world cup - and news, particularly the UK General Elections, and ratings reflected this with BBC Radio 5 Live and UTV's talkSPORT plus BBC Radio 4 attracting record audiences: other winners included BBC 6 Music, the recently reprieved digital station whose audience went up by nearly 17% on the first quarter to 1.194 million, more than twice the figure for a year ago whilst losers included Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 with his breakfast show audience down more than a million from 9.53 million in the first quarter to 8.47 million, a figure still more than the 8.1 million for his predecessor Terry Wogan in his final quarter.
The figure still keeps Evans ahead of his BBC Radio 1 breakfast rival Chris Moyles with 7.7 million listeners - down 200,000 on the first quarter.
Perhaps a more surprising loser was BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra digital station whose audience fell from 685,000 in the first quarter - 676,000 a year ago - to 547,000 faced with the competition from Five Live and talkSPORT.
Commenting on the figures, the BBC ignored the fact that overall its reach and share fell back and highlighted the success of Radios 4 and Five plus the general good news for the medium with
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, commenting, "This is another good set of figures for the radio industry. I'm delighted to see our speech networks attracting record audiences, fuelled by interest in the General Election and illustrating the public's enduring demand for high quality news, analysis and discussion on radio."
For the commercial sector there was no such modesty as industry body the RadioCentre proclaimed, "Commercial Radio's resurgent reach is reflected in the sector's share of all radio listening which has increased both quarterly and yearly at the expense of the BBC by 2 percentage points and half a point respectively to 43.2%."
Its chief executive Andrew Harrison added, "This is a fantastic set of results for the commercial radio sector showing long-term and sustained growth by every measure. The fact that commercial radio reach has hit a new record high and listening is up by almost 27 million hours in the quarter, is a testament to the investment that the sector is ploughing into ensuring that our content stands out from our competitors. It is also very encouraging to see such strong growth in commercial digital listening."
Of the commercial companies, Global Radio took the London lead in reach as Heart FM moved above Bauer's Magic FM with a 15.9% increase in reach to 2.185 million (Up 15.2% on a year ago): Magic was up 2% to 2.046 million (Down 0.4% on a year ago) and in third rank Global Radio's Capital FM was up 0.9% to 1.921 million (down 1.6% on a year earlier). Absolute Radio had a fairly strong quarter in London - up 19% to 821,000 although this was down 6.9% on a year ago.
In its comments, Absolute highlighted its overall performance as the Absolute Radio network went back above 2 million in total, its highest since the final quarter of 2008 and up 10.9% on the previous quarter to 2.02 million and 7.5% on a year earlier.
Chief Operating Officer Clive Dickens noted the company's move into soccer coverage, commenting, "We undertook a successful World Cup campaign fronted by Baddiel & Skinner and next quarter we kick-off our Barclays Premier League coverage with Rock 'N' Roll Football." "Digitally," he added "Absolute 80s and Absolute Classic Rock continue to perform very strongly - next quarter Absolute Radio 90s and Absolute Radio extra will add to this even more."
Bauer also highlighted its overall performance with a total of nearly 13 million listeners a week on its network of local, national and digital radio stations, its highest ever figure and its Group MD Radio Dee Ford said the network had "added nearly 700,000 listeners in the second quarter of 2010 illustrating our ongoing success in delivering entertaining and engaging programming and compelling local content. With almost 13 million people tuning in every week, our increasingly influential portfolio of commercial radio stations have driven Bauer Media to its best-ever performance on reach."
Within the figures compared to the first quarter of the year and a year ago:
*BBC Radio 1 gained 73,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 11.810 million but listening share was down from 9.5% to 9.3% (10.3% a year ago when it had 11.342 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 lost 840,000 million listeners and had a weekly audience of 13.729 million with listening share down from 17.2% to 15.9% (15.5% a year ago, when it had 13.424 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 lost 167,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 1.858 million and listening share down from 1.2% to 1.0% (1.2% a year ago, when it had 2.021 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 gained 374,000.00 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.403 million and listening share was up from to 12.2% 12.5% (12.1% a year ago when it had 9.999 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, gained 282,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6,763 million, with listening share up from 4.6% to 4.8% --(4.5% a year ago when it had 6.415 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it gained 241,000.00 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.804 million and a listening share up from 4.7% to 5.0% (4.7% a year ago when it had 6.515 million listeners).
