November 2010 Archive
2010-11-30: BIA-Kelsey, which in May increased its estimate of US radio revenues this year to a 3.7% rise to USD 14.21 billion in all (See RNW May 27) and in August further upped the forecast for over-the air-revenues to increase by 4.4% to USD 13.93 billion with digital and online revenues taking this up to just under USD 14.39 billion (See RNW Aug 25), has now further increased the estimate to a 5% rise, saying that on the heels of strong political battles nationwide, increased automotive advertising and an improving economy, the radio industry has experienced a better year than expected and will end 2010 with over-the-air revenues of USD 14 billion, a 5 percent increase over 2009. The grand total including other revenues is projected to be USD 14.5 billion.
In the fourth edition of BIA/Kelsey's quarterly "Investing In Radio Market Report," the company also says than 13 markets that will have 9 percent or greater revenue increases this year, including five top markets: Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Miami and Tampa.
Vice President Mark Fratrik, Ph.D. commented, "The radio industry has proven it remains an important component of the advertising mix by reaching local audiences in all demographic ranges," said Mark Fratrik, Ph.D., vice president, BIA/Kelsey. "We might be a long way from pre-recession over-the-air revenue numbers, but broadcasters are supplementing those revenues by taking steps to change the landscape by attracting advertisers through online and mobile and also by extending their signals to attract new listeners."
Fratrik noted radio's use of FM translators to increase its presence in some markets with more than 400 AM stations now using them to improve their night-time coverage areas saying Huntsville, Alabama, for example, currently has five AM stations using translators to rebroadcast on another frequency to cover areas not adequately served by their main signal. In addition, the report says, FM HD multicast stations are rebroadcasting in analogue to expand their audiences.
"Stations are embracing the FCC's 2009 ruling allowing retransmission through the use of FM translators," said Fratrik. "It's an innovative way to broaden their reach, provide more options to listeners in the market and appeal to advertisers."
2010-11-30: Clear Channel has announced that it has agreed a three-year new expanded agreement with Ryan Seacrest Enterprises under which the host will continue in his current role as producer and host of three top-rated radio programs broadcast in Los Angeles and New York, which are also syndicated for national and international distribution.
Seacrest will also create and deliver new content for distribution through Clear Channel's traditional and digital radio platforms on both a local market and national basis, as well as serve as a spokesperson for Clear Channel and the two partners will also create joint ventures to develop and promote new musical artists and other multi-platform media projects.
No financial details were announced but the deal is rumoured to be worth some USD 60 million over the period.
Seacrest in his 2004 deal hosted American Top 40 and also hosted "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" on Clear Channel's KIIS-FM in Los Angeles: The show also airs on WHTZ-FM (Z100), New York, on top of which a midday version is syndicated.
This will now be expanded to run four hours and Clear Channel says the host will also now "commit time as a spokesperson and advocate for Clear Channel."
His endorsements of Clear Channel products and services will include appearances at Clear Channel-sponsored events such as Jingle Ball and Wango Tango and the host will also work closely with Clear Channel leadership to develop exclusive new radio content for national and international syndication via both traditional and digital media.
The agreement also crates a joint venture to develop and produce various entertainment concepts such as a record label and music publishing, a live concert series and content for television.
Seacrest commented of the agreement, "I believe Clear Channel's programming is only beginning to scratch the surface of what we can achieve together to connect with audiences and create innovative and compelling opportunities for listeners and advertisers. I'm excited to work closely with Clear Channel's radio leadership to develop new concepts and content that brings the untapped potential of radio to life across a range of delivery platforms. I'm particularly looking forward to exploring and capitalizing on the exciting possibilities the digital era holds for radio."
Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan added, "Ryan exemplifies the level of talent and programming we are committed to bringing our listeners across a variety of platforms. His experience and track record as a host and a producer and his extensive industry relationships make Ryan an ideal partner for the development of new vehicles as we drive growth opportunities across all of our radio platforms, on air, online and on-site. We look forward to continuing to work with him to promote his current shows through Premiere Radio Networks and collaborating with him to create and bring trend-setting new content ideas to fruition."
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-11-30: Sirius XM Radio has announced that it now has more than 20 million subscribers, to celebrate which it had already announced a subscriber-only broadcast of an exclusive Paul McCartney concert at the Apollo Theater in New York City on December 13, 2010.
Commenting on the achievement, CEO Mel Karmazin commented in a news release, "Reaching and surpassing 20 million subscribers is a significant milestone for us. We have added the last 10 million subscribers faster than the first 10 million -- despite a tremendously competitive environment -- representing a strong endorsement of our service and our programming by discerning consumers who want and demand the best in audio entertainment. As a leader in audio entertainment, Sirius XM has assembled the best content, personalities, and entertainers that satisfy our subscribers' diverse interests."
The company has also announced an extension of its agreement with the NFL through the Super Bowl in 2016.
Under the agreement the company, which has partnered with the NFL since 2004, will continue to broadcast every NFL game live nationwide from the preseason through the Super Bowl in 2016 as well as Sirius NFL Radio, channel 124, the first and only 24/7 radio channel dedicated entirely to the NFL.
NFL play-by-play and the Sirius NFL Radio channel are available to all Sirius subscribers and to XM subscribers who purchase the "Best of Sirius" programming package. For the first time Sirius XM will also broadcast NFL play-by-play online for its satellite radio subscribers starting with the 2011 season.
NFL executive vice president of media Steve Bornstein said they were "pleased to continue our partnership with Sirius XM. They have been an excellent partner and have become part of NFL fans' daily lives, not only on game day, but also throughout the year."
For Sirius XM its President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein responded, "The NFL is a terrific partner and we're very pleased to continue to work with them to provide both Sirius and XM listeners the kind of top-notch NFL programming that their fans have come to expect."
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-11-30: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 20,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Iglesia Jesucristo Es Mi Regugio, Inc. (IJR), which has applied for four new non-commercial educational NCE) stations but has rejected a petition to deny one of the applications which it had granted although it has dismissed the other three, which are still pending.
IJR, the licensee of several low-power TV stations, had applied for ten NCE s, including those at Quemado (the application was granted), Crosbytown, Hulldale, and Cuero (the last three still pending) in a 2007 filing window for which the commission said that parties would be limited to filing ten applications.
In addition IJR principals Roberto Gomez (Church Pastor and President of IJR), Elva R. Gomez and Daniel Gomez, who are IJR directors, formed two entities Iglesia Jesucristo Es Mi Refugio De San Antonio, Inc. (IJRSA) and Iglesia Jesucristo Es Mi Refugio De Austin, Inc. (IRSA), which each filed ten applications. Those applications were signed by the new IJRSA and IJRA directors but subsequently the two bodies filed Articles of Amendment to delete as directors the individuals who had signed the applications and replace them as directors with Roberto, Elva and Daniel Gomez, thus leaving the three individuals in control of IJR, IJRSA, and IJRA, each of which had ten applications filed in the October 2007 filing window.
Radio Bilingue, Inc. filed a petition to deny the Quemado application on the basis that IJRSA and IJRA are sham entities created to enable IJR principals to control in excess of the ten applications per applicant limit; that they failed to amend their applications to reveal the resumption of control by the Gomez family in 2008; that IJR had made a false response in certifying the number of pending applications in which any party to the application had an attributable interest; had made a false certification regarding character by failing to report a civil suit against IJR, Roberto Gomez and others, and by failing to report a 1988 misdemeanour drug conviction of Roberto Gomez; and, also that IJR lacked adequate site assurance.
IJR responded by saying that IJRSA and IJRA were formed to establish independent congregations and that the Gomez family members had to return to the boards of these companies because, in both cases, the directors who signed the applications left the churches after the applications were filed and added that the Gomez family's resumption of involvement in IJRSA and IJRA affairs was "temporary" and that those entities recently had installed new principals. It denied any intent to control more than ten applications and also said that there had been no court finding of fraud in connection with the civil suit and that the drug conviction was more than 30 years old (The FCC requires declaration only of convictions dating back ten years). It also claimed it had verbal site assurance.
The FCC in its ruling said that when the IJRSA and IJRA applications were filed there had been no misrepresentation of the number of applications in which the applicant had an attributable interest but there had been a failure by IJR to update the applications in May 2008 when the Gomez family resumed control of IJRSA and IJRA, thus taking the applications to 30 under their control (IJR contended that had it filed a timely amendment reflecting a major change in ownership, it would have been considered a "suicide amendment" that would have been returned to IJR, which, consequently, would have been given an opportunity to correct regarding which the FCC said this was incorrect and that had the updating taken place it would have dismissed the 20 most recently filed applications, comprising all those of IJRSA and IJRA).
On this basis it proposed the penalty of USD 20,000, increased from the base forfeiture for failure to file required forms or information to USD 5,000 for each of IJR's four remaining pending applications.
It commented that "In addition to wasting Commission resources, in several cases this failure resulted in entities under IJR's control improperly obtaining construction permits for new NCE FM stations and, in at least one of these cases, another competing applicant was wrongfully denied a license that was awarded to IJRSA."
It added, however, that notwithstanding the violations it took the view that public interest, convenience and necessity would be served by a grant of IJR's Quemado application although adding that the violation is a serious one warranting the imposition of a proposed forfeiture and the dismissal of the IJRSA and IJRA applications and the IJR remaining pending Crosbytown, Hulldale, and Cuero, applications
2010-11-30: The US HD Radio Alliance has announced that next year it plans a marketing campaign valued at more than USD 110 million to air on more than 650 radio stations in the top 100 markets.
Peter Ferrara, President of the HD Radio Alliance, commented of the coming year, "2011 will bring some very exciting and perhaps surprising announcements that will be watershed events toward mass adoption. It is rewarding to see the continued commitment on the part of the member radio companies to help assure that success."
The alliance says that despite the difficult economic environment it and iBiquity Digital have been successful this past year in advancing HD Radio technology, consumer awareness and most importantly, HD Radio sales, helped by automobile partnerships with Ford, BMW and Hyundai and also with retailers and manufacturers.
Ferrara also called for radio companies that are not in the alliance to join noting that there are now no financial obligations, no format restrictions, and no commercial limitations to participate and adding, "With only a modest commitment of inventory, other radio groups can make a significant difference in our efforts. We invite all to participate."
The 2011 creative and strategic planning will continue to be consulted by Jacobs Media along with Kevyn Howard and the production team at CBS Radio.
Previous HD Radio Alliance:
2010-11-30: English radio and TV host Richard Bacon, who turned 35 today, has told listeners to his BBC 6 Music Saturday afternoon show (1500-1700) that he is to leave the station on December 4, just under a year after he hosted his first regular show in the slot.
Saying his decision was maid "with a heavy heart", Bacon, who began his broadcasting career at BBC Radio Nottingham and got his first major TV break on BBC's flagship children's programme Blue Peter at the beginning of 1997 (he was fired after a year following reports of his taking cocaine but his career survived), cited other commitments including his weekday afternoon show (1400-1600) on BBC Radio 5 Live and a number of TV projects.
Co-presenter Mark Haynes commented, "We just got to the point where basically it's difficult to have a normal life with the amount of work we've got on and doing a Saturday show. It's a real shame "and Bacon added, "Let's just be clear, we love it here, love 6 Music. It's been nothing but a good laugh. We're hopefully going to come back and do some deps [deputising for other hosts] and appear again."
So far the station has not announced Baker's replacement for the slot but it said it was sad he was leaving and wished him well.
2010-11-29: Very few Americans consider the availability to tune into FM radio an important factor in choosing which mobile phone to buy according to a survey carried out by Mark Ramsey Media in conjunction with VIP research.
The survey asked more than a thousand radio listeners ages 10-54 whether they had ever specifically looked for a mobile phone that contains FM radio and only 4% said they had compared to 88% who said they had not and a final 8% who said the question didn't apply to them.
In his blog Ramsey notes that discussion has "swirled around the presumed appetite in the US for FM chips on mobile phones" with some surveys saying consumers would use FM if it were built in (Ramsey does not specifically mention the NAB-commissioned poll released in September that said more than three quarters of cell-phone owners would consider paying a one-time 30 cents to access radio stations through a built-in chip - See RNW Sep 14)..
Ramsey opted to change the question to one of how important the feature was perceived to be a decisive factor for manufacturers.
He commented that the view "if we build it they will come" was wrong as regards HD radio and "when it comes to devices and electronics, it's wrong - period."
Ramsey adds, "As you can see, the vast majority of radio listeners did NOT seek out a phone that contains FM radio. FM radio is simply not a feature that motivates decision-making about which mobile phone to buy" and notes that of those who said they did look for a phone containing an FM radio, 69% went on to purchase one - "In other words, few consumers are looking for mobile phones that contain FM radio, and those who are can evidently find one."
On a more positive note for broadcasters, Ramsey comments that mobile phones are "mobile computing and connection devices custom-designed by each consumer to reflect their own personal identities and accomplish tasks that they themselves deem worthy" and continues, "Broadcasters have a terrific opportunity to create experiences on those devices which are different from "the FM band" and more station-specific and content-specific. Experiences which extend beyond the brand rather than limit to its over-the-air execution. Experiences which invite interaction and customization and engagement. This is what these devices are about. They are not simply a "new distribution vehicle" for the same old service."
He concludes that broadcasters should "go boldly onto mobile devices. But go on consumers' terms, not yours."
Ramsey Media/VIP survey (382kb 13-page PDF):
2010-11-29: Absolute Radio is adding another decade to its digital services from next month with "Absolute Radio 00s (noughties) "to be launched at 10:00 GMT on December 10 by Christian O'Connell following his Absolute Radio Breakfast Show that runs to 10:00
Absolute already offers Absolute 80s, and Absolute Radio 90s, as well as Absolute Radio, Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Radio extra.
O'Connell will then host an extra hour of his breakfast show on the station for the rest of the month: He will be followed by Vicki Blight from 11 - 2pm then Lucio Buffone from 2pm - 5pm while evenings will be home to non-stop 00s music.
Absolute says the station "will offer listeners a blend of the biggest-selling guitar bands around such as Coldplay, the Killers, Muse and Kings of Leon alongside credible 00s crossover acts including Outkast, Black Eyed Peas and Eminem."
In its launch week its output will also include five thirty minute 'specials' including feature interviews from its archives and live tracks.
The new service will initially be available on DAB in London, on mobile via smart phone apps and online at www.absoluteradio00s.co.uk.
Absolute also said that Absolute Radio 90s which has been broadcasting nationally on the D1 multiplex as a trial will also be staying as a national service following over-whelming positive feedback from listeners, coupled with excellent first ratings.
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (Ultimate parent of Absolute):
2010-11-29: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) today signed a 10-year Community Sound Broadcasting Contract with Athlone Community Radio Limited, which is to launch the Athlone Community Radio service in mid January.
It will initially broadcast four hours on weekday evenings and for eight hours at weekends and BAI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe welcoming the agreement commented, "The Authority considers that community radio plays a vital role in ensuring that a diverse mix of services exist to serve the listening needs of the people of Ireland. We wish Athlone Community Radio every success over the term of their licence."
2010-11-29: Laura Schlessinger (Dr Laura) and Sirius XM have now formally confirmed that the host is to join the satellite radio company on January 3 and her website carries a link to a 30-day free trial of the Sirius XM service.
The news had already been broken in an Associated Pres report that we commented looked as if someone had broken an embargo (See RNW Nov 26) and Sirius CM confirms that Schlessinger will be on air on weekdays from 1400-1700.
In a news release, she comments, "Coming to Sirius XM is an amazingly freeing transition from terrestrial radio for me. Satellite radio is a forum where a diverse group of people get to speak their minds without fear. I can't wait to preach, teach and nag about morals, values, ethics and principles. My brain is buzzing with new ideas for my program's content, direction and expansion, including guest interviews with people who intrigue and inspire me. I couldn't be more giggly if you tickled me!"
Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, Sirius XM Radio added that on satellite "Dr. Laura will have a strong, national platform to do what she does best. As the new home to one of the most popular shows in radio today, Sirius XM once again delivers to subscribers content that cannot be found elsewhere. We welcome Dr. Laura into our diverse, compelling and thought-provoking line-up."
Previous Dr Laura ( Schlessinger)::
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-11-28: Last week was again generally quiet as regards radio for the regulators with no announcements from Ireland and only one each from Australia and the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has asked for comment on changes proposed to radio services in the Bundaberg and Kingaroy regions of Queensland: These include making available a new FM frequency for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Parliamentary News Network/NewsRadio national broadcasting service at Wide Bay by removing e planned but non-operational national FM frequency 97.7 MHz at Murgon from the Kingaroy licence area plan (LAP) to make it available for the Wide Bay service.
The agency is also proposing to make spectrum available -with a maximum power of 200 watts - for a new community radio broadcasting service at Bundaberg and to increase to 500 watts the maximum power of the existing community radio broadcasting service 4WHO at Yarraman in the Kingaroy region.
Associated with these moves it proposes to create a new licence area, Bundaberg RA2, for the new community radio service and to increase the size of the Yarraman RA1 licence area to reflect the changes in the technical specifications of the 4WHO service at Yarraman.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was rather busier with radio licensing decisions including the following:
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was rather busier with radio licensing decisions including the following:
*Approval of application by Stillwater Broadcasting Ltd. to add a 50 watts low-power FM transmitter in Benito to the licence of CJSB-FM, Swan River.
The CRTC noted that in the distribution of its Canadian content development (CCD) contributions for the broadcast year ending 31 August 2009. Stillwater contributed more than the basic amount required, but failed to allocate any of the required 60% of that basic amount to FACTOR or MUSICACTION as required. It added that it normally denies amendments where licensees have not met their regulatory requirement but that as in this case the full amount was paid, it would make an exception and allow the amendment
*Renewal of the licence of Astral Media Radio G.P.'s CKCR-FM, Revelstoke from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2017. The CRTC noted a previous short-term renewal of the licence in view of non-compliance but that in the licence term to the end of August this year the station had been in compliance.
Administrative renewals from 1 December 2010 to 31 March 2011 of the following licences: It noted that this decision does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences.
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHDI-FM Edmonton, and CJOK-FM, Fort McMurray, and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island.
*Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc.'s CKBC-FM, Bathurst.
*MZ Media Inc.'s CFMZ-FM, Toronto, and CFMX-FM, Cobourg.
*Norwesto Communications Ltd.'s CKQV-FM, Vermilion Bay, and its transmitters CKQV-FM-1, Dryden; CKQV-FM-2, Kenora; and CKQV-FM-3, Sioux Lookout.
*Astral Media Radio inc.'s CITE-FM-1, Sherbrooke, and its transmitter CITE-FM-2, Sherbrooke, plus CITF-FM Québec.
*Administrative renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of Edmonton Urban Partnership's (The partners are CTV Limited and Milestone Media Broadcasting (Edmonton) Limited) CHBN-FM, Edmonton.
*Short-term renewals from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licences of:
*Newcap Inc.'s CFCW-FM, Camrose, CKWY-FM, Wainwright, and CJXK-FM, Grand Centre: The CRTC noted that the licensee failed to meet the deadline for the stations' contributions to Canadian talent development (CTD) for the 2004-2005 broadcast year in response to which Newcap said that it has since corrected its procedures to ensure that all future contributions are made by the 31 August deadline.
*Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CKNW-AM, New Westminster: The CRTC noted that in the 2008-2009 broadcast year the licensee may have failed to comply with the Canadian content development (CCD) contribution required from it. The failure related to CAD 23,700 (USD 26,800) paid to Kettleby Communications Inc. for the production of a talk radio program aired on seven Corus-owned and six other radio stations in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Corus submitted that the program fostered the development of talk radio talent by providing Kettleby with a multi-provincial platform to support, train and develop potential new talent but the CRTC took the view that the expenses are regular programming expenses and has given the licensee 60 days to tell it to which eligible CCD initiatives the funds have now been redirected.
*Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CJPG-FM Portage la Prairie: The CRTC noted that the licensee had a shortfall in the licensee's CTD contributions for the 2003-2004 to 2007-2008 broadcast years and in its CCD contributions for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. Golden West stated that the CTD and CCD shortfalls resulted from oversight and that it has since made the necessary payments.
*Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CFBG-FM, Bracebridge: The CRTC noted that the licensee had a shortfall in its required CCD contribution for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. Haliburton said this occurred because of a misinterpretation of the implementation of the new CCD regime and the commission added that the shortfall has since been made up.
*Short-term renewals from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licences of:
*Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CKLP-FM, Parry Sound: The CRTC noted that the licensee had a shortfall in its CTD contribution for the 2003-2004 to 2005-2006 broadcast years - since paid to eligible initiatives - and also that the licensee that the licensee failed to comply with regulations relating to the broadcast of Canadian musical selections from content category 2 (Popular music).
*Corus Radio Company's CFHK-FM, St. Thomas: The CRTC noted that in the 2008-2009 broadcast year the licensee contributed CAD 230 to a non-eligible CCD initiative.,
*176100 Canada Inc.'s CKYQ-FM, Plessisville, and its transmitter CKYQ-FM-1, Victoriaville: The CRTC noted failure by the licensee to make its basic annual contributions to CCD for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. The licensee said the violation occurred because it was not aware that the new CCD regime had taken effect.
*Radio Haute Mauricie inc.'s CFLM-AM, La Tuque: The CRTC noted that in the 2008-2009 broadcast year, the licensee contributed more than the amount required under the Regulations but did not allocate 60% of that contribution to MUSICACTION.
*Radio du Golfe inc.'s CFMV-FM, Chandler: The CRTC noted late filing of annual returns for the 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 broadcast years and also non-compliance with respect to the broadcast of French-language vocal music.
In the UK, Ofcom's sole radio-related posting was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint (See RNW Nov 23).
In the US, the most significant announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to progress in relation to Sirius XM's commitment to make 4% of the channel capacity on both the Sirius and XM satellite systems available to "qualified" entities.
