February 2011 Archive
2011-02-28: Mexican regulator COFETEL (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones) has given a boost to iBiquity Digital, which had little success outside areas of US influence, with the announcement that it has approved the use of iBiquity's IBOC (in-band on-channel) HD radio system on a voluntary basis in the country.
It says the decision was "based principally on the international experience and recommendations of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which distinguishes the IBOC standard as being the only one presently recommended for operation on the 535-1705 kHz AM radio band, as well as the 88-108 MHz FM radio band."
COFETEL comments in a news release that the IBOC standard "allows the most efficient use of the transmission channels that broadcasters have licensed in the AM and FM bands, which will promote better service to the public by means of more program offerings, better quality and more information which is complimentary to the service of radio broadcasting, such as images and information about traffic, weather or the photograph of an artist."
COFOTEL adds that the decision "does not prevent the continued evaluation of other broadcasting technologies in other bands of frequencies assigned to broadcasting" and then goes on to say it is intended to promote development of digital broadcasts using current AM and FM frequencies, seemingly ruling out the idea of using separate frequencies for digital radio as required by the EUREKA 147 DAB system but not necessarily the use of the non-proprietary DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) system that the ITU has approved for most of the world - approval for the ITU Region 2, comprised of North and South America and the Pacific, is still pending as it requires amendments to existing international agreements.
Unsurprisingly iBiquity welcomed the decision which CEO Bob Struble said was "a major milestone made possible by many years of hard work with Mexican broadcasters and regulatory officials."
2011-02-28: The BBC has launched the BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award 2011, a nationwide search for the best new stand-up comedy talent in the UK: The announcement of the launch was made on Steve Wright's afternoon show on the station and revives the previous BBC New Comedy Award that ran from 1995-2005.
Finalists for those awards have included Alan Carr (winner, 2001), Rhod Gilbert (winner, 2003), Josie Long (winner, 1999), Marcus Brigstocke (winner, 1996), Peter Kay, Lee MackRussell Howard, Justin Lee Collins, Sarah Millican and Julian Barratt and Wright commented, "Just taking a look at the roll call of previous BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award winners and finalists should be all the encouragement anyone needs if they're thinking about entering."
Submissions of five minutes of audio material that has not been broadcast can be made from today until March 27 and a production panel will then select entrants to go forward to ten regional heats in which they will perform their act in front of a local audience and an expert judging panel with highlights to be posted on the awards web site.
Entrants have to be 18 and over and been performing on the comedy circuit as a stand-up for less than three years. Although five minute submissions are required they must have seven minutes of unaired material available to cover future rounds for those who progress to the semi-finals.
The panel will select one person to go through to the semi-finals but two others get an extra chance in an online audience vote to be held after the final heat that will take the number of semi-finalists up to 12.
The regional rounds will start in London on April 26 and end in Belfast on May 17 with intervening rounds in Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, and Manchester. The semi-finals are scheduled for June 3 and 10 with the final on June 18 with venues for these still to be announced.
2011-02-28: Mexican radio operator Grupo Radio Centro has reported final quarter revenues up 17.6% on a year earlier at MXN 307 million (USD 23.34 million) with full year revenues up 15.5% to MXN 908 million (USD 74.95 million) whilst broadcasting expenses were up 8.5% to MXN 187.6 million (USD 15.48 million) and up 15.6% to USD 688.1 million ( USD 56.80 million).
Broadcasting income was up 35.6% for the quarter to MXN 119.3 million (USD 9.85 million) and up 15.2% to MXN 2198.8 million (USD 18.15 million).
Operating income for the quarter was up 41.7% to MXN 109.0 million (USD 9.0 million) and up 20.8% for the year at MXN 181.0 million (USD 14.94 million) whilst overall net income for the quarter nearly tripled - up from MXN 25.3 million (USD 2.09 million) to MXN 72.9 million (USD 6.02 million) whilst for the full year net income leapt from MXN 4.44 million (USD 367,000) to MXN 60.4 million (USD 4.99 million).
Previous Grupo Radio Centro::
2011-02-27: Last week was again fairly quiet as regards radio for the regulators but there were postings from everywhere except Ireland.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has asked for comment on changes it is proposing in the Hobart and Devonport regions of Tasmania.
The agency is proposing to vary the radiation pattern of the existing national radio broadcasting service 7PB so that it operates on 747 kHz from broadcast site Ralphs Bay; make FM spectrum 96.1 MHz with a maximum effective radiated power (ERP) of 3.2 kW available for an additional transmitter for the existing community radio broadcasting service 7RPH at Devonport and extend the Hobart RA4 licence area to reflect the inclusion of that additional transmitter; and make FM spectrum 94.9 MHz with a maximum ERP of 1.5 kW available for a new open narrowcasting radio service at Hobart. Comment has to be submitted by March 25
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included approval of Haliburton's purchase of three more radio stations in Ontario and also the approval of a new FM for United Christian Broadcasters Canada, also in Ontario (See RNW Feb 21 for both).
Other radio related postings included:
*Approval in part of application from Newcap Inc. for changes in the conditions of the licence of CKMP-FM, Calgary, in relation to content development (CCD).
The current licence sets out spending on a number of initiatives and Newcap requested flexibility to modify these by up to 20% per year so long as the total amount is spent over the relevant seven-year period.
The CRTC said that the proposal in general reflected the Commission's current approach to CCD but to allow the variance of 20% would pose difficulties with respect to auditing and measuring compliance.
It changed the licence conditions to require payments of CAD 1million ( USD 1.02 million) a year for the 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 broadcast years and also to require a contribution of just below CAD 392,000 (USD 400,000) to unfulfilled CCD payments and to fulfil the total CCD commitments. As regards issues of past non-compliance it said it would consider these when the licence came up for renewal.
*Approval of application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to add a 15 watts FM transmitter on Saltspring Island to rebroadcast the programming of CIOC-FM, Victoria. In approving the application, to correct reception difficulties, the CRTC noted that it had previously denied an application for a 635-watts transmitter.
*Approved in part application from Newcap Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence of the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CILV-FM, Ottawa, in relation to Canadian content development (CCD).
The current requirement is expenditure of at least CAD 6.3 million ( USD 6.44 million) over seven years to a number of specified initiatives and Newcap said it found it very difficult to time the expenditures on its local band initiative so that it could spend the correct amount during each broadcast year and requested flexibility to vary the specified amounts to be spent on individual initiatives by up to 20% per year so long as the required total amount is spent over seven consecutive broadcast years.
In its decision the CRTC noted shortfalls in the local band initiative in 2006 and 2007, something it will address when the licences are renewed, but said the requirement for a variation of up to 20% posed difficulties with respect to auditing and measuring compliance.
It changed the licence conditions so as to require the total amount to be made over the seven years and said that for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 broadcast years, the licensee shall make an annual contribution of CAD 900,000 (USD 920,000) to the promotion and development of Canadian content.
*Renewal from 1 April 2011 to 31 August 2017 of licences of Astral Media Radio Inc.'s French-language commercial radio programming undertakings CITF-FM Québec, and CITÉ-FM-1, Sherbrooke, and its transmitter CITÉ-FM-2, Sherbrooke, and also approval of changes in condition of licences to delete conditions that currently include a requirement to broadcast fewer than 63 hours of local programming during each broadcast week, something that the CRTC noted exceeds the 42 hours of local programming, and also to remove a requirement relating to broadcast of minimum hours of local news and conditions of licence relating to the provision of annual reports on the diversity of musical selections.
*Approval of application by Astral Media Radio Inc. to delete from the broadcasting licences for the French-language commercial radio stations CFZZ-FM, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu; CHEY-FM, Trois-Rivières; CIKI-FM, Rimouski; CITÉ-FM, Montréal; CJDM-FM, Drummondville; and CJOI-FM, Rimouski, conditions relating to the provision of annual reports on the diversity of musical selections.
The CRTC also posted details of a consultation with a March 28 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments including an application by Instant Information Services Incorporated to change the frequency of its English-language low-power tourist information radio programming undertaking CIRM-FM Moncton, New Brunswick and increase its power from 22.4 to 500 watts and also from Torres Media Ottawa Inc to increase the power of its English-language commercial FM CIDG-FM, Ottawa, Ontario from 4,500 watts to 5,500 watts
There were no radio postings from Ireland as already noted and in the UK the only radio posting from Ofcom was of its latest bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints although it did consider another radio complaint resolved by action taken by the broadcaster and rule that two community stations had breached licence conditions (See RNW Feb 21).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was closed on Monday for Presidents Day/Washington's Birthday but it did make some radio related postings including proposing a USD 10,000 penalty on Cumulus for public file breaches and refunding the winning bid for an FM permit that could not be used because of interference with aviation (See RNW Feb 26).
It also noted that it has now made available ownership reports filed in response to the 2009 biennial ownership filing requirement and reflecting ownership at the start of November 2009 and commented that the data is the first to reflect the significant revisions to the ownership reporting form, FCC Form 323.
The revision enlarged the class of stations obligated to file biennially by requiring all full power commercial broadcast stations and all lower power television stations, including Class A stations, to file and eliminated the exemption from the
Biennial reporting requirement that applied to "sole proprietorships and partnerships of natural persons that are licensees of commercial broadcast stations."
The FCC says a number of licensees did not file data, putting this down to the extended filing requirements, and says the numbers of stations that did not file were:
511 of the total 11, 2695 full power commercial AM and FM broadcast radio stations.
23 of the total 1,392 full power commercial television stations.
1146 of the total 2,923 Low Power Television stations, including Class A stations.
479 of the total 15,584 broadcast stations that received waivers of the biennial filing requirement because the stations were transferred or assigned between November 1, 2009 and June 23, 2010.6
169 AM broadcast stations that operate as non-commercial stations.
The agency also posted the agenda for its March 3 Open Meeting that includes consideration of an order to change rules so as to make it "easier for Native Nations to provide radio service to areas that are the functional equivalent of Tribal Lands and to Tribal Lands that are small or irregularly shaped; and to adjust policies for determining whether proposed new radio stations or station moves constitute an equitable distribution of radio service under Section 307(b) of the Communications Act. A Further Notice seeks comment on adopting a Tribal eligibility requirement or a tribal bidding credit to foster radio service by Native Nations on their lands."
The agenda also includes issues of communications in Native Nations communities.
Previous Licence News:
2011-02-26: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued Cumulus with a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) following an inspection at its WWIZ-FM, Mercer, Pennsylvania, during which the agent found that the station's public inspection file was missing nine quarterly issues/programs lists covering the entire period since the licence was renewed in June 2007.
On the other side of the balance sheet, the agency has issued a refund of just below USD 4,400 to Connoisseur Media, LLC, which won an Construction Permit for an FM at Pacific Junction, Iowa, in its 2004 Auction 37.
Connoisseur was awarded a Construction Permit in March 2005 and subsequently granted a minor modification in July 2007 but subsequently the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued a Notice of Presumed Hazard objecting to Connoisseur's proposed operation of the FM station on the frequency it had won because of potential interference to FAA localizer frequencies used for air traffic control
Connoisseur then hired consultants and requested that its July, 2010 construction deadline be tolled while it pursued possible solutions but despite numerous attempts to solve the problem in conjunction with the FAA and US Air Force, which uses one of the frequencies, it was unable to come up with any solution or find any other FM channels that would be suitable.
In 2009 Connoisseur filed a request for a refund of all of the payments that it had made in connection with its winning bid for the Pacific Junction FM permit, as well as interest, arguing that it was awarded a channel that cannot be constructed because of FAA interference issues unknown at the time of auction, and that those issues cannot be resolved.
The FCC, which has deleted the channel, agreed that a refund was appropriate.
2011-02-25: Former Conservative cabinet minister, European Commissioner, and last governor of Hong Kong Lord (Chris) Patten, the current chancellor of Oxford University, seems set to become the next chairman of the BBC Trust.
The British government has confirmed that he is the "preferred" candidate to take over from Sir Michael Lyons, who is stepping down in at the end of April although the appointment is still subject to a hearing before MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee on 10 March.
Prime Minister David Cameron has approved the appointment and there are no signs of any significant move to deny Patten the post for which rival candidates were Anthony Fry, the investment banker; Dame Patricia Hodgson, the principal of Newnham College, Cambridge; Richard Hooper, a former chairman of the Radio Authority; and Sir Richard Lambert, the former director general of the CBI and a former editor of the Financial Times.
All were interviewed after which culture secretary Jeremy Hunt put Patten's name forward for the post, which pays GBP 110,000 (USD 177,000) a year.
2011-02-25: Former stage actor Bob Davis (Robert Donald Davis) who became one of the voices of now-defunct Washington DC classical station WGMS-FM for five decades has died aged 90 of heart ailments: WGMS was closed by Bonneville in 2007 although the call signs are still in use by public station WETA-FM for its repeater in Hagerstown, Maryland. Bonneville donated WGMS's music librar to WETA, which switched to a classical format after the WGMS closure (See RNW Jan 23, 2007).
The Washington Post reports that his death was confirmed by real estate agent Henry Schalizki whom Davis married in June on the 62nd anniversary of their time as a couple and weeks after same-sex marriage became legal in the US capital: the paper adds that he once attributed his longevity at WGMS to "a complete lack of ambition, and I was very satisfied at the station."
Davis spent more than five decades on air at the station for many of them conducting lunch=time interviews at the Kennedy Centre featuring entertainers visiting the capital. He also specialized in theatre reviews.
Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, he worked in radio stations there and Terre Haute, Ind., and also acted in community theatre productions before serving in the Navy during World War II. After a spell in the USO he joined WBAL TV in Baltimore and hosted a variety show before moving to DC where he became a staff announcer at WOL-AM in the early 1950s before joining WGMS in 1953. He worked full time at the station until 1985 and continuing working as a stand-in host and doing theatre reviews until the station was closed.
Washington Post report:
2011-02-24: Univision Communications has reported final quarter 2010 revenues up 11.8% on a year earlier to USD 576.7 million with full year revenues up 13.8% to USD 2.252 billion, including an estimated USD 109.5 million related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The increases were driven by TV whose final quarter revenues were up 13.3% to USD 476 million with the full year up 16.7% to USD 1.859 billion whilst radio revenues in the final quarter were down 1.3% to USD 82.6 million and for the full year were down 4.6% to USD 323 million. Interactive Media was up 6% in the quarter to USD 18.1 million and 21.8% for the year to USD 63 million.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) was up 2.2% in the final quarter to USD 259.4 million and up 14.6% to USD 943.3 million for the full year with operating loss for the quarter rising from USD 7.4 million to USD 282.3 million after USD 452 million in charges related to a settlement with Televisa whilst for the full year operating income fell from USD 416.4 million to USD 248.2 million.
Overall Univision reported a net loss for the final quarter up from USD 174.6 million to USD 631.9 million and for the full year up from USD 252.1 million to USD 555.9 million.
Commenting on the results President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Uva, who only referred to TV and online, said that during the year the company had "put in place an enhanced infrastructure to enable significant future growth" and added of the final quarter "?We are pleased with our strong results in the fourth quarter, which reflect Univision's ongoing advantageous position in the continuing economic recovery."
2011-02-24: Cumulus Media, which had announced that it would hold its final quarter 2010 conference call on February 28 has now postponed it until March 14 because of talks over its plans to take over Citadel Broadcasting (See RNW Feb 17: It actually describes this as a merger but that is an abuse of language. It's planning to buy Citadel).
2011-02-24: The first ratings of the year in Australia - a short survey from January 16 to February 12 with a smaller sample, and issued without Brisbane ratings, the survey there having been cancelled because of the flooding that devastated the city (See RNW Jan 17) - saw Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB increasing its lead in Sydney and improvement for its Melbourne sister MRT, which has at last moved off the bottom rank - it took its share up from 1.4 to 2.1 overall and is now ahead of ABC News Radio: Elsewhere there were some changes amongst the leaders and Austereo's Today network - and particularly their home station, Fox FM in Melbourne - suffered from the absence of Hamish and Andy (Andy Lee and Hamish Blake) who announced last year that they would only do their drive time show on Fridays.
In Sydney 2GB's 1.8 point rise from 13.3 to 15.1 was driven by increases in mornings (Ray Hadley -Up 2.3 from 16.3 to 18.6); afternoons (Chris Smith - Up 2.3 from 11.0 to 12.3); drive (Ben Fordham - Up 1.6 from 8.9 to 10.5) and evenings (Up 5.3 from 13.4 to 18.7 - three shows air in this period). At breakfast Alan Jones' share was up from 17.8 to 18.8.