*BBC World Service lost 3,000.00 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1,285 million and listening share unchanged at 0.6% (0.7% a year ago when it had 1,438 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network gained 80,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 437,000 and an unchanged listening share of 0.2% (0.2% a year ago when it had 421,000 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) - gained 191,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.587 million and listening share unchanged at 1.1% (1.1% a year ago when it had an audience of 1.691 million).
*Global Radio's Classic FM gained 169,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.684 million and listening share up from 3.7% to 3.8% (3.9% a year ago when it had 5.717 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 139,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.507 million and listening share up from 1.6% to 1.7% (1.8% a year ago when it had 2.405 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 1.324 million including its analogue stations (up from 1.203 million quarter on quarter and up from 1.316 million a year ago) but includes BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network:
1: BBC 6 Music - 1.194 million (Up from 1.023 million and up from 595,000 a year ago.).
2: The Hits (Bauer) -1.138 million (up from 1.055 million and down from 1.243 million a year ago).
3: Smash Hits (Bauer) - 990,000 (up from 853,000 but down from 1.155 million a year ago).
4: BBC 7 - 949,000 (Down from 1.049 million and up from 834,000 a year ago).
5: Planet Rock (Independent) - 718,000 (up from 694,000 and up from 709,000 a year ago).
6: Heat (Bauer) - 672,000 (Up from 447,000 and up from 572,000 a year ago).
7: BBC 1Xtra 600,000 (down from 663,000 and from 634,000 a year ago).
8: BBC Five Live Sports Extra - 547,000 (down from 685,000 and from 676,000 a year ago).
9: Jazz FM 463,000 (down from 471,000 and down from 482,000 a year ago).
10: BBC Asian Network - 437,000 (up from 357,000 and from 421,000 a year ago).
*NME Radio has now risen to 11th rank with 253,000 (up from 226,000 and from 215,0 00 a year ago), overtaking Bauer's Q with 233,000 (Up from 231,000 but down from 270,000 a year ago). Q was taken off DAB in May 2010 by Bauer
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (Ultimate parent of Absolute Radio):
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Planet Rock:
Previous RAJAR Ratings (Q1, 2010):
2010-08-04: Sirius XM radio has reported second quarter adjusted (pro-forma) revenues up 16% on a year earlier at USD 705.6 million- GAAP revenues were up 15.6% to USD 699.8 million, adjusted EBITDA up 17% to USD 154.3 million and net income of USD 15.27 million compared to a loss of USD 159.6 million (From a loss of 4 cents per basic and diluted share to nil). The net income/loss included losses of USD 107.8 million on extinguishment of debt in 2009, a loss that was down to USD 31.9 million this year.
For the first six months of the year, adjusted revenues were up 11.8% to USD 1.376 billion - GAAP revenues were up 13.6% to USD 1.363 million; adjusted EBITDA was up 22.8% to USD 312.1 million; and net income went from a loss of USD 398.5 million to net income of USD 56.87 million (from a loss of 11 cents to income of a cent per basic and diluted share).
Sirius XM ended the quarter with a record-high 19,527,448 subscribers, an increase of more than 1.1 million subscribers compared to the end of second quarter 2009 with net subscriber additions of 583,249 in the second quarter of 2010 compared to a net loss of 185,999 subscribers in the second quarter of 2009. In the second quarter 2010, average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) was USD 11.81, an increase of 11% and self-pay monthly customer churn rate was 1.8%, down from 2.0%.
The company has now increased its guidance for the full year to forecast adjusted revenue approaching USD2.8 billion and free cash flow approaching USD 150 million and says it continues to target approximately USD 575 million of adjusted EBITDA in 2010.