The FCC had issued implementation details last month (See RNW Oct 19) including a revised definition of what constitutes a "Qualified Entry" and last week announced that Sirius XM has posted details of the leasing conditions at www.siriusxm.com/qualifiedentity: On this site the company amongst other things has posted a definition of a "Qualified Entity"; given broad details of the programming it is looking for on the channels- "Programming representing diverse viewpoints and/or diverse entertainment content; improved service to historically underserved audiences; original content of a type not otherwise available to Sirius XM subscribers; access to new sources of content and new entrants to mass media"; and the deadlines that have to be met - Proposals have to be submitted by January 7 with tentative selections advised to the Commission on March 2 next year and lease agreements to be signed by April 17.
The FCC has also extended by six months to the end of September next year the deadline by which broadcasters have to implement new Emergency Alert System (EAS) protocols(See RNW Nov 25) and on the enforcement front substituted an admonishment for a proposed USD 10,000 penalty on the former licensee of a Washington State FM (See RNW Nov 23).
The agency also announced an Open Commission Meeting on November 30 with an agenda that includes consideration of a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on steps to promote innovation and efficiency in spectrum use under Part 5 Experimental Radio Service (ERS)" and "a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on promoting more intensive and efficient use of the radio spectrum, thereby potentially enabling more effective spectrum management, through dynamic spectrum use technologies."
In radio licensing decisions it has announced that it is to delete Channel 299C2 at Pacific Junction, Iowa from the Table of FM Allotments because of difficulties encountered by Connoisseur Media, LLC., the permittee of Station KGGG-FM, Pacific Junction, in overcoming objections raised by the Federal Aviation Authority (FCC) to activation of the channel.
In deleting the channel, the FCC noted that there "are no other FM channels that could be substituted for Channel 299C2 at Pacific Junction and no alternate FAA frequencies to remedy this problem."
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-11-27: Technical staff at Indian state broadcasters All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DDI TV), who went on strike on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, have now said they will strike again for three days from December 13:
Last week's strike, the first by staff of both organisations was in protest amongst other things at the Prasar Bharati Act, which they say gives the broadcasters autonomy only in day-to-day matters but not financial viability and it severely affected AIR with some 90% of broadcast hubs being disrupted and around half the TV operations.
The Prasar Bharati Act put the broadcasters, previously controlled by the government, under the control of Prasar Bharati (the Broadcasting Corporation of India) from 1997 but led to protests over the status of staff and an amendment this year called for all employees who had joined the broadcasters to be given the status of government employees but they say this has not addressed practical issues of finance and that many of them have not been paid.
Last year the National Federation of Akashvani and Doordarshan Employees (NFADE) had called for a rollback of the Act but this was ruled out by the government, which then insisted that those employees hired after October 2007 would remain employees of Prasar Bharati (See RNW Jan 31, 2009)
NFADE chairman S Anilkumar said there was "money to upgrade infrastructure at Prasar Bharati. Our office buildings are in shambles. Prasar Bharati is not financially viable" and added "We want to function as independent media units but under the government."
On its website the union offers "Congratulations to all members for the grand success of the "BOYCOTT Of Duties" and goes on "The 48 Hrs. BOYCOTT was a precursor to larger agitations. Keep united and work hard to make the organisation strong and united."
It notes that in a meeting with the Indian government's Regional Labour Commissioner Shri B.B. Bhatnagar, and representatives of the Ministry of Information of Broadcasting, Prasar Bharati, AIR, and DDI, the Commissioner had directed that no punitive actions were to be taken against the employees involved in the action but the representatives of the Ministry and Prasar Bharati had reiterated their view that the matter had been raised in parliament and that they had no authority to act. Parliament, they said, would have to vote to repeal the Act.
In a letter sent to the Commissioner the union said of the change from government control, "This move was expected to enable the organization to function freely and fearlessly as a true Public Service Broadcaster. The irony is; even today the public broadcaster is at the crossroads, without having slightest idea about the direction it will be heading in times to come, if things are allowed to continue in the prevailing manner. In fact, years of experiments and uncertainty have dented the reputation of the organization. With the presence of de-motivating factors all around, it is becoming extremely challenging for the professionals within the organization to keep the standards high.
The experiments over the last 12 years proved that Prasar Bharati is not only financially unviable but defeated its very basic concept."
Previous AIR (All India Radio):
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
NFADE web site:
2010-11-26: According to the Associated Press US talk show host Laura Schlessinger (Dr Laura) is to move to satellite radio in the New Year.
Schlessinger had announced in August, following a furore over her use of the word "nigger" eleven times in a conversation with a black woman, that she was to end her show when her contract ran out at the end of this year (See RNW Aug 18)
According to the AP she has agreed a multi-year deal with Sirius XM and will make her debut on satellite three days later on Monday January 3.
So far there has been no confirmation of the story, which did not carry any details of the agreement, either by Sirius XM or on Schlessinger's web site.
RNW comment: This report has all the hallmarks of someone getting mixed up with their dates since the AP said Sirius XM had said on Monday that it had agreed the deal. Our bet is that the story was due for release next Monday.
Previous Dr Laura ( Schlessinger):
Previous Sirius XM:
AP report (on Yahoo):
2010-11-26: UK media regulator Ofcom has revoked the licences of four adult TV Channels against whom it had upheld a large number of complaints, three of them operated by Bang Channels Ltd and the fourth by Bang Media (London) Ltd.
All four channels Tease Me; Tease Me 2; Tease Me 3; and Tease Me TV are under the same control and have the same directors and compliance team.
In all Ofcom had found the stations to have committed 48 separate breaches of the Broadcasting Code in respect of material contained in 45 programmes broadcast on Tease Me, Tease Me 2, Tease Me 3 and Tease Me TV (Freeview) in the period between 18 March 2009 and 6 August 2010 and in July had fined the licensees a total of GBP 157,250 (approx USD 245,000).
RNW note: Normally we do not carry TV stories but in view of the names of the licensee and channels involved we felt unable to resist this particular one.
2010-11-25: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments on Toronto rock station CILQ-FM (Q107) concerning Gypsies' illegal activities breached Canadian Broadcasting Codes by unduly stereotyping an ethnic group.
The remarks were made during " The Last Word" segment on "Derringer in the Morning" hosted by John Derringer, Maureen Holloway and Ryan Parker on the Corus-owned station. The hosts focussed on comments made by pop singer Madonna about Roma Gypsies and began with Maureen Holloway noting that she had a troupe of Romani Gypsies travelling with her in her show and had been booed when she told an audience of sixty thousand in Bucharest that the discrimination against Gypsies made her sad.
Holloway then went on, "She didn't say anything about the tramps and the thieves, but [Derringer & Holloway laugh]. They said, oh, give it a Bucharest, Madonna! [all laugh] Ha-, er, most, apparently, like, half of the Gypsy tribes come originally from, from Romania, which is why they're called Rom-, Romani Gypsies. But, uh, I find them fascinating because people don't really know exactly where they came from. And what their ethnic origin is. Uh, but they are maligned, um, throughout Europe. We don't seem to have a Gypsy problem here."
Derringer later commented "The problem is that they happen to do a lot of illegal activity on the side. You know, most of them aren't workin' nine-to-five jobs" to which Holloway responded, "Really? They're not stealing babies and crossing a palm with silver? [Derringer & Parker laugh] Did you ever watch The Riches?"
A listener complained about the show saying that in a report about racism in the crowd at the Madonna concert Holloway that supported the stereotypes and racist beliefs that some have, including the Romanian audience at the concert, regarding the Roma Gypsy people and that rather than shutting her down, the show's host, Mr. John Derringer, made his own racist and stereotyping comments.
The complainant continued on to say, "I was appalled that Q107 would condone the racism of a Romanian crowd, and would add their own "fuel to the fire" of racism against anyone. Further, the language selected by the Q107 morning show cast (for example, Ms. Holloway refers to the "Gypsy Problem") was strikingly reminiscent of the language in Hitler's Germany right before the Second World War. I am not accusing the Q107 hosts of being Nazis. I am accusing them of being horrendously ignorant of history, multicultural ethics and the way that their words will affect their listeners, specifically those who hate Gypsies and those who are Gypsies. I myself am not a Gypsy, but I know enough history to recognize fascistic language when I hear it. I hope your organization does too."
The complainant then took up the matter with the program director and said that at first, after listening to the tape, he did not agree with me, and thought there was no problem with this broadcast but after some 30 minutes of debate acknowledged there might be an issue.
The station later sent a letter to the complainant saying it understood the comments had been found offensive but denying that they breached Codes.
The complainant in taking the issue to the CBSC commented amongst other things, "Q107 is shamelessly unafraid: unafraid of hurting Gypsies, unafraid of my complaint, unafraid of right and wrong, and unafraid of your organization. They would rather stick to their guns when they know they are wrong than apologize and move on."
The CBSC Ontario Regional Panel in its ruling said that it did not consider that "the stereotypical observations were abusive" or "unduly discriminatory" although they were on the "cusp of being unduly discriminatory" but it did hold that the hosts had "unduly stereotyped an ethnic group".
2010-11-25: BBC director general, Mark Thompson has said in a speech to a Voice of the Listener and Viewer conference in London that the corporation's new licence deal under which its licence fee will be frozen for six years was better than it would have got had it attempted to negotiate a new agreement next year as originally scheduled but also admitted that there will be to a "a significant reduction in services as well as job losses" at BBC World Service, whose funding has been cut back.
The BBC will not take over the funding of the service from the Foreign Office from April 2014 under the agreement but Thompson added that he would increase the service's budget when responsibility moved to the Corporation.
The BBC's current charter runs until 2017 and Thompson said of the service, "It is our intention, subject to approval from the BBC Trust, to increase investment in the World Service again and hold it at a higher level until the end of the Charter period."
2010-11-25: In North America deadlines have been extended by both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), one in relation to Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) and the other to the filing of annual returns.
In the US, the deadline for broadcasters and others involved to implement the new federal common messaging protocol adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the transmission of next generation emergency alerts and warnings to the public has been extended from March 29 to September 30 next year.
The FCC said its decision was based on public comment and a specific recommendation by the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). This federal advisory committee in calling for the extension cited factors including the need for more time for the development, testing and potential certification of the new equipment and the costs associated with purchasing the CAP-compliant equipments by EAS participants. The FCC took these factors into consideration and extended the deadline from 180 days to 360 days for EAS participants to come into compliance.
Commenting on the move, the Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau James Arden Barnett, Jr., Rear Admiral (ret.) said, "We are pleased to provide the extension to broadcasters and other EAS participants to come into CAP-compliance. It is critical that we get this right from the beginning and after weighing considerable public input calling for an extension, we believe today's action to do so provides broadcasters and other EAS participants with greater flexibility to meet the technical requirements for delivering next generation emergency alerts to the public."
In Canada the CRTC has extended from the end of this month until December 15 the deadline for the country's broadcasters to file their annual returns.
It says it has made the extension because of "intermittent down time and delays that occurred over the last 10 days."
2010-11-25: Sirius and XM in Canada have announced that they are to follow the lead of their American parents and merge in an all-stock deal that values the combined enterprise at around USD 520 million, including long-term debt of approximately USD 130 million.
The boards of both Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (CSR), parent company of XM Canada and Sirius Canada Inc have unanimously approved the agreement.
Under it Sirius Canada's shareholders will be issued treasury shares of CSR representing a 58.0 per cent equity interest in CSR immediately following closing of the transaction. After closing major shareholders will include CSRI Inc, an entity controlled by CSR chairman John Bitove that currently controls 77% of the votes of CSR, with a 30.0 per cent voting interest (22.7 per cent equity interest); CBC/Radio-Canada with a 20.2 per cent voting interest (15.0 per cent equity interest); Slaight Communications with a20.2 per cent voting interest (15.0 per cent equity interest); and Sirius XM Radio Inc. with a 25.0 per cent voting interest (37.1 per cent equity interest);
After the deal goes through CSR it is proposed that CSR will be chaired by Bitove and will have nine directors on its board to include two directors nominated by each of CSRI Inc. and Sirius XM, one director nominated by each of CBC/Radio-Canada and Slaight Communications and three independent members.
The combined company will have more than 1.7 million subscribers and pro forma revenues in excess of USD 200 million, pro forma EBITDA of approximately USD 7 million, and long-term debt of approximately USD 130 million and the merger is expected to yield synergies of approximately USD 20 million within 18 months by allowing the combined company to better manage costs through improved efficiencies and greater economies of scale.
Mark Redmond, the current President and CEO of Sirius Canada, will be President and CEO of the combined company and Michael Washinushi, the current CFO of XM Canada, will become its CFO. The companies will continue to operate independently until the transaction is completed and Michael Moskowitz will remain as CEO of XM Canada and Jason Redman will remain as CFO of Sirius Canada
The agreement is subject to approval by shareholders and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Commenting on the agreement in a news release, Bitove said, "This creates long-term shareholder value for CSR. As a combined entity, XM Canada and Sirius Canada will deliver exceptional value to subscribers, and enhance the long-term success of satellite radio in Canada " and Redmond added, "The benefits of a merger are clear and together we'll be better able to create more growth and opportunity for shareholders, accelerate technological innovation and ensure that satellite radio is able to compete in the rapidly evolving audio entertainment industry. This combination is the next logical step in the evolution of satellite radio in Canada."
CSR has also announced plans to exchange USD 69.8 million of its outstanding unsecured senior notes for new unsecured senior notes of CSR with different terms and says that holders representing a majority of the outstanding unsecured notes have agreed to negotiate in good faith the exchange offer circular and consent solicitation statement, It adds that Concurrent with the closing of the exchange offer, CSR anticipates issuing additional new unsecured senior notes on a private placement basis to accredited investors - for a total of USD 130 million of long term debt in the combined entity.
Previous CBC/Radio Canada:
Previous Sirius Canada:
Previous Sirius XM:
Previous XM Canada/CSR:
2010-11-24: In a split over the promotion of digital radio in the UK, a number of UK commercial radio groups have refused to run adverts promoting DAB in the run up to Christmas and the New Year. They want the BBC to spend more on DAB.
Global Radio, GMG Radio and UKRD, the latter a long-time critic of DAB, have all refused to run the adverts that were launched at the start of this week in a digital radio Christmas campaign.
Digital Radio UK said the adverts were running on other commercial stations including Absolute, UTV, Orion and KMFM and some individual stations such as Planet Rock and Jazz FM and in addition some other companies whose inventories were currently full would be airing them next month, presumably a reference to Bauer, whose stations are not currently running the adverts.
A spokeswoman told the UK Guardian, whose parent owns GMG Radio, "Commercial radio operators are currently in discussions with government and the BBC about the provision of funding for local DAB coverage, and some stations are waiting until those conversations are further advanced before they air the industry campaign. Digital Radio UK hopes that the remaining stations will participate in the second wave of the campaign in December."
This is identical wording to a statement from commercial radio body the RadioCentre, quoted in the UK Independent.
Both papers and others quoted UKRD chief executive William Rogers who has attacked the advert as misleading, charges he has made about DAB promotions before this one: Rogers said the "The BBC should be ashamed of themselves for running this ad. They are telling their listeners to buy something which they know isn't ready for us yet."
He expanded on this in a letter to BBC Director General Mark Thompson in which he referred to his earlier comments about the misleadingly-named "Radio Amnesty" campaign under which people were encouraged to trade in their old receivers for a new DAB one (See RNW May 27).
"We strongly opposed this campaign at the time and our fifteen stations did not take part in this activity," he wrote continuing on to say "we believed it to be misleading and inappropriate bearing in mind the present circumstances surrounding the shambles that is DAB migration."
He then went on, "Following the publication of the Consumer Expert Groups report a few weeks ago and its highly critical assessment of the amnesty (See RNW Sep 15), I am writing to seek your assurance that you will not allow the BBC to be drawn into this kind of misleading activity should such an amnesty be proposed a second time. It is, I am sure you will agree, wholly inappropriate for a publicly funded broadcasting organisation like the BBC to be using its muscle in the market place to support a campaign which has been criticised as 'raising a number of concerns among consumers and consumer groups.'"
He ended by writing, "I hope that after reviewing my letter, and also taking further stock of the views of the Consumer Expert Group, which was set up by the DCMS to consider these very issues, you will give the appropriate guidance to your executives to decline the opportunity to get involved in such a poor, misleading and wholly inappropriate marketing exercise again."
The Guardian said Global Radio and GMG Radio had declined comment on their actions but a BBC spokesman said: "We remain committed to building the digital future for radio and are working with the government and the industry on the digital radio action plan, in particular to plan how best to build out local DAB coverage and to determine how this could be funded."
RNW comment: From at one time being in favour of DAB, albeit on the basis of a market-led approach, we tend now to agree with Rogers. The current UK system, based on MP2 encoding is woefully outdated and it seems to us that there is a major benefit at the moment in analogue in that AM/FM.SW portable receivers are widely available and of use worldwide. We firmly believe that there should be no mandated switch to digital and that digital receivers should have to be both upgradeable (why should receivers not be made with a standard module connection to allow just a chip to be replaced in future rather than scraping the rest of a good receiver) and also multi-standard to cope with not just DAB and its derivatives but also DRM. Ideally we'd like to add HD but in view of its proprietary nature we think a much better approach would have been for the US to also allow DRM and let the market decide. It's now much too late but we would still like to see HD confined as much as possible, other systems to be allowed in the US and then let the market decide. Manufacturers could, of course, choose to add HD to chipsets for those who wanted to travel to the US and its satellites but we suspect the market would not be very large compared to the global market for multi-standard receivers for analogue plus DAB and DRM-based systems.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co (ultimate parent of Absolute Radio):
Previous Digital Radio UK/Get Digital Radio:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Guardian Media Group:
Previous Jazz FM:
Previous Planet Rock:
2010-11-24: Radio One Inc. has announced that it has completed its refinancing that included the exchange for new notes of its 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 (the "2011 Notes") and its 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013.
The company adds that it retired approximately USD 296.2 million in aggregate principal amount of the Existing Notes, comprised of approximately USD 97.0 million, or approximately 95.5%, in aggregate principal amount of the 2011 Notes and approximately USD 199.3 million, or approximately 99.6%, in aggregate principal amount of the 2013 Notes. In addition its amendment to its senior secured credit facility has also become effective.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-11-24: Citadel Broadcasting has disclosed in a series of filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) details of stock options it has made to executives and members of its board following an earlier decision to rescind stock grants and replace them with the options after action taken by investor group R2 (R-squared - See RNW Nov 3).
By far the largest grants go to CEO Farid Suleman who receives options to purchase 1,897,193 shares of the company's Class A common stock for USD 28 and a further 632,398 at USD 32 in three annual instalments beginning on June 3:
All the other options granted are also split into options at USD 28 and USD 32 and vest in three annual instalments and expire in November 2020: After Suleman there is a massive drop with the next highest number of options going to COO Judy Ellis (99,798 shares at USD 28 and USD 33,265 at USD 32) and then to CFO Randy Taylor and VP/General Counsel Jacqueline Orr (each receive 79,838 shares at USD 28 and 26,613 shares at USD 32.). The directors receive 47,434 options at USD 28 and 15,811 at USD 32.
RNW comment: At the moment the options are worthless - Citadel stock is currently USD 24.50 - but Suleman and Co have a decade to exercise them so they'll have to fail on the same scale as they have so far not to do fairly well, not forgetting of course, substantial basic pay.
2010-11-23: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has posted details of the "Persona Radio Project", a development by iBiquity Digital that allows a degree of personalization of the receiver.
Described by iBiquity as a "smart radio project" (put in parenthesis, possibly because even they realise this is a marketing description rather than an accurate one: The term is in general use for "cognitive radio", a transmitter/receiver system that can use the most appropriate interface at any given moment through scanning a wide range of spectrum and then using an appropriate band, thus allowing more efficient use of spectrum) the system according to the company allows personalization of "every aspect of the service and its timing" including audio content; text related to that content; independent text (such as messages); advertisements (We wonder if it allows an option to filter them out?) ; and "Time and association of the service - actual live play/display or content substitute (from memory)."
The NAB in a release says, "The Persona Radio is a proof-of-concept advanced receiver design that would allow users to create a customizable listening experience and create opportunities for behavioural targeted advertising. Aspects of the listening experience that are customizable include audio content, text displays and advertisements. The report released today details the concept of how the Persona service would work, the supporting broadcast infrastructure, and a variety of possible listener use cases."
The personalization could be defined by a combination of factors set by the user and broadcaster to include a profile stored in the receiver: The first could include the current state of the user - their location, the activities they say they are engaged in etc whilst the broadcaster would be able to enable content with alternative audible formats; Provide relevant advertisements, coupons, etc.; and Provide information regarding relevant events
As potential benefits iBiquity says the system could aid in listener retention though "operational scenarios" such as tuning to "a specific station (or stations) at power up (RNW comment: And we thought that out current receiver did the former and are not sure about the concept of listening to more than one station at a time, which is presumably what the plural option means?); linking to links to a specific website (or websites) when connected to the Internet (our browser can already do that); allowing a station's slogan to live "long after an advertisement expires" (RNW Comment: No thank you); with potential further features through more advances receivers that could work in conjunction with conditional access or GPS technology to allow updating of services according to location.
RNW note: In all iBiquity's document runs 40 pages with various examples of how systems could work. Going through it, we find nothing as advanced as the options already available through the internet; much that we personally wouldn't want (such as the receiver displaying a "Happy Birthday" message and playing birthday greetings or the same on Holidays - accompanied, of course by product tokens to try and get us to buy more rubbish we don't want, thank you.
In terms of technical quality of audio, the system assumes a default rate for substitute content of 24kbps (thus delivering pretty poor quality) and in terms of content storage says that a typical receiver is assumed to story content from six stations using memory of 37.2MB for a day/260 MB a day and 1.1GB for a month at the station and the same per single station at the receiver and 1.6GB a week for six stations at the receiver.
Most of the descriptions relate to pushing products to the listener and we saw nothing about the copyright implications of storing content such as music.
All in all our view is we'd rather do without most of it (we might welcome an option that switched to another station whenever adverts are on) and stick to pre-sets plus manual tuning with resultant serendipitous discovery of new sources or just go for internet audio.
Persona Radio Project (40-page 943 kb PDF):
2010-11-23: Veteran Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, who joined Chicago Public Media's Vocalo.org last year after accepting as payoff from the Chicago Sun-Times for whom he had reported for 28 years has announced that he is leaving the organization and expects to make .an announcement about his new online home soon.