Rival Fairfax Media-owned 2UE was down overall from 5.5 to 5.3: It had revamped its line-up and spent heavily on promotion with signings including Jason Morrison at breakfast (Morrison, a former protégé of Alan Jones, was down from 5.5 to 5.3); David Oldfield in mornings (where 2UE had an unchanged 5.0 share) and Paul Murray in drive (down from 5.5 to 5.0).
In the Sydney FM battle Austereo's 2-Day was up from 10.1 to 10.4 overall helped by a rise from 10.5 to 11.3 for Kyle and Jackie O (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) at breakfast and small rises in all other slots except drive where it was down from 13.2 to 12.4, albeit this was a much smaller loss in the slot than sister-station Fox FM suffered in Hamish and Andy's home patch - down 5.4 from 20.5 to 15.1. Hamish and Andy's slot is filled from Monday through Thursday by Fifi Box and Jules Lund.
In Melbourne Fairfax Media's 3AW held onto its top rank although share was down overall from 15.4 to 15.0 but in Adelaide Australian Radio Network's Mix 102.3 with 16.6 (13.2) took over the top slot from DMG's 5AA, which was down to third with 12.5 (14.5).
Commenting on the figures, Austereo played up its overall FM success and highlighted amongst other things wins in breakfast and drive in Sydney and Melbourne; the addition of Mick Molloy to Eddie McGuire's Hot Breakfast on Triple M in Melbourne - the station was up from 4.3 to 6.7 overall and from 3.3 to 4.6 at breakfast; and a 90th consecutive win in Perth for Mix 94.5 (albeit its overall share was down from 16.3 to 15.2.
Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson commented, "The Today Network is spectacular. It maintains its undeniable strength with its unique celebrity focus and hit music format. Triple M also shows steady and pleasing performances around the country" and chairman, Peter Harvie added, "The combined power of our talent and brands have set a strong pace for 2011".
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 102.3 with 15.6 (13.2) - up from second; SAFM with 13.4 (12.6) up from third; 5AA with 12.5 (14.5) - down from first;
* Nova, was up a rank to fourth with 10.4 (10.0) swapping ranks with ABC 891 with 10.1 (12.3) followed by 5MMM, which remained sixth with 8.8 (8.4).
*Brisbane- No ratings - cancelled because of severe weather
*Melbourne - 3AW with 15.0 (15.4) - same rank; Fox FM with 12.4 (12.4) - same rank; ABC 774 with 11.3 (12.1) same rank.
*3JJ was then fourth with 6.7 (4.3), jumping up from tenth followed by Nova, still in fifth rank with 6.6 (6.5); then Gold - down from fourth to sixth with 6.3 (7.4) then Magic which slipped from sixth to seventh with an unchanged 6.2.
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, was up from twelfth to eleventh with 3.0 (2.6) whilst Melbourne Talk Radio moved off bottom with 2.1 (1.4), switching places with ABC News Radio, which dropped to bottom with 1.8 (2.0).
In the commercial talk breakfast slot 3AW increased its lead with 20.0 (19.7) and MTR took its share up from 1.4 to 2.6; in Mornings 3AW again remained top with 17.1 (17.0) and MTR was up from 1.6 to 2.0, albeit ABC News Radio remained bottom with 1.5 (0.9) and at Drive time, where Fox FM again led but was well down in the absence of Hamish and Andy - from 20.5 to 15.1 - 3AW was second with 11.6 (1.0) and MTR was up from 1.0 to 1.4. Its highest share in demographic terms was a 4.4 (2.0) with those 65 plus and 4.1 (2.0) with those 55-64.
Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 15.2 (16.3) - same rank; ABC 720 with 12.3 (9.7) - up from fourth; 92.9 with 12.2(12.9) - down from second;
*96 FM was down from third to fourth with 9.5 (10.1) ahead of 6JJJ which with 9.4 (7.2) was up to fifth from seventh, overtaking Nova, which remained sixth with 9.3 (9.4).
Sydney - - 2GB 15.1 (13.3) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.6 (10.2) - same rank; 2-DAY with 10.4 (10.1) - same rank;
*WSFM was up from fifth to fourth with an unchanged 6.9, swapping places with Nova 6.3 (7.9), after which 2UE remained sixth with 6.0 (6.2) and 2CH remained seventh with 5.5 (6.0).
Mix 106.5 was then up two ranks from tenth to eighth with 5.2 (3.9), followed by 2MMM, which was down a rank to ninth with 4.7 (5.3) and 2JJJ, which was down a rank to tenth with 4.6 (4.1).
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, was down from eleventh to twelfth with 3.0 (3.3).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Radio Network (ARN):
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Hamish and Andy:
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2011-02-24: BBC Radio 2 has announced changes to its schedule starting from April 4 that it says "enhance [its] commitment to specialist music and documentaries" and include moves to an earlier time slot for three long-running specialist shows.
All three will move to 21:30 to 22:00 - Big Band Special, which is hosted by Clare Teal on Mondays and was formerly on air at 23:00; The Organist Entertains, which is hosted by Nigel Ogden and moves to Tuesday from a Thursday 22:00 slot; and Listen To The Band, hosted by Frank Renton, which moves to Wednesday from a Thursday 22:30 slot.
The changes follow the announcement that Jo Whiley is to move to the station from BBC Radio 1 to host a new 20:00 to 21:30 Monday to Wednesdays slot and will continue to host the Thursday 20:00 to 22:00 In Concert programme (See RNW Feb 1).
The new schedule retains The Blues Show with Paul Jones (Mondays), Best Of Jazz with Jamie Cullum (Tuesdays), Folk And Acoustic with Mike Harding (Wednesdays), The Country Show with Bob Harris (Thursdays), and Music Goes Round with Desmond Carrington (Fridays) in the 19:00 to 20:00 slot.
At weekends, the station will feature Huey Morgan (from Saturday 2 April, airing overnight midnight till 3am; Elaine Paige On Sunday (13:00-15:00); Alan Titchmarsh (Sundays, 19:00 to 20:30), and Russell Davies (Sundays 2100-22:00).
Documentaries will gain regular slots from Monday through Thursday at 22:00 and include "The Mozart Of Madras" about Slumdog Millionaire composer A R Rahman; Stuart Maconie telling the story of legendary entertainer George Formby; programming marking the 40th anniversary of The Old Grey Whistle Test; a two-part programme commemorating Malcolm McLaren, and special seasons marking the 30 years since the death of reggae legend Bob Marley and the 70th birthday of Bob Dylan
Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan said of the changes in a news release," Specialist music is at the heart of Radio 2's music output. And the change to the scheduling of three of our long-standing shows, along with the network's fantastic range of blues, country, folk, jazz, soul, not to mention concerts, exemplifies our commitment to bringing these specialist genres to our audience."
He added, "I'm hugely proud of the diverse range and scope of Radio 2's documentaries. There's an inspiring mix of programmes coming up this year and the regular 10pm slot means listeners will know where to come for their music knowledge fix."
2011-02-24: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments made on the Roz & Mocha morning show on CKIS-FM (KiSS 92.5, Toronto) breached Canadian Codes relating to sexualisation of children but that other complaints that the hosts had belittled the name of a 10-years-old caller who said he was "Noah" and questions about his religion, colour and origin, did not breach codes on human rights or other sexual codes.
It did however term as "inappropriate" the hosts question "Are you a white kid or a brown kid?" to which the caller responded "Uh, I'm, well, I'm Canadian" and the hosts then commented "Okay, so you're white."
This said the Ontario Regional Panel was "non-inclusive and insensitive" and it added, "Canada and its largest city are ethnoculturally diverse. For the hosts to in effect draw the conclusion that the equation 'Canadian equals white' is the rule, if ever it was, is no longer appropriate broadcast fare. "
In another part of the conversation there was a discussion regarding erections - during which the hosts referred to "boners"; "getting' an arc"; and "wiener" and the panel commented that these comments did breach codes: The station in response to the complaint had agreed were in poor taste but argued that were not sexually explicit and given the format of the station, target audience, were within guidelines.
2011-02-23: The Voice of America (VOA) says that it lost no data during President's Day attacks on its Internet sites by hackers that redirected traffic to an Internet website claimed to be run by the Iranian Cyber Army.
The sites redirected to a page with an anti-US message to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plus an Iranian flag along with an AK-47 assault weapon and a message in bold reading "We have proven that we can."
The Fars News Agency, which descrives itself as the country's "leading independent news agency" but has ties to the Iranian government, praised the attack adding that it was made in retaliation for what it called "false reports" about Iran.
The attacks -termed DNS (Domain Name System) attacks - could potentially allow an attacker to control messages to and from sites but VOA says no data was compromised or lost and that most of the sites are now back to normal.
VOA report re attacks:
2011-02-23: A 20-years-old euphonium player from Manchester has won this year's BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist Award, the second year running that a euphonium player has won the award.
The competition was held on Saturday at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester and highlights will be aired tomorrow night at 22:00 GMT on the station.
Lewis Musson from Hulme in Manchester was presented by his award by last year's winner Matthew White, then a 19-years-old second-year student at the RNCM.
The final was adjudicated by trumpet player Paul Archibald and tuba player Les Neish and Archibald commented, "Having both judged the semi final, Les Neish and I knew that the standard in the final was going to be high and it certainly was. We were looking for a musician who can communicate, who can feel for the music, someone who can really hold the audience, a complete player, and we found that in the playing of Lewis Musson."
Musson will now have the chance to play with the BBC Concert Orchestra on Radio 2's flagship live music programme Friday Night Is Music Night, and to play as a soloist with one of the UK's top brass bands at a prestigious event.
He commented, "I'm very excited at the prospect of playing with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Championship standard brass band, and found the whole event very exciting, nerve-racking but very enjoyable."
2011-02-23: Reliance Broadcast Network Limited's 92.7 BIG FM has extended its reach through a strategic marketing and sales alliance with 92.7 High FM Bhutan that will offer advertisers packages of non-competing stations covering Siliguri, West Bengal and Bhutan.
The alliance is the first entry of an Indian radio station into Bhutan and will add 92.7 High FM's cover of the cities of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Uttar Dinajpur:
RBNL Vice President Sales Pankaj Chandra said the "relationship infuses further strength into our offerings, as we solidify our presence in the East, giving us the highest reach and ensuring superlative market penetration. This deal promises to be mutually beneficial and we are confident of offering un-matched value to advertisers with 92.7 BIG FM being able to package its non competing stations to garner better market share." BIG Connect, RBNL's multi-media sales division to offer value creating solutions to advertisers needs.
92.7 HIGH FM COO Gautam Banerjee added, "We are very excited about this new venture and are looking forward to an extremely productive union. 92.7 BIG FM brings to the table both marketing and content expertise, opening doors for national advertisers looking for pan India exposure and presence.
Previous Indian Radio:
2011-02-22: US editorial comment over the House of Congress vote (by 235-189 votes) to cut off funding for US Public Media, particularly the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and NPR (National Public Radio) - in budget bill HR1 that also included a prohibition on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spending to enforce its new net neutrality rules - seems to be strongly against the move apart from those in partisan Republican cum conservative publications.
In WorldNetDaily Les Kinsolving heads his comment "End $500 million gift to 'public' broadcasting" and goes on to decry tax subsidies and exemption to public radio and TV stations and then goes on to quote from a Washington Times editorial before decrying (we think this is part of Kinsolving's comments but the layout is rather muddled - a bit in our view like Kinsolving's mind) a National Association of Broadcasters' spokeswoman's comment that the NAB had "no position" on the plans to cut the funding not on what are termed the "obvious commercial announcements that so often appear on National Public Radio - whose government subsidy and tax exemption is based on its status as a non-profit institution" and then arguing that the only function the government should have as regards broadcasting is the technically-based one of ensuring that "one station's broadcasting does not intrude into and disrupt a legitimately assigned broadcasting area of another station."
In more neutral mood - Radio Ink publisher Eric Rhoads -hardly to the left of the political spectrum - heads his comment "Fence-Sitting: The Good And Bad Of Defunding Public Broadcasting" - and argues for the concept of public radio, albeit maybe with a phased withdrawal of funding, commenting in part ". I think we need that option in America, though I believe it could be created by commercial radio (possibly for a lot less money) I'd hate to lose public broadcasting, and I'd rather find a way to preserve it than shutter it. But I'm willing to see NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting lose their funding if it helps get this country out of debt. As you can see, I'm sitting on the fence, and my reasons for not wanting NPR defunded may be different than those of others trying to save it."
He later comments, "If public broadcasting were a target only for financial reasons, I'd be less impassioned to save it. But it's being targeted because of the politics of the people running it. That bugs me. Shutting down opposing viewpoints can never be a good idea" and suggests as one option putting the "Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR on notice that they have three to five years to become 100 percent self-sufficient. They'd get a little less government money each year, leading up to a cut-off date. That would allow time for them to gain more major benefactors, and time to reinvent the way they do business and trim their operating budgets with new technology My bottom line, though, is that we need to discourage politicians from doing anything that squelches opposing points of view. If that's the primary reason to defund public broadcasting, it's not good enough."
NPR itself made no direct comment but posted a news release from the Public Media Association (PMA) expressing "deep disappointment" at the vote and quoting PMA President Patrick Butler as saying that if the bill stands "it would endanger hundreds of public radio and television stations that serve as educational, informational and cultural lifelines for millions of people nationwide, and it would be a death sentence for stations serving rural and small-town America."
"Public broadcasting serves people everywhere, including hundreds of communities where such service would never be profitable," Butler continued. "To dismantle a public broadcasting system that 170 million Americans regularly rely on for lifelong learning, in-depth news and public affairs programming, and world-class culture - all for the sake of reducing one year's federal budget deficit by less than three thousandths of one percent - is to recklessly defy the will of the American people, who routinely rank public broadcasting just behind national defense as the best use of taxpayer dollars."
Firmly on the side of public broadcasting was a Seattle Times editorial, posted before the vote, but republished by a number of other papers (Our link below is to the Arizona Daily Sun posting of it): Headed "Congress should keep hands off Public Broadcasting" it commented of the defunding proposal, "This annoying hardy perennial proposal from Republicans is no wiser this time around than it was when it was presented and beaten back many times before."
It goes on, "In fact, with a decline in the total number of reporters, also known as watchdogs, and a reduced number of media outlets presenting news and public affairs, there is more need than ever for high-quality programming" and then after referring to the hundred of other channels of TV and radio available in the US adds, "? We all need PBS, NPR and numerous local public radio and TV stations. They help educate our children. They enrich us culturally and provide community connections not available anywhere else... We all need PBS, NPR and numerous local public radio and TV stations. They help educate our children. They enrich us culturally and provide community connections not available anywhere else."
The San Francisco Chronicle comments that if House Republicans think the ending of funding for public broadcasting will be a form of action against liberals they have things wrong, noting that "Small television and radio stations serving rural, politically red areas in California and other states would likely feel the biggest impact of such a move because 70 percent of public broadcasting funds are channelled to local stations."
Well-endowed public broadcasters in more liberal metropolitan areas would says the Chronicle would probably be able to survive the cuts but stations in rural areas would be hard hit and it also quotes Ginny Berson, a vice president of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in Oakland as saying that for many public broadcasters on American Indian reservations, or broadcasting in Spanish to farm workers, their federal subsidy is often at least half of their budget.
Similar thoughts are voiced in the Kansas City Star that in its editorial comments that the "axe is raised to penalize the left, but it's going to fall squarely on the center" and later singles out for mention High Plains Public Radio that serves an "area of dwindling population and resources, though still a vital piece of America's agricultural scene."
High Plains Radio it says would lose 35% of its funding if the state- which provides 20%- and Washington - which provides 15% - cut their funding and such stations would have to do without if they could continue at all.
High Plains says the paper "it embodies the very notion of public broadcasting - to serve those who would not otherwise be served" and it adds that although it "Serious efforts to cut spending and reduce the deficit" the money saved in these proposed cuts "would be barely a rounding error in the federal budget. But the cost to rural America would be enormous."
RNW Comment: Were rural Americans better informed over the degree to which government programmes were vital factors in the extension of vital services such as electricity to their areas, we suspect that this debate over the value of central funding - in effect a subsidy from urban areas that tend to vote Democratic more than they do - would be conducted very differently.
We wonder how far adoption of a policy of widespread cut-backs -rather than partisan-politically motivated one, which the call for defunding public broadcasting seems to be - targeted so as to end this subsidy as part of ending deficits would go down with House Republicans.
We would also note that most of the CPB support is not for programming such as NPR but rather for support of facilities and local programming and suggest that the Republicans may well have miscalculated yet again with this particular attack, whether or not they have the votes to carry it through.
