September 2010 Archive
2010-09-30: The winners of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards were announced tonight at the Radio Show in Washington DC with CBS Radio, which had been excluded when its parent was not in the NAB returning to take four awards, the same number as Clear Channel after which Bonneville, Citadel, Greater Media and Univision each took two.
The awards, announced at the annual awards dinner, were:
Legendary Station - WBZ-AM, Boston (CBS Radio):
Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year - Scott Shannon (Citadel Broadcasting):
Major Market Station of the Year - WTOP-FM, Washington (Bonneville):
Large Market Station of the Year - KSTP-FM, Minneapolis (Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation):
News/Talk Station of the Year - WTOP-FM, Washington (Bonneville):
Medium Market Station of the Year - KKOB-AM, Albuquerque (Citadel):
Small Market Station of the Year - KFGO-AM, Fargo (James Ingstad's Radio Fargo-Moorhead, Inc.):
Major Market Personality of the Year - Ronn Owens, KGO-AM, San Francisco (Citadel):
Large Market Personality of the Year - Doug Wright, KSL-AM, Salt Lake City (Mormon Church owned Deseret Management Corporation):
Medium Market Personality of the Year - Kelly Mac, WJMZ-FM, Greenville, South Carolina (Cox Broadcasting):
Small Market Personality of the Year - Leo Greco, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Clear Channel):
Spanish Format Personality of the Year - Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, KSCA-FM, Los Angeles (Univision Radio):
AC Station of the Year - WMJX-FM, Boston (Greater Media):
CHR Station of the Year -KIIS-FM, Los Angeles (Clear Channel):
Country Station of the Year - WFMS-FM, Indianapolis (WFMS LiCo, Inc.):
Oldies Station of the Year- WCBS-FM New York (CBS):
Religious Station of the Year - WMIT-FM, Black Mountain, North Carolina (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association owned Blue Ridge Broadcasting Corporation):
Rock Station of the Year - WMMR-FM, Philadelphia (Greater Media):
Spanish Station of the Year - WOJO-FM, Chicago (Univision Radio)
Sports Station of the Year WFAN-AM, New York (CBS):
Urban Station of the Year - WVEE-FM, Atlanta (CBS):
2010-09-30: Corus Entertainment Inc., which in the first nine months of the 2010 fiscal year reported profits of CAD 119.9 million ( USD 116.4 million - See RNW Jul 14) in an update to investors has said that it is now projecting profit of CAD 285-295 million (USD 277- 287 million) in its 2011 fiscal year with free cash flow to exceed CAD 100 million (USD 97.1 million) with President and CEO John Cassaday commenting that the company's "investment in technology and infrastructure provides us with a robust platform for future growth and margin expansion across our business."
Amongst the company's recent announcements are plans for its TV operation to carry OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network when the channel launches at the start of next year and an agreement with Supernova Interactive to launch what it terms "the first-ever integrated social network with a mandate to recommend new independent music for play on Corus Radio's new music stations."
The company said in a news release that "this pairing of social media and radio brings music-based social media platforms to the next level of music recommendation and discovery." and added "By engaging with band profiles and music online, listeners can directly influence which independent artists are potentially featured on radio."
Under the plan each participating station/city will develop its own music community portal which will provide music fans a place to listen, share and support their local music scene. It will also serve emerging artists by offering them opportunities to expose their music to a larger audience through Corus Radio websites and its airwaves. The initiative has already launched on Winnipeg's Power 97 and Vancouver's 99.3 The FOX and will expand throughout Canada on Corus Radio stations in the upcoming months.
2010-09-30: Peconic Public Broadcasting has now completed its purchase of WLIU-FM from Long Island University according to the Southampton News.
It says that Peconic put the final USD 637,000 - it has borrowed USD 337,000 to make the payment possible - of the USD 850,000 purchase into an escrow account on Tuesday.
The station's web site is still carrying a funds appeal and does not mention the payment but the paper quoted university President David J. Steinberg as saying in a statement "We are pleased that this transaction may now be completed and are heartened to know that the rich tradition of community-based public radio on Long Island's East End, which the university has proudly cultivated for decades, will continue to flourish ." and
WLIU station manager and Peconic Public Broadcasting founder Wally Smith added, "This is an exciting moment and very satisfying achievement. We are so grateful to everyone who worked on this, contributed and supported our efforts."
The deal still needs Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval
Southampton News report:
2010-09-29: Arbitron in a further release related to its RADAR 106 US Network Radio Survey, which measures 53 networks, says that since a year earlier when RADAR 102 showed a weekly audience for network radio of 187.7 million the numbers have increased by more than 2.1 million to 189.8 million.
There were increases n every demographic group it lists - of 1.85 million for 172.5 million for those 18 plus; of 653,000 to 119.1 million for those 35 plus; of 1.39 million to 103.3 million for those 18-49; and of 1.35 million to 97.5 million for those 25-54.
The company notes that the ratings, which cover the period from June 25, 2009 through June 23, 2010, include Portable People Meter data from the Houston-Galveston, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Washington DC, Detroit, Boston Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Seattle-Tacoma, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Diego, from Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, St. Louis, Denver-Boulder, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, PA, Metro markets for the Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Winter 2010 and Spring 2010 surveys.
It also included PPM data from Portland, OR, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, San Antonio, Kansas City, and Las Vegas for the Fall 2009, Winter 2010 and Spring 2010 surveys.
It does not give information on the degree to which the inclusion of PPM figures is related to the increases.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 106 main survey):
2010-09-29: Edison Research today released its "The American Youth Study 2010 - Part One: Radio's Future", a sequel to its "American Youth Study: 2000", saying that although it shows Internet usage has nearly tripled - from 59 minutes a day in the first study to two hours and fifty-two minutes per day amongst the 12-24 demographic - radio continued to be the medium most often used for music discovery although daily listening almost halved - from 2 hours and 43 minutes in 2000 to 1 hour and 24 minutes this year. 51% of those responding names radio as the source compared to 46% saying friends; 31% choosing YouTube and 16% social networking sites and RadioInfo.com, which sponsored the study, noted that Edison Research President and co-founder Larry Rosin told the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Washington D. C. today as saying that radio had held up "incredibly well" with the demographic.
In terms of competition for time, the study reports that the percentage of the group owning a mobile phone has increased from 29% to more than 80% over the decade and that 40% have used their phones to listen to music stored on their phones. It also noted that a fifth had listened to Pandora in the last month, with 13% indicating usage in the past week whilst by comparison, 6% of 12-24s indicated they have listened to online streams from terrestrial AM/FM stations in the past week.
It also notes that a decade ago 44% of 12-24s most often began their day by listening to the radio, a figure that is down to 29% amongst the same group - now 22-34: The group also reported significant gains in watching TV in the mornings (up to 25%) and in Internet use (Up to 23%).
There was also a significant change in musical tastes amongst those 12-24 today with the percentage choosing Top 40/Pop stations as their favourite more than doubling, while Alternative Rock stations were selected by half as many listeners.
The report makes a number of recommendations including suggestions that stations have to co-opt internet audio or lose the audience -as broadcast TV lost to cable; exploring co-branded side channels; and active recruiting of young people rather than relying on them showing up.
RNW comment: For further information including a slide show presentation follow the link below. Our feeling is that it has been somewhat tailored to the audience - for example one slide says "Radio streams narrowly trail Pandora" when the figures as given above indicate half as many again listen to Pandora and is also in part stating the obvious such as "Today's 12-24s own a broad variety of devices - most of which did not even exist in 2000 (albeit they are listed and quantified); offers some consolation in that radio remains the leading source for learning about new music although it also notes that "In the last decade, Radio has lost its edge as the most prevalent activity in the morning for young people."
Perhaps most telling are the slides headed "If 'Schadenfreude' helps: Hey, you could be working in the Newspaper Industry!" and "Also the concert industry - once seen as the great hope of music - has been whacked by the economy ( even if "radio tops social media as the source for concert information" and of course the most crucial economic comment, "Biggest reason they don't listen more hasn't changed one bit: Too Many Commercials" even if "One third of 12-24s say that putting an FM tuner on their cell phones would lead to more listening."
Previous Edison Research:
Edison Research study:
2010-09-29: BBC Radio 2 has told veteran English DJ Tony Blackburn, who it announced earlier this week was to take over from Dale Winton as presenter of its Pick of the Pops chart show (See RNW Sep 26), that he must end his weekend commercial station shows according to the UK Guardian.
As well as his work for the BBC, Blackburn currently presents weekend breakfast shows on Guardian Media Group's Smooth Radio (owned by the same parent as the newspaper), which to launch as a national network next Monday, and a Sunday 16:00 to 19:00 Show on KMFM in Kent (Still listed on the station web).
The Guardian says Radio 2 has told Blackburn it would be "inappropriate" for him to continue hosting the shows on commercial rivals: It quotes a station spokesman as saying, "We felt it would be wholly inappropriate for Tony to broadcast at the weekend on both Smooth and Radio 2. Ultimately it was Tony's choice to join Radio 2 for Pick of the Pops and to leave Smooth."
A GMG Radio spokeswoman added, "We would have liked Tony to remain on Smooth Radio's weekend breakfast shows but BBC Radio 2 stipulated that he would not be allowed to work for us. However, we wish him well for the future and I'm sure he'll sound sensational on Pick of the Pops."
The Guardian has also reported that smooth radio has recruited eight listeners to front the marketing campaign for its national launch. They will feature as smooth ambassadors" and were recruited after a campaign earlier this year that attracted around 1,000 applicants and the paper says they were chosen to reflect "not only Smooth's outlook but the wide-ranging experiences and zest for life shared by the station and its audience."
The marketing campaign will include TV, print and outdoor adverts over the next six weeks with TV adverts, voiced by Nell Bryden, to air in the north-east, west Midlands and north-west in October and November; outdoor ads to appear in the north-west, east Midlands and Glasgow; and press ads in women's and national listings titles including Woman's Own and TV Times.
GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor said, "Smooth's listeners are passionate about life and music and with a little more money in their pockets than your average commercial radio listener are highly sought after by advertisers."
"The ambassadors in this new marketing campaign," he added "will have a real affinity with millions across the UK and will no doubt encourage new listeners to give the station a try as it becomes a national brand."
RNW Note: The Guardian report does not make it clear if Blackburn's work for kmfm is also affected. So far we await a firm word from the BBC and cannot find anyone at kmfm who is sure of the position - they think he will continue his shows for them we will update if we get an answer.
UK Guardian re Blackburn:
UK Guardian re Smooth marketing:
2010-09-29: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the appointment of two new senior staff - of Michelle Carey as Media Bureau Deputy Chief and of Michael McKenzie as Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Deputy Chief and Senior Advisor on New Technology.
Carey was previously Senior Advisor to Assistant Secretary Lawrence E. Strickling at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Department of Commerce in which role she assisted in the implementation of a key Recovery Act program, the $4.4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. .
She has worked at the Commission in a number of capacities during the past sixteen years, including Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Martin, Deputy Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, and Chief of the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau.
2010-09-29: This year's Radio Show - organised by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) - opens today in Washington D.C. with sessions "You're Closer to the Capitol Than You Think" in which Congressional Democrat and Republican speakers will talk about the possible introduction of performance royalties for terrestrial radio stations (Inaccurately termed a "performance tax" by the NAB) and low- power FM and "Radio's Future II: The American Youth Study" an Edison Research study conducted in partnership with Radio-Info.com.
The latter session builds on the 2000 study "Radio's Future: Today's 12-24 Year-Olds" and as well as looking at the current media attitudes of this demographic also examines how the youth in the original study (now age 25-34) have migrated in their perceptions and beliefs over the past decade.
Other sessions today include ones on opportunities from new technology, what radio is doing right, and discussions on financial options and strategies: Opening remarks by National Association of Broadcasts (NAB) President and CEO Gordon Smith and Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Jeff Haley will have to wait until the afternoon - 15:15 local time.
The show continues until Friday with tomorrow's events including a "conversation" between FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell and NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith, moderated by NAB Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jane Mago ( at 15:15) and to include sessions on cross-platform advertising, an "Ask the Experts " session on regulation; and the intriguingly titled "International Secrets American Broadcasters Should Know" (RNW comment: Wonder if this will contain anything about how other broadcasters manage to survive and pay performance royalties?) with the evening to include the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Reception, Dinner & Show
On Friday the show sessions include an "Ask the Experts" on Creative Audio Processing; building brand passion amongst listeners; and syndication. It concludes with the Radio Luncheon followed in the afternoon with a Networking Event: At the Roundtable with Recruiters
2010-09-28: .The propaganda battle -now including a battle of the surveys - between the electronics and telecommunications industry and US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) about inclusion of FM tuner capability in mobile phones has continued with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) posting details of its own survey and the NAB launching a RadioRocksMyPhone.com web site.
The CEA poll findings seem to contradict those of a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by NAB (See RNW Sep 14): Whereas the NAB poll found that 76% of cell phone owners would consider paying a one-time fee of 30 cents to access local radio stations through a built-in radio chip and 73% of cell phone owners indicated that having a radio built into their cell phone capable of providing local weather and emergency alerts in real-time would be "very" or "somewhat" important, the CEA says in a news release its poll found that most consumers are not interested in FM tuners in their phones with 75% of adults saying consumer electronics manufacturers should determine what's included in devices, not the government, and 80% that the government shouldn't require cell phones to include an FM chip.
Its president and CEO Gary Shapiro commented, "With broadcasters asking Congress to force consumers to buy mobile phones with FM radios built in, we thought it was time to ask consumers what they want. This study proves there is little consumer demand for radio-capable cell phones and consumers don't want the government telling them what features their phones should have. For those few consumers who want a radio in their mobile phones, manufacturers offer several dozen such devices that are already on the market. Americans continue to want consumer electronics (CE) products designed by market demand rather than government mandates," he continued, "The CE market is the most innovative and growing sector in our economy. We understand that radio broadcasters are facing competition from new services and technologies, but rather than rely on government mandates, we encourage broadcasters to provide innovative services that Americans actually want to use" concluding "CEA and its member companies encourage Congress to leave such unwanted and unnecessary mandates out of any performance royalty legislation."
NAB EVP Dennis Wharton responded to the CEA survey by saying his organization stands by the Harris Interactive poll and added, "Ironically, CEA's own member companies build cell phones with radio capability that are in high demand in numerous markets outside the United States. Only in the America, where exclusive contracts between manufacturers and carriers govern the mobile phone market, is radio-capability relegated to third-class status."
The NAB web site seems to support his contention and contradict the CEA statement that manufacturers offer several dozen such devices that are already on the market: It lists on a "Find a Radio Ready Cell Phone" page what it terms "the few mobile phone models already on the market that are radio ready" - a total of 20 of which nine are available to AT&T customers; six to T-Mobile's; four to Verizon's; and only one to Sprint's. There are of course many other local carriers, which may make the CEA figures accurate but also misleading.
The other pages on the site are "Radio: Always on. Always there", which promotes the benefits of radio availability during emergencies and says "For less than the cost of a candy bar, components can be added to mobile phones to ensure consumers have access to lifesaving information, even on the go."; "Getting Past the Gatekeepers", which calls for lobbying of Congress over the issue of making radio available in cell phones; "Radio in Cell Phones: and Just the Facts", which comments on radio availability in phones in countries other than the US and the cost (termed "nominal"), weight ("less than a tic tac"), and impact on battery life ( "more than a full day's worth of consecutive hours of radio listening on a single battery charge.").
RNW comment: The CEA says its survey, designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, was conducted by phone between August 26 and 29, 2010, among a sample of 1,257 adults amongst separate samples for landlines and cell phones but we have not been able to find details of the questions on its site.
It would seem to us that most Americans asked if they would like an additional facility at virtually no cost would want it (think Harris Interactive Poll) whilst most of those same Americans would object to the government mandating the facility. Thus poll results would seemingly be contradictory whereas the difference lies in the element of compulsion.
In this lies the NAB's main error, borne in our view, of its essentially propagandist (read dishonest and patronising since far too often its "facts" are misleading if put into a proper context and would only have force to the ignorant) approach is that it has in effect thrown its weight into a sleazy deal with the recording companies in which it drops opposition to royalty charges for terrestrial radio for the benefit of getting extra potential listeners via mandating radio chips in cell phones.
That move, we suspect, has come about because it has realized that its lobbying may fail to prevent the introduction of such royalties - in our view it has never made a strong case to keep the exemption, which did not apply in most of the world and was based on the business model from earlier times and can no longer be justified.
Such a deal is inherently anti-consumer and anti-market forces and has given the CEA plenty of ammunition with which to oppose such a mandate.
Had the NAB been a little more intelligently run we think it would have taken a different approach and pushed the idea of opening US mobile networks so that any suitable cell phone (it has to be technologically compatible with the carrier - most of the world uses GSM as do T-Mobile and AT&T but on different frequencies - but the US also has incompatible CDMA and TDMA systems) can be used with a network.
The precedent for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce such an open system was set in 1968 when it gave consumers the right to attach any non-harmful devices to the Bell landline phone network. It could have gone the same way two years ago but under then chairman Kevin Martin dismissed a Skype petition that called upon carriers to open their networks and allow similar connection of devices.
At the time a number of commentators called this decision un-American and argued that it would leave the US well behind many other countries when it came to telecommunications.
So what does the NAB do? It comes up with a deal that allows the CEA to paint as un-American a call for a mandate to force something on the public rather than being smart enough to accurately note that the carriers are being un-American and go for the option of adding to consumer choice, which in this case would be to its benefit.
It's no surprise, of course, that the greatest choice of FM enabled handsets available in the US is on the GSM networks and opening up the carriers would arguably be popular with consumers (they can choose to buy their own phones or take carrier deals as in most of the world), boost GSM - since it is the dominant system in the world, and make many more FM enabled (and other phones) readily available to US consumers.
Radiorocksmyphone web site
2010-09-28: Hearings opened in Montreal today into Cogeco's CAD 80 million purchase of 11 of Corus Entertainment's radio stations in Quebec province that was announced in April (the deal was then worth USD 78.7 million - See RNW Apr 30).
Cogeco is asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to allow an exemption to its market cap in Montreal where Cogeco already owns RYTHME-FM and would acquire CKOI-FM and CHMP-FM, thus giving it three French-language FMs, one above the limit.
Cogeco in a news release said its plan will "revitalize and ensure the sustainability of the financially troubled regional stations that are part of the transaction, allowing them to survive as a relevant information source in all areas of Quebec" and adds that it also "aims to re-establish competitive balance in the French-language commercial radio industry in Quebec."
It says that the ownership cap established under Canada's 1998 common ownership policy was to "ensure that a group can operate two talk stations and two music stations per language" and that should the exemption be allowed this policy will be upheld as it will own two talk stations (CKAC-AM and CHMP-FM) and two music stations (RYTHME FM and CKOI-FM).
Cogeco says that "is a deep-rooted competitive imbalance in the Quebec radio landscape" where "Astral's control in the majority of Quebec markets, a situation unparalleled anywhere else in Canada, significantly hinders the development of commercial radio stations by other groups across Quebec, and inevitably limits the manoeuvrability of both local and provincial advertisers."
In Montreal this imbalance it adds is "heightened by a phenomenon unique to the bilingual market" with significant numbers of francophone listeners tuning in to English-language pop music radio stations, with the majority drawn to the two stations owned by Astral.
The hearings continue on Wednesday.
2010-09-28: Tribune Company announced today that it has reached agreement with Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. and Angelo, Gordon & Co, L.P. on a plan of reorganization that will settle claims surrounding "Step 1" of the company's 2007 going-private transaction and allow the company to exit bankruptcy.
Under the agreement, which has follows court-ordered mediation requested by the company and overseen by U. S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross, the claims associated with the financing of "Step 1" of the going-private transaction are resolved and a Litigation Trust will be set up into which will be placed all claims identified by the Examiner's Report relating to 'Step 2' of the company's going-private transaction
The Examiners report found the Step One claims to have less than a 50% probability of success and under the settlement Tribune Company's senior bondholders are to receive a total distribution of USD 300 million (approximately 23% of their claim amount) in cash plus their interest in the Litigation Trust.