He comments that "With the recent redesign of the Vocalo blogs and their move to a new site at wbez.org; I have decided its time for me to leave Chicago Public Media" and then goes on to thank CPM "...and especially its outstanding CEO, Torey Malatia, for giving me the opportunity to launch my new career as a blogger."
I will be grateful to him forever for his confidence, support and encouragement." adds Feder.
2010-11-23: UK media regulator Ofcom has upheld one radio complaint in its latest bulletin in which it also revoked a TV licence and upheld standards complaints in five TV rulings as well as posting details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
The radio complaint was against West Wiltshire station Star 107.5 and a programme in which the presenter invited listeners to visit the stations website to find out about discounts offered by a number of local visitors and then went on to mention two businesses by name and detail some specific offers.
A listener complained that the reference were tantamount to advertising to which the station said no payment had been received for the inclusion of the references and argued that the references were editorially justified in view of the presenter's clear definition of the feature as a "special offer" which invited listeners "to access a variety of limited exclusive services through the station website."
Ofcom disagreed and ruled that there had been two breaches of the rules governing mentions of products in programming.
The numbers compare with a ruling that a Lanarkshire radio station breached its format in its previous bulletin in which it also upheld standards complaints in 19 TV cases, found three cases of advertising minutage and partly upheld a TV fairness and privacy complaint and gave details of another TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 361 complaints against 119 TV items (177 against various editions of the X-Factor) and six radio complaints against six items that it did not uphold: This compared to 261 complaints against 146 TV items and 16 radio complaints against 16 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2010-11-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a proposed USD 10,000 penalty on Peak Communications, Inc., former licensee of KYKV-FM (formerly KQBE-FM), Selah, Washington, and substituted an admonishment.
The FCC had issued a USD 1-0,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in February 2008 for failure to maintain the station's public inspection file: The breach came to light when Peak, which sold the station to Educational Media Foundation later in 2008, filed a renewal application and said that from 1999 through 2004, it failed to prepare or maintain issues/programs lists for any quarter during that six year period. Peak responded to the NAL by asking for cancellation or reduction on hardship grounds and submitted copies of its 2005, 2006 and 2007 federal income tax returns, specifying gross revenues in the amounts of USD 48,849, USD 45,624, and
USD 33,871, respectively, for average yearly gross revenue of USD 42,781. During the same three-year period, Peak had net losses exceeding USD 218,600,
On the basis of the figures the FCC cancelled the fine and substituted an admonishment.
2010-11-22: Radio One Inc. has announced that it had regained compliance with NASDAQ minimum price rules following a notice of deficiency received on September 20 after its Class D shares closed below the required minimum USD 1 level for 30 consecutive days. To regain compliance the shares had to close above the minimum price for ten consecutive days - they closed up 2.4% at USD 1.28 today and had closed below a dollar on only two days - October 25 and 26 when they were at 98 cents - since October 20.
Earlier Radio One had announced that it is now proceeding with its refinancing following the success of its Amended Exchange Offer relating to its 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 and its 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013. At the deadline last Friday approximately 98% of the combined aggregate principal amount outstanding of the 2011 Notes and the 2013 Notes had been validly tendered and not withdrawn and approximately 96% in aggregate principal amount outstanding of the 2011 Notes had been validly tendered and not withdrawn, which together satisfied the minimum tender conditions of the Amended Exchange Offer.
Under the amended terms it needed only a 90% acceptance for the 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 and 95% for the 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013
The company says that it intends to accept all notes tendered in the offer and has set November 24 as the Settlement Date. It also intends to pay accrued but unpaid interest on any Existing Notes tendered in the Amended Exchange Offer on the Settlement Date when the pending amendment to its secured credit facility becomes effective.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-11-22: Univision Radio, which had been amongst the critics of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) and which last year announced that it was not going to renew its PPM contracts in most markets, had now announced a multi-year contract for the ratings in 12 markets.
They are Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
The company had continued to subscribe in Houston, one of two markets where the methodology is accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC).
Ceril Shagrin, executive vice president of Audience Measurement Innovation and Analytics, Univision Communications Inc., commented in an Arbitron news release, "Reliable ratings data are vitally important for all stakeholders in the radio marketplace. Based on the steps taken by Arbitron to date to improve the PPM service, and on Arbitron's commitment to continue its current efforts to improve the service, we concluded that we could begin subscribing to the PPM service again. We remain committed to ensuring that the industry has access to the most reliable ratings data by working closely in partnership with Arbitron."
For Arbitron, Carol Hanley, executive vice president and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Arbitron Inc., said, "Univision Radio's commitment to the PPM radio ratings service is one more vote of confidence in the value and utility of Arbitron's electronic ratings for radio. We are grateful for the support and, as part of our renewed partnership with Univision Radio, we will work together to promote the value of radio to agencies, advertisers and the communities it serves."
Earlier its Custom Sports Services had announced the launch of its Event Retention Index (ERI), a new metric for its PPM Radio Ratings service subscribers that can provide more detail on the extent to which audiences "stay tuned" to sports broadcasts.
The index estimates the proportion of a station's audience that stays tuned for the complete quarter hours (all fifteen minutes) during a game relative to the average of the top 20 stations in the same market for weekdays from 0600 to 1900.
Arbitron's Custom Sports Services measured ERI during the 2010 Major League Baseball season and it indicated that people who tuned to MLB play-by-play on the radio were more likely to stay tuned in to a complete quarter hour of the broadcast than listeners to typical programming among the top 20 stations.
2010-11-21: Last week again remained very quiet for the regulators as far as radio was concerned with no radio postings from Australia or Ireland and only a few elsewhere.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted the following licensing decisions (in order of province):
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKIK-FM Limited's CHQR-AM, Calgary: The CRTC noted that in the 2008-2009 broadcast year, the licensee may have failed to comply with the Canadian content development (CCD) contribution requirement of its licence. CKIK had made payments totalling CAD 28,450 (USD 28,100) to various organizations that it said were made in good faith although it now understood they did not qualify as they fell within the station's normal cost of doing business. The amount had now been redirected to eligible initiatives.
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Larche Communications Inc.'s CICX-FM, Orillia: The CRTC noted that was a shortfall in the licensee's CCD (Canadian Content Development) contribution for the 2007-2008 broadcast year.
The licensee its non-compliance occurred because its accountant assumed that CICX-FM would not be subject to the new requirements set out in the Commercial Radio Policy until its licence renewal and said it would pay the shortfall immediately.
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.'s CFJB-FM, Barrie: The CRTC noted that the licensee filed its annual returns late for the 2003-2004 to 2005-2006 broadcast years - put down by the company to poor internal procedures that have now been changed.
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licences of Telephone City Broadcast Limited's CKPC-FM and CKPC-AM, Brantford: The CRTC noted that the licensee filed its annual returns for the 2008-2009 broadcast year late and also that the stations had a had a shortfall in their CTD (Canadian Talent Development) contributions for the 2007-2008 broadcast year and in their CCD contributions for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. Telephone City noted that the non-compliance occurred before the effective control of Telephone City changed from the Estate of R.D. Buchanan to William Vasil Evanov and also said they resulted from the implementation of the new CCD regime and from confusion following the death of the previous owner. It confirmed it has now resolved the issues.
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited's CKOT-FM, Tillsonburg: The CRTC noted that the licensee filed its annual returns late for the 2004-2005 to 2006-2007 broadcast years - put down by the company to a number of reasons including a company re-organization.
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy inc.'s CJSO-FM, Sorel-Tracy: The CRTC noted that in the week from 2 to 8 March 2008, CJSO-FM devoted 59.4% of the week's musical selections to vocal musical selections in the French language although its is required to devote 65% or more. The licensee subsequently said it had taken measures to ensure future compliance.
The CRTC also noted that it the Commission received and considered an intervention from the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ), which had recommended a short-term renewal.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has announced that it is to re-award local commercial radio licences for a period of seven years rather than the current five years following a consultation in which it received seven responses, some of which favoured re-advertisement for 12 years, the maximum that the regulator can offer, largely to preserve its commitment to a switchover to digital radio (See RNW Nov 16).
Ofcom also published its Annual Report on Community Radio, the third such report since the first community station launched in November 2005.
Ofcom has now licensed 228 stations over two rounds of licensing: 181 of these are broadcasting, a further 17 have either decided not to launch or have handed their licence back, largely to due to funding problems, and the remainder are preparing to launch. The agency is now considering whether to hold a third round of community radio licensing.
Of the stations 184 are in England, 14 in Northern Ireland, 20 in Scotland and 10 in Wales with 17% in an urban/suburban area and 43%) in a town/rural area.
Amongst communities serves are minority ethnic groups (14%), a youth audience (11%) and religious groups (7%).
Ofcom notes in the report in relation to its requirement for key commitments annual reports from each station it received 128 for the period April 2009 to March 2010 in addition to which two stations were excused from providing financial reports and one station did not provide its financial report in time to be included in this report. One station did not submit either its key commitments or financial reports and stations that launched during the period were not required to supply the reports.
For the year 2009/10 the average (mean) station's income was around GBP 74,500 (USD 118,900) - down around 6% on the previous year. The median figure, the mid-point in the distribution of station's income, was considerably lower at GBP 44,500 (USD 71,000): The four highest earning stations, took in a total of just over GBP 1.6 million (USD 2.55 million), which equates roughly to the total income of the 66 lowest income stations.
In terms of communities served, those targeting a community of interest rather than a geographic area fared better financially with services targeting minority ethnic communities had an average income of GBP 80,000. Stations serving a general audience in an urban area reported a higher average income than town/rural stations (GBP 83,000 -USD 132,000 - as opposed to GBP 56,500 - USD 90,000).
Public funding accounted to 37% of the total sector revenue with around 8% of it from local authorities and a quarter from other public bodies such as the Arts Council, health providers, educational establishments and various national lottery award schemes.
In terms of people the volunteers involved with community stations ranged from one to 300 with an average of around 75 and Ofcom adds that they contribute close to 170,000 hours a month or over two million hours per year to community radio.
In all around 11 million people are now able to tune into community radio stations across the UK- up 17% year-on-year and an by 36% since 2008.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a very quiet week as regards radio albeit a busy one taking up various inns and lodges for exceeding leakage limits in aeronautical frequency bands.
It has however posted two FM allotment notices, one in Alaska where Educational Media Foundation proposed the allotment of FM Channels 224C2 and 232C2 at Fairbanks, Alaska, as potentially the community's tenth and eleventh commercial FM transmission service. No other comments were made and the channels are to be allocated although no filing window is to be opened until later.
In Arizona, Cochise Media Licenses LLC, which won FM Channel 268C3 at Peach Springs, has been given permission to modify the allotment to Channel 267C2, Oatman, and has also proposed the allotment of Channel 281C3 at Peach Springs, Arizona, in order to maintain a first local service at Peach Springs.
The FCC as well as allowing the move is to allow Channel 281C3 at Peach Springs and will open a filing window for it in the future.
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
Ofcom Community Radio Report ( 620 kb 720-page PDF):
2010-11-20: According to a study from Alethea Research group-owned US radio stations are pulling ahead of independently-owned ones in deploying new technology to generate revenues.
The report, sponsored by Wheatstone Corporation, also says that a majority of radio stations expect that in 15 years they will have more online listeners than over-the-air ones but despite this few expect to turn off their transmitters.
Although transmitters are unlikely to be turned off according to most respondents, some did suggest they might stitch off analogue signals: Mike Cooney, VP of Engineering and CTO of the Beasley Broadcast Group, commented, "There may be a time down the road when we turn off our analogue signals but continue with just our digital signals. We will have multiple channels of digital and may make as much money transmitting data services as we do from our radio product. Because there is a lot of bandwidth in the HD signal, there could be many different services, such as the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, where we transmit traffic data on the HD signal. By then, there could be many other kinds of data services we could be taking advantage of."
Wheatstone Vice President Andrew Calvanese said of the study that it "comes to the radio industry at a critical time."
"As traditional ad revenue has declined," he continued, "radio organizations are experimenting with new technologies that will add revenue by enabling them to deliver programming through a variety of new channels."
Almost all technology staff in radio, says the report, expect the internet to play a bigger part in the future of radio and streaming a station's signal has the biggest earning potential of the new revenue generating technologies.
It also finds that there is a similar level of deployment of new technologies that require little capital investment by both stand alone operators and groups but when significant investment is required the group owned stations deploy them at twice the level.
As far as programming is concerned the study finds that within three years station technology is likely to be more centred on IT with more automation, as well as more networking between stations, IT networks, and office and audio networks.
For group owners it says the most important reason for stations buying Audio over IP (AOIP) networks it says was to reduce maintenance costs whilst for standalone stations it was to enable the sharing of talent: It adds that amongst those who have installed an AoIP network more than a third of standalone stations found it more difficult than anticipated, twice the rate for group-owned stations.
The report quotes Mark Ramsey, president of Mark Ramsey Media, as suggesting there could be a divergence within the industry and saying, "Part of the difficulty is they are all baby models at this point, and they are all different. Different organizations are following different models: Some people are making money from streaming, others from local events, still others are making money from banner ads. Not everyone is good at following these paths. Radio could end up becoming multiple industries, because [individual] broadcast groups [could] have less in common with each other than they do with companies in other industries."
Matt Lightener, president of the radio system integrator Lightener Electronics commented, "More people are listening to radio on mobile phones or on their office computers. Also, the Internet is interactive, so radio stations will be able to do a lot more to engage listeners in the future."
At Cumulus Media Gary Kline, VP of Engineering and IT, said "None of these technologies will make money for your station unless they are combined with the right tools to monetize them. You need to have the right people, resources, technology training, sales training, and company-wide education. For example, what good is a large investment in streaming going to do for you if your sales force is not prepared to properly sell it?"
HD for once gets favourable mention, being cited as top choice for future broadcasting amongst standalone owners, 17/4% of whom said they would make it their next investment.
Valerie Geller, president of Geller Media International , commented, "Stations can use their HD channels to make money by creating programming for deep targeting of special interests. You go wide with broadcasting; you can go deep with HD or your Internet channels. On the secondary channels, HD and streaming on the Internet, we can do narrowcasting."
Revenue Generating Radio Technologies report (20-page 3.97 MB PDF):
2010-11-19: US radio revenues in the third quarter were up 5% on a year ago to reach USD 4.459 billion with the year to date total up 6% to USD 12.698 billion according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB): In the first quarter they were up 6% to USD 3.687 billion and in the second up by 6% - to USD 4.522 billion
The largest percentage increase - as in previous quarters -was in digital revenues, which were up 23% for the quarter to USD 163 million and are now up 22% for the fist nine months at USD 443 million.
Local revenues were up 3% for the quarter and year to date at USD 2.970 billion and USD 8.464 billion respectively whilst national revenues are up by 10% for the quarter to USD 700 million and 14% for the year-to0date at USD 1.970 billion with combined national and local up 5% for both the quarter and year-to-date at USD 3.670 billion and USD 10.434 billion respectively.
Corresponding revenue rises for other segments were of 4% to USD 271 million and 3% to USD 805 million respectively for network revenues and off 5% to USD 355 million and 2% to USD 1.016 billion for Off-Air.
In terms of industry sectors Communications/Cellular remained in the top rank with a total spend of USD 380.6 million in the quarter (up 6) and up 10% to USD 1.196 billion for the year-to-date but Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers/Rentals has now closed the gap - up 19% for the quarter to USD 365.9 million and up 24% for the year to USD 1.1789 billion.
Other categories recording substantial increases were Department/Discount Stores & Shopping Centers - up 34% for the quarter to USD 188.6 million and 17% for the year to USD 440.0 million; Financial Services - up 32% for the quarter to USD 335.5 million and 28% for the year to USD 952.8 million; Professional Services - up 25USD to USD 71.1 million and 16% to USD 401.1 million; and Television/Networks/Cable Providers - up 18% to USD 325.7 million and up 16% to USD 915.1 million.
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley said of the performance, "Radio has generated steady momentum throughout 2010. Advertisers in Radio's top five reporting categories are up 19% collectively year to date through September - USD 770M over 2009 comps."
"Advertisers who understand the importance of reaching consumers in their local communities have continually increased their use of Radio this year," he added, noting that Automotive, Financial, and Department Store marketers were most notable for "promoting Radio's economic growth."
Previous RAB figures (Second quarter):
2010-11-19: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has apologized to the US Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has accepted the apology, but not to NPR (National Public Radio) for calling NPR executives "Nazis" in an interview with Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast.
In the interview Ailes commented in reference to Juan Williams, who was dropped by NPR after comments he made on Fox News, that Williams was a "pure liberal" whom he wanted to compensate for the loss of his NPR contract.
Fox hired Williams on a USD 2 million three-year contract and Ailes added that he was "mad" about the dismissal and didn't want Williams "to have to call his wife and say we lost money."
He then said of NPR's executives, "They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view. They don't even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive."
In an update to the original report The Beast quoted NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm as saying: "We are disappointed that Mr. Ailes directed his apology only to the ADL, and amazed that his statement substituted a new insult to replace his original scurrilous remark. This ongoing name-calling is offensive to NPR, its member stations and the 27 million listeners who rely on us."
In a letter to ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, Ailes said he was sorry for using the term "Nazi" and added, "I was of course ad-libbing and should not have chosen that word but I was angry at the time because of NPR's willingness to censor Juan Williams for not being liberal enough."
Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said in a news release, "I welcome Roger Ailes apology, which is as sincere as it is heartfelt. Nazi comparisons of this nature are clearly inappropriate and offensive. While I wish Roger had never invoked that terminology, I appreciate his efforts to immediately reach out and to retract his words before they did any further harm."
NPR in its report on the matter, said that both NPR and Fox News say Ailes has not apologized to NPR executives whilst CBS News in its report says (accurately in our view) Ailes "later semi-apologized for his comment": and noted that according to TV Newser he added, "I'm writing this just to let you know some background but also to apologize for using 'Nazi' when in my now considered opinion, 'nasty, inflexible bigot' would have worked better."
The report also noted that in response to the comments watchdog group Media Matters sent out a list of instances in which Fox News hosts have used Nazi imagery to criticize opponents. The list includes more than eleven instances of Glenn Beck using such imagery as well as multiple examples from Bill O'Reilly.
RNW comment: In our reports on the dismissal of Williams we criticized NPR (See RNW Oct 21) and in this case we think Ailes' comments and the ADL reaction to his apology show both as deserving contempt. The "apology" was mealy-mouthed - and as Ailes is not stupid was obviously calculated - we would suggest his amended description of NPR executives -which he is entitled to make but also seems part of a pattern of crudity in American politics- could fairly be applied to him in spades.
As for the ADL, we can only assume they were also playing politics since they presumably knew that no apology was made to NPR over the use of the term. If they weren't playing politics the kindest description we can come up with for Foxman's comments is naive and the organization itself should have picked him up on the matter. If they were too cowardly to take on Ailes and insist on an apology to NPR for use of the term "Nazi" they're double contemptible.
A pity too many Americans are poorly educated politically as so much of the political abuse in common use in the US also abuses the language be the epithet being used "communist", "Fascist (widely used in the past by the left for generic abuse), "Liberal (a useful word whose meaning was corrupted by President Reagan - check any dictionary published before his period of office), "Progressive" (abused both by those who consider the term favourable and those who do not) or "Socialist", never mind "Nazi."
CBS News report:
Daily Beast report:
2010-11-18: Clear Channel has revealed in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has agreed a new deal with Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan.
Under this Hogan will receive an annual salary of USD 1 million - up from USD 775,000 -and also be eligible for an annual bonus up to 120% of his base salary. He will also be eligible to participate in employee welfare benefit plans. Hogan was paid a bonus of only USD 350 last year but of USD 232,000 in 2008.
The announcement follows Clear Channel's appointment this week of Robert Pittman as Chairman Of Media And Entertainment Platforms in which role he will "will work closely with the newly formed Operating Committee of the Board of Directors and the management team to leverage the Company's unique collection of media assets and spearhead the further development of a comprehensive, integrated digital strategy for Clear Channel in the radio business." So far we have seen no SEC filing of the details of Pittman's employment contract.
The Pittman announcement said Hogan is to report to the Operating Committee through Pittman ( a former CEO of MTV Networks and AOL Networks and former COO of America Online and AOL Time Warner, who began his career in radio aged 15- to earn money for flying lessons) but the new agreement says he may also report through the company's CEO: Clear Channel is currently looking for a CEO to replace Mark Mays, who will step down at the end of the year although he will remain on as chairman (See RNW Jun 25).
Pittman has invested USD 5 million in the company (he bought 706,215 shares - some USD 7.80 per share) and will keep his current position as Founding Member of Pilot Group, a private equity firm, he co-founded in 2003, and continue his activities as a venture investor.
Clear Channel Chairman and CEO Mark Mays said of the Pittman appointment, "With his background in music, radio and entertainment and track record of success in both traditional and digital media, Bob Pittman will be a terrific ally and contributor to Clear Channel in this new role" and Pittman responded, "Both as a former operating executive and an investor, this is a dream addition to my portfolio. The Clear Channel radio stations, with 97 million weekly listeners and high quality programming, provide an ideal foundation for growing the core radio business, and expanding those brands and that audience into new services and onto new devices. With a platform this broad and this deep, we have the ability to experiment in ways other companies can't."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-11-18: US NPR (National Public Radio) has welcomed the rejection - by a 239 to 171 vote - of a motion brought by House Republicans to cut off its Federal Funding. Three Democrats joined the Republicans in the floor vote that followed the row over NPR's ending of its contract with Juan Williams after he made comments concerning his feelings about Moslem fellow-passengers on planes (See RNW Oct 21). The vote was the 13th on an underlying measure proposed by Republican whip Congressman Eric Cantor on the Republican "You Cut" website on suggestions for spending reductions.
The site says of NPR that its "recent decision to terminate commentator Juan Williams contract because of comments he expressed on another station have brought new found attention to NPR's receipt of taxpayer funds" and adds that ending its funding could lead to savings "potentially in excess of a hundred million dollars." Cantor says he will bring the matter up again in February when the new House is seated, saying the new Republican majority in the House would not "ignore the will of the people."
