December 2010 Archive
2010-12-31:Former BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer has received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for services to broadcasting in the UK New Year's Honours list.
Damazer, who left the station to become head of St Peter's College at Oxford University at the end of September (See RNW April 4) said he was very pleased at the award but then went on to add, "I don't delude myself. It's not specifically for me but much more recognition of the role that Radio 4 plays in national public life. I was the fortunate person able to do a bit of choreography, but the real achievement comes from the people who make the programmes and come up with the ideas."
Also awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting was John Lloyd, best known for producing TV comedies Blackadder, Spitting Image and Not the Nine O'Clock News.
Lloyd, who when at Cambridge became a friend of the late Douglas Adams, began his career at the BBC in radio where he created a number of series including The News Quiz and Quote Unquote, the latter in conjunction with Nigel Rees and also co-wrote with Adams two episodes of Doctor Snuggles and two episodes of the first radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Adams wrote the other radio episodes on his own but Lloyd was an associate producer on the TV series of Hitchhiker).
2010-12-30:The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALs) of USD 20,000 and USD 8,000 to two US radio broadcasts for breaches of its equal employment opportunity ("EEO") rules.
The largest penalty - made up of separate penalties of USD 16,000 and four penalties of USD 1,000 - goes to Oregon broadcaster Opus Broadcasting Systems, Inc., the, licensee of KROG-FM, Grant's Pass; KCNA-FM, Cave Junction; KRTA-AM, Medford; and KEZX-AM, Medford.
The FCC says the company failed to comply with recruitment, self-assessment, record-keeping, reporting, and public file requirements and in addition to the proposed fine it is to impose reporting restrictions on the stations to prevent future violations.
The agency in 2009 told Opus by letter that it had to include public file reports for the periods October 1, 2003, through September 30, 2004; ; October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005; and October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2008 in its licence renewal application and subsequently after reviewing these and public file reports for October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2006; October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2007 ; and October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009 and the company's response to its letter said the review showed the licensee failed to properly recruit for 28 of its 29 full-time vacancies over the 2003-2009 time period.
For six posts, it said, the company - required under the rules to broadly recruit - relied solely on "walk in /mail in" or other non-public sources; for seven had relied solely on Internet websites as its only public recruitment source; and for 15 had solely on on-air advertisements.
The FCC says this meant it had breached rules requiring it to " use recruitment sources sufficient to disseminate information concerning the vacancies" and noted Opus had also failed to provide records of the number or referral sources of interviewees for its openings even after it asked for the information, thus violating rules requiring retention of these records.
The shortfalls continued in the 2008-2009 reporting period and the FCC said that find that because of the licensee's lack of records of the number or referral source of its interviewees, it was not possible for it to have adequately analyzed its recruitment program to ensure that it was effective in achieving broad outreach.
In Missouri, Zimmer Radio, Inc., licensee of Joplin stations KIXQ-FM, KSYN-FM, KZRG-AM, and KZYM-AM and Webb City stations KXDG-FM and KJMK-FM , is facing a USD 8,000 penalty made up of a penalty of USD 5,000 and three penalties of USD 1,000 - was found in an audit to have filled 24 full-time vacancies, filing to recruit publicly for six of them, relying solely on walk-ins to fill three, word-of-mouth to fill one , a business referral to fill one, and an employee referral to fill another.
Zimmer had said that it periodically airs "generic recruitment ads that promote different careers in radio and working at Zimmer Radio, Inc." even when it does not have any current openings, adding that if "a résumé or application shows unique talent or exceptional experience," the licensee may hire the walk-in and "make a place for them" even though it does not have any current openings.
It notes that its rules do not prohibit word-of-mouth recruitment or hiring walk-in applicants but are designed to ensure that word-of-mouth recruitment practices are not the sole method of recruitment and that all members of the public have an opportunity to compete for available jobs."
As with Opus thr FCC has also imposed reporting restrictions on the stations.
2010-12-29: Entercom has revealed in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has agreed new employment contracts with CEO David J. Field and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President - Operations Stephen F. Fisher.
Field gets an initial term of three years with automatic one=year extensions then following unless either party gives prior notice that it does not intend to extend: He will be paid for an annual base salary of $791,723, subject to annual increases of three percent beginning July 1, 2011 and each July 1 thereafter on top of which he will be eligible for an annual cash bonus of up to one-and-a-half times his then salary and also for a grant of 675,000 restricted stock units ("RSUs") of which 450,000 vest over time with half vesting two years from the date of the Agreement; a further quarter three years from the date of the Agreement; and the final quarter four years from the date of the Agreement.
The remaining 225,000 RSUs vest on or after December 15, 2012 if performance targets are (or have been) met: A third vest if total shareholder return shows an 8% Compounded Annual Growth Rate over three years, a further third if 12% is reached and the final third if CAGR is 16%. These units are subject to shareholder approval.
Fisher has a similar three year agreement subject to 120 days notice but in his case his current base salary goes up to USD 556,200 at the end of March next year and is then subject to annual increases of three percent. In addition, he is eligible for an annual cash bonus target amount of up to eighty percent of Mr. Fisher's then current salary and for 275,000 RSUs of which 200,000 vest aut9omatically in stages and the remaining 75,000 are subject to the same targets as those for the balance of Field's RSUs.
Should the company end Field's agreement without cause or he resigns for a good reason all of his outstanding equity compensation awards that vest on the basis of the Company's performance shall become fully vested and he gets a lump sum payment greater of either the sum of two years' annual base salary and two times the highest annual bonus paid during the preceding three year period, or the sum of the base salary and annual bonuses that would otherwise have been payable through the end of the then current term of the agreement.
If the termination results from a change in control of the company the lump sum goes up the sum of three years' annual base salary and three times the highest annual bonus paid to him during the preceding three year period. He also gets continuing health coverage for 18 months and should the payments become subject to excise tax the amounts are increased so that his position is as if the tax had not applied.
The parachute also applies should he become disabled in which case his outstanding equity compensation vests and he or his estate receive lump sum payment in an amount equal to the sum of two years' annual base salary and two times the highest annual bonus paid during the preceding three year period as well as health benefits for up to 18 months if he wishes to take them.
Fisher's deal includes a payment in similar circumstances of a bonus of 80% of salary and payment of his salary and other benefits either until the end of the agreement or a year after the termination, whichever is the longer period.
2010-12-29: Tribune Co. Chief Operating Officer Gerry Spector (63) who along with Randy Michaels was brought into the company by chairman Sam Zell after its USD 8.2 billion leveraged buyout in 2007 (See RNW Dec 21, 2007) is to leave by the end of the year: The buyout left the company mired in debt and it is still negotiating its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy for which it filed in 2008 (See RNW Dec 12, 2008).
Announcing the departure to staff an announcement from the four-man executive council to whom he has been reporting since Michaels resigned in October (See RNW Oct 22) paid tribute to Spector who it said had "been an important part of our success, and he has been a tireless champion of efficiency and innovation across the company."
Spector jointed as executive vice president and then became Chief Administrative Officer before taking on his current role and the announcement went on to say that he "helped re-focus our efforts during a very difficult 2008, when the economy took a downturn and the advertising environment became extremely challenging...Gerry's leadership, creativity and ability to inspire others resulted in substantial financial improvement in our operations in 2009 and 2010."
Previous Tribune Co.:
Chicago Tribune report:
2010-12-29: Educational Media Foundation (EMF) is expanding in Tennessee with the purchase of two Knoxville-area Christian stations from Foothills Broadcasting.
Love 89.1 FM and Life 88.3 FM will start airing programming from Educational Media's national K-Love and Air 1 networks from the start of the New Year under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) and local on-air staff, including 89.1's "Marshall and Marisa in the Morning" team (Marshall Stewart and Marisa Lykins) that won the Best Radio Personality in this year's Knoxville.com readers poll "have been dropped. The situation is unclear regarding other staff.
An announcement on the Love 89.1 web site - Life88.3 has a similar announcement- says, "After 17 years of ministry in the Knoxville area, the time came to consider future ministry opportunities for the stations. This led to conversations with Educational Media Foundation, non-profit parent of both the K-LOVE and Air 1 Radio Networks and a solution that would keep Christian music on both stations... Foothills Broadcasting has determined that K-LOVE and Air 1 are in an optimal position to sustain two formats of Christian music in the Knoxville area."
It adds that Air 1 will be heard on 89.1 and features a "hotter" blend including music from Kutless, Skillet, Superchick and Tenth Avenue North whilst the Life 88.3 frequency will air K-Love Radio's menu of family-friendly contemporary Christian music from artists like Third Day, Mercy Me, the Newsboys and Matthew West.
Educational Media Foundation President Mike Novak commented, "We are honoured be in Knoxville with K-LOVE & Air 1 and look forward to continuing the tradition set by Foothills in serving the community with great Christian music."
Love 89.1 web site:
2010-12-28: The post-Christmas week has seen a number of format flips in the US with two Smooth Jazz the biggest loser as two stations dropped the format - KWJZ-FM in Seattle and WLMI-FM, Lansing, Michigan.
In order of states the changes we have noted so far are:
Cox Media's former active rock WHDR-FM (93 Rock), Miami, which went to Christmas music on Nov 22, became Soft AC WFEZ (Easy 93.1) at midnight on Sunday). The station already aired dance on its HD2 channel and retains this. The old 93 rock web site redirects to easy93.
WWGA-FM in Carrollton, West Georgia, which Gradick Communications launched in November with Christmas Music, has moved to "Great Classics 98.9", starting with 10,000 songs in a row. Gradick Communications President Steve Gradick said that when the run of songs ends mornings are to be anchored by Bobby Gaines and Keith Edwards will hold down the afternoon slot.
Clear Channel's WNIC-FM, Detroit, which had been morphing from mainstream to Hot AC with an intervening all-Christmas list moves all the way and is re-branded Fresh 100.3, licensing the name from CBS Radio. The WNIC web site brings up Fresh 100.3 and there is also a Fresh web site.
Midwest Communications' Smooth jazz WLMI-FM also ended its Christmas run and came back as classic hits, listed on the web site as Lansing's greatest hits.
Midwest has previously aired the format on its WQTX-FM, whose web site still proclaimed it to be Classic Hits 92-X when we last checked although it was stunting.
Clear Channel's Hot AC WSDD-FM, St. Louis after a year as "The Sound" moves towards Adult Hits as "100.3 Gen-X Radio". Its new web site is up and running.
Clear Channel's Adult Standards WNIO-AM in Youngstown has ended its Christmas run and is now 1390, The Sports Animal.
Sandusky Broadcasting's Smooth Jazz KWJZ-FM has become Modern AC Click 989. In a message on the KWJZ site Program director Carol Handley thanks listeners for their support over the past 19 years and in part blames Arbitron's Portable People Meter for its demise, writing, "Technologies change and the new radio audience measurement is not favouring our once "ratings strong" Smooth Jazz music format" and continuing "I encourage you to continue to support the artists who make the music and the venues who bring them to the Northwest."
Click 98.9 has its own web site
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-12-27: Fisher Communications has revealed in an 8K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its SVP and CFO Joseph L. Lovejoy is to set down from his posts at the end of the year but has a deal to remain with the company as a consultant until the end of next year.
Lovejoy is to receive a separation payment of just above USD 156,000 plus USD 10,000 for post-employment business planning services.
It will also pay his consultancy firm USD 8,500 a month for general financial and strategic consultancy work of up to 40 hours a month although the payments and services will be needed should he obtain full-time employment with another company during the year for which the agreement runs.
The agreement is subject to 12-month non-solicitation, non-competition, and confidentiality provisions and also includes mutual non-disparagement provisions.
2010-12-27: The BBC says that this year has seen its i-Player attract more than 100 million requests a month for programmes with a total of 1.3 billion plays during the year with radio's biggest draws coming from major sporting events on BBC Radio 5 Live.
The top seven programmes were all sports - England v Slovenia in the World Cup soccer in South Africa (317,000 listens); Test Match Special on The Ashes cricket on January 7 (237,000); the live Twenty20 Cricket Final (173,000); Ryder Cup golf on October 4 (156,000); Another Test Match Special and the first Day of the Third Test on December 16 (142,000) and Switzerland v England International soccer on September 9 (134,000).
Highest-ranking non sports show was Chris Evans Breakfast Show on his first day hosting the Radio 2 breakfast show on January 11 (119,000) followed in eighth rank with an edition of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue on BBC Radio 4 (116,000); then an edition of the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4 (114,000) and in tenth rank Chris Moyles birthday edition of the Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 on February 22.
2010-12-26: Last week the main regulatory news in the US concerned "Net Neutrality", generating much hot air and a 192-page order from the Federal Communications Commission including statements from all commissioners: Elsewhere the main regulatory news came from the UK where Ofcom has opted to ease its rules concerning sponsorship and product placement and mentions by broadcasters.
There were no radio announcements from Australia but a number from Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a number of decisions involving both licensing and corporate takeovers and re-organizations.
These included (In order of province):
*Approval of application by Rogers Broadcasting to acquire from CTV Limited and Milestone Broadcasting (Edmonton) Limited - partners in Edmonton Urban Partnership - the assets of the English-language commercial station CHBN-FM, Edmonton.
The transaction is valued at CAD 22 million (USD 21.85 million) and in addition to the standard requirement for a tangible benefits package equivalent to 6% of this the agency noted shortfalls in CHBN-FM's Canadian talent development contributions for the 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years and as a condition of approval required the licensee to fulfil its obligations by the end of August next year.
*Approval of application by Rogers Broadcasting to acquire from CTV Limited the assets of English-language commercial radio station CHST-FM, London. The transaction is valued at CAD 16 million (USD 15.89 million).
*Approval of application by CTV Limited to acquire from Milestone Radio Inc. the assets of English-language commercial station CFXJ-FM, Toronto. The transaction is valued at CAD 27.6 million (USD 27.4 million).
*Approval of application by Radio Communautaire MF Lac Simon inc. to increase the power of its French, Anishnabe and Algonquin-language Native Type B station CHUN-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, from 490 to 3,400 watts and decrease the effective height of antenna above average terrain decreased from 108.7 to 103.3 meters. The licensee says the change was required many listeners complained that they were unable to receive CHUN-FM's signal in their homes.
*Denial of application by Radio Dégelis inc. to add a 5,750 watts transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup to rebroadcast the programming of CFVD-FM, Dégelis. The Commission noted that the applicant had not demonstrated a technical need for the transmitter but rather cited its financial difficulties and said that the application sought to introduce a new service to the Rivière-du-Loup advertising market - a marked currently served by commercial stations CIEL-FM and CIBM-FM, both owned by Groupe Simard, whose financial situation has deteriorated somewhat since 2006 - and as such any such introduction should be the subject of a competitive process that would permit the Commission to evaluate the financial health of the market as well as its ability to support one or more new services without undue negative impact on the existing stations.
The agency also extended from December 29 until January 13 the deadline for the submission of interventions or comments and from January 4 until January 18 the deadline for the licensee to reply in relation to an application by CTV Limited to increase the power of CKQM-FM, Peterborough, Ontario, from 7,500 watts to 14,000 watts.
It also posted updated bulletins in relation to electronic filing of broadcasting and telecommunications applications and all related documents in electronic form; Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings; guide to the CRTC application process for changes in effective control and certain transfers of shares of broadcasting undertakings as well as for the acquisition of assets of broadcasting undertakings; and Broadcasting applications that do not require a public process.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has signed agreements for two new services - a Donegal community service and a quasi-national Christian and religious service (See RNW Dec 23) and in the UK Ofcom, as already noted, has eased regulations relating to sponsorship to allow product placement and mention of products by broadcasters in programming (See RNW Dec 22). It also posted its latest broadcast bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint and fount two community stations had failed to meet key commitments of their licences (See RNW Dec 21).
In the US as already noted the Federal Communications Bureau (FCC) was in the news following the passage by a 3-2 party-line vote of its "net neutrality" plans, opposed by the two Republicans on the commission and approved by the three Democrats, a passage that seen from an ocean away revealed far more about the political climate in the US than with the likely effects: Comments ranged from rabid right accusations that this was a government takeover of the Internet to left complaints about allowing wireless providers to operate under looser rules than ISPs using landlines.
In essence the order requires "transparency" - broadband providers have to disclose "network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their broadband service"; prohibits fixed broadband providers from blocking "lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices" and "mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services" and prohibits fixed broadband providers from unreasonably discriminating "in transmitting lawful network traffic."
The debate, apart from the loonier fringes - industry reactions have been fairly muted in public, seems to boil down to trusting the government or big business more; whether the agency has the power to introduce the rules, (watch for a sustained campaign of partisan comment, misinformation and money flowing to lawyers on this one especially when it comes down to defining "unreasonable."
The report says that unreasonable discriminations would include degrading VoIP applications or services when the broadband provider offers telephone service and slowing traffic from a particular blog because the broadband provider disagrees with the blogger's message) and for those interest and with the time to go through it the 192 page 0:99 Mb Report and Order is here in PDF format, including dissenting statements from Republican Commissioners Meredith Attwell Baker and Robert M. McDowell and statements from Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps, concurring with the order and Mignon L. Clyburn (Approving in part and concurring in part - she would have amongst other things extended all of the fixed rules to mobile broadband providers; and Chairman Julius Genachowski's statement.
In terms of radio, the agency had a fairly quiet week with a little sting for it in the run up to Christmas when it had to cancel a USD 7,000 penalty for late filing of a renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation because it had acted after its own permissible deadline in issuing the Notice of Apparent Liability (See RNW Dec 22): It was not forgiving the same day (Also RNW Dec 22) when it refused to cancel a USD 250 penalty on a low-power FM and earlier when fined a Florida College station USD 1,500 for late filing of renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Dec 21).