Unsecured creditors of Tribune Company will receive the same percentage recovery, also in cash and an interest in Litigation Trust, which will allow them to seek redress for potential fraudulent conveyance issues and unsecured creditors of Tribune Company's subsidiaries will have an opportunity to receive 50% of their claim amount in cash.
The plan also provides for both Initial Term Loan Lenders and Incremental Term Loan Lenders to receive a pro rata distribution of cash, debt and equity of the reorganized Tribune and its subsidiaries pursuant to the terms of Credit Agreement.
Don Liebentritt, Tribune's Chief Restructuring Officer, said the plan addresses "two primary issues that are fundamental to a successful reorganization of Tribune" - enabling the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy and distribute the equity of the reorganized Tribune and its subsidiaries to the holders of the Initial and Incremental Term Loan claims and also set up a Trust to handle Step 2 claims.
Previous Tribune Co.:
2010-09-28: BBC World Service has announced an extension of its agreement with Audio Now, which provides it with mobile phone radio distribution in the US to add four more language services to the BBC Arabic programming launched earlier this year.
The new language services are in English, Farsi (Persian), Somali and Urdu and can be accessed by calling national access numbers for English World Service live and on-demand news from BBC Persian, Somali and Urdu services.
Simon Kendall, Head of Business Development, BBC Global News, said of the extension, "We are delighted that more BBC World Service multilingual programming is now available to audiences in the US. While we already have significant English-speaking and diaspora audiences listening to the BBC via web-streaming on their PCs, this service takes our connectivity to a different level and provides a more flexible and convenient service for audiences. We have been impressed by the take-up of BBC Arabic via the AudioNow service, and this arrangement builds on that success."
AudioNow's Chief Technology Officer, Marcel Barbulescu, commented of the on-demand services, "The service was developed in response to the growing demand by mobile listeners for instant access to regularly updated pre-recorded audio programming of sports, news, radio and online news content, without having to download audio files. Our broadcast radio partners can now expand distribution of their pre-recorded audio content including podcasts to any mobile phone, simply, and at virtually no cost."
2010-09-28: iBiquity Digital and Citadel Media have announced a partnership under which they will help provide equipment - from Broadcast Electronics, Continental, Harris and Nautel - and pay the HD Radio licence fee to stations in exchange for inventory that Citadel can sell.
iBiquity President and CEO Bob Struble said of the arrangement in a news release that the new "marketing agreement will help radio stations upgrade to digital - and join the 2,000-plus stations that have already done so."
He said of HD, "We're seeing exciting progress and continued momentum in the consumer rollout of HD Radio Technology. There are now over fifteen automakers building the technology into more than 85 different vehicle lines, and more than 100 different HD Radio receiver models are available at more than 12,000 retail outlets nationwide. We've more than doubled HD Radio receiver sales every year for the past several years, creating a growing installed base of listeners and presenting real revenue opportunities for broadcasters."
Citadel Media president John Rosso added, "This partnership with iBiquity makes it easier than ever for a radio station to enter the digital world. HD Radio Technology provides significant benefits that will help stations remain competitive. We're making those benefits available with flexible options on a no-cash, barter basis for broadcasters both large and small."
RNW comment: We will be interested to see if any figures are produced about take-up of this offer and also if any financial details come out. Depending on the details the deal could be anything but a benefit to many stations as its value depends totally on the income to Citadel, which we don't see as having a reputation for generosity, from the inventory supplied compared to the equipment cost: we effectively discount the licence fee as costing iBiquity nothing if a station involved did not install HD yet giving it the benefit of future licence fees as we doubt there'll be a lifetime free offer.
Bill Paley had the idea of supplying services - in his case radio programming - for inventory 80 years ago and we can't see anyone at Citadel having his level of vision or for that matter leaving USD 500 million.
2010-09-27: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was the big winner at this year's New York Festivals International Radio Awards, taking a total of 18 awards including the title of Broadcaster of the Year for the 4th time in 5 years and a 2010 Grand Award for "Twice Lost", an edition of its "The Current" that also took Gold in the Health/Medical category: The other Grand Award went to British independent Ten Alps Radio for "The Woodstock 40th Anniversary" which also took the Gold in the Best Music Special category.
In all Ten Alps picked up five awards including a Gold for "Elvis by Bono", a co-production with White Pebble Media, and another Gold in the Best Documentary/Profile category for a Brook Lapping documentary "Archive on 4: Working for Margaret (Thatcher). "
In all this year's international Grand Jury awarded 33 Gold Trophies, 37 Silver, 40 Bronze and 71 Finalist Certificates.
The CBC took four gold World Medal Awards - for Twice Lost; Leonard Cohen in Three Acts (Best Regularly Scheduled Talk Programme); Message in a Bottle (History); and Shovelling the Rain Away (National/International Affairs).
Commenting on the success, Denise Donlon, general manager of CBC Radio, said, "This is truly fantastic."The breadth of programming held up for distinction by these awards is truly remarkable and a wonderful testament to the depth of programming choices that CBC provides to our audiences. We are deeply honoured."
After this Ten Alps took two Golds as noted above as did the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( Brian and Norm - a love story from ABC Radio National (Human Relations) and Shutting Down Sharleen (History); Ben Manilla Productions with The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger (Best Music Special) and The Sounds of American Culture (Culture and the Arts); and Fresh Air Productions with Reasons to be Cheerful - Ian Dury and the Blockheads (Best Music Special) and The World Cup 2010 (Programs/Series Promotion:.
Winning a single Gold award each were
American Public Media (All is Calm- Best Drama Special);
BRMB (Tim Shaw's Rehab Best Personality- Network/Syndicated):
Deutsche Welle (1989: Fulfilling the Promise of the Revolution - National/International Affairs):
Global Radio (UK - Jingle Bell Ball - I Can't Get Tickets Station Promotion);
Pittaway Productions (Canada - Risky Business -Best Investigative Report (Longform);
Radio Clyde (Scotland - Clyde 24 - Best News Documentary/Special);
Radio Free Asia Washington DC (A New Form of Women Trafficking - Best Special Report);
Radio Nederland (The Lonely Funeral Wereldomroep - Human Relations);
Radio Television Hong Kong (Return to the Crying Land - Sichuan Earthquake 1st Anniversary Special Ongoing News Story (Longform));
RTÉ (Ireland - Documentary on One - The Runners - Documentary on One - The Runners);
Siobhan McHugh (Australia - MARRYING OUT Religious Programs):
TBI Media Ltd (UK - Ronnie Scott's At 50- Culture & The Arts);
Voice of America (My Nation's Command, My Only Dream: The Story of North Korean Migrant Workers in Vladivostok - National/International Affairs);
WGCU Public Media (Lucia's Letter - Best News Documentary/Special);
Wise Buddah Creative Ltd (Pirate Johnnie Walker- Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program);
WNYC Radio (The Fall of the City - Best Drama Special).
2010-09-27: CBS Radio flipped its 50,000 watt Dallas news-talk KRLD-AM to news today and has posted a new line-up on its web site without Jay McFarland, who the Fort-Worth Star Telegram has reported is to join a station in Salt Lake City in part to be near his mother who is unwell.
McFarland announced his move last Friday when he was joined by his former co-host Ernie Brown who is joining the news station as a co-host with Mike Rogers from 05:00 to 09:00 weekdays.
They will be followed by Mitch Carr and Scott Braddock (09:00-11:00) then David Rancken and Bonnie Petrie (13:00-16:00) and Will Sterrett and Alice Rios (1600-20:00).
Bruce Gilbert, Vice President of News/Talk/Sports Programming, and CBS Radio Dallas, said in the station's site, "It's no secret that our listeners count on KRLD to keep them informed. We believe this new line-up gives us the depth to deliver on those expectations in a personable and professional manner, because when news affects North Texas we take our commitment to inform the community very seriously."
The station will remain the flagship of the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the Texas State Networks.
Also to change according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is Disney's 1250 ESPN in the city: The paper says most of its current full-time employees will be fired at the end of the week and it will continue with an unspecified sports format - to include Penn State football and shows involving Steelers linebackers James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote, which are profitable.
Quoting unnamed industry sources the paper says that at the end of the year when its lease with WWCS-AM ends, Disney, which owns ESPN, will move Radio Disney from 640 AM over to the 1250 frequency. It adds that the ESPN station has been losing money for years and notes that there have already been significant cuts starting with the firing of Mark Madden in 2008 and following with multiple firings in May last year and then more in June this year.
The sources also said the 5,000 watts station has been up for sale for some time but no buyer could be found. Its financial position worsened when CBS Radio flipped WBZW-FM (B-94) from hits to "The Fan" sports talk KDKA-FM (See RNW Jan 19) falthough the paper says ESPN had continued to hold a ratings lead from 06:00 to 18:00 and it speculates that Clear Channel is likely to take up ESPN national programming at its Fox Sports Radio 970.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram report:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report:
2010-09-27: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin has found 13 community radio stations to have breached their licence conditions by failing to submit annual reportsby the required deadline and also found two stations to have failed to submit an annual report despite repeated requests. It found two more to be in breach of its advertising and sponsorship regulations.
It also upheld TV Standards complaints involving four broadcasts, rejected TV complaints concerning a Marie Stopes International advertisement and did not uphold a TV Fairness and Privacy complaints.
In its previous bulletin Ofcom upheld three radio standards complaints- two against former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt - and considered a further radio complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcaster. It also upheld TV complaints involving eight items broadcast by seven channels, rejected a further TV standards complaint and a TV fairness and privacy complaint; and upheld two advertising minutage complaints.
The stations who have failed to provide annual reports have been put on notice that they may face a statutory sanction: They are Voice of Africa Radio, Newham, East London, which failed to submit its annual key commitments and financial reports, and Burngreave Community Radio, Sheffield, which failed to provide either report on time and has not submitted its financial report.
The two stations found to have breached advertising and sponsorship rules were Cheshire FM, mid Cheshire, and Seaside FM, Withernsea, East Yorkshire, both of which contravened the requirement to obtain no more than 50% of its income from on air advertising and sponsorship, and no more than 25% from volunteer in-kind support.
Some of the stations who have submitted reports but failed to meet the deadline submitted no reports on time whilst others did not provide both reports required.
Those who failed to provide both reports on time were:
Colchester Garrison FM; Edinburgh Garrison FM; Salisbury Plain Garrison FM; Aldershot Garrison FM; Garrison FM, Catterick; Hayes FM, Middlesex; Leith FM, Midlothian; Somer Valley FM, Midsomer Norton and Radstock, Somerset; Bro Radio, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan; Gravity FM, Grantham, Lincolnshire; and Cheshire FM, mid Cheshire.
Failing to provide financial reports on time were:
Youthcomm Radio, Worcester and Black Diamond FM, East & central Midlothian;
Ofcom also listed without details 138 TV complaints against 100 items and 15 radio complaints against 9 items it did not uphold: This compared to 558 TV complaints against 186 items and 21 radio complaints against 18 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-09-26: Last week was a very slow one as regards radio postings from the regulators with none at all from Australia, Canada, Ireland or the UK although in Australia we missed one Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) posting at the end of last week ago thanks to yet more problems with its web site, which does seem down quite frequently.
This was a ruling that community radio broadcaster 2RSR Sydney breached rules prohibiting the broadcast of adverts.
The ACMA investigated following a complaint and found that licensee Radio Skid Row Inc. broadcast three advertisements on 30 May 2010 during the Radio Najarama program.
In response to the finding the licensee has given the presenter an official warning and additional training regarding the broadcast of sponsorship announcements. 2RSR has also written to all presenters to remind them of their responsibilities under its sponsorship policy and procedures.
On this basis the ACMA is to take no further action for now but will continue to monitor the station's compliance.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Canada, Ireland, or the UK but in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted details of its decision to free up TV "white spaces" - unused parts of the signal for "SUPER WI-FI" but as regards radio its postings were much less momentous although it did announce a number of enforcement decisions, cancelling, confirming and proposing various penalties (See RNW Sep 20 and 23).
It also posted details of its planned FM Auction 91 of 147 FM construction permits. (Also Sep 23).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
FCC web site:
2010-09-26:Veteran English DJ Tony Blackburn, who launched BBC Radio 1 in 1967 after working on pirate stations Radio Caroline and Radio London, is to join BBC Radio 2 to present the Saturday afternoon chart show Pick of the Pops from November 6.
The show predates his career - it was first broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in 1955 and then moved to Radio 1 with a Radio 2 simulcast from 1967: Its last edition in its original form was aired in September 1972.
The show returned to the airwaves on Radio 2 in 1997 and was hosted for its first three years- until his retirement - by Alan Freemen and for the past decade it has been hosted by Dale Winton whose last show is to be broadcast on October 30.
Blackburn this year presented Bank Holiday specials on Radio 2 - a one-off show on May 31 featuring the 60 Top Selling Hits of the 60s and another one-off on August 30 featuring the UK Million Sellers Chart - and he also presents the Best of Soul & Motown on BBC London 94.9FM on Sundays.
He said in a BBC news release about his return, "I'm delighted to be taking up the reins of one of radio's most iconic and famous shows at the UK's most listened to radio station. I'm very much looking forward to indulging in two hours of fantastic, rarely heard music from across the decades each week."
2010-09-25:Although most of the publicity outside India concerning the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi from October 3-14 has been negative and concerned with inadequate facilities (as well as the collapse of a ceiling at the weightlifting venue and of a footbridge near the main stadium), for those in Delhi a new All India Radio (AIR) station 100.1 FM has been launched promoting the games.
The station has been set up to create awareness of the games and its signal covers the entire Delhi region. Programming will air between 07:00 and 23:00 in English and Hindi and will feature tourist information ad well as sports news and interviews with sports personalities.
Indian radio is also airing a five-minute musical tribute to the Games, "Subhankar" (mascot), which been sung by businessman-turned-musician Raman Kapoor and composed by Balvinder Assi.
The lyrics centre on the arrival of India as a power on the world stage, the universal appeal of the Games, the spirit of the sporting extravaganza and the camaraderie among the Commonwealth nations.
Previous Indian Radio:
2010-09-24: Details of cuts to be made in BBC World Service radio programming - including the end of regular drama output and of the weekly, hour-long BBC Proms season programme and World of Music series plus some sports output including the daily hour-long Wimbledon tennis programming during the event - have been given to staff in an e-mail from Craig Oliver, Controller English, Global News.
The service is expecting its budget to be cut by up to a quarter from April next year as part of government cutbacks including that for the Foreign Office, which provides the funding for the World Service and staff fear the cuts could also mean the loss of more foreign-language services following earlier cuts, many associated with the launch of an Arabic TV service and political changes in Europe.
The service has axed a number of radio services, most recently in South Asia (See RNW Feb 24, 2009) before which it ended its Romanian service in June 2008 (See RNW Jun 26, 2008) and this year a drop in the value of the pound has caused a funding shortfall leading to it being asked to trim its budget by GBP 7.7 million (USD 11.7 million).
The service currently has an annual budget of GBP 272 million (USD 440 million) under a three-year deal agreed in 2007 and has already cut GBP 10.9 million (USD 17.2 million) from this.
Oliver begins his e-mail, "Over the past few months, I have been working with my senior editorial team to respond to the challenges of an increasingly tough financial climate. I have had to make some difficult decisions, which will come into effect from next April" and then goes on to detail cuts.
As regards drama, he says the service will end its current contract with Audio & Music to provide around 14 plays per year when it runs out at the end of March next year and then continues, "I would like to pay tribute to those production teams, actors and writers who have provided our listeners with exceptional radio drama for more than 75 years. Marion Nancarrow, the current executive responsible for drama, deserves particular praise for her record in showcasing established playwrights and actors alongside new writers, directors and performers."
Oliver adds that the "biannual International Playwright Competition, which we have run in conjunction with the British Council for 22 years, will continue on BBC World Service."
As regards music as well as the cuts we have already noted he says that the World Service will "continue to provide our audiences with the best coverage of the BBC Proms and world music, in addition to drama, performance and other arts in our arts programme The Strand and in other output."
He offers a similar consolation as regards Wimbledon, commenting, " as with every Grand Slam tennis event, BBC World Service will continue to feature Wimbledon prominently in our regular sports programmes and bulletins."
2010-09-24:Following the appointment of Richard Lobo as Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees the operations of the Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting which is in charge of Radio and TV Martí - his appointment was confirmed on Wednesday following Senate approval of his nomination (See RNW Sep 17), the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has appointed Cuban American lawyer Carlos A. Garcia-Perez as the director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB).
The OCB supervises Radio and Television Marti's Spanish-language broadcasts of news and information to Cuba and the Miami Herald reported before confirmation by the Board that the Cuban American National Foundation of which Garcia-Perez is a leading member has harshly criticized the stations.
The paper notes that both the radio and TV signals are jammed by the Cuban Government - the TV signals more successfully - and adds that the stations "have faced steady criticism over the tiny audiences they reach, political bias, and cronyism as well as the misspending of some of the estimated USD 500 million they have received from the U.S. government over the years."
García-Pérez replaces Pedro Roig, a 69-year-old lawyer and registered Republican who resigned on Aug. 27 after seven years in the post.
BBG Chairman Walter Isaacson commented of the appointment in a news release, "As we observe potential changes in the political and economic landscape in Cuba, it becomes even more important that Radio and TV Marti present a trusted source of objective news and information about events in Cuba, and related U.S. policies. Garcia-Perez is a strong leader with a commitment to the editorial competence and professional journalism required of all BBG broadcasters."
The release highlights Garcia-Perez' "rich experience in international business and law" but does not mention any prior media experience.
Miami Herald report:
2010-09-23: Emmis shares fell by 7.14% to close at 78 cents on Thursday- less than a third of the USD 2.40 price offered in the now aborted bid by its founder chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan in an attempt to take it private - for reasons that were not clear but could be linked to a New York Times report on "vulture investor "Randall D. Smith ( who founded Alden Global Capital - a division of Smith Management LLC - and the backer whose withdrawal scuppered Smulyan), and has been investing in media companies, notably newspapers and radio.
Most of the report concerns Smith's investments in newspapers - the paper says he has invested millions of dollars in small and midsize newspaper chains, as well several radio broadcasters.
He was amongst the winning bidders for the Philadelphia Inquirer which was up for auction a second time today: In the event the lenders won with a USD 105 million bid - they had also won the first time in April with a USD 139 million bid but then failed to reach an agreement with the Teamsters Union, a condition of approval of the bid and with whom they still have to reach a deal. (RNW Note: The lenders in this case include Alden and New York investment firm Angelo Gordon and Company, which with Oaktree Capital Management submitted a plan earlier this week to take Tribune Company, to which they are also lenders, out of bankruptcy).
The Times refers to the collapse of Smulyan's bid to take Emmis private because Alden pulled out and subsequent legal action being taken (See RNW Sep 16). It quoted Smulyan as saying, "They had a vision for media - not a fully formed vision, but they said they had a big interest in the industry," and adding "They just disappeared. It's like Randy Smith woke up one day and said, 'We don't like this sector; kill the deal.' "
RNW comment: Smith, who made his money from companies in difficulties after the collapse of the junk-bond market, had built up a 43% share in Emmis's preferred stock and the deal fell through after a group holding 38% of that stock held out for a better deal, which Alden was said to have agreed in principle but then concluded the new terms were unattractive. Smulyan subsequently commented that although the stock price had fallen all the other "metrics" had improved since the deal was originally agreed but the company is still hobbled by debt and we wonder whether investors are agreeing more with Smith than Smulyan.
New York Times report:
2010-09-23: BBC Radio 5 Live has announced that it has re-commissioned its "Men's Hour" programme for a one-off special this Christmas and a series in Spring next year.
The programme, which is hosted by Tim Samuels, was launched in July (See RNW Jul 3) pledging to delve into unchartered emotional territory for men, giving them a platform to air their feelings amidst the robust debate and discussion and gained wide publicity by billing itself as "cheeky younger brother" to BBC Radio 4's "Women's Hour", which has been on the air for 64 years.