It noted that NPR received support through direct grants from various federal agencies and also indirectly through the grants made to public radio stations, some of which is spent on purchasing programming from NPR.
Cantor commented in a news release after the vote, "News organizations are free to do, say and operate on their own terms, but that doesn't mean that taxpayers should be forced to fund them Today's vote was just the latest common sense YouCut to cut spending and save taxpayer dollars, and again Democrats showed that they just don't get it"
NPR's funding is also potentially under attack through moves from Texas Republicans Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Michael Burgess, ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, who have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review NPR's funding and to see if NPR uses or has used federal funds for content creation rather than the technical operation of the network and its stations.
NPR in its statement said "Good judgment prevailed as Congress rejected a move to assert government control over the content of news. The proposal to prohibit public radio stations from using CPB grants to purchase NPR programming is an unwarranted attempt to interject federal authority into local station program decision-making. Furthermore, restrictions on the authority of CPB - a congressionally chartered, independent non-profit organization - to make competitive grants to NPR, or any other public broadcasting entity, is misguided."
NPR noted that federal support had been provided to public broadcasting for more than 40 years "broadcasting - to serve the public interest with essential educational, news and cultural programming that commercial interests neglect."
"In an increasingly fractious media environment," it concluded "public radio's value in fostering an informed society has never been more critical. Our growing audience shows that we are meeting that need. It is imperative for federal funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy remains available to all Americans and thrives well into the future."
US (Republican Party) YouCut web site:
2010-11-17: The DRM Consortium has announced that it is to hold a DRM+ (DRM for broadcasting bands above 30 MHz) trial and workshop in Sri Lanka later this month.
The Consortium has joined forces with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC), the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Germany's international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle and the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) to run a trial of DRM+ and showcase its benefits. SLBC has offered the DRM Consortium its full support and the use of one of its low power stations in Colombo for the duration of the trial.
DRM Consortium Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja said, "We are excited about this event and grateful to all our partners in this unique undertaking. We hope it will showcase a simple, single channel, affordable and excellent solution for digitising FM. The trial will add to the valuable data we already have on the capabilities of DRM+. Our workshop will be interactive, practical and hopefully very useful, giving participants a real chance to experience and understand the advantages of DRM+ and DRM30 (DRM for broadcasting bands up to 30 MHz) ."
The trial is to run on Nov 29th and 30th with the workshop following it.
Previous Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM):
2010-11-17: Digital station French Radio London was launched today on the London Digital II Multiplex to serve the 400,000 or so French speaking residents with a service that will mix music - some four fifths of it French - and speech including regular news updates, interviews and press reviews from Paris.
CEO Pascal Grierson is hoping for some 50,000 listeners at the end of the first year with double that within the next couple of years
The station's editorial operations are headed by Programme Director Jean-Michel Duffrene who was a producer in the French-language section of BBC World Service for more than 20 years and the station's breakfast show is to be hosted by Oliver Jauffrit, a French radio veteran, and Manon Ferrant who is moving to radio after working for French newspapers.
They are followed by a mid-morning show with Frank McWeeny until 14:00; an afternoon show with Caroline Bodin; Drivetime with Joshua Thorpe; and a later evening show with Alain Gales to midnight plus an overnight show until 06:00
The launch was at noon today and France's Ambassador to London Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, hosted a party at his residence to launch the station. The station on its website is promoting as its "Interview of the Week" an interview - to air on Saturday - with Ingrid Betancourt , the French-Colombian politician who was held captive by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for six-and-a-half years until her release in July 2008.
French Radio London web site:
2010-11-16: Tribune Co chairman Sam Zell in an interview with CBNC has said that he doesn't expect to remain with the company much longer but added that it was now in "dramatically better shape" than when it was taken over in a USD 8.2 billion leveraged buyout in 2007.
During the interview with Maria Bartiromo, Zell was asked about Randy Michaels, who he brought into the company and who resigned last month as Tribune's chief executive after being criticized over his conduct and the corporate culture he had fostered.
Zell did take up the criticism issue but commented, "I would point out to people that they may have the opinions that they've expressed, but in the end it's all about what are the results and, just in the last 12 months, the cash flow of the Tribune Co. has expanded dramatically. I think the company is in much better shape today. ... So the answer is that everybody is entitled to an opinion and, certainly in this case, nobody has hesitated to express it."
Regarding a ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey that creditors can sue Zell and others involved in the leveraged buyout Zell ducked the question and said he couldn't "look back" over the decision to take Tribune private.
He did, however, indicate that he does not expect to have a future at Tribune when it finally emerges from bankruptcy, commenting, "I don't think that I envision that I am going to have any kind of a role going forward and so, as soon as we get it out of bankruptcy, I will wish whoever takes over a lot of good luck and they should enjoy being in the media business more than I did. When we're done with the bankruptcy process, I will turn it over to whoever the creditors decide they want to run it and wish them a lot of good luck."
Previous Tribune Co:
CNBC video of interview:
2010-11-16: Univision Radio President and COO Gary Stone is to retire at the end of the year after four decades in radio, the last quarter-century of them with Univision and its predecessor Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation.
Univision Communications President and CEO Joe Uva noted Stone's long career and described him as having "a tremendous influence on the industry" and said Univision had been fortunate that he had spent so long with the company.
Until a successor is found Univision Local Media President Peter Walker will oversee sales and operations for the radio division.
2010-11-16: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced that it is to re-award local commercial radio licences for a period of seven years rather than the current five years following a consultation in which it received seven responses, some of which favoured re-advertisement for 12 years, the maximum that the regulator can offer, largely to preserve its commitment to a switchover to digital radio.
The seven year period was the option that Ofcom preferred, saying it would meet its aim of a system which is fair to all, provides flexibility for the future, relative certainty for licensees and does not distort DAB incentives.
Ofcom notes that some responders argued for a differential approach but it said it did not believe that such an approach would be appropriate, adding, " We have been unable to identify any criteria which can be consistently applied and deliver the desired outcome. A case by case approach might be very difficult to implement and could create uncertainty and perceived unfairness."
That left it with the option of setting a period up to the maximum 12 years regarding which it said it noted "strong industry support for twelve years, given the greater certainty this would provide to operators."
In reaction to this it said it believed it would be appropriate to give licensees greater certainty than offered under the current five-year policy but it rejected the 12-year option on the basis that this would be more inflexible whereas a shorter period would be likely to increase flexibility. It also commented that a "significant difference between the length of new renewals and the duration of a re-advertised licence would distort incentives to continue to offer DAB services, given the additional years of revenue that would be on offer" adding, "Stations which opted for re-advertisement rather than renewal because of the longer licence length on offer might cease to provide a DAB service, which could reduce consumer choice."
Ofcom, which had previously postponed all re-advertisements until a policy on licence duration was adopted, is now publishing an updated timetable for the adverts.
2010-11-16: The Australian radio industry has launched its digital radio Christmas campaign, the largest promotion of digital radio since the medium's launch last year with a total spend valued at around AUD 3 million ( USD 2.94 million).
It will run for six weeks and includes a series of six radio adverts - to be aired on 42 commercial radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth until December 24, - promoting digital radio as the perfect Christmas gift with a focus on sound quality and more station choice.
In addition station web sites will carry banner adverts and there will be Digital Radio Plus demonstration kiosks at ten Westfield Shopping Centres in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. These will be run for four days in each of the locations and will feature digital radios from Pure, Roberts, Sangean, Yamaha, Bush, Grundig and Revo with discount vouchers from participating stores being given to shoppers who stop and try digital radio
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said of the launch, "This extensive Christmas campaign is part of the ongoing investment by the industry and stakeholders to raise the awareness of the benefits of digital radio and encourage listeners to buy a digital radio for Christmas."
A year after the launch in August last year, some 523,000 people were said to be listening to digital radio in the average week, more than triple the estimated number of 150,000 receiver sales at that stage.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-11-15: In more US radio results Citadel Broadcasting has reported radio revenue up but network revenue down; LBI Media reported TV revenues up but radio ones down and revenue were up at both the Network Radio and Metro Traffic divisions of Westwood One.
Citadel revenues in the third quarter - which followed the company's exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy - were up 2.61% on a year earlier at USD 188.6 million within which radio markets revenues were up 3.75% to USD 161.5 million but Radio Network revenues were down 4.4% to USD 28.33 million, put down partly to elimination of some programmes, and operating income was down 10.6% to USD 33.96 million, put down primarily to a USD 17.3 million increase in depreciation and amortization expenses as a result of the application of fresh-start accounting requiring the Company to fair value its assets as of the fresh-start date. This was partially offset by an increase in segment operating income of approximately USD 13.2 million.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was up 25.7% on a year earlier at USD 66.1 million and overall a net loss of USD 21.3 million a year ago became net income of USD 3.6 million.
For the first nine months the company's results this year combine the current company and its predecessor: Revenues were up 3.26% to USD 548.1 million with an operating loss of USD 891.9 million becoming income of USD 127.1 million and segment operating income up 29.6% to USD 198.4 million. Within these figures radio markets again showed an increase - of 4.8% to USD 464.2 million - and radio networks were down - by 4.1% to USD 87.57 million.
Citadel also noted that at the end of September its total borrowings were USD 760.6 million and cash on hand was approximately USD 122 million.
Citadel CEO Farid Suleman said of the results, "The combination of revenue growth at our Radio Markets segment and a reduction in operating expenses, including lower programming costs at both our Radio Network and Radio Markets segments, continues to result in significant Adjusted EBITDA improvements."
At LBI Media, revenues for the third quarter were up 11.6% on a year earlier at USD 30.7 million whilst for the first nine months of the year revenues are up 10.3% to USD 85.0 million: In both cases the rises were driven by TV - up 29.6% in the quarter to USD 14.3 million and up 25.8% for the first nine months to USD 40.3 million.
Radio was down 0.4% in the quarter to USD 16.4 million and for the first nine months it was down 0.7% to USD 44.7 million.
Operating expenses were down 69.2% to USD 29.1 million in the quarter - primarily because impairment charges were reduced by USD 69.6 million excluding which they rose 22.4% to USD 23.6 million whilst for the first nine months they were down 60.1% to USD 73.3 million, again primarily because of a reduction in impairment charges, this time of USD 119.3 million. Excluding these charges operating expenses for the period were up 16% to USD 66.1 million.
In divisional terms operating income for radio for the quarter went from a loss of USD 40.65 million (after USD 47.16 million of impairment charges a year ago) to income of USD 6.11 million whilst for the first nine months a radio loss of USD 63.11 million (after USD 79.04 million in impairment charges) went to income of USD 16.86 million) reduced to a loss of USD 5.125 million.
The corresponding figures for TV were a quarterly loss of USD 66.874 million a year ago (including USD 27.92 million in impairment charges) reduced to a loss of USD 4.485 million and a nine-months loss of USD 43.34 million (including USD 47.50 million in impairment charges)
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was down 8.8% to USD 9.7 million and for the first nine months it was down 6.3% to USD 26.5 million and overall a loss of USD 70.3 million for the third quarter last year was reduced to a loss of USD 5.2 million whilst for the first nine months a loss of USD 107.5 million was reduced to a loss of USD 9.0 million.
President and CEO Lenard Liberman singled out TV for praise in his comments and noted that "this quarter represent the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, led primarily by the performance of our core television markets and the contribution of EstrellaTV."
"We are pleased that our investments in original programming are now starting to produce additional returns through the development of a Hispanic television network," he added.
At Westwood One third quarter revenues were up 12.1% on a year ago at USD 88.0 million and up 6.6% for the first nine months to USD 264.2 million within which Network Radio revenue for the quarter was up 9.3% to USD 44.2 million and up 6.1% in the first nine months to USD 139.8 million whilst Metro Traffic revenue was up 15% for the quarter to USD 43.7 million and up 7.1% for the first nine months to USD 124.4 million.
Overall the company had an operating loss of USD 3.1 million for the quarter compared to a loss of USD 60.1 million a year earlier when the figures included an impairment charge of USD 50.5 million whilst for the first nine months the operating loss was down from USD 88.0 million to USD 12.7 million, again primarily because the 2009 figures included the USD 50.5 million impairment charge.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter more than doubled - from USD 2.2 million to USD 4.5 million- and for the first nine months it was up nearly three times - from USD 4.3 million to USD 11.3 million.
Overall the company has a net loss for the quarter of USD 7.3 million 0 down from USD 53.6 million (from USD 10.03 to USD 0.35 per diluted share, figures that reflect the effect of a 200-1 reverse stock split in August last year) whilst for first nine months the net loss was down from USD 78.7 million to USD 19.4 million (From USD 34.28 to USD 0.94 per diluted share again reflecting the reverse stock split).
Looking ahead Westwood One said it "is cautiously optimistic that the third quarter revenue growth trajectory in Network Radio and Metro Traffic Radio will continue in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis, based on favourable bookings to date."
President Rod Sherwood said the company had "achieved revenue increases in each of our businesses in the third quarter," adding "Our Metro Traffic Radio and Television businesses experienced double-digit revenue increases, and Network Radio revenue grew by 9.3%."
He continued, "We outpaced growth in the market for the third quarter where local/national spot radio advertising was up 5%, and network advertising was up 4.6%, according to industry analysts. This growth reflects a stabilizing advertising market. It also reflects the results of our three-pronged strategy of providing solutions to our advertising customers, offering new programming to an expanded affiliate base, and investing in our sales force and infrastructure to grow revenue and continually improve our client service."
Previous LBI Media:
Previous Westwood One:
2010-11-15: UK Guardian Media Group's new chief executive Andrew Miller is planning an "internal reorganisation aimed at aligning the company more closely with its flagship newspapers and websites" according to The Guardian newspaper, which is owned by the group.
The paper says the company is dividing itself into a "core business" - the Guardian and Observer titles and the guardian.co.uk website network, which includes MediaGuardian.co.uk - from its "investments" - its other media interests, ranging from local radio - its holding include the Smooth and Real Radio brands - through to shares in the Auto Trader and Emap joint ventures.
It notes recent speculation of a flotation of Auto Trader in whose parent Trader Media Group GMG holds a 50.1% share - the rest is held by venture capital group Apax Partners - but adds that at a staff briefing Miller said there were no imminent plans to sell any of the group's investments.
Miller added that operating losses at the Guardian and the Observer would be in line with last year's deficit of GBP 37.8 million ( USD 60.7 million) before exceptional items as the downturn in public sector advertising offset cost savings made from a voluntary redundancy programme.
UK Guardian report:
2010-11-15: The Revson Foundation, which was set up in 1956 by Charles H. Revson, the founder of the Revlon cosmetics company and funded with half his estate, has announced a USD 1 million donation to New York public radio station WNYC-FM, to go towards toward the station's new three-year initiative to expand the scope of its local news journalism.
Foundation president Julie Sandorf said of the donation, "The pressing issues and challenges facing New York today demand we maintain a platform for rigorous, authoritative public-affairs reporting. In order for a democracy to succeed, robust reporting is essential to supporting and sustaining an informed and active citizenry."
WNYC is planning to spend some USD 6 million to expand its newsroom by around 35 people so as to increase its reporting on New York and New Jersey and the Wall Street Journal quoted its president and CEO Laura Walker as saying of the plan, "We just haven't had the resources to adequately serve the two million people who listen to us. This initiative comes from a mission standpoint: The health of democracy is very much linked to the health of journalism."
She added that the station is exploring editorial partnerships with other non-profit media organizations in the city and said of the Foundation gift that it was made in response to "a gap in investigative coverage in New York City We're living in a time where media is undergoing huge economic and programmatic transformation and we need to figure out how to financially sustain robust and viable local affairs news reporting."
Revson Foundation web site:
Wall Street Journal report:
2010-11-15: Radio One Inc. has announced the amendment of some of the terms of its amended exchange offer so as to require only a 90% acceptance for the 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 that it is offering to exchange. The minimum acceptance for the 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 will remain at 95%.
The company has also announced that financial institutions holding the majority of outstanding loans and commitments under its senior secured credit facility have approved the proposed amendment to the Credit Facility although it notes that this depends upon completion of the Amended Exchange Offer, the deadline for acceptance of which is 17:00 ET on Friday.
Previous Radio One inc.:
2010-11-15: The US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has announced that it is to launch an online Certified Radio Sales Manager Course (CRSM) that will offer training and further develop skill sets of sales managers.
The RAB adds that the application offers RAB member stations the tools to help new and existing sales managers handle key issues.
Topics covered include management and leadership, compensation ideas, inventory pricing, budgeting and are offered in 20-25 minute segments.
The RAB says the course will offer the same insights as its in-person "Improving Sales Managers' Skill Sets" and John Potter, the Bureau's VP Interactive Business Development, commented, "Due to an intense sales marketplace, Radio's top billing salespeople are often promoted to sales manager with little training or preparation. The industry has asked us to develop such a course and now we have it online to train and hone critical skills for successful sales management. It is designed for new sales managers as well as those who have not had formal sales management training."
2010-11-14: BBC Radio 1 has honoured three teenagers in its first BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards, held at the Hammersmith Apollo today and hosted by station DJs Fearne Cotton and Nick Grimshaw, with a TV programme on the event to be aired on Wednesday on the BBC3 digital TV station.
It features these awards plus the station's celebrity awards and performances from Katy Perry, JLS and The Wanted. The awards were featured in Radio 1's 5:19 show on Sunday and its web site also has videos.
The "Teen Hero" award, presented by Katy Perry and Radio 1 DJ Greg James, went to 16-year-old Connor Rowntree from Sunderland who received 90 per cent burns in an accident: He was medically induced into a coma and has had almost 100 operations to date. Connor was thought to be losing his battle to live on six occasions but fought to survive all the odds and now fronts a campaign for fire safety.
The Teen Community Hero award went to 17-year-old Alex Williams from Ashton-Under-Lyne, who caught meningitis when he was just seven years old and lost the use of his legs. He's now a wheelchair basketball player with Olympic ambitions, a sport ambassador for his local area, a charity fundraiser and also helps other disabled children.
The Teen Entrepreneur award went to 16-years-old Jack Bennett from Maidenhead, who spotted a niche market in his local area - rearing rare breeds of chickens in humane, free-range conditions for sale to local families to keep in their gardens and developing a system so that eggs can be harvested to provide future generations.
The Teen Sporting Hero awarded went to 16-year-old world champion diver Tom Daley.
The celebrity awards - voted for by the station's listeners - were:
Best TV Show -The Inbetweeners;
Best Album -Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks;
Best Song - Biffy Clyro - Bubbles;
Best Actor/Actress - Robert Pattinson;
Sporting Hero - Tom Daley;
Best Dressed - Robert Pattinson.
2010-11-14: Last week was another very quiet one as regards radio with only a few postings and fewer licensing decisions: In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) posted one radio decision, a ruling that Multicultural Community Radio Association Ltd's 2OOO Sydney breached rules prohibiting the broadcast of advertising on community broadcasters.
The ACMA investigated following a complaint and found that the licensee broadcast an advertisement on 25 July 2010 during the Darpan program: In response, 2OOO has given the presenter an official warning and additional training for the broadcast of sponsorship announcements. 2OOO is also updating its studio equipment to ensure that all sponsorship announcements are broadcast in full.
Accordingly the ACMA is to take no further action for now but will monitor the station's output.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was a little busier with radio related postings including the following:
*Approved application from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language radio programming undertaking CBO-FM, Ottawa, in order to change the frequency of rebroadcasting transmitter CBOB-FM Brockville, Ontario, from 106.5 to 91.9 MHz ; and to change its authorized contours by modifying the antenna radiation pattern from non-directional to directional and by decreasing ; power from 3,000 to 1,080 watts (maximum ERP from 3,000 to 2,000 watts and reducing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 100.5 to 97.9 metres.
The CBC said the change was required after an assessment by NAV CANADA found the use of 106.5MHz to be unacceptable because it could cause interference.
The Commission received comments by CKVI Community Educational Radio (CKVI) and the National Campus and Community Radio Association (the NCRA) in which CKVI did not oppose the application but stated that its approval could impact CKVI's signal. CKVI noted that the CBC agreed to offer assistance if the undertaking were to interfere with its signal and the CRTC said it expects the CBC to follow through on its intention to offer assistance to CKVI in the event that interference should occur.
*Short term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Radio communautaire MF Lac Simon inc.'s French-, Anishnabe- and Algonquin-language Native Type B station CHUN-FM, Rouyn-Noranda.
The CRTC says the station appeared to have provided its annual returns for the broadcast years 2004-2005 through 2008-2009 after the deadline and the licensee admitted that it had provided incorrect information to the commission leading to the annual returns documents being sent to the wrong address.
*Short term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Radio-Classique Montréal inc.'s French-language commercial radio station CJPX-FM, Montréal: The commission noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with licence conditions relating to its 2007-2008 annual return and Canadian talent development (CTD) contributions for the 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 broadcast years.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland made only one radio-related posting, the announcement of the award of announced funding totalling Euros 1.2 million (USD 1.65 million) to support 131 radio projects through Sound & Vision II - The Broadcasting Funding Scheme (See RNW Nov 9) whilst in the UK Ofcom also made one radio related posting - of its latest Bulletin in which it found Lanarkshire station L107 FM had breached its format (See RNW Nov 8).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a very quiet week in terms of radio postings although it did propose a USD 25,000 penalty on a Kansas FM owner for emergency alert system, public file, and various antenna related breaches of its rules. (See RNW Nov 10).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-11-13: Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL) , part of the Reliance ADA Group(Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) and operator of the BIG FM network , has launched India's first talk Internet radio - BIG Net Radio - saying it expects a significant boost from the rollout of 3G mobile networks.
The company had moved into radio on mobile platforms in March this year ((it was then known as Reliance Media World Limited) when it entered into a partnership with OnMobile Global Limited to launch BIG Mobile Radio that provided 17 multi-lingual specially programmed channels available anywhere in India and also in some other markets including Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia which have large Indian communities.
RBNL's Business Head (Radio and Digital), Soumen G Choudhury told the Economic Times of India that Internet radio "is poised to increase even as Bollywood, spirituality and humour are the pegs that work excellently with Indian audiences and the company is working towards providing 24-hour seamless entertainment to the audience."