The agency also granted on its own initiative yet another 90 day extension - this time until April 4 next year - for Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications to file amendments to pending waiver requests or renewal applications or to file requests for permanent waivers of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule: The deadline has been delayed a number of times to allow the FCC to consider the parties' request that the deadline be delayed until 90 days after the issuance of a final court order on pending judicial challenges to the Commission's modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule issued as part of its 2006 Quadrennial Regulatory Review.
Previous Licence News:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-12-26: Fans of English DJ the late John Peel whose on-air career spanned some four decades - starting off with (unpaid) work for WRR-AM in Dallas then for when Beatlemania moved to the US with KLIF-AM, also in Dallas - on the strength of his connections with Liverpool (he was born in Heswall on the Wirral Peninsula and grew up in the area) and afterwards for other US stations before he returned to the UK in 1967.
He then joined pirate station Radio London for a short spell in and then BBC Radio 1 later that year, working for the Corporation until his death in 2004 (See RNW Oct 27, 2004) - will be back on the air on digital station BBC 6 Music this week.
The station's morning show "The 70s with Marc Riley" (10:00-13:00 GMT) will feature John Peel programmes from the 70s starting tomorrow and the show is asking listeners to request the archive show - the page has a list to the BBC's "Peel Sessions" pages listing all his sessions - they would like to hear again.
6 Music will also issue a Peel podcast, described on its web site as "a special one-off episode dedicated to the musings and music of the great man", that will be available on January 3 as part of 6 Music's Digital Day "Joy of 6 Day"..
Riley's show will include 15-minute segments of Peel's Night Ride shows from BBC Radio 1, where Peel began his BBC career- he also worked in radio for the BBC World Service, British Forces Broadcasting Service (for 30 years), BBC Radio 4 where his Home Truths programme aired from 1998 until his death, and a number of radio stations in Europe.
Peel was known for promoting up and coming bands on his shows including The Fall - Riley played bass for them and Peel in his autobiography "Margrave of the Marshes" said his record collection included more of their recordings than those of any other band.
BBC 6 Music podcasts page:
BBC 6 Music - Riley Peel requests page:
2010-12-25: Veteran Miami talk host Neil Rogers has died of congestive heart failure aged 68: he had suffered multiple strokes and heart attacks since retiring in 2009 according to the Miami Herald which cited as its source his long-time friend and lawyer, Norman E. Kent.
Rogers - Nelson Roger Behelfer - was born in Rochester, New York, and began his radio career on a small station in Canandaigua, New York, working there and in Michigan and West Palme Beach in Florida before being offered a job at WKAT-AM, where he made his debut on March 1, 1976, soon becoming one of the top-rated radio personalities in the market.
He "outed" himself as a homosexual when singer Anita Bryant began a campaign to reveal Dade County's ordinance banning discrimination against homosexuals but despite Bryant's success in overturning the ordinance his ratings continued to increase and in 1979 when he moved to WNWS-AM following the expiry of his contract with WKAT he was the top-rated talk host in the market.
He moved again in 19982 to WINZ-AM hosting middays and later mornings on sister station WZTA-AM before another move - to WIOD-AM in 1989 - after conflict with station management. Eight years later moved to WQAM with whom he signed a new five-year contract in April 2008.
He was then involved in a row in May 2009 when Beasley Broadcasting fired his long-time show producer and fill-in host Jorge Rodriguez in a cost cutting measure and in June that year Beasley announced an agreement that ended his on-air career (the station is now 560WQAM Sports Radio and his slot was taken by a sports show) but remain with the station as a consultant. At the time his contract was said to be worth around USD 750,000 to USD 800,000 a year.
Miami Herald report:
2010-12-24: Clear Channel Communications, Inc., which a year ago was in dispute with creditors over the refinancing of its debt of some USD 18.4 billion following a USD 24 billion leveraged buyout led by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners that was agreed in 2006 (See RNW Nov 17, 2006), announced today that it is "exploring a diverse array of alternatives in an effort to optimize its overall capital structure."
The company warns that it cannot guarantee success for any of the options it is considering including "the incurrence of new incremental credit facilities; amendments to CCU's existing credit facilities to, among other things, permit CCU and its subsidiaries, including Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., to incur additional secured or unsecured indebtedness and permit extensions of the maturities of one or more of the revolving credit facilities and/or tranches of term loan facilities of CCU; an offering of new senior secured or unsecured debt of CCU or its affiliates and/or a debt-for-debt exchange with existing holders.
It adds that should it pursue the options of additional credit or taking on any new debt, it currently expects to use the proceeds to "refinance existing indebtedness, including the CCU legacy notes" with the timing and structure of any transaction dependant on market conditions and also the amounts involved.
RNW comment: Just why anyone would put money into Clear Channel except on fairly onerous terms we can't quite work out. The new owners overpaid massively when the market was riding high, the Mays family did fairly well, and everyone else rather worse, ad we still wouldn't be surprised to find the company defaulting on its debt.
We also doubt whether two of the company's main creditors - Centerbridge Partners and OakTree Capital - the latter has already repossessed Regent Communications (See RNW Apr 27) - are likely to be soft touches: We'd think that they'd to wait things out and take it over at a knock-down price if they can and in the meantime put obstacles in the way of any deal that isn't very good for them.
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-12-23: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments broadcast about men's figure skating and American figure skater Johnny Weir in particular during the 2010 Winter Olympics on Quebec station CHOI-FM (Radio x) breached its codes but comments about the same skater on a TV show aired by two stations did not.
The TV hosts commented that Weir, who wore lipstick and a black and pink outfit for his short programme, was the stereotype of men's figure skating as an effeminate sport and also joked that he should undertake gender testing - provoking a public outcry and leading to an on-air apology by the hosts two days later - but comments made on the Dupont le midi talk show on CHOI-FM went further leading the CBSC's Quebec Regional Panel to rule that whilst the TV broadcasters could have found "better, safer, more tasteful ways" to make their point they did not breach codes whilst in CHOI's broadcast "the words and phrases and the tone of the host in enunciating them were scornful, derisive and denigrating" and breached the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.
Host Stéphane Dupont in his comments had been commenting on the TV hosts comments and had said they could not understand the controversy because the TV hosts had had merely pointed out that there was "un fif dans un sport de fifs" ("a queer in a sport for queers" ).
Dupont repeatedly used the words "fif" and "tapette" ["queer" and "fag"] to describe homosexuals in a derogatory tone throughout the discussion between Dupont and co-hosts Vincent "Dess" Dessureault, and Josée Morissette.
The CBSC received 10 complaints about this broadcast, but only two complainants filed a Ruling Request: They were the President-CEO of the Quebec Council of Gays and Lesbians (QCGL) who characterized the remarks as [translation] "homophobic and hateful" and an individual listener who wrote that [Dupont "made and justified homophobic comments against 'fags'."
The station responded by saying it did not agree that the comments were homophobic although it said the hosts could have chosen their words more carefully and the CBSC panel, although not finding stereotypical comments made, did find the comments unacceptable and in breach of the Human Rights Clauses of two Codes. It also noted Dupont's use of the word "chrisse" ("fucking" in the course of the dialogue and that it has repeatedly found this unacceptable for broadcast during times of the day when children could be listening and a further Code breach.
2010-12-23: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has signed contracts with two new stations, community station South West Donegal Community Radio Limited and Spirit Radio Limited for a quasi-national Christian and religious sound broadcasting service on the AM band together with low-power FM transmitter stations.
The first licence is for ten years with an FM service expected to launch in early February next year serving Killybegs, Miltown and environs: It will initially broadcast for four hours on Monday and Friday evenings and for twelve hours at weekends.
The Spirit Radio licence is for 18 months and the initial contact with allow the station broadcast to the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford on FM for a period of 18 months on the understanding that the station will have a quasi-national AM transmission network in place by June 2012.
The BAI says that it will then consider extending the contract for the service, which will consist of a range of Christian and Mainstream Music complemented by News, Current Affairs and Special Interest speech programming.
2010-12-22: The US Federal Communications Commisison (FCC) has cancelled a proposed USD 7,000 penalty on an Alabama AM forfilingits renewal late because the agency was too late in issuing the penalty but denied a request from a Vermont low-power FM to cancel a proposed USD 250 penalty.
In Alabama, it had issued a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in 2007 to R & B Communications, Inc., licensee of WWTM-AM, Decatur, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent authorized operation.
R&B responded by requesting cancellation on the grounds that the failure was inadvertent and that if was unable to pay.
The FCC in cancelling the forfeiture, for which it substituted an admonishment, noted that it the breach occurred in 2005 but it had not issued the NAL until 2007: Under its rules it has a year to file an NAL so had to cancel it, opting to substitute an admonishment.
In the Vermont case Great Falls Community Broadcasting Company, licensee of WOOL-LP, Bellows Falls, was issued with a USD 250 NAL for late filing of licence renewal. Great Falls in November 2007 submitted the payment along with the letter requesting cancellation on the grounds that it began filing its application using the Commission's electronic filing system, and although the application was validated, it was never submitted and also on the grounds that it is a non-profit station with a small budget. The FCC rejected both arguments, confirmed the penalty, and is keeping the money.
2010-12-22: BBC Radio 4 has announced something of a coup for its "Thought for the Day" slot on the station's breakfast Today Show on Christmas Eve, when is to be delivered by Pope Benedict XVI, the first time he has delivered material specifically for a broadcast audience.
The "Thought for the Day" has been on the station since 1970 when it succeeded earlier religious thought strands Ten To Eight (1965-1970) and Lift Up Your Hearts on the BBC Home Service (1939-1965) and is aired at 07:45 local time (currently GMT) from Monday through Saturday and offers approximately three minutes of personal reflection from faith leaders and believers from a range of religious denominations. Previous contributors to the programme have included the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams; the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks; Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster; the journalist and broadcaster Indarjit Singh who is active in Sikh and interfaith matters; and Muslim academic Professor Mona Siddiqui.
Announcing the news, BBC Radio 4 Controller Gwyneth Williams said in a news release, "I'm delighted Pope Benedict is sharing his Christmas message with the Radio 4 audience. It's significant that the Pope has chosen Thought For The Day to give his first personally scripted broadcast - and what better time to do so than on the eve of one of the biggest celebrations on the Christian calendar."
2010-12-22: Westwood One and the US National Football League (NFL) have announced a new agreement for the syndicator to continue as the exclusive network radio partner for the League until 2014 - its previous extension of the agreement expired after this season: Last month the NFL and Sirius XM agreed a new deal running through to the Super Bowl in 2016 (See RNW Nov 30).
Westwood One has been an NFL partner for more than 40 years and its exclusive partner since 1987 and announcing the deal, Westwood One President Rod Sherwood commented in a news release, "We are proud to extend one of the strongest partnerships in sports broadcasting history - Westwood One and the National Football League," said Rod Sherwood, President of Westwood One. "America's most popular sport generates a huge audience that brings great value to Westwood One, our affiliates and our advertisers, and reinforces Westwood One as the preeminent nationwide radio sports broadcaster."
For the NFL, Steve Bornstein, NFL Executive Vice President of Media, responded, "Westwood One has been an outstanding broadcast partner and we are pleased that NFL fans will continue to enjoy the highest quality when it comes to the presentation of our games on network radio."
Previous Westwood One:
2010-12-22: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced that it is to allow paid for references to products or services in radio programming and product placement in TV programmes, although with some restrictions..
The announcement follows revisions to its Broadcast Code with a new section - Section Nine - on Commercial References in Television Programming to be implemented at the end of February next year. Until then the rules will be in operation as part of existing codes.
Ofcom had carried out two consultations on the issues involved -from June to September last year and this year - in which it offered four potential options for radio - to do nothing and retain existing rules; to maintain principle of separation but provide defined sets of exemptions; to allow the integration of commercial communications and programming (except in relation to spot ads); and to allow the integration of commercial communications and programming (including in relation to spot ads).
It received 21 responses including responses from the maim commercial radio operators in the UK and industry body The RadioCentre and went for the third option - to allow the integration of commercial communications and programming (except in relation to spot ads) - but with prohibitions in key areas (news broadcasts, children's programming and the selection and rotation of music for broadcast) and a requirement for clear flagging of references to products and services that are being paid for (on TV when the new rules are brought in a logo will have to be shown to indicate a placement).
Ofcom says its new rules will reflect reflects listener attitudes identified in Ofcom's 2009 consumer research on commercial radio, be consistent with wider public policy on product placement on television; maintain appropriate consumer protection by providing transparency of all commercial arrangements in relation to broadcast material; and offer opportunities for the radio industry to generate new revenue which, in turn, may finance relevant and entertaining programming for listeners.
The TV rules, which will also loosen restrictions on sponsorship, include similar restrictions including a band on placement for alcohol, fast foods, tobacco products and gambling although some of these - alcohol and fast foods included - can still be advertised using spot ads. Product placement, says Ofcom, "must not impair broadcasters' editorial independence and must always be editorially justified. This means that programmes cannot be created or distorted so that they become vehicles for the purposes of featuring product placement."
It adds that it will keep a watching brief on the implementation of the new rules and within two years decide whether to consult further on the matter.
Absolute Radio Chief Operating Officer Clive Dickens told the UK Guardian the guidelines remained too restrictive, terming a ban on sponsored news bulletins "ridiculous" when no such restrictions applied on the internet, and called for a review next year.
"All we are asking for is alignment. Commercial radio is still heavily regulated compared to other countries including the US and Australia," Dickens said, noting that sponsored news would have created "a valuable new revenue stream" for radio and also criticizing the decision to retain rules preventing record companies paying stations to air their songs, noting "If you play output on the internet, that's totally possible. But if the method of distribution is DAB or analogue [radio] it isn't," The code is going to ... look out of date very quickly."
Comments on the paper's report were generally sceptical about enforcement of some of the rules and about any significant part of funding that placement brings going to o programming with one comment we noted referring to a recent costume drama on TV and commenting, "Ironic that this happens just as ITV finally manage to produce a popular drama where product placement won't work. That is unless they somehow manage to discreetly incorporate the Downton Abbey branch of Kwik-Fit..(an automobile maintenance company)"
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Absolute's ultimate parent):
UK Guardian report:
2010-12-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Florida College FM USD 1,500 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The Florida Institute of Technology, licensee of WFIT-FM, Melbourne was issued with a Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture (NAL) for this amount in March 2007 and responded requesting cancellation because the failure was inadvertent because it understood the agency would not consider the renewal application until resolution of an informal objection filed against it and subsequent attempts to verify this understanding with FCC staff and also because it is unable to pay.
The FCC dismissed both arguments, noting that no documentation had been provided to sustain its argument that it was unable to pay.
2010-12-21: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds one TV and one radio standards complaint concerning sponsorship and references to businesses as well as a two standards complaints concerning adult TV channels and also considered a further TV complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
It also found that two community stations have failed to meet key commitments of their licences.
One case involved Tamworth Radio Broadcasting C.I.C.'s community station TCR FM and the ruling followed a complaint that the station, which is licensed to provide a service for the people of Tamworth and in particular those under the age of 30, was not meeting its live broadcasting requirement.
Ofcom then wrote to the licensee to ask whether it was complying with its key commitment to provide at least 12 hours live programming per day and was told in response that it was providing from two to ten hours of live broadcasts a day.
It added that it has struggled to fulfil its live output key commitment and that this particular commitment was seen as a target to which the station would work towards over its first year of broadcasting.
It had previously operated under two Restricted Service Licences (RSLs) and said it had been "naive to try and recreate the same 28 days across a full time licence. Over the last 12 months we have enjoyed a successful start to our licence but the growth has been slower than we had anticipated."
Ofcom noted the struggle and high commitment made in the application for a licence but said that the station was nevertheless in breach of this licence condition. It has recorded the breach and is talking with the licensee about its plans to come into compliance.
The second ruling involved Bute Community Media Limited, which serves the people of Rothesay and surrounding areas on the Isle of Bute and whose commitments included the following two:
*"The station will have a Steering Group which will comprise the directors of the licensee company together with local business people." and
*"Representatives from other island organisations will be invited to join the station's Community Focus Group. Two members of the public will also be selected to attend a particular meeting. The group will hold public meetings every two months, all action points raised by the Community Focus Group will be brought before the steering and will then be implemented, where appropriate"
Ofcom received a number of complaints regarding the station's accountability to the community- made after one of Bute FM's directors and volunteer presenters left the station in August - and the station responded to a query by saying the Steering Group had been in operation since it went on air in July 29 but that it had been "difficult to attract members of the business community to the Group but we have now recruited to the Steering Group an Argyll & Bute Councillor, a Bute Community Councillor, a representative from the business community and a member of the public. Meetings will commence in the next few weeks."
Ofcom responded saying that it appeared that the appeared that the Steering Group had only comprised of station directors since the station started, and therefore it did not see how this group had contributed to community accountability so far. It also noted that the station manager reports to the Steering Group, but that he is also one of the station directors and asked for more information about the new members, the terms of reference and how often the group will meet. Again Ofcom formally recorded a breach of the conditions
The radio standards complaint upheld involved Bradford station Fast FM that was awarded an RSL for the Ramadan period this year for a service "dedicated to covering Ramadan, with predominantly religious speech programming and traditional folk and devotional music from around the Muslim World."
A listener complained about references to local businesses in late evening programmes on the station and gave details of comments made about six businesses during the programmes, including mentions of competitions. The station in response said it did not consider that it had endorsed any of the businesses and had not received payments for the references made: it noted difficulties in training volunteers, many of whom were broadcasting for the first time and added that it endeavoured "to inform all the presenters and contributors regarding the codes and regulations", mistakes, while likely, were not deliberate."