In a release announcing the new series the BBC notes that it featured interviews including ones with "soldiers who couldn't face going back to the frontline, features on how to survive in prison, long-distance dads, online dating, office meltdowns, the realities of having a newborn baby, ageing and hair hypochondria" and notes favourable comment from female commentators Jan Moir in the Daily Mail and Gillian Reynolds in the Telegraph.
Samuels commented, "We've had an amazing array of blokes opening up on a vast range of subjects - from life-changing experiences to the most peculiar examples of hypochondria. The alchemy of guests, topics and tone has really given us something to build on when we come back. Give us 64 years and Men's Hour might just become the new Woman's Hour."
Radio 5 Live Commissioning Editor Jonathan Wall added, "Men's Hour wasn't going to join Woman's Hour as a national broadcasting institution within six programmes! But I do think Tim and the team have provided some intelligent, thought provoking and entertainingly honest discussion which has convinced us to commit to a longer series next year. I am delighted that some of the critics, who thought it was just a PR stunt, appear to have been won over by the quality of the live discussion and the open and frank views of the contributors."
2010-09-23: Radio One Inc. has revealed in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has received a de-listing notice from the NASDAQ stock market relating to its Class D Common Stock, which has failed to meet the exchanges USD1 minimum price for 30 consecutive days.
The company now has until March 21 next year to regain compliance for which its stock has to close at or above a dollar for ten consecutive days. If it does not it will be notified of de-listing, a notice that it can appeal. The company was in a similar situation in October 2008 (See RNW Oct 23, 2008) but regained compliance.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-09-23: BBC Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles, who spent most of the first half hour of his show on Wednesday complaining that the BBC had not paid him since the end of July (See RNW Sep 22) went straight back to the topic when he opened his show today - but this time to say the problem has been "sorted" after he spoke to BBC Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt.
Moyles started by calling Wednesday "a ridiculous day", adding, "Hello to all the new listeners who are tuned in, all the journalists who have tuned in to hear me losing me mind."
Of the payment delay he commented, "I was upset. When I say upset, I was not crying, more frustrated than anything. I just thought, I've had enough of this. It's peeing me off, it's a complication I don't necessarily need in my life at the moment" but in chat with his team they also noted that the first half-hour of the show was usually all chat not music and said he was "not embarrassed but very bemused" by the reaction to his comments.
Moyles said that he began receiving texts in the afternoon asking him if he was all right and continued, Then I start to think, maybe I'm not all right. So I'm on the phone to my boss (Radio One controller Andy Parfitt) and he's are you all right, I'm fine, are you all right? Do you want to have a chat about it? So we went and had a drink and talk about it for, I don't know, 10 minutes. He's cool with it. If anything he was worried. 'Are you all right?' I said I'm fine, I'm fine."
The host added that Parfitt subsequently sent him a text saying the payments had been sorted" and also half-apologized to Parfitt, saying he did not blame in -in this part of the exchange there was joking comment about a You Tube item showing a fake Andy Parfitt saying he had found a load of cheques in a bag (we could not find this) and commenting, "I was trying to explain to my boss that even though he made me host of the breakfast show on his radio station secretly I am very, very moody first thing in the morning. I'm not a great morning person. That rant I did yesterday, it's not the worst rant I have ever done on air.
2010-09-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Montana FM USD 7,000 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation and also posted details of its planned Auction 91 on March 29 next year of 147 FM Construction Permits (CPs) regarding which it is asking for comment on the auction procedures.
Attracting the penalty was Gallatin Valley Witness, Inc., licensee of KCMM-FM, Belgrade: it had been issued with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in February 2007 to which it responded asking for cancellation or reduction on the basis that the failure was inadvertent because it was unaware of the FCC's electronic filing requirement and financial hardship.
The FCC noted in connection with the first that although the licensee provided a copy of its cheque and remittance advice associated with a paper renewal it had made an electronic filing in June 2005.
As regards the hardship argument it said tax returns filed - for 2002 and 2005 - did not provide an adequate basis to asses the inability to pay but even if it did the amounts shown would not justify the argument and it confirmed the full penalty.
The 147 CPs on offer are in Classes A, CO, C2, and C3 and are in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington State, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
2010-09-22: BBC Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles devoted most of the first half hour of his show today to an attack on the Corporation, which he said had not paid him since the end of July.
Moyles, who is 36 and signed a new contract with the BBC in July, launched into his comments at the start of his show after the news and jingles, starting off by commenting about being late and then going on to say, "Do you know what. I wasn't going to come in today?"
This led him, after a brief exchange with sidekicks to being asked "Why?" to which he responded, "I' don't know. I do know. Not going to talk about it ...I get very angry I hate the fact I've been put into a position by Radio 1 and the BBC that I don't want to be in. I'm very, very angry. Very, very, angry for being put into this position... I can't tell you how furious I am. I haven't been paid. I haven't been paid since the end of July It's a huge lack of respect and a massive FU to me."
Moyles kept up his critical comments until the end of the first 30-minute segment of his show including remarks about not coming in - "If they can't be bothered, why should I bother?"; calling for the problem to be solved - "Fix it, just get it fixed. It's a huge lack of respect"; saying in regard to team comments that it was probably just a glitch - "It's to do with our new contracts It's some idiot who didn't put a bit of paperwork through I pretty much know who's responsible in this building. I even know the name of the moronic div I bet you any money their ass is getting paid"; also complaining about lack of milk in the fridge - "No effin milk again etc . No milk, no money, what's worse?" and hitting out at some listeners who had sent in messages about the absence of music and his complaints - "Amazes me that people text in and don't get it "Stop moaning, you get paid a fortune paid to most people What, because I get paid more than you, if I don't get paid for two months I should just go 'oh well, harrumph'? You don't know a thing about my life .if you really have a problem I'll pay your licence fee and you can go and listen to someone else "
After this section of the show Moyles reverted to normal output for its final three hours. The BBC in its web site report on the comments said the BBC declined to comment and Moyles' agent would only say the issue was in the process of being rectified but a Press Association report carried by various newspapers quoted a BBC spokeswoman as saying there had been a problem with a computer and the payments were being processed.
RNW Note: Audio of the Moyles show is on the BBC Radio 1 web site until Wednesday next week.
2010-09-22: .Long-time Pacifica Radio jazz programmer Earland Edwards - "The Doug of Edwards" - has died aged 80: He had hosted his jazz show "Ear Tyme" on Saturday nights until he went into hospital a few weeks ago and had spent more than three decades on KPFA-FM, Berkeley.
The Berkeley Daily Planet commented that although "glaucoma and cataracts were robbing him of his eyesight and illness his vitality in recent weeks, the radio personality continued to do his broadcast with hands on help from his long time partner Cindy until near the end of his life."
Edwards began his jazz radio host career in 1978 at KPOO- FM in San Francisco, hosting a program called "The Audible Art Gallery" for two years, moving to KPFA in May 1980 and established "Jazz Passages" in 2000 and hosted the program during KPFA's Music of the World slot until a few weeks ago.
Berkeley Daily Planet report:
2010-09-22: Although it's not yet official and its web site still carries its message from the start of this month, Peconic Public Broadcasting has according to the East Hampton Press managed to raise the USD 637,000 it needs to complete its purchase of WLIU-FM from Long Island University.
The deal was originally supposed to be completed by the end of June this year and the deadline was then extended for 60 days by the university after a USD 160,000 down payment had been made and then by a further three days to the end of the month, a deadline the station failed to make (See RNW Sep 4 ).
After appeals from U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, the former provost of Southampton College, and other local officials it was further extended by 25 days to next Tuesday and the Press quotes a "source familiar with the touch-and-go effort to raise the money" as saying funding has now been secured.
It adds that with the help of a guaranteed loan from a local bank and a large private pledge, as well as a number of large donations from supporters in the last few weeks, the group is expecting to meet the latest deadline.
Station manager and Peconic Public Broadcasting head Wally Smith told the paper the group is still working to line up the money before the deadline and would not comment further about the effort but the Press adds that a source who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the fundraising effort, Peconic will be borrowing a large chunk of the money from an individual and taking another loan - of less than USD 300,000 - from a bank with the signatures of multiple secured loan guarantors.
It also says that much of the progress made in the last few weeks was said to be due to the involvement of wealthy investment banker Len Conway but notes that if Peconic cannot make the final payment the down payment will be forfeited and the station put back up for sale.
2010-09-21: BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale has been named by the Guinness Book of Records as having the "Longest Career as a Radio Presenter (female)" with her award presented to her by Liam Gallagher, one of her favourite artists, on his birthday, at the Radio 1 studios in London this morning.
Nightingale, now 68, is also the station's longest-serving presenter and it marked her four decades with it earlier this month with a special Annie Nightingale Night (See RNW Aug 1).
Gallagher commented, "Annie is a true icon of British Radio. She's been on Radio 1 since before I was born. Good on her for getting this record. I hope she's still here in another 40 years!" and Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief, Guinness World Records, added: "Not only was Annie the first female DJ on BBC Radio 1, but her outstanding contribution to music over the years - and her continued relevance to listeners today - means that she is now also the longest-serving female presenter at the BBC, and indeed the world. From the Rolling Stones to Tinie Tempah, Annie has provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives, and looks set to do so for many more years to come."
Nightingale still hosts an early show - running from 0-200 to 0400 on the station on Fridays. She commented, "When I took the wrong record off and caused eight seconds of dead air on my very first Radio 1 show, I thought that was the beginning and end of me. Since then I think it's been a case of keep cool and carry on."
RNW Note - The longest serving male presenter according to the Guinness Book is Chicago host Herb Kent with some 65 years under his belt. He still hosts shows from 0800 to Noon on Saturdays and Noon to 19:00 on Sundays on Clear Channel's Urban AC WVAZ-FM (V103), Chicago.
2010-09-21: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has announced that Dom Sagolla, one of the co-creators of social networking service, Twitter, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Australian Radio Conference.
The Conferrence is to be held in Melbourne on October 15 and Sagolla will talk about the uses and impact of Twitter in the media, twitter etiquette and also look at future implications for social networking and communications.
Other speakers scheduled for the conference are former Sydney 2UE morning host John Laws: Paul Thompson, a pioneer of FM broadcasting in Australia -the founding CEO of Austereo and then of DMG Radio Australia; Rod Muir, another Australian FM pioneer -he lobbied for the introduction of commercial broadcasting licences in the major capital cities (in August 1980, the year he and founded 2MMM); and Australian radio programming pioneer Greg Smith,
The conference will be opened by Australia's Federal Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy who will detail the Government's view on the future of radio and the media in general.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-09-20: Triton Media's Dial Global yet again continued its dominance of the top-rated US radio networks according to Arbitron's RADAR 106 survey just released that shows that the Dial Global Contemporary Network and Dial Global Complete FM Network held on to the two top ranks amongst those 25-54 and the Dial Global Adult Power network moved up from fourth to third, swapping places with the Premiere Informed Network, while the Dial Global Female Perspective held on to seventh rank.
Amongst the 18-49 demographic Dial Global did slightly better with its Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Adult Power Network in the top three spots' and the Dial Global Female Perspective in sixth rank although Dial Global Music & Entertainment was down a rank from tenth to eleventh.
The Top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also posts details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 105 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 4.488 million and an average rating of 3.5 (In RADAR 105 the network was first with 4.327 million and an average rating of 3.4).
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 4.204 million and an average rating of 3.3 (In RADAR 105 it was second with an average audience of 4.112 million and an average rating of 3.2).
3: Dial Global Adult Power with an average audience of 3.241 million and an average rating of 2.6 (In RADAR 105 the network was fourth ranked with an average audience of 3.083 million and an average rating of 2.4).
4: Premiere Informed Network with an average audience of 3.145 million and an average rating of 2.5 (In RADAR 105 it was third with an average audience of 3.248 million and an average rating of 2.6).
5: Westwood One Adults Network with an average audience of 2.783 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 105 it was sixth with an average audience of 2.481 million and an average rating of 2.0).
6: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.509 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 105 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.526 million and an average rating of 2.0).
7: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.491 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 105 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.462 million and an average rating of 1.9).
8: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2.485 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 105 it was tenth with an average audience of 2.278 million and an average rating of 1.8).
9: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.372 million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 105 it was eighth with an average audience of 2.333 million and an average rating of 1.8).
10: Premiere Young Influencers: 15 Network with an average audience of 2.176 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 105 the Premiere Money & Smarts: 15 Network was ninth with an average audience of 2.333 million and an average rating of 1.8).
The highest ranked Citadel Network was again Citadel Media Prime Access, down from 23rd to 26th rank with an average audience of 1.380 million and an average rating of 1.1 (In RADAR 105 it had an average audience of 1.405 million and an average rating of 1.1).
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR Ratings (RADAR 105):
Previous Westwood One:
2010-09-20: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has again leapt into lobbying action to try and promote FM chips in mobile phones with letters to House and Senate leaders on the Judiciary and the Commerce committees referring to "the important consumer benefit that could be derived from unlocking the mobile phone market and granting consumer access to radio's free and unique offerings."
Letters from NAB Joint Board Chair Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Kentucky-based Commonwealth Broadcasting; and NAB Radio Board Chair Caroline Beasley, executive vice president and CFO of Florida-based Beasley Broadcast Group, noted the latest weekly listening figures from Arbitron - 239 million Americans a week, and said, "Such pro-consumer action would provide Americans with valuable public safety information during times of crisis while simultaneously expanding the reach and promotional exposure role of broadcast radio."
Unlike previous calls from the NAB suggesting that such chips be mandated, the letters argue for inclusion on the basis of the vital services radio stations performed after Hurricane Katrina, quoting NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams comments that "radio stations have been offering hope and help after this storm. They have become a vital part of this community -- part bulletin board, part voice of the people -- relaying all kinds of news from the disaster zone 24-hours-a-day from hot studios."
"Americans," say the letters, "ought not to be denied access to such a pivotal lifeline service. And while consumer electronics manufacturers may claim there is a 'lack of demand,' a recent survey [A reference to a poll commissioned by the NAB from Harris Interactive - See RNW Sep 14 ) indicates otherwise."
They then go on to criticize the make-up of the U.S. cell-phone market that they say "remains founded upon exclusive contracts between consumer electronics manufacturers and mobile phone carriers" adding that "consumers are being denied access to radio's free services on many mobile phone devices for competitive reasons. Cell phone providers apparently would rather reap the revenue of data-intensive, fee-based streaming apps than offer consumers a free and local alternative."
RNW comment: We note no reference in these letters to making FM receive capability mandatory but rather an emphasis on the cell phone providers' exclusive deals that deny access to a tuner facility for revenues reasons and in this argument we think the NAB has a point and indeed argued last month (See RNW Aug 26 ) that the mandate needed is not one to force a feature into every phone but to prohibit the mobile industry from allowing access to their networks using devices from third parties, effectively the situation in most of the world.
To argue for a mandatory chip is we think an approach that should be ruled out in a market economy but to expand consumer choice by preventing restrictions of that choice is a different matter and one that NAB should have been making clearly from the outset rather than getting involved in any suggestion of mandatory chips.
2010-09-20: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a number of penalties on radio stations and cancelled a number of others including the following:
Issued USD 10,000 forfeiture to WPW Broadcasting, Inc. licensee of WLBK-AM, DeKalb, Illinois, for failing to properly maintain a public file. It had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for this amount in March 2007 to which the licensee filed a request for reduction on the basis that precedent did not support a penalty of this amount. The FCC disagreed and confirmed the penalty.
Issued a USD 3,500 forfeiture to The University of Southern Mississippi, licensee of WUSM-FM, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The licensee contended that the penalty should be cancelled because it believed it had filed the renewal application but subsequently found that it had not completed the process. The FCC rejected the argument and confirmed the penalty.
Cancelled a USD 7,000 NAL issued to Donald H. De Rosa, licensee of WAMF-AM, Fulton, New York having learned that he has died. The agency had issued the NAL for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
Cancelled a USD 7,000 NAL issued to Central Georgia Broadcasting Company, former licensee of - WYTH-AM, Madison, Georgia, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The licensee responded by arguing for cancellation for financial hardship reasons and provided details of its revenues for 2001, 2002, and 2003, on the basis of which the agency substituted an admonishment.
Cancelled a USD 1,500 NAL issued to Twin City Baptist Temple, Inc., licensee of WCMX-AM, Leominster, Massachusetts, for late filing of renewal application. The licensee responded by saying the application was filed on time but not electronically and the FCC cancelled the NAL and substituted an admonishment.
2010-09-19: Last week was again fairly quiet as regards radio postings from the regulators with no news at all from Australia or Ireland and only a few elsewhere.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was only a little busier, making the three following radio-related postings (In order of province):
Posted public notice, with an October 18 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments concerning an application from Rogers Broadcasting Limited to add a 15 watts FM transmitter at Saltspring Island to broadcast the programming of CIOC-FM, Victoria.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approved application by Newcap Inc. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter in Springdale to carry the programming of its English-language commercial station CKCM-AM, Grand Falls, New Brunswick.
*Approved application by MacEachern Broadcasting Limited to increase the power of its English-language commercial station CIGO-FM, Port Hawkesbury, from 19,000 watts to 40,000 watts.
The change will increase the population served within the station's 3 mV/m contour would increase from 13,424 to 16,296, and, within its 0.5 mV/m contour, from 46,718 to 48,801: It was opposed by Atlantic Broadcasters Limited , licensee of CJFX-FM, Antigonish, on the basis of an economic decline in the region.
The commission in approving the application noted that MacEachern presented a more positive image of the regional economy and said it considered that the change would have a minimal impact on incumbent stations.
In the UK, the only radio posting from Ofcom was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld three radio complaints (See RNW Sep 13).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a fairly quiet week has posted details of a "financial blackout" next month whilst it introduces a new financial system (See RNW Sep 14) and has also posted details of a penalty of USD 10,000 against a Florida pirate operator (See RNW Sep 13 ) and of USD 7,000 each against two stations for late renewal filing and unauthorized operation and main studio rule breaches respectively (See RNW Sep 17).
In licensing decisions it denied a petition for the re-issue of a low-power FM licence in Ohio, declining to get involved in mediating a dispute over a time share and posted details of 58 non-commercial educational (NCE) applications and major modification applications that it has rejected because they were not filed on time for its October 2007 filing window. (Also RNW Sep 13).
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-09-18: Red Zebra Broadcasting is to flip its talk WTNT-AM to all-sports on Monday in a move that the company's Executive Vice President Rick Carmean in a news release said will further enhance "Red Zebra's image as the area's leading sports radio company."
No mention of the change is on WTNT's (Freedom 570's) web site but the new station already has a website that says it will be powered by ESPN and "will feature The Steve Czaban Show, from Sporting News Radio in the morning and ESPN personalities Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb and Brian Kenny throughout the day and evening."
According to DRCTV, which broke the news of a likely impending move earlier this month, Red Zebra will retain its current line-up on its existing sport-talk WTEM-AM, which includes ESPN's Mike and Mike.
DRCTV also reported earlier this month that Red Zebra is to flip its Spanish-sports WXTR-AM to Anglo rock, pop, and soul oldies but the station when we last checked its website was still featuring "ESPN Deportes 730 - La Radio Exclusiva de los Redskins."
Previous Red Zebra:
DCRTV web site:
Sportstalk 570 web site:
WTNT web site:
WXTR web site:
2010-09-17: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued two stations with USD 7,000 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALs), one for violation of its main studio rules and the other for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
Skytower Communications, licensee of WULF-FM, Hardinsburg, Kentucky, was issued with a main studio NAL following a re-location of its main studio to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, that it said complied with FCC regulations, and then to a nearby permanent site, also in Elizabethtown.
Both sites, said the FCC are outside the principal community contour of any Hardinsburg station and more than 25 miles from the centre of Harrisburg and it notes that no permission to relocate was sought from it.