He noted that "India has over 50-million Internet users, mostly in the age group between 18-30-years and is growing, thus boosting the on-line advertising, which is expected to grow at 32 per cent to touch INR 2,000-crore (USD 492 million - a crore is ten million) by 2013" adding, "This highlights the humongous potential that lies before us"
RBNL at the end of last month reported its highest-ever quarterly revenues for the latest quarter - to the end of September - up 12% to INR 58.35 crore (USD 1.25 billion) on the previous quarter: In the first quarter it had also recorded what were then its highest-ever revenues of INR 52.16 crore (USD 1.12 billion)
EBITDA in the latest quarter was up by 288% to INR 1.91 crore (USD 410, 000) with Radio EBITDA up 156% on the previous quarter.
The company has also moved into English-language entertainment, launching three BIG CBS networks in a joint venture with CBS Studios International and its CEO Tarun Katial said of the performance, "RBNL's strategic business blueprint, with play across media platforms has created a robust business model that is beginning to deliver value. The experiential marketing vertical BIG Live has turned EBITDA positive and reinforces our strategy to unlock value through the creation of IP properties support by our multi media play. The OOH business is poised to surge ahead, with several significant acquisitions, going live in Q3. Having raised funds from the market, we are uniquely poised to participate in prospective future growth opportunities across business verticals, including new Radio licenses in Phase III, adding to the bottom line as we grow further."
Previous Indian Radio:
Economic Times report:
2010-11-12: Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS) has reported third quarter revenues down 10 % on a year ago at USD 34.553 million within which radio was down 12% to USD 30.468 million but TV fell far less - down 2% to USD 4.085 million.
The figures for the first nine months were better with overall revenues down 2% to USD 101.236 million within which radio was down 3% to USD 89.371 million whilst TV was u 3% to USD 11.865 million.
Operating income before depreciation and amortization, loss (gain) on the disposal of assets, net, and impairment charges and restructuring costs was also down - by 22% overall for the quarter to USD 10.751 million with radio down 18% to ISD 14/045 million and TV's losses more than doubling from USD 962.000 to USD .1963 million
Overall SBS reported net income down 24.5% to USD 4.922 million (From three cents to a cent per basic and diluted share) whilst for the first nine months a loss of USD 5.944 million a year ago - when the figures included USD 10.686 million in impairment charges and restructuring costs compared to USD 2.097 million this year, partly offset by a reduction in interest expenses from USD 19.841 million to USD 11.743 million.
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón, Jr. said the third quarter figures reflected "continued volatile advertising conditions in our markets, offset in part by our efforts to prudently manage our costs."
He was more positive about the future, adding, "As the economy continues to rebound and the census results are reported, we believe we are well positioned to benefit as advertisers see the importance of reaching the fast-growing Hispanic market."
2010-11-12: Tribune Co.-owned WGN-AM has announced that program director Kevin Metheny - made notorious by Howard Stern who named him "pig virus" when he was at WNBC - and weekday evening host Jim Laski, the former City Clerk, who was convicted pf bribery and subsequently hired by Metheny, are both leaving. Other hosts will fill in for Laski until a permanent replacement show is announced.
The WGN web site when we last checked linked to a Chicago Tribune report in which the station's vice-president and general manager Tom Langmyer comments, "The next step in the station's evolution is the development of a show from 7 (to) 10 p.m. that best complements the rest of our evening programming-something on which we will be very focused going forward. Our goal is to continue developing engaging and relevant programming, while still keeping the hometown connection that Chicagoans have come to identify with WGN radio."
Metheny was hired two years ago by Randy Michaels, the former Tribune CEO who resigned last month.
Amongst the changes he made at the station included bringing in Greg Jarrett from San Francisco to handle morning drive and Mike McConnell from Cincinnati for mid-mornings; hiring veteran Chicago radio personality Garry Meier for afternoon drive; moving John Williams in and out a variety of daytime slots; and not renewing the contract of midday host Steve Cochran, who would have succeeded the retiring Spike O'Dell in the station's long-coveted morning slot had he been able to agree on terms of a new deal in 2008.
Those changes will not be undone and Langmyer commented, "We've solidified our daytime line-up, which now features Greg Jarrett, Mike McConnell, John Williams, and Garry Meier, and we've improved our news coverage as a result of our growing partnership with the Chicago Tribune
Previous Tribune Co.:
Chicago Tribune report:
2010-11-11: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has suspended second strike action over pensions at the BBC, planned for next Monday and Tuesday and fresh talks are expected between unions and BBC management in the next two weeks.
They had met today to discuss their next move folling meeting with the corporation's Director General Mark Thompson and officials of the broadcasting union BECTU, whose members are not taking part in the strike action but have threatened action should the BBC not amend offer if the deficit turns out to be less than GBP 1.5 billion ( USD 2.42 billion) rather than the GBP 2 billion (USD 3.2 billion) that BBC management said meant it could not change its latest offer, which has been accepted by all the BBC unions except the NUJ.
Thompson is said to have given ground on two crucial issues and said the corporation would revisit its plans if the deficit is less than GBP 1.5 billion when the scheme is next values and also to let actuaries acting for the BBC pension fund trustees decide whether to increase pension payments in the new scheme in future years.
The BBC had previously insisted that it could not change its offer and said that decisions on pensions' increases should be taken jointly by the BBC board and the Trustees with the actuaries only to become involved on a final decision if the Board and Trustees could not agree.
The union had offered to suspend strike action, if BBC management agreed to negotiate a deal once the state of the funds is properly assessed next April but the BBC says it will not renegotiate the offer and is describing Thompson's comments as "clarifications" and saying it will not meet the unions whilst it faces the threats of strike action.
Thompson in an e-mail staff earleir this week had ruled out further negotiations with the unions (See RNW Nov 9).
Update: The NUJ has now offered to postpone the strike if the BBC drops disciplinary action against three employees, one who worked in Washington for the BBC's Arabic service and has been sacked and two others working for the Latin American service and have been given written warnings. The union says the action was taken in relation to last week's strike.
NUJ representatives voted overwhelmingly to suspend next week's strikes to allow further talks to be held if the disciplinary action is first withdrawn.
The union said the BBC had changed its position and NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said in an e-mail to members, "We demanded the BBC agree to talks to resolve the dispute. On Monday the BBC said there would be no further talks. Yesterday they changed their position. "However, before those talks happen we have told the BBC they must withdraw disciplinary action against three members overseas, disciplined as a result of their support for the strike."
So far the BBC has not commented on the NUJ proposals but it had denied taking disciplinary action over anyone because they took part in the strike.
2010-11-11: The President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in "Illustrative Savings" proposals that it says could cut US government spending by USD 200 billion has proposed amongst other things that all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) be ended.
The bi-partisan Commission, chaired by Alan Simpson, the former Republican Senator for Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Clinton, splits its suggested savings into USD 100.2 billion for Domestic savings and USD 100.1 billion for Defence savings.
In broad brush proposals it suggests a 15% reduction in Congressional & White House budgets; a three-year freeze in federal salaries, bonuses, and other compensation at non-defence agencies; a 10% cut in the federal workforce to be achieved by only allowing the hiring of two new workers for every three who leave; a cap of 2,000 on the number of federal political appointees allowed; and the elimination of "250,000 non-defense service and staff augmentee contractors."
In terms of expenditure linked to foreign interests it calls for reduction in the cost of diplomatic operations, reduction in the growth of foreign aid, and in voluntary contributions to the United Nations.
In more detailed suggestions the commission says that funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) should be cut, adding, "The current CPB funding level is the highest it has ever been. This option would eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting saving just under USD 500 million in 2015."
It also suggests that funding to the Smithsonian should be cut and visitors to the 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo to be charged with a similar reduction in funding for the National Park Service and an increase in its charges to visitors, options that it says would save around USSD 300 million in 2015.
The CPB opposed its elimination, commenting in a statement, "As the steward of the federal investment in public media, CPB strongly disagrees with the co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, who propose without justification to completely eliminate funding for CPB and other public broadcasting programs."
"From a yearly federal investment amounting to USD1.35 per American, public broadcasting returns six times that amount in programming and services, creating 17,000 jobs in the American economy," CPB added. "This important investment, through CPB and the other public broadcasting programs, should be supported for the benefit, education and enrichment of all Americans."
The media advocacy organization Free Press backed up the CPB with its President Josh Silver commenting in a news release, "Foreclosing on Sesame Street is not the answer to reducing our national deficit. It is inconceivable at a time when commercial news is dominated by five-second sound bites, yelling pundits and little actual journalism, that this commission would consider eliminating funding to one of the few remaining sources of enterprise journalism and educational programming. PBS and NPR are the most trusted media brands in America - and clearly the benefits of non-commercial media warrant more public investment, not less."
"The United States," it added "already has among the lowest funded public media systems in the developed world, at just USD 1.43 per capita. But the low levels of funding are made worse by a flawed annual appropriations process that leaves public media timid and at the mercy of fickle politicians. It's far past time for the creation of a public media trust fund that can protect programmers from undue political pressure and financial uncertainty, and can support the production of more high-quality non-commercial news, and educational and cultural programming."
Previous Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB):
President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposals (24-page 304 kb PDF):
2010-11-11: Tribune Co has been given approval by bankruptcy judge Kevin Carey to pay 2010 incentive bonuses totalling more an USD 40 million although the amount to be paid is likely to be closer to USD 30 million and the company has agreed to withhold payments for five top executives who have been identified as potential defendants in legal claims related to the 2007 leveraged buyout of the company.
Judge Carey, who has already approved USD 57 million in management bonuses since the company filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2008 (See RNW Dec 9, 2008) said the new bonus request, which was originally filed in May, was "meaningful but not excessive".
Tribune has already reduced the payment and made the targets that would trigger them higher in response to pressure from creditors and the new bonuses will be smaller that those approved for 2009: The plan would allow bonuses of up to USD 42.9 million to be paid if the company generate USD685 million or more in operating cash flow this year whereas in 2009 the target was USD 429 million and Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune Co. co-president and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, told the hearing that the company is predicting USD 617 million in cash flow, which would mean a payout of some USD 32.6 million to 640 managers with nine top executives getting USD 4.4 million between them from this.
The Chicago Tribune in its report noted that the court did not address the issue of the bonuses that were du to former Chief Executive Randy Michaels who resigned last month (See RNW Oct 22): It added that "sources close to the situation" said that Michael's payoff is still being negotiated with the company's board.
Previous Tribune Co.:
Chicago Tribune report:
2010-11-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 25,000 notice of apparent liability for forfeiture (NAL) to a Kansas FM owner for emergency alert system, public file, and various antenna related breaches of its rules.
Daniel Smith, licensee of KANR-FM, and owner of antenna structure number 1033278 in Belle Plaine was issued with the NAL following an inspection of the station at the end of March this year.
During the inspection agents noted that the station's EAS power cord had been disconnected and Smith said that the equipment failed sometime between 2000 and 2006, adding that he tried to hire a contract engineer to repair the EAS but the engineer was too busy.
The agents also noticed that that the station's public inspection file was missing quarterly issues/programs lists after the fourth quarter of 2008 and Smith admitted he had put no lists in the file after this date.
The agents also inspected the antenna tower for the station, noting that the paint was severely faded and areas of bare metal were showing and that all three flashing beacons on the structure were either non-lighted or non-flashing and several of the side lamps on the structure were inoperable.
Regarding this Smith said the tower had last been painted before it was erected in 1996 and added that the station did not have any automated equipment to monitor the structure's lighting and that no station personnel were monitoring visually the lighting on the structure every 24 hours as required.
He said he was aware that the side lamps were inoperable but said he was unaware of the non-flashing condition of the lights but had no logs or records documenting his observations or any failures in the lights.
The FCC noted that base level forfeitures are USD 8,000 for failure to maintain operational EAS equipment; of USD 2,000 for failure to conduct monitoring, of USD 10,000 for failure to repaint the antenna structure and USD 10,000 for failure to maintain the public files: In this case it increased the proposed penalty for the EAS breach to USD 9,000 and reduced the proposed penalty for the public file breaches to USD 4,000 making the total penalty proposed USD 25,000.
2010-11-10: In a sign of US values - or at least financial valuation - Conservative US talk hosts are well above politicians in this year's Newsweek Power 50 list of the highest paid political pundits and those who wield power and political influence: They're also well ahead of last year's highest paid banker, who was reported to be Thomas Montag, President, Global Banking and Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch with USD 29.31 million according to a Reuters report received.
Topping the Newsweek list was Rush Limbaugh with estimated earnings of USD 58.7 million followed by Glenn Beck whose earnings were estimated at USD 33 million and Sean Hannity with USD 22 million.
Larry Ellison of Oracle, who was reported by CNN to be the highest paid US CEO last year, beat Limbaugh with remuneration of USD 84.5 million, USD 78.5 million of which came in the form of stock options and awards. In 2008 Ellison exercised a 36 million options totalling USD 543 million.
After Ellison the second-ranked executive last year was Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott with USD 33.4 million, USD 29.4 million of it in stock options. Highest paid media CEO was Rupert Murdoch with USD 18.0 million, USD 1.39 million of it in stock and options.
Citadel's CEO Farid Suleman was on schedule to become the highest paid US radio executive with a deal awarding him some USD 55 million in stock as the company emerged from bankruptcy but under pressure from hedge fund and minority stakeholder R2 Investments the company rescinded its stock awards to executives and is now planning to issue them with stock options (See RNW Nov 3)
Also in the top 20 on the Newsweek list were Bill O'Reilly, who was fourth with USD 20 million; Jon Stewart - fifth with USD 15 million; Sarah Palin in sixth with USD 14 million (nearly twice the figure for eighth ranked former President Bill Clinton with USD 7.7 million and more than three times the figures for 18th ranked former President G.W. Bush with USD 4.2 million and 20th ranked President Barack Obama with USD 4 million.
Other radio hosts on in the top 20 were Don Imus - seventh with USD 11.1 million and Laura Ingraham -11th with USD 7 million.
Newsweek Power 50 list:
2010-11-09: The staff of Pacifica Radio's KPFA-FM's Morning Show, who were fired on Monday, locked themselves in a studio and began broadcasting their own show this morning.
They were dismissed after a long labour dispute having refused to make cuts for two consecutive years and Arlene Engelhardt, the Pacifica Foundation executive director, said the decision was a financial one, commenting, "KPFA is in dire straights. The station is not operating in a sound fiscal manner."
The Bay Citizen reported that according to Engelhardt, the station had lost close to USD 1 million two years ago and a half million dollars during the last fiscal year but co-hosts Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards-Tiekert said the action was retaliation after a group of staffers led by Edwards-Tiekert, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over a previous round of layoffs at the station.
Supporters of the show said that it was its greatest money money-maker during fundraising drives but Englehardt put this down to its timeslot and said the layoffs were necessary because of the station's finances, adding of the show, "Quite simply, they were spending more than they were bringing in."
For the moment KPFA is to replace the show with programming from Pacifica's KPFK-FM in Los Angeles but Engelhardt said she intended to replace the hosts by the end of next week with on-air hosts from other KPFA shows.
In relation to the Tuesday Morning Show broadcast the paper said that when Engelhardt was told by a reporter Monday night that KPFA staff were planning a coup, she said: "I have to depend on the fact there's a certain amount of loyalty to the station. I hope that's the case."
The paper continued, "It was not. On Tuesday morning engineers based in both Berkeley and Los Angeles called in sick, opening the possibility for Allison and Edwards-Tiekert to host a renegade program although the hosts say they will be off the air from tomorrow.
SaveKPFA in its report on the matter said that in the Morning Show before the dismissals "it became clear that under the guise of a budget crisis, Pacifica is targeting staff who have spoken out about what is happening at the station."
It went on to comment, ". Pacifica's chief financial officer LaVarn Williams was unable to cogently answer questions about the budget she is in charge of, instead focusing attacks on those who have opposed her politically. Pacifica's Arlene Engelhardt appeared not to understand the KPFA staff union contract, or have any clear understanding of KPFA's history and listenership."
SaveKPFA had posted audio of the show (20.6 Mb MP3) and also video of the Morning Show producer Esther Manilla questioning Engelhardt.
It adds that Pacifica's national board had last week overruled KPFA's local elected board which had voted to support a "Sustainable Budget" drawn up by station staff what would cut the network's bureaucracy instead of programming and would save more than USD 250,000. Engelhardt has said the cuts being made will save some USD 700, 000 a year and cut the station's costs from USD 2.3 million to USD 1.6 million a year.
Bay Citizen report:
SaveKPFA web site:
2010-11-09: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced funding totalling Euros 1.2 million (USD 1.65 million) to support 131 radio projects through Sound & Vision II - The Broadcasting Funding Scheme.
The grants were approved in principle following the authority's receipts of 264 applications received - asking for a total of Euros 3.44 million (USD 4.74 million) - in Round 10 Radio of the Scheme which closed in July and all the successful projects are required to explore the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience.
They include documentaries, radio dramas and entertainment projects with 62 of the projects offered funding being for broadcast on commercial radio services; 58 for broadcast on community radio and 11 for broadcast on public service stations.
In category terms the highest amount awarded goes to Arts/Culture documentaries where 43 awards were made totalling Euros 325,000 (USD 448,000) after which 35 History/Heritage documentaries are awarded a total of Euros 297,000 (USD 403,000) and 23 Contemporary Society documentaries are awarded a total of Euros 176,000 (USD 242,000). In non-documentary with categories the highest total awarded is of Euros 55,000 (USD 76,000) for five Arts/Culture dramas followed closely by a total of Euros 52,800 (USD 73,000) for three contemporary society dramas. In the Entertainment categories the highest total is of Euros 44,500 (USD 61,000) for three Arts/Culture projects.
BAI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said of the awards, "This is a substantial amount of funding being made available from the Scheme to support the production of radio programmes that will be broadcast on over 50 different radio stations around the country. The BAI is confident that this funding will result in high quality programmes for the listening audience while also providing vital production funding to the radio broadcasting sector".
2010-11-09: In a tit-for-tat action Facebook has filed a complaint in the Federal Court in Boston accusing Phoenix Media/ Communications Group Inc - which owns the Boston Phoenix newspaper and WFNX-FM - its People2People Group, Tele-Publishing and FNX Broadcasting divisions of infringing two patents related to managing information online.
The filing was made in response to a patent infringement lawsuit that Tele-Publishing filed in Boston last year against Facebook involving a Tele-Publishing patent for a computer network that provides a personal page. Facebook in that case challenged the validity of the patent and said it wasn't using the technology.
During the case it alleged infringement of its copyright and was told by U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock that it had to file a separate lawsuit if it wanted to pursue its claims. Facebook is contending that "band guide" and "find restaurants" features on the newspaper website and radio station's online player infringe its patents.
2010-11-09: BBC Director General Mark Thompson in an e-mail to staff has ruled out further negotiations with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) over changes to the Corporation's pension scheme that led to a 48-hour strike last Friday and Saturday (See RNW Nov 5) with further strikes planned next Monday and Tuesday and for the Christmas period and a "work-to-rule" currently in operation.
Thompson in his message starts with thanks to "everyone who helped ensure that the disruption to our services to the public last Friday and Saturday was kept to a minimum" and adds "There was less disruption on the second day of the stoppage than there had been on the first, and overall less disruption as a result of this strike than during the last big stoppage in 2005."
He goes on to acknowledge worries amongst many staff, including those who belong to unions that have voted to accept the plan, about the impact on them and then goes on t9o deliver a hard-line message, "So what happens next? The NUJ have begun a work to rule this week and have a second 48-hour strike planned for next week. We are putting in place plans to handle both of these and will seek, if possible, to offer the public programmes and services from the BBC with even less disruption than last week. That will be the case however many strikes there are. As I said to you in my email last week, we have already reached a final position with four out of five of the BBC unions. We cannot and will not enter fresh negotiations or contemplate fresh changes to the agreed offer on pension reform no matter how much industrial action there is from the NUJ."
Thompson then notes that the BBC consultation with staff on its plans ends on November 15 and says that earlier comments had led to significant changes reflected in the agreement reached with unions other than the NUJ and ends by writing, "Nothing has been thrown up in the latter stages of the consultation that would cause us to make any substantive or economically significant changes to the package, but there are a few areas where you would like clarification on the detail of the proposals. Once the consultation closes we hope to offer you that clarity, by writing to both staff and unions to set out our detailed implementation plans."
The NUJ for its part comments on its website that the BBC's rationale for the changes -"that a potential GBP 2 billion (USD 3.24 billion) hole in the pensions fund means that they have no choice, has been blown apart by reports they've commissioned from independent financial experts - which show the figure to be closer to USD 1 billion (USD 1.62 billion)."
It continues, "That's why we've consistently offered to suspend strike action, if BBC management agree to negotiate a deal once the state of the funds is properly assessed next April, instead of forcing through a new scheme now. At that time, we will all finally know what the actual deficit is - rather than an inflated guesstimate."
The NUJ also comments on its site that "Our main sister union, at the BBC, BECTU, have taken the BBC at their word on the size of the deficit - for now. They've made it clear that should the deficit turn out to be less than £1.5bn, they will ballot their members for industrial action, unless BBC management immediately agree to negotiate a new pensions deal" and NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said that it was "madness to force through changes now, based on figures that may turn out to be over-inflated."
RNW comment: The NUJ makes some telling points on its website under the heading "Dispelling BBC management's propaganda" about either the competence or honesty of some senior BBC management. We do not know what is true but it would appear impossible to give high marks to both if the actual deficit does turn out to be substantially below the figure from which BBC management is arguing. A case perhaps for the union to offer to go along on the condition that not only would there be renegotiation in this case but also a proportionate reduction in salary and pension for all the BBC senior executives who have made the argument. Would the management, we wonder, have faith in their arguments on this basis?
NUJ "Dispelling BBC management's propaganda" page:
2010-11-08: In more US results, Clear Channel Media Holdings has reported third quarter revenues up 6% on a year earlier within which radio was up 6% and Salem's revenues were up 4.4% with broadcasting up 2.7%.