Ofcom rules that there had been breaches of four rules in its codes and commented that it found little evidence of any regard to Code compliance on the part of the broadcaster.
In addition to the above Ofcom also posted details of two TV fairness and privacy complaints not upheld: The numbers compare with no radio complaint upheld in the previous bulletin in which it noted the revocation of adult channel licences already announced and also upheld 6 TV standards complaints.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 412 complaints against 221 TV items and 17 radio complaints against 17 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 333 complaints against 135 TV items (115 against one programme) and 15 radio complaints against 15 items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2010-12-20: Arbitron in cumulative figures from its RADAR 107 Network Radio survey says that the survey shows that network radio's weekly reach amongst Americans 12 and over went up by 819,000 compared to a year earlier with the largest increase of 695,000 amongst those 18 plus followed by 636,00 for those 25-54 and 531,00 for the 18-49 demographic.
There was worse news, however, for listening in the 35 plus demographic, where the reach was down by 110,000.
In preliminary figures for overall listening released earlier this month (See RNW Dec 7), Arbitron had listed no falls in reach.
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 106):
2010-12-20: Veteran BBC foreign correspondent and presenter Brian Hanrahan has died aged 61 from cancer, which had been discovered after he fell ill before the UK's General Election in May this year.
He joined the BBC in 1970 as a photographic stills clerk, then became a scriptwriter, then duty editor in the TV newsroom, later becoming the BBC's Northern Ireland correspondent before making his name during the Falklands War.
During that conflict he memorably evaded censorship by saying of the RAF's Harriers that he "counted them all out and counted them all back", a phrase he subsequently used as the title of a book about the conflict.
As well as his reporting, Hanrahan also presented both The World At One and The World This Weekend on BBC Radio 4.
Paying tribute to him BBC Director General Mark Thompson said, "Brian was a journalist of unimpeachable integrity and outstanding judgement, but his personal kindness and humanity also came through. That is why audiences and everyone who knew him here will miss him very much."
Helen Boaden, BBC Director of News, added,"Brian was a great storyteller - from Tiananmen Square to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of Gorbachev in Russia, he brought the big stories to audiences in the UK and around the world. But it was the Falklands that cemented Brian's reputation with a single well-turned phrase."
2010-12-20: Prasar Bharati (the Broadcasting Corporation of India) CEO B.S. Lalli seems likely to be ousted from his post soon following a move from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to push for his suspension: A note from the ministry was sent to the Prime Minister's office in which India's additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran says Lalli's continued presence may impede working of the national broadcaster and that he should be suspended pending the Supreme Court inquiry on financial irregularities raised by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
Last week Lalli withdrew a petition challenging an interim order of the Delhi high court which had formed a three- member committee, including him to run the affairs of the corporation.
The CVC in its report has accused Lalli amongst other things of breaching Parliamentary privilege; giving some broadcast companies undue favours; and financial mismanagement including outsourcing the broadcast of the recent Commonwealth Games to UK-based SIS Live.
Under the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990, the organization's CEO can only be removed from his post by India's Supreme Court following a reference to it by the India's President Pratibha Patil.
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
Times of India report:
2010-12-19: Last week the main regulatory news again came from North America albeit in terms of a political development - a vote to approve an amended version of the Local Community Radio Act that will allow more Low-Power FMs in the US, a decade after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first introduced them: Elsewhere was very quiet as regards radio with a few radio related postings from Canada, only one from the UK and none from Australia or Ireland.
In Canada, in a series of linkec decisions the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved a multi-step corporate reorganization at Corus Entertainment Inc. involving the transfers of shares, followed by the transfer of the assets of certain broadcasting undertakings in Quebec to corporations to be incorporated.
The Corus subsidiaries involved - 591991 B.C. Ltd. , Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. and Corus Radio Company - own radio stations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The re-organization will involve the formation of a new corporate entity, transfer of shares to this; an amalgamation for form another new entity; and the transfer of shares to this new entity but will not affect the effective control of the stations, which will remain with Corus.
The agency also approved another re-organization, this time by Cogeco inc. involving the transfer of the assets of the French-language commercial station CJEC-FM, Québec from Cogeco Diffusion inc. to Diffusion Newco. This reorganization will not affect control of the station and is a preliminary step in the process of the transfer of various Quebec stations from Corus to Cogeco.
A further application approved by the CRTC then sees Cogeco take control of French-language commercial stations CFOM-FM, Lévis; CFEL-FM, Lévis/Québec; CHLT-FM and CKOY-FM, Sherbrooke; CKAC-AM, Montréal; CJRC-FM, Gatineau and CHLN-FM, Trois-Rivières in one transaction and in another of CKOI-FM, Montréal; CHMP-FM, Longueuil; CIME-FM, Saint-Jérôme and its transmitters CIME-FM-1. Val-Morin and CIME-FM-2. Mont-Tremblant; and English-language commercial station CFQR-FM, Montréal.
To allow this the CRTC agreed by majority decision to allow Cogeco's request to be granted an exception to the Common Ownership Policy (the Policy) in relation to the number of radio stations that it is authorized to operate in the Montréal radio market
In a final linked decision, the CRTC approved an application to place three stations - CFEL-FM, Lévis/Québec; CKOY-FM, Sherbrooke; and CJEC-FM, Québec into a trust to be controlled by Fernand Bélisle as trustee.
The CRTC had agreed to allow Cogeco's CAD 80 million (then USD 78.7) million purchase of eleven of Corus's Quebec radio stations that was announced in April (See RNW Apr 30) following hearings in Montreal (See RNW Sep 28) subject to the divestment of four stations - CFEL-FM, CKOY-FM, CJEC-FM and CHMP-FM, Longueuil but agreed to the exemption to its ownership policy to allow Cogeco to own five stations in the Montreal market and thus retain CHMP-FM.
In the UK, the sole radio posting from Ofcom was its decision to give the go-ahead for Bauer Radio to turn its KISS stations into a national network (See RNW Dec 17).
As already noted, the main regulatory news in the US was political rather than postings by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the House and Senate both passed a revised version of the Local Community Radio Act that loosened spacing requirements but tightened up rules regarding interference with existing stations and also formally put LPFM on the same level as FM Translators (See RNW Dec 18).
In actual radio related announcements the agency has a quiet week although it did issue some penalties including a USD 7,000 penalty on the former licensee of a California FM for late renewal of licence application and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Dec 18).
Earlier it had entered into a consent decree with Tri-State Public Communications, Inc., licensee of WHDD-FM, Sharon, Connecticut, concerning the station's broadcasting of underwriting announcements and compliance with the Sponsorship Identification Laws.
Under the decree Tri-State will pay USD 15,000 in three equal instalments to the US Treasury and set up and maintain for the next three years a compliance plan to ensure future compliance. It will also have to file compliance reports 90 days, 12 months, 24 months and 36 months after the date of the decree.
The penalty follows a complaint that in broadcasts in November and December 2008 the station had aired underwriting announcements containing "calls to action and qualitative terms intended to induce business patronage." The Complaint alleged that the Licensee had received consideration in exchange for the broadcast of the announcements and the complainant provided a recording of material broadcast by the Station. Based on the Complaint and recording, the FCC said it appeared that the licensee aired various commercial announcements, including one in which it failed to identify the sponsor.
In another consent decree, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools, licensee of WOES-AM, Ovid-Elsie, Michigan, is to pay USD 10,000 in 24 equal instalments in connection with violations of the Public File Rule in the maintenance of the Station's public file during the 1996-2004 license term. It is also to set up a Compliance Plan for the next three years. The station had disclosed the shortcomings in its licence renewal application in 2004.
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-12-18: Both the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which had been opposing the Local Community Radio Act, expanding low-power FM (LPFM) services, and proponents of LPFM have welcomed the passage in the US House of Congress and Senate of a revised version.
The NAB had opposed the Act (HR 6533), arguing that the new stations could potentially cause interference, despite FCC studies saying that there was no significant risk of this and safeguards in cases where interference might occur.
The NAB originally wanted to retain third-adjacent channel protections but the revised bill allows a reduction - an 0.6 separation to three "clicks" rather than four - saying that the FCC "shall not amend its rules to reduce the minimum co-channel and first- and second-adjacent channel distance separation requirements" between LPFMs and full power stations and where a waiver of the second-adjacent channel distance separation is given but there is a complaint of interference to any existing station the LPFM had to cease operations until the interference has been eliminated or it can demonstrate that it was not the source of the interference.
In assigning frequencies, the act says they shall be made available to FM translator stations, FM booster stations, and LPFMs, which shall remain equal in status although secondary to full-power stations.
All LPFMs constructed where there is third-adjacent channel separation are to be required to broadcast periodic announcements that alert listeners that interference that they may be experiencing could be the result of the operation of such low-power FM station on a third-adjacent channel and tell affected listeners to contact such low-power FM station to report any interference after which the station has to inform the FCC within 48 hours and cooperate in addressing any such interference.
On Friday NAB EVP/Government Relations Laurie Knight wrote to Representatives Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania Democrat) and Lee Terry (Nebraska Republican), offering NAB support for the new version and the act was passed that day by a voice vote in the House.
According to Pete Tridish, executive director of the pro-LPFM Prometheus Radio Project , before the NAB supported the amended legislation, it had persuaded Republican Senators Jon Kyl, (Arizona) and John Ensign (Nevada) to put holds on the bill. He said before the latest changes said that the NAB had then "stood aside on the House version based on the concessions that we gave" but was now seeking "another bite of the apple."
After the Act passed in the House, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement, "The revised legislation will expand the number of LPFM stations in the U.S. while providing full-power radio stations with the protection and clarity we have long sought. NAB salutes today's House action and offers its support for Senate passage as well."
Whether or not the NAB had been behind various holds on the bill (they had included one by Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso and other holds where those concerned kept their names secret) the Senate duly obliged today and gave unanimous consent to the bill, which now goes forward to President Obama for his signature: The Prometheus Radio Project, although it later noted that "the amendments to the bill will require some further work at the FCC", headed its release, "WE WON! Senate Joins House in Passing the Local Community Radio Act!"
It then commented, "In response to overwhelming grassroots pressure, Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a mandate to license thousands, of new community stations nationwide. This bill marks the first major legislative success for the growing movement for a more democratic media system in the U.S."
Tridish said of LPFM, "A town without a community radio station is like a town without a library. Many a small town dreamer - starting with a few friends and bake sale cash - has successfully launched a low power station, and built these tiny channels into vibrant town institutions that spotlight school board elections, breathe life into the local music scene, allow people to communicate in their native languages, and give youth an outlet to speak."
Prometheus Policy Director Brandy Doyle added, "After ten years of effort, a $2.2 million taxpayer-funded study, and new provisions to address this hypothetical interference, we are finally on our way to seeing new community radio stations across the U.S. This marks a beginning, not an end, to our work. For the first time, LPFM community radio has a chance to grow, and we're ready to seize that opportunity
Cheryl Leanza, a board member of the Prometheus Radio Project and a Policy Advisor to the United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc. added, "All of us at UCC OC Inc. and at Prometheus express our incredible gratitude to Congressmen Mike Doyle and Lee Terry and Senators Maria Cantwell (Washington Democrat) and John McCain (Arizona Republican - he and Cantwell co-sponsored the bill in the Senate) for the leadership and counsel during this process "Without their work and the work of their committed staff we would not have come this far. At long last the 160 million Americans who have been deprived of the opportunity to apply for a local low power radio station will get a chance to be a part of the American media."
The Prometheus release also quotes other supporters of LPFM, including a number involved in running existing stations, on their value to communities.
For the Media Access Project, another long-time proponent of LPFM, its Development Director Kamilla Kovacs commented in a news release, "LPFM is a proven mechanism for empowering communities to create their own, truly local outlets in a medium too often dominated by a few corporate giants Senate passage of the Local Community Radio Act marks a turning point in the long campaign to expand availability of community radio stations. Enactment of this bill eliminates a final obstacle to adding thousands of new LPFM stations to about 800 stations already on the air. MAP has worked with grassroots organizations for some 13 years to achieve today's victory. "
RNW comment: Although this legislation will allow more LPFMs it is considerably more restrictive than was originally put forward by the Federal Communications Commission in 2000 and, although it allows closer spacing this is significantly restricted on top of which LPFM formally becomes secondary to full power stations and on an equal footing with FM translators.
Maybe we're over cynical about the NAB but the changes will not do much to boost LPFM in most urban areas, where frequencies are not available, and in many rural areas the NAB would have a problem in proving that communities are adequately served by full power stations when it comes to news and information about local affairs. We tend to the view that the NAB was coming under criticism of its opposition to a degree that convinced it that it would benefit by limited concessions that posed little threat to full-power stations allied with additional restrictions that would put considerable strain on LPFMs who wanted to use the closer spacing should any full power station decide to file an objection since proving there will be no interference is no simple task.
Previous Media Access Project:
2010-12-18: In yet another penalty over late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a USD 7,000 penalty on Trinity Church of the Nazarene , former licensee of KRQZ-FM, Lompoc, California.
It had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in this amount in December 2007 and Trinity Church responded by arguing for cancellation or reduction on grounds of financial hardship.
However it did not submit acceptable documentation on its financial affairs and the FCC confirmed the full penalty.
2010-12-17: Cumulus Media has confirmed that it was the organization that made two offers for Citadel Broadcasting- the second at the end of November was rejected earlier this month (See RNW Dec 6) - and yesterday reiterated its interest after the Citadel board rejected the first offer: Cumulus Chairman & CEO Lew Dickey said " offer continues to represent a superior alternative in value, liquidity and potential growth for the former secured creditors of Citadel who, post-bankruptcy, are now the owners of the company."
The first offer made on November 29 was of USD 31 per share for all the outstanding equity of Citadel for USD31 per share, valuing Citadel at approximately USD 2.1 billion with Citadel stockholders being offered cash or Cumulus stock with the cash component up to USD 1 billion..
This offer, which represented a premium of approximately 16% over Citadel's volume weighted average price for the twenty trading days preceding the proposal but was rejected by Citadel's board on December 6.
Cumulus reiterated the offer yesterday in a letter to the Citadel Board in which it said, "We do not understand why you have been unwilling to engage with us to explore such a transaction and to consider its benefits to Citadel and its shareholders. We had made an earlier proposal a number of weeks prior that you also rejected.
"In response to increasingly stronger encouragement that we have received from individual Citadel shareholders who have urged us to continue our efforts to combine our companies and thereby deliver substantial and tangible value to Citadel's shareholders, we write you again."
Cumulus noted that if all Citadel shareholders were to go for the cash option, approximately USD 22.16 in cash would be paid per Citadel share, and an additional USD 8.84 in value per Citadel share would be delivered to Citadel shareholders in shares of Cumulus stock. This would mean that a minimum of 71% would be in cash and Cumulus added, "As we pointed out in our November 29 letter, the premium cited above does not reflect the benefits of synergies resulting from the combination that would provide additional value to Citadel's shareholders. In the transaction, these synergies would be shared over time, on a pro rata basis to equity ownership, with Citadel's shareholders. They include station-level synergies, overlap markets, national network expansion, corporate overhead reduction, and increased scale."
Cumulus then noted that in its November offer it urged Citadel not to complete a refinancing that it said reduced the benefits to Citadel shareholders of its offer but that Citadel had completed a "note issue that requires a USD 31 million make whole payment upon a refinancing of the notes in conjunction with a merger like the one proposed by Cumulus."
It added, "We are presently considering the effect on our proposal of this incremental cost of approximately USD 0.65 per Citadel share" and also notes that after it made its offer, the terms of the note offering were "altered to expand the definition of Change of Control (which requires a mandatory offer to repurchase the notes at a premium) to include the entry by Citadel into any merger agreement within one year of the issuance of the notes, if upon completion Citadel or the other company surviving the merger would have a leverage ratio greater than 3.75x."
"This unusual definition for Change of Control" says Cumulus, "does not require any particular minimum level of change in share ownership" and it goes on to ask that Citadel take no further action to impede the proposed deal.
Cumulus is not proposing that business and financial information should be made available to it, subject to a confidentiality agreement, to help it asses the impact on its offer of the extra notes-related cost and also to more fully evaluate the synergies that would arise from a combination.
"It will allow Cumulus," said the letter, "to consider if its offer can be altered to make it even more attractive to Citadel shareholders."
Cumulus has gained support from Texas-based R2 Investments, a Citadel investor, whose lawsuit led to Citadel dropping plans to issue grants of stock to its top executives and board and replace them with stock options (See RNW Nov 3). R2 in a letter to the Citadel Board attacks them strongly, starting off by saying, "It has only been two months since you were stopped from your last grand act of self-interest. In our opinion, you appear once again to be exhibiting an utter disregard for shareholders' interests for what we believe must be some sort of personal agenda. You have received two merger proposals from Cumulus Media, which shareholders have demanded you take seriously. You have rejected both and have refused to engage them at all. A board concerned about its shareholders should have engaged Cumulus to negotiate the best possible deal and then would have let the shareholders vote on whether the deal is acceptable."
It then continues, "Your decision to move forward with a bond issue that would make any takeover much more costly - thereby penalizing shareholders - is really beneath contempt in our view. There is a built in USD 31 million payment to bondholders (directly out of equity holders' pockets) in the case of any merger. Your decision here once again potentially takes money from shareholders' pockets - approximately USD 0.65 per share - in what we can only surmise is an attempt to protect your own jobs and own self-interest."
The letter then goes on, "Did you learn nothing from your last encounter with the legal system and the court of public opinion?