Arizona Daily Sun - Seattle Times editorial:
Radio Ink - Rhoads comment:
San Francisco Chronicle report:
WorldNetDaily - Kinsolving comment:
2011-02-22: Macquarie Radio Network has launched an investigation into a quiz aired on 2GB in Sydney and MTR in Melbourne in which afternoon host Chris Smith asked the question how many asylum-seekers had been buried at a funeral.
The "Smithy's Mystery" segment offers movie tickets, books and DVDs for the correct answer and the host in this case asked how many people had been buried at a funeral for victims of the December Christmas Island asylum-seeker boat disaster -more than 30 bodies were recovered and 13 including several children were buried at two services in Sydney.
Smith awarded the prize -amidst cheers and clapping - to a woman who guessed 12 and according to 2GB program director Ian Holland launched the investigation had together with his producer "apologized profusely" at a meeting with management.
The quiz aroused widespread indignation and comment in Australia - including condemnation from Prime Minister Julia Gillard who described the quiz as "absolutely revolting" - and Smith, who filled in for Alan Jones in the 2GB breakfast slot on Monday, is expected to address the issue in his show this afternoon.
Amongst the prizes were a Rick Stein DVD, provided by BBC WorldWide, which distributes the DVDs in Australia, and a copy of Aboriginal author Kim Scott's book That Deadman Dance from Pan Macmillan both of whom distanced themselves from the quiz.
A BBC WorldWide spokesman told The Australian newspaper, "Product is always offered in good faith that it will not be promoted in a distasteful or offensive manner. It is disappointing that one of our DVDs has been used in the context of such a tragic event "and a Pan Macmillan spokesman added that they were "not consulted or made aware of this promotion prior to it going to air."
Smith's page on the 2GB website still had a photo gallery of the Christmas Island tragedy when we last checked but no mention of the quiz was on display.
Smith was suspended by 2GB in December 2009 following allegations that he had groped women at a station Christmas Party (See RNW Dec 14, 2009).
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2GB - Chris Smith page:
The Australian report:
Audio (2mb MP3) of Quiz - posted by The Australian:
2011-02-21: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s acquisition of three more Ontario stations - an AM and two FMs - for a total price approaching CAD 4 million (USD 4 million).
The stations being acquired are haritage station CJCS-AM - it went on air in 1921 broadcasting from the back of Higgin's Hardward Store for its first three years - and CHGK-FM, Stratford, which are being acquired from Raedio Inc., and CFSF-FM, Sturgeon Falls, which is being acquired from JOCO Communications Inc.
For purposes of related tangible benefits packages the Stratford deal is valued at CAD 3.4 million (USD 3.46 million) with the associated 6% benefits totalling CAD 204,000 (USD 208 million) and the CRTC notes that in this case the case, the purchaser will be assuming leases of CAD 296,136, will also lease the transmitter site from the vendor for total payments of CAD 10,000 and will pay consultation fees to the vendor for a period of 5 months for a total amount of CAD 105,000.
In Sturgeon Falls the value is put at CAD 500,000 (USD 509,000) with an associated benefits package of CAD 30,000 (USD 30.500).
Also in Ontario the CRTC has approved an application from United Christian Broadcasters Canada for a licence for a 250 watts Christian Adult Contemporary music FM radio station in Cobourg.
2011-02-21: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin rules upholds no radio complaints; considers one radio standards complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcasters; and also ruled that two community stations had breached their licence conditions. It also upheld two TV standards complaints - one regarding the absence of a warning about flashing images that could trigger en epileptic attack - and a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint and gave details of two more TV Fairness and Privacy Complaints not upheld.
The radio standards complaint considered resolved concerned community station Somer Valley FM, a community radio station serving the communities in and around Midsomer Norton and Radstock in north east Somerset, and an edition of its drive time programme in which a song was aired containing the word "motherfucker."
The broadcaster in response to the complaint apologised "unreservedly" for any offence caused and accepted that it breached UK broadcasting codes. It said the track "Do It Like A Dude" by Jessie J was requested by a young listener and played out, adding that the song should not have been in its music system in unedited form but on this occasion a volunteer - no longer with the station - had knowingly breached its procedures and downloaded the track into the system.
Since the incident it said only one computer, which is closely monitored, now has access to the music library and it has also given further compliance training to volunteers to avoid repetition.
In this case it said that after the offensive language had been aired the song was faded out and replaced with another track before the presenter apologized.
Ofcom took into account the fact that procedures in place had not been adhered to, that an apology was broadcast, and that the station, which has a good compliance record, has introduced measures to prevent recurrence and considered that the matter was resolved.
The two breached of licence conditions also concerned community stations - Brick FM, which provides a service for the people of St Boswells, Newton St Boswells and the surrounding area in the Scottish Borders, and OnFM, which provides a service for the people of Hammersmith, west London, and has a particular focus on serving the local Irish community as well as other ethnic groups.
In the Brick FM case Ofcom had asked for recordings of four days output following complaints from a listener about its adherence to its key commitments, adding that it had been with the station over an extended period of time about its concerns.
Ofcom extended by a month its original deadline for providing recordings after licensee Brick FM Ltd said that it had suffered a direct lightning strike which had damaged recording equipment and two days after this extended deadline was supplied with eight discs of recordings but no supplementary information -including the dates and times of the broadcasts - that would have allowed it to assess whether key commitments were being met. Subsequently the station said the recordings and information that Ofcom had asked for after the delivery of these discs - had been sent to its five weeks later but Ofcom said it had not receive these six weeks later.
It said that because of the failure to supply recordings the station had breached its licence conditions and that should there be any similar contraventions it would consider further action.
In the OnFM case Ofcom received a complaint that the stations was not meeting its live broadcasting and speech programming requirements and asked licensee OnFM Ltd to respond and provide recordings of two days of output.
OnFM did provide comments on the allegations but analysis of the output provided showed that the station was not meeting its remit and Ofcom again asked for comment to which the licensee responded by saying that during the period monitored it was "not able to meet the target of eight hours of live shows and sustain our original undertaking to supply 60 per cent speech between 8am and 8pm " although it added that "fulfilment of its promise to deliver a high standard of speech broadcasting throughout the daytime output is well within the current team?s capabilities."
Ofcom accordingly recorded a breach of the licence conditions.
The numbers compare with the upholding of one radio standards complaint with another considered resolved in the previous bulletin in which Ofcom also held that two community stations had breached their licence conditions. In that bulletin Ofcom also upheld five TV standards complaints, considered a further TV standards complaint resolved, and gave details of two TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 278 complaints against 160 TV items - 2897 concerning the X-Factor - and 13 radio complaints against 12 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 3292 complaints against 265 TV items - 2897 concerning the X-Factor - and 260 radio complaints against 22 items - 238 against one talkSPORT item and a further 95 against another talkSPORT item that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2011-02-20: Last week saw the US Federal Communications Commission posting details of a number of enforcement actions involving radio but elsewhere it was again a fairly quiet week although there were also radio-relating postings from Australia, Canada, and Ireland, albeit none from the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that community radio broadcaster 4CCR Cairns had breached the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2008 by not providing a community member with copies of policy and procedure documents, and not adequately responding to the community member's request.
The ACMA noted that in response to its findings licensee Cairns Community Broadcasters Inc. is redeveloping its policies and procedures so documents are freely available to all members of its community and is also implementing training packages to ensure its members are aware of their responsibilities under the codes.
On this basis it will take no further action but will continue to monitor 4CCR's adoption of the agreed measures.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted the following radio decisions (in order of province):
*Revoked at the licensee's request of the licence of MZ Media Inc.'s digital station CFMZ DR-1, Toronto.
*Denied application from Mario Lacombe, on behalf of a not-for-profit corporation to be incorporated for a licence for a French-language low-power Type A community FM radio station in Donnacona.
The applicant said the proposed station would offer music consisting of pop, rock, dance, country and country-oriented selections, as well as folklore and folklore-oriented selections and that it would devote 12 hours each broadcast week to spoken word programming and the CRTC in rejecting the application said that it was not satisfied that the proposed station would comply with the provisions of Canada's Campus and Community Radio Policy.
*Approved application by Louis Ledoux, in his capacity as Director of Operations, Mistawasis First Nations Radio, for a licence to operate a 47 watts English- and Cree-language low-power Type B Native FM in Leask.
The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast a minimum of 28 hours of station-produced programming during each broadcast week, of which a minimum of 20 hours would be in the Cree language. Programming would include educational and music programs that reflect the Cree culture. The remaining programming would be sourced from CJLR-FM, La Ronge, Saskatchewan, a Type B Native FM operated by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc.
The CRTC also posted a public notice seeking comment or interventions - by a deadline of March 21 - in relation to an application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to increase the power of its English-language commercial station CFEQ-FM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, from 920 to 100,000 watts; relocate the transmitter and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 92.1 to 223 metres. The change would change the station's class from A to C1.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has posted its first Strategy Statement (See RNW Feb 19) and is also involved in the posting of the latest ratings (See RNW Feb 18) but in the UK Ofcom made no radio-related postings.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted was involved in a number of enforcement actions: It also saw President Obama put forward its 2012 fiscal year budget of USD 354.2 million (See RNW Feb 14) and also named six members to its Technical Advisory Council, none of them selected for broadcasting expertise.
They were Shahid Ahmed, Network Practice Lead, Accenture; General Wesley Clark (U.S. Army, ret.); Paul Mankiewich, Chief Architect, Mobility Solutions, Juniper Networks; John Marinho, Director, Enterprise Mobility Solutions, Dell, Incorporated; Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Venture Partners; and Russ Gyurek, Office of the CTO, Cisco Systems.
The six will, said the FCC in its announcement, "share ideas and provide recommendations to the Chairman [FCC chairman Julius Genachowski] on issues relevant to the Commission's work and ongoing efforts to harness technological innovations in today's competitive business landscape. The new members span a range of expertise, including the financial sector, system integrators and leading broadband technology companies."
It adds that they "span a range of expertise, including the financial sector, system integrators and leading broadband technology companies."
In other notices it advised that it is to hold a public forum on March 10 to explore legal and technical challenges associated with proposed modifications to the Commission's Registration System (CORES) and posted a list of fee decisions of the Managing Director that included granting a request from ADX Communications of Escambia Station WNRP-AM's request for refund of the 2009 Financial Year regulatory fee; a request from J&J. Fritz Media, Ltd., Debtor -in-Possession Stations KNAF-AM, KFAN-FM, KNAF-FM, and KEEP-FM - for waiver and deferral of FY 10 regulatory fees; and a request from CTV Broadcasting, LLC. for the refund of FY 09 regulatory fees for stations KRGT-LP, KJST-LP, KEAP-LP and KNHB-LP.
It also included denials of request from Discussion Radio, Inc. - station WDIS-AM - for waiver of waiver of FY 09 regulatory fee; from Hodson Broadcasting's station - KHOD-FM - for waiver of FY09 regulatory fee; and Taos Communication Corporation's station - KTAO -FM - for waiver of the penalty for late payment of the FY 09 regulatory fee
On the enforcement front penalties imposed or proposed ranged up to USD 25,000, this being the amount of a Notice of Apparent Liability for forfeiture (NAL) issued to Spanish Broadcasting System Holding Company Inc., licensee of WZNT-FM, San Juan, Puerto Rico, for broadcasting telephone conversations without giving prior notice to the individuals being called.
The NAL followed a complaint alleging that on April 13, 2006, a station employee made two "prank" calls during a comedy segment called "You Fell For It," which is hosted by a radio personality called Moonshadow (Raymond Broussard).
SBS in response to a Letter of Inquiry said it does not retain recordings and therefore cannot confirm or deny the airing of the segments in one of which the caller pretended to be an intruder hiding under the bed, and the call recipient, upon learning that the call was meant to be a joke, became upset and in the second of which Moonshadow pretended to be a loan shark, attempting to collect on a debt. It did acknowledge that the "You Fell for It" segment was aired regularly in 2006 within the "El Vacilón de la Mañana" programme hosted by Luis Jimenez and Raymond Broussard and that the programming was simulcast on its co-owned WZMT-FM and WZET-FM.
In assessing the proposed forfeiture, the FCC noted that the "telephone conversations and program segment at issue here are similar to those identified in previous violations by other stations owned by the Licensee's parent company" and added, "Further, it appears that the intent of the "You Fell for It" segment was to trick or deceive the called party as to the true identity of the caller, so it was designed to conceal the caller's identity and the fact that the conversation was being, or would be, broadcast."
It said the "preponderance of the evidence" established the broadcast of the conversations and adjusted the base forfeiture of USD 4,000 upwards to USD 25,000 because of a history of violations and the simulcast of the programming.
Other penalties imposed or proposed included (in descending order):
USD 20,000 forfeiture to Ethics, Inc., former operator of low-power FM WHYR-LP, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for engaging in an unauthorized transfer of control of the station beginning in November 2005.
The FCC had issued a USD 20,000 NAL in January last year and in response Elaine C. Rougeau, the president of Ethics, argued for reduction or cancellation on the basis of financial hardship but did not submit required supporting documentation although she did enclose her personal federal tax returns for 2009 and said the station has not "produced income of over USD $10,000 in the almost 10 years" of its existence.
USD 10,000 forfeiture to International Church of the Foursquare Gospel DBA Radio Station KFSG-FM, and registrant of antenna structure #1012525 in Los Angeles, California, for various antenna structure breaches of rules (See RNW Feb 14)
The agency also denied a petition from Sudbury Services, Inc., licensee of KLCN-AM, Blytheville, Arkansas, for reconsideration of a forfeiture issued in July 2006 for failing to properly maintain a public file: In this case it noted that Sudbury had produced no additional facts to support arguments it had already made, rejected the arguments, and confirmed the penalty.
More fortunate was Stein Broadcasting Company, Inc., licensee of KXOX-AM and KXOX-FM, Sweetwater, Texas, which had argued for cancellation of a USD 14,000 NAL issued in December 2007 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
Stein in response argued that its renewal applications had been filed on time through the agency's CDBS electronic filing system and noted that the system message read, "successfully filed."
To support this contention it included a screenshot printout that directed it to pay the fee and said it had paid by credit card and had no indication that the payment was not credited until fifteen months later when it received licence cancellation letters from the Commission on receipt of which it immediately re-filed the applications.
The FCC on this basis cancelled the NAL but imposed a 25% late payment penalty - of USD 75.
Radio licensing decisions posted included the approval of a modification submitted by Miriam Media, Inc., the auction winner for FM Channel 253A, Willow Creek, California, to modify the allotment to Channel 254C1, Loleta, California, and to grant the allotment of Channel 258A at Willow Creek, California, in order to maintain a first local service at Willow Creek, and the dismissal of a petition from Kona Coast Radio, LLC, to allot Channel 296C3 at Kahuku, Hawaii, as a first local service.
Instead it approved a counterproposal filed by Kemp Communications, Inc. to allot FM Channel 296C2 at Kualapuu, Hawaii, as a first local service and also granted the application from Big D Consulting, Inc.'s seeking to upgrade its KNAN-FM, Nanakuli, Hawaii, from Channel 294C3 to 294C2.
Previous Licence News:
2011-02-19: A week after he wrote an opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee critical of the way the search for funding was affecting editorial in public radio, KVPR-FM host Terry Phillips has been fired as host of the station's Tuesday morning programme "Quality of Life" according to the paper.
It says there had been tension at the local public radio station over the format of the program, which looks at the people and issues that shape life in the San Joaquin Valley and quoted the former host as saying, "I was told my story ideas were not what the station or funders or listeners wanted. They also said phone calls were no longer important."
"So much for free speech," added Phillips. "To me it comes down to a question of professional ethics. I couldn't do the show the way they wanted me to do it."
The host said he learned of his dismissal in a phone call from KVPR president and general manager Mariam Stepanian "tersely informing me that I am no longer the host of the program."
"I asked her if she would tell me the reason and she said, 'Nope '", said Phillips
The Bee says Stepanian would not comment on the firing but did say she appreciated Phillips' service and wished him well. It asked her about his article in the paper to which she responded by saying she was Bee she was surprised by the comments regarding censorship and dislike for fundraising.
In those comments, Phillips says that financial concerns now play a larger role in determining the content of local news and public affairs and that such shows are regularly being influenced by station executives, funders and community partners. He also comments of NPR's firing of Juan Williams (See RNW Oct 21, 2010), "Ostensibly, it was because he expressed opinions inappropriately. NPR reporters broadcast their opinions all the time. The network simply didn't like the viewpoints Williams held. Neither did I. But silencing unpopular views is far worse than broadcasting them."