CEO Mel Karmazin commented in a release, "The sharp subscriber growth and double-digit increase in adjusted revenue and adjusted EBITDA show that we continued to execute on our business plan during the second quarter. Compared to the year ago quarter, gross additions increased by 46%, deactivations declined by 8%, and customers paid us on average 11% more each month - clearly showing just how much subscribers love our service. Free cash flow in the second quarter 2010 was USD 108.3 million compared to USD 12.7 million in the second quarter of 2009. Our business has improved substantially in the past year, and we look forward to a strong second half and 2011."
During the company's conference call, Karmazin was upbeat saying he was "very pleased with our financial performance, which is a continuation of the momentum of the past few quarters" and adding that this year was the first "full year where investors will get a real indication of how good our business can be."
Karmazin also noted that the company was "better able to monetize our subscribers than terrestrial radio and the numerous Internet audio services are able to monetize their audience" and said the company was continuing to invest in development with the next generation of receivers expected to be able to offer more channels and "offer significantly more choices for the consumer and contain functionality that does not exist today in our radios."
SiriusXM in June completed the redemption of all of the USD 114 million of XM's outstanding 10% Senior PIK Secured Notes due 2011 and CFO David Frear said it "will continue to examine deleveraging opportunities as they arise with the objective of decreasing interest expense and improving free cash flow " adding, "The combination of increased adjusted EBITDA and lower debt has improved our leverage ratio to approximately 4.6x, a historic low for our company."
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-08-04: The US National Radio Hall of Fame, run by the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications, has announced that country music icon Ralph Emery; Chicago-based DJ Terri Hemmert; Radio One Inc. founder and chairman Cathy Hughes; NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell; and "Music and the Spoken Word", the longest-running radio broadcast in America that features The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, are to be inducted into the Hall this year.
The Hall is also to induct the late radio station owner, record producer and Sun Records owner Sam Phillips.
The induction - to be held at The Mayne Stage in Chicago on November 6 -will be distributed as a live two-hour broadcast by Westwood One.
Previous Chicago Museum:
2010-08-04: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) today signed a ten year contract with Classic Rock Broadcasting Limited (trading as Radio Nova) for the provision of a classic rock music-based commercial sound broadcasting service for a general audience in the 25-54 age group on the FM band in Dublin City, County and Commuter Belt.
The service is to launch at the beginning of September and speaking at the signing, BAI chairperson Bob Collins commented, "Radio Nova is one of a range of commercial local radio services which provides quality and diversity in programming to listeners in the Dublin City, County and Commuter Belt area. They are a welcome addition to the commercial radio sector and we wish them every success over the term of their sound broadcasting contract".
2010-08-04: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued USD 8,500 forfeiture to LSM Radio Partners, L.L.C., licensee of station WWWK-FM, Islamorada, Florida, for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment when the station was in operation and failing to maintain a full-time managerial and staff presence at the station's main studio consistent with the Rules.
The station had confirmed in response to a Letter of Inquiry that it did not have operational EAS equipment in its main studio from May 15, 2007 and February 13, 2009, and in a phone interview in April 2009 its general manager had told an FCC agent that the station had station had terminated its local marketing agreement ("LMA") with Caribbean Broadcasting, Inc. and moved out of its previous main studio location in Homestead, and would generate all programming from its transmitter site in Rock Harbor, Florida, until it entered into a new LMA and found a new studio location.
Subsequently agents attempted to inspect the station's main studio in Rock Harbor in July and August 2009, finding the studio to be inside a locked fence, no staff present, and no telephone number posted on the studio building.
As a result in September last year the FCC issued a USD 15,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to which the licensee responded by requesting reduction or cancellation on the basis of a history of compliance, prompt action taken to repair the EAS equipment and inability to pay.
The FCC noted that the station had no operational EAS equipment for some 20 months and rejected the first two arguments but reduced the penalty of USD 8,500 on the basis of ability to pay.