"Last time, the judge in the Southern District of New York gave you a rather harsh rebuke and told you to comply with what you had told shareholders you would pay management and yourselves. Legally, what you did was wrong, but it should have never gotten to that point. Regardless of what your lawyers told you was legal, you should have known better because what you did was ethically reprehensible. You have a duty to listen to shareholders - after all, they are the very people who elected you to the board. You didn't do it last time even though it was abundantly clear that shareholders did not want you to award stock to the management and to yourselves. And you are not doing it again this time.
"After your first trespass, we had our doubts whether you and this management team were best suited to lead this company. This last episode has confirmed our suspicions - this company would be better off with different leadership. We find it unconscionable that this board would flatly reject the second proposal from Cumulus despite the fact that many of your significant shareholders urged Cumulus to submit a more attractive proposal after its initial rebuke. We believe that the majority of shareholders would agree with us, and if you put any reasonable merger proposal to a vote, you would discover that for yourselves.
"In summary (and in our opinion): First, you tried to pull off one of the most egregious shams for a company coming out of bankruptcy and pay yourselves and the management team a bonus of USD 110 million. Now, in a similarly self-interested manoeuvre, you've put up roadblocks to a merger so that you can keep your jobs. Shame on you!
"We are here to tell you that we will not let this latest travesty and abuse of shareholders' interests go unchallenged or unheralded. We will once again seek every legal means to address what is, in our view, a breach of your fiduciary duty to equity holders in favour of your self-interest in preserving your jobs and will hold each of you personally liable for your actions. And we will once again seek every public outlet possible to communicate the facts of this situation so that all of corporate America can know exactly what sort of directors you are."
Citadel has responded by saying the R2 letter is "full of baseless claims and is nothing more than a heavy handed ploy by R2 to advance its own interests at the expense of Citadel and its shareholders."
It then goes on to say," Citadel is executing a strategic plan its Board of Directors believes will create significant shareholder value over time. In June, Citadel successfully completed its reorganization plan and in December refinanced all of its existing higher-cost debt. This will result in a substantial reduction in annual interest costs with expected savings of approximately USD 35 million in 2011 and beyond. With a stronger balance sheet, Citadel is well positioned to operate its business and take advantage of market opportunities. "
Regarding the rejected offers it says the first capped the cash component at USD 500 million and that the second, which extended the cash component to up to a USD 1 billion, was "carefully considered" with the assistance of its financial advisors and its legal counsel.
"The Board," says Citadel, "determined that the revised Cumulus proposal was not in the best interests of Citadel shareholders for many reasons" and goes on to say amongst other things that it was "was neither credible nor at an appropriate valuation"; that "Cumulus provided no equity or debt financing commitments or terms."; that "Cumulus has a highly leveraged balance sheet and is operating under a suspension of certain of its debt covenants that expires on December 31, 2010" and that there would be "Uncertainty surrounding what would be a lengthy and complex regulatory review process."
"Citadel," it says "remains committed to carefully considering any credible acquisition proposals. Contrary to false representations by R2, the recent debt refinancing would in no way preclude Citadel from entering into a change of control transaction should the Citadel Board conclude that it is in the best interests of shareholders."
2010-12-17: Clear Channel has disclosed in a filing to the Office of the Clerk to the US House of Representatives that it spend USD 1.29 million on lobbying in the third quarter of this year, up from USD 790,000 in the third quarter of last year and USD 1.09 million in the third quarter of 2008 although down from the USD 1.37 million spent in the second quarter of this year.
Issues listed as the subject of the company's lobbying included Congressional oversight of digital billboards, issues concerning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)proceedings on broadcast localism and local radio ownership rules; and Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding broadcast indecency enforcement, FCC reinstatement of The Fairness Doctrine; tax incentives and loan guarantees to encourage diversity of ownership of telecommunications businesses and acts including the Local Community Radio Act of 2009, the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, the Disclose Act, the Performance Rights Act and the Radio Music Enhancement Act of 2010.
A number of these including those relating to digital billboards, broadcast localism, local radio ownership and the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 were also the subject of the company's lobbying in the second quarter this year.
Previous Clear Channel: .
2010-12-17: Bauer Radio has been given the go-ahead to turn its KISS stations into a national network - using local DAB multiplexes rather than the national Digital One multiplex - following a consultation carried out by UK media regulator Ofcom (See RNW Nov 1).
Bauer had asked to be allowed to share programming over the stations - 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), dropping their local content.
The approval was given in line with Ofcom policy to permit such sharing on analogue stations providing a version of the shared programme is available UK-wide on DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) - it adds that it is likely to accept 70% coverage level at launch rising to over 80% within three years as acceptable- and is subject to the condition that the Kiss service is carried on 35 local DAB multiplex areas from the date on which local programming is removed, rising to 38 within three months of that date, so providing carriage in all existing local multiplex areas.
The move follows similar moves by Global Radio with its Heart stations, which went national earlier this year but retained some local programming, and is to launch Capital nationally next month and Guardian Media Group with its Smooth Radio brand.
Bauer had said that its audience research showed "music and mood" rather than geographical location as the main reason given for listening to the stations and Kiss managing director, Steve Parkinson said taking the station "truly nationwide is a great opportunity for Kiss to attract new audiences to its successful mood and music formula", noting that there was to be no change in format.
2010-12-17: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and iBiquity Digital Corporation, developer of HD Radio, under the NAB FASTROAD initiative have posted a report on what it terms "a new AM radio data service concept, with the potential to provide AM broadcasters the ability to transmit low-rate data similar to what FM broadcasters can provide using the Radio Data System (RDS) subcarrier."
The report was co-funded by the NAB and iBiquity and the system - AM Digital Data Service (ADDS) - says NAB would allow delivery of low data-rate text for analogue AM radio stations, which currently have no method for transmitting data such as song title and artist.
It adds that the technology would be easily integrated into future radio receivers and would offer AM broadcasters a simpler and less-expensive way to provide a limited digital service than moving to a full AM HD system. The system is structured to be compatible with AM HD but the report notes that it does not define a full standard for AM Digital Data Service nor does it define a commercial implementation, adding that additional design work would be required.
ADDS report (49-page, 778 kb PDF):
2010-12-16: New York-born Fun Lovin' Criminals frontman Huey Morgan is to take over the midnight Friday to 0300 Saturday slot being vacated by Mark Lamarr on BBC Radio 2 and will also continue to host "The Huey Show" on digital station BBC 6 Music on Sundays from 13:00 to 16:00. Lamarr announced earlier this month that he was to leave Radio 2 after 12 years (See RNW Dec 3).
Morgan, who has also been filling in for Lauren Laverne on her 10:00 to 13:00 slot on 6 Music while she is on maternity leave, will launch his Radio 2 show in April. Bob Harris is filling in the slot until then.
Morgan commented of his new show, "It's a huge honour to be given three hours a week to kick back and play some of the hottest tunes, both new and old, with a disregard of genre. Growing up in NYC, I could never have imagined that the prestigious and world famous BBC would give me six hours of airtime a week to play my favourite records, and allow me chat to some of the people who have inspired me along the way."
Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music, added, "Huey has earned his presenting stripes on 6 Music and his appointment clearly demonstrates Radio 2's fierce commitment to producing a network full of the most diverse music programming available today on UK radio."
In other BBC announcements, Radio Five Live has announced that Shelagh Fogarty, who has co-presented 5 Live Breakfast with Nicky Campbell since January 2004, is to take over the station's weekday noon to 14:00 slot from Gabby Logan from May 3 next year. No successor has yet been announced for the breakfast show.
Fogarty said of her new show, "I'm in the lucky position of leaving a job I love to start one I'm really excited about. Nicky says he forgives me but I don't believe him! Hopefully he and I can still do programmes together in the future one way or another. I learnt a huge amount just by sitting next to him, and I'll miss him" and Radio 5 Live Controller, Adrian Van Klaveren, added, "Shelagh's done an outstanding job on breakfast for the last seven years, playing a pivotal role in helping the programme to win many awards including SONY Golds. Her on-air relationship with Nicky has been magical and it's not a partnership to be broken up lightly - but from next May she will be able to bring her own individual magic to lunchtimes and create a must-listen programme, presented at first from London but then of course from Salford by the end of next year."
Previous van Klaveren:
2010-12-16: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell are amongst those who have congratulated Oregon Republican Greg Walden on his selection as the next chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.
Walden, a former owner of Oregon-based Columbia Gorge Broadcasters, announced his selection in Morse Code on Twitter, following the initial tweet with a second one explaining that the previous message was in Morse Code saying "WILL/CHAIR/COMM/AND/TECH/SUB" and "just the ham radio operator in me having fun."
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said of Walden that he "is a remarkably gifted public servant steeped in the nuances of communications policy and broadcast-related issues" and adding "NAB welcomes the opportunity to work closely with incoming Subcommittee Chairman Walden, Vice Chair Lee Terry and House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton in the new year and beyond."
McDowell in a statement commented, "I congratulate my friend, Congressman Greg Walden, on his election as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I am delighted that Chairman-designate Walden will play a pivotal role on the communications matters facing our nation given his deep understanding of communications policy combined with his practical business experience as a broadcaster. "
2010-12-16: Australia's metropolitan commercial radio audience rose this year by 250,000 on 2009 to an average of 9.19 million a week according to figure from industry body Commercial Radio Australia based on The Nielsen Company's eight ratings survey of the year. The latest ratings were released earlier this week (See RNW Dec 14)
The data show that commercial radio in the country reaches 86% of the 10-17 demographic each week - some 1.164 million - with 77% of the 25-39 demographic also listening each week, making a total of just below 2.46 million, the highest cumulative audience.
Highest period for listening was breakfast with commercial breakfast shows reaching some 7 million people a week. Average listening per person totalled more than 16 hours a week with most listening in the home -e47% of commercial radio listening followed by 32% in automobiles, 17% at work and 2% elsewhere.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner said the medium had performed well despite increased competition, saying, "Commercial radio is a good performer across all demographics and age groups and remains resilient in the face of increasing competition. Radio can now be accessed on analogue radio, digital radio, via the web, on mobile phones, via podcasts - more than ever before. Busy, mobile Australians are particularly strong radio listeners because of its accessibility while they are on the go - at work, driving, relaxing at home or using the internet. "
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Previous Joan Warner:
2010-12-15: UK radio ratings organization RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) in its seventh MIDAS survey of internet delivered audio services released today says that 16.3 million people in the UK now say they listen to radio via the Internet with 12.7 million saying they have used a listen again service, 8.1 million that they have downloaded a podcast and 2.2 million smart phone users have now downloaded a radio app, up from 1.4 million in June this year.
The figures are based on 1,091 respondents - drawn from the main RAJAR survey sample - to a survey conducted during November this year by Ipsos MORI.
Of those who had listened to podcasts 44% said they listened at least once a week but only 24% said they found the time to listen to all the podcasts they had download with 77% of them saying they listened at home and 50% that they listened in the car or on public transport. 76% said that listening to podcasts had not affected their live listening and 30 that they now listened to radio programmes to which they had not listened before.
2010-12-15: Columbus, Ohio, gained a new classical station today when WOSU Public Media launched Classical 101(WOSU 101 FM) following completion of its USD 5.7 million deal with Fun with Radio LLC's WWCD-FM (CD 101): Under this Fun with Radio, which had been airing its adult alternative signal on both the 101 and the stronger 102.5 frequency since July - WOSU Public Media, through its licensee, The Ohio State University, agreed to acquire the 101 frequency in June - has moved to just the 102.5 frequency.
This allowed WOSU to air its classical and news output on separate frequencies: WWCD dropped its 101 signal on Monday - although it kept the CD-101 name, and at 0600 today WOSU began airing classical music on the 101 frequency with its 89.7 frequency, which had previously carried both classical and news programming, is to become a news-only station.
WOSU general manager Tom Rieland commented on the WOSU site, "Classical music has had a long and loyal following in central Ohio, dating back to our founding in 1922. We believe Classical 101 and its affiliated stations will strengthen the sustainability of all of the performing arts in the region and help develop a new listener base for classical music through broadcasts and online."
From January 6 WOSU 89.7 FM will become central Ohio's only all-day NPR news FM with the WOSU network offering a classical service on WOSB 91.1 FM in Marion/Delaware with a simulcast on WOSP 91.5 FM in Portsmouth and WOSE 91.1 FM whilst the 89.7 NPR News will be simulcast on WOSV 91.7 FM.
WOSU web site:
2010-12-14: Latest Australian radio ratings - comparing the periods from Sep 19 - Sat Oct 23 and Sun Oct 31 to Sat Dec 4 - have seen Macquarie Radio Network's Sydney 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones and his station yet again end the year at the top of the city's ratings.
Jones took a 17.8 share, up from 17.7, but Ray Hadley who follows him in mornings saw his share fall from 16.9 to 16.3 whilst the station was down from 14.3 to 13.3. Its commercial talk rival, Fairfax Media's 2UE picked up share overall - from 5.9 to 6.2 as did the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC 702, which was up from 8.9 to 10.2 and Fairfax also saw its 3AW in Melbourne increase its lead - up from 14.2 to 15.4, helped by a jump from 17.9 to 20.4 in the breakfast share taken by Ross Stevenson and John Burns. There was no good news however for its commercial competitor Melbourne Talk Radio, whose share fell from 1.4 to 1.1
In the Sydney FM battle, Austereo's 2-DAY held on to a leading 10.1 share but 702 pushed it down from second to third. Its breakfast share was down from 11.8 to 10.5, a fall that coincided with Jackie O's maternity leave from the "Kyle and Jackie O" show (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson).
Austereo said it was celebrating "a powerful year of radio wins" and highlighted FM top spots in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and the second-rank in Adelaide.
Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson commented, "2010 has been a monumental year for Austereo and we are thrilled to end the year with these great survey results. We look forward to continuing to build leadership brands with winning content in 2011" and Chairman Peter Harvie added, "Austereo has held leadership nationally in a hard-fought competitive market. Australia's radio industry is one of the most powerful and strong in the world, with audience growth and vigorous industry leadership. Austereo is proud to again have led the industry in audience results".
DMG, which switched its former Vega stations in Sydney and Melbourne to Classic Rock formats saw the Sydney share go from 2.8 to 3.3 but that in Melbourne fall from 3.2 to 2.6, a performance mirrored by its Nova stations - up from 7.0 to 7.9 in Sydney and down from 6.7 to 6.5 in Melbourne:Nova, however, took the top rank for the 18-24 demographic with a 20.1 share (up from 17.8) in Sydney where 2-Day's share of this demographic was down from a top-tanking 18.6 to a second place 17.2. In Melbourne Austereo's Fox FM which was the leading FM overall with share up from 12.0 to 12.4, dominated the 18-24 demographic, taking a 32.5 share, up from 29.5, and Nova also increased its share for the demographic - up from 23.8 to 25.6.
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 14.5 (14.1) - up from second; Mix 102.3 with 13.2 (14.6) - down from first; SAFM with 12.6 (11.8) up from fourth;
* ABC 891 with 12.3 (12.0) fell from third to fourth rank followed by Nova, which was up a rank to fifth with 10.0 (8.7), swapping places with 5MMM which went down from fifth to sixth with 8.4 (10.2);
*Brisbane - B105 with 12.1 (12.4) - Same rank but no longer sharing top spot; Nova with 11.6 (11.1) - up from third; 97.3 FM with 10.9 (12.4) - down from sharing top remained fifth with 9.6 (10.0).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 15.4 (14.2) - same rank; Fox FM with 12.4 (12.0) - up from third;
ABC 774 with 12.6 (12.1) down from second;
*Gold was up a rank from fourth to fifth with 7.4 (7.3) followed by Nova, which was also up a rank with 6.5 (6.7) whilst Magic slipped from fourth to sixth with.2 (7.4).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, slipped from tenth to twelfth with 2.6 (3.2) and newcomer Melbourne Talk Radio, in its fourth full ratings remained bottom albeit its share rose from1.1 to 1.4.
In the commercial talk breakfast slot 3AW increased its lead with 19.7 (17.4) and MTR remained bottom with 1.1 (1.4); in Mornings 3AW again remained top with 18.1 (17.7) whilst MTR fell back to 1.1 (1.3), albeit ABC News Radio was bottom with 0.9 (1.0) and at Drive time, where Fox FM again led with 20.5 (20.7) and 3AW was second with 12.0 (10.8), MTR was again bottom with an unchanged 1.0. Its highest share in demographic terms was a 2.0 (1.0) with those 55-64 and 2.0 (1.4) with those 65 plus.
Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.3 (16.9) - same rank; 92.9 with 12.9 (13.7) up -same rank; 96 FM - up from fifth with 10.1 (8.8).
*ABC 720 with 9.7(10.8) was down from third to fourth, ahead of 6PR with 9.6 (8.3) in fifth rank whilst Nova, with 9.4(9.3) dropped two ranks to sixth and 6JJJ was pushed down a rank to seventh with 7.2(7.9).
Sydney - 2GB 13.3 (14.3) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.2 (8.9) - up from third; 2-DAY with an unchanged 10.1 - down from second;
*Nova was up from sixth to fourth with .9 (7.0), overtaking WSFM which fell a rank to fifth with 6.9 (7.7) and 2CH which was down two ranks to seventh with 6.0 (7.1) behind 2UE, which was up a rank to sixth with 6.2 (5.9).
Then came 2MMM, which remained eighth with 5.3 (4.9), and 2JJJ, which remained ninth with 4.1 (4.8).
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, was up from 12th to 13th with 3.3 (2.8).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-12-14: BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons launching the Trust's final conclusions on the Corporation's Strategy Review today has warned that he could not rule out" service cuts as a result of the licence fee agreement that means the corporation's licence fee will be frozen for the next six years with the result that savings of 16% have to be made.