In response to a complaint in October 2003 it asked Skytower for detailed information concerning the main studio location and in August 2004 the FCC Enforcement Bureau closed its investigation, but warned Skytower that this was not a determination that there had been no violation. Skytower then filed a "Request for Determination" and also sought a waiver to maintain WULF's main studio at its present site, collocated with the studio of commonly-owned station WQXE-FM, Elizabethtown, saying the station could only be economically viable if it continued to share studios with WQXE.
W&B Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WASE-FM, Radcliff, Kentucky, opposed the waiver request and also criticized Skytower's failure to document its economic claims and accused Skytower of misrepresenting the situation, saying the FCC should deny the waiver and fine Skytower or take both actions.
The FCC rejected the claim of misrepresentation and also found after analysis of coverage information that no waiver was necessary to allow Skytower to maintain its current main studio location but that it had breached FCC rules in relocation without getting prior APPROVAL. On this basis it is proposing the USD 7, 000 penalty for breach of the main studio rules.
In Georgia, the Commission found that Southern Broadcasting & Investment Co., Inc., licensee of WBTY-FM, Homerville, had filed its renewal application late and subsequently operated the station without authorization. It noted that the base forfeitures for the breaches were USD 3,000 for late filing and USD 10,000 for unauthorized operation but in this case the company had filed for Special Temporary Authorization to operate five days after its licence expired so it reduced the unauthorized operation penalty it is proposing to USD 4,000.
2010-09-17: All the exhibit space for this year's Radio Show, jointly organized by the US National Associating of Broadcasters (NAB) and Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) to be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington from September 29 - October 1 has now been sold out.
According to the organizers more than 70 exhibitors will be showing the latest in radio technology, services and solutions inside The Marketplace, a new component of this year's Radio Show, that was described by NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown as "the core of the Radio Show--a place where the show's participants will congregate to network with each other and with the industry's most innovative suppliers."
2010-09-17: Richard Lobo, the veteran journalist and former president of PBS station WEDU-TV, Tampa, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees the operations of the Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting which is in charge of Radio and TV Martí.
Lobo, who managed the Office of Cuba Broadcasting from 1994-95 during the Clinton administration, subsequently worked for NBC TV before moving to WEDU, which he left in May.
President Obama announced in February that he was nominating Lobo to the post (See RNW Feb 5 ).
2010-09-17: Radio One Inc. has announced another extension, this time until the end of this month, of 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 at close of business on Wednesday approximately 92 percent of the outstanding existing notes had been validly tendered into the offer and not withdrawn - when it last extended the offer it said the figures was approximately 91.8% (See RNW Aug 31 ).
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-09-16: Emmis founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan has filed a breach of contract claim against Alden Global Capital in connection with his second attempt - the first was in 2006 (See RNW Aug 5, 2006) -to take the company private: The bid collapsed earlier this month after Alden pulled out following an increased offer to preference shareholders (See RNW Sep 9) having agreed to the revised terms according to lawsuit filed by JS Acquisition, which Smulyan had set up as the vehicle for the buyout.
The Indianapolis Business Journal says that according to a public filing JS Acquisition LLC had spent around USD 10.2 million in expenses and fees on the bid, a figure the Journal says is "sure to grow as the USD 5.5 million legal bill escalates."
It adds that when asked amount the amount Smulyan commented, "I would say that's in the ballpark. There's a tremendous amount of fees."
JS Acquisition, represented by the Indianapolis office of Cincinnati-based Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP., filed suit against three of Alden Global Capital's units, claiming in the lawsuit that Alden confirmed the terms of the new agreement - which increased the bid for the preference shares - on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, then rejected the modifications on Aug. 20.
Under the original deal which a group of shareholders holding 38% of the stock had rejected - the bid needed two-thirds acceptance for success - they would have received bonds that paid 12% instead of a current 5.5% at 60 cents on the dollar and the Journal says this was increased to 77.5 cents with an unspecified change in the interest rate.
A few days later, according to the suit, Alden principal Randy Smith told JS Acquisition that a "precipitous" drop in radio-industry assets made the deal unattractive.
After the collapse Alden issued a statement in which it says it said "Although Alden participated in such discussions to a limited extent, Alden believes that the terms negotiated between JS Acquisition and such preferred holders would result in an amount of leverage on the company that would make the transactions unattractive to Alden, and Alden could not agree to such terms (See RNW Sep 10)."
Smulyan told the Journal, "We don't agree that is the reason they backed out," and added, "While the stock has declined, all the metrics since the deal was announced got better, not worse."
He remained bullish about the company's future commenting, "The worst of the economy is over, and I also think the perception of traditional media was overstated-the perception that it was dead and gone and buried."
RNW comment: The lawyers will do well out of this row but we doubt anyone else will and holders of common shares have already seen the value of their stock fall to under half the USD 2.40 offered in the buyout, closing today at USD 1.02: Still there may be some wry satisfaction in various quarters as it is found out which of the parties ends up paying their bills, albeit the shareholders would in our view have every right to object to Emmis itself joining in the lawsuit.
Indianapolis Business Journal report:
2010-09-16: The BBC Trust, which has been under political pressure over the amount paid to its stars and top management at a time when the economy is under pressure, has announced that it is to freeze the cost of its annual licence - a compulsory requirement for TV owners in the UK - at its current level of GBP 145.50 (USD 227), a move that will mean taking around GBP 144 million (USD 224 million) out of planned BBC budgets.
In a letter to the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt outgoing BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, who has announced that he will step down in May (See RNW Sep 14), says that the Corporation is "prepared to forego the income from a planned 2% increase in April 2011 and any possible increase in the following year" and goes on to say that "This is an exceptional proposal given the exceptional financial circumstances currently facing licence fee payers across the UK."
Lyons adds in the letter that The Trust remains committed to the principle of multi-year settlements, and adds that "It is an important plank of the BBC's independence that the Government grants such settlements and does not re-open them before they come to an end."
Asked on the BBC Radio4 "World at One Programme" (Audio is online - the interview is around 20 minutes into the programme) about the fear that future governments who objected to BBC programming could put pressure on the fee again, Lyons stressed that this was a one-off proposal.
The BBC's current agreement running to 2013 includes a 2% increase next year and a further increase up to 2% in 2012: Talks are due to start next year on the level of the next licence fee, to run until 2017.
In the letter Lyons adds that there is no "pain-free option for the BBC" but adds that there should be ways of making these short-term savings whilst keeping "the on-air impact" within acceptable limits.
BBC Trust - Lyons' Letter (2Mb PDF)
RNW Note- We expect to update this report:
2010-09-15: A UK government report issued today could spell the death of plans for a switch-off of analogue radio and switchover to digital: The report - Digital Radio Switchover - "What is in it for consumers?" - issued today by the UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) - questions whether there is a need to turn off Britain's analogue radio services and, although noting the new Government's renewal of commitment to a Digital Radio Switchover adds that it welcomes the Minister's new emphasis on "the needs and concerns of radio listeners [which] will be absolutely central to our approach to Digital Radio Switchover". Its detailed recommendations if fully accepted would be a death knell for any switchover in the near future.
The report was prepared by the Consumer Expert Group (CEG), which was formed to advise Government on the Digital Television Switchover and has had its remit extended to examine the consumer issues surrounding a switchover to digital radio.
It welcomes the government's decision to "lessen the significance of the target date, stressing that only 'if, and it is a big if, the consumer is ready we will support a 2015 switchover date'" and then goes on to pour some cold water over claimed benefits: the report says the CEG "believes that the principal driver towards Digital Radio Switchover, particularly with regards to timing, has been the commercial radio sector which is suffering in a market of high fixed costs and falling revenues" and goes on to say it "heard evidence that the Government has already put mechanisms in place in the Digital Economy Act 2010 which have improved the financial situation of the sector and, as such, we question whether a Digital Radio Switchover is necessary."
It notes that the commercial radio sector has estimated that at present the total cost of transmission is in the range of GBP 70 million (USD 110 million) and that according to their estimates a move to a single platform would result in a saving of around GBP 30 million (USD 49 million) per annum for the sector.
"We believe," says the report, "that improved and compelling content on digital radio will be crucial to increasing consumers' willingness to pay. Although we expect the BBC to lead by example in innovating new services and content, Government must make sure the commercial sector also live up to their responsibilities in this area. If consumers are to switch to digital radio they must be compelled to do so voluntarily by the content it offers."
The report says that:
* A full cost benefit analysis from a user perspective must be carried out as a matter of urgency;
*Consumer benefits need to be clear and demonstrable before an announcement for a digital switchover is made;
* A workable system for the disposing and recycling analogue radios, which consumers are likely to implement must be introduced;
*Emphasis should not be placed on driving down costs unless the sound quality and functionality of cheaper DAB sets are at least equal to analogue;
*There must be more emphasis on improving the basic usability, rather than the advanced functionality, of digital radio to encourage take-up;
*Both the BBC and the commercial sector need to offer new and compelling digital content to convince consumers to adopt digital radio;
*Research into consumers' willingness to pay and into their concerns and needs relating to digital radio needs to be carried out as a matter of urgency.
It also comments on factors such as the take-up that should be required before any switchover - suggesting that this should measure only listening via DAB, that a date should only be announced when no more than 30% of listening remains on analogue; says the target date of 2015 is far too early and that any target date set should be looked upon as secondary to consumer issues such as willingness to adopt the technology, voluntary take-up and digital radio reception as an instigator for switchover.
Regarding coverage the report says that fair allocation of coverage build-out costs between the BBC and the commercial sector must be made once build-out plans are agreed; that coverage criterion should be measured by signal strength, not just population, so that indoor and mobile reception are considered and must be weighted ensure rural communities are not left behind; and must ensure plans for DAB+ - which uses more efficient coding that the MP2 used in the original DAB signal ; that DAB+ compatible chips must be installed as standard to "future-proof" receivers as a matter of urgency; and that the reception time delay between receivers should be standardised.
The group also highlights issues of installation of DAB radios in motor vehicles, saying no switchover date can be announced until DAB radios have been standard in vehicles for a minimum of 2 years (which means the target 2015 date is the earliest possible one); that an affordable in-vehicle converter needs to be developed urgently which works with a vehicle's external aerial, is safe, easy to fit and aesthetically pleasing; that no switchover date can be announced until there is a solution to in-vehicle conversions, providing the majority of motorists with the opportunity to have a digital radio in their vehicle; A solution for the continuation of traffic and travel services on FM for a transitional period following digital switchover needs to be agreed; and an accreditation scheme for dealers and other installers of retrofit digital devices must be developed.
It also takes up issues of accessibility, commenting that switchover should not go ahead without suitable equipment being available for all listeners including older and disabled people; that Digital radios which incorporate voice output technology must be available for blind and partially-sighted people preferably via the mainstream market or, if that is not feasible, through a channel made affordable by Government intervention, such as a help scheme; that appropriate usability requirements should be included in minimum receiver specifications and a kite marking scheme; and that the proposed integrated station guide must be consumer tested before any decision on its inclusion in devices is made.
As regards the consumer the report says that "the costs and benefits of such a switchover are surprisingly unknown" - it notes that DAB portable radios on average retail for more than three times the cost of analogue equivalents and the cost for clock radios is nearly three times as much for DAB versions and in effect rules out the option of a set-top box to allow use of existing equipment, an option that allowed TV conversion to be much cheaper than replacing equipment, except in specific cases such as connection to a quality stereo or hi-fi system.
One possible approach it suggests would be a "single device which will broadcast digital signals to multiple analogue sets in a household."
Commenting on lower-priced digital radio receivers - below GBP 20 (USD 30), the report urges against emphasis on such receivers as they "tend to come with lower sound quality and less functionality, both of which are cited as consumer benefits of digital radio."
"Rather than providing for a digital radio 'upgrade,'" it comments, "such strategies will result in consumers 'downgrading' their listening experience by trading in good quality analogue radios for bottom of the range digital versions."
It also comments on environmental costs both in terms of concerns about the disposal of millions of obsolete receivers and power consumption: it notes that power consumption has been reduced and they "and they use on average only 0.38W more than current analogue equivalents" but even with development are unlikely to be on a par with analogue receivers.
As regards benefits to the consumer the report says that radio cannot present the compelling case that TV could as the latter offered improved picture quality and greater choice of channels whilst in relation to radio there is already an extensive choice of analogue stations; there is little economic value in the analogue spectrum that will be released by switching over radio; and says that "many listeners do not understand and are not interested in the advanced features of DAB.". It notes that the House of Lords Communications Committee report into digital switchover listed a range of reasons for switchover from the radio industry but "failed to identify any consumer benefits." The only clear consumer benefit it has found, says the CEG, is the potential for growth in community radio, which will remain on FM but even here it notes that "only a minority of listeners make use of community radio and hence will benefit from this proposal."
Crucial to any take-up of digital radio says the report is "compelling content" and it notes some progress has been made but it rejects suggestions from the RadioCentre that the BBC should broadcast more popular content either only on digital platforms or substantially in advance of analogue broadcasts, commenting, "Listeners should be convinced to adopt digital radio through compelling content, not bullied to do so to maintain access to the programmes they enjoy on analogue."
RNW Comment: In all the report runs to 66 pages and it makes a compelling case -even without any note that current DAB in the UK is actually of inferior quality to a good FNM signal - against any switchover on the terms currently being pushed by the radio industry - it comments that "Any campaign implying that switchover is imminent, or to convince consumers to throw away their analogue sets is misinforming and misleading." Careful consideration of the whole report would clearly lead to the conclusion that, even though the report suggests more consumer research, any switchover would mainly benefit the radio industry rather than the consumer and that unless the intention is a handout to the industry and face-saving for the regulators, the most productive approach would be to drop the whole idea of a switch-off and let consumers decide through the marketplace.
Adopting this approach might well lead commercial radio to drop even more digital plans - and kill the switchover - but there is nothing if they are convinced of the benefits to stop the commercial radio industry deciding to return analogue licences and go digital or remain analogue.
Such an approach would mean bodies such as the RadioCentre would have to divert attention from trying to in effect get consumers to subsidize the industry through political decisions to the industry having to convince consumers of the value of the programming and products on offer and that we suggest would be a positive move.
DCMS report (357 kb 66 page PDF):
2010-09-15: Whilst the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has been pushing for mandatory inclusion of FM chips in mobile phones- its latest action is an advert showing snow-covered collapsed houses and carrying the tagline "When disaster strikes, radio is always on and always there. Why isn't it on your cell phone?"- nearly two-thirds of consumers according to a survey conducted by Mark Ramsey in conjunction with VIP Research would prefer to have Internet radio available in their vehicles rather than having a radio in their iPhone or MP3 player.
In addition than a third say they would would listen less to terrestrial radio if Internet radio were available in their vehicles.
Ramsey comments of the Internet radio figures that he suspects some of those responding have no interest in portable players whether they do or do not include FM receive capability but adds that the figures suggest that "our obsession to get receivers on mobile devices may be misplaced" and adds "Indeed, we need to worry about long-term relevance in that most mobile of devices: The car."
In relation to this he notes that there is potentially significant value for Internet radio in cars - not the "the kind of Internet radio we get today via a rather clunky cable linking a mobile device to a dashboard" but rather "an inevitable integration and personalization of the car dashboard where Internet-enabled audio is as easy and convenient and accessible as the over-the-air broadcasts which currently dominate the in-car experience."
The survey comprised nine questions that were put to a total of 2.141 radio listeners who were interviewed by phone including a question on what device they would be most likely to give up in which radio was third - least likely was a computer (2.9%) followed by a mobile phone (4.3%), radio (5.3%) and TV (5.9%) and ending with an i-Pod/MP3 player (15.3%) and Game console (39.1%).
The figures were somewhat contradicted by the responses to the question on the device they would be least likely to give up -headed by a mobile phone (27.9%), followed by computer (26.5%), TV (26.1%) then radio (5.4%).
NAB Advert (PDF)
Ramsey on survey:
2010-09-14: Arbitron in a preliminary report before it releases its RADAR 106 network ratings survey on Monday says that US radio now reaches more than 239 million people aged 12 and older, an increase of some four million on the numbers for RADAR 102 a year ago.
The total for the some 7,200 stations affiliated to the 53 networks reported in RADAR had a weekly audience of some 200 million, up by nearly six million and Arbitron says that despite the growth of portable players and mobile and Internet-only stations terrestrial radio reaches 93% of Americans 12 and older each week with only a fall to 92% for those 12-17 whilst network radio now reaches 88% of adults 18-34, up from 85% a year ago.
The report also shows wide appeal for the medium in advertiser-coveted demographics including more than 93% of black non-Hispanic persons and 95% of Hispanic persons 12 and older each week (90% and 86% respectively for network affiliated stations) and 96% of college graduates 25-54 including those with an annual income of USD 50,000 or more - the figure is the same for graduates 18-49 with an income of USD 75,000 a year a more (88% of the last group listen to network radio each week).
Previous RADAR (Radar 105):
2010-09-14: Global Radio is to turn its Capital Radio into a national operation and re-brand existing pop music stations - six Galaxy stations plus Cardiff station Red Dragon- which will become Capital Wales, and Trent, RAM and Leicester Sound, which will become Capital East Midlands - under the name currently used by its London flagship.
The BBC quoted Global chief Executive Ashley Tabor as saying that the new network would compete with the BBC Radio 1 popular music channel, commenting, "With the launch of the Capital network there will now be a big national commercial brand seriously competing with Radio 1, in the same way that Heart now competes with Radio 2."
Global owns national commercial classical radio franchise Classic FM as well as the Heart stations but it says the new stations will remain "locally focussed" and continue to produce breakfast and drive time shows in each area.
The launch is scheduled for January next year and is likely to mean some 20 to 30 job losses and follows a similar rollout of the Heart Brand around 18 months ago.
Previous Global Radio:
2010-09-14: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has again clashed with the telecommunications industry over the issue of making FM tuners mandatory in cell-phones with the Jot Carpenter. Vice President of CTIA-The Wireless Association, issuing a statement - in response to a poll commissioned by the NAB - in which he said a chip mandate is "the wrong answer."
Carpenter continued, "Government-dictated design would reduce innovation and limit consumer choice. In reality, FM capability is available today for consumers who want to access over-the-air radio on their mobile devices. Contrary to NAB's self-interested assertions, a majority of consumers do not want that capability, and the notion that they want to pay more for a functionality they do not want is ridiculous."
The statement that consumers do not want the capability was in direct contradiction of the poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for NAB, which the NAB said showed that 76% of cell phone owners would consider paying a one-time fee of 30 cents to access local radio stations through a built-in radio chip ; 73% of cell phone owners indicated that having a radio built into their cell phone capable of providing local weather and emergency alerts in real-time would be "very" or "somewhat" important; and 66% of adults would use a built-in radio, young adults are even more likely to use such a feature..
It also showed that 71% of 18-44 year olds as well as 73 percent of single and never married adults indicated they would use a built-in radio to listen to local stations if their phone was equipped to receive local radio stations without using mobile apps or their cell phone provider's data plan.
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said of the poll results, "Today's survey results demonstrate convincingly that there is significant demand for radio-capable cell phones in the United States. Unfortunately, most U.S. mobile phone users have been denied over-the-air access to their favourite free and local stations. With much of the U.S. cell phone market built upon exclusive contracts between carriers and manufacturers, most consumers are left paying for fee-based data-intensive streaming apps with no free, broadcast alternative."
2010-09-14: Arbitron and Entercom have announced a multi-year Portable People Meter (PPM) and Diary ratings deal that they say will extend Entercom's use of Arbitron's services in all of its radio markets.
The PPM service is now commercialized in 33 markets, a number scheduled to increase to 48 by the end of this year and Arbitron Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Carol Hanley commented in a release, "Arbitron is proud to provide the quality PPM and Diary audience measurement data that helps Entercom facilitate its buy-sell process across all of their radio markets and helps grow its business.".
2010-09-14: BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons is to step down from the post when his current term ends in May next year, saying that the role has "been far more demanding than the nominal three to four days a week in the job specification."