2010-08-04: Emmis Communications has announced that it has adjourned until Friday evening its special shareholders meeting that was to have voted on Tuesday on the bid for it from JS Acquisition Inc., which was set up for the purpose by the company's Chairman, President and CEO Jeffrey Smulyan and also extended to 17:00 EST Friday its offer to issue 12% PIK Senior Subordinated Notes due 2017 ("New Notes") in exchange for Emmis' 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock ("Preferred Stock") at a rate of USD 30.00 principal amount of New Notes for each USD 50.00 of liquidation preference of Preferred Stock. The exchange offer had been due to expire at 17:00 ET today.
The JS Acquisition offer, which was also due to expire at that time, has also been extended to the same deadline.
Emmis said the offers were extended because of the inability to reach an agreement with a group of holders of Preferred Stock that owns approximately 38% of the outstanding shares of Preferred Stock in the aggregate, and who have previously advised Emmis and Smulyan that they would vote against the amendments to the terms of the Preferred Stock at the special meeting (These shareholders control enough stock to stop the deal - See RNW Jul 14): JS Acquisition has informed Emmis that during the extension, JS Parent, JS Acquisition and Smulyan are continuing to negotiate with that group and are also considering other options, including an alternative structure that would still allow a tender offer for the Class A Common Stock to proceed without any changes to the terms of the Preferred Stock and without an offer by Emmis to exchange the New Notes for the Preferred Stock, adding that there can be no assurance that either an agreement will be reached with the group of holders of Preferred Stock or that an alternative structure can be implemented.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reported, before the Emmis announcement, that the company said it postponed the special shareholder meeting because it did not receive enough votes from shareholders-either in person or by proxy-to reach a quorum and notes that only five shareholders attended the meeting at Emmis headquarters in Indianapolis: They did not include Smulyan and the Journal said. Emmis executives declined to say why he was not present but said a forthcoming press release would explain his absence.
The Journal said that the recent stock slide had indicated that investors were sceptical that the deal would be consummated and quoted Mark Foster, chief investment officer at Kirr Marbach & Co. in Columbus, Indiana, which does not own any Emmis shares, as saying, "Somebody's concerned that the deal's not going to happen."
Smulyan tried to take the company private in 2006 and but Smulyan withdrew his offer after failing to reach agreement (See RNW Aug 5, 2006).
Indianapolis Business Journal report:
2010-08-03: CBS Corporation has reported second quarter revenues up 11% on a year ago to USD 3.3 billion with adjusted OIBDA (Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization) up 46% to USD 580 million and adjusted net earnings nearly tripling - up from USD 62.6 million to USD 175.2 million: These earnings exclude a 2010 pre-tax loss of USD 40.3 million on early extinguishment of debt and restructuring charges of USD 1.7 million whilst adjusted results for the second quarter of 2009 excluded a pre-tax loss of USD 30.5 million on early extinguishment of debt, restructuring charges of USD 8.8 million and a USD 23.3 million reduction of deferred tax assets associated with stock-based compensation.
Net earnings for the quarter were up nearly ten-fold - from USD 15.4 million to USD 150.1 million (from two cents to 22 cents per basic and diluted common share).
The revenue rise was led by an increase of 17% at Local Broadcasting, followed by 12% at Cable Networks and 10% at Entertainment and CBS added that compared to the same quarter last year, total advertising sales were up 9%, content licensing and distribution revenues were up 19% and affiliate and subscription fees were up 12%.
For the first six months revenues were up 11% to USD 6.86 billion, again led by local broadcasting - 18% at Local Broadcasting, 13% at Entertainment, 10% at Cable Networks and 4% at Outdoor.
Total advertising sales were up 13% in the first half of 2010, which included the 2010 telecast of Super Bowl XLIV on the CBS Television Network; affiliate and subscription fees were up 12%; and content licensing and distribution revenues were up 8%.
Adjusted OIBDA was up 44% to USD 931.5 million and adjusted net earnings leapt from USD 26.1 million to USD 208.1 million whilst reported net earnings went from a 2009 loss of USD 39.1 million to income of USD 123.9 million ( from a loss of six cents to income of 18 cents per diluted share.).
Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said, "CBS turned in terrific results in the second quarter of 2010. "We remain focused on all the things that matter most - growing our businesses, enhancing our financial strength and broadening the reach of our industry-leading content - and I have never been more confident in our Company's prospects. The operational expertise and financial discipline of Leslie (CEO Leslie Moonves) and his management team continue to serve our audiences and shareholders well, and to position CBS as a long-term industry leader."
Moonves added, "For the second consecutive quarter, CBS delivered double-digit year-over-year revenue and profit growth, significant margin expansion and higher free cash flow. With top-line gains in all of our businesses, and a continued vigilance on cost containment, revenues are translating more efficiently into profits."
"Looking to the second half of 2010, "he continued, "all signs point to ongoing growth and profitability. The very healthy ad sales pacing we're seeing today indicates that the recovery is continuing, and we expect a significant lift in political advertising around the November elections. Going forward, we see continued and sustainable benefits from growth in retransmission consent fees, expanded international distribution of our content and the vastly improved economics of our NCAA deal, for many years to come. All the while, we'll keep evolving our business model to meet the increasing demand for top-quality content on all of the leading emerging platforms, which represents a huge opportunity for CBS."
2010-08-03: BBC Radio 4 has announced that Robert Robinson, who is 82, is to stand down as chairman of its "Brain of Britain" quiz show after more than three decades: Russell Davis, who has been a regular stand-in for Robinson- he hosted the show during the 2004 season when Robinson was ill, will take over the role. Robinson was also absent from the show from 2007 - when Peter Snow took over his role - until 2008 when he returned after which Davies took over for the 2009 series.
Robinson moved into the post in 1972 after Franklin Engelmann, who had chaired it died: The show had then been running nearly twenty years - it became as a slot in "What Do You Know?" in 1953, before becoming a programme in its own right in 1967,
Robinson commented of the move, "It feels a bit like running away from home! On the other hand, one mustn't outstay one's welcome. Faithful listeners, along with all concerned with the production of Brain Of Britain, have been so supportive over the many years. I shall be missing them and it."
Radio 4 Controller Mark Damazer paying tribute commented, "The brilliant Robert Robinson is retiring after more than three decades, during which he has defined the art of the quiz show host. He has presided over Brain Of Britain with sympathy for the contestants, wit and panache. It has been a joy listening to him and he will be greatly missed by the audience "and Davies added, "His wonderful urbanity and airiness are quite inimitable. I feel myself wanting in particular to imitate his cries of regret at a wrong but attractive answer - 'Ah, Mr Bloggs, would that it were, would that it were!' To take over from such a well-known figure is a formidable challenge, but I'm hoping that his example will carry me through."
2010-08-03: Satellite TV company Sky has emerged as the sponsor of soccer coverage on both Absolute Radio and UTV-owned talkSPORT, both of which have bought packages of Barclays Premier League rights along with BBC Radio Five Live (See RNW Feb 11) - Absolute announced details of its commentary team last month.
The deals are part of Sky's promotion of its five sports channels including Sky Sports News and the campaign will also create awareness of Sky 3D, whose launch is planned for October 1. The channel, on Sky+HD, will be Europe's first 3D TV channel.
Absolute says the promotion will include interactive listener promotions, a range of on-air and on-line features and promotions extending across both stations portfolio of assets and in another first, the sponsorship credits, tags and messaging will be rotated on a weekly basis to support and underpin the rolling Sky marketing and brand campaigns.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Absolute's ultimate parent):
2010-08-03: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld just one radio standards complaint but also imposed sanctions totalling GBP 157,250 (USD 250,000) on adult TV service Bang Channels for various breaches on a number of its channels and also of GBP 17,500 ( USD 27.800) on a digital TV channel in connection with an advertisement for Professor Mohammed Zain that it said breached regulations amongst other things on misleading advertising and Religion, faith and systems of belief - the occult, psychic practices and exorcism). It also found Bang Channels to have breached standards in relation to various broadcasts by the same channels.