It also reports that Phillips started hosting "Quality of Life" in 2005 but his contract ran out years ago: Phillips said that he and the station had a "mutual agreement" to keep the programme going that included a stipulation that the host could be changed if both parties agreed but that he had made no such concession although KVPR is to keep it running with Joe Moore, the director of KVPR program content, as host until a permanent replacement can be found.
The station's website lists The Quality of Life but does not mention any change in host nor now carry any mention of Phillips (A Feb 16 page from the Google cache that we have saved lists him as host and gives a brief biography). Phillips on his site notes his news experience as a war correspondent but does not mention the radio show: In the immediate future he is to concentrate on a TV production job he has in Europe and work on a screenplay.
RNW comment: There has always been an element of he who pays the piper calling the tune in media as well as news organizations reacting to the most vocal critics. In the case of US public radio we recall a withdrawal of support for WBUR-FM that began in 2001 because the critics said NPR coverage of the Middle East was biased against Israel (See RNW Oct 27, 2001), a boycott that is said to have cost the station around a million dollars to date.
The good news about this particular campaign is that one of the original businesses involved -WordsWorth Books -is now out of business and we wish we could report this was due to a boycott of it because of its attempts to censor news coverage but unfortunately it was just another 2004 bankruptcy in Boston.
Its former owners are also involved in the Curious George goes to Wordsworth business in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whilst the other prime mover in the boycott - Cognex Corporation - is a specialised machine vision systems company. However as far was we can we'd still like to encourage withdrawal of business for both and donations to WBUR as we retain our belief that the best way to deal with reporting considered partisan is not economic boycotting but rebuttal of an reporting that can be shown to be incorrect.
Sacramento Bee report:
Sacramento Bee - Phillips' article:
2011-02-19: The Broadcasting Association of Ireland (BAI), which in November launched a public consultation over its draft strategy statement (See RNW Nov 3, 2010) has now posted its first Strategy Statement that it says "sets out the organisation's mission and values as well as its vision for the broadcasting sector for the period 2011-2013."
The 24-page statement lists eight main Themes and Strategic Goals -- Influencing and Communicating; Ensuring Diversity; Ensuring Plurality; Strengthening the Transparency and Accountability of Broadcasters; Facilitating Learning and Development in the Broadcasting Sector; Promoting Responsible Broadcasting and Empowering Audiences - divided into two goals - Devising Broadcasting Codes and Standards and Informing, Educating and Empowering Audiences; and Organisational Development (developing the BAI as an Agile, Effective and Professional Public Service Organisation.)
In a "Foreward" (Presumably a play on words?) by Chairman Bob Collins (they say Chairperson but he is male) the BAI comments that "The obituary of broadcasting as we know it has been written more than once. The rise of on-line sources and the impact of the internet have forever altered the context" and then goes on to consider its role, set up as it was with "a role quite different from any previous broadcasting regulator in Ireland. Responsible for public, commercial and community broadcasting and working within a legislative framework which at once prescribes closely defined obligations and sets broadly based and far-reaching objectives."
The comments are broad with no radio-related specifics and Collins commented of them, "This statement sets out the thrust of the Authority's values and its understanding of the importance of broadcasting in this society. The Authority is committed to keeping pace with the rapid changes in the population and in the media. It will have a steady focus on ensuring that a strong and vibrant broadcasting sector will reflect and serve the interests of audiences in Ireland."
The Authority also published a Statement of Outcomes document which provides a general overview of the changes made to the draft following responses to the consultation that amongst other things the BAI noted included a call for a need for greater recognition of the distinct nature of community broadcasting in response to which the BAI noted that "Greater articulation on the distinct nature of Community broadcasting is reflected elsewhere in the Strategy Statement" and rejected a call for changes to reference to community broadcasting in its Mission Statement.
The BAI also changed its references from "providing" to "facilitating" in the title of its goal of ensuring diversity and commented regarding digital radio, "Rather than examine the 'feasibility' of digital sound broadcasting as was in the draft statement, the preferred word is now desirability, which takes into account changes in technology over the lifetime of the strategy."
BAI - Strategy Statement - English version (24-page 1.44 MB PDF):
BAI - Statement of Outcomes (7-page 188kb PDF):
2011-02-18: US radio revenues rose by 7% year-on-year in the final quarter of last year, beating the 5% increase in the third quarter according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), which said the "Resurgence Spans Across Categories and Revenue Sectors."
Overall revenues for the full year were up 6% to USD 17.287 billion whilst for the final quarter the 7% rise took the total to USD 4.589 billion. The first quarter rise had been 6% to USD 3.687 billion and that for the second quarter 6% to USD 4.552 billion.
Within the figures, digital revenues showed the largest percentage increase - up 24% for the year to USD 615 million and up 29% for the final quarter to USD 172 million.
Spot revenues were up 6% for the year to USD 14.181 billion and up 7% for the quarter to USD 3.747 billion whilst Off-Air revenues rose 3% for the year to USD 1.389 billion and 8% in the final quarter to USD 373 million and Network revenues were up 3% for the year and final quarter to USD 1.102 billion and USD 297 million respectively.
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley said of the figures, "Coming off solid results through the first three quarters of 2010, Radio's 7% increase in Q4 and full-year gain of 6% cap the year on a strong note - the best comparative figures we've seen in over a decade."
In sector terms for the year the top five categories for spending were Auto dealers/dealer groups and manufacturers at USD 1.808 billion followed by Communications/ Cellular at USD 1.610 billion; Restaurants at USD 1.342 billion; then Television/ Networks/ Cable Providers and Financial Services, at just above and below USD 1.333 billion.
For spot advertising the leading categories were Auto dealers/dealer groups and manufacturers - up 22% for the year to USD 1.808 billion as noted and up by the same percentage in the final quarter to USD 430.8 million; Television/ Networks/ Cable Providers - up 17% and 21% respectively to USD 1.333 billion and USD 314.8 million; Grocery/Convenience stores - up 16% and 19% to USD 1.096.6 billion and USD 295.1 million; Financial services - Up 16% and flat to USD 1.332.8 billion and USD 251.6 million and Department/Discount Stores & Shopping Centres - up 15% and 14% to USD 633.3 million and USD 239.7 million.
Commenting on the increase over the broad range of categories, Haley said this was "of advertisers' confidence in the medium" adding "Radio's top ten advertisers for 2010 spent over USD 2.6 billion and collectively increased their year-over-year spend by USD 309 million."
2011-02-18: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released covering the period from January to December 2010 - show listening unchanged compared to the previous survey from October 2009- September 2010 but down from the 2009 year: 85% of the country's adult population listened daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio, a fall from 87% for January to December 2009.
Listenership to any multi-city/regional/local radio service was down one percent from the previous survey at 57% and from the 2009 year.
Compared to the previous quarter RTÉ Radio 1 increased its weekday reach from 24% to 25% (26% a year earlier but RTÉ 2FM went down from 14% to 13% (15% a year earlier) and figures were unchanged for Today FM at 13% (15% a year earlier); Newstalk (8% - the same as a year earlier); and RTÉ Lyric FM (3% as a year earlier).
In terms of overall market share nationally for weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 there was 0.2% decrease to 53.6% (50.6% a year earlier) within which RTÉ Radio 1 was up 0.6 to 22.7% (23.4% a year earlier) and RTÉ Lyric FM was up 0.1 to 1.7% (as a year earlier) whilst Today FM held on to its 9.3% share (9.9% a year earlier) and there were falls of 0.5 to 8.2% for RTÉ 2FM (10.1% a year earlier)and of 0.1 to 4.0% for Newstalk (4% a year earlier).
Of the multi-city and regional stations Beat 102-103FM had weekday reach figure of 19% (down from 20% in the previous ratings and a year earlier); regional youth service Spin South West held on to 21% (18% a year earlier); North-West regional service i102-104FM held on to 20% (17% a year earlier) and North-East regional service i105-107FM, increased its reach from 7% to 9% (3% a year earlier - it launched in November 2008) while Multi-City Service 4FM, which went on air in February 2009, held on to 3% (2% a year earlier).
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five ranks (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were taken by Highland Radio with 67% (Retaining top rank but down from 69% and up from 65.5% a year earlier); Shannonside with an unchanged 53% (sharing eighth rank a year ago with 46.9%); Radio Kerry with an unchanged 51% (Sharing fifth rank a year earlier with 46%); Limerick's Live 95FM with 50% (Down from 51% in the previous ratings and second a year earlier with 53%) and Midwest Radio with 49% (Down from 50% - the same as a year earlier when it ranked fourth).
In weekday share terms the top five ranks were taken by Highland Radio with 62.3% (down from 63.4% and from 65.5% a year earlier) Radio Kerry with 57% (Up from 50% and 54.7% a year earlier); Tipp FM with 55.7% (Up from 54.3% and from 53.5% a year earlier.); Shannonside/ Northern Sound with an unchanged 49% (Up from 46.9% a year earlier) and Midwest Radio with 48.9% (Down from 49.6% and from 50.9% a year earlier).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 29%, up from 28%; FM 104 with 20%, up from 19%; 98FM with an unchanged 14%; Spin 1038 with an unchanged 14% and then Q102 with an unchanged 13%.
In Cork the leaders in weekday reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 46% - down from 48%; Cork's 96FM with 35% -down from 36%; RTÉ Radio 1 with 26% - up from 25% Cork's Red FM with 19%, down from 21% ; Today FM with an unchanged 15% ; and C103 with and unchanged 14%.
Commenting on the results Clare Duignan, Managing Director, RTÉ Radio, commented: "There had been some slippage recently on RTÉ Radio 1 but those slippages have been dramatically reversed with these figures. We have seen a decisive move by listeners back to RTÉ Radio 1. This tells me that RTÉ Radio delivered: through the extreme weather events of late last year, and the even more extreme developments in the political and economic arena, RTÉ Radio 1 was the clear leader for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. This is a clear endorsement of RTÉ Radio's Public Service Broadcasting and we are hugely grateful to the listeners for their loyalty."
Jim Jennings, Head of Radio 1, added, "The latest figures for RTÉ Radio 1 tell us we are the first choice for the majority of radio listeners in Ireland. Listeners choose Radio 1 time and again thanks to the high standard of award-winning, impartial and entertaining coverage that only Radio 1 can deliver.
Previous Irish Ratings:
2011-02-18: Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.'s shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the merger of its subsidiary XM Canada (Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. - CSR) and Sirius Canada - the Canadian operations of the former Sirius and XM Satellite Radios respectively- now Sirius XM - at the company's annual and special meeting of shareholders in Toronto.
CSR Executive chairman John Bitove said the vote marked "an exciting next step in our journey and represents a major milestone in the approval process."
The merger still requires regulatory approval and Bitove added, "In the coming months we will continue to work with the CRTC and the Competition Bureau to obtain regulatory approval," said John Bitove, Executive Chairman of CSR. "The proposed merger of equals will create a leading Canadian media company and nationwide audio entertainment provider that will deliver exceptional value to shareholders and subscribers, and enhance the long-term success of satellite radio in Canada."
CSR says that it expects "synergies" of around CAD 20 million (USD 20.3 million) a year within 18 months of closing and Bitove added, "The Canadian cultural community also wins, as a combined company offers a bigger platform for artists to reach audiences in both Canada and the US."
On closing, which is expected during the third quarter of CRS's 2011 fiscal year -Canada's fiscal year runs from the start of April to the end of March, the combined company would have some 1.8 million subscribers - Sirius Canada currently has around 1.2 million and XM Canada some 600,000- and offer around 250 audio channels. The companies have agreements with every major automotive manufacturer operating in Canada and their services are available in some 150 models, accounting for around 40% of sales, a figure Bitove hopes to take up to 50%.
XM Canada's President and chief executive Michael Moskowitz in a presentation to shareholders compared TV in homes to audio in automobiles as the centrepiece of the "in-car experience" and also noted moves to move further into providing a service on web connected mobile devices
Previous Sirius Canada:
Previous Sirius XM:
Previous XM Canada/CSR:
2011-02-17: Citadel Broadcasting seems to have sold itself to Cumulus according to CNBC, which reports that the company is now in exclusive negotiations for a sale worth USD 37 a share in cash and stock.
Cumulus made a bid of USD 31 a share in November last year that was rejected by the Citadel Board, although the offer was not made public until December (See RNW Dec 17, 2010) and subsequently rejected a second approach after which it became involved in controversy over the issuing of USD 400 million in debt that some shareholders felt was effectively a poison pill to half a takeover (See RNW Jan 24).
CNBC says that Citadel had been pursuing a potential sale and ended up with Cumulus and Entercom bidding against each other. It adds that the deal would be highly leverages requiring Cumulus, which is valued at USD 200 million, to finance a cash payment exceeding USD 1 billion - the deal is said to be for USD 30 a share in cash with the rest in Cumulus stock.
CNBC says that private equity company Crestview may contribute up to USD 500 million of the financing but adds that it is now up to Cumulus advisor UBS to come up with the balance.
Neither company it adds returned calls for comment and so far we have seen no suggestions as to the fate of Citadel executives and in particular that for CEO Farid Suleman who had come under attack from shareholders following Citadel's emergence from bankruptcy when the company initially said it was to issue grants of stock to him, other executives and the board: The offer was converted to stock options following a lawsuit from Citadel investor R2 Investments (R-Squared - See RNW Nov 3, 2010), R2 subsequently attacked Citadel's board for rejecting the Cumulus approach.
Update: Citadel later confirmed that it is in exclusive negotiations with Cumulus over a USD 37 a share bid in a "combination of cash and Cumulus stock, for each Citadel share and warrant."
It adds that the USD 37 would on average be capped at USD30.00 per share in cash and at USD 14.00 per share in Cumulus stock at a fixed exchange ratio but that Citadel shareholders could "receive more or less cash or Cumulus stock than these amounts, up to the USD 37.00 per share total."
It also said that Cumulus has indicated that Crestview Partners and Macquarie Capital are expected to provide up to $500 million in equity financing. Cumulus expects to obtain the remainder of the cash necessary to fund the transaction through debt financing to be led by UBS Investment Bank, together with Macquarie Capital.
Citadel warns that there is no assurance of a definitive agreement or completion as these depend on the "completion of due diligence and financing arrangements" and also notes that any transaction will require regulatory approval as well as that of the two companies' boards and shareholders.
2011-02-17: BBC Radio 3 has changed its policy of normally using the evening Performance on 3 slot to air recordings and announced that from May 3 it will air live broadcasts from UK venues in the slot every weekday evening. In 2007 it moved the slot to a normal start time of 19:00 rather than 19:30 and reduced the live broadcasts of up to three a week to an average of less than one in a move that attracted wide criticism but it has denied that the changes are a U-turn.
Making what it termed an "unprecedented announcement", the station added that the "evolution of the Radio 3 schedule is without parallel and will provide listeners with prime access to a huge variety of performance from across the UK as well as highlighting further the distinctive nature of Radio 3's contribution to British culture: a celebration of music and the arts to a depth that sets it apart from other UK radio stations."
The BBC says that there will be at least 46 weeks of live concerns in its new evening schedule and lists amongst those to be featured the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, London Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia.
Radio 3 controller Roger Wright commented, "BBC Radio 3 has always championed live music as a unique part of its programming, but increasing our commitment to live broadcasting to this degree is an unprecedented move. As a public service broadcaster it is exciting to expand our work, bringing free-to-air publicly funded performances to millions of listeners and celebrate on a nightly basis the excitement of UK-wide music-making as it happens."
2011-02-17: CBS Corporation has reported final quarter 2010 revenues up 11% to USD 3.9 billion with adjusted OIBDA up 32% to USD 770 million; reported OIBDA up 93% to USD 755.5 million; Adjusted net earnings up 78% to USD 319.4 million (these figures exclude 2010 restructuring charges of USD 14.6 million and a pre-tax loss on early extinguishment of debt of USD 43.5 million whilst the 2009 figures excluded pre-tax non-cash impairment charges totalling USD 186.0 million, restructuring charges of USD 13.2 million and a net benefit from discrete tax items of USD 1.3 million: adjusted earnings per share were up from 26 cents to 46 cents per diluted share) and reported net earnings up from USD 58.8 million to USD 283.0 million (from nine to 41 cents per diluted share).
For the full year revenues were up 8% to USD 14.06 billion with adjusted OIBDA up 32% to USD 2.37 billion. Reported OIBDA was up 49% to USD 2.38 billion.