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media & Sport announcing his decision Lyons said that as his term "enters its last eight months, I have taken time over the summer to reflect on whether I would want to be considered for reappointment."
He then defends the work of the BBC Trust, commenting, "It has been a privilege to lead the BBC Trust and to make a reality of the model established in the 2007 Charter. For all the continuing debate, I am clear that this model is robust, workable and effective. I am proud of what we have achieved in safeguarding the BBC's independence against significant challenge, and bringing the interests of audiences in all their diversity to the centre of the BBC's thinking. We have worked to shape BBC services in a way which maximises public value and secures the highest editorial standards, at the same time seeking to ensure that the BBC operates within clear boundaries and cooperates effectively with others. We have taken openness and transparency to a new level. Most important of all, under the Trust's guardianship - and with the leadership of the Director General and his team - the quality and public service focus of the BBC's output has improved and the public's affection for the BBC has strengthened. Much of course remains to be done, but I think that this represents good progress and a strong foundation on which to build."
Of his decision to step down he says, "It is of course a compelling aspect of working at the BBC that it can become an all-consuming part of one's life - and this applies equally to the staff across the BBC whose great commitment helps underpin its position as the world's leading public broadcaster. But this workload has now reached a point where I am increasingly concerned that it is crowding out other appointments to which I remain committed and other activity that I wish to undertake. So balancing all the factors I have on reflection concluded that my preference would be to limit my appointment to a single term and not seek reappointment from next May."
2010-09-14: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is to shut down its current financial system from the end of this month with a new system that is being introduced to come into operation on October 18.
"During the conversion, or "blackout," period," it says, "the Commission's licensing systems will not have full access to up-to-date payment information; nor will those systems have access to current Red Light Display System statuses" and it is urging applicants to plan their licensing activities to avoid the period, submitting them before or after the period.
Organizations that have to submit an application or filing or make payment during the period, says the FCC, are urged to do so through its Fee Filer system either as an online credit card transaction or Automatic Clearing House ("ACH") payment and it notes that applicants may experience a delay in the granting of applications during the conversion period; this is especially true if applicant has remitted payment by check.
2010-09-14: Latest Australian radio ratings -covering the period from Jun 27 to Sep 4 - have provided a boost for Austereo which was able to claim amongst other things that Mix 94.5 in Perth has officially become Australia's "most successful radio station ever" as it again came first for the 87th consecutive survey -it went to number one in the market in December 1999 -toppling the record previous held by the company's sister station B105 in Adelaide.
The country's newcomers however fared badly with Melbourne Talk Radio (MTR) not only remaining at the bottom but also losing ratings again in its second full ratings whilst market-leading competitor, Fairfax Media's 3AW held on to the top spot although its share was down.
The other comparative newcomers, DMG Radio Australia's Classic Rock stations, which were launched after the failure of its Vega outlets in Sydney and Melbourne had mixed results, faring badly in Sydney where Classic Rock 95.3 remained 11th but its share was down from 4.3 to 2.7 although its Melbourne sister Classic Rock 91.5 did rather better, increasing share from 3.3 to 3.4 and moving up a rank to tenth.
In Sydney Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB gave the group, which is a partner in MTR with Pacific Star, some consolation as it yet again held onto the lead and Fairfax-owned talk rival 2UE dropped from fourth to seventh. At breakfast Alan Jones took his share up from 15.9% to 18%, the largest increase in the slot.
Despite the ratings fall for MTR its program director and breakfast host Steve Price was not gloomy in public, commenting "I reiterate again, the establishment of MTR is a long-term proposition. In April, our objective was to get on air and begin creating awareness of Melbourne Talk Radio. It's a long, slow process."
Austereo unsurprisingly highlighted the success of Mix and its Perth General Manager Linda Waymans said there were a number of factors contributing but " the big one is the fact that everyone on the Mix team has always been prepared to change and evolve to suit the listeners. Treating the listeners as number one is how we have stayed number one."
The company also highlighted Sydney FM success as 2Day held on to the top FM spot for four years in a row as breakfast team of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) took their breakfast share up from 10.5 to 12.6 - compared to the top-ranked 18.0 (15.9) of Alan Jones at 2GB: ABC 702 was third with 10.2 (12.2) whilst nearest FM rival was fourth-ranked Nova with 7.2 (6.3).
Austereo Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson commented of the performance, "We pride ourselves on our leadership in the FM radio market, digital space and online space and we are thrilled with the results today particularly with Mix 94.5 smashing the most successful radio station ever record and Eddie McGuire's monumental lift in Melbourne (McGuire hosts The Hot Breakfast for Triple M and its share was up from 5.3 to 6.8- in fourth place behind 3AW in top place with 17.2 (19.2), ABC 774 second with 15.7 (14.9) and Fox FM third with 10.5 (11.9)). The market is tight and extremely competitive; however, our commitment to deliver winning results and innovative media solutions for our listeners and clients is as strong as ever".
DMG Radio Australia highlighted the increase in breakfast share for its Sydney Nova station where the team of Merrick, Dools and Ricki-Lee added 0.9% to reach 9.2% and also noted other Nova increases in various markets but when it came to Classic Rock noted the share increase in Melbourne but not the fall in Sydney where it just listed the share.
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 102.3 with 13.6 (12.2) - up from third; ABC 891 with 13.1 (12.7) same rank; 5AA with 13.0 (14.0) - down from first;
*SAFM with 11.3 (12.0) remained fourth; 5MM remained fifth with 10.6 (9.6), and Nova, remained sixth with 8.2 (8.3).
*Brisbane - B105 with 13.3 (13.1) - Same rank; ABC 612 with 11.8 (10.9) up from fourth 97.3 FM with 11.2 (11.4) -same rank;
*4MMM with 10.9 (10.3) - remained fourth ahead of Nova which with 10.8 (10.9) was down from third to fifth.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.6 (15.2) - same rank; ABC 774 with 13.2 (12.7) same rank; Fox FM with 11.5 (12.2) - same rank;
*Gold was up from fifth to fourth with 7.8 (7.3) swapping places with Magic, which fell a rank to fifth with 6.8 (7.4) after which Nova 100 remained sixth with 6.8 (7.0) and 3MMM remained seventh with 6.6 (5.6).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, was up a rank to tenth 3.4 (3.3) but newcomer Melbourne Talk Radio, in its second full ratings not only remained bottom but lost share with 1.1 (1.3).
In the commercial talk breakfast slot 3AW retained the lead with 17.0 (19.2) and MTR remained bottom with 1.4 (1.7); in Mornings 3AW again remained top with 18.1 (17.7) whilst MTR remained bottom with 1.3 (1.4) and at Drive time, where Fox FM again led with 19.4 (20.0) and 3AW was second with 11.7 (12.7), MTR was again bottom with 0.9 (1.2. Its highest share in demographic terms was a 2.2 (2.1) with those 55-64
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.4 (16.3) - same rank; 92.9 with 14.3 (13.5) up -same rank; ABC 720 with 11.5 (11.6) - same rank.
* Nova remained fourth with 9.8 (10.3) followed by 6PR which moved up a rank to fifth with 8.4 (8.8), swapping places with 96 FM in sixth with 8.1 (8.9)
*Sydney: 2GB 15.2 (14.3) - same rank; 2-DAY with 10.6 (9.4) - up from third; ABC 702 with 9.1 (10.3) - down from second;
*2UE then fell from fourth to seventh with 6.4 (7.3), behind WSM -up a rank from fifth 7.5 (6.6) then DMG's Nova -up a rank to fifth with 7.1(6.5). Below this 2CH was up two ranks to sixth with 6.4(4.8), overtaking Australian Radio Network's Mix 106.5 which fell a rank to eighth with 4.9 (5.4).
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, remained 11th but share was down again - from 4.3 to 2.7
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-09-13: BBC Radio 2 has announced that the station's Electric Proms Festival this year - it was launched five years ago - will be launched by Sir Elton John on October 28: he will be joined amongst other by his mentor Leon Russell, who in a career spanning five decades has worked with such artists as the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones. Also on stage will be singer-songwriter Rumer and the rapper and vocalist Plan B.
The concert will be broadcast from The Roundhouse in London and will also form the centre piece of A Night With Sir Elton John to be aired by BBC Two TV on Saturday 30 October, together with a new documentary about Elton's life and musical journey.
This year will be the first that Radio 2 has produced the Electric Proms festival in its entirety and Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2 and 6 Music, commented, "Radio 2 is proud to be the new home of the Electric Proms and with Elton John launching this year's festival, I know it will be an exceptional event. Together with BBC Two, we'll be creating exciting new moments in music for both listeners and viewers and promise an unforgettable music experience."
2010-09-13: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 penalty to a Florida man for operating a pirate FM transmitter: Christopher M. Myers of Lauderhill was issued with a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in July but failed to respond.
The FCC has also denied a petition from Simply Living, licensee of low-power FM station WCRS-LP, Columbus, Ohio, to reconsider a decision to limit its hours of operation to 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. daily and also requesting a waiver of FCC rules that require all parties to a timeshare to give written approval and also requesting the FCC to conduct an arbitration to resolve the disagreements between Bexley and Simply Living regarding the hours of operation for WCRS-LP and WCRX-LP.
The two organizations were two of five mutually exclusive applicants in LPFM Group 72 and all five entered an agreement, which was filed with the FCC, to share broadcasting hours.
Four of the five were granted construction permits but only Bexley and Simply Living constructed their stations and subsequently the other two applicants - Refugee Services and Groveport - filed applications to assign their construction permits and, thus their operating hours, to Simply Living.
FCC staff accordingly dismissed their applications and reissued Simply's licence to include their broadcasting hours but then found the re-issuance to breach the FCC's regulations.
Accordingly they again re-issued the licence, this time reinstating Simply's original times, Simply responded with the petition to which Bexley countered by saying that the agency should not override the time share agreement.
The FCC in rejecting Simply's petition noted that it had devised incentives to encourage voluntary co-operation and said that in this case it was in the public interest that should stick by the rule: It added that should the stalemate continue each party would operate only for the times originally granted.
The FCC has also posted details of 58 non-commercial educational (NCE) applications and major modification applications that it has rejected because they were not filed on time for its October 2007 filing window. The window had been extended following an outage for some hours in the agency's database system.
The stations involved were in Alaska(1); Arizona (1); Arkansas (1) California (4); Idaho (3) Indiana (4) ; Kansas (2) Louisiana (1); Maryland (1); Michigan (2); Mississippi (2) Missouri (1); Montana (4); New Mexico (3); New York (4); North Carolina (1) ; Oklahoma (3); Oregon (2);Pennsylvania (1) South Carolina (1) Tennessee (2) ; Texas (3);Utah (6); Vermont (2); Virginia (2);and Washington (1).
2010-09-13:UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld three radio standards complaints, two against programmes hosted by former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt, and considered a further radio complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcaster. It also upheld TV complaints involving eight items broadcast by seven channels, rejected a further TV standards complaints and a TV fairness and privacy complaint; and upheld two advertising minutage complaints.
The complaints upheld against Gaunt's shows on talkSPORT - which fired the host in November 2008 following comments he made describing a councillor he was interviewing as a "Nazi" and an "ignorant pig"(See RNW Nov 19, 2008) - concerned product placements in an edition of his show broadcast from Cyprus in October 2008 and also broadcasts of the show in April 2006 that came to light as part of the investigation into the later show.
In this later show Gaunt featured interviews with the director of a property company that offers investments in Cyprus, the representative of another Cypriot property company, and Tony Jacklin, the golfer, who was designing a golf course for a resort. Three listeners complained that the programme amounted to advertising, particularly of the first company and also alleged that Jon Gaunt may have a personal financial interest in promoting this company.
In the programme comments were made about the desirability of Cyprus as a destination and the benefits of buying property abroad and "on numerous occasions" the company was referred to and details were given of its web site.
In addition to the complaints, Ofcom noted that throughout the programme the presenter made frequent references to the Hotel Almyra, the venue of the broadcast, including references to the venue?s facilities.
Ofcom asked talkSPORT for its comments and also to provide information about the broadcast including details of any contract with the developer and Gaunt also said he wished to submit third party representations in relation to the case: talkSPORT in its response said intention of the programme was to look at "Broken Britain" and if life was better elsewhere but that "no discussion took place with the programme director or the producer regarding the "inclusion of any commercial element in the planning of the show".
Gaunt, it added, had told the producer on the day of the broadcast that he would be interviewing two additional guests -representative of two developers - and acknowledged that it did have a commercial arrangement with one of them: It supplied a copy of a contract in which it agreed to provide editorial promotion of the company - including an annual outside broadcast from one of its properties, for which it would "endeavour to have this feature hosted by Jon Gaunt".
It added that the contract was arranged by talkSPORT parent UTV Radio?s Director of New Media, and ran contrary to the station?s established compliance practices and that his expertise was in telephony and new media and not compliance or commercial arrangements for radio programming. Other staff had not queried the arrangement but had assumed the necessary procedures had been followed.
When the contract came to the attention of senior talkSPORT executives it was terminated and in addition the individual in question had since been subject to a disciplinary procedure and had undergone additional compliance training.
Gaunt, it said, had given a personal assurance that he had no financial interest in the company and had not received recompense for the broadcast although he had bought a property in Cyprus through it before talkSPORT's relationship with the company began. It admitted that there had been undue prominence and promotion of the companies involved although it a commercial connection with only the one company.
Gaunt in his response denied having bought a property through the company, said he was only the presenter and that the content of the programme was controlled by the Editor and Producer, and that while he had assisted the Producer in working out the running order of the show, it was clear from the outset that the representative from the company with whom talkSPORT had a contract would be a major guest, and added that he senior management at talkSPORT was "absolutely aware" of this.
He said that any breach of the Code that Ofcom may find was not as a result of any decisions or actions on his part, and was, in his opinion, "...something that lies firmly in the lap of talkSPORT ?s management...".
Ofcom ruled that the station had breached codes on independence of editorial control; separation of editorial and advertising; promotion of products or services; and undue prominence.
It added that it was extremely concerned by talkSPORT ?s submission that the commercial arrangement had been put in place, and the resulting programming broadcast, without the knowledge of talkSPORT ?s senior management.
It also noted that during the investigation the licensee had volunteered information about another commercial contract, with the agent for a Spanish property developer that committed talkSPORT to providing, among other things, commercial airtime "using pre-recorded commercials across every week" and "an online presence during the contract period". The developer undertook to pay talkSPORT a fee for every property sold.
Because of the time that had elapsed since the broadcasts the licensee had not retained recordings of the broadcasts of two editions of the Jon Gaunt Show from Spain but Ofcom independently obtained three extracts of one of the broadcasts from Spain from the company website and noted that all three extracts contained considerable discussion of the merits of the area and the development; one of them containing a highly promotional contribution from the Sky Sports presenter Claire Tomlinson.
Ofcom said that because did not have access to the whole of either programme as broadcast, we could not determine whether investment warnings, or sufficient investment warnings, were present but that it conclude that the programme contained unequivocal promotion and clear undue prominence for the developer.
It ruled that there had been breaches of codes concerning separation of advertising and programming; promotion of products and services; and undue prominence and commented that the cases had raised significant concerns about talkSPORT's enforcement of the compliance procedures it had in place at this time of these breaches.
As a result it said it is therefore requiring talkSPORT to attend a meeting to provide further detail on the measures it has taken to improve its compliance procedures and warned that if similar compliance issues arise it will consider taking further regulatory action.
The other radio complaint upheld involved a broadcast of "The Sports Bar" on Gold, Birmingham that included twelve-and-a-half minute interview with a spokesperson for The Midlands Music Festival.
A listener complained that he had expected soccer news but instead was subjected to "a blatant advertisement for a pop music concert."
Orion Media Limited, which owns the station, said that it had "an association as media partner" to The Midlands Music Festival, the profits from which went to the charity, Just 1 Life (which staged the event), as made clear in the broadcast. The interview it said was not paid for although The Midlands Music Festival advertised and sponsored material broadcast on its stations.
Ofcom said it accepted that there was editorial justification for referring to a local charity event supported by the broadcaster but in relation to rules concerning undue prominence it said that as regards the interview no specific reference was made on air to Gold?s association with the Midlands Music Festival, as a supporter, media partner or a broadcaster of event coverage. It therefore considered there was a breach of the undue prominence rules. It also ruled that there had been a breach of rules concerning promotion of products and services.
In the case of the radio complaint considered resolved, London station Buzz Asia in its Drive Time Show had aired a competition in which listeners were offered the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Asian Fashion Awards. Calls to enter cost a pound (around USD 1.5) a minute.
Listeners were asked to answer a question which was supposed to be "Which country hosted the World Cup in 2006?" but the question read out on two occasions was "Which country hosted the World Cup in 2010?"
Two callers had given the correct answer - South Africa - but were told they were incorrect and Ofcom received a complaint about misleading promotion of the contest and unfairness.
Buzz Asia said of nine listeners had entered the competition, with two of these entrants having been put to air and the incident occurred due to a genuine mistake on the part of the presenter. After the second call, it said, the presenter realised her error, apologised to listeners and read out the question correctly.
The station added that said two further apologies were made during the programme the following day and it made an additional two pairs of tickets available and asked the two entrants who had been put to air to contact the station directly to arrange collection.
Ofcom accepted that there had been a genuine error, noted the swift remedial action taken and considered that this had resolved the matter.
Ofcom also listed without details 558 TV complaints against 186 items and 21 radio complaints against 18 items it did not uphold: This compared to 605 TV complaints against 216 items and 24 radio complaints against 21 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-09-13: Unsigned acts "Radio Ink", a three piece Electro pop band from Sydney, and Electro-rock "The Smart", a four piece band from Brisbane, have won this year's New Artist 2 Radio (NA2R) initiative, the Australian commercial radio industry's search for the next big on-air discovery.
Radio Ink are already known in Australia as the face and sound of Vodafone's national TV ad campaign with MTV's Ruby Rose and became one of the first indie artists reach top spot in the charts on Austereo's new digital station, Radar Radio.
The Smart describes itself as unapologetically reinventing the quintessential eighties sound; its first EP, "Midnight Goodnight" has been released and their debut album is being recorded.
Judge, Allan Cameron, program director for Macquarie Southern Cross Media, said,:"Once again this year, it's great to see the quality and quantity of new Australian acts, not to mention the diversity of the performers. We are all proud to be part of NA2R and to play our part in giving new Australian music the exposure it deserves on commercial radio. Each year the judging gets harder as more and more of Australia's best unsigned acts come through in search of their big break."
Both winning acts will play at the NA2R showcase to be held on October 15 in Melbourne which will also feature a performance from McAlister Kemp., the duo who won this year's Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) Country Music Scholarship.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief executive officer Joan Warner said this year's NA2R competition had been fierce, which highlighted the high standard of emerging Australian artists.
"This year both winners will receive a share of airplay valued at $1.3 million for six weeks, across the day, on the major metropolitan and regional commercial radio networks - a fantastic opportunity for new and emerging bands or artists," she added.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Previous Macquarie/Southern Cross Media:
2010-09-12: Last week was again fairly quiet as regards radio for the regulators but there were decisions from most areas including Australia whence there was only one radio posting from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)- a ruling that Brisbane Indigenous Media Association Inc., licensee of community radio broadcaster 4AAA, Brisbane, has breached three provisions of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2008 (the codes) relating to complaints handling.
The ACMA noted that in response to its findings 4AAA has amended its complaints handling procedures and accordingly is to take no further action for now.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was a little busier, posting details of a number of radio decisions including the following:
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2014. of the licence of Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's CJCA-AM, Edmonton. The CRTC notes that for the 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 broadcast years, the licensee's annual returns were filed after this 30 November deadline.
*Renewal until 31 August 2017 of the licence of CKDX Radio Limited's CKDX-FM, Newmarket. The CRTC notes that it had administratively renewed the licence to the end of November this year and also that it received an intervention by Matiz Communications Inc. opposing the renewal because of an ongoing dispute regarding shares in 1093641 Ontario Ltd., a minority shareholder in the licensee. The CRTC took the view this was a matter for the civil courts.