As regards radio, the Trust has confirmed the reprieve of digital station BBC 6 Music, whose closure was proposed by BBC management but approved the plan to close the BBC Asian Network (See RNW Jul 5).
Speaking at the of the Trust's final conclusions on the strategy review, Lyons said he was to undertake a review of the "range and scope of the corporation's services" -and added "Let's not be under any misapprehension, the notion that we can look for a 16 per cent reduction in budget and sail on as you are is inconceivable so basically you can't rule out service changes and indeed service reductions".
The results of the review are to be published next year - incorporating and bringing forward a review of the BBC's TV output that had been due in 2012/2013 - and the announcement has led to speculation that digital TV channels BBC3 and BBC4 could be cut as the review includes detailed comment about the future of the BBC1 & BBC2 TV channels but makes very little mention of these stations.
The review concludes that the established BBC mission to "inform, educate and entertain" remains valid, but that to deliver it the corporation needs to accelerate the pace of change in its culture and behaviour, focussing on four priority areas.
These are listed as "Increasing the distinctiveness and quality of its programmes and services; Improving the value for money it provides to licence fee payers; Setting new standards of openness and transparency; and Doing more to serve all audiences."
In furtherance of increasing openness and transparency the BBC says it plans to publish an annual business plan and an annual budget and also to introduce a "new programme of regular industry engagement in areas of greatest market sensitivity, including the Executive trailing significant new investments and actively seeking industry reactions to any initiative in these areas that is likely to be a significant change and so require Trust approval."
Figures to be published will include an annual report on all senior manager pay, breaking down information into detailed bands according to salary and talent costs broken down into figures for aggregate spend in bands suggested by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, as well as indicating the numbers of individuals falling into each band.
The Trust adds that at its request "the Executive continue to examine the legal and commercial issues around the concept of identifying the individuals in the very highest bands."
Regarding digital radio the Trust says that it retains "A commitment to DAB as a way of improving coverage for digital services and Nations services, including reaching levels approaching FM equivalence as soon as feasible" and is also "Preparing for any potential radio switchover over, including by working with the Government to assess the level of investment needed to boost the local tier of DAB."
2010-12-13: Triton Media's Dial Global yet again dominated the top-rated US radio networks according to Arbitron's RADAR 107 survey just released that shows the Dial Global Contemporary Network and Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Adult Power Network held on to the top three ranks amongst those 25-54;
The Premiere Informed Network was fourth after which the Dial Global Female Perspective dropped from seventh rank to eighth and the Dial Global Music & Entertainment network moved up to tenth from 11th.
Amongst the 18-49 demographic Dial Global had four out of the top ten networks with its Dial Global Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Adult Power Network in the top three spots' and the Dial Global Female Perspective in fifth rank: Premiere also had four networks in the top ten - its fourth ranked Premiere Modern Women Network; sixth ranked Premiere Young Influencers:15; seventh ranked Premiere Today's Men Network; and tenth ranked Premiere Informed Network whilst Westwood One with its Adults Network in eighth place and the United Stations Impact Network in ninth place took the other two spots.
The top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also posts details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 106 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 4.371million and an average rating of 3.4 (In RADAR 106 the network was first with 4.488 million and an average rating of 3.5).
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 4.070 million and an average rating of 3.2 (In RADAR 106 it was second with an average audience of 4.204 million and an average rating of 3.3).
3: Dial Global Adult Power with an average audience of 3.117 million and an average rating of 2.5 (In RADAR 106 the network was fourth ranked with an average audience of 3.241 million and an average rating of 2.6).
4: Premiere Informed Network with an average audience of 2.999 million and an average rating of 2.4 (In RADAR 106 it was fourth with an average audience of 3.145 million and an average rating of 2.5).
5: Westwood One Adults Network with an average audience of 2.804 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 106 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.783 million and an average rating of 2.2).
6: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.539 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 106 it was sixth with an average audience of 2.509 million and an average rating of 2.0).
7: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.539 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 106 it was ninth with an average audience of 2.372 million and an average rating of 1.9).
8: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.478 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 106 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.491 million and an average rating of 2.0).
9: Dial Global Music and Entertainment Network with an average audience of 2.194 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 106 it was eleventh with an average audience of 2.175 million and an average rating of 1.7).
10: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2.150 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 106 it was eighth with an average audience of 2.485 million and an average rating of 2.0).
*Premiere Young Influencers: 15 Network, which in RADAR 106 was tenth with an average audience of 2.176 million and an average rating of 1.7 fell to eleventh with an average audience of 2.136 million and an average rating of 1.7
The highest ranked Citadel Network was Citadel Media Family in 18th rank with an average audience of 1.717 million and an average rating of 1.4
Arbitron also noted the broad reach of radio across all key demographics and highlighted the medium's reach of 73.7% of Persons aged 12+ (189,685,000 Persons); 74.1% of Persons aged 18+ (172,292,000 Persons) 73.3% of Persons aged 35+ (118,732,000 Persons); 76.6% of Persons aged 18-49 (103,455,000 Persons); and 76.9% of Persons aged 25-54 (97,537,000 Persons)
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 106):
Previous Westwood One:
2010-12-13: The Nielsen Company, which re-entered the US radio ratings market in 2008 and had provided ratings in 51 smaller markets, has announced that it is to pull out of the business although it will continue its radio ratings in eleven other countries.
Nielsen's big contracts were with Cumulus, which took its ratings in 51 smaller markets (outside the top 100) and Clear Channel, which took its service in 17 markets. It also had deals with ESPN Radio, Maverick Media, and Black Crow but had failed to develop the diary-based service significantly.
In a statement the company said it "decided to end its measurement of radio in the United States, as of the Fall 2010 period" and added "Back data and limited access to Radio Advisor software will continue to be available for use by Nielsen clients, as required."
"This decision," said the company "has no impact on The Nielsen Company's international radio measurement, and we will continue our radio measurement operations in each of the 11 countries we currently serve."
The decision came soon after Arbitron announced a new agreement with Clear Channel (See RNW Dec 8) and may give a small fillip to Arbitron's stock, which closed last week at USD 38.37 but had moved up to USD 38.44 at around 15:00 ET.They then fell back and ended the day down 0.55% at USD 38.16
2010-12-12: Last week was yet again fairly quiet as regards radio for all the regulators with only one radio-related release from Australia, none from Ireland, and only a few from the other regulators.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that three commercial stations had not been complying with its rules on declaring sponsorship that had been introduced after the country's cash-for-comment affair (See RNW Dec 8).
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made two radio postings: In Quebec:it has approved an application by Radio communautaire de Harrington Harbour to add a 70 watts FM transmitter at Mutton Bay to carry the programming of its French-language Type A community station CFTH-FM-1, Harrington Harbour.
The CRTC also posted a consultation with a January 13 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments that included the following radio applications in British Columbia:
*Application by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership to exchange the frequency of CKPK-FM, Vancouver, currently on 100.5 MHz, with that of Vancouver Co-operative Radio's CFRO-FM, Vancouver, currently on 102.7 MHz.
Pattison also proposes to increase the power of CKPK-FM from 2,700 to 51,000 watts, saying that the exchange would allow CKPK-FM to operate more efficiently through its use of the 102.7 MHz frequency and enable it to compete on a level playing field in the Vancouver commercial radio market. As part of the exchange it also proposes to provide CFRO-FM technical, financial and marketing support for a period of 5 years for a total value of CAD 1.437 million ( USD 1.426 million).
Vancouver Co-operative Radio has also proposed the exchange together with a reduction of its power from 5,500 watts to 2,700 watts together wit a relocation of its antenna site.
As noted there were no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin, in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Dec 6) and also its November Updates.
The radio update included one new licence, the award of a licence on the local digital multiplex to Voice Radio, a community radio service primarily aimed at an audience of the Caerphilly County Borough.
In addition it has invited declarations of intent to apply for the following local FM licences: In all cases, should only the current holder declare an intent the licensee will be invited to reapply whilst the licence will be re-advertised if there are competing applications but not re-advertised if there is no declaration of intent. All declarations of intent have to be accompanied with a GBP 10,000 (USD 15,800) deposit, which will be refundable on subsequent receipt of a valid applications and a GBP 10,000 (USD 7,900) non refundable fee.
Bridlington Radio Limited's Yorkshire Coast Radio (YCR), Bridlington, licence expiring on Nov 6 next year. The new licence would run to November 1018.
Trax FM Limited's Trax FM, Doncaster, licence expiring on September 4 next year. The new licence would run to September 2018.
South Hams Radio Ltd.'s Heart, Devon, licence expiring on November 30 next year. The new licence would run to November 2018.
Play Radio Ltd.'s The Breeze, Winchester, licence expiring on October 2 next year. The new licence would run to November 2018.
Format changes listed were the following:
GMG Radio's Real Radio Scotland - - to be allowed to reduce locally made weekday daytime hours from ten to seven with local bulletins still to be broadcast at least hourly during daytime weekdays and peak-time at weekends but with the end of the requirement for UK-wide, nations and international news to be aired at non peak times. A requirement for at least four locally made hours at weekend daytimes remains unchanged.
GMG Radio's Real Radio North West England - As for Real Radio Scotland.
GMG Radio's Rock Radio (Paisley): As for Real Radio Scotland.
GMG Radio's Rock Radio (Manchester): As for Real Radio Scotland.
GMG Radio's Smooth Radio (Glasgow): As for Real Radio Scotland.
GMG Radio's Real Radio, Yorkshire - to be allowed to reduce locally made weekday daytime hours from ten to seven with local bulletins still to be broadcast at least hourly during daytime weekdays and peak-time at weekends but with the end of the requirement for UK-wide, nations and international news to be aired at non peak times.
GMG Radio's Real Radio North East England: Essentially as for Real Radio Yorkshire but also continuing to allow transmissions to be 'split' for live sport commentary and for sport programmes up to two hours a week out of peak.
Niocom Limited's Dune FM, Southport & West Lancashire: To be allowed to share all locally made hours including locally made news bulletins with Central Radio.
Niocom Limited's Central FM, Central Lancashire: To be allowed to share all locally made hours including locally made news bulletins with Dune FM.
Media Sound Holdings' Splash FM, Worthing, to be allowed to share all locally-made programming, rather than up to six of the required ten locally-made weekday hours (other than breakfast), between its between the Hastings, Eastbourne, Haywards Heath and Worthing licences. Media Sound is also to be allowed to produce all locally-made programming within these licensed areas.
Media Sound Holdings' Sovereign FM, Eastbourne. As Splash FM.
Media Sound Holdings' Bright FM, Haywards Heath. As Splash FM.
Media Sound Holdings' Arrow FM, Hastings. As Splash FM.
Ofcom also posted one Content Sampling Report n the update, for The Revolution, Oldham, which was found to be reporting within its format although comment was made about little coverage of local as opposed to regional issues, and one Change of Control Review - for Banbury Sound, which is now owned by Quidem. No problems were noted.
In terms of digital multiplexes the update noted the following changes:
London III multiplex. Galaxy replaced with The Arrow and the addition of IBC Gujarati.
London II multiplex. Absolute 90s replaced with Absolute 00s
National commercial multiplex: Extend period of service provision for Amazing Radio.
Central Lancashire, Humberside, Leeds, Liverpool, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside multiplexes - Replacement of Gold with Absolute Classic Rock
Cardiff and Newport multiplex - addition of Voice Radio.
In the US, the main focus for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again been on the Internet rather than broadcasting and issues of "Net Neutrality" in particular, an issue that has again split the agency on party lines with the Democrats in favour of regulation and the Republican Commissioners against.
Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker brought up the subject in a speech to the Practising Law Institute's 28th Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation, re-iterating her previous view that the issue was one for Congress not the FCC.
RNW Comment: Baker headed her release on the speech "The Wrong Path for a Pro-Jobs, Pro-Investment Agenda" and in our view failed to make her case on this point convincingly - particularly as regards her comments on jobs being at risk - although correct in her comment, "We do this against the will of the courts, which have told us that we lack authority to act. And Congress, which has asked us bluntly not to act, and definitely not this month."
She is also, in our view, correct that "There is no crisis facing the Open Internet that we need to resolve this month."
Where we have reservations is what seems to be an implicit assumption that ISPs will be prevented by competition from seeking to give preference to those sites that pay them as opposed to servicing their broadband customers: We take the view that overall the biggest boost to use of broadband - and thus to individuals and businesses and thus to jobs - will come from keeping Net Neutrality and thus allowing small start-ups greater opportunities to grow. And the lobbying against neutrality does tend to make us think the industry is protesting too much.
On however to radio and apart from routine matters the agency was involved in a number of enforcement actions over the past week including fining a New Mexico AM USD 5,600 (See RNW Dec 8); fining a Louisiana AM USD 7,000 (See RNW Dec 9); issuing a USD 4,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture on an Ohio AM (See RNW Dec 9) and a USD 1,500 penelty on an Alabama AM (See RNW Dec 11).
More fortunate was a Florida man who had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL in April 2007 and a USD 20,000 NAL in September 2008 for operating an unlicensed transmitter.
the agency also announced that it has re-scheduled its FM Auction 91, which is now to begin on April 27 next year (See RNW Dec 7)
More fortunate was a Florida man who had been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL in April 2007 and a USD 20,000 NAL in September 2008 for operating an unlicensed transmitter.
Adilson Alves de Almeida of Boca Raton responded with a request for cancellation of the first NAL on the basis that he had removed "the Yagi-type antenna from his roof" and saying there would be no more radio interference by him and then a request to cancel the second NAL on the basis that he did not operate this transmitter - an Alinco transceiver - on an unlicensed basis and his inability to pay the proposed forfeiture because he has no income and is a dependent of his son. .
The FCC dismissed the first argument but reduced the penalty to USD 750 on the basis of ability to pay and added that "further violations of our rules may be subject to more severe enforcement penalties, including seizure of equipment and criminal sanctions."
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-12-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 1,500 penalty to WGYV-AM, Greenville, Alabama, for late filing of licence renewal.
Licensee Robert John Williamson was issued with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for this amount in March 2008 and responded with a request for cancellation or reduction on the basis that the failure was inadvertent and financial hardship.
The agency dismissed the first argument as is its normal practice and rejected the second as Williamson did not file documentation to support his argument.
2010-12-10: Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, who last month proposed two bills to deny federal funding to US NPR (National Public Radio) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that were defeated by House Democrats, has now asked the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit funds for the two organizations.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that in his letter Lamborn comments that the government does not have "the luxury of funding non-essential services" and quotes his office as saying that NPR received USD 65 million in government grants in 2010 whilst the CPB has requested USD 165 million in federal funding for the 2013 fiscal year.
(RNW Note: NPR receives no direct federal funding following over-expansion that led to a deficit of some USD 7 million in 1983 after which, following a Congressional investigation, it was bailed out by a CPB loan but agreed that the annual payment it received from CPB would go to member stations.
In 2009, NPR's financial statement (for the year to the end of September - the last we can find online) showed that revenues totalled USD 152.8 million (albeit Wikipedia listed the 2009 total revenues for NPR as USD 164 million), some 40% of which - USD 62.9 million - came from fees charged to member station. In that year member stations received some 6% of their revenues in direct federal funding and a further 10% from federal funding in the form of CPB grants.
Only if all that funding is counted as going to NPR - obviously not the case and it is impossible to get an exact figure since, for example, grants from the CPB for equipment, mean the funds spent on the equipment do not have to come from sponsors and donations - do Lamborn's figures come anywhere near the published figures.
In other words the figures from the Congressman's office do not seem to add up - but then when did anyone expect honesty or numeracy from a politician?.
As regards the CPB, the figure strangely seems lower than that posted by the organization: Its website says it is requesting a USD 604 million advance regular appropriation for the fiscal year 2013 whilst in fiscal 2010 its grants to radio stations totalled around USD 94 million from a total of USD 422 million.)
Colorado Springs Gazette report (This has some 370 comments, which in general seem to lack much of the vitriol in postings on many topics in the US media, despite ranging from arguments for the cessation of funding to strong support for NPR).
2010-12-10: BBC Radio 4 is to mark 60 years of its daily radio "soap", The Archers, with a special half-hour edition instead of the normal 15 minutes on the evening of January 2: In addition that daydigital station BBC 7 will broadcast archive Omnibus editions featuring favourite moments from The Archers over the years.
The programme was launched as a five-episode pilot on Whit Monday (May 29), 1950, in the English Midlands and then commissioned for a national run. It moved to airing five daily 15-minute episodes in 1951 and then to six twelve-and- a- half minute episodes in 1998 on top of which an Omnibus Edition is aired on Sundays.
The first edition in 1951 was introduced as "An everyday tale of country folk" but is now billed as "contemporary drama in a rural setting." Since the start has been associated with theme tune Barwick Green, from the suite My Native Heath, written in 1924 by the Yorkshire composer Arthur Wood.
The programme, now the world's longest-running serial drama (following the ending of the US soap "Guiding Light" in September 2009. Guiding Light was launched in 1937 on radio and then moved to TV in 1952. In all 15,762 episodes were aired:The Archers has now topped this -it starts next week with 16,283 episodes under its belt.), was also the first BBC audio drama to be made available as a podcast that since its launch in 2007 has been downloaded 24.2 million times, 16.7 million of them in the UK. This year the podcast has averaged some 730,000 downloads a month worldwide and 500,000 in the UK.
During its life it has featured a wide range of famous names playing themselves including the late Princess Margaret and the Duke of Westminster; DJs including Sir Terry Wogan and John Peel; actors and actresses including Dame Judi Dench and Richard Griffiths; and artists and writers including Colin Dexter and Sir Anthony Gormley.
Vanessa Whitburn, who started as a producer on the show and has been its editor since 199, commented of its longevity, "I believe the secret to The Archers enduring popularity over the decades is a combination of characters that the audience can identify with, strong storylines and an affirmation of the importance of community in all our lives."