Adjusted net earnings more than doubling from USD 374 million in 2009 to USD 772.7 million (From 55 cents to USD 1.11 per diluted share). The adjusted figures for 2010 exclude a favourable settlement relating to previously disposed businesses of USD 90.2 million, restructuring charges of USD 80.6 million, a pre-tax loss on early extinguishment of debt of USD 81.4 million, a pre-tax gain on a disposition of USD 7.6 million and a net provision from discrete tax items of USD 7.7 million whilst those for 2009 exclude pre-tax non-cash impairment charges totalling USD 217.7 million, a favourable settlement relating to a previously disposed business of USD 28.0 million, restructuring charges of USD 22.8 million, a pre-tax loss on early extinguishment of debt of USD 29.8 million and a net benefit from discrete tax items of USD 4.4 million. Reported net earnings went from USD 226.5 million for 2009 to USD 724.2 million (From 33 cents to USD 1.04 per diluted share).
Within the figures, revenues for local broadcasting, which includes CBS's radio and TV stations, were up from USD 680.0 million for the final quarter of 2009 to USD 821.5 million and from USD 2.36 billion to USD 2.78 billion for the full year with adjusted OIBDA moving up from USD 225.1 million to USD 321.8 million (these figures exclude 2009 impairment charges of USD 178.3 million) for the final quarter and from USD 515 million to USD 865 million (excluding 2009 impairment charges of USD 210 million) for the full year.
Within the figures CBS noted radio advertising revenues in the final quarter up 14% on a year earlier with TV up 28% whilst for the full year radio advertising was up 9% with TV up 28%, boosted in part by the 2010 telecast of Super Bowl XLIV.
Commenting on the performance Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said the "exceptional fourth quarter results capped an extraordinary year for the Company" and added, "Our strategy of producing and distributing the best content is proving to be highly successful in a multi-platform world. Given our very talented management team, and our pipeline and library of industry-leading content that just keeps getting better, CBS is poised for continued success well into the future."
President and CEO Leslie Moonves added, "CBS's momentum accelerated throughout 2010, culminating in our best results of the year in the fourth Quarter. Every one of our operating groups achieved solid quarterly revenue growth, and double-digit OIBDA growth The ongoing resurgence of our local businesses also had a very positive effect on the quarter. We see these positive trends - throughout our businesses - continuing into the first quarter of 2011, with robust network scatter and very strong local ad pacing. At the same time, we have maintained our strict discipline on controlling costs and taken significant steps to further strengthen our balance sheet and enhance shareholder value."
2011-02-16: Arbitron has reported full year 2010 revenues up 2.7% on a year earlier at USD 395.4 million with fourth quarter revenues up 10.0% to USD 111.7 million but reduced its costs and expenses by 0.1% to USD 329.73 million for the full year and by 2.8% in the quarter to USD 92.69 million.
As a result operating income for the year was up 19.7% to USD 65.65 million and more than tripled in the final quarter - up from USD 6.21 million to USD 18.98 million.
Earnings before interest and income taxes was up 93.8% for the final quarter at USD 25.60 million and for the full year rose 16.4% to USD 72.74 million; EBITDA for the quarter was up 66.3% to USD 32.8 million and for the full year was up 16.8 percent to USD100.3 million; and net income for the quarter rose 23.8% to USD 15.60 million (from 47 cents to 57 cents diluted weighted average income per common share) with full year net income up 5.5% to USD 44.48 million (from USD 1.59 to USD 1.66 diluted weighted average income per common share).
Arbitron noted that it had completed its scheduled commercialization of the Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings service in 48 US markets and this was highlighted by President and CEO William T. Kerr in his comments.
Kerr noted the completion and also that Arbitron had "addressed issues and concerns raised by the PPM Coalition and other customers, established the framework to leverage our PPM technology and panel for growth, and continued to enhance and evolve senior management to better position the Company for long-term success."
"Looking forward, "he continued "we intend to focus on opportunities for growth by developing integrated measures of the media experience and its impact on consumers. As the foundation of these efforts, we will work to enhance the competitiveness of our radio ratings services by continuing to increase the quality and value of our core service and by creating new services for radio's expanding digital strategies. We will also work to enter new markets by further developing our capabilities in cross-platform services, as well as in media and marketing analytics.
"By pursuing opportunities to drive additional top-line growth by leveraging our existing PPM and diary platforms and by continuously seeking cost efficiencies, we believe we can continue to invest appropriately in the quality of our services while increasing margins. We expect to deploy our financial and other resources with the goal of building long-term value for our customers, our employees and our shareholders."
Arbitron re-iterated its 2011 guidance of an increase between 16% and 25% in earnings per diluted share to between USD 1.90 and USD 2.05 on revenues forecast to increase between 6% and 18%.
2011-02-16: Mexican news station MVS Radio, which last week fired host Carmen Aristegui after she made comments about allegations that President Felipe Calderon had an alcohol problem (See RNW Feb 8) has now rehired her.
A statement by the station and Aristegui said that she that following discussions between them and evaluating the views of listeners, she would return to her morning show next Monday. The station added that the action "responds in a public and transparent way to the requirements of a relevant portion of listeners and citizens."
After she was fired Aristegui had said the station had been put under pressure to force her to apologise but the president's office denied that it had played any part in her dismissal. The company had said it fired Aristegui because she breached its code of ethics by reporting rumours as news.
The station is now promoting her return on its website.
MVS Radio site:
MVS statement (Spanish):
2011-02-15: Sirius XM Radio has reported full year 2010 revenues up 14% on 2009 at USD 2.82 billion with and adjusted EBITDA up 35% to USD 626 million and a subscriber total at the end of the year of 20,190,964, up from 18,772,758 at the end of 2009. Final quarter revenues were up 9% on a year earlier to USD 736 million with adjusted EBITDA up 25% to USD 144 million.
Subscriber acquisition cost per gross subscriber addition was USD 58 in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 9% improvement from the USD 64 a year earlier and average self-pay monthly customer churn was 1.9%, down from 2.0% whilst for the full year the acquisition cost fell from USD 63 to USD 59 the churn was down to 1.9% from 2.0%
Overall the company reported net income of USD 43.01 million for the year compared to a net loss of USD 352 million in 2009, when the figures included a USD 267,7 million loss on extinguishment of debt and credit facilities compared to a corresponding 2010 loss of USD 120.1 million (Down from 15 cents a cent per common share), net although in the final quarter it reported a loss of USD 82.88 million compared to net income in the final quarter of 2009 of USD 11.78 million after a USD 3.88 million loss on extinguishment of debt and credit facilities, a figure that went up to USD 81.4 million in the final quarter of 2010 (From nil to a loss of two cents per common share).
Looking ahead, Sirius XM is predicting full-year revenues of around USD 3 billion this year with adjusted EBITDA of some USD 715 million..
Commenting on the performance, CEO Mel Karmazin said, "SiriusXM's results in 2010 were exceptional, surpassing our guidance and achieving record revenues, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. Our unparalleled content and the continuing improvements in the economy helped us attain a record-high subscriber base of 20.2 million."
After noting financial success he added, "Our renewed contracts with Howard Stern and the NFL, as well as investments in exciting new content, ensure that our subscribers will continue to enjoy the unparalleled entertainment that has made Sirius XM the largest subscription radio company in the world. With the outlook for improving U.S. auto sales, declining capital expenditures and the expanded functionality coming with the launch of Sirius XM 2.0, we look forward to another year of growth and strong financial performance With continuing improvements in auto sales, and self-pay churn and conversion rates for 2011 similar to our strong performance in 2010, we expect to grow our net new subscribers by another 1.4 million in 2011, continuing our track record of solid subscriber growth."
EVP and CFO David Frear added, "Our strong incremental margins, combined with revenue growth and tight expense control have produced solid operating leverage, improving adjusted EBITDA by over USD 750 million from 2008 to 2010 We ended the year with USD 587 million of cash after the early retirement of approximately USD 38 million of our 3.25% Convertible Notes due 2011. Since the beginning of 2011, we have purchased another USD 131 million of our debt in the market. With only USD 104 million of debt maturing before 2013, declining capital expenditures and growing free cash flow, our financial strength and flexibility has never been better."
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-02-15: Dick Barton, the Special Agent who featured in the BBC's first daily serial, broadcast between 1946 and 1951, is to make a return after the discovery of 338 recordings of the series in Australia.
In all 712 episodes of "Dick Barton, Special Agent" were aired by the BBC Light Programme and at its peak it had some 15 million listeners but the corporation only archived three episodes and the others were thought to have been lost.
The episodes found in Australia's National Film and Sound Archive are copies of programmes made for international distribution between 1948 and 1950.
Audio book company AudioGO, which bought BBC audiobooks in July last year, is to release two CDs in April: Currently it lists only two Dick Barton titles -- the first adventure about a stolen secret weapon that was re-recorded by the programme team in 1972 as part of the BBC's Golden Jubilee celebrations (again not kept by the BBC but which had been recorded privately) and a second CD "Dick Barton: The Mystery of the Missing Formula."
2011-02-14: US NPR (National Public Radio) has welcomed the inclusion in President Obama's Financial Year 2012 budget submission to Congress of USD 451 million in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for the two year advance appropriation for FY 2014, an increase of USD 6 million over FY 2013 funding.
The Obama proposal calls for spending cuts of around USD 23 billion compared to a call from some Republicans for cuts of USD 100 billion that was put forward by House Appropriations Committee The Committee had called for cuts of USD 81 billion in non-security related expenditure and USD 19 billion in security-related spending - it proposed a 2% increase for the Department of Defense although this figure it said was 2.8% below the President's Fiscal 2011 request - with cuts to include the elimination of "funding for programs such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and AmeriCorps."
Commenting on the President's budget submission, NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller said, "We are grateful to the Obama Administration for recognizing the importance of public radio to the life of communities across the nation. Every day, over 900 public radio stations present fact-based local, national and international news, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that can't be found anywhere else.
"At a time when our country is confronting many difficult challenges, public broadcasting is providing an essential service by informing and educating 170 million Americans every month. This mission is more relevant than ever."
Earlier Schiller had attacked the House Appropriation's Committee proposal saying the ending of federal funding for public broadcasting would "be a significant blow to nearly 900 public radio stations that serve the needs of more than 38 million Americans with free over-the-air programming they can't find anywhere else", noting the benefits to rural and economically distressed communities that would be lost by such a cut and adding The public values and increasingly relies on the trustworthy news and information that public radio provides. The growing number of public radio listeners speaks to the hunger for independent local media sources that help make sense of what's going on in their own community and around the world."
2011-02-14: Emmis, which in November last year received a de-listing notice from the NASDAQ stock exchange because its stock had been below USD 1.00 for more than 30 days has now regained compliance: It announced today that it had received formal notice from the exchange that the stock had been above the minimum level for 10 days, putting it back into compliance.
Emmis stock jumped on the news and ended today up 1.64% at USD 1.28, having reached USD 1.29 at one point.
Emmis stock last closed below a dollar on Jan 27 - at 97 cents - since when its closing price has ranged from 1.03 up to today's 1.28. The stock had been well below a dollar until Jan 11, when it closed at 86 cents, but it then leapt to close at USD 1.22 and 1.38 on Jan 12 and 13 since when its low was 97 cents. Last month Emmis reporting its fiscal first quarter results reported that it might have liquidity problems from September this year (See RNW Jan 11)
2011-02-14: President Obama has put forward to Congress a 2012 fiscal year budget for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of USD 354.2 million, including the costs of implementing the agency's National Broadband Plan, streamlining the agency and its data systems and processes, and supporting the Commission's public safety and cyber-security roles.
It also includes mandatory inflationary increases for contractual services and the figure compares with a 2011 fiscal year budget request of USD 353.5 million. In terms of staff numbers, the proposal retains the full-time equivalent number at 1,917 staff but the appropriations for them goes up from USD 335,800 to USD 354,200.
The agency in other actions has issued a USD 10,000 forfeiture to International Church of the Foursquare Gospel DBA Radio Station KFSG-FM, and registrant of antenna structure #1012525 in Los Angeles, California, for various antenna structure breaches of rules.
They include failure to exhibit the structure's red obstruction lighting from sunset to sunrise; failure to maintain the antenna structure painting and lighting in accordance with its Antenna Structure Registration; failure to monitor the antenna structure's lights using a properly maintained indicator and/or automatic alarm system designed to register or detect any failure of such lights; and failure to notify the nearest Flight Service Station of the Federal Aviation Administration of the outage of the flashing obstruction light.
The FCC had issued a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for the offences in January last year but received no response from Foursquare Gospel.
FCC 2012 budget request (1.5Mb 23-page PDF)
2011-02-14: Arbitron has announced a one-year extension of its agreement with President and CEO William T. Kerr, who joined it a year ago (See RNW Jan 12, 2010) with a two-year contract to January 10, 2012: Kerr took over from Michael Skarzynski who had resigned when it emerged that he had misled to a Congressional Committee by saying he had been present at a Portable People Meter training session he did not attend (Also RNW Jan 12, 2010).
Announcing the extension Arbitron board chairman Philip Guarascio commented in a release, "In the past year, Bill has led Arbitron through extraordinary events. Thanks to his guidance and to the hard work of the people at Arbitron, the Company is now better positioned to enhance the competitiveness of its radio ratings services, to enter new markets and deploy its resources for long-term growth."
AN 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission says that Kerr's basic salary is unchanged at USD 800,000 in addition to which he gets a USD 1.6 million 2011 long-term incentive award [RNW comment long-term? Surely a perversion of language here!) to be divided into 33% performance-based cash and 67% performance-based deferred stock units which will vest only upon satisfaction of applicable performance objectives established by the Compensation Committee and which will be payable only after Mr. Kerr's separation from service.
Arbitron notes that should Kerr's employment end as a result of death or disability the equity awards will be speeded up and that should the company terminate his employment for good cause or he choose to leave before the end of the term, all awards will be forfeited.
If the employment is terminated without cause of the resignation is because of "Position Diminishment", Kerr will receive a payment of the balance of the contract - plus a full year's salary if the termination is before the end of this year - and appropriate bonus: Additionally should the company be taken over and Kerr's employment then be terminated within a year he will be entitled to a payoff of 2.5 times basic salary and of his target annual bonus to be paid in equal instalments over a 24 month period.
Arbitron is due to release its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings on Wednesday.
SEC - Arbitron 8k Filing:
2011-02-13: Yet again things were fairly quiet as regards radio postings for the regulators last week with none for Australia and Ireland and only one from the UK: Things were a little busier in North America where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a few decisions including the following:
*Denial of application by Gerhard Loeffeler, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence to operate an 1,800 watts New Country and Pop Rock English-language commercial FM radio in 100 Mile House, British Columbia
The application was opposed by Vista Radio Ltd., licensee of CKBX-AM, 100 Mile House, which argued that the applicant had overstated the market's potential for advertising revenues and underestimated the potential negative economic impact that the proposed station would have on the operations of CKBX.
The Commission in denying the application noted that total revenues for CKBX have declined by approximately 10% since 2007 and that the station records modest profitability. It further noted that the revenues projected by the applicant are in excess of those generated by CKBX.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approval of application by Newcap Inc. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter at Northwest River to carry the programming of CFLN-FM, Goose Bay,
*Denial of applications by 1486781 Ontario Limited, licensee of English-language specialty station CFWC-FM, Brantford, to effect a change to its effective control through the transfer of all of its issued and outstanding shares from its sole shareholder, Anthony Schleifer, to Durham Radio Inc., and to delete conditions of licence related to music from subcategory 35 (non-classic religious), Canadian selections from category 3 (Special interest music), and the use of hit material.
The proposed purchase price is CAD 265,000 but no tangible benefits were proposed because the station has been unprofitable for the past several years. In addition the transaction was contingent on approval of the deletion of the licence conditions related to music so as to allow the station to replace its current Christian music format with a broad-based rock format.
The application was opposed by Evanov Communications Inc., which operates CKPC-AM and CKPC-FM, the two other two private commercial stations serving Brantford. Evanov noted that it had acquired the two stations in 2009 on the basis that they were the only mainstream FM stations serving the market and also submitted that approval of the applications would have a negative financial impact on CKPC and CKPC-FM.
In denying the application the Commission noted the objections and also that if it approved the application for a format change, CFWC-FM, which in 2004 had been allowed to change its frequency and to increase its effective radiated power from 50 to 250 watts, would a transition, since its original licensing, from an unprotected low-power FM station offering a Christian music format to a mainstream station operating on a protected frequency.
It said it was of the view that the licensing of a mainstream commercial radio station in a market such as Brantford should be the subject of a competitive process.