*Revocation at licensee's request of Club Social la Grande's licence for a radiocommunication distribution undertaking to serve Camp Rupert: The licensee had distributed programming from CFQR-FM, CBF-FM, CKOI-FM and CITE-FM, Montréal.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with an October 13 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments concerning an application by Newcap Inc. to relocate the transmitter site of its CHLW-FM, St. Paul, and increase its power from 16,000 to 22,000 watts. Newcap said that the site approved for its conversion of CHLW-AM to FM can no longer be considered because of lease problems and proposes to relocate its transmitter at the Telus tower in St. Paul because this site would better serve the population of St. Paul and provide a stronger signal. The CRTC noted that the change would mean a small decrease in the potential audience within the station's 3 mV/m contour (1.3%) and a larger one (18.34%) in the 0.5 mV/m contour.
There were again no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom posted details of its digital multiplex licence proposals and also its August Radio Update (See RNW Sep 7).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a quiet week as regards radio with only a few announcements including the issuing of a USD 250 penalty to Living Word Communications, Inc., licensee of FM translator station W232AR, Marshfield, Wisconsin, for late filing of licence renewal application.
It initially issued a USD 1,500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in February 2007 to which the licensee responded by saying that the failure was unintentional and the penalty would cause it financial hardship. It did not submit documentation to support the financial hardship argument which was rejected along with its other arguments but the penalty was reduced to USD 250 in line with other recent penalties for similar offences.
In Kansas, the agency dismissed an application from Kanza Society, Inc., licensee of expired FM translator station K225AG, Dodge City, asking it to excuse Kanza's failure to inform it that it discontinued station operations in March 2008 and requesting permission to relocate to a non-adjacent channel.
The station had been in operation since 1983 but in its 2004 Auction 37 Radioactive, LLC won a bid for a Class A FM for Cimarron, Kansas, and later was granted an upgrade to a different channel. Kanza said it recognized that its station was likely to cause interference to the new station but its initial engineering review concluded that no adjacent channel was available for relocation of the Station.
Subsequently Radioactive filed an amendment that amongst other things would move the Cimarron station's transmission facilities closer to Dodge City and after this was granted Kanza ended its operations because of the likely interference but failed to notify the FCC of its action.
The FCC said in this case it would not exercise discretion to reinstitute the licence, admonished Kanza for the failure, dismissed the request and deleted the station call sign.
In Florida, the FCC rejected a petition from Cornerstone Broadcasting Corporation to set aside its grant to Hammock Environmental and Educational Community Services a licence for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM to serve Palm Coast but has ordered Hammock, which had reached an agreement with four other mutually exclusive applicants for the licence, to provide documentation relating to its agreement to pay USD 3,000 to Community Public Radio, Inc. - one of the four - for its expenses..
The FCC noted that the two parties had declared that the payment was of "the legitimate and prudent expenses of the dismissing applicant" and that the agreement with another applicant - Reach Communications, Inc - provided for Reach to purchase the Hammock construction permit for fair market value.
Cornerstone had said that the Hammock application should be rejected because it failed to include declaration of Community's expenses and because the Reach-Hammock deal would "unduly" enrich both applicants and the FCC rejected the latter argument but said it would defer final processing of the application until the documentation of Community's expenses was provided and had been reviewed.
In Michigan the agency has granted an application from Smile FM for a new NCE FM at Mont Forest, rejecting a petition to deny the application from Midland Seventh-day Adventist Church, which had applied for a mutually-exclusive NCE FM in Midland. Midland had argues that Mount Forest was not a licensable community but the FCC disagreed and granted the application.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-09-12: Plans by Cumulus-owned Rock 100.5, Atlanta, morning show member Sebas (Sebastian Maniscalco) of the Regular Guys morning show to stage a Koran burning outside the Dove World Outreach Center, Gainesville, Florida - the church of Pastor Terry Jones notorious for his publicized plans to burn the book - have been thwarted by Gainesville police.
According to the Gainesville Sun Police Officer Ryan McCazzio pulled the Koran and a lighter from Sebas', who had said he would stage the burning at 16:00. McCazzio, reports the paper took two other books from Sebas - who it says had not said he was working for a radio station but claimed to be Sebastian Bagby, an engineer who had attended Georgia Tech.(It adds that pictures of Sebas on the Rock 100.5 web site were of the man who said he was Bagby) - but returned them.
It quotes Sebas as saying before the planned event "I was prepared to have a sympathy - a solidarity - burning" and commenting after the book, for which he said he paid USD 15, was taken off him, "Well, crap, guys " and adding of threats to Americans if the book was burned, "If there's violence perpetrated on others based on their religious beliefs, that's not our fault - it's theirs."
Bagby/Sebas was not arrested and walked away from the scene.
RNW comment: Those who actually care about the law should we think be concerned that a police officer can remove possessions from an individual in this way but we note that the station web site makes no mention of the incident so can only surmise that this may have been a stunt with collusion over the seizure.
Whatever the case, the planned burning seems to us foolish, but having started it, Bagby/Sebas should at least have had the courage to resist seizure of his property and demand to be told under what laws the action was taken and insist on being arrested if necessary.
We would also note that when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks criticized President Bush in 2003, Cumulus banned the group's music from its country music stations for a period and suspended two DJs from KKCS-FM, Colorado Springs, for defying the ban on First Amendment grounds.
The station GM Jerry Grant said at the time that the suspensions were justified because the station had to be sensitive about its audience in a city with five military bases and we wonder how troops in Afghanistan and Iraq feel about Koran burning albeit in the ultimate analysis this only has relevance to the wisdom of any such action not issues of police powers.
Gainesville Sun report:
2010-09-11: A Norwegian radio journalist has garnered wide publicity for herself by quitting public broadcaster NRK on air after to two-minute rant in which she accused the station of putting staff under too much pressure and said she was quitting because she "wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe".
Pia Beate Pedersen then refused to read the station news bulletin, saying there was no news to report.
The UK Daily Mail reported that she had worked at NRK for 18 months and quoted a spokesman as saying the comments and resignation came as a total surprise.
UK Daily Mail report:
2010-09-11: Arbitron veteran Pierre Bouvard is to leave the company at the end of this month after 23 years. He joined its sales department in the early 1980s but left for six years to join Coleman Insights as executive vice president and iscurrently Executive Vice President, Cross-Platform Services>
Before this his roles included those of Executive Vice President, Sales (from February 2009), President of Sales and Marketing (from February 2009), President, Portable People Meter and International (From Dec 2005), and President of International New Ventures (from July 2002). He worked for the company in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Dallas
Bouvard's department was re-organized earlier this year and is under Sean Creamer, EVP, US media services and chief financial officer, who announced the departure in an internal memo to staff in which he said Bouvard was leaving to continue his career in what he (Bouvard) terms "'the business of building businesses."
Bouvard, who is 48, received total remuneration of approximately USD 370,000 in 2008. So far there is no word on who may succeed him or details of any pay-off.
2010-09-10: Alden Global Capital has now released its version of the breakdown of the deal to take Emmis Communications private through a financing deal it had agreed with JS Acquisitions, which was set up by Emmis founder, chairman, and CEO Jeff Smulyan for the deal: It puts the failure down to revised terms that were put forward by JS Acquisition and the group of Preferred Stock holders who were not willing to accept the original offer for their shares.
Alden notes its prior agreement for an offer of USD 2.40 per common share and of new 12% Notes due 2017 in exchange for the 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock and then goes on to comment: "A group of holders of Preferred Stock had determined to block the transactions, and had negotiated the revised terms", notes that the dissident group holds enough stock to block the deal, and continues, "Although Alden participated in such discussions to a limited extent, Alden believes that the terms negotiated between JS Acquisition and such preferred holders would result in an amount of leverage on the company that would make the transactions unattractive to Alden, and Alden could not agree to such terms."
It says that Alden and JS Acquisition then tried to "structure a transaction that would be acceptable to each of the holders of Preferred Stock" but Alden concluded that it would not be able to reach a satisfactory agreement and that accordingly it has decided not to agree to further extensions of the offers for the common and preference shares and will exercise its right to terminate its Securities Purchase Agreement when this matures on September 25.
RNW comment: Alden's release, issued on Thursday evening, suggests that our surmise yesterday was correct in that Alden says it is not backing out of its original deal but would not agree to the revised deal. We will be interested to see if Emmis's threat of legal action goes anywhere.
2010-09-10: American Public Media Group (APMG), the parent of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has announced that its president Bill (William Hugh) Kling is to step down in June last year when his current five-year contract expires and lead a national fundraising effort to improve public media newsgathering: Kling began his radio career when Saint John's University in Collegeville, from which he had graduated with a BA in Economics before going on to gain an MA from the Graduate School of Communications at Boston University, was asked by Saint Johns to build a radio station.
KSJR-FM was launched in January, 1967, and later spun off to form the foundation for MPR with Kling as its CEO and President, a role he also took at American Public Media Group when it was founded in 2004: It is now the largest public radio organization in the US with 44 public radio stations (in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, California and Florida) and also operates a national distribution service for such programming as A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace.
Kling also became one of the founding trustees of National Public Radio -now NPR - in 1970 and he later served as the founding Chairman and CEO of Public Radio International (PRI - founded in 1983 as American Public Radio - it changed its name in 1994), which distributes programming including This American Life and the BBC World Service to US public radio stations.
Randall Hogan, Board Chair of MPR and APMG, and CEO of Minnesota-based Pentair, Inc., commented in a news release, "Bill Kling is unique in terms of his ability to sustain an amazing level of energy, vision and creativity over a remarkable and storied career. Most CEOs count their years in office on the fingers of one hand; Bill has twice run out of fingers and toes to mark his years of service but is nowhere near out of ideas, commitment or passion. We're delighted that he intends to continue to lend himself to the cause of public media after APMG. The board, the staff, our members and millions of listeners around the world are grateful for his many contributions, including preparing the organization so well for this inevitable transition."
Kling added, "This wonderful company exists and has prospered - beyond what any of us imagined back in 1966 - because of a tremendously talented and innovative leadership team, a remarkable group of employees who feel a calling and a passion for what they do and because 161,000 generous supporters value this work. It is this collective belief in the importance of what we do that makes every day a pleasure, and it provides the energy that will lift the company to its next stages of growth and success. It's a privilege to be a part of this team. I look forward to welcoming my successor and - after the transition - to watching this group's achievements for years to come."
Of his future plans he said in a news release, "Journalism is at a crossroads and it's clearer every day that public media has a bigger role to play. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with public broadcasting leaders across the country on ideas to strengthen public media's regional newsgathering capacity. This is a great time for a new endeavour, particularly with the surety that APMG and its properties are - and will remain - well managed by a great team and well-led by an exceptional board."
In an interview with MPR Kling said that many public media operations in the US are not faring well and had important potential to provide depth and balance in the US political debate, adding, "I think this is a great time for someone -- I think I'm one of the best-positioned people -- to look at the big picture," he said. "Not how many stations have iPad applications... but how many public media companies in major cities are being run by top-level media executives, the kind of person that you would hire if you were going to invest USD 100 million in a media company."
Previous MPR/American Public Media:
2010-09-10: BCE Inc. (Bell, Canada) has announced agreement to acquire all of CTV, which as well as operating Canada's largest private TV company also operates the CHUM 34-station radio network, in a deal that values CTV at CAD 3.2 billion (USD 3.1 million), including CAD 1.7 billion (USD 1.64 billion)in debt.
It previously owned CTV a decade ago - it acquired the broadcaster in 2000 in a wave of mergers that failed to deliver the hoped for "convergence" benefits but disposed of most of its holding, retaining only 15%, and is now buying back the 85% it does not already own for CAD 1.3 billion (USD 1.25 billion) from The Woodbridge Company Limited (the Toronto-based holding company of the Thomson family); Ontario Teachers Pension Plan; and Torstar Corporation.
In a separate transaction Woodbridge is to take control of the Toronto Globe and Mail, in which Bell will retain a 15% holding.
Bell Canada President and CEO George Cope says the acquisition will allow it to "maximize strategic and operating synergies with CTV, including the efficiency of our content and advertising spend
Some doubt about the plan was expressed in an analysis in the Globe and Mail, which under the headline "The new convergence: A lot like the old version but much, much cheaper" notes that BCE paid CAD 2.3 billion for CTV in early 2,000 but only got back CAD 1.3 billion when it sold most of its stake whereas this time as well as paying less it is acquiring a larger TV business and adding a radio dimension but describes the price this time round as "a full price, but not a crazy one" and adds that "Technology is finally catching up with the theories that drove convergence in the first place."
The move will mean that BCE has moved into line with most of its rivals in owning media as well as telecommunications assets - Rogers Communications Inc. through Rogers Media already has holdings in radio, television, print, and sports-franchises; Shaw Communications Inc. is in the process of purchasing CanWest's TV assets; and Quebecor Inc. owns TVA Group, North America's largest French-language broadcaster.
Globe and Mail analysis:
2010-09-09: Emmis founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan has finally given up on his second attempt to take the company private - he had made a previous attempt that failed in 2006 (See RNW Aug 5, 2006). A shareholders meeting to consider the deal - the tenth such planned meeting - was cancelled.
The Indianapolis Business Journal quoted Emmis COO Patrick M. Walsh as saying of the failed attempt, "I think Jeff and the entire Emmis team are bitterly disappointed that the transaction didn't conclude successfully. We thought we had a deal, and it's unfortunate that Alden backed away from the deal."
Alden Global Capital, who had agreed to back the deal in April, refused at the end of last month (See RNW Aug 30) to back a revised deal that had been agreed with a group of nine dissident preference stockholders who control 38% of the stock - enough to block the deal as it required a two-thirds approval by all shareholders - and although talks continued Emmis ordinary shares plummeted in value as the market took the view that a collapse was likely.
Ordinary shareholders had been offered USD 2.40 a share - they closed Wednesday at USD 1.64 and by mid-morning today had plunged by 25% to USD 1.17 although they recovered a little to USD 1.21 in early afternoon and closed just under USD 1.22 - and Smulyan was said to have enough acceptances to get this part of the deal through.
The preference stockholders were being offered 12% notes, due 2017, to the value of 60% of their holding, which carried an interest rate of 6.25%
So far Alden has not issues a statement about the collapse of the deal but Emmis in a statement blamed Alden for the collapse, noting "Shortly after negotiating terms with the preferred shareholders, and after working closely with EMMIS for the last five months, Alden Global Capital informed interested parties that they did not want to provide financing for the transactions and would not support the re-negotiated terms with the group of preferred shareholders to which Alden had committed."
It then went on, "Despite several weeks of continuing talks, ALDEN refuses to honor the commitment they made" and also threatened legal action against Alden, saying, "All parties to the negotiation are stunned and saddened by Alden's decision to not honor the negotiated deal. Emmis, JS Acquisition, and Jeff Smulyan will explore various legal remedies related to damages caused by Alden's actions."
Emmis says the statement will not continue as a public company and it then goes on to say it "appreciates the overwhelming support of its common shareholders during this lengthy process...and looks forward to working closely with its shareholders and employees to increase the value of the company as the radio and city/regional magazine industries continue to see improved operating results."
Emmis in a release announcing the withdrawal of the offer noted that when it expired yesterday 418,503 shares of Preferred Stock had been tendered into and not withdrawn from the exchange offer whilst as regards its Class A Common Stock 19,968,517 Class A shares had been tendered into and not withdrawn. None of either were purchased and JS Acquisition has instructed the depository for the offer to return all shares promptly to their owners.
The Journal also noted that Emmis' debt - of more than USD 340 million - will continue to weigh on the company and adds that including non-cash charges the company's operating losses over the last two fiscal years was more than USD 500 million.
Only USD 4 million of the company's debt it says comes due within a year but it will also need to renew its long-term debt and the Journal quotes Greg Hahn, president of Winthrop Capital Management Group, an Indianapolis institutional investment adviser, as saying this could prove difficult in the current lending environment.
"If the bank doesn't want to renew this facility, that's going to be a challenge," he said. "But I think Smulyan's a great operator, and he's got a great team."
"At some point it needs to generate enough income to pay interest and to pay down that debt," Hahn added. "But it's not growing its capital base; it's not throwing off a lot of cash."
Emmis in its last quarterly filing showed a loss of USD 3.9 million compared to a USD 11.9 million profit a year earlier (See RNW July 15) and the Journal quotes Mark Foster, chief investment officer of Kirr Marbach & Co. in Columbus, Indiana, as saying the debt is likely to stop the company from growing in the near future: "They've got to sort of hunker down, generate cash and work down that debt as best they can," he said."
RNW comment: We will be interested to see how the legal process goes on this one. Alden, according to earlier reports, agreed "in principle" to the revised deal and the qualification may well allow it a legal loophole in any fight with Smulyan if Alden had not pulled out of the deal as originally agreed.
Indianapolis Business Journal Report:
2010-09-09: Australia's commercial radio industry has recorded strong growth in metropolitan advertising revenues in August with the overall total up 17.31% on a year earlier to AUD 59.16 million (USD 54.6 million) according to figures from the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
The strongest growth was in Brisbane - up 25.41% to AUD9.7 million (USD 9.0 million) followed by Perth - up 24.36% to AUD 7.92 million (USD 7.31 million).
Sydney was up 14.85% to AUD 18.3 million (USD 16.9 million); Melbourne was up 14.45% to AUD 17.74 million (USD 16.4 million) and Adelaide brought up the tail, up 12.42% to AUD 5.49 million (USD 5.07 million).
Commercial Radio Australia Joan Warner put much of the increase down to spending on the country's Federal election but was also positive about the overall picture, commenting, "The industry continues to gather momentum in attracting advertising revenue and remains optimistic for the next twelve months."
Previous Australian radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-09-09: Non-profit Pacifica Radio, which was founded in 1946 by pacifist Lewis Hill and a goup of conscientious objectors (its first station KPFA, Berkeley, California, went on air in 1949) , is in talks with the Al Jazeera Network to put the Gulf-based news service on its five stations according to the Washington Post.
The paper says that if agreement is reached Pacifica would become the biggest American broadcaster to air Al Jazeera, which is owned by Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jabar Al Sabah, the emir of Qatar: So far Al Jazeera's English TV service, which has been going for four years, can only be seen in the Washington DC area;Burlington, Vermont; and Toledo, Ohio,in the US but it is available in Europe and the Middle East and also online.
The paper adds that the negotiations have so far not been made public officially but are attracting internal criticism and it quotes from an internal memo from Steve Brown, a former member of the board overseeing Pacifica-owned WBAI-FM in New York, which says Pacific should consider the "blowback" of an association with Al Jazeera, criticized Qatar's human-rights records and its treatment of women and political prisoners, and commented, "Al Jazeera is a totally government owned and funded broadcast entity. It claims to be independent and unbiased, but what broadcast entity can afford to bite the hand that feeds it (especially when that hand can also, literally as well as metaphorically, cut out its tongue)?"
Brown, adds the paper, said the most critical issue was "the Jewish Question" -- the reaction of Pacifica's Jewish listeners and financial contributors to airing a network funded by the head of an Arabic state, writing, "It is not even surmise, but an absolute certainty, that if we broadcast Al Jazeera . . . support from many and perhaps most of our Jewish listeners could vanish overnight."
Arlene Engelhardt, Pacifica's executive director, says the Post, declined to comment on any negotiations but she spoke favourably of Al Jazeera, saying, "I appreciate the viewpoints they bring and see them as offering an international perspective that our news media doesn't always offer."
RNW comment: Brown is probably correct in his surmise about contributors but the fact that this is so says much about the propensity in the US to be oblivious to behaving in a manner that can fairly attract the criticism that US organizations far too often behave in a manner that they criticize from others.
In this case, unless Pacifica is proposing to carry only news from Al Jazeera (which we doubt would be considered and which could put the network in an untenable position), the potential reaction of donors would be both overblown and a demonstration that they wish to exert exactly the same kind of control over Pacifica that they claim the emir exerts over Al Jazeera.