"We have a wonderfully loyal audience from right across the age spectrum," she added and noted, "In the run-up to the anniversary episode we'll be hearing from some of those fans about their favourite moments from down the years and why they feel part of the Ambridge community."
2010-12-10: Veteran Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, who took a pay-off from the Chicago Sun Times in 2008 and joined Chicago Public Media's Vocalo in 2009, is to move to Time Out Chicago's web site from January 3.
Feder last month announced that he was leaving Vocalo (See RNW Nov 23) and the Chicago Tribune says the catalyst seemed to be CPM's attempt to relocate his blog from the Vocalo site for which he had agreed to write to wbez.org, the Web site aligned with its flagship radio station, WBEZ-FM.
It adds that the addition of Feder is part of an ambitious effort by Time Out Chicago President and Editor-in-Chief Frank Sennett to broaden and deepen coverage associated with a brand primarily known for its listings of and features on local arts, entertainment, food and nightlife.
Feder's new blog will be available through timeoutchicago.com and robertfeder.com.
Chicago Tribune report:
2010-12-09: Sirius XM Radio and Howard Stern have announced a new five-year agreement under which the company will have the right to transmit Howard's exclusive programming to mobile devices, scotching rumours that he was to move to a deal with Apple (See RNW Dec 4).
News of the agreement came from the host on his show today but financial details were not revealed so it is not clear whether the host took a pay cut as had been suggested.
Reports quoted Sirius XM CFO David Frear as saying the company had been able to sign talent at lower prices because competition for them had been reduced now there was only one satellite radio company but this was taken by Stern as indicating he would have to take a cut, to which he responded on air by saying, "I am not taking a fucking pay cut Who is this guy to say this in public?". Stern later apologised to Frear, saying he had clarified what had actually been said.
Frear had been speaking at a UBS investor conference in New York on Monday and had said that he was hopeful Stern would sign but discussed possibilities of his deal being varied including such possibilities as doing a shorter show and also the possibility that Stern could do a deal with someone else.
The Hollywood Reporter, which had quoted Frear as saying that as long-term contracts that he been previously signed expired and "they come up for renewal, we'll have the opportunity to get more favourable economic terms there" leading to it saying in its report "And it's not only Stern who is expected to take a pay cut, because since Sirius and XM merged there aren't two companies bidding against each other for content.
In a news release today, Stern commented, "On my first day in satellite radio Sirius had approximately 600,000 subscribers. Today, the two companies have 20 million; and, in my view, we have just scratched the surface of how many people will get on board."
He added, "I am especially excited that my show will now be heard through Sirius XM on mobile devices. Access to my show on mobile devices will open up additional opportunities for my fans to hear me wherever they are."
For Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin commented, "Howard is a great talent and we are thrilled that he will continue to provoke, engage and entertain on Sirius XM. Our agreement is good news on all fronts - it is good for Sirius XM subscribers and good for Sirius XM stockholders. Howard forever changed radio and was instrumental in putting Sirius on the map when he first launched on satellite radio. He is one of the few 'one-name' entertainers in the country and our 20 million subscribers are lucky to have him."
Sirius XM stock jumped on the news, hitting USD 1.44 at one stage then dropping back to USD 1.40 by 10:00 ETand then to UD 1.39 at closing. It had closed yesterday at USD 1.32 and opened today at US 1.41.
Previous Sirius XM:
Hollywood Reporter report:
2010-12-09: Radio Mirchi owner Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL), a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited, is asking the Indian Supreme Court to transfer all the cases pending in various High Courts including those in Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata (Calcutta) about royalty rates to be paid for airing music to be folded into one case for the court to hear.
In August India's Copyright Board approved a revenue-sharing rate of 2% of broadcasters "net advertising revenue" as a royalty to go to "all music providers" (See RNW Aug 26) and ENIL claims that music industry bodies have stated filing petitions in different high courts challenging this order "in a deliberate and concerted strategy and effort which clearly smacks of forum shopping."
Awetalnews.com reports that the Supreme Court today issued notices in connection with the request to respondents who include Phonographic Performance Ltd.; Super Audio Pvt Ltd.; South Indian Music Companies Association; and Super Cassettes Industries Ltd.
Lawyers for ENIL argued that all the petitions are on same question of rate of royalty and should be consolidated.
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2010-12-09: No mention of the report on Limbaugh's web site but according to the Boston Herald Clear Channel's Boston Conservative talk station WXKS-AM, known as "Rush Radio", has tanked in the ratings despite a line-up that includes Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
The paper says that nine months after its flip to Conservative talk WXKS, was down to 45th place in the ratings last month and took only an 0.2 share of the key 25- to 54-year-old listener demographic: A year ago when it had a Spanish music format it was 34th with an 0.4 share. Limbaugh, who is aired from noon to 15:00, was in 31st rank with an 0.5 share last month
The paper quoted program director Bill George as expressing long-term confidence in the format, saying, "We fully expected that it would take some time to build an audience in a very competitive talk landscape," said George. "We have seen spikes and drops, but we are very confident in the line-up and the long-term success of the radio station."
Limbaugh was formerly on Entercom's WRKO-AM, which was 19th amongst the 25-54 demographic with a 1.5 share.
RNW comment: When we dipped into Limbaugh's site today - it was carrying adverts for WRKO - we noticed the bull()***)meister featuring a report "Just One Puff Can Kill You?" together with a "Scary Movie" graphic poking fun at a US Surgeon General's report on the dangers of smoking. In fairness the report does link to the Associated Press report on Surgeon General Regina Benjamin's comments in which she says, "That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack": The report notes that the report explains that cigarette smoke immediately seeps into the bloodstream and changes its chemistry so that it becomes more sticky, allowing clots to form that can squeeze shut already narrowed arteries Rush, the killer host, might be as fair a comment on him as many of his comments are on other matters.
This of course was a public service announcement! Which is why we have provided a link to the AP report but left you to go to Rush's smoke yourself.
Previous Clear Channel:
Associated Press report re smoking dangers:
Boston Herald report:
2010-12-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 4,000 penalty on an Ohio AM for breaches of its rules governing contests.
The ruling follows a complaint against Good Karma Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of WKNR-AM, Cleveland, alleging that it had conducted a "bogus" contest called "Who Said That?" during the "Really Big Show" on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon, since approximately November 2007. The complainant alleged that the station provided no clues, cut-off callers on-air, stopped discussing prizes, and provided "no real payoff" for Contest winners.
Good Karma in response to letters of inquiry admitted that regularly during early 2007 to the summer of 2008, and then sporadically until September 4, 2009, the station aired a "bit" called "Who Said That?" during "The Really Big Show with Tony Rizzo."
It said that during broadcasts of the contest the station aired a voice recording of an unnamed individual in the sports world and listeners called in or sent an e-mail to try to correctly identify the speaker: If the listener correctly identified the speaker, the station awarded a prize to the winner and after a winner was named, the station aired a clip of another unnamed individual, and the contest continued.
It added that station staff mentioned basic "material terms" on-air as they discussed the contest including how the contest it ended the contest on September 4, 2009 with nobody having identified the speaker and said if someone had correctly identified the speaker in the last clip, the station would have offered a similar package of prizes to what was originally announced based on what was available in the Station's prize closet or offered by an advertiser at that time.
The FCC rejected the description "bit", ruled that there had been a contest under its rules, and that Good Karma had failed to fully and accurately disclose all material terms of the contest. It issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for the base amount of USD 4,000.
2010-12-09: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell are amongst the early well-wishers who have congratulated Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton on his selection as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, whose remit includes overseeing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
McDowell in a statement said, "I congratulate my long-time friend, Congressman Fred Upton, on his election as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee" and continued, "Fred brings his deep understanding of communications policy and strong commitment to free market principles to the chairmanship. I look forward to continuing to work with him, and all of his colleagues, on the important communications matters facing our nation."
For the NAB its President and CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB looks forward to working with Congressman Upton in his new role as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Over the years, Fred Upton has served Congress with class and integrity, and has shown a willingness to find meaningful solutions to real problems that confront the American people. We welcome his chairmanship and the opportunity to make the case in his committee for preserving and enhancing free and local broadcasting."
Upton in a release posted on his website commented, "Our challenges are great with near double-digit unemployment and record deficits, but our new majority and leadership team led by Speaker Boehner are ready to deliver."
He then went on to deliver an anti-regulation message, adding, "We will stand firm in our fight to repeal Obamacare, cut reckless spending, strip away the countless job-killing regulations, and spur job creation. We must work towards a new era of less government and more jobs - the administration's rampant spending and unfettered, two-year assault on the health, energy, and telecommunications sectors is now over."
RNW comment: If McDowell is correct about Upton's commitment to "free market principles" and Upton means what he says the NAB's project to force mobile manufacturers to include FM reception chips in their devices is presumably dead. Of course the comments could be the usual tripe put out because something has to be said - how could one consider Smith's remarks about "meaningful solutions to real problems" as other than what Dr Johnson would have termed "mere wind"?.
Amongst other new chairmen, Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers has been chosen as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a move that may be positively regarded by US public broadcasters as amongst those also in the running was Californian Republican Jerry Lewis, who is amongst those who has said he favours ending all federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and Georgia Rep Jack Kingston, a fiscal and social conservative. Rogers, of course, has a history of supporting "pork" aka earmarked funding, and was also amongst those who 2005 voted to restore USD 100 million in funding to the CPB although he is now promising to cut spending.
2010-12-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued yet another fine for late filing of a licence renewal and subsequent unauthorised operation, this time to a Louisiana AM.
Victory & Power Ministries, licensee of WPFC-AM, Baton Rouge, had been issued with a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in February 2007 and the FCC has confirmed the full penalty.
The company had requested reduction or cancellation on the basis that the failure was inadvertent and that it cannot pay the amount but the agency as is its normal practice dismissed the first argument and rejected the second on the basis of balance sheets supplied for 2003, 2004, and 2005, that showed gross revenues varying between just below USD 392,000 and USD 586,000: The FCC noted that it has found a forfeiture up to almost 8% of gross revenues was not excessive.
2010-12-08: Australian regional radio broadcasters met in Sydney today to discuss issues of digital radio rollout in their areas and agreed on five key points
These were that:
*Regional broadcasters are entitled to receive the same spectrum access and minimum non-compete period for digital radio as the metropolitan broadcasters.
*Discussions with the Federal Government on funding regional digital rollout should start next year.
*DAB+ should be adopted as the backbone technology to be introduced in all areas.
*There should be a moratorium on the issue of any new analogue radio licences at least until detailed planning for digital is completed.
*detailed channel planning for digital radio should be conducted in parallel with the switch=off of analogue TV.
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia said regional commercial radio broadcasters would be seeking discussions with the Federal Government about financial support for regional digital radio rollout and noted that Commercial regional television operators enjoyed significant financial support from previous and current Federal Governments for the costs of rollout of digital television.
"Regional commercial radio broadcasters look forward to receiving a Government commitment of support for regional radio and its millions of listeners," she added.
Amongst the broadcasters at the meeting were ACE Radio, Grant Broadcasting, Resonate Broadcasting, Bathurst Broadcasters, Hot Tomato, Southern Cross Media, Capital Radio, Prime Radio, 2SM/Super Radio Network, Red FM, Radio Outback, West Coast Radio, Win Radio (Radixon Group); North East Broadcasters, Rich Rivers Radio and Radio Outback.
Regarding technology, the broadcasters did not rule out "wide-area" options (such as Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) or iBiquity's HD AM) to supplement DAB being considered once planning for the DAB+ rollout was completed.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-12-08: Arbitron has announced a new agreement with Clear Channel Radio, its largest customer, to run to the end of 2016, replacing the current deal that ran to the end of next year.
Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan commented in an Arbitron release, "In today's competitive media environment, advertisers and agencies increasingly demand accurate and timely data to inform their buying decisions. Arbitron's PPM and diary ratings validate the great power of our medium and our platforms - and help us demonstrate every day how well we deliver on radio's unique ability to engage audiences."
For Arbitron its President and Chief Executive William Kerr commented, "We're gratified that Clear Channel Radio, our largest client, has ensured its continued access to Arbitron services by renewing our partnership on this long term basis. Going forward Arbitron and Clear Channel will be working closely with other radio groups in an industry-wide advocacy program to further promote the value of radio as the ultimate audio-powered and community-driven medium."
In connection with the announcement- Clear Channel is responsible for some 19% of its revenues - Arbitron has also updated its guidance and now says that it expects revenues for 2011 to increase between 6 percent and 8 percent over its 2010 revenue whilst this year it continues to expect a revenue increase near the lower end of the previously announced range of 2 percent to 6 percent above the company's 2009 revenue of USD 385.0 million. Earnings per diluted share are expected to be between USD 1.90 and USD 2.05 for the full-year 2011.
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-12-08: According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Marconi Broadcasting, which bought WHAT-AM from Inner City Broadcasting for USD 5 million four years ago, has put the station up for sale at USD 850,000.
The paper adds that it has been told that if no buyer is found the station will shut early next year.
WHAT-AM bills itself as playing "The Greatest Music of All Time" but has fallen on hard times because of the economy. The News says it recently cut its advertising rates and adds that executives did not return requests to comment.
According to its web site the 1,000 watt station dates back to 1925, making it one of America's oldest legacy stations.
Philadelphia Daily News report:
WHAT-AM web site:
2010-12-08: A decade after an investigation by Media Watch, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV programme, led to the cash-for-comment affair and regulatory investigation that subsequently led to the introduction of disclosure requirements for Australian commercial radio stations (See RNW Aug 3, 2000), the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ruled that three stations had failed to comply with the rules although none of the breaches related to advertising content.
The ruling followed another Media Watch programme in March this year that led to an investigation by the ACMA as to whether five stations - Fairfax Media's 2UE, Sydney; 3AW, Melbourne; 4BC, Brisbane; and 6PR, Perth and Macquarie Radio Networks 2GB, Sydney, were complying with the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Advertising) Standard 2000 (the Advertising Standard).
The regulations require amongst other things that commercial stations have to give details of commercial agreements between sponsors and presenters of current affairs programs and the ACMA's investigation found that three of the stations - 2GB, 4BC and 6PR -had not listed correct or current details on their commercial agreement registers and that 2GB and 4BC also provided mistaken notifications to the ACMA in contravention of the Disclosure Standard.
ACMA Deputy Chairman, Richard Bean commented of the ruling, "The ACMA adopts a graduated approach to compliance and enforcement and has taken into account the administrative nature of these breaches. All licensees have agreed to measures intended to improve the compliance with Part 5 of the Disclosure Standard, including correcting the errors identified in the investigation and improving staff training."
Previous Fairfax Media:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-12-08: A wake is to be held today for Clear Channel-owned Katz Media Group President and CEO Stu Olds who died on Saturday (See RNW Dec 4) in Stamford, Connecticut. It will be followed by a memorial service at the First United Methodist Church, 42 Cross Road in Stamford.
Olds was praised in a message from Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan, who termed him a "special man and a great friend" and said that "be marking Stu's passing in a special way, and we will tell you more once those plans are finalized."
On a practical note Hogan said that Katz Media Presidents will for the present report to Charlie Rahilly, Clear Channel President of National Advertiser Platforms.
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-12-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a New Mexico AM USD 5,600 for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc., licensee of KABR-AM, Isleta, had been issued with a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for the breached and responded by arguing for cancellation on financial grounds;, a good faith attempt to comply with the rules because it had thought it had correctly filed the application in time - it said its staff were "simply daunted and confused by the arcane requirements" of the electronic filing system,"; and a history of compliance.
It provided the Station's 2009 Financial Summary Report, prepared by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which details the Station's expenses and revenues for 2009, to support the financial argument but the FCC held that this was insufficient for it to evaluate the licensee's ability to pay.
Accordingly it rejected two of the arguments but did reduce the penalty to USD 5,600 on the basis of a history of compliance.
2010-12-07: Arbitron in preliminary detail from its RADAR 107 network ratings report says that overall radio listening in the period surveyed - from September 17, 2009 through September 15, 2010 - was up by more than 3.3 million on a year earlier (RNW Note- this is fairly close to the annual US population increase, indicating a stable picture rather than increase in interest in radio).
Overall, says Arbitron the number of Persons twelve and older listening to radio each week now reaches an estimated 239.8 million- 93.2 percent of all Persons twelve and older.
The biggest gains in listening it adds came from those 18-34 where the weekly audience was up by nearly 960,000 with that for adults 18-49 up by more than 800,000 and for adults 25-54 up by more than 750,000. There was also an increase of 365,000 for teens (12-17)
Radio reach remained high amongst all demographics: The survey indicated that radio reaches more than 92% of all teens 12-17; 94% of adults 18-34; and 95% of adults 18 to 49 and 25-54 over the course of a week.
Amongst ethnic groups, the survey indicted that radio reaches than 93 percent of Black (non-Hispanic) Persons aged 12 and older and more than 95 percent of Hispanics aged 12 and older on a weekly basis and Arbitron adds that the number of Hispanic listeners 12 and older was up by more than 1.4 million and the number of Hispanic teens 12 to 17 listening each week was up by 177,000.
Radio also fared well amongst better-off Americans according to the survey, reaching 95% of adults 18 and over in households with an income of USD 75,000 a year or more and more than 96% of Adults aged 25 to 54 that are college graduates and have a household income of more than USD 50,000.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 106):
2010-12-07: Australian metropolitan radio advertising revenues in November were up 9.23% on a year ago to AUD 64.38 million (USD 64.31 million) according to latest figures from industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The figures, from the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, showed the largest increase in Sydney, where revenues were up 11.26% to AUD 20.50 million (USD 29.19 Million) followed by Adelaide - up 10.6% to AUD 5.79 million ( USD 5.70 million); Melbourne - up 10.37% to AUD 18.98 million (USD 18.69 million); Perth - up 7.48% to AUD 8.58 million (USD 8.45 million); and Brisbane - up 4.25% to AUD 10.53 million ( USD 10.37 million).