The radio complaint upheld involved community station Lincoln City Radio and failure to retain recordings: Ofcom had received a complaint about prohibited promotion of products and services and requested recordings but the station said it was unable to provide them because its recording machinery had been disconnected whilst it was installing a new mixing console.
Ofcom was therefore unable to rule on the complaints but noted the breach of the licence requirement to retain recordings and said that this matter would be held on record.
In addition to the above, Ofcom also upheld a standards complain against Iranian-owned Channel Press TV over a programme that discussed the events during and following the interception by Israeli military forces of a pro-Palestinian aid convoy in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31 and a number of standards complaint against STV in relation to Scottish Government sponsorship of programmes and also dismissed further complaints on the same issue against STV. It also dismissed two TV Fairness and Privacy complaints.
The numbers compare with the upholding of standards complaints against three radio stations and three TV stations and considered a further TV standards complaint resolved through action already taken by the broadcaster in its previous bulletin in which it also posted details of a TV advertising scheduling complaint upheld and a TV fairness and privacy complaint that it did not uphold.
Ofcom also listed without details 225 TV complaints against 125 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items it did not uphold: This compared to 218 TV complaints against 143 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-08-02: WS2K Radio Group has sold its cluster of six stations - three AM and three FM - in the Elmira Corning market in New York to Sound Communications, headed by Bill and Paige Christian for USD 1.425 million.
Three stations are licensed to Corning - WCBA-AM (Sports), WGMM-FM (Classic Hits) and WENI-AM (A talk format simulcast with WENY-AM); two to Elmira - WENY-AM and WENY-FM (AC - a simulcast with WENI-FM); and one to Big Flats - WENI-FM.
The deal was handles by brokerage companies Frank Boyle and Company and Kozacko Media Services.
2010-08-02: Australian commercial radio stations today launched the latest series of adverts to promote the medium to advertisers with a series of "Australia's Listening" adverts that highlight their weekly reach of more than 16 million Australians.
The ads were written by the award winning radio specialist agency Eardrum and feature everyday Australians including a teenager, busy professional, tradesperson, mother and banker all being interviewed by "That Radio Bloke" (Mark Mitchell) in a humorous way about why and how they listen to radio.
Eardrum's creative director Ralph van Dijk commented, "Commercial radio delivers huge audiences and by featuring different listeners talking about their particular station, we also remind advertisers of how targeted it is."
Joan Warner, Chief executive of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, which has posted audio of the adverts on its web site, said the campaign aims to highlight radio's reach, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness, adding, "Radio can now be accessed on analogue radio, digital radio, via the web, on mobile phones, via podcasts - more than ever before. Busy, mobile Australians are particularly strong radio listeners because of its accessibility while they are on the go - at work, driving, relaxing at home or using the internet."
The industry launched its ongoing multi-million dollar radio brand campaign in 2003 and the latest adverts will go to air in two phases: They follow a campaign launched at the start of this year that featured marketers talking about why they use radio and listing its benefits as providing a personal connection and direct response, and being cost effective and reaching a mass audience in a very targeted way.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-08-01: BBC Radio 1 is to stage a special tribute night on September 9 to mark Annie Nightingale's four decades with the station, which she joined as its first female J in 1970: "A Night With Annie Nightingale" will run from 19:00 to 04:00 and start with a two-hour documentary "The Story Of Annie Nightingale", presented by Zane Lowe and including contributions from Irvine Welsh, Cassius, Primal Scream, Underworld, Shaun Ryder, Andrew Weatherall and Beth Orton.
This will be followed by a three-hour tribute concert featuring artists that Nightgale has selected and to include Fatboy Slim, Tinchy Stryder, Professor Green, Sub Focus, I Blame Coco, Bookashade, DC Breaks, Freestylers and Primal Scream.
At midnight the station will air two hours of the best music Nightingale has played over the past 40 years after which the night will end with two hours of the best guest mixes until 04:00.