In the UK, Ofcom made only one radio posting, of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld one radio complaint, considered another resolved, and found that two community stations had breached their licence conditions (See RNW Feb 7)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted details of licensed US broadcasting stations at the end of last year, showing an increase overall in radio stations (See RNW Feb 11), and was involved in a number of enforcement actions regarding radio in which in total it proposed or imposed penalties totalling more than USD 130,000 (See RNW Feb 9, Feb 11 and Feb 12)
It has also put various issues regarding communications issues affecting Native Nations, including Tribal and Rural Radio Orders for its March 3 Open Meeting.
It notes that it is proposing Orders revising rules or establishing waiver standards that will make it easier for Native Nations to provide radio service to areas that are the functional equivalent of Tribal Lands and to Tribal Lands that are small or irregularly shaped. A further notice invites additional comment on adopting a Tribal Bidding Credit and alternative ways to foster radio service by Native Nations on their lands and another would adjust policies for determining whether proposed new radio stations or station moves constitute an equitable distribution of radio service under Section 307(b) of the Communications Act.
Previous Licence News:
2011-02-13: Veteran radio host Bobby C. Hanson, who as Ludlow Porch wrote a number of humourous books and spent more than three decades on the airwaves in Georgia - ten years with WRNG-AM (RingRadio), a two years stint with WCNN, and around a decade with WSB-AM and 16 years in syndication with FunSeekers Radio Network - has died aged 76 following a series of strokes.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Hanson, a former marine, was an independent insurance agent when his stepbrother, the late Atlanta Journal Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard, recommended Hanson to Sports Illustrated editors who were looking for trivia geniuses for a feature article and the magazine went on to profile Hanson as a walking encyclopaedia of trivia.
Two Atlanta radio stations, WSB and WRNG, became interested in interviewing him and WRNG then asked him to fill in for a week, a tryout that turned into a decade in his three-decade career.
He moved when Ring Radio switched to a news format and at his peak was syndicated to more than 60 stations through Funseekers.
He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2007 and on its website it quotes him of saying of his move into radio that it "paid nothing in those days," he recalls, "so as my popularity went up, so did my salary."
It adds, "Porch calls his listeners "wackos," just because it's a fun crazy kind of program. And because they have wacko names, such as Sheriff Crabapple, Choo-Choo, Crazy Mike, Tennessee Ted and Ron DeVous, just to name a few" -Porch had hosted an annual Wacko Party on Labour Day in the past few years.
The Journal Constitution quotes John Long, president of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, as saying Porch's programs made him feel he had joined a group of neighbours gathered around a restaurant table enjoying a cup of coffee and good conversation. "When it came to selecting the first inductees to our Hall of Fame in 2007," he said, "Ludlow was among the top people on our list."
Porch himself told the paper in 2005, "We don't do any of the angry white-guy stuff like you hear on other stations. No abortion, no politics, no gun control. We're just trying to prove that the good old art of two-way conversation is still alive and well on the radio."
Denny Ainsworth of Lawrenceville, who was Porch's producer, engineer and co-host for more than 30 years, and carries on with the show, said Porch had a fairly constant formula for the three-hour show- "He'd do a monologue on the topic of the day, then field calls from listeners, and from time to time interview celebrities passing through Atlanta Basically, he emphasized family themes and nostalgia, remembering the good old days full of sunshine and 70-degree weather."
Neil Boortz, who became a fixture at WSB after Porch left, said of the host, who signed off his shows with the line, "Whatever you do today, find somebody to be nice to.": "The remarkable thing about Ludlow is that during his long career in radio he never made one single enemy, never had a sponsor dump him, never had listeners demand that he be fired."
Boortz also recalled gags that pulled including denying the existence of Montana, having an a bogus state official announce that all marriage licenses issued during the previous 18 to 20 years were invalid and the children of those unions were illegitimate, and reporting that the NCAA had ruled the names of school mascots could not be duplicated, and therefore the University of Georgia would have to stop labelling its teams Bulldogs.
A memorial service is to he held on Saturday in Dawsonville where he had lived.
Atlanta Journal Constitution report:
Georgia Radio Hall of Fame - Ludlow Porch page:
2011-02-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to a New Jersey man for operating an unlicensed transmitter.
After receiving complaints the agency in April 2007 had traced the source of a signal to an address in Passaic, New Jersey, where Bernabe Moreno opened the door and subsequently turned off the transmitter at the agents' request.
Agents then issued a verbal warning and the agency has now followed up with a proposed penalty of the base amount of USD 10,000.
2011-02-11: LBI Media has announced in preliminary results for 2010 and the final quarter of that year that it expects to report a 19% year-on-year increase in revenues to USD 30.7 million for the quarter with full year revenues up 13% to USD 115.7 million.
Corresponding adjusted EBITDA rises were expected to between 37% and 45% for the quarter - between USD 2.3 to 2.8 million - whilst for the full year they are expected to be between 2% and 3% to between USD 35.2 and USD 35.7 million.
The company says it will release final results for the periods on March 7 and did not give any breakdown of divisional figures but President and CEO Lenard Liberman commented that the company was "experiencing revenue growth in both our core radio and television segment."
He added of the background to the figures, "As the U.S. economy strengthens, and the advertising industry continues to expand, LBI continues to benefit from the strong position of its radio and television assets. Our radio and television stations continue to rank among the top Hispanic stations and our programming continues to capture the attention of audiences and advertisers.
Additionally, it has been a little over a year since our EstrellaTV network has launched, and we believe the performance and growth of the network has been a resounding success that has contributed significantly to the value of our company."
2011-02-11: The number of licensed broadcast stations in the US at the end of last year was up 127 on that a year earlier at 30,630 according to figures just released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that showed the radio total up 222 to 14,619 although the number of commercial AMs fell by seven to 4,782.
The number of commercial FMs was up 47 to 6,526 and that of FM Educational stations rose by 160 to 3,311 and the number of Low Power FMS was up one to 859: Compared to the end of September the total was down 155 from 30,785 and the radio total was up 72 from 14,547.
Within the radio total the number of AMs was down two from 4,784; the number of commercial FMs was up 14 from 6,512 and of Educational FMs was up 60 from 3,251 whilst the number of Low Power FMs was down five from 864.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2011-02-11: The BBC has added two new national DAB digital radio transmitters in Malvern in Worcestershire and Haslingden in Lancashire as part of its commitment to reach around 92 per cent of the UK population on DAB by the end of this year.
The new transmitter at St Ann's Well in Malvern provides DAB coverage to an additional 17,000 people and improves coverage for some 750,000 in Great Malvern, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.
The Haslingden transmitter provides coverage for an additional 31,000 people between Bury and Blackburn and extends and improves coverage for just under 450,000 people in Bury, Rawtenstall and Bacup.
2011-02-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in another run of enforcement actions has imposed or proposed penalties totalling USD 54,000 and running up to USD 13,000 to US radio stations.
In order of descending amount they included the following:
*USD 13,000 forfeiture to James Rouse, licensee of WTOW-AM, Washington, North Carolina, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The agency had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for this amount in April 2008, noting that the application was due on August 1, 2003, and in March 2004 staff wrote to the licensee saying the licence had expired and its call signs had been deleted from the agency's database.
In April 2004 the licensee filed a petition for reconsideration of the cancellation together with a licence renewal application and request for special temporary authority (STA) to continue operations pending consideration of the renewal application. STA was granted until October, 2004, and after this expired the licensee continued to operate without authority until the filing of a request for an STA extension in March 2008: The licensee explained that his April 2004 renewal application had been dismissed in January 2005 because of the application's "Red Light" status but did not say why he had continued unauthorized operation of the station but did say he had taken steps to avoid a recurrence.
In response to the NAL that was issued the licensee argued for cancellation on the basis that the forfeiture was inconsistent with other forfeitures issued by the agency and because of a history of compliance with the rules.
The FCC noted that the other forfeitures were for short periods of unauthorized operation and in relation to the history of compliance argument noted that it had previously issued a USD 13,000 NAL to The Minority Voice Inc., which Rouse owns, for nearly identical violations in regard to the operation of WOOW-AM, Greenville, North Carolina. It rejected both arguments and confirmed the penalty. (RNW comment: In this case it would seem almost just if Rouse were to be declared too stupid and dishonest to hold any licence and all his licences annulled: At the very least in such circumstances the agency should have the ability to increase the penalty up to say ten-fold as this would at least help to prevent licensees coming up with such arguments in future.)
*USD 13,000 forfeiture to James Rouse, licensee of WOOW-AM, Greenville, North Carolina, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. As with WTOW-AM a renewal application should have been filed by August 1, 2003 and in March 2004 the licensee was informed that the licence had expired and the call letters deleted from the agency's database. As with WTOW the licensee then filed a petition for reconsideration of the cancellation together with a licence renewal application and request for special temporary authority (STA) to continue operations pending consideration of the renewal application.
Again this STA expired but the licensee continued to operate the station without seeking further authority to operate until it filed a second STA request at the end of November 2005. This was granted but this expired on June 7, 2006, and the licensee continued to operate the station until, following a visit from the Enforcement Bureau, it ceased operations on September 13, 2007. It then filed a third STA request that was granted running until March 2008.
The same "Red Light" explanation was given regarding unauthorized operation of the Station from June 2006 to September 2007 and the same arguments made in response to the NAL.
As with WTOW they were rejected and the full penalty confirmed.
*USD 12,000 NAL to Media East, LLC, licensee of WLGT-AM, Washington, North Carolina, for failing to maintain and make available a public inspection file.
The FCC conducted an inspection of the studio's main studio in Bern, North Carolina, in March last year but the station was unable to produce any public inspection file documents dated after 2006 and the station manager stated that the current public inspection file documents were kept at Media East's headquarters in Statesville, North Carolina.
*USD 8,000 forfeiture to Drexel University , licensee of WKDU-FM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for failing to properly maintain a public file. The agency has issued a USD 10,000 NAL in December 2007 following a declaration by the licensee when it filed a renewal application that there were eight quarters of the issues/programs lists missing from the file during the period from August 1998 - August 2006.
The licensee requested a reduction on the basis that it was unable to pay, that precedent does not support the amount assessed; that the Commission should confer the status of small business on the Station and adjust the forfeiture amount downward accordingly; that the forfeiture is unreasonable because no member of the public has made a request to see the Station's public inspection file; and a history of compliance.
The FCC noted in relation to the financial argument that no reliable documentation had been supplied to justify it and rejected all the other arguments apart from that of a history of compliance. IN relation to this it reduced the penalty to USD 8,000.
*USD 8,000 forfeiture to Faith Baptist Church, Inc., licensee of KCAS-FM, McCook, Texas, for failing to properly maintain a public file. In May 2007 it had issued a USD 10,000 NAL following a declaration on a renewal application that it had not timely filed issues/programs lists "for 11 of the 17 quarters since April 11, 2001, when the station went on the air" and had also failed to file an ownership report due April 1, 2003, and therefore, it was not placed in the public inspection file.
The licensee requested a reduction on the basis of inability to pay and a history of compliance and submitted financial statements for the years 2006 and 2007 and the first five months of 2007.
The statements showed gross revenues of approximately USD 262,000, USD 301,000 and USD 250,000 respectively and the FCC held that this did not justify a reduction but did reduce the penalty by USD 2,000 on the basis of a history of compliance.
2011-02-10: BBC Radio Five Live has announced that Rachel Burden, currently the station's Weekend Breakfast co-presenter, will take over on May 3 as co-presenter of the weekday slot from Shelagh Fogarty, who is moving to a new lunchtime slot in May (See RNW Dec 16, 2010).
Burden, who began her radio career as a reporter on BBC Radio Suffolk then presented present BBC Radio Bristol's Breakfast show before joining 5 Live's Weekend Breakfast in November 2003.
She is married with three children and commented of her new role, "It's a brilliant opportunity to join what is already a hugely successful team. Shelagh is the mother of all breakfast broadcasters and I can only hope to match the impression she's made on the early mornings of millions of people."
Referring to the BBC's relocation of the station to a base at Salford she added, "My family is already gearing up for the move to Salford and I am really excited about working alongside Nicky [Weekday co-host Nicky Campbell] and the rest of 5 Live in our new home in Salford Quays."
Campbell commented, "Rachel's a great broadcaster, a great journalist and a great friend. It's going to be great " and Radio 5 Live's Controller, Adrian Van Klaveren, said: "Rachel is already hugely popular with our listeners and is a fantastic journalist who will be a wonderful addition to the 5 Live Breakfast team."
He added, "She's someone who loves radio and instinctively understands 5 Live's audience. She and Nicky already know each other well and I'm sure they'll be a winning combination every morning."
The station has also announced that it and digital sister station 5 Live Sports Extra will be the home of radio coverage of the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The award was made by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) whose chairman Lord (Sebastian) Coe commented, The BBC has been a great champion of the Paralympic movement, and many of our iconic sporting memories are from the BBC's radio coverage of the world's biggest sporting events. Radio 5 Live is a brilliant sports broadcaster and a perfect radio partner."
Previous van Klaveren:
2011-02-10: The state of New Jersey, which at the end of last year in state Senate bill 2406 - New Jersey Public Broadcasting System Transfer Act - approved a programme of bids to operate or purchase nine non-commercial FMs that it owns, has now formally requested bids for the stations.
In a Request for Proposals the state asks for offers to purchase or operate the New Jersey Network (NJN) Radio Broadcast Network and for proposals to operate the New Jersey Network (NJN) Television Broadcast Network. The latter - four full-power stations and three translators are valued in total at around USD 47 million but the state has not asked for bids to buy these.
An attached valuation from BIA Kelsey - using a market rather than income approach because of the non-commercial nature of the nine radio stations -suggests fair market valuations for them as of October last year totalling USD 4.292 million and ranging from USD 142,000 for 80 watts WJNS-FM, Berlin, to USD 1.275 million for 110-watts WJNT-FM, Trenton.
The other prices, in ascending order are USD 144,000 for 200 watts WNJM-FM, Manahawkin; USD 219,000 for 6 kW WNJZ-FM, Cape May; USD 403,00 for 450 watts WNJP-FM, Sussex; USD 469,000 for 2.5kw WNJB-FM, Bridgeton; USD 496,000 for 4 kW WNJO-FM, Toms River; USD 563,00 for 6 kW WNJN-FM, Atlantic City; and USD 581,00 for 520 watts WNJY-FM, Netcong.
BIA/Kelsey says it arrived at the price through analysis of 21 relevant transactions from January to September last year, relating the price to the population reached by the stations' 60dBu signal.
The sales involved were in California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Missouri; New York; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Texas; and Washington State and from these sales at prices from USD 60,000 (for KVNC-FM, in Mintern, Colorado) to USD 3.42 million (KTRU-FM in Houston) it calculated a price per head of population on an average (USD 3.38) and median (USD 2.98) basis, using the median to estimate the value for the New Jersey stations.
New Jersey State Treasury/Administration - request for proposals:
2011-02-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued or proposed radio-related penalties ranging up to USD 20,000 in a run of enforcement actions.
In descending order they include:
*USD 20,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Vincent E. Aversa, Jr. of Indialantic, Florida, for operating radio transmission equipment without a license on the International Distress, Safety, and Calling Channel
The FCC had been contacted by the United States Coastguard Service last year regarding interference on Marine Safety Channel 16 concerning which it provided multiple audio recordings of what appeared to be Mr. Aversa operating on Marine Safety Channel 16 covering a three-month period lasting between December of 2009 and February of 2010. On all but one of the recordings, the USCG warned this individual on the air that his transmissions on Marine Safety Channel 16 were unauthorized, and, on several of the recordings, the USCG directed him to cease transmitting.
The FCC subsequently traced the transmissions to an automobile being driven by Aversa in Melbourne, Florida: He was using a hand held microphone, which was connected to a marine radio: Aversa admitted to the agents that he had been using the radio to talk on Marine Channels and voluntarily relinquished the radio.
On the basis of evidence of multiple warnings, the FCC doubled the proposed penalty from the base level of USD 10,000 to USD 20,000.
*USD 14,000 NAL to Crocodile Broadcasting Corp., Inc., licensee of KGLA-AM, Gretna, Louisiana, for operating at times other than those specified in its license; and failing to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The agency received a complaint that the daytime-only station had caused interference in October last year and on November 2 inspected the station's main studio during normal business hours. During the visit the station's general manager admitted that it had operated at reduced power at night for a number of years, adding that he thought it was authorized to do so. He as also unable to produce a complete public inspection file and agents noted that the file was missing a copy of the current station authorization, the most recent license application, and the most recent eight issues/programs lists.
The agency accordingly proposed base-level penalties of USD 4,000 for exceeding power limits and USD 10,000 for the public file breach and also directed the licensee to submit a statement that it is now powering down after sunset as required under its licence and also to make a complete copy of the public file available.