Over the first vie months of the 2011 financial year (from July to November), revenues have increased by 10.46% overall to AUD 300.6 million ( USD 296.1 million) and Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner noted that the latest figures continued positive results over the past twelve months,.
"The industry is on track to record a positive result for the 2010 year but must continue to stay focused on promoting radio as an effective and efficient advertising medium," she commented.
Previous Australian radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-12-07: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rescheduled its FM Auction 91 to begin on April 27 next year with the filing window for the 144 FM channels to run from January 31 to February 10 next year.
During this window the agency will not accept minor change applications for FM commercial and non-commercial educational stations so as to avoid conflicts between the auction and the filings.
The Construction Permits (CPS) on offer include 37 that were offered but not sold during the agency's Auction 79 and the FCC also noted that three CPs originally scheduled for the auction are not available as those at Tuba City, Arizona and Union Gap, Washington are not vacant and the third at Ennis, Montana, was listed twice in error.
The FCC had asked for comment on the procedures to be used in the auction, receiving five replies including proposals from Mullaney Engineering that the Commission's rules should be revised to automatically delete allotments that are offered at auction but receive no bids on the basis that that such vacant allotments may hinder efforts by existing licensees to change channels or cities of license and that where only one applicant ids for a particular permit no payment should be required for that permit.
In relation to this the FCC said that these proposals were outside the scope of the current proceeding and thus it could not consider them.
2010-12-06: RTÉ Radio has announced the appointment of Jim Jennings (48) as head of RTÉ Radio 1 in succession to Ana Leddy, who announced in October that she was not renewing her contract when it runs out next year. At the time it was announced that she would remain in her post until a successor was in place and would then work at a senor level in programme production on Radio 1 (See RNW Oct 7).
Commenting on the appointment, RTÉ Radio Managing Director Claire Duignan said," "Jim Jennings brings a huge wealth of experience to RTÉ Radio 1 Jim started out in RTÉ Radio - the best ones always do! - but it is Jim's range of editorial experience across a multitude of genres, on big entertainment projects, on general elections, on 'The Late Late Show', that makes him perfectly placed to lead RTÉ Radio 1 in the coming years.
"Yes, Radio 1 is the most-listened-to station in the country, but it is in times of success that the challenges of the future need to be seen most clearly. Jim is the man for the job, and I look forward to welcoming him to RTÉ Radio 1 in the coming weeks."
Jennings, who has worked for RTÉ for almost two decades, most recently as Executive Producer of "The Late Late Show", commented, ": "I am really delighted to make this move back to radio and RTÉ Radio 1 in particular. Radio 1 occupies a unique place in the daily lives of over a million listeners.
"As a mixed-genre station, Radio 1 also has unique challenges and opportunities. I look forward to getting to grips with both."
2010-12-06: Citadel Broadcasting has revealed in an 8K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with its private offering of new senior notes that it received two unsolicited merger proposals - one in early November and the other on November 29 with an improved offer that it rejected.
The suitor, reported by the New York Times to be Cumulus, was not named in the filing, but Citadel said that its board rejected the first proposal as not being in interests of the company's shareholders and after receiving the second letter consulted its financial and legal advisors before also rejecting this offer.
The notes offering was commenced on November 24 solely to qualified institutional buyers.
New York Times report:
2010-12-06: BBC Radio 4 aired a run of one-air slips today including two presenters referring to UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as "Jeremy Cunt" and a news show beign taken in by an imposter claiming to be an MP.
The first slip came when James Naughtie, one of the hosts of the BBC Radio 4 flagship Today breakfast programme referred in a trail just before 0:800 GMT to UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as "Jeremy Cunt. "
"First up after the news, we're going to be talking to Jeremy Cunt uh...Hunt, the Culture Secretary...about (coughs) broadband," said Naughtie and then after the "pips" introducing the news had difficulty continuing as he introduced the news.
Naughtie started his introduction of the news in a strangulated voice as he said "It's eight-o-clock on Monday the sixth of December. American officials condemned Wikileaks after website published a list of facilities said to be vital to American security " and then seeming to have trouble not giggling as he continues, "Every community in Britain has been promised that they'll have access to the fastest (he almost cracks up completely here) broadband networks within five years."
The comments immediately flashed around on the Internet with audio being posted on sites such as You Tube (it was also in the Listen-Again edition of the programme on the BBC Radio 4 website - a few seconds before two hours in when we last checked): The interview itself was introduced after a chat with BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan Jones at 08:10 GMT (2hours 10 minutes in) about the status of broadband worldwide - the UK is currently 13th in Europe in broadband ratings, particularly behind in terms of fibre optics- and no mention was made of the fluff in the interview itself just before 08:13.
Comments on Twitter included the programme's own "Yes, your ears deceived you. Move along now, nothing to see here ..." from @r4today but rather more favourable from some members of the public - @gwenhwyfaer commented, "Sounds like the internet owes Jim Naughtie a pint this morning, then."
Naughtie came back on air after the interview and apologised (at around 08:21 GMT/ 2hrs 21 into the listen-again version) saying, "A word before we go on. I'm afraid many of you will have noticed that I landed in one of those awful verbal tangles just before eight-o-clock, courtesy I should day of Dr Spooner (the Oxford don famed for mangling his words and from whom the term "spoonerism" was derived). Er. Some of you we know from e-mails have thought it funny. Some we also know from e-mails were fairly offended on a Monday morning and all I can say is (slight pause) occasionally in live broadcasting these things happen and ...er...I'm very sorry to anyone who thought it wasn't what they wanted to hear over their breakfast. Neither did I, needless to say."
Jeremy Hunt took the matter lightly, tweeting, "They say prepare for anything before going on Today, but that took the biscuit ... I was laughing as much as u Jim, or should I say Dr Spooner."
The error was also picked up by picked up by BBC Radio 5 Live host Nicky Campbell, no stranger to criticism for broadcast profanityomc;idomg use of the same term a number of times: He tweeted from @NickyAACampbell: "Jim Naughtie called Jeremy Hunt Jeremy C*** in a slip of the tongue a few mins ago. How can anyone say that on the radio! It's a disgrace "although he later added, "seriously - poor Jim [Naughtie]. When I uttered the c world inadvertently on Five Live Breakfast my blood ran cold. horrible feeling at time."
His twitter account also includes the Jeremy Hunt comment and a link to the UK Guardian report on the incident.
RNW Update: We checked again just before 11:00 GMT and the Listen-Again link on today's BBC Radio 4 schedule now has an added warning "Guidance: Contains language which may offend."
Perhaps appropriately Naughtie,just after the apologie introduced an item on criticism of the habit of changing nouns into verbs: The exchange included a brief reference to his slip.
Around 90 minutes later Andrew Marr in the Start the Week programme was hosting a discussion about Naughtie's comment - described by guest David Aaronovitch as a "prime Freudian slip" and said We're not going to repeat in quite the terms it happened " but then went on to do just that, saying "Jeremy Cunt (slight pause and giggles behind Marr speaking) the Culture Secretary had his name Freudianally transposed He quickly apologised, saying "It's very hard to talk about it without saying it."
The third incident was on the World at One new programme in which host James Robbins interviewed a man who impersonated Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West and ministerial aide Mike Crockart in advance of a vote on plans to increase tuition fees for students, something the party had pledged itself to oppose before it joined the UK's ruling coalition government with the Conservatives.
The man who purported to be Mike Crockart, indicated that he was prepared to resign from the government post over the issue and the news was picked up by some papers but shortly afterwards the party in a statement on its twitter account in response said, "For the record - Lib Dem PPS Mike Crockart was not on Radio 4 resigning earlier, it was an impersonator (he wasn't even Scottish)."
The BBC said the error occurred following a call to an incorrect phone number in the BBC's contact book for MPs and that the person responded to the usual pre-broadcast questions in a manner that seemed credible.
The impersonator, who had a strange English accent rather than a Scottish one said about the planned increase in tuition fees, "I have got better standards and morals than that. If we have got nothing else in this world, we have got principles. 'I will be voting 100 per cent against. I'm not going to be pushed out. Resigning probably will be the only option."
RNW note: The Marr comments have been edited out of the Start the Week podcast and stream and the interview out of the stream of the World at One but You Tube has the Marr comment and the UK Daily Telegraph has posted audio of the imposter MP.
We have posted audio of the Marr comment from the start of the a discussion on Freud to shortly after the segment that was edited out of the podcast - to check download the podcast from Radio 4 - the edit to remove the comments was around 32 minutes 40 seconds in.
BBC Radio 4 Twitter:
Liberal Democrate Party statement on twitter:
Nicky Campbell Twitter:
Jeremy Hunt Twitter;
Kevin Maguire Twitter:
UK Daily Telegraph report on imposter MP (Has audio embedded):
Audio of Andrew Marr comment (0.99MB 2mins 10 MP3):
2010-12-06: The US Media Rating Council (MRC) has withdrawn accreditation for Arbitron's RADAR network rating service (effective with RADAR 107, which is due to be released n December 13) and its Nationwide network and national radio audience services (the Fall 2010 Nationwide report, is scheduled to release in early March 2011), because of the use in preparing them of date from increasing number unaccredited Portable People Meter (PPM) markets.
Arbitron in a release concerning the withdrawal notes that the accreditation process for the Portable People Meter service is ongoing and adds that of the 43 markets where the PPM is currently commercialized the MRC has only accredited data from the Houston-Galveston, Riverside-San Bernardino, and Minneapolis-St. Paul markets.
It adds that because the withdrawal of accreditation for RADAR occurred late in the production cycle for the release of the RADAR 107 estimates, representation of accreditation from software, data files and related materials will not be removed but Arbitron will directly inform all subscribers to the RADAR 107 data of the change in accreditation status.
Arbitron says it also intends to continue to use commercially reasonable efforts in good faith to pursue MRC accreditation of its PPM ratings service in each market where it has commercialized or is currently scheduled to commercialize the service, regain MRC accreditation of the RADAR and Nationwide services, and maintain MRC accreditation of currently accredited PPM, diary and software services. Arbitron, it concludes, continues to comply with the minimum requirements of the MRC Voluntary Code of Conduct.
2010-12-06: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no radio complaints but notes the revocation of adult channel licences already announced (See RNW Nov 26) and also upholds 6 TV standards complaints.
This compares with one radio complaint in its upheld previous 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.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 333 complaints against 135 TV items (115 against one programme) and 15 radio complaints against 15 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 361 complaints against 119 TV items (177 against various editions of the X-Factor) and six radio complaints against six items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2010-12-05: Last week was again fairly quiet as regards radio for the regulators with attention in the US being more devoted to Internet issues and no radio postings from Australia although there were some everywhere else.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a few radio licensing decisions including the following:
*Short-term renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2014 of the licence of Miramichi Fellowship Centre, Inc.'s CJFY-FM, Blackville, and its transmitter CJFY-FM-1, Miramichi. The CRTC noted that the licensee did not include all proofs of payment of its payment of Canadian talent development (CTD) for the 2007-2008 broadcast year and Canadian talent development (CTD) for the 2007-2008 broadcast year although they were subsequently made available.
*Approval of application by HFX Broadcasting Inc. to increase the power of its English-language commercial station CKHY-FM, Halifax, from 32,000 to 100,000 watts by changing the antenna radiation pattern from directional to non-directional, by decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 224.5 to 185.1 meters, and by changing the antenna site from one owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to one owned by CTVglobemedia Inc., from which it operates CKHZ-FM, Halifax.
*Renewal from 1 December 2010 to 31 August 2017 of the licence of Dufferin Communications Inc.'s CIDC-FM Orangeville. The CRTC received an intervention from an individual who said that the station, although licensed to serve Orangeville, targets the Toronto population. Dufferin responded by saying it was committed to the Orangeville market and the CRTC noted that it had received no complaints about CIDC. It renewed the licence
The CRTC also posted a consultation, with a January 6 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments relating to an application by the Association des Églises baptistes reformées du Québec, to add a 200 watts FM transmitter at St-Jérôme to rebroadcast the programming of CFOI-FM, Québec.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has signed an agreement with Athlone Community Radio for a new community radio service to be launched in January (See RNW Nov 29) and in the UK Ofcom posted its fifth International Communications Market report.
Most of the 419-page report concerns telecommunications but the radio section provides some illuminating comparisons of the health of various aspects of radio in various countries in 2009.
For radio the most striking revenue figures were of revenue rises of 18.2% in India, 7.2% in China and 1.9% in Germany, where public radio 80% of radio income comes from public funding with falls everywhere else ranging from 1.7% in Sweden to 7.1% in the UK, where 64% of income is from public funding; 15.7% in the US where 5% of income is from public funding; and 35.7% in Russia where public funding figures were not available.
Per capita revenues ranged from a low of GBP 0.1 (circa 0.16 USD) in India to a high of GBP 27 (circa USD 42.5) in the US whilst in listening terms Russia led with an average per listener of 39 hours per week followed by Poland with 33 hours. The UK recorded 22.1 hours, a little ahead of Germany (21.7 hours), Italy (21 hours), and France (20.9 hours) with the US with 18.5 hours a little ahead of Canada with 18.3 hours.
Overall in the 17 countries listed, revenues totalled GBP 24 billion (Approx USD 37.8 billion) in 2009, down from GBP 26 billion (USD 41 billion) when Ofcom produced its first report in 2005.
Within the figures over the five years says Ofcom China's market, funded by advertisements, grew the fastest in monetary terms (up by GBP 435 million/ USD 686 million); the Canadian market was up GBP 367 million (USD 579 million) by aided by the growing take-up of subscription radio and that in Germany rose by GBP 149 million (USD 235 million) with additional public funding playing an important role.
In percentage terms India recorded the greatest rise - up 209% (by GBP 141 million/USD 222 million) followed by China with a 120% increase and Brazil with an 82% increase (by GBP 87 million/ USD 137 million). Eleven of the 17 countries listed recorded rises over the period.
In terms of technological change 48% of listeners in Italy said they used the Internet for audio content, compared to 40% in the UK and USA and 31% in Germany with the figures for listening to radio online highest in France ( 41%) followed by Germany with 35% - the US recorded 31% and the UK 29%.
Listening to radio through built-in FM was highest in Italy (31%) followed by France with 26% with and the UK with 18%, twice the 9% figure for the US. The US, however, scored highest when it came to listening to other audio devises whilst watching TV - 37% for TV/radio and 38% for TV/listening to music players.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission saw a multiplicity of reports concerning comments by chairman Julius Genachowski on preserving Internet Freedom and Openness and the inclusion of Net Neutrality on the agenda for its December 20 Open Meeting.
Genachowski said his proposals had gained broad support - "including from leading Internet and technology companies, founders and investors, consumer and public interest groups, unions, civil rights organizations, and broadband providers" and noted that the proposed rules were "rooted in ideas first articulated by Republican Chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, and endorsed in a unanimous FCC policy statement in 2005."
His proposals essentially call for transparency from service providers about how networks are managed; a prohibition on prohibit the blocking of lawful content, apps, services, and the connection of non-harmful devices to the network; and a "bar on unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic."
Unsurprisingly the division on the commission was on party lines with Genachowski and fellow Democrats Michael J. Copps and Mignon L. Clyburn supporting the idea.whilst
The Republicans were not supportive and Robert M. McDowell commented "I strongly oppose this ill-advised manoeuvre. Such rules would upend three decades of bipartisan and international consensus that the Internet is best able to thrive in the absence of regulation This 'agreement' has been extracted in defiance of not only the courts, but a large, bipartisan majority of Congress as well. Both have admonished the FCC not to reach beyond its statutory powers to regulate Internet access. By choosing this highly interventionist course, the Commission is ignoring the will of the elected representatives of the American people."and his fellow Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker said the FCC had no authority to act as "The new majority of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has asked the Commission not to circulate this Order, and a clear majority of all Members of Congress has expressed concern with our Internet policies."
Clyburn said she was "glad that the dialogue has developed into a draft Order so that the Commission can further deliberate and decide this important issue" and Copps commented, "It's no secret that I am looking for the strongest protections we can get to preserve an Open Internet, built on the most secure legal foundation so we don't find ourselves in court every other month I hope we will make the most of it. At issue is who will control access to the online experiences of consumers-consumers themselves or Big Phone and Big Cable gatekeepers."
RNW comment: In this case Baker makes a reasonable legal cum political point about the FCC's powers on this issue whilst McDowell makes the same point but in our view goes slightly over the top if his interest is in preserving an open market and protecting consumers.
Irrespective of the politics and the bought (??) politicians of the US, consumer interest seems to us to strongly favour an open internet and from a consumer point of view - as opposed to that of communications companies - we see no in principle faults with the approach outlined by Genachowski. That a potential purchaser of a broadband service should have the right to know what sites/services might be restricted by an ISP seems to us a statement of the obvious for anyone interested in an open market and consumer interests. It is impossible to restrict service from a particular site without affecting the purchaser of a broadband service and to us it seems that not only should the purchased have the right to know what restrictions might be brought in but should also have a legal right to receive suitable advance notice and then lose nothing by switching to another supplier. Whenever the service is changed that subscriber should know what site or sites may be restricted (e-mail means this is not an onerous burden for the supplier) and failure to notify a change or make changes that are not specified in advance should be considered a breach of the existing contract. We suggest the subscriber should then have six weeks to move with the supplier responsible for all reasonable costs involved in making the move and facing severe penalties for unreasonable refusal to pay such costs. That alone would probably stop any moves to charge suppliers for gaining special preference and if the issue is one of limiting downloads the market approach is to have contracts with usage limits.