Nightingale, who is the longest serving DJ on the station, commented of the anniversary, "The last four decades have flown by and it's been the best job in the world. Being able to bring exciting new music to listeners every week is a joy and Radio 1's role in discovering and championing new music continues to be crucial to bringing enjoyment and appreciation to our listeners and maintaining the UK's reputation of nurturing some of the most innovative exciting and original new music in the world. I'm always looking forward, planning the next show, the next guest mix, the next festival broadcast. So this night will be a chance to celebrate some awesome milestones and the truly amazing musical soundtrack of my life at Radio 1".
BBC Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt added, "I have been a long-term fan of Annie's since I worked with her as a Radio 4 producer many years ago. She has prodigious energy and enthusiasm for music-making that grows stronger over the decades - truly open minded and never puts herself as DJ above the music or the artists - she is an inspiration to many of our DJs and a much-loved member of our BBC family."
2010-08-01: Last week was again one where the main regulatory news came from North America where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a USD 1 million settlement with Univision to terminate a payola investigation and Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has taken what is now a the very unusual step of refusing renewal of a station's licence because of breaches of regulations.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its latest Broadcasting Financial Report showing commercial radio revenues in 2008-09 down 4% following a record year (See RNW Jul 29): The ACMA also found that community radio broadcaster 3CH, Kyneton, Victoria, has breached licence conditions that prohibit the broadcast of advertisements and requires community broadcasters to encourage participation in the operations of the service - its constitution currently limits membership of its committee of management to members living or working in the Macedon Ranges Shire, which the ACMA said restricts the community's ability to participate in the operations of the service.
The ACMA had investigated after receiving complaints and found that on April 10 this year the licensee had broadcast five advertisements when it failed to appropriately acknowledge the financial support of sponsors (with an accompanying sponsorship tag) during a live football broadcast.
The constitution is to be amended at the licensee's 2010 annual general meeting to ensure all its members are able stand for election to the committee of management and the ACMA said the 3CH's current committee of management has worked cooperatively to address these operational issues and has demonstrated a commitment to meeting its obligations under the licence conditions: Accordingly it is to take no further action for now but will continue to monitor the station.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also posted financial details for the country's broadcasters: In its case its annual Communications Monitoring Report showed that in 2009 radio revenues were down by 5.2% on 2008 (See RNW Jul 29).
In licensing actions it has refused to renew the licence of Pellproco Inc.'s CHSC-AM, St Catherines, Ontario, ordering the station of the air at the end of August (See RNW Jul 30): Other radio licensing decisions included (In order of province):
*Approval of application by 5777152 Manitoba Ltd. to operate its new English-language commercial station CJIE-FM Winnipeg Beach at 107.5 MHz with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,620 watts: The applicant had originally proposed to operate its new station at 93.7 MHz with an ERP of 1,640 watts. The station has to be brought into operation by July 28, 2012.
*Approval of application by the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to relocate the transmitter of its English-language commercial station CHPB-FM Cochrane and decrease the effective height of the antenna above average terrain from 36 metres to 13.7 metres.
*Approval of application by the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to relocate the transmitter of CKHT-FM, Hearst, which rebroadcasts the programming of its English-language commercial radio station CKAP-FM, Kapuskasing; decrease its power from 1,000 watts to 72 watts; change the transmitter's status from Class A to Class A1; and to change its antenna's radiation pattern from non-directional to directional. Haliburton advised that the change is needed the original antenna and transmitter site is no longer available.
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add the transmitters CBF-1, Senneterre; CBF-3, Lebel-sur-Quévillon, and CBF-4, Matagami to the licence of its French-language CHLM-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, and remove them from that of CBF-AM, Montréal.
*Approval of application by Radio communautaire francophone de Montréal inc. to increase the ERP of its French-language, type B community radio programming undertaking, CIBL-FM, Montréal, from 221 to 936 watts with a height of antenna above average terrain of 192.5 metres.