Clear Channel third quarter revenues were up to USD 1.477 billion and the company notes that but for the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates the increase would have been 7%. Operating expenses were down 1% but would have been relatively flat excluding foreign exchange movements and its OIBDAN (Operating Income before Depreciation and Amortization, Non-cash Compensation Expense and Other Operating Income) was up 25% to USD 443.1 million.
Overall however the company's net loss was up from USD 92.7 million a year ago - when it was reduced by gains of USD 229 million associated with debt purchases - to USD 150.4 million.
Within the figures, radio revenues in the quarter were up 6% to USD 743.0 million; Americas Outdoor was up 7% to USD 333.3 million; International Outdoor was up 4% to USD 361.8 million and "other" revenues rose 22% to USD 61.9 million. This year's results included USD 2.5 million in restructuring charges compared to US D6.6 million for the third quarter of last year.
Apart from International Outdoor where expenses were down 4% and Americas Outdoor where they were flat, expenses rose by 1% boosting OIBDAN, which was up 13% for radio to USD 301.3 million; up 17% for Americas Outdoor to USD 139.8 million; up 74% for International Outdoor to USD 63.3 million and up 196% for "other" to USD 16.4 million.
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO Mark Mays said, "Our diversified media platform continued to build on the momentum of the first half of the year. Our radio and outdoor businesses generated healthy gains in revenue and improvement in profit margins, reflecting our leadership positions, expanding digital presence and efficient operating infrastructure."
"As a result of the concerted investments we have made in our business, management and sales resources," he added "we have emerged as a more focused, profit-driven organization delivering innovative products and measurable results for our advertising partners."
At Salem the 4.4% increase took revenues for the quarter to USD 49.2 million and with expenses down 21% to USD 43.2 million (if impairment charges -of USD 14 million, the cost of denied sites and loss on disposal of assets are included they were up 6.7% to USD 43.2 million) operating income from continued operations moved from a USD 5.5 million loss to income of USD 8.2 million.
EBITDA went from a loss of USD 200,000 to income of USD 11.9 million (adjusted EBITDA was down 2.1% to USD 12.3 million) and net income went from a loss of USD 4.6 million to income of USD 300,000 (from a loss of 19 cents per diluted share to income of a cent a share).
Within the figures net broadcast revenue was up 2.7% to USD 43.5 million with station operating income up 2.6% to USD 15.6 million whilst same station net broadcast revenue was up 2.3% to USD 43.2 million with same station operating income up 2% to USD 15.6 million.
Non broadcast revenues were up 15% to USD 7.9 million but non-broadcast operating income was down 29.3% to USD 500,000.
For the first nine months Salem's total revenues are up 3% to USD 152.8 million; operating expenses are down 16.4% to USD 126.5 million; operating income from continued operations moved from a loss of USD 3.0 million to income of USD 26.4 million; EBITDA was more than tripled from USD 10.7 million to USD 36.2 million although adjusted EBITDA was down 2.5% to USD 38.4 million and net income went from a loss of USD 6.8 million to income of USD 1.3 million (from a loss of 28 cents to income of five cents per diluted share).
Broadcast revenues for the nine months were up 1.3% to USD 130.4 million and non-broadcast revenue was up 14.2% to USD 22.5 million whilst station operating income was up 1.4% to USD 57.5 million (same station increases were of 1.1% for revenues to USD 129.7 million and of 1.2% in operating income to USD 47.6 million) and non-broadcast operating income was down 14.6% to USD 1.9 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2010, Salem is projecting total revenue to increase 3% to 5% over fourth quarter 2009 total revenue of USD 50.8 million and operating expenses before gain or loss on disposal of assets and impairments to increase 5% to 8% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 operating expenses of USD 40.1 million.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-11-08: After a number of deadline extensions as it sought a refinancing deal Radio One Inc. seems on the way to finally reaching agreement after increasing its refinancing offer: It has announced terms of its "pending exchange offer that is designed to refinance substantially all of its existing indebtedness under its 87/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 and its 63/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 Notes" (together with the 2011 Notes, the "Existing Notes"): It also announced terms of a proposed comprehensive amendment to its existing senior secured credit facility.
Under the amended offer it will exchange USD 1,000 principal amount of the Company's new 12.5%/15.0% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2016 (the "Exchange Notes") in exchange for each USD 1,000 in principal amount of the 2011 Notes; and USD 950 principal amount of Exchange Notes in exchange for each USD 1,000 principal amount of the 2013 Notes, along with a concurrent consent solicitation to amend the indentures governing the Existing Notes to delete substantially all of the covenants contained therein.
The Exchange offer, which will run until 17:00 ET on Nov 19 unless extended, requires acceptance by at least 95% of holders of current notes and at the end of last week when the previous offer was still current approximately 92% of the combined aggregate principal amount outstanding of the 2011 Notes and the 2013 Notes - including approximately 78% of the 2011 Notes - had been validly tendered into the exchange offer and not withdrawn.
Along with the exchange deal Radio One has negotiated a Credit Facility Amendment with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. although it notes that this has to be approved by financial institutions holding the majority of outstanding loans and commitments and also depends on completion of its amended exchange offer. Under the new credit facility the company will establish new financial covenant levels; will be allowed to pay of interest on the 2013 Notes that had been due on August 16 but was delayed; will replace USD 323.0 million of outstanding revolving loans with a new term loan; will be allowed revolving credit borrowings of up to USD 20.0 million that the Company can utilize for working capital and general corporate purposes and an additional USD 18.8 million that can only be used for certain specified purposes.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-11-08: Saga Communications has reported third quarter revenues up 5% on a year earlier to USD 32.8 million with the first nine months showing a 5.3% increase to USD 93.7 million.
Operating income was up 27.6% for the quarter to USD 7.4 million with free cash flow up 4.5% to USD 6 million and net income up 44% to USD 3.6 million (from 58cents to 84 cents per diluted share).
For the first nine months operating income was up 55.4% to USD 18.8 million with free cash flow up 10.6% to USD 14.0 million and net income more than doubled from USD 4.8 million to USD 10.6 million ( from USD 1.14 to USD 2.50 per diluted share).
Despite the increases Chairman and CEO Ed Christian was in no mood to put any of it towards the recording companies and artists, terming the proposed performance royalty "a tax, a levy on my profits" and adding that he had a responsibility to shareholders "to not give away 1 percent of my gross revenue."
Christian, who is the chair of the Radio Music License Committee, which is currently negotiating to bring down the royalties paid to composers. added that he did not take the same view as the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) regarding performance royalties - the NAB has issued a "term sheet" in which it accepts the payment of a royalty of 1% of revenues - and noted that the NAB represented only around 4,000 US radio stations, under a third of the total, and commented about it speaking for the industry "without ever polling its members " saying that various people had asked that this be done.
(RNW comment: The tax description is one the NAB has used repeatedly to describe performance royalties but it has also gone along with the royalty payment if it gets as a quid-pro-quo legislation to mandate FM - and maybe later HD chips - in all cell phones sold in the US. Our view is that this is far more a tax on the consumer than the idea that the US should introduce performance royalties for terrestrial stations - already the case in most of the world).
2010-11-08: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin has found Lanarkshire station L107 FM had breached its format but upheld no other complaints against radio compared to standards breaches found in 19 cases, three cases of advertising minutage and partly upholding a TV fairness and privacy complaint and giving details of another TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
The numbers compare with the upholding in the previous bulletin of one Breach of Licence Condition by a radio station and also of standards complaints against six TV programmes, considering four more TV standards case resolved by action taken by the broadcasters, and gave details of another TV standards complaint not upheld.
In the case of L107, Ofcom received complaints of deviation from format following a change in control and in early August carried out a Content Sampling exercise. It monitored output between Sunday 1 and Tuesday 3 August 2010 and found that the station had failed to fulfil its commitment to broadcast local news over the three days.
"In particular," it commented, "local news stories were not broadcast during Sunday while at other times local news stories were broadcast without real change throughout the day, leaving local news delivery with no sense of update, urgency or commitment."
It is formally recording a breach of the licence condition, adding that it will monitor the station again for compliance in the near future.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 261 complaints against 146 TV items and 16 radio complaints against 16 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 588 complaints against 165 TV items (102 lf them against the X-Factor and 71 against This is England) and 11 radio complaints against 11 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2010-11-07: Last week was another fairly quiet one for the regulators with no radio announcements from Australia, only the launch of a consultation in Ireland, and only a few postings elsewhere.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted revised content categories and subcategories for radio. The new categories follow its decision to add a new subcategory 36 (Experimental Music) in its Content Category 3 -Special Interest Music.
It describes experimental music as "The unconventional and non-traditional uses of instruments and sound equipment to create new sounds and an orchestration of these sounds. This includes audio-art, turntablism, musique actuelle, electro acoustic and sound ecology. While it may involve the use of previously recorded sounds to create new sounds and orchestrations, it does not include spinning or beat mixing where the alterations of previously recorded tracks are limited to mixes between two or more pieces or samples."
The agency also posted the following radio licensing decisions (In order of province):
*Approved application by Newcap Inc. to relocate the transmitter of CHLW-FM, St. Paul; increase its power from 16,000 to 22,000 watts and decrease the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 122.6 to 80.3 metres.
Newcap said it cannot use the site approved for the conversion of the station to FM because of lease negotiation issues and it wished to relocate the transmitter on the Telus Tower in St. Paul because this site would better serve the population of St. Paul and would provide a stronger signal to that area.
The CRTC noted that the population serves within the 3 mV/m and 0.5 mV/m contours will decrease from 9,447 to 9,324 (1.3%) and from 27,098 to 22,126 (18.34%), respectively with the population fall focused on the adjacent Bonnyville market.
*Renewed from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 the licence of Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CFBK-FM, Huntsville.
The CRTC has issued a short-term renewal because it says licensee Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting Limited, now owned by Haliburton, filed its annual return for the 2006-2007 broadcast after the deadline. Haliburton said the previous owner was in hospital at that time.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has made no radio postings as such but it has launched a public consultation regarding its draft Strategy Statement (See RNW Nov 3)
In the UK, Ofcom has also launched a consultation, this time in relation to request to extend area in which two West Wales stations can co-locate, and also posted its October Radio Update (See RNW Nov 4).
Ofcom had earlier launched another consultation request from Bauer Radio to allow its three KISS stations to share all programming (See RNW Nov 1).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again been handing out penalties for public file and other rule breaches including proposed fines totalling USD 43,000 - USD 25,000 on a Florida broadcaster and USD 18,000 on a Pennsylvania one for public file and other violations (See RNW Nov 3) and a later USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.
This went to Mapleton License of San Luis Obispo, LLC, licensee of KXDZ-FM, Templeton, California, for failing to maintain a complete public inspection file. The proposed penalty follows am inspection in February when it was found that required issues/programs lists were missing for the fourth quarter of 2007, first, second, and third quarters of 2008, and the first and fourth quarters of 2009.
Mapleton's market manager agreed that the lists were missing and indicated that the period for which they were missing appeared to coincide with the departure of the station employee who had previously maintained the lists.
The agency also posted the following radio licensing decisions:
*Opted to allocate Channel 227A to Onekama, but not to open a filing window for it until later.
It also dismissed applications from Roy E. Henderson to substitute the channel for vacant Channel 263A at Custer so as to allow him to upgrade WCUZ-FM, Bear Lake, from Channel 261A to Channel 264C3 and also to allow him to construct FM Channel 227A at Custer.
The FCC held that a counterproposal from Northern Radio of Michigan, Inc. to allocate Channel 227A at Onekama as the community's first local service in lieu of the substitution of Channel 227A for Channel 263A at Custer, had preference.
It allotted Channel 227A to Onekama but added that it would not open a filing window for the channel now but address the opening of the allotment for auction later.
*Dismissed petition from Shamrock Communications, Inc. proposing the allotment of Channel 291C at Silverpeak, Nevada, as that community's first local service. To accommodate the allotment Shamrock, which is the permittee of Channel 290C1 at Amargosa Valley, had proposed the substitution at Amargosa of Channel 250C1 but this substitution was subsequently dismissed and the allotment would have meant that the two services did not comply with its FM spacing requirements.
The FCC also dismissed an application from CCR-St. George IV, LLC, to allow its KSNN-FM, St George., where it is on Channel 291C2, to move to Channel 291C1 at Logandale: This application was contingent on the grant of Shamrock's application.
*Granted application to assign the licence of low-power FM ("LPFM") station WCRS-LP, Groveport and Columbus, from Simply Living to The Neighborhood Network ("TNN").
Bexley Public Radio Foundation, licensee of LPFM Station WCRX-LP, Columbus, and party to a time-sharing agreement with Simply Living, filed a Petition to Deny and John Anderson filed an Informal Objection.
Simply Living and Bexley had been amongst five mutually exclusive applicants for new LPFMs in a 2000 filing window and four applicants were granted licences of whom only Simply Living and Bexley constructed facilities.
Simply argued against the transfer on the basis that the FCC's ruled barred it because TNN had made no time-sharing agreement with it, that the grant would violate its existing timeshare agreement and that it was not in the public interest and Anderson argued that the transfer would violate the timeshare agreement and alleged that TNN appears to have exerted "operational control" over the station.
The FCC concluded that the rules did not require Simply Living and TNN to submit a revised timeshare agreement to it or obtain Bexley's prior consent to the proposed assignment and commented that upon becoming licensee TN would be bound by the existing timeshare agreement and thus there was no public interest concern. It also commented that Anderson provided no evidence that TNN had exerted improper control and allowed the transfer.
*Granted application from Johnson Communications, Inc. to relocate the transmitter, change the frequency and make other modifications to its Studio -Transmitter Link (STL) Station WCQ452, in the Dayton area.
Southwestern Ohio Public Radio had objected on the basis that this could cause interference with its STL station WQJK228, which operates on an adjacent channel, but the FCC found no evidence that the proposed changes would cause or exacerbate any interference problem to Southwestern and allowed the change.
Previous Licence News:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-11-06: BBC Radio 2 will tomorrow (2030 GMT) air its Young Choristers Of The Year programme following the final that was held on October 29 at St Paul's Cathedral in London.
The Choristers of the Year, chosen from eight finalists who performed in the cathedral are 16-years-old Ellie Taylor from Sheffield and 13-years-old Liam Jones from County Durham.
The competition is now in its 25th year and Sunday's broadcast will feature a number of previous winners including Laura Wright, who joined the All Angels group and has a scholarship at the Royal College of Music; Thomas Jesty, who sang on the Batman Returns soundtrack; William Dutton, whohas sung at the Proms and also with Jose Carreras and Bryn Terfel; and Alice Halstead, who sang on Karl Jenkins' Christmas Album.
Commenting on this year's competition, Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes for Radio 2, said: "The standard this year has been phenomenal. All those who took part were excellent but Liam and Ella had an extra special quality which the judges have rewarded with this prestigious prize."
Also at the BBC, its digital station 6 Music, has announced its line-up of special guest DJs set to play from tomorrow on the network's specialist dance show 6 Mix (Sundays at 20:00 GMT).
First up will be Ben Watt, who joins 6 Mix for a series of six shows exploring underground dance and electronic music past, present and future. Watt was formerly half of Everything But The Girl and is now the main artists of the Buzzin' Fly label.
The schedule will include Erol Alkan; Andrew Weatherall (with a Screamadelica special); Chillwave special (Neon Indian); Derrick May; The Art Of The Remix; and Marc Hughes.
2010-11-05: Emmis Communications, whose share price plunged after the failure because of failure to gain acceptance from preferred stockholders until terms were improved leading to the subsequent withdrawal of Alden Global Capital's financial backing of Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Smulyan's latest attempt to take it private with a bid of USD 2.40 per common share (See RNW Sep 9) has now 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 because the stock has closed below its minimum USD 1 price for 30 consecutive days. The stock ended the week at 80 cents having last closed above USD 1 on September 17 and since then ranged from 75 to 94 cents.
The company now has 180 days - to May 2 next year - to regain compliance: It says it "intends to actively evaluate and monitor the bid price for its Class A Common Stock between now and May 2, 2011, and consider implementation of various options available to the Company if its Class A Common Stock does not trade at a level that is likely to regain compliance.
The notice does not affect the listing of the Company's 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, which will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Emmis was in the same position a year ago when it received an earlier de-listing notice related to its common stock for the same reason (See RNW Sep 21, 2009). The NASDAQ had suspended the minimum price rule after markets crashed but reinstated the rule on August 3 last year.
2010-11-05: In more US radio results, Entercom has reported third quarter revenues up 3% to USD 102.7 million; operating income up 13.5% to USD 26.6 million and EBITDA up 5% to USD 31.0 million but net income was down 41.5% to USD 10.69 million (from 52 cents to 30 cents per basic share and from, 50 cents to 29 cents per diluted share): This year's figures include USD 7.233 million in income taxes compared to USD 440,000 in 2009 - the pre-tax income figures showed a 4.24% fall to USD 17.92 million.
For the first nine months revenues are up 4.7% to USD 289.4 million with operating income moving from a 2009 loss of 13.44 million after a USD 67.7 million impairment loss; EBITDA up 12.4% to USD 81.8 million and a net loss of USD 18.3 million becoming income of USD 29.2 million (From a loss of 52 cents per basic and diluted share to income of 82 cents per basic share and 78 cents per diluted share).
President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Field commented, "We hold ourselves accountable for consistently delivering top-tier relative performance and in the third quarter we did not perform up to our standards. Looking ahead, we feel good about our prospects based on our strong brands, a top-notch management team, and an expanding arsenal of digital capabilities. Fourth quarter pacings look promising and we will finish 2010 with strong double-digit growth in EBITDA and free cash flow. We fully expect to return to our long-term track record of delivering top-tier performance in 2011."
At Univision third quarter net revenue increased 9.1% to USD 575.0 million but adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) was down 0.3% to USD 231.7 million - Operating income was up 0.5% to USD 174.2 million and net income was up from USD 5.4 million to USD 44.1 million. The 2009 figures included USD 187.4 in interest charges, a sum down to USD 22.8 million this year and also a USD 18 million loss on the sale of receivables.
Within the figures radio revenues were down 7.5% to USD 86.4 million whilst TV was up 12.1% to USD 472.8 million and Interactive Media was up 36.2% to USD 15.8 million.
For the first nine months net revenues are up 14.6% to USD 1.669 billion with OIBDA up 11.6% to USD 683.9;operating income up 25.2% to USD 530.5 million and a net loss of USD 77.4 million becoming net income of USD 6.2 million.
For the nine months radio revenue was down 5.65% to USD 240.6 million whilst TV was up 17.95% to USD1.383 billion and Interactive Media was up 54.3% to USD 44.9 million.
Univision notes that excluding the impact of the FIFA World Cup consolidated net revenue for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010 increased 4.3% and 7.7%, respectively compared to the figures a year earlier.
President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Uva said of the performance," Univision continued its trajectory of enhanced financial results and audience growth across all platforms this quarter, further establishing its leadership in the marketplace for both the short and long-term."
2010-11-05: BBC Radio news-based programming has been hit today by a strike by journalists over proposed changes to the BBC Pension Scheme with the Radio 4 flagship Today breakfast programme and World at One replaced with short news bulletins, repeats and other programming. The station's PM has been replaced with other programming and the 18:00 news shortened from 30 minutes to a 15-minute bulletin in a revised schedule but it continues to list the World Tonight programme.
BBC Radio 5 Live's breakfast programme was aired but without its regular hosts Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogerty whose place was taken by Ian Payne and the following Victoria Derbyshire morning show airing repeats of her interviews with extended pre-recorded packages taking the place of other usual output.
The station's online schedule has not been revised nor have those for BBC Radios 1, 2, and 3 although at Radio 2 although their news programming was affected as was that on BBC digital radio stations.
Amongst those who did not cross picket lines were Today programme hosts John Humphrys and Sarah Montague although the outgoing deputy-director general Mark Byford crossed the picket line.
The BBC in a running update on the strike, which will run to midnight tomorrow, said, "We are doing everything we can to deliver programmes and services to our audiences. However we anticipate there will be some disruption to the schedule and apologise for this."
In a blog on the action Director General Mark Thompson wrote, "As I write this, the full impact of today's 48 hour strike by the National Union of Journalists is not clear. We believe that much of the output of the BBC will be unaffected by this action. However, it is inevitable that some programmes and content will be disrupted. I would like to apologise wholeheartedly for this and assure you that we are doing everything we can to bring you as much as possible of our usual programming.
He added that the pension changes had been "accepted by the majority of unions" saying "These changes were necessary to deal with a pension deficit which, like many other schemes, is due to the performance of financial markets and the fact that people are living longer."
He noted that changes had been made to the plans following consultation with staff and added, "We have made clear this is our final offer and that we can make no more changes without imposing an unacceptable burden on Licence Fee payers."
The corporation in a news release commented, "We are disappointed that the NUJ have gone ahead with today's industrial action. This is despite the other four unions accepting our revised offer, and feedback from staff that indicates the same. It is the public who lose out and we apologise to our audience for any disruption to services."
The NUJ has termed the plans "BBC Pensions Robbery" and added, "NUJ members have been working and paying into a pension scheme, the BBC have proposed ripping up the current pension arrangements and replacing them with a pension scheme that will see staff paying more in contributions and working longer and getting less in retirement. As a result, NUJ members have been left with no choice but to strike to defend their financial futures."
"We've already been overwhelmed by the support for the campaign so far from staff at the BBC and not just NUJ members" it added. "Colleagues in BECTU have inundated us with messages of support, with many refusing to cross picket lines to get into work. It's clear that staff right across the BBC are keen for us to win - as it would mean a better pensions deal for all. "
NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear, in response to comments from Lucy Adams, Director, BBC People, on Radio 5 that there is "no more money" on the table and other unions accepted this, responded, "Neither she nor the BBC know the real size of deficit is. What BBC management do know is that when the pension fund valuation is published next year, the deficit is likely to be shown to be far smaller than the GBP 2 billion ( USD 3.25 billion) figure they currently claim and the rationale for the changes they propose will be shot to pieces."
"As far as her claim that other unions have accepted that there is no more money," he added, "not only is that false, but our sister union, BECTU, have warned the BBC that should the deficit be shown to be below GBP 1.5 billion (USD 2.44 billion), they will ballot their members for industrial action!"