As for the right to "a prohibition on prohibit the blocking of lawful content, apps, services, and the connection of non-harmful devices to the network" this seems to us something anyone in favour of an open market should support. Already some broadband suppliers (News Corp's Sky broadband in the UK, for example) prohibit connection of equipment other than their own by a customer and we regard this as an anti-consumer, anti-market practice that should be banned.
On the third issue of "bar on unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic" we think the devil is in the detail but in essence suggest that the requirement for transparency together with a ruling that any such discrimination is a breach of contract as we have suggested should take care of this point.
Copps also pushed the idea of consumer protection further in remarks made to the Columbia University School of Journalism in which he attacked the way the market had damaged democracy and ignored the public interest , commenting, "The place where I work-the Federal Communications Commission-blessed it all, encouraged the consolidation mania, and went beyond even that to eviscerate just about every public interest responsibility that generations of reformers had fought for and won in radio and TV. "
Copps called for a return to public interest tests calling for the FCC to "conduct a Public Value Test of every broadcast station at relicensing time-which should occur, I believe, every four years in lieu of the slam-dunk, no-questions-asked eight year renewals we dispense 100% of the time now. If a station passes the Public Value Test, it of course keeps the license it has earned to use the people's airwaves. If not, it goes on probation for a year, renewable for an additional year if it demonstrates measurable progress. If the station fails again, give the license to someone who will use it to serve the public interest."
Elements of this test, said Copps, should include a "(1) Meaningful Commitments to News and Public Affairs Programming"; "(2) Enhanced Disclosure" - Copps termed the information required in the current public files "laughable" ; "(3) Political Advertising Disclosure (Copps had already noted that more money was spent on political ads in the last election cycle than was spent on serious coverage of the issues) so that people know who is bankrolling the adverts; "Reflecting Diversity"; "Community Discovery" ; "(6) Local and Independent Programming"- "The goal here is more localism in our program diet, more local news and information"; and "Public Safety" - "Every station, as a condition of license, must have a detailed, approved plan to go immediately on-air when disaster-nature-made or man-made-strikes.."
In radio licensing decisions the commission has, following a withdrawal of a petition seeking the allotment of FM Channel 232A at Jewett, Texas, opted not to proceed with the allotment.
It is also "unreserving" two channels that had previously been reserved for non-commercial educational (NCE) use. As a result Channel 272A in Homer, Louisiana, and 260A in Fountain Green, Utah, will be scheduled for auction at a future date.
Previous Licence News:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
Ofcom Communications Market report (2.46 MB 419 page PDF)::
2010-12-04: Katz Media CEO Stu Olds, a 29-year veteran with the company, has died in Mount Sinai Hospital to which he had been admitted on November 12 with MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes -formerly termed preleukemia.).
In a posting on his Caringbridge site his widow Kim and family said, "It is with deep sadness and heartbreak to let you know that our dear husband and father passed away this morning."
No details have yet been posted regarding funeral arrangements.
Caringbridge - Stu Olds page (Requires registration):
2010-12-04: Reports are circulating that Howard Stern might be going to leave Sirius XM Radio, where his current contract runs out at the end of the year, and sign a USD 600 million three-year-deal with Apple.
The reports follow a tweet from an account "SIRI stock" but there has been nothing to substantiate them and there seems no link to falls in the company's stock fell of 0.72% to USD 1.39 on Thursday 1.44% on Friday to end the week at USD 1.37. The overall market was up slightly.
In more positive Sirius XM mews, the company has announced that its latest satellite, XM-5, has now been successfully placed in orbit and is ready for service. The new satellite, manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, is intended to serve as an in-orbit spare for the existing fleet of Sirius and XM satellites.
RNW comment: Even discounting Apple's "Freedom from Porn" policy and Stern's fairly regular interviews with Porn stars, we can't quote see how either party would benefit from an Apple-Stern deal. Stern would potentially lose a significant part of his audience since around half listen in automobiles and we think many of them would not be prepared to go to the trouble of downloading a show and playing it later and the deal would make little sense were Apple to censor him.
Equally Apple has a considerable amount at risk in terms of its reputation to set against a deal that might or might not produce large returns. We rather expect Stern to still be on Sirius XM in January.
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-12-03: Veteran WGY-AM morning host Don Weeks retired from the Schenectady, New York, station today, two days after celebrating 30 years with the station, which is now owned by Clear Channel and began simulcasts of its programming on WGY-FM, Albany in September.
The station web site notes that Weeks announced his retirement plans in the summer (in June), quotes him as saying, "It has been a great run but the time is right to step away. I still hope to help out with this year's Christmas Wish campaign and will be no stranger to the station in the weeks and months ahead. The show is in great hands. Chuck and Kelly (Chuck Custer, and Kelly Lynch who will succeed him as co-hosts of the programme starting Monday) will be tremendous."
Weeks had been hosting the morning show since 1980 and was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame last year. He was also the NAB Marconi Medium Market Personality of the Year in 2005.
Originally Weeks, who is 72 and was born in Albany but grew up in Schenectady, had said he planned to step down at the end of the year but the date was moved forward because of health issues.
He began his radio career as a teenager in 1956 but was working in advertising when he was hired by WGY, a post he said he turned down three times before being persuaded by his wife Sue to accept the post. Since then he says he has received offers to move to other stations and other markets but rejected them.
During his final three-and-a-half-hours show the roster of those giving him send-offs included New York Governor Gov. David Paterson, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton: there were also tributes from co-workers that included memories of Weeks singing show tunes.
Weeks commented as he signed off about being asked how he would like to be remembered and then went on, "If you remember me with a smile, I've done my job. Thank you....Thank you for an amazing 30 years that I never thought I'd get through."
Custer, who is WGY's director of news and programming, has worked with Weeks for 26 years according to the host in his farewell comments: He commented after the show, "It's a tough moment." He's the greatest. He's been very generous to me and I hate to see him go. It doesn't seem real."
The station has posted audio from the final show on its web site.
Previous Clear Channel:
WGY - Weeks page (Has links to audio):
2010-12-03: BBC Radio 2 host Mark Lamarr is to leave the station at Christmas after 12 years with the station saying "It's become obvious over the last year the station has become much less interested in non mainstream music, and my position there has been extremely uncomfortable."
Lamarr made the comment in an e-mail to friends that one of them, fellow Radio 2 host Bob Harris posted on his blog. As well as announcing his departure, which he says will presumably for good, Lamarr says of his perception of changes at the station, "It's a sign of the times I suppose" and then continues, "I'm stupidly proud of the shows I've done there for 12 years and I know I always did the right thing. I'm equally sure I'm doing the right thing now."
Harris introduced his posting with the line "We're just about to lose two of the best programmes on the radio..." - Lamarr currently hosts rock'n'roll show "Shake Rattle and Roll" on Tuesday nights (23:00 to midnight) and a three-hour "God's Jukebox" from midnight Friday to 03:00 on Saturdays featuring music from his record collection.
RNW update note: Lamarr mentioned his impending departure briefly around seven minutes into his latest Jukebox show. This is available on the station website until next Friday.
The posting was followed by a number of comments lamenting Lamarr's departure and in many cases also criticising the standard of music on UK radio.
Lamarr joined Radio 2 in 1998 as presenter of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" whose last edition in the current series is to be aired on December 14: The last edition of the God's Jukebox is to be aired in the early hours of Christmas Day.
The BBC says it will replace Lamarr's shows with equally distinctive ones and added that it had a "greater commitment than ever before to specialist music genres".
Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan also denied that the station's output had become more narrow, telling the UK Guardian that the station's music "had "never been stronger, more diverse or more popular" and continuing "Next year we have plans to broaden it still further with more genres and new presenters. It is a unique and distinctive station. I'm sorry Mark is leaving at Christmas. He wanted an earlier slot and decided that he would leave when that request was not granted. We wish him well and the door is never closed."
Lamarr, who is approaching 44 (born January 7, 1967) began as a poet, moved to stand-up comedy, and then moved on to co-host the UK Channel 4 TV Show "The Word" and work on other TV Shows.
His radio career has included spells with BBC GLR, Radio Five Live and Radio 1
Bob Harris posting:
UK Guardian report:
2010-12-03: Continuing a run of radio enforcement actions posted this week, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 6,000 penalty on Donald D. Coss, licensee of KCKX-AM, Stayton, Oregon, for not reducing its power at night as required by its licence.
The FCC inspected the station twice in April this year in response to a complaint and found that approximately a kilometre (half-a-mile) from the station's antenna the field strength was the same value - approximately 115 mV/m -at all times.
In a further inspection at the station's control point located in Woodburn the FCC asked the station to reduce the power from its 1000 watts daytime level to the authorized night-time power of 15 watts but it was unable to do so and the station's owner later said he was aware of the requirement to reduce the operating power to the authorized power levels for night-time operation but stated that it was too expensive to maintain the calibrated time-keeping devices, power switching devices, and other equipment necessary to effect the timely change in power.
The FCC in its ruling issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture of USD 6,000, increased from the base level of USD 4,000, and also directed Coss to submit a sworn statement within thirty days specifying action or actions taken to correct the situation and preclude recurrence along with details of when the action or actions was taken.
2010-12-02: Townsquare Media, the former Regent Communications (renamed in May - See RNW May 3) that also took over Gap Broadcasting and GapWest Broadcasting (See RNW Aug 13) has announced an agreement to purchase 12 stations in Washington State although it is also to divest itself of 11 stations after a number of signal swaps, meaning it will only add one station as a result of the agreement.
No price was announced for its purchase of stations in the Tri-Cities and Yakima markets from New Northwest Broadcasting but Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price said of the deal, "We are delighted to be improving our position in the Yakima and Tri-Cities markets where today we already have strong operations. For Townsquare Media this represents an opportunity to strengthen our ability to engage listeners and produce results for clients. For NNB this represents the culmination of the receivership process which began in the spring. And for the future employees of the divestiture trust, after a transition period while the divestiture trust arranges a sale of the trust's stations, this represents an opportunity for a fresh start with a new ownership group."
Townsquare has announced that it plans to retain the following stations:
KEYW-FM/106.5 (moves from 98.3); KORD-FM/102.7;KUJ-FM/99.1 (NNB); KXRX-FM/97.1; KFLD-AM/870; and KALE-AM/1340 (A former NNB station that moves from 960)
The other stations in the market, which will be put into a divestiture trust, are four NNB stations - KEGX-FM/98.3 (moves from 106.5); KKSR-FM/95.7; KIOK-FM/94.9; and KTCR-AM 960 (moves from 1340) plus KOLW-FM/97.5, one of its current stations .
KXDD-FM/104.1 (NNB); KRSE-FM/105.7(NNB); KATS-FM/94.5; KDBL-FM/107.3 (moves from 92.9); KIT-AM/1280; and KJOX-AM/1460 (NNB -moves from 1390).
Being put into a divestiture trust are three stations it currently owns - KFFM-FM/92.9 (moves from 107.3); KQMY-FM/99.3; and KUTI-AM/1390 (moves from 1460) plus three NNB stations - KARY-FM/100.9; KHHK-FM/99.7; and KBBO-AM/980.
Previous Townsquare Media:
2010-12-02: The UK government has asked the BBC and commercial radio sector to detail what they are prepared to pay toward building digital radio infrastructure at a meeting with culture secretary minister Ed Vaizey to discuss funding problems that are threatening plans for a switch to digital radio.
According to the UK Guardian, whose parent owns GMG Radio, the government is understood to have outlined ballpark figures for the cost of DAB rollout and asked both the BBC and commercial sector to advise what they are prepared t pay.
Commercial radio executives are trying to push the entire cost onto the BBC and the paper said the broadcasters are targeting a "coverage summit" within the next four months to solve the funding issues: It quoted an unnamed industry insider as saying they aimed to have the issues resolved in time for a "coverage summit" in March next year.
UK Guardian report:
2010-12-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 10,000 penalty on a Pennsylvania Am licensee for failing to maintain a staff presence at the station's main studio.
J.M.J. Radio, Inc., licensee of WQOR-AM, Olyphant, had its main studio inside a church building at St. Joseph Oblate Seminary, Pittston, and during an inspection in November last year a church employee took the FC agent to the studio which was locked.
The employee said that nobody associated with WQOR worked at the main studio location and the room is always locked. The agent then contacted the station engineer by phone and the engineer arrived within 30 minutes.
The engineer also said that the room was always locked and that there were no designated full-time or part-time personnel at the main studio and added that he usually came to the main studio once a week to review Emergency Alert System (EAS) log printouts and perform any necessary maintenance. He was advised by the agent of the requirement to maintain a presence at the station's main studio during normal business hours.
In December another FCC agent attempted to conduct a follow-up inspection and observed that there were no employees at the main studio to facilitate an FCC inspection or to provide public access. The agent then had a phone conversation with an individual identified in the station records as a Director and Officer of J.M.J. Radio. She acknowledged that the main studio does not have any designated personnel and was told of the main studio requirement in response to which she said she was not aware of this but would thereafter staff the station's main studio as required.
The FCC noted that the base forfeiture for the breach is USD 7,000 but increased the proposed penalty to USD 10,000 because of the failure to correct the violation after being given a warning during the first inspection. It also ordered the licensee to submit a sworn written statement within 30 days of the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) that it is now in compliance with the Main Studio Rule.
2010-12-01: The threat of further strikes over changes to the BBC pension scheme seems likely to be averted following meetings between representatives of the unions and the Corporation at the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS) at which agreement was reached in principle.
A posting on the Nataional Union of Journalists (NUJ) website headed "Deal possible in BBC pensions dispute" says union representatives at the BBC will meet to consider the latest proposals on Friday. Other unions had accepted BBC proposals but the NUJ held out, asking the BBC to delay implementation until the deficit was actually known and also overthe BBC's powers to revalue pensions.
The BBC is reported to have agreed to increase its pension contributions by up to 4% year for the next six years with the increase lower if inflation is lower than this.
BBC Director of People Lucy Adams in an e-mail to staff said, "We are pleased to say that discussions on behalf of the joint unions and the BBC reached a conclusion and an agreement in principle was signed by the joint unions on this final outstanding point. We now expect to move towards finalising our proposals and will keep you updated in the next few weeks."
2010-12-01: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 13,000 penalty on an Indiana station which continued to operate for almost two years after its licence had expired:
Crawford County Community Radio, Inc. the licensee of DDWBRO-FM, Marengo, should have filed its licence renewal application by April 1, 2004, but did not do so.
In June, 2006, more than two years later the FCC wrote to the licensee informing it that the licence had expired, authority to operate had been terminated and the station call sign deleted. And following this the licensee filed a licence renewal application; a petition for reconsideration of the cancelled license and a request for special temporary authority (STA) to continue operations pending consideration of the renewal application: In requesting the STA the licensee said the failure to file the renewal application was because its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Herbert E. Smith, encountered repeated "server error" when he attempted to file the application on July 6, 2004 and that Dr. Smith subsequently became ill and died without informing anyone of the status of the Station's renewal application.
The STA was granted on June 28 that year and expired on December 28 but the licensee did not file for an extension.
The FCC issued a USD 13,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) made up of the base penalties of USD 3,000 for the failure to file the required renewal and USD 10,000 for subsequent unauthorized operation. It also renewed the licence.
2010-12-01: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has found that a number of episodes of the "Dupont le midi" broadcast on Quebec City station CHOI-FM breached Canadian broadcasting codes. The agency received a number of complaints from different people about various comments made on separate episodes from 2008 to 2010 and in three separate decisions found breaches of codes relating to coarse language in all cases with further breaches of codes in two out of ruled that codes had been breached.
In one case Stéphane Dupont and his co-hosts discussed social assistance and made statements about the amounts that social assistance recipients receive and expressed the view that a single mother is better off collecting welfare than working at a paying job: This led to a complaint from the Front commun des personnes assistées sociales du Québec which explained that the dollar amounts noted by Dupont le midi were entirely inaccurate. The CBSC's Quebec Regional Panel commented that whilst the hosts "are entitled to hold and broadcast their own derogatory and disparaging opinions regarding social welfare and aid recipients, they owe it to their audience that the basis for their argument be based on sound, rather than misleading, information."
It agreed that "the program had repeatedly distorted the numbers and had inappropriately presented them with the factual authority that flows from hosting a radio show", thus breaching Clause 6 of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics.
The second decision involved a discussion of suicide in which Stéphane Dupont expressed his view that suicide was a cowardly act, that no problem in life is bad enough to justify suicide, that suicide should not be glorified, and that suicidal people need "a kick in the butt" rather than "a helping hand".
During the discussion the hosts named two individuals who had committed suicide, leading to complaints from people who knew them: In this case a majority of the panel held that codes had not been breached and noted that the names of the two men who committed suicide had already been made public. Two adjudicators dissented, commenting that Dupont's harsh treatment of suicidal people was "potentially dangerous" and his dismissive attitude towards the problems of "two specific and named individuals" was insensitive.
In the third decision Dupont in a discussion of the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in January this year said he had made no donations because could not be certain that the people in need would actually receive the money. And also went on to characterized the Haitian government as thieves and referred to the city of Port-au-Prince and Haitians as being criminal(s).
In this case the Panel concluded that the individual comments were not abusive or unduly discriminatory but their cumulative effect constituted an unduly negative portrayal of Haitians contrary to Clause 3 of the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code.
In addition the CBSC found that in every case there had been breaches of codes relating to coarse language including the airing of various French religious epithets and the English f-word.
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