The CRTC also ruled that neither Canada's Broadcasting Act nor its Radio Regulations, 1986 had been breached in a broadcast in January last year of the programme "Bouchard en parle" on Cogeco Diffusion inc.'s CJMF-FM, Québec.
A complaint from Françoise David about the programme was first referred to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) along with 19 other complaints about the same edition of the programme. The CBSC rejected the other 19 complaints but did not consider a complaint from Ms Françoise David's complaint as there was a possibility of legal action: The CRTC noted that in January this year she informed it she had not begun any legal action over the matter.
The complaint referred to comments by host Sylvain Bouchard in which he was discussing a workbook used in a course on ethics and religious culture and that featured text about Françoise David and a photograph with the caption [translation] "Introducing an activist for social justice."
Bouchard objected to the inclusion of Françoise David, a well-known politician and head of the Québec Solidaire party, in the workbook. He described her inclusion as [translation] "Communist political propaganda" and "socialist brainwashing," and described Ms. David as a [translation] "Soviet leader" and a "Communist."
He said he would have had the same reaction had any other politician appeared in the workbook; that young people should be [translation] "taught how to think, not what to think" and encouraged students to tear the page with Ms. David's photograph out of their workbooks for a chance to win a copy of the video game Guitar Hero. He suggested that they [translation] "crumple up Françoise David's face and put it where it belongs, the wastebasket, the garbage."
The contest was to have run for a week but was ended after four days when Ms David complained. The station responded to her complaint by saying that criticism of Ms. David was legitimate because she is an active political figure; that the opinions expressed while debatable or exaggerated, was not unreasonable or offensive toward Ms. David and was restricted to her political life; and that the use of descriptions such as Marxist, communist, and Soviet were justified since the Communist Party of Quebec has ties with or is represented within Québec Solidaire.
the CRTC in essence agreed with the station, ruling that the programme "while unpleasant" did not breach any codes or regulations: In relation to Ms David's claim that encouraging people to tear a page out of their workbook constituted incitement to commit mischief within the meaning of the Criminal Code, and that, by suggesting that they [translation] "crumple up Françoise David's face," he was inciting violence against her and against women, the CRTC noted that it was not within its purview to rule regarding criminal matters but as far as incitement to violence was concerned, a reasonable listeners would understand this to be limited to tearing out the page.
It also commented that none of the comments, which it said related to Ms David as a politician, breached Canadian regulations.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) posted latest ratings, which shoed listening in the country remaining steady although ratings for state broadcaster RTE fell a little (See RNW Jul 30).
In the UK, Ofcom made no radio postings but in the US as already noted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a USD 1 million settlement with Univision to resolve its "pay for Play" investigation into the company (See RNW Jul 26): It also announced latest station numbers that showed that the number of licensed broadcast stations has continued to increase in the first half of this year (See RNW Jul 28)
In other radio licensing action it has denied a petition from Country Roots Preservation Group, which was applying for a station in serve Palouse, Washington and was one of three mutually exclusive applicants for a non-commercial educational (NCE) FM in the FCC group 83, to deny the application from Radio Free Moscow (RFM) , which had been given preference.
RFM and third applicant Fire Media Corp applied for a station in Moscow, Idaho, and Country Roots argued that RFM's application should be denied because it lacked reasonable assurance of its proposed transmitter site's availability when it filed the Application. Country included a sworn statement from Madlynn Kinzer, who maintains that she is business manager of J&E Brewer Family LLC, (which claims to own the land upon which RFM proposes to place its antenna and transmitter) in which she states that "the leaseholders who have towers" on the land have to seek approval to sublet space on their towers and that that J&E does not intend to grant permission to RFM to locate towers, antennas, or any other equipment on its property.
RFM responded by arguing that it did have reasonable assurance -including a letter from KHTR-FM's manager saying that KTHTR-FM was willing to co-locate the transmitter when it filed the Application: RFM is now indicating that if the site is unavailable it will submit an amendment to use a new site and the FCC has given it 60 says to either confirm the availability of the original site or file an amendment specifying a new transmitter site.
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