The union has also been posting updates on the effect of the strike including notes of the effects on Radio Ulster - including the loss of its flagship current affairs programme Good Morning Ulster off the air, the Stephen Nolan Show (9-10.30) and BBC Radio Ulster Talkback; BBC Scotland - including the loss of the Good Morning Scotland" flagship breakfast radio programme; and BBC World News America.
BBC - Thompson blog re strike:
National Union of Journalists re strike effects:
2010-11-05: Australian commercial radio recorded yet another month of growth in October with total metropolitan advertising revenue up 8.95% on a year ago to a total of AUD 62.53 million (USD 65.5 million), according to figures released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
Figures from the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte show the strongest growth in Brisbane - up 12.62% to AUD 10.19 million (USD 10.35 million) followed by Sydney - up 12.4% to AUD 19.7 million (USD 20.0 million); Melbourne - up 6.89% to AUD 19.09 million (USD 19.38 million); Perth - up 6.42% to AUD 7.95 million (USD 8.07 million) and Adelaide - up 1.86% to AUD 5.50 million (USD 5.59 million).
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said the figures - which follow 11.8% first quarter growth to AUD 173.66 million (USD 176.28 million) for the 2011 financial year (See RNW Oct 16 ) - were "pleasing news" and added, "The industry is continuing to work hard to promote the many strengths of radio as an advertising source and remains optimistic about the next twelve months. "
Previous Commercial Radio Australia & Australian radio revenues:
2010-11-04: In more US results, CBS Corporation has reported third quarter revenues down 1.6% on a year ago because of the impact of syndication sales a year ago that were not repeated - local broadcasting revenues were up 13% - whilst Entravision's revenues were up 5% and those of Radio One Inc. were down 0.2%.
At CBS revenues for the quarter went from USD 3.35 billion a year ago to USD 3.298 billion within which content licensing and distribution revenues were down 23.2% to USD 828 million whilst advertising was up 10.3% to USD 1.99 billion; affiliate and subscription fees were up 14.7% to USD 408 million.
In divisional terms Entertainment and Publishing revenues were down but Cable Networks were up as was local broadcasting and Outdoor.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization ("OIBDA") increased 17% to USD 667.4 million led by increases of 49% at Local Broadcasting, 136% at Outdoor and 33% at Cable Networks and adjusted net earnings were up 42% to USD 245.2 million whilst net earnings were up 52.8% to USD 317.3 million with basic net earnings per common share up from 31 to 47 cents and diluted net earnings per common share up from 30 to 46 cents.
For the first nine months revenues were up 6.76% to USD 10.16 billion; adjusted OIBDA was up 31.5% to USD 1.599 billion and total OIBDA was up 34.9% to ISD 1.623 billion and net earnings went from USD 167.7 million to USD 441.2 million (from 25 to 65 cents per basic share and from 25 cents to 64 cents per diluted share).
Local broadcasting revenues, which include CBS Radio and CBS Television, rose as noted by 13% - to USD 677.3 million within which CBS TV advertising revenues were up 25% and CBS Radio advertising was up 9%.
Commenting on the performance, Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said, "CBS's extraordinary performance this year continued in the third quarter. We are a Company focused on producing and distributing the best content, and today's financial results once again reinforce the wisdom of that strategy. CBS's ongoing strength is due to the hard work and business acumen of its management team, and our industry-leading content positions us for continued success for a long, long time."
President and CEO Leslie Moonves added, "CBS's strong momentum continues to grow across our businesses. Just as we saw last year, each quarter in 2010 is delivering higher profits than the quarter before. The operating environment continues to improve, and we are reaping the benefits of our lower cost structure, with margins that are approaching pre-recession levels."
CBS Corporation also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a USD 1.5 billion share repurchase scheme. The company says it intends to repurchase CBS Corporation Class B common stock, beginning in January and Moonves commented, "This new share buyback program reflects the confidence we have in the long-term strength and viability of our business, which continues to generate strong, healthy free cash flow."
At Entravision third quarter revenues were up 5% to USD 53.325 million and for the first nine months were up 6% to USD 149.829 million with adjusted EBITDA up 7% for the quarter at USD 18.444 million and up 16% for the first nine months to USD 46.938 million.
Net income was up from USD 673,000 to USD 6.408 million for the quarter and from a loss of USD 15.648 million for the first nine months to income of USD 11.187 million: Within the figures interest expense in the third quarter of 2009 of USD 8.157 million was trimmed to USD 4.302 million whilst the nine-month figure for 2009 included a USD 2.72 million impairment charge; USD 21.37 million in interest expenses and a loss of USD 4.72 million on debt extinguishment compared to no impairment charge this year, a USD 987,00 loss on debt extinguishment and interest expenses of USD 14.91 million.
Within the figures radio revenues in the third quarter were up 1% to USD 19 million with TV up 7% to USD 34.3 million
Commenting on the results Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Walter F. Ulloa said, "During the third quarter, we generated revenue growth primarily driven by retransmission consent revenue and World Cup and political advertising. Our audience shares remain strong in the nation's most densely populated Hispanic markets, and we believe we are well positioned to benefit as the U.S. Hispanic market continues to expand and advertisers increasingly recognize the importance of reaching our audience."
At Radio One Inc. net revenue for the third quarter was down 0.2% to USD 74.5 million whilst for the first nine months it was up 1.89% to USD 208.7 million and operating expenses for the quarter were up 9/4% to USD 57.2 million whilst for the nine months they were down 15.8% to USD 173.8 million.
Operating income for the quarter was down 22.6% to USD 17.3 million whilst for the nine months an operating loss of USD 1.65 million - after a USD 49.0 million impairment charge - became income of USD 34.9 million.
Overall Radio One moved from income of USD 14.2 million a year ago to USD 1.04 million for the quarter (From income of 25cents to 2 cents per diluted share) and from a loss of USD 38 million to a loss of USD 1.5 million for the first nine months (from a loss of 61 cents to a loss of three cents per diluted share).
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, said, "While overall core radio revenues were virtually flat in the third quarter compared to last year, we did see areas of improvement such as national business, which was up 3.1%, and radio segment internet revenue, which was up 133%. As I noted in the second quarter we continue to have upward pressure on the cost base, driven by a combination of contractual increases, commission expenses and the restoration of salary expenses. Reach Media continues to recover from its lack of guaranteed revenues during the third quarter with its strong in-house sales effort. Our internet business continues to grow, with revenues up 24% this quarter compared to the third quarter of 2009, and we continue to believe that our on-line platform will be a major source of revenue and EBITDA growth for the future."
Commenting on the company's debt problems he added, "The multiple defaults that were triggered in each of the second and third quarters under the terms of our credit facility are still in effect; however, our business remains viable and we continue to work towards a resolution with our lenders and bondholders. I anticipate a solution to these issues will be forthcoming in the near term."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-11-04: Sirius XM Radio has reported a subscriber total of 19,862,175, more than 1.3 million above the total a year earlier, at the end of the third quarter - 334,727 added in the quarter in which it also turned a loss attributable to common stockholders of USD 151.5 million to income of USD 67.6 million (From a loss of four cents to income of a two cents per basic share, one cent per diluted share) on revenues up 16% to USD 717.5 million.
The net figures a year ago included losses on extinguishment of debt of USD 138.1 million, a figure down to USD 300,000 in the third quarter of this year.
Average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) was up 6% to USD 11.81 and the self-pay monthly customer churn rate was down from 2.0% to 1.9%.
Adjusted revenue for the quarter was up 15% year on year at USD 722.5 million with adjusted EBITDA up 60% to USD 169.7 million and free cash flow more than doubling at USD 62 million, up from USD 26.7 million.
For the first nine months of the year total revenues were up from USD 1.8 million to USD 2.1 billion - adjusted revenues rose from USD 630 million to USD 1.81 billion and a pre-tax loss of USD 361 million was turned into income of 131million with a net loss of USD 364 million turned to income of USD 124.5 million (from a loss attributable to common stockholders of 15 cents per basic and diluted share into income of three cents per basic share and two cents per diluted share.).
Based on the figures Sirius XM is increasing its full year guidance for adjusted EBITDA upward from approximately USD 575 million to around USD 600 million with adjusted revenue for 2010 to exceed USD 2.8 billion and free cash flow will exceed USD 150 million, Subscriber guidance remains at approximately 20.1 million at the end of the year.
CEO Mel Karmazin said of the performance, "We continued our positive momentum in the third quarter, improved our churn and conversion rates, and attained a record high subscriber count. We delivered record adjusted revenue and adjusted EBITDA, increased our free cash flow, and we are now raising our financial guidance for the full year."
He then added, "We will continue to increase and diversify our content offerings with new shows, new celebrity hosts and specialty programming with fantastic appeal to new and existing subscribers. By growing subscribers and revenue, tightly managing costs, and improving our balance sheet, we are positioned well for long term free cash flow growth."
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-11-04: UK media regulator Ofcom has commenced yet another consultation - with a December 2 deadline for responses - over a request to co-locate stations, this time from Town and Country Broadcasting, which wants to be able to co-locate Bridge FM (serving Bridgend) and Bay Radio (serving Swansea).
The proposal is for these stations to be able to co-locate and be provided from a location anywhere within Ofcom's 'approved areas' of West Wales and South Wales. They are both in the West Wales approved area and currently co-located at Neath in Bay Radio's licensed area, an arrangement agreed in 2006
Under the rules Ofcom introduced in April this year a request to co-locate anywhere in the West Wales area would normally be approved but a consultation is required concerning any co-location in the South Wales approved area.
Ofcom has also posted its October Radio Update that contained details of six analogue station format changes and consultations regarding two other proposed changes - an application by Celador to change the format of its recently acquired Star Radio in Bristol (See RNW Licence News Oct 24) and from Bauer Radio to allow it's the KISS stations to share all their programming (See RNW Nov 1).
The format changes approved involved five Celador stations - Jack FM in Bristol; the Coast 106 Solent station and The Breeze stations in Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester where Celador is to reduce the minimum locally made hours - currently ten a day weekdays and four at weekends - and requirement for news at least hourly to seven hours a day weekdays and four at weekends to be combined with an enhanced news service to be aired at least hourly on weekdays and at weekend peak times.
The update also notes two 12-year licence renewals - for Pirate FM Ltd's Pirate FM (Cornwall) to April 2, 2023 and Celador Radio (Portsmouth) Ltd's The Breeze to September 18, 2022 plus the issuing of two commercial digital licences - to Crown House Media Ltd for World Rally Radio/Commentary, interviews and reaction from Round 13 of the 2010 World Rally Championship. (Broadcasting 10 -15 November inc.) and to Digital Programme Services Ltd.'s NME Radio.
No licences were revoked or handed back in the month.
As regards Community Radio the agency is conducting its second round funding applications to the Community Radio Fund in 2010/11 (applications close on November 9) and issued one new licence - to Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Student Radio Limited's CAM FM, Cambridge.
It also renewed for five years the licences of South Eastern Regional College's Down FM. Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, and Wetherby Community Radio Ltd's Tempo 107.4 FM, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, and approved the transfer of the licence of Ujima Radio, Bristol, to Ujima Radio CIC.
In addition key commitment changes were allowed for Blyth Valley Community Radio's Blyth Valley Radio which will change the make-up of its live output from typically 70% music and 30% speech to 75% music and 25% speech and also replace the Blyth Valley Radio Steering Group of 12 members, which has to hold an annual open forum for community members, with the Blyth Valley Community Radio Response Group (BVCRRG) will consist of up to 12 elected members with a quorum of not less than six members and will also hold an annual open meeting.
2010-11-04: Derryn Hinch, the drivetime host at Fairfax Media's Melbourne 3AW, told his audience today that he may only have a year to live unless he receives a liver transplant.
3AW has posted video of his announcement on its site and a transcript of his comments on Hinch's blog. The host prefaced his announcement with comments relating to his appearance in the High Court in relation to his identification on his website and in a 2008 speech to a victims-of-crime rally in Victoria of two sex offenders who had been released from jail on extended supervision orders with their names suppressed by Victoria county court rulings.
Hinch could face a penalties of up to AUD 60,000 (USD 61,000) and five years in jail if the five charges against him are upheld - he was jailed briefly in 1987 for naming a paedophile priest - and has taken his case to the High Court, arguing that the orders breach Australia's constitution.
Earlier this week he commented outside the Federal Court in Canberra, "This is not about me, it's not about the media. It's about open courts, it's about the transparency of our courts ... it's about the public interest. The basic thing is our system of democracy and our Constitution was meant to say our courts will be open, they will be fair, they will be transparent."
The Melbourne Herald-Sun (owned by Fairfax rival News Corporation) quoted him as saying he was prepared to go to jail again, adding that prison "wouldn't be good, even if I were very healthy".
After the reference, Hinch went on to comment of his latest cancer news, "Some good news and some bad news. The bad news is it is a bad cancer. The good news is the chemotherapy beads have killed off some of the cancerous growths. Some of those satellites around the mother ship.
Bad news, it didn't kill them all and I'll have more chemotherapy very soon."
He then continued, "And the worse news is that they have totally ruled out a resection operation -where they would remove 40% of my cancerous liver and rely on the rest to keep me functioning while regenerating. That's not an option."
Hinch said that meant his only long-term hope for survival was a liver transplant and continued, "I asked my doctor quite bluntly today: Without treatment, without a transplant, how long have I got. And he said '12 months'."
Of his near-term plans Hinch said, "It is going to be a very interesting year with, I hope, some favourable High Court news around March or April and I'll be hoping for some good medical news around the same time. But, until then, as far as I am concerned, it is business as usual except when I have to be off air for all those tests and treatments I mentioned."
Previous Fairfax Media:
3AW - Hinch blog (video is embedded):
Melbourne Herald-Sun report re Hinch court case:
2010-11-03: BBC Director of Global News Peter Horrocks has told the UK House of Commons foreign affairs committee that the licence fee deal announced last month (See RNW Oct 20) would mean "hundreds" of job losses and that the service will be proposing closure of some more foreign language services.
Under the agreement the service, which under its current deal is funded by an annual Foreign Office grant of GBP 272 million (USD 440 million) already reduced to GBP 261 million (USD 422 million) will see cuts of more than 16%. Although the BBC will take over funding for the World Service the Foreign Secretary will have to approve the closure of any services.
Horrocks told the committee, "We are a very staff-heavy organisation, most of our costs are in people So the reduction in staff numbers will be broadly in line with the level of savings that we need to make more than 16%. Our staffing is 2,000 so you can work it out relatively straightforwardly. It will be hundreds of jobs that need to go."
Horrocks added that he expected to propose some closures, not just because for budget reasons but also for other reasons although they would need to assess the effects of this in terms of competition and impact on audiences: In particular he said underused short-wave broadcasts were likely to be switched to FM and extra commercial operations were possible although at the moment there were "no plans" to put adverts on the service's foreign-language websites.
Horrocks said he approved of the transfer of funding responsibility to the BBC.
RNW Note: We observed an interesting difference in comments on reports of these job and service cuts in The Scotsman where a number of comments referred to the Service in terms of it being "English" rather than "British" - one comment read "Certainly will not be sad at the demise of the BBC World Service, good riddance as far as Im (sic) concerned. BBC World Service is only for promoting a Britain that is in the English home counties" whilst in the UK Guardian a number of comments focussed on the issue of adverts on BBC websites - one referred to a "prim maiden at home, pleading poverty, and a kept woman abroad" as it already had adverts on some sites - but not as many as we expected were supportive of the Service.
The Scotsman report:
UK Guardian report:
2010-11-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing fines totalling USD 43,000 - USD 25,000 on a Florida broadcaster and USD 18,000 on a Pennsylvania one for public file and other violations.
In Florida it has issued a USD 25,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Rama Communications, Inc., licensee of WRHB-AM, Leesburg, for failing to maintain full-time managerial and staff personnel at its main studio and failing to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The agency had inspected the station in September last year following a complaint and found no managerial or staff employed by the company at its studio or transmitter site - all those present said they were employed by Heartbeat Radio, which provides programming for the station under a time-brokerage agreement.
The agents also found that the public file produced had no issues/ programs lists after June 12, 2007, or a copy of the time brokerage agreement although while agents were at the station, Rama faxed to the main studio a current copy of its time brokerage agreement with Heartbeat Radio.
The agents revisited the station in October last year and were told by the owner of Heartbeat Radio on the phone that one of the two individuals present was employed by Rama and had been working at the station less than two weeks. Neither of the people present were aware of any other Rama employees working at the station prior to the inspection and the Rama employee said she had started less than two weeks ago, was unfamiliar with the management and operation of the station, and did not appear to have any managerial authority over the station.
The FCC has proposed a USD 25,000 penalty, increasing the base penalties total of USD 17,000 (USD 7,000 for main studio rule violation and USD 10,000 for Public File violations) to this amount.
In Pennsylvania, a USD 18,000 NAL was issued to Beacon Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of station WGRP-AM, WEXC-FM, and aural studio transmitter link WQGW238, in Greenville, for failing to: (1) maintain radio issues/programs lists in the station's public inspection file; operate its broadcast station in a manner which complies with the terms of the station authorization; and operate an STL for Station WEXC on an authorized frequency.
The breaches came to light during an inspection in November last year during which it found that the WGRP public inspection file did not contain any radio issues/programs lists since the grant of the latest WGRP renewal application on July 28, 2006: In relation to this Beacon said the file did not contain the radio issues/programs lists prior to September 14, 2005 because the former station principals had not prepared them but that it was complete for the period after it took control.
The agents also found that WGRP has been broadcasting at night-time at 26.9 Watts but was authorized to operate only at 2.2 Watts and also that Beacon had programmed the transmitter to automatically reduce power to 28 Watts at night-time and the manufacturer said the transmitter involved was only authorized to operate between 10 Watts and 1100 Watts and could not operate at 2 watts without distortion.
Agents also found that WEXC had been operating its studio-transmitter link at a frequency whose authorization had been cancelled at Beacon's request not at the frequency for which subsequent authorization was granted.
In this case the base forfeitures are USD 10,000 for the public file violation and USD 4,000 for each of the other two and the FCC proposed a USD18, 000 total.
2010-11-03: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) today launched a public consultation - responses have to be submitted by 17:00 local time on November 29 - on its proposed mission, vision and values as set out in a draft version of its Strategy Statement 2011-2013.
The document is to be finalised next month and speaking at the launch of the consultation BAI Chairperson Bob Collins commented, "This first Strategy Statement from the Authority is an important opportunity to set out the values that will shape the work of the BAI in the coming years". While acknowledging the difficulties facing broadcasters in the current economic circumstances he said that the BAI wishes to "support and encourage ambition and aspiration in Irish Broadcasting."
The 28-page document is on the BAI website and sets out the regulator's role and functions under the headings "Mission, Vision and Values" and "Themes, Strategic Goals and Strategic Objectives."
The latter are divided into eight sections -
Strategic Goal 1 - Influencing and Communicating - Becoming a Trusted and Informed Voice on Broadcasting.
Strategic Goal 2 - Ensuring Diversity - Providing a Diverse Range of Broadcasting Services and Content
Strategic Goal 3 - Ensuring Plurality- Ensuring Plurality in Irish Broadcasting "
Strategic Goal 4 -Strengthening the Transparency and Accountability of Broadcasters -
Holding Broadcasters to Account Under Statute and Contract
Strategic Goal 5 - Facilitating Learning and Development in the Broadcasting Sector - Working with the Broadcasting Sector to Enhance its Capacity.
Strategic Goal 6-Promoting Responsible Broadcasting and Empowering Audiences - Devising Strategic Goal 7 - Broadcasting Codes and Standards - Informing, Educating and Empowering Audiences
Strategic Goal 8 - Organisational Development - Developing the BAI as an Agile, Effective and Professional Public Service Organisation
In a foreword Collins described broadcasting as a "dynamic activity" continuing "It has the capacity to alter its course on a daily basis."
It operates, he says, in an "intensely dynamic" environment, adding, "The composition of the population of Ireland has changed significantly in the last decade. That has initiated a process whose enduring impact on Irish society is yet to be fully understood. Audiences are also constantly changing."
Commenting on technological changes he writes, "The very notion of broadcasting is changing. Long-standing concepts are being challenged. The obituary of broadcasting as we know it has been written more than once. The rise of on-line sources and the impact of the internet have forever altered the context. New and varied sources of information, news and entertainment are a fact of contemporary and future life" and says this means that the Authority has been introduced with a role "quite different from any previous broadcasting regulator in Ireland."
The Authority he says will seek:
*To provide the diversity of content and plurality of ownership that are necessary
*To be, insofar as is possible, a guarantor of the audience interest
*To encourage and facilitate ambition and aspiration in broadcasting
*To take the necessary initiatives to reflect changing audience and public realities.
He concludes, "We must be certain that our focus is on what really matters and not on issues of second order importance. The Authority's understanding of broadcasting and its role in contemporary society will inform and guide the nature of its relationship with broadcasters and with audiences.
BAI Draft Strategy (English version - 28-page 1.9 Mb PDF):
2010-11-03: Citadel Broadcasting, which has been under pressure over stock awards to a number of executives, has now agree to rescind them and as a result a court hearing scheduled for today to consider the matter has been postponed until November 10 according to a filing from Citadel debt-holder R2 (R-squared).
R2 had accused those involved of a shocking display of corporate greed and dishonesty" in rewarding themselves with grants of stock worth USD 110 million and accused the company's board, which awarded more than USD 1.35 million of stock to each of its members of engaging in a "a disturbing game of quid pro quo" (See RNW Oct 11).
Citadel had responded by saying the filing contained "misleading and inaccurate charges" and that the board had acted appropriately".
Bloomberg quoted Citadel spokesman Jonathon Doorler as saying of the reversal of the decision, "To enable the company to focus on those business matters that will maximize value for its shareholders, including the anticipated refinancing, the members of Citadel's executive management team and board of directors have voluntarily agreed to relinquish their restricted stock awards. The company intends to issue such individuals options in accordance with the plan originally filed with the bankruptcy court."