Washington Post report:
2010-09-08: Emmis has postponed yet again - this time until tomorrow evening - its shareholders' vote on a bid from JS Acquisitions to take the company private. JS Acquisitions was set up by chairman, founder and CEO Jeff Smulyan for the bid and was backed by Alden Global Capital but a group of nine dissident preference shareholders who hold 38% of the preference shares - enough to block the deal which required approval of two-thirds of common and preference stockholders - rejected the offer to convert their stock into bonds due 2017 for 60% of the share value but paying 12% interest compared to the 6.25% of their current stock.
Smulyan agreed a new deal that the dissidents had accepted and that he said Alden had also accepted in principle but Alden then had second thoughts and backed out of financing the revised deal (See RNW Aug 30).
Common stockholders are being offered USD 2.40 a share - well above Wednesday's closing price of USD 1.64 - and Smulyan is said to have enough acceptances for this part of the deal to go through.
Tomorrow's meeting will be the tenth to be called to vote on the bid.
2010-09-08: Missouri Attorney General Kris Koster has announced that he is suing Sirius XM Radio for violation of the state's no-call laws and has obtained a temporary restraining order against the company for making calls offering subscriptions to people who had put their names on the state's no-call list.
The suit alleges violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and the Telemarketing No-Call List Act and in a news release commented, "When Missourians register with our No-Call list, they do so with the reasonable expectation that they will not receive these unsolicited, harassing calls. No business, no matter the size or reach, is immune from Missouri's law, and we will continue to go after those who violate it."
Koster notes that he is seeking a civil penalty of USD 5,000 for each violation of Missouri law, costs of the investigation and prosecution, and all court costs.
Sirius XM can continue to call existing customers who have not said they do not wish to be called.
Previous Sirius XM:
Koster news release:
2010-09-08: US NPR (National Public Radio) has announced the launch of 12 "topic-focused news sites" with the debut of its ARGO Network, a new online venture that it says was created "to produce in-depth, local coverage on subjects critical to communities and the nation." The ARGO Network is funded by a USD $3 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has been rolled out in stages over the past six weeks.
The stations taking part are WBUR, Boston, with "CommonHealth: Where reform meets reality." ; WGBH-WCAI, Boston, with "Climatide: Oceans, coasts, and climate change on Cape Cod."; Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) with "On Campus: Everything higher education in Minnesota"; Oregon Public Broadcasting with "Ecotrope: Covering the Northwest's environment.."; WNYC, New York with "The Empire: Everything you need to know about New York state politics and governance."; WXPN, Philadelphia, with "The Key: Discover Philly's best local music."; KPBS, San Diego with "Home Post: The military in San Diego."; KALW, San Francisco with "The Informant: Cops, courts and communities in the Bay Area."; KQED, San Francisco, with "MindShift: How we will learn."; KPLU, Seattle, with "Humanosphere: Charting global health and the fight against poverty."; KPCC (Southern California Public Radio), Los Angeles, with "Multi-American: Immigration and cultural fusion in the new Southern California.."; and WAMU, Washington, D.C./, with "DCentric: The changing face of the District."
NPR said each station chose the topic based "on what was most relevant to the local community and a good match with the station's strengths and aspirations" and its President and CEO Vivien Schiller added, "The ARGO project has launched a dozen independent, news sites of substance and immediacy, where people can deepen their understanding of the critical issues that affect both communities and the nation. By networking the sites, each station gains national perspective, audience and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the others."
The sites are connected through NPR's Application Programming Interface (API) and content from the sites will also go into the NPR.org API, which broadens the distribution of the content to more places and more people, including third party sites and NPR member stations sties, and NPR.org.
2010-09-07: Westwood One has announced that Gary Schonfeld is stepping down as President of its Network Radio Division and will leave the company to return to his Adlarge Media company.
Westwood One President Rod Sherwood will take now oversee Network Radio.
Commenting on the move, Sherwood said in a news release, "Gary has made substantial contributions to the growth of Network Radio since he joined Westwood One over two years ago. He led the development of new programming for the network, and contributed to improvements in both affiliate and advertising sales. His experience in the radio industry helped Network Radio continue to hold its leadership position in the marketplace, and we thank him for all of his contributions."
Schonfield added, "The time I spent at Westwood was a time of transformation for the Network; and I am very proud of what we have accomplished", said Schonfeld. "Now is the time for me to move on and continue to bring new opportunities to the Network Radio industry."
Previous Westwood One:
2010-09-07: Following a consultation that it launched in July this year on Radio Multiplex Licence Renewals, UK media regulator Ofcom has now posted a statement on the topic in which it does not impose any additional coverage requirements on national commercial multiplex operator Digital One (owned by Arqiva) but does require it to submit a new technical plan which shows how its current levels of coverage are provided and will continue to be provided throughout the period of the renewed licence at the provisionally-agreed new field strengths.
Ofcom also says that it will not impose any new conditions on Digital One in relation to the promotion of DAB take-up nor require payment of a percentage of multiplex revenue (PMR). Ofcom notes that the Government could require it to set a PMR rate and adds that as soon as the government position is clear it will post details on its web site. It also notes that there was unanimous support for its proposal to set a zero rate and additionally that the responses to its consultation in relation to its plans to introduce Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP) from the end of 2014 for spectrum used for digital radio broadcasts included comments that this should not be introduced until digital switchover was complete because it would have a negative effect on investment and could also affect the commercial viability of multiplex operations as well as service providers. UTV in its submission suggested that AIP should not apply to licensees committed to "achieving the government's objective of radio DSO (Digital Switch Over)" but used as an incentive to encourage multiplex licensees who do not intend to extend their coverage to meet any DSO requirements set by the Government.
It adds that it will, however, amend the licence to make it clear that Digital One must continue to provide the current levels of coverage throughout the period of the renewed licence.
Local radio multiplex licence holders will also be required to submit new technical plans on the same basis as Digital One and will also in general have no new obligations with similar licence amendments related to maintaining current coverage levels to be included in the licences.
All of the licences were originally issued for 12 years and all those issued before October 2006 may be renewed once for a period of eight or 12 years, depending upon when the licence was granted and all of the 47 licences currently issued are eligible for such a renewal, 29 of them being eligible for a 12-year renewal and the remaining 18 - all local ones - for eight years: Renewal applications have to be submitted within a window that runs from four years before the licence is due to expire, and ends three months before what is called the 'relevant date' - the date by which Ofcom considers it would need to start a formal re-advertisement process for a fresh licence if, for any reason, the current licence was not renewed.
Renewals are automatic unless a licensee has failed to comply with the requirements of its current licence or the licensee has been issued with new requirements it has to meet but Digital Radio UK in its submission commented that it would be "unreasonable to ask Multiplex licensees to enter into 12 year local digital multiplex commitments at this time, given the fundamental uncertainty that exists today" and suggested Ofcom examine whether it would be possible to delay the licence renewal process.
Industry body the RadioCentre in its submissions suggested that in view of market changes "may be appropriate to consider new obligations on Digital One that are more appropriate for the current environment", such as demonstrating "a clear and significant level of commitment
and activity to support digital take-up" but it opposed setting any PMR and also opposed the introduction of AIP and strongly opposed any plan to require local multiplex licensees in submitting a new technical plan as part of the licence renewal process, to propose plans for implementing any new transmitters which they proposed as part of their original applications but have not yet implemented.
Ofcom has also posted its latest Communications Monthly Update including its August Radio Broadcast Update: This includes details of new licences issues during the month including three new digital services -the digital satellite Radio Francaise de Londres language music and speech commercial radio station for London and its additional text service plus Rainbow Christian Radio's service on the Sky digital satellite platform offering Christian songs and messages within the context of the African culture, in English and Akan.
It also noted the ending of the AFN Radio digital satellite service that it had licensed and the re-awarding of local FM licences for Play Radio Ltd 's The Breeze, Southampton; Wave 102 Ltd's Waves Radio, Dundee; and Lite and Connect Ltd's Connect FM, Peterborough.
Ofcom also noted four-year licence extensions for Lincs FM Group Ltd's Dearne FM; North Norfolk Radio Ltd's North Norfolk Radio; and Alpha Radio Ltd's Star Radio North East plus a seven-year extension for Real Radio Scotland Ltd's (GMG Radio is the parent) 96.3 Rock Radio.
In addition Ofcom announced an extension of coverage for Total Star Somerset (Bridgwater) to include the adjoining West Somerset area, by means of two relay transmitters.
Format changes listed included allowing Tindle Radio's Kestrel FM stations in Basingstoke and Alton to share all their locally made hours (currently they can share up to six of the ten locally made hours other than breakfast); Bauer Media's CFM (West Cumbria) to drop the requirement for at least 90 seconds of discrete local output every daytime hour; Compass Radio Ltd's Compass FM, Grimsby, to co-locate with its North East Lincolnshire sister station in the Lincoln area; Rother FM Limited's Rother FM to co-locate in the Doncaster area with its Trax FM sister station; and Two Boroughs Radio Ltd's 2BR-FM , Nelson, to co-locate in Accrington with sister station The Bee.
Digital multiplex changes agreed were the addition of Absolute Radio Extra to the national digital multiplex; the replacement of Galaxy with Choice FM on the London I multiplex and the replacement of Choice with Galaxy on the London II multiplex; the replacement of Absolute Radio's DABBL with Absolute 90s on the Cardiff and Newport multiplex and DABBL's removal from the London III multiplex; and the addition of Angel Radio to the South Hampshire multiplex.
Changes of Control listed were of Lanarkshire station L107, taken over by Strategic Intelligence Ltd.; and of The Breeze, Portsmouth (The former Quay) by Celador Radio Broadcasting.
In addition three community licences were issued - to House of Abraham's Inspire FM, Luton, Bedfordshire; Radio West Suffolk Limited's RWS fm 103.3, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; and North West Media Limited's Unity Radio, Manchester with licence extensions - each to the end of 2015 - for ALL FM Limited's ALL FM, South Manchester; The Panjabi Centre Ltd 's Desi FM, Southall, west London; and Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre (ACMC) Ltd's New Style Radio 98.7 FM. Birmingham.
2010-09-06: Clear Channel has dumped its country format from Atlanta's WWLG (96.7) FM after two-and-a-half years of "The Legend" and replaced it with a simulcast of its" WWVA-FM, Canton (The Groove 105.7). The frequency had previously been used to simulcast the company's WWVA-FM "Viva" Spanish-language format, which was dropped in December 2006 with WWVA being flipped to AC Lite FM with the country format being introduced six days later.
In other moves up to and over the Labor Day holiday Clear Channel also flipped its Honolulu KIKI-FM from its former rhythmic "Hot 93.9" format to "Generation X Rhythmic" format with Hawaii influences as "93.9 Jamz" and in Denver Max Media flipped its talk format KTNI-FM (The Truth) to Rhythmic Oldies Jammin 101.5 after a round a year as a talker before which the station had been an alternative indie.
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-09-06: Westwood One, which announced at the end of last month that Mark Stone, Senior Managing Director of the Gores Group, was to become its chairman (See RNW Aug 30) has revealed in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange (SEC) that its former chairman Norman J. Pattiz is to receive USD 340,000 as a consultant for the year through an agreement with Courtside LLC from September 1 and will also continue to pay his health benefits and provide him with an office and assistant in its Culver City HQ.
The deal is renewable by mutual agreement for an additional year and should it not be renewed by the company or terminated by Pattiz, he will still be retained as a consultant until the end of February 2013 in a "Continued Engagement Period" during which he will not receive compensation or benefits but outstanding stock options issued to him will continue to vest.
During this period, Courtside and Pattiz will need written consent from Westwood One to hire or employ any of its employees or consultants or any person or entity that has an exclusive radio contract with Westwood or to enter into any agreement that in any way competes with Westwood One's network radio business.
Previous Westwood One:
2010-09-05: Last week was yet another when the regulators had a quiet time as regards radio: There were no radio postings from the UK or Ireland and only a few from Australia where 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 -See RNW Aug 30).
The ACMA also posted a report on digital radio accessibility for those with disabilities. The 22-page report covers the topics of captioned radio; accessible design developments; digital radio for the blind or visually impaired and emergency warning notifications for people with sensory impairments.
In the case of captioning the report notes the work of US National Public Radio (Yes we know they now term themselves NPR) in conjunction with Harris Technology and Towson University and the demonstration of live captioning in an HD signal (iBiquity's IBOC HD system is used in the US for digital radio broadcasts) at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show.
In terms of possible use by Australia, which broadcasts digital radio using DAB+, the ACMA notes work on international standards and notes that the ITU working party recommended a minimum of 500 bits per second of additional capacity be provided to deliver captioned radio: In the case of DAB+, where it notes that better than FM quality requires 56-96kbps and Australian signals are 64 kbps, it says this requirement is not expected to substantially degrade audio quality.
The report also notes the development of Journaline to provide captioning: This process is specified by the WorldDMB Forum and can be used with DRM, DAB and DAB+ systems and the BBC and Deutsche Welle have used it with their DRM30 broadcasts.
NPR is also mentioned in connection with the development of guidance on features most popular with listeners who have visual impairments and the development of techniques of embossing emergency messages in an HD broadcast. The report also notes development of emergency warning systems for use with DAB and DRM signals.
Things were a little busier in Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted the following radio decisions.
*Approval of request by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to the conditions of licence related to its operation of CHMC-FM, Edmonton, as a specialty format station - it wants to drop the smooth jazz format - and renewal of its licence to 31 August 2017.
Rawlco had said that while it operated CHMC-FM as a Smooth Jazz specialty station over its first licence term, it has suffered significant financial losses and submitted that the Smooth Jazz format is no longer viable in Edmonton and proposed to provide instead a middle-of-the-road format that includes compatible music from other genres while mixing in Smooth Jazz music.
The CRTC noted that in approving various Smooth Jazz format applications between 2000 and 2004, it took into consideration the musical diversity the format promised to bring to Canadian listeners but also recognized that this was a new format being introduced to the Canadian radio market. It also noted that the market was performing well and in approving the format change commented that should not unduly impact the existing stations and that none of them had filed objections.
*Denial of application by Byrnes Communications Inc. to increase the power of its English-language commercial station CIHR-FM, Woodstock, from 7,096 to 8,950 watts. The CRTC noted that the licensee failed to comply with its conditions of licence relating to contributions to Canadian talent development (CTD) for each year since it began operations in 2006 and in line with its standard practice of denying applications from licensees in breach of regulations rejected this request.
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to remove the transmitters CBF-16, Clova; CBF-17, Lac Édouard; and CBF-18, Paren from the licence of its French-language station CBF-FM, Montréal, and add them to the licence of CBF-FM-8, Trois-Rivières. Only the source of the programming is changed by the decision.
*Approval of application by the CBC to decrease the power of CBF-FM-20, St-Dona, which carries the programming of CBF-FM, from 5,460 to 4,370 watts and move the transmitter to another site.
The CBC said the site originally proposed for the Première chaîne in St-Donat is no longer available and it proposes to relocate the antenna to a site on Mont Garceau.
Short-term renewal from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of Rossland Radio Cooperative's developmental community station CHLI-FM, Rossland, British Columbia: the decision will allow the Rossland Radio Cooperative to maintain the station's operation during the application process for a new community radio programming undertaking.
Short-term renewal from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2012 of licence of:
Corus Radio Company's English-language commercial station CFNY-FM, Brampton, Ontario. The CRTC said the station may have failed to comply with regulations relating to Canadian Content Development (CCD) contributions for the 2009 broadcast year in contributing CAD 20,168 (around USD 19,400) to a non-eligible CCD initiative, and has given it 60 days to make a payment of this amount to eligible CCD initiatives.
Short-term renewals from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2014 of licences of:
Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation's English-language commercial station CFOS-AM, Owen Sound. The CRTC notes that it is also directing the to fulfil the shortfall in its basic Canadian content development (CCD) contributions for the 2009 broadcast year by no later than 60 days from the date of this decision and adds that the licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to the provision of annual returns, for the 2005 broadcast year and to CCD contributions for the 2009 broadcast year: Bayshore said any potential shortfall may have been a result of confusion over internal accounting methods used to calculate CCD contributions under the new regime and added that it has contacted Commission staff to determine an immediate course of action to rectify any shortfalls.
Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation's English-language commercial station CIXK-FM, Owen Sound. This station was said to have failed to comply with Canadian Talent Development (CTD) contributions for the 2008 broadcast year and also in relation to filing its annual return for the 2008 broadcast year and to have filed its 2005 annual return late.
3553230 Canada Inc.'s CJMS-AM, Saint-Constant, Quebec. The CRTC noted that the short-term renewal is related to the licensees apparent failure to comply with licence conditions related to Canadian Talent Contributions and that it had previously renewed the licence for a short-term for non-compliance and had also imposed a condition of licence requiring the licensee to remit all outstanding amounts for CTD contributions incurred during the first licence term by 31 August 2008: The condition was not met and the Commission summoned the licensee to a public hearing to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued requiring the licensee to comply with its condition of licence relating to CTD contributions. The Commission also expected the licensee to demonstrate why the Commission should not suspend, revoke or fail to renew CJMS's licence.
The contributions have now been made and the CRTC commented that "the licensee has improved considerably in fulfilling its regulatory obligations" and accordingly it proposes a four-year renewal rather than the two years usually granted when a licensee has been found non-compliant for a second time.
Administrative renewals from 1 September 2010 to 30 November 2010 of the following licences - the CRTC notes that decision does not dispose of any substantive issue that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences.
Astral Media Radio G.P.'s CKCR-FM, Revelstoke.
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CKNW-AM, New Westminster.
CTV Limited's CKST-AM, Vancouver.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CIFM-FM. Kamloops and its transmitters CIFM-FM-2, Clearwater; CIFM-FM-3, Merritt; CIFM-FM-4, Clinton; CIFM-FM-5, Barriere; CIFM-FM-6, Cache Creek; CIFM-FM-7, Pritchard; CIFM-FM-8, Chase; and CIFM-FM-9, Sun Peaks Resort; CKKN-FM, Prince George and its transmitters CKKN-FM-1, McLeod Lake and CKKN-FM-2, Macken.
N L Broadcasting Ltd.'s CHNL-AM, Kamloops and its transmitters CINL-AM, Ashcroft; CHNL-1-AM, Clearwater; CFNL-FM, Sorrento; CJNL-AM, Merritt; and CKRV-FM, Kamloops.
CKIK-FM Limited's CFGQ-FM, Calgary and its transmitter CFGQ-FM-2, Banff; and CHQR-AM, Calgary.
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CHED-AM, Edmonton; CHQT-AM, Edmonton; CISN-FM, Edmonton; and CKNG-FM, Edmonton.
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CHRB-AM, High River.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CFDV-FM, Red Deer; CFMY-FM, Medicine Hat; CHUB-FM, Red Deer; and CJXX-FM, Grande Prairie.
Newcap Inc.'s CFCW-AM, Camrose; CFCW-FM, Camrose; CFOK-AM, Westlock; CFXH-FM, Hinton; CHLW-AM, St. Paul; CIBQ-AM, Brooks; CIRK-FM, Edmonton; CIXF-FM, Brooks; CIZZ-FM, Red Deer; CJXK-FM, Grand Centre; CKDQ-AM, Drumheller; CKJR-AM, Wetaskiwin; CKKY-AM, Wainwright; CKRA-FM, Edmonton; CKSQ-AM, Stettler; CKVH-AM, High Prairie; and CKWY-FM, Wainwright.
Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd.'s CKHL-FM, High Level and its transmitters CKLA-FM, La Crete and CJRA-FM, Rainbow Lake; CKKX-FM, Peace River and its transmitters CJHP-FM, High Prairie; CKKF-FM, Fairview and its transmitter CKKX-FM-1, Manning; CFFC-FM. Fox Creek; and CFKX-FM, High Level; CKYL-AM, Peace River and its transmitters CKYL-FM-1, Peace River; CKYL-FM-2, High Prairie; CKYL-FM-3, Fairview; CKYL-FM-4, Valleyview; and CKYL-FM-5, Saddle Hills.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CFAC-AM, Calgary; CFFR-AM, Calgary; CFRV-FM, Lethbridge; CHDI-FM, Edmonton; CHFM-FM, Calgary and its transmitter CHFM-FM-1, Banff; CHMN-FM, Canmore and its transmitter CJMT-FM-1, Banff; CJAQ-FM, Calgary and its transmitters CJAQ-FM-1, Banff; and CJAQ-FM-2, Invermere; CJOK-FM, Fort McMurray and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island; CJRX-FM, Lethbridge; CKYX-FM, Fort McMurray and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island.
Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's CJCA-AM, Edmonton.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Newcap Inc.'s CJYQ-AM, St. John's.
Acadia Broadcasting Limited's CHSJ-FM, Saint John.
Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc.'s CKBC-FM, Bathurst.
Nova Scotia - Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Truro's Tourist and Information station CJIS-FM, Truro.
Blackburn Radio Inc.'s CFCO-AM, Chatham, and its transmitter CFCO-1-FM Chatham; CFGX-FM, Sarnia; CHKS-FM, Sarnia; CHOK-AM, Sarnia and its transmitter CHOK-FM-1, Sarnia; CKNX-AM, Wingham; CKNX-FM, Wingham and its transmitter CKNX-FM-2, Centreville; and CKUE-FM, Chatham and its transmitter CKUE-FM-1, Windsor.
CKDX Radio Limited's CKDX-FM, Newmarket.
Corus Radio Company's CFHK-FM, St. Thomas; CFPL-AM, London; CFPL-FM, London; CHAY-FM, Barrie; and CKDK-FM, Woodstock.
CTV Limited's CFCA-FM, Kitchener; CIDR-FM, Windsor; CKLW-AM, Windsor; CKLY-FM, Lindsay; CKWW-AM, Windsor; and CKQM-FM, Peterboro.
Dufferin Communications Inc.'s CIDC-FM, Orangeville.
The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CFBG-FM, Bracebridge and CKLP-FM, Parry Sound.
Larche Communications Inc.'s CICX-FM, Orillia.
Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting's CFBK-FM, Huntsville.
My Broadcasting Corporation's CHMY-FM, Renfrew and its transmitter CHMY-FM-1, Arnprior.
Northwoods Broadcasting Limited's CJRL-FM, Kenora.
Raedio Inc.'s CJCS-AM, Stratford.
R.B. Communications Limited's CIXL-FM, Welland.
Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.'s CFJB-FM, Barrie.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHYM-FM, Kitchener; CKGL-AM, Kitchener; and CKIS-FM, Toronto.
Telephone City Broadcast Limited's CKPC-AM, Brantford and CKPC-FM, Brantford.
Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited's CKOT-FM, Tillsonburg.
176100 Canada Inc.'s CKYQ-FM, Plessisville, and its transmitter CKYQ-FM-1, Victoriaville.
Astral Media Radio inc.'s CJAB-FM, Chicoutimi.
Radio-Classique Montréal inc.'s CJPX-FM, Montréal.
Radio Dégelis Inc.'s CFVD-FM Dégelis and its transmitters CFVD-FM-2, Pohénégamook, and CFVD-FM-3, Squatec.
Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy inc.'s CJSO-FM, Sorel.
Radio Express Inc.'s CKOD-FM, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
Radio du Golfe inc.'s CFMV-FM, Chandler.
Radio Haute Mauricie inc.'s CFLM-AM, La Tuque.
Radio Ville-Marie's CIRA-FM Montréal and its transmitters CIRA-FM-2, Trois-Rivières; CIRA-FM-3, Victoriaville; and CIRA-FM-4, Rimouski.
Radio communautaire MF Lac Simon inc.'s Native radio (Type B) CHUN-FM, Rouyn-Noranda.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a quiet week as regards radio as it continued to devote emphasis to Internet matters rather than broadcasting- the agenda for its September 23 Open Meeting includes "A Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that will create opportunities for investment and innovation in advanced Wi-Fi technologies and a variety of broadband services by finalizing provisions for unlicensed wireless devices to operate in unused parts of TV spectrum".
In radio enforcement actions, Florida woman Nounoune Lubin is facing a USD 20,000 penalty for continuing to operate an unlicensed FM in Miami despite acknowledging FCC warnings that her actions were illegal (See RNW Sep 4).
More fortunate was North Custer Radio Inc., licensee of FM Translator Station K232CL, Challis, Idaho. The FCC had issued a USD 750 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation but has substituted an admonishment after accepting North Custer's documented submission that the penalty would cause financial hardship.
The FCC also issued a list of tentative selectees for 24 groups of mutually-exclusive applications for non-commercial educational FMs that were filed in its October 2007 filing window.
The selectees, in order of state, are:
California - A time-sharing award to West Side Theatre Foundation proposing a service to Newman and Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families proposing a service to San Andreas; in a group of 12 applications.
Colorado - Make a Difference Foundation, Inc. proposing a service to Brush: in a group of nine applications proposing services to seven communities.
Florida - Grace Covenant Baptist Church proposing a service to Lake City: In a group of 11 applications proposing services to six communities in Florida (Eight applications) and Georgia (Three applications).
Indiana - Father Pettit Home Association proposing a service to Peru: in a group of 26 applications proposing services to 20 communities in Illinois (Ten applications) and Indiana (Ten applications).
Iowa - Western Iowa Tech Community College proposing a service to Denison: in a group of three applications proposing services to three communities.
Kansas - Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel proposing a service to Sun City: in a group of two applications proposing services to two communities.
*Delmarva Educational Association proposing a service to Walnut Ridge: in a group of three mutually exclusive applications proposing services to two communities.
*Chesapeake Catholic Radio, Inc. proposing a service to Leonardtown: in a group of 32 applications for services to communities in Delaware (Two applications), Maryland (Ten applications), and Virginia (20 Applications).
*A time-sharing award to Last Chance Public Radio Association proposing a service to Helena and Calvary Chapel of Helena, Inc. proposing a service to Montana City: In a group of 14 applications proposing services to ten communities.
*Family Stations, Inc. proposing a service to Billings: in a group of three applications proposing services to two communities.
New Mexico - GILA/Mimbres Community Radio proposing a service to Silver City: In a group of 42 applications proposing services to communities in Arizona (13 applications), California (One application), and New Mexico (28 applications).
Oklahoma- Cherokee Nation proposing a service to Murphy: in a group of eight applications proposing service to seven communities in Kansas (Three applications), Missouri (One application), and Oklahoma (Four applications).
Oregon - West Lane Translator, Inc. proposing a service to Florence: In a group of four applications proposing service to two communities.
Rhode Island - A time-sharing award to Providence Community Radio, Inc. proposing a service to Harrisville and St. Joseph's Radio Station, Inc. proposing a service to Pascoag: In a group of 13 applications proposing services to ten communities in Massachusetts (Eight applications) and Rhode Island (Five applications).
South Dakota - Catholic Chancery Office proposing a service to Hartford: in a group of 13 applications proposing service to eight communities in Iowa (One applications) and South Dakota (12 applications).
*Community Broadcasting, Inc. proposing a service to Walnut Ridge: in a group of 15 mutually exclusive applications proposing services to 13 communities in Texas and Arkansas.
*Colonias Unidas proposing a service to Rio Grande: One of five applications proposing services to three communities.
*La Promesa Foundation proposing a service to Wellington: in a group of seven applications proposing services to four communities.
*Educational Music Foundation proposing a service to Borger: in a group of two applications proposing services to two communities.
Washington State - Grays Harbor LP FM proposing a service to Aberdeen: in a group of 17 applications proposing services to 12 communities.
*Liberty and Freedom Inc proposing a service to Baraboo: In a group of four applications proposing services to three communities.
*Waupaca Area Public Radio, Inc. proposing a service to Waupaca: In a group of 14 applications proposing services to 11 communities.
Wyoming - The University of Wyoming proposing a service to Kaycee: In a group of two applications proposing services to two communities.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
ACMA digital radio accessibility report (22-page 604 kb PDF):
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2010-09-04: Peconic Public Broadcasting's WLIU-FM is still streaming its programming and is still appealing for funds on its web site today following the expiry of a Friday 17:00 ET deadline from Long Island University to pay USD 637,000 that it owes to Long Island University.
It had bid USD 800,000 for the licences and equipment and on the web site is appealing for fund to match a USD 50,000 "challenge" grant from George Soros' Open Society Institute and adds that it has signed a "Term Sheet with an area bank which has agreed, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, to fund a loan sufficient to complete the purchase in the coming weeks."
It adds at the end of the appeal that contributions made to the "the capital campaign will be placed in a restricted fund and will be returned if we are unable to complete the purchase."
The station, which was bought from the university by former employees, was due to go off air at the end of August but was given a 72-hour extension after which Long Island University said it would put the station licences and equipment up for sale again: the Southampton Press reported that the university said in a statement that several other public radio companies are interested in purchasing the licenses.
It said the extension to the deadline was granted following a last-minute appeal by U.S. Representative Tim Bishop
The University announced in October last year that it could no longer afford to subsidize the losses of the station (See RNW Aug 11) and in October it was reported that non-profit Peconic Public Broadcasting was to take over (See RNW Oct 9, 2009).
Southampton Press report:
2010-09-03: Emmis has extended yet again - this time until 17:00 ET on Wednesday (Sept 8) the deadline for acceptance of a buyout offer from its founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan to take the company private although the deal seems unlikely and the market only marked up the company's common shares marginally - they had closed at USD 1.59 on Thursday, and so far today have ranged from USD 1.58 to USD 1.76 compared to a USD 2.40 offer for them.
Smulyan is thought to be likely to get the deal through as regards common shares - he had acceptances that would take his holding to around 60% but has still to gain acceptance from a group of preference stockholders who control 38% and can thus block the deal, which needs a two-thirds acceptance for both the common and preference stockholders.
The latter were offered a deal in which they would get new 12% bonds due 2017 for their stock at a rate of USD 30 worth of notes for every USD 50 of preferred stock.
The Indianapolis Business Journal quoted Emmis COO Patrick M. Walsh as saying, "The parties are still talking, but we haven't made as much progress as we hoped and we think a deal is unlikely" and adds that the ultimate deadline is probably Sept 24, the expiry date for the original deal between Alden Global Capital and JS Acquisition, the vehicle set up by Smulyan for the acquisition.
At the end of last month Smulyan had agreed a revised offer for the preference shares with the dissident block but Alden, which Emmis said had agreed in principle on the new terms, then backed out of financing the revised deal, sending Emmis common stock tumbling (See RNW Aug 30 ).
Indiana Business Journal report:
2010-09-03: Gerry House, host of the long-running "Gerry House and the House Foundation" morning show on Clear Channel's WSIX-FM, Nashville has told his listeners that the show will end its run on December 15.
"The reason I'm doing it," he said " and I've said this before, is that every 20 or 30 years, I like to shake things and do something different... just bust out and try something different."
House went on to praise the station saying, "The management here has been fabulous" and then adding of the decision "No one is mad at anybody sometimes it just feels right."
The Tennessean in its report notes that House, who is now 62, has been on the air for more than three decades and has won numerous Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards: it also notes that last year several co-hosts were dropped from the show as budgets were cut.
House is to continue to work for the station as a writer and contributor. He joined WSIX-AM in 1975 and was hired as morning host of WSIX-FM in 1981 but left for two years in 1985 -to join competitor WSM-AM and subsequently moving to KLAC-AM in Los Angeles for a spell- before returning to WSIX.
Leaving along with the end of the show are other House Foundation members co-host Mike Bohan, sidekick Katie Bright and producer Richard Falklen.
Awards won by the show include three CMAs, seven ACMs, and a Marconi and the show is nominated again this year in the large market personality of the year category at the CMA Awards.
Previous Clear Channel:
The Tennessean report:
2010-09-03: BBC Radio 5 Live tomorrow launches a new weekend schedule that includes a new and returning shows plus live coverage of the weekend's League One soccer matches, Premiership Rugby Union and 1st International Twenty20 cricket between England and Pakistan.
Amongst those returning are Danny Baker with an 0900-1100 Saturday show and comedian Chris Addison with 7 Day Sunday (Sundays,11am-12noon), whilst new shows include the "Saturday Edition" news show hosted by Chris Warburton from 20:00 to 22:00 and investigative show 5 Live Investigates hosted by former Watchdog presenter Adrian Goldberg from 21:00 to 22:00 on Sundays.
2010-09-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 20,000 Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture (NAL) to a Florida woman for operating an unlicensed FM.
Following a complaint the FCC in September and October last year traced the source of unlicensed transmissions to the home of Nounoune Lubin of North Miami and in November issued her with a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO), receiving a return receipt that she had signed. The agency noted that it has issued an NOUO in March 2008 at a prior residence in North Miami.
In April and May this year the FCC again traced transmissions to Ms Lubin's North Miami residence leading it to issue the USD 20,000 NAL, twice the base forfeiture because of the repeated violations with full knowledge that FCC rules were being breached.
2010-09-03: BBC Radio 2 has announced that its early morning host Sarah Kennedy is to leave the station after 17 years in the slot. She has been off the air for some time and the BBC says Lynn Parsons, who is currently hosting the 050-0700 slot will remain in it for the next four weeks with future plans for the early morning schedule to be announced.
Kennedy, the daughter of a Sussex stockbroker, began her working career as a drama teacher after a spell at drama school and he broadcasting career with the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Singapore. She joined Radio 2 in 1976 presenting Family Favourites and hosted the final closedown before it moved to 24-hour broadcasting in January 1979.
After a spell working mainly in TV she returned to Radio 2 in 1992 to host the weekday early morning show, the Dawn Patrol, which initially aired in the current 0500-0700 slot but for a period in the mid 1990s was moved to 06:00 to 07:30, moving back to the current slot after Terry Wogan retired in December last year..
Kennedy, who is 60, has been off air for health reasons a number of times and has also been involved in controversy, including saying when standing in for Wogan that another Radio 2 host Ken Bruce was an "old fool" and referring to the presenter of the day's Pause For Thought slot as "an old prune". She was also reprimanded in 2007 after on-air comments that she had almost run over a black pedestrian because she couldn't see him in the dark (See RNW Nov 1, 2007), although UK media regulator Ofcom took no action over a complaint about the comments in view of the BBC reprimand (See RNW Feb 26, 2008).
Kennedy said in a BBC news release, "After 17 years of early starts, the temptation of destroying my alarm clock has proved too much to resist and as I have been spared for this long, it's time for a change. I shall miss my Dawn Patrollers - their wit, wisdom and warmth, more than I can put into words. After I've taken a long-earned rest, I'm looking forward to new opportunities, hopefully inside and outside broadcasting."
Paying tribute to her Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music, added, "Sarah has entertained Radio 2 listeners for over 20 years with energy and enthusiasm, gaining an army of fans with her inimitable style of broadcasting. Everyone at Radio 2 would like to thank Sarah for her many years of sterling service, and wish her the very best of luck for the future. We shall miss her."
2010-09-02: Emmis has delayed yet again - this is the seventh time - its attempt to get a vote on a proposed buyout by founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan: A new meeting is now due to be held on Friday morning.
A shareholders meeting was due to take place tonight against a background in which Alden Global Capital had pulled out of financing the deal after a reported initial agreement on a revised offer for preference shareholders: The buyout needs a two thirds approval from both common and preference shareholders and a group holding 38% of the preference shares had baulked at the offer which would have received new higher rate (12%) notes due 2017 in exchange for their stock at a rate of 60% of its face value.
Common stockholders are being offered USD 2.40 a share and this part of the deal was expected to go through but the market, which had already indicated scepticism about completion - since the dissident preference shareholders indicated in filings that they would oppose the buyout the high for the stock was USD 2.30 in early June and after the Alden news it plunged - it closed tonight at USD 1.59.
2010-09-01:CBS Radio's KMOX-AM, St Louis, is to regain the rights for Cardinals' games next season following a five-year hiatus in which they moved to KRTS-AM in which the Cardinals have a majority share according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
KMOX had been carrying Cardinals' games for 51 years until in August 2005 it announced a deal to move to KTRS and take a 50% stake in the Dorsey Media Group station (See RNW Aug 6, 2005). The Post-Dispatch says the move was controversial because the 5,000 watts KTRS signal meant thousands of the fans were unable to receive its signal and the return to the 50,000 watt KMOX signal will enable them to again receive the signal.
The paper adds that the team chose the deal against a rival bid from Bonneville's sports-talk WXOS-FM, which had made to proposals - one to simulcast games with KTRS and the other to air the games itself.
Details of the in principle multi-year deal agreed for the return have not been released but announcers Mike Shannon and John Rooney will continue handling play-by-play coverage.
St Louis Post-Dispatch report:
2010-09-01:Southern Cross Media Group, the former Macquarie Media Group, has recorded an AUD 82.7 million (USD 75.1 million) loss for its 2010 fiscal year to the end of June after allowing for an AUD 102.6 million (USD 93.2 million) loss from its discontinued American Consolidated Media operations that was divested late in June to its lenders.
Without the loss the company had seen a 3.5% rise in its underlying Regional Australian Media revenues to AUD 416.7 million (USD 378.6 million) with underlying EBITDA up 11.1% to AUD 129.8 million (USD 117.9 million), and profits up % to AUD 19.9 million (USD 18.1 million): The company also noted that it had reduced debt by 63.3% to AUD 249.7 million (USD 226.9 million)and has declared a fully franked final dividend of 6.2 cents per security, making the full year dividend 9.7 cents, up from 7.7 cents a year earlier.
Within the figures, TV outperformed radio and national advertising outperformed local with national revenues accounting for 43.3% of total revenues, up from 42.2% a year earlier and local for 47.7%, down from 48.9% whilst other revenues were up from 8.9% to 9.1% of the total.
Commenting on the results chief executive Rhys Holleran said in a release that the company had "delivered a strong result from its regional television and radio businesses" adding "The results show we have great assets in great markets."
Commenting on the first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year, he said," Both our radio and television markets have been solid across the first quarter of FY11, with television performing particularly well Radio continues to grow, but at a more subdued pace."
"Despite current political uncertainty, we remain cautiously optimistic about the second quarter of FY11," he added.
Previous Macquarie Media Group/ Southern Cross Media Group:
2010-09-01:The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC)'s Ontario Regional Panel has ruled in a four-to-two decision that the use by CFMJ-AM, Toronto, of the term "scab" concerning a worker involved in an elevator accident was "problematic" and that industry codes had been breached in the use of £a pejorative term inaccurately to describe the individual."
Following the report about the accident, in which an elevator maintenance worker died, a listener complained that the report had suggested the man might be a "scab" worker when that was not in fact the case, a complaint upheld by the majority of the panel.
At the time of the accident, the union representing maintenance workers for the building had been locked out in a labour dispute but the dead man was an employee of a company working on contract at the building and not part of the unionized group involved in the labour dispute.
The complainant said that it was "callous" and "unacceptable" for the station to call the man a "scab" in response to which the station said that the report concerned a breaking news story, with updates occurring quickly, that its reliable sources had informed it that maintenance workers at the building were locked out, and that, for this reason, the reports used the words "may have been" a scab.
The majority of the Ontario Regional Panel concluded that these were not sufficient justifications for the erroneous use of the term "scab" in the reports and said that it attached no weight to the broadcaster's qualification in using the terms "may have been" a scab: It added that the identification of the dead man in this manner was particularly reprehensible because it was utterly irrelevant to the news item and was not germane to the story being told as well as being inaccurate.
The two dissenting adjudicators (G. Phelan and J. Doobay) said that in this case the "speculative use of the term 'scab' was not unreasonable based on the information available to the broadcaster at the time of the two challenged news reports" because the information came from an apparently reliable source and the information was hedged with the term "may".
They added that "in the 21st century, scab is a common equivalent of 'strike-breaker' or 'replacement worker', one that is no more negatively value-laden than the latter terms."
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