*USD 14,000 forfeiture to Robert J. and Katherine M. Bohn, the licensees of KVLI-FM and KQAB-AM, Lake Isabella California, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The bureau issued NAL's of USD 7,000 to each station in September 2007 to which the licensees responded by arguing for cancellation because the amount was excessive compared to other penalties issued by the agency - it said they should be reduced to USD 500 per station based on recent precedents; because the failure did not adversely affect the public interest; and because the failure was partially due to difficulties with the agency's electronic computer database system. The agency rejected all the arguments and confirmed the full penalty.
*USD 7,000 forfeiture to Robert J. and Katherine M. Bohn, the licensees of KCNQ- FM, Kernville, California, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had issued an NAL for this amount in September 2007 to which the licensees responded by again arguing for cancellation because the amount was excessive compared to other penalties issued by the agency; because the failure did not adversely affect the public interest; and because the failure was partially due to difficulties with the agency's electronic computer database system. The agency rejected all the arguments and confirmed the full penalty.
*USD 7,000 forfeiture to MM&K of Alva, Inc., licensee of KALV-AM, Alva, Oklahoma, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. It had issued an NAL for this amount in November 2007 in response to which MM&K argued for reduction or cancellation on the basis of financial hardship, supplying to justify this federal tax returns for 2003, 2004, and 2005, showing gross revenues ranging downward from USD 394,000 in 2003 to USD 175,000 in 2005: On this basis the FCC declined to reduce the penalty.
*USD 5,600 forfeiture to Applied Life Ministries, Inc., former licensee of KALR-FM, Hot Springs, Arkansas, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had issued a USD 7,000 NAL for the breaches in April 2007 to which Applied Life responded by arguing for cancellation because the late filing was inadvertent, due to management changes and destruction of the studio and also because of a history of compliance.
The FCC rejected the first argument but reduced the penalty by USD 1,400 because of a history of compliance.
In yet another case the agency cancelled a proposed forfeiture of USD 10,000 issued to Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation, licensee of non-commercial educational station WDVX-FM, Clinton, Tennessee, and substituted an admonishment.
It had issued the NAL in March 2007 for failure to retain a public inspection file and the licensee responded asking for cancellation or reduction on the basis of inability to pay: the FCC did not address this issue but noted that its ruled rules meant it had left it too late to impose a financial penalty. Accordingly it substituted the admonishment.
2011-02-09: Singer Rihanna has scored a double-own-goal (soccer term if she doesn't understand it meaning to score against your own side) with online criticism on her twitter account of BBC Radio 1 for airing an edited version of her hit "S&M", calling it "Come on" and removing references to "sex", "chains" and "whips"- it includes the lines:
"Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me."
The singer responded to queries about whether she was happy about the renaming and editing of the song in the version aired by Radio 1 in the UK top 40 singles countdown on Sunday by saying, "Are you fucking kidding me??? I'm on it!" but apparently had not checked the source.
BBC Radio had played a cleaned-up and re-named version issued by her record label Island Def Jam, in response to requests for a version that could be aired in daytime and the BBC has opted to play this radio edit when younger audiences are listening but playing the original track in specialist shows where it gives it an "appropriate" introduction. The video of the song has been banned in various countries but we saw no comments on this.
RNW Note: Apart from what the lyrics and their responses to the edit may say about the singer and her fans we wonder whether she has complained to Def Jam as we can find no mention of this.
Our basic reaction is"Oh for the days when there were no pop videos, which seem to favour female figures over vocal talent and artists who could sing but did not look in any way outstanding were featured much more.
Apart from that we find this incident quite amusing. Rihanna, of course, gains publicity; her fans find facts irrelevant; and various publications get to poke fun at her. As regards the BBC a quick check on the Radio 1 twitter pages showed the song referred to as "Come on" but not in its original name whilst a search of BBC News online found no report at all - perhaps the best way to treat most pop personalities.
Gigwise report (Also carries various photographs of the singer displaying herself):
2011-02-09: Arbitron has announced that Richard J. Surratt has been appointed Executive Vice President, Finance.
Surratt is a former President and Chief Executive Officer at Voyager Learning Company whose sale to Cambium Learning Group, Inc. at the end of 2009 he led, and Arbitron says it intends to appoint him as Chief Financial Office to succeed Sean Cramer: Cramer's promotion to the post of Executive Vice President of U.S. Media Services was announced in June last year (See RNW Jun 24, 2010) but he has continued as CFO while a search for his replacement was conducted.
Surratt will reported directly to Arbitron's President and CEO William T. Kerr, who commented of the appointment, "Richard is a respected finance executive who we believe can help our company grow as a leading provider of integrated measures of the media experience and its impact on consumer behaviour. His solid track record managing complex businesses, executing mergers and acquisitions, negotiating financing agreements and overseeing international finance operations make him an ideal addition to our executive team as we work to fulfil our goals of consistent growth, profitability, and a more diversified revenue base."
2011-02-08: In more US radio results Beasley Broadcast has reported fourth quarter 2010 revenues up 3.1% on a year earlier and Entercom revenues up 6.1% for the same periods.
At Beasley the fourth quarter net revenue was USD 27.0 million whilst for the full year it was USD 98.0 million, up 1.3% on a year ago. Station operating income in the final quarter was up 34.2% to USD 10.4 million and for the full year was up 24.9% to USD 33.4 million and net income more than doubled - up from USD 1.4 million to USD 3.3 million for the quarter and from USD 3.4 million to USD 8.0 million for the fully ear (From six to 15 cents and 15 cents to 35 cents respectively per diluted share.)
Beasley commented that the improvement in operating income for the final quarter reflected both higher revenue and a 7.7% reduction in total operating expenses and also noted that the revenue increase came primarily from increases in its Philadelphia, Wilmington, Las Vegas, Fayetteville and Augusta market clusters partially offset by a decline in its Miami-Fort Lauderdale market cluster related to the non-renewal of certain sports programming rights. It also noted that on a same-station basis revenues in the quarter were up 9.1% (to USD 27 million).
Chairman and CEO George Beasley commented, "Our fourth quarter same-station revenue growth reflects the improving industry environment and was driven by increases at many of our market clusters including Philadelphia, Miami, Las Vegas, Wilmington, Augusta and Fayetteville. With the Company's streamlined operating and cost structure, we are generating significant flow through from revenue growth We believe our success in driving profitable same-station revenue growth is attributable to our focus on our core product and our ability to build digital extensions for our core content and the creation of new online, text and mobile content and applications that heighten listener engagement and provide marketing solutions to advertisers. These factors allowed us to enter 2011 with healthy ratings and clusters across our markets. We also continue to strengthen our balance sheet by repaying USD 3.3 million against the credit facility during the fourth quarter which reduced total bank debt to USD 142.0 million from USD 151.8 million at the end of 2009 and again lowered our leverage ratio."
"Looking forward, " he added "we remain focused on our station clusters' sales matching or exceeding their market's revenue performance, continuing to grow revenue related to our interactive and digital initiatives and further addressing the balance sheet through continued reductions in borrowings."
Entercom revenues for the quarter were USD 102.1 million with station expenses up 2% to USD 62.9 million producing a 14% increase in station operating income to USD 39.2 million and a 16% increase in EBITDA to USD 34.3 million but net income was down from USD 23.7 million to USD 17.29 million, reflecting a USD 6.24 million tax benefit in 2009 compared to USD 5.0 million in tax in 2010 (From 67 cents to 48 cents per basic and 64 cents to 46 cents per diluted share).
For the full year net revenues rose 5% to USD 391.4 million with station expenses again up 2% producing a 13% increase in EBITDA to USD 116.1 million whilst net income rose from USD 5.4 million to USD 46.4 million, reflecting an impairment charge of USD 67.68 million in 2009 partially offset by a 2009 gain on early extinguishment of debt of USD 20.8 million (Per share income rose from 15 cents to USD 1.30 and from 15 cents to USD 1.23 per basic and diluted share respectively).
Entercom also noted same station revenue increases of 7% for the final quarter along with same station expenses up 2% and same station operating income up 7% whilst for the full year the corresponding increases were 5%, 2% and 12%.
President and CEO David J. Field said of the results, "I am pleased to report that Entercom finished 2010 on a very positive note, delivering fourth quarter growth of 7% in same station net revenues, 16% in Adjusted EBITDA and 22% in Free Cash Flow. We are very well positioned for 2011 with our excellent and improving ratings, our strong and rapidly de-levering balance sheet, and our enhanced and expanding line-up of new products and capabilities to bolster sales. Furthermore, we are optimistic that after a year of growth led by national and digital revenues, we should see a meaningful recovery in local ad spending as the economic recovery accelerates."
Previous George Beasley:
2011-02-08: The BBC Trust in its review of BBC Radios 3,4 and 7 says they are all "are high quality and offer truly distinctive public service broadcasting" but then goes on to call for them to "gradually extend their core appeal without jeopardizing their distinctiveness.".
Radio 4 it says should "aim to broaden its appeal amongst different demographic groups, such as those outside of London and the South East" whilst as far as Radio 7 is concerned it has approved the BBC Executive's proposal to "reposition Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra in order to raise awareness, bring more listeners to the station and promote DAB radio."
This would include the "refocusing of children's programming on Radio 7 to appeal more to families" as part of a new strategy for children's audio and all three stations it says should permanent collections of on-demand content.
Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons said of the review that the stations are doing much to meet the "challenges of distinctiveness and quality" and Trustee David Liddiment, who led the review, added, "It is evident that Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 7 are much loved by the loyal and passionate listeners that tune in each week. The challenge now is to bring in new audiences, while retaining the qualities that make them special."
He commented of the review, issued after the Trust had carried out a public consultation last summer in which it received nearly 17.000 responses from individuals and also from the radio industry and various organizations, that in view of the positive responses "It might seem churlish in that context to suggest that Radio 4, or indeed Radio 3 or Radio 7, could do even better" but went on "Our research found that while sizeable, Radio 4's audience is predominately white, older and better off than the average, with a marked geographic skew to London and the south east of England. The Trust is clear that Radio 4's core audience should not be alienated or compromised. But it is our role to ensure that the BBC is serving all licence fee payers, and one particular challenge for these radio services is now to remain distinctive and high quality while keeping pace with changing audience needs. That's why we are backing the BBC's proposals to extend the station's appeal to audiences that are currently being under-served."
Of Radio 3 the Trust notes an audience of around 2 million a week for a "high quality mix of music and cultural programming" and although welcoming changes to attract potential listeners says it "recognises that the station's exploration of a wide range of challenging music means that there will ultimately be a natural limit on its overall audience."
The Trust's comments were welcomed by BBC management with statements being issued by Tim Davie, Director of Audio & Music and the controllers of the stations.
Davie commented, "I am pleased that the Trust has approved the rebranding of Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra and hope we can build on the success of Radio 7 and bring its content to an even wider audience.
"We also welcome the Trust's recommendation that we continue to build the appeal of Radio 3 and Radio 4 amongst potential new listeners in a way that preserves the quality and distinctiveness of the services and considers their existing, loyal audiences."
At BBC Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright added, "We welcome the Trust's recognition of Radio 3's distinctive music and arts output and support for the current direction of the station The Trust confirms that Radio 3 represents excellent value for money. We welcome the Trust's recommendation that Radio 3 continues to build appeal for potential new listeners whilst, vitally, maintaining the station's unique music, arts and broadcast features of the highest quality."
Gwyneth Williams, Controller, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7, "warmly welcomed " the review and added, "The overwhelmingly positive feedback they received from listeners is a tribute to all the programme makers across the UK on whose creativity and high standards the station depends. I am also encouraged by the Trust's endorsement of our continuing work to extend the appeal and accessibility of the station while remaining true to our values and our very loyal audience."
BBC Trust full review (993 KB 113-page PDF)
BBC Trust - Liddiment comments:
2011-02-08: Mexican radio and TV personality Carmen Aristegui has been fired by news station MVS Radio for what it termed "violating the company's code of ethics" on a show last Friday in which she called on President Felipe Calderón to respond to allegations that he had a drinking problem.
Aristegui was reporting following a protest in the previous day's session of the country's Congress in which three Labor Party legislators who interrupted Thursday's congressional session by holding up a giant banner posing the question: "Would you let a drunkard drive your car? Why would you let one manage the country then?"
They refused to remove the sign and the session was cancelled and Aristegui in her broadcast the following day began by asking "Does the president have a problem with alcoholism?" and went on to suggest the president should respond to the rumours circulating on the issue.
Mexico Today in its report says that according to the left-leaning magazine Proceso Aristegui refused to offer a public apology written by the radio station that "responded more to pressures from Los Pinos (the official residence and office of the President of Mexico that is located in the Bosque de Chapultepec -Chapultepec Forest) than to a violation of a code of ethics but the BBC reported that the ruling National Action Party (PAN) denied that it or the President had put pressure on the station over the matter.
MVS (Multivision) in a statement on its website said that in its code of ethics it committed itself "to rejecting the presentation and spread of rumours as news" and added that "Aristegui "presented a presumption as valid, transgressing upon our code of ethics and upon refusing to offer, as the company had asked, a public apology, we decided to terminate our contractual relationship,"
Aristegui has previously been in similar circumstances in December 2007 when he then employer W-Radio said they wanted to renew her contract but renegotiate the terms because of concerns about her criticism of public officials. No agreement was reached and she left the station in January 2008. She joined MVS early in 2009 after reaching agreement to launch a new daily 06:00 to 10:00 "morning news show on the broadcasters "Noticias" frequency.
Aristegui, who was born in Mexico City in January 1964, graduated from Mexico's Universidad Nacional Autónoma with a degree in communication sciences, is also the anchor of the news program Aristegui at CNN en Español. Amongst awards she has received are the Mexican Press Club's "National Award" in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
Mexico Today report:
2011-02-08: This year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, broadcast live on the station for the first time (available as a stream for a week) saw Bellowhead, who opened the evening with their track "New York Girls, gain two awards - Best Group and Best Live Act.
Also taking two awards were Chris Wood - Folk Singer Of The Year and Best Original Song for Hollow Point - and Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson for Best Traditional Track (Poor Wayfaring Stranger) and Album Of The Year (Gift).
The evening also saw the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Donovan who, after receiving the award from Mark Radcliffe, performed his debut single and 1965 hit "Catch The Wind."
Donovan went on to comment, "I was fired with the mission to bring Celtic music back to popular culture and I'm so glad the new generations have taken up the torch."
The Good Tradition Award was presented by Kate Rusby to Port Issac's Fisherman's Friends, in recognition of their contribution to the continuation of traditional folk music, and Musician of the Year went for the second time to Andy Cutting: He first won the award in 2008.
The other awards were:
The Roots Award - Levellers:
Best Duo - Nancy Kerr & James Fagan:
Horizon Award - Ewan McLennan:
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award - Moore/Ross/Rutter
2011-02-07: Clear Channel has reported full year revenues in 2010 up 6% on a year earlier to USD 5.87 billion with radio revenues up 6% to USD 2.898 billion; Americas Outdoor up 4% to USD 1.290 billion; International Outdoor up 3% to USD 1.508 billion; and "other" revenues up 30% to USD 261.5 million. Eliminations went from a negative USD 83 million to a negative USD 91.9 million.
For the final quarter the performance was stronger except for International Outdoor with overall revenues up 8% to USD 1.635 billion within which radio was up 10% to USD 783.1 million; Americas Outdoor was up 7% to USD 362 million; International Outdoor was up 2% to USD 430.7 million; and "Others" went up 45% to USD 84.8 million. Eliminations went from a negative 21.63 million to a negative 26.1 million.
Overall the company moved from a loss before income taxes of USD 4.54 billion in 2009 to a loss of USD 623 million with the main factor being a reduction of impairment charges of USD 4.12 billion in 2009 to a mere USD 15 million in 2010.
In the final quarter the loss before income taxes went from USD 268 million in 2009 including USD 78 million in impairment charges to a loss of USD 86 million including USD 15 million in impairment charges.
Clear Channel put the revenue increases down to "an improved advertising environment driven by the strengthening economy" and noted that radio revenues were up USD 162 million "from local and national revenues on improved rates " within which national advertising was up by USD 80 million and local advertising was up by USD 51 million. It added, "Average rates per minute increased during 2010 compared to the same period of 2009 as a result of improved economic conditions and a stronger advertising environment. Increases occurred across various advertising categories including automotive, food and beverage, healthcare and political."
President and CEO Mark Mays, who announced last year that he was to step down (See RNW Jun 25, 2010), told the company's conference call that he would leave the post by the end of March this year at the latest but possibly earlier if a successor is in place. Mays will remain chairman and he said of the role of President/CEO that if there was no successor in place by the end of March there would be some kind of interim-type solution" based on existing divisional executives.
Of the company's performance, Mays commented, "We executed our strategic plan and returned our operations to growth in 2010. We drove considerable improvement in the operating fundamentals of both our radio and outdoor platforms as we benefitted from a recovering global economy, increasing revenues and improving margins. This all led to healthy growth in our cash flows for 2010."
Of the outlook for the company, Mays added, "Our global asset base remains well positioned to benefit from the ongoing advertising market recovery. In the year ahead, we remain focused on driving innovation across our operations, increasing market share and maintaining a disciplined approach to cost-management. Given the trends we are seeing across our business and the operating leverage in our model, we are optimistic that we can generate improved results in the year ahead."
In other announcements, Clear Channel Radio says it has appointed Wendy Goldberg to the newly created position of Executive Vice President for Marketing and Communications, effective immediately. She will report to Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan.
Hogan said that Goldberg would "oversee and execute strategic programs to advance the nationally-recognized portfolio of Clear Channel Radio brands, and be responsible for Clear Channel Radio's internal and external communications; marketing of CCR brands and products; business-to-business marketing support; and developing and coordinating strategy for local marketing efforts."
She joins from Hearst Corporation, where she was vice president, business development and strategy for Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2011-02-07: Despite the country's weather woes, which may of course hit the next set of figures, Australian commercial radio made a good start to this year with revenues in all five metropolitan markets in January up on a year ago.
Overall, according to the 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, revenues were up by 2.61% to a total of AUD 44.75 million (USD 45.33 million).
The highest percentage increase came in Brisbane - up 4.29% to AUD 7.41 million (USD 7.51 million); followed by Perth - up 3.72% to AUD 6.52 million (USD 6.61 million); Sydney - up 2.6% to AUD 13.71 million (USD 13.89 million); Adelaide up 2.17% to AUD 4.16 million (USD 4.22 million); and Melbourne -up 1.29% to AUD 12.94 million (USD 13.11 million).
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, commented, "This is good news for the industry but is particularly good news for Brisbane which remarkably has achieved the highest growth in January at a time when the city experienced severe flooding."
She added, "The radio industry must continue to keep its message top of mind with advertisers and earlier this month launched five new ads as part of its multi million dollar brand campaign, highlighting the power of radio to connect with listeners. The ads feature a key finding of a study by market research company, Neuro Insight, that Australians are 32 percent more engaged with the content on their favourite radio station when compared to other media content.(See RNW Feb 1)"
Last year Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenues were up 7.8% on a year earlier to AUD 675.08 million (USD 666.73 million) but they fell in December (See RNW Jan 11).
Previous Australian Radio revenue figures:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-02-07: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin rules upholds one radio standards complaint against a local FM in Northern Ireland and held another resolved through action taken by the broadcasters; and also ruled that two community stations had breached their licence conditions.
It also upheld five TV standards complaints, considered a further TV standards complaint resolved, and gave details of two TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld.
The radio standards complaint upheld involved Coleraine station Q97.2, which had broadcast a sponsorship credit for a garage that claimed that the company was 20% cheaper than a national chain rival, leading a listener to complain that the claim was inaccurate.
Ofcom accordingly asked station owner Northern Media Group to comment on rules regarding compliance with advertising content rules, holding documentary evidence that proves claims are "are capable of objective substantiation" and that adverts "include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, consumers about either the advertised product or service or the competing product or service."
Northern Media in response admitted that it had breached the three rules and said that approval for this particular credit was overlooked, owing to the relocation of its production department, which is based at one of its other radio stations, Q102: It added that the "tag" was aired on four occasions on one day between 07:20 and 08:40 and as soon as it discovered the error it removed the credit from further broadcast.
Ofcom noted the explanation but ruled that there had been breaches and said it "expects the broadcaster to ensure that appropriate contingencies are in place to ensure consistent Code compliance in the future."
The other radio standards complaint involved a broadcast on Bauer's Kerrang! of a feature called "Hot or Not" in which two songs are played and listeners are invited to vote for their favourite and an occasion in which during the feature the presenter had disqualified one of the songs and "cancelled the vote, allegedly because he suspected the band in question was using the vote for publicity purposes. The complainant considered the presenter?s actions were unfair given that some listeners had already paid to cast their vote.
Bauer was asked for comment and said the presenter had no authorization to cancel the vote and could offer no justification. It added that it took disciplinary action and also began contacting the 32 listeners who had voted by text message, to arrange a refund and invite them to a future live event by way of apology and said the station had since "reminded all presenters of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and their responsibilities and has reiterated the processes to be followed by all presenters on air."
Ofcom in this case accepted that the incident took place because of the presenter's actions and noted the swift remedial action taken and as a result considered the matter resolved.
The two stations found to have breached their licence conditions were the Voice of Africa Radio, which provides a community radio service for Newham, London, and Afan FM, a community radio station providing a service for young people in Neath and Port Talbot in Wales with a particular focus on those aged 11 to 25: It was re-named XS last month)
Voice of Africa Radio was found during routine monitoring to have ceased broadcasting the service on December 16 last year and on December 22 it spoke to a representative who confirmed that the station was not broadcasting.
The station did not receive a formal response by its deadline and on January 20 it again spoke to a representative who said the station had not been off-air for a long period but only for a few hours on December 22.
Ofcom commented that spectrum monitoring of the frequency used by the station indicates that Voice of Africa Radio was broadcasting a "blank carrier? from some point during the week commencing 11 December 2010 to some point during the week commencing 8 January 2011. This meant that the station was not transmitting broadcast content and was effectively jamming the frequency, which contravenes the terms of the licensee?s Wireless Telegraphy Act Licence.
It added that in London in particular demand for FM frequencies is very high and formally notified the Licensee that it is "considering these licence contraventions for the statutory imposition of a statutory sanction in light of their seriousness."
In the case of Afan FM, Ofcom received a complaint that it had been playing "nothing but music" contrary to its licence "key commitments" since December 11 last year and wrote to licensee Neath Port Talbot Broadcasting C.I.C., for its comments.
The station, which in mid-November had been given permission to suspend its full licensed service from December 26 , 2010 to 7 January 2011, to enable changes to studio and transmission arrangements to be made, responded by saying its IT network failed on 11 December 2010 "rendering our entire infrastructure unable to function, including back office and all studio facilities."
It added that an engineer said that the "only feasible outcome was that they should carry out an emergency programme of remedial work designed to restore service to the station at the earliest opportunity."
It said that for ten days following the IT failure it had broadcast an automated music service for the next ten days although noting that on December 17 it provided a live service "support our listeners through the worst period of winter weather and snow in over 20 years." It said it felt that "the station would "better serve our audience to continue providing a very basic music service in preference to ceasing broadcasting and taking the service off air. Regrettably, we did not advise Ofcom of this situation."
Ofcom formally recorded the breach and also formally notified the Licensee that it is "considering these licence contraventions for the imposition of a statutory sanction in light of their seriousness."
The numbers compare with a holding that a Suffolk community station failed to provide key commitments and the upholding of one radio standards radio complaint along with ten TV standards complaints in the previous bulletin.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 3292 complaints against 265 TV items - 2897 concerning the X-Factor TV contest - and 260 radio complaints against 22 items - 238 against one talkSPORT item and a further 95 against another talkSPORT item -that it did not uphold: This compared to 195 complaints against 496 TV items - 128 of them against one news item - and nine radio complaints against nine items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Bulletin:
2011-02-06: Last week was yet again quiet for the regulators as regards radio with North America the busiest area and no radio announcements from Australia or the UK plus only one posting each by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
That from the CRTC was of an Information Bulletin concerning applications that did not require a public process and that it processed during from 1 September to 31 October 2010 under its streamlined procedures
These included approval the following radio transfers of control:
*Change of ownership and effective control of Radio Haute-Mauricie inc., licensee of CFLM-AM, La Tuque, from an unclear cut control to a legal control exercised by Mr. Réjean Leclerc
*Change to the effective control of 7545398 Canada Inc., licensee of CKRS-FM, Saguenay, from Corus Entertainment Inc. to Radio Saguenay inc.
Licence amendments or extensions of deadlines involving the following radio ones:
Extension to 6 November 2011 of the time limit for the implementation of the following low-power rebroadcasting transmitters for CIAM-FM, Fort Vermilion: -- CIAM-FM-12 at Cleardale; CIAM-FM-13 at Peerless Lake and CIAM-FM-17 at Chateh. This is the first extension to be granted by the Commission.
Extension to 6 October 2011 of the time limit for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to implement the radio transmitter CBF-FM-20 at St-Donat, Quebec, to carry the signal of CBF-FM, Montréal. This is the first extension to be granted by the Commission.
Extension to 3 March 2012 of the time limit to implement the radio transmitter CHNC-FM-3 at Percé, Quebec, to carry the signal of CHNC-FM, New Carlisle, whose conversion from AM was approved in March 2008.
In Ireland there was only one posting from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) - of the rulings at its latest compliance meeting (See RNW Feb 5) whilst in the UK there were no radio postings.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a fairly quiet week as already noted has set the stage for the first test of a National Presidential alert (See RNW Feb 4).
The agency was also involved in proposing or confirming a number of penalties including issuing a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to a Pennsylvania broadcaster for failure to install Emergency Alert System equipment (See RNW Jan 31); confirming a USD 4,000 penalty on a South Carolina FM for airing phone calls without informing the person being called (See RNW Feb 3); and reducing from USD 7,000 to USD 5,600 the penalty on a Connecticut FM for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Feb 5).
Previous Licence News:
2011-02-06: Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, who gained nationwide publicity last month when the said that neither he nor employees of his administration would appear on talk radio, has told WJAR-TV in an appearance on its "10 News Conference " Sunday talk show that the ban will be temporary.
Chafee called talk radio divisive, time consuming and "more entertainment than journalism" when he announced the ban, although at the time he added that he would continue to answer reporters' questions and his spokesman Michael Trainor told the Providence Journal before the broadcast that the governor was "just reaffirming that the intent of that policy was never to be a permanent ban."
Trainor added, "He basically said that at some point in time you'll hear me on talk radio, and others from my administration, but there's no timetable."
The paper noted that Chafee, a formed Republican who is now an Independent, had also called on advertisers to stop supporting talk-radio shows because of their "divisive and emotional" content, but Trainor said that the governor was referring to "certain national radio and TV talk show" and "news personalities" and "never intended to suggest a ban on those advertising revenue on local talk radio."
Providence Journal report:
2011-02-05: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 5,600 forfeiture to a Connecticut FM for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation.
It had issued a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for the breaches in March last year to Westport Board of Education, the licensee of WWPT-FM, Westport.
Westport responded by requesting cancellation on the basis that the failure was inadvertent, the penalty was excessive for the breaches, steps taken to prevent recurrence, that the penalty would cause hardship and a history of compliance.
The FCC noted that documentation had not been provided to justify the hardship argument and rejected all the others but reduced the penalty to USD 5,600 on the basis of a history of compliance.
2011-02-05: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has upheld no complaints against radio at the most recent meeting of its Compliance Committee, which considered 14 complaints against TV of which it rejected ten, partly upheld three and considered another resolved through action already taken.
In addition to these a further 18 complaints were rejected by the BAI executive, two of them radio complaints , one of them against RTÉ Radio One and an interview concerning the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine that the complainant said was biased and the other against The Breakfast Show on Newstalk concerning remarks about the Germans that the complainant found offensive.
Previous BAI Complaints:
2011-02-04: WVOL-AM, Nashville, the station that gave Oprah Winfrey her start in broadcasting, as waken off air for some hours after wires were cut at all of its six radio towers according to an AP report on WMC-TV.
The station has been owned by Heidelberg Broadcasting since 2000 and its general manager John Heidelberg estimated the cost of the damage at USD 1 million. He told WSMV-TV that he thought the vandalism was connected to a daily forum show that the station airs covering topics such as President Barack Obama, health care and religion.
2011-02-04: The US has taken a step further towards using the nation's emergency alert system (EAS) for a Presidential Alert to be broadcast all over the country with the adoption of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report and order setting down rules for a test alert.
The alert will be transmitted from Washington D.C. to television and radio broadcasters, cable systems and satellite service providers and will assist the agency together with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to assess the current system and the improvements that could be made.
The FCC notes that as Next Generation EAS systems become operational over the next few years, they will complement other public alert and warning systems now being developed, including FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and the Commercial Mobile Alert System that will enable consumers to receive alerts through a variety of multi-media platforms on their smart-phones, blackberries and other mobile broadband devices.
All EAS participants will be required to take part in the national tests with at least two months public notice to be given prior to any test.
2011-02-03: The UK radio audience fell back slightly in the final quarter of 2010 according to ratings just released by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research).
Reach was down from 46.8 million/90.6% of the 15+ population in the previous quarter to 46.7 million/90.5% - but was up by more than three quarters of a million on a year earlier when the figure was 45.97 million/90% of the population.
Within the figures digital listening was up from 17.1 million a week to 20.9 million whilst in terms of programming talk and sport was the big winner as news attention turned to government cuts and bad weather and in sport England's cricket success in Australia and soccer boosted the audiences for BBC Radio 5 Live and UTV-owned talkSPORT.
talkSPORT saw its weekly reach rise from 2.496 million a year ago to 2.960 million in the third quarter and 3.088 million in the final quarter with listening share up from 2.1% a year ago and in the previous quarter to 2.3% and BBC Radio Five Live was up from 6.106 million to 6.295 million to 7.093 million with share up from 4.5% to 4.7% to 5.3%. If the digital 5 Live Sports Extra is included the figures rose from 6.188 million to 6.439 million to 7.212 million with share moving from 4.6% to 4.9% to 5.5%.
BBC Radio 4, however, saw its audience fall slightly compared to the previous quarter - from 10.368 million to 10.319 million although up from 9.841 million a year ago: The respective share figures were 12.5%/11.8%/12.1%.
Overall the BBC increased its listening share - up from 55.2% a year ago to 54.3% in the third quarter and 55.3% in the latest figures whilst commercial radio's listening share went from 42.6% to 43.4% then back down to 42.5%.
Within figures for digital listening, DAB radio accounted for 63.2% of listening hours- a total of 166 million a week, up from 236 million a year earlier - with listening via digital TV platforms up more than a third from 33 million a year earlier to 45 million and listening via the internet up proportionately even more - a rise of more than 55% from 21 million hours to 32 million,.
Overall BBC Radio 2 comfortably retained its leading reach - up 1.9% on the previous quarter and 3.5% on a year earlier to 13.943 million compared to 11.421 million for BBC Radio1 - up 6.1% on a year ago but down 1.9% quarter on quarter.
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said of the ratings, "These figures show that listeners' appetite for distinctive, high quality radio is as great as ever. They also mark a milestone for digital radio, with a quarter of all listening now taking place through a digital device."
He continued, "I'm delighted at Radio 5 Live's success - a tribute to its unparalleled commitment to high quality coverage of news and sport - while Radio 3's sustained performance following the BBC Proms is a great achievement."
Of the commercial stations, Absolute whose blog was headed today with a report "Absolute Radio Staff Get A Soaking!" concerning a "soaking" using water pistols of staff who walked into their building without their hands up, buried the metaphorical soaking in the ratings with a comment headed, "Absolute Radio Network Ends 2010 With Year on Year Growth In Reach and Hours."
They continued, "Absolute Radio Network ended 2010 33% up in reach & 27% up in listening hours year on year. The Christian O'Connell Breakfast show's reach is up 14% year on year.
Absolute Radio's 'Decade Strategy' displays significant growth; Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s & Absolute Classic Rock all increase reach" The figures we listed are RAJAR's for "Total Absolute Radio" in the national stations' ratings but we also noted that their London FM station had a weekly audience of 674,000, down from 911,000 in the third quarter and 803,000 a year earlier with share of 2.0, down from 3.2 and 3.0 respectively whereas its digital Absolute 80s, 90s and Absolute Classic Rock all increased their audiences.
Later in its entry Absolute noted the London and overall fall, commenting "Absolute Radio experienced reported audience losses of 17% this quarter and 8% year on year attributed almost totally to the important but highly competitive London market. We continue to work with RAJAR to reduce this volatility which has also affected other leading commercial brands this quarter."
Chief Operating Officer Clive Dickens added, "The Absolute Radio Network had a strong end to 2010. Our brand strategy is one of long-term growth and we have continued to drive this with the recent launch of Absolute