Under the original plan revealed in an SEC Filing in August (See RNW Aug 23) but said to have been authorized by the Citadel Board on June 9 according to a Citadel filing in response to R2, Citadel CEO Farid Suleman would have received restricted stock worth around USD 55 million through the issue of ten million shares of a new Class A stock with Suleman to receive 1.9 million shares; COO Judy Ellis to receive 100,000; CFO Randy Taylor and SVP/General Counsel Jacqueline Orr each to get 80,000; and SVP/Finance and Administration Patricia Stratford 56,250. On top of this each of the directors would have received 47,530 shares.
2010-11-02: Fisher Communications has reported third quarter revenues up 22% on a year earlier at USD 42.2 million led by TV with revenues up 27% to USD 6.9 million whilst radio revenues were up 6% to USD 3.7 million (From a loss of 46 cents to income of 38 cents per share). TV Broadcast cash flow (BCF) more than doubled - from USD 3.59 million to USD 7.59 million and radio BCF nearly doubled - up from USD 1.18 million to USD 2.06 million
Net income moved from a USD 4.0 million loss a year ago to income of USD 3.3 million: This year's figures that include a USD 275,000 pre-tax gain (USD 178,000 after-tax) on the Sprint Nextel asset exchange and a USD 2.9 million pre-tax gain (USD 1.9 million after-tax) on insurance reimbursements related to the July 2009 Fisher Plaza electrical fire and the 2009 net loss included a USD 4.0 million pre-tax loss (USD 2.7 million after-tax) related to expenses incurred for the July 2009 Fisher Plaza electrical fire.
For the first nine months overall revenues are up 25% to USD 118.36 million again led by TV - up 31.6% to USD 89.63 million whilst radio was up 8.6% to USD 18.19 million and net income moved from a loss of USD 10.41 million to income of USD 1.47 million (from a loss of USD 1.15 to income of 17 cents per share). The 2009 figures included USD 3.95 million in expenses related to the Fisher Plaza Fire plus USD 10.88 million in depreciation and amortization and USD 8.89 million in amortization of programme rights whilst those for this year USD 2.06 million in gains on asset exchanges and USD 3.54 million in depreciation and amortization plus USD 2.95 million in amortization of programme rights.
President and CEO Colleen B. Brown commented of the performance, "We are pleased with the financial results for the quarter, which represented Fisher's third consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Our performance reflects continued growth in core advertising and robust political spending in California, Washington and Oregon. Our stations continue to take higher shares of both ratings and revenue, and as we look ahead beyond elections and into 2011, we are cautiously optimistic that the core advertising rebound that began a year ago will continue."
2010-11-02: English broadcaster and comedy writer Danny Baker has revealed on his Facebook and Twitter pages that he has been missing his BBC Radio Five Live Saturday soccer show and BBC London 94.9 afternoon shows for much of last month because he is starting a course of chemotherapy for cancer.
The comment was upbeat: "Hello cats and kittens. Apologies for the cloak and d over recent weeks. However, as it appears this is going to continue for the foreseeable I ought to offer up some sort of breadcrumbs trail as to what's going on.
"After a pretty mouldy diagnosis a month back I finally begin chemotherapy on Monday with further radiotherapy from January.
"Yes, radiotherapy - can you beat it? This being so, the old treehouse baggy pants will be donned but sparingly.
"Once the quacks have soundly thrashed this thing I shall return like a rare gas and as if out of a trap. In the meantime I am watching Tommy Steele box sets and urge you to keep yakking up a storm and laugh extra loud at the incumbents."
The UK Daily Mirror said Baker's agent refused to reveal the type of cancer but said the 53-year-old was "in really great spirits and doing well" and added, "Danny does not want to be specific; he just wanted to bring his fans up to date. He's doing everything his doctors have asked of him so there's no reason why he shouldn't make a 100% recovery."
A BBC London spokesman said they had told listeners that he was recovering from an operation but respected his wish not to reveal exact details.
"The majority of listeners," he added, respected this and did not press for information. Now Danny has made his condition public, we have been inundated with messages of support."
The spokesman said that he was "much loved and missed" by everyone at the station and that while he was absent it would "fill the Candyman's giant shoes with the best possible programmes."
Best wishes to the host have been posted by various colleagues and also soccer fans including many on the message board of soccer magazine "When Saturday Comes."
BBC Radio Five Live controller Adrian van Klaveren said that Baker would be presenting the Saturday show on some weeks but not others
Previous van Klaveren:
Baker Facebook posting:
UK Daily Mirror report:
When Saturday Comes message board re Baker:
2010-11-02: Latest Australian radio ratings - comparing the periods from Aug 1 - Sep 4 and Sep 19 to Oct 23 - continued the good news for the market leaders with Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB retaining its Sydney lead and Austereo its countrywide FM lead: In Sydney its 2-DAY FM moved ahead of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC702 to take second rank.
There was no good news, however, for the new Melbourne Talk Radio, which remained bottom in its third full ratings with an unchanged share.
The other two relative newcomers, DMG's Classic Rock stations, which took over from the Vega outlets, fared badly with Sydney station Classic Rock 95.3 dropping two ranks to 13th as its share dropped from 2.8 to 2.7 and Melbourne sister Classic Rock 91.5 doing a little better as it retained tenth rank although its share was down from 3.4 to 3.2.
In Sydney although 2GB held onto the top spot its share was down from 15.2 to 14.3 and in the breakfast slot Alan Jones was down from 18.0 to 17.7: There was little consolation however for commercial talk rival Fairfax Media's 2UE, which remained seventh but also lost share with 5.9 (6.4) and its breakfast share dropped from 6.2 to 5.1
In the Sydney FM breakfast competition, 2-DAY's Kylie Sandilands and Jackie O (Jackie O'Neil Henderson) held on to top spot with share down from 12.6 to 12.8 whilst DMG Nova rivals Merrick Watts, Scott Dooley and Ricki-Lee Coulter, who is leaving the station, increased their share from 7.2 to 7.5, still behind Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones of Australian Radio Networks' WSFM who were down from 8.5% to 7.7%
Elsewhere Fairfax's 3AW held its crown in Melbourne, where the Austereo drive team of Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, who have announce that they will only do one show a week next year continued their drivetime domination, taking their leading share up from 19.4 to 20.7%: In Brisbane there was a tie in top rank as B105 fell from 13.3 to 12.4 and 97.3 increased its 11.2 to the same 12.4.
In its comment Austereo remained bullish, highlighting 2DAY's continuing FM lead in Sydney and of Fox FM and B105, which retained the FM lead in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively.
Austereo CEO Guy Dobson commented, "Austereo delivers solid results again this survey. The Today Network holds position as the dominant FM radio Network and the resurgent Triple M Network delivers convincing increases for Eddie McGuire in Melbourne and The Grill Team in Sydney. This success in breakfast along with the new music format for Triple M will ensure there is more growth to come."
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 102.3 with 14.6 (13.6) - same rank; 5AA with 14.1 (13.0) - up from third;
ABC 891 with 12.0 (13.1) - down from second;
*SAFM with 11.8 (11.30) remained fourth; 5MM remained fifth with 10.2 (10.6), and Nova, remained sixth with 8.7 (8.2).
*Brisbane - B105 with 12.4 (13.3) - Same rank sharing top spot with 97.3 FM with 12.4 (11.2) - up from third; Nova with 11.1 (10.8) - up from fifth
*ABC 612 with 10.6 (11.8) dropped from second to fourth and 4MMM was down a rank to fifth with 10.0 (10.9).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.2 (14.6) - same rank; ABC 774 with 12.6 (13.2) same rank; Fox FM with 12.0 (11.5) - same rank;
* Magic was up a rank from fifth to fourth with 7.4 (6.8) swapping places with Gold with 7.3 (7.8) after which Nova 100 remained sixth with 6.7 (6.8) and 3MMM remained seventh with 6.6 (6.6).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, remained tenth 3.2 (3.4) and newcomer Melbourne Talk Radio, in its third full ratings remained bottom with an unchanged 1.1.
In the commercial talk breakfast slot 3AW retained the lead with 17.4 (17.0) and MTR remained bottom with 1.4 (1.7); in Mornings 3AW again remained top with 17.2 (18.1) whilst MTR managed 1.4 0 up from 1.1 (ABC News Radio was bottom with 1.0, up from 0.7) and at Drive time, where Fox FM again led with 20.7 (19.4) and 3AW was second with 10.8 (11.7), MTR was again bottom with 1.0 (0.9). Its highest share in demographic terms was a 2.3 (1.0) with those 55-64
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.9 (16.4) - same rank; 92.9 with 13.7 (14.3) up -same rank; ABC 720 with 10.8 (11.5) - same rank.
* Nova remained fourth with 9.3 (9.8) followed by 96 FM which moved up a rank to fifth with 8.8 (8.1) swapping places with 6PR in sixth with 8.3 (8.4)
*Sydney: 2GB 14.3 (15.2) - same rank; 2-DAY with 10.1 (10.6) - up from third; ABC 702 with 8.9 (9.1) - down from second;
*WSFM was again fourth - with 7.7 (7.5) followed by 2CH, which moved up a rank to fifth with 7.1 (6.4), swapping places with DMG's Nova, which fell to sixth fifth with 7.0 (7.1).
After this 2UE remained seventh with 5.9 (6.4), followed by 2MMM, which moved up two ranks to eighth with 4.9 (4.3), overtaking 2JJJ, which remained ninth with an unchanged 4.8 Australian Radio Network's Mix 106.5 which fell two ranks to tenth with 3.9 (4.9).
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, fell from 11th to 13th with 2.8 (2.7).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous ARN (Australian Radio Network):
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-11-02: Following the resignation of Randy Michaels as Tribune Co.'s CEO (See RNW Oct 22) and the earlier resignation of Lee Abrams (See RNW Oct 14), Phil Rosenthal is reporting in his Chicago Tribune blog that a number of other executives brought into the company by Michaels are also leaving.
Rosenthal names those exiting as long-time Michaels' associates Tribune Interactive President Marc Chase; Chief Operating Officer Jeff Kapugi; and Executive Vice President Carolyn Gilbert with others to follow: He adds that the last two confirmed their departures but Chase could not be reached and a Tribune spokesman declined comment. All three were with Michaels at Jacor Communications before it was taken over by Clear Channel.
Kapugi according to Rosenthal said that his position had been "eliminated" by Tony Hunter," head of the Chicago Tribune Media Group and a member of the four-member Executive Council that took over the running of the company after Michaels left.
Rosenthal adds that unnamed sources said that John Phillips, a former on-air Clear Channel radio traffic reporter, plans to leave his post as director of facilities in Tribune Tower, and his wife Betsy Phillips is to leave her position as a vice president of sales for Tribune Broadcasting,
Rosenthal also reports that Tribune Interactive is being renamed Tribune Digital and is to be headed by EVP Don Meek, who will retain his duties as EVP/GM of Tribune365. Tribune is also re-structuring its Human Resources.
To add to its woes a group representing the company's unsecured creditors has now gone ahead with the filing of complaints in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware against the company's lenders and key principals involved in the USD 8.2 billion leveraged buyout of the company in 2007 including chairman Sam Zell - who put in only USD 315 million of his own money - and former CEO Dennis FitzSimons.
Last month the creditors (Also RNW Oct 22 ) asked a judge to rule on their right to pursue Zell and others involved in the buyout, alleging that the parties named in their two filings neglected their duties for their own benefit in a deal that was "tainted from start to finish."
They allege that the banks ignored warnings that the buyout would involve the company in too much debt because of the fees they would gain and being repaid their old loans. Judge Kevin Carey has authorized them to pursue the claims so as to preserve their rights before the statute of limitations runs out on December 7, two years after Tribune filed for bankruptcy.
Previous Tribune Co.:
Chicago Tribune - Rosenthal "Tower Ticker" blog:
2010-11-01: The New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority has ordered two radio stations each to pay NZD 2,000 (USD 1,500) following the upholding of complaints against them:
In the latest case, RadioWorks (owned by MediaWorks, which is in turn owned by Ironbridge Capital) Auckland-based The Edge in its "Morning Madhouse" breakfast show aired song lyrics that the Authority held breached its good taste and decency standards: The broadcaster was ordered to pay the NZD 2,000 to the Crown (The Crown Office and Prosecution Service handle prosecutions in New Zealand).
The Authority received a complaint from a Jack Robinson of Wellington following the broadcast on February 8 in which the host referred to Australian-born TV broadcaster Alison (Ali) Mau who had split up with her husband and was now reportedly in a relationship with a woman and then sang a jingle.
The broadcast was with in full knowledge that it would arouse controversy as it was introduced by the host commenting, "felt so compelled this morning to write a little jingle about this. I know this is putting my employment in jeopardy. I know I got warning number one on Thursday last week but this has to be done. ...You guys need to do some backing vocals for this. Using the Beyoncé song "Single Ladies", this is called, Ali is Into Ladies".
The jingle, which the Authority has transcribed, included comments about "giving guys up"; "decided men weren't her thing"; "wanted to go rug munching"; "She's into chicks, got sick of dicks, wanted to try some new things"; and "When they make love do they have to put a strap on it?"
RadioWorks in its response to the complaint agreed that the broadcast breached New Zealand's Radio Code but that they were not a serious breach: It said the "host involved had been severely reprimanded and advised that his comments and the song were inappropriate for broadcast at that time of day and in the context of the programme."
It said that "as the comments and song were just beyond the expectations of the station and were not a serious breach of the above standards, this action is appropriate to ensure that similar situations will not arise again."
The complainant was dissatisfied and commented that in his view the host had not been "severely reprimanded" because he was only suspended for a day and subsequently "had "sarcastically stated how bad he felt about what he had done and wore a saint's outfit".
The authority in its ruling said the broadcast had been a serious breach and "would have been considered offensive by the majority of listeners when broadcast at 8.20am when children would have been listening" and also that the action taken was inadequate.
In considering what action it should take it took into consideration the suggestion from the complainant that an on-air apology should be made - something that RadioWorks in its response agreed to arguing in the rest of its comments that no other action should betaken and commenting that the words would not have been offensive for most of the station's regular listeners and "while vulgar and unkind to the person in question the song and its lyrics were not explicit ([as they required] a certain level of pre-understanding to even make sense) and were not obscene".
The Authority disagreed and took the view that a penalty of NZD 200 was warranted.
In its latest posting the Authority also declined by a majority vote to determine whether the Madhouse's "Hug-a-Ginga Day" promotion breached codes on good taste and decency, privacy, discrimination and denigration, and responsible programming and also listed one radio complaint and ten TV complaints not upheld and ruled that it had jurisdiction over a complaint about a promotion broadcast by RadioWorks.
In its October Bulletin, also just posted, the Authority upheld one radio complaint and ordered the station involved to pay NZD 2,000 (USD 1,500) of the complainants' costs.
This complaint involved community station Kool FM and the airing of an interview with a Coromandel resident discussing local politics in Whitianga in which he alleged serious misconduct by members of the local district council: The complainants said there breached New Zealand's accuracy and fairness standards.
In relation to this broadcast the Authority upheld complaints relating to two standards - holding that the broadcaster did not make reasonable efforts to present significant viewpoints during the period of current interest and that the interviewee was allowed to make serious, unchallenged and unsubstantiated allegations of impropriety and illegal behaviour about named individuals in which three of them were dealt with unfairly. Comments about two others were described as brief general criticisms that did not treat them unfairly.
The allegations were that some named members of the Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) had acted inappropriately and dishonestly in relation to the lease of a piece of Council-owned property (The Sheriff land agreement) and the complainants argued that, quite apart from the specific inaccuracies, the overall impression created by the interview was that the named councillors were corrupt, that the Sherriff land agreement was an example of their corruption, and that they, in particular one of them had illegally used information to facilitate deals that jeopardised the public interest.
Kool FM responded by arguing that the overall impression of the broadcast was a point of view balanced by a later interview with the TCDC Chief Executive" and that this interview provided the wider contextual information allowing the public to make informed judgments about the issue. It also contended that, "Any overall impression of corruption stems in the first instance from 'the facts' and not only from the impression created from the broadcast".
It denied the complainants' assertion that it would have been well aware of the nature of the interviewee's criticisms prior to the interview to be inaccurate and said it had only spoken to him once before- "a courtesy call to confirm he had the paperwork to back up any allegation he may make on air".
Regarding the lease itself, it noted that the Whitianga Residents and Ratepayers Association (WRRA) had referred the entire matter of the lease to the Office of the Auditor-General and was waiting for a ruling and said documentation it had, including Council minutes and order papers, showed that the criticisms contained in the interview were factually accurate.
Noting that the individual said to be particularly involved had been invited on air but had chosen not to make himself available for a later interview and said that together with the TCDC Chief Executive interview showed it to have been fair in its treatment.
In view of the comments about the referral to the Auditor-General the Authority held back its consideration of the complaint until the Auditor-General's report was released and the complainants then re-iterated their views and noted a New Zealand Press Council ruling against a magazine article that had dealt with similar issues in relation to the lease.
Kool FM responded by saying that over ten years about the TDCD and then the interviewee contacted it regarding the issue it had asked him if he could back up any allegations and had been provided with a large folder of documents in support.
In ruling against the station the Authority said that having given the interviewee nearly 45 minutes on air during which the host reinforced rather than challenged the interviewee's views - we consider that the broadcaster was required to make genuine efforts to seek other significant perspectives on the issues. It did not consider adequate efforts had been made and considered that three complainants had been dealt with unfairly.
The complainants asked for full re-imbursement of their legal costs, which they said totalled just above USD 5.300 ( USD 4,100) to which Kool FM in its response argued that no award was justified and also that as a community station an order to pay a "substantial fine" or "huge costs" could mean that had to go off air.
The Authority in its ruling noted that its normal practice was to order payment of around a third of costs reasonably incurred, in this case around NZD 1,780, but adjusted this upward to NZD 2,000. It also ordered the station to broadcast a statement containing a comprehensive summary of the decision.
In the bulletin it also posted details of three TV complaints upheld; a further radio complaints and eight TV complaints -declining to rule in one case - that were not upheld; and in regard to two complaints against TV3 news items ruled that it could accept a referral in one case but not the other.
Previous New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority:
New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority website (has links to bulletins and rulings):
2010-11-01: Cumulus Media has reported third quarter revenues up 3.6% to USD 67.46 million with those for the first nine months of the year up 3.8% to USD 193.55 million with net income moving from a USD 144 million loss a year ago, when the figures included impairment charges of USD 173.1 million, to USD 9.73 million in the black (from a loss of USD 3.56 to income of 23 cents per basic and diluted share) whilst for the first nine months net income moved from a loss of USD 133 million to net income of USD 21.89 million (from a loss of USD 3.29 per basic and diluted share to net income of 52 cents per basic share and 51 cents per diluted share).
Cumulus put the revenue rise down primarily to an increase in revenue from national accounts, political revenue generated by mid-term elections, and increases in internet related revenues. And said that it believed continued incremental growth in advertising revenue throughout the fourth quarter of 2010 will be driven primarily by increases in national revenue and cyclical political spending.
Within the figures station operating expenses were kept almost flat - up 0.8% for the third quarter and down 0.7% for the first nine months - whilst Adjusted EBITDA rose 13.4% for the quarter to USD 22.85 million and by 17.3% for the first nine months to USD 59.91 million. Free cash flow was up 25.9% for the quarter to USD 14.92 million and up 12.1% for the first nine months to USD 36.32 million.
Cumulus also noted that it has paid down USD9.2 million of senior debt in the quarter and a total of USD 30.4 million year to date.
Commenting on the figures chairman and CEO Lew Dickey said, "We continue to innovate the radio business model to achieve industry leading EBITDA growth. Our technology platform is driving increased efficiencies as our LTM EBITDA margins improved 100 bps to 31%. Our management systems are directing scores of new sellers generating thousands of new advertisers across our platform while keeping cost of sales in check. Our low cost of capital and expanding margins combine to enable us to generate considerable free cash flow to accelerate our de-leveraging."
Asked at the company's conference call about local revenues, Dickey said these were "pretty much flat" for the quarter but noted that Cumulus had been trying to up its rates and had turned down business in some cases, adding that a drive to get revenue from new advertising categories was beginning to "bear some fruit", particularly in the health care category.
2010-11-01: UK media regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation with a November 26 deadline for responses over a request from Bauer Radio to allow its three KISS stations -- Kiss 100 - Greater London; Kiss 101 - Severn Estuary (Based in Bristol); and Kiss 105 - East of England (Based in Bury St Edmunds) - to be allowed to share all their programming.
The change would remove the requirement that each station broadcast a specified amount of programming from the area it serves and Ofcom notes that the proposal is in line with its policy, designed to encourage national DAB services, of allowing regional analogue stations to share programming in return for their providing a national service on DAB.
In relation to this, Bauer is proposing a two-stage introduction of a new 'national' Kiss DAB service, which would initially cover what it estimates to be 73% of the UK adult population and rise to 79.4% within a few months and Ofcom says the purpose of this consultation is to establish the views of respondents as to whether or not the level of DAB coverage being proposed by Bauer for its new national Kiss service is sufficient to constitute 'national' coverage.
2010-11-01: In what it says is his first interview since "an ignominious end to his career at Tribune Co." (See RNW Oct 22) , the Wall Street Journal says Randy Michaels was talking of a return to media and blamed a "careless" and "indefensible" memo from Lee Abrams (See RNW Oct 14) for his demise.
"I may go buy some media, I may go run some media, I don't know," he said of his potential future. "My phone's been ringing. There are a lot of people who look past noise and emotions and look at results." In relation to this Michaels said the changes he introduced were working and all of Tribune's papers were profitable, adding, "The environment at Tribune was inclusive, tolerant, fun, creative and sometimes irreverent, but with a purpose."
Regarding the memo the Journal says this "did him in, validating his critics and ultimately cutting short what he thought could have been a long run at the media company" and quotes Michaels as saying, "I do not know how long it takes synaptic connections to establish but however long that is, I knew it was a problem."
The paper however, after giving details of Michaels' career and the Tribune bankruptcy quotes an unnamed person "familiar with the matter" as saying that before the events that led to Michaels' resignation the creditors wanted to overhaul management, saying, "It's preposterous to think the current management team could stay."
Wall Street Journal report:
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem.
Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
Back to top :
- October 2010 -- December 2010 -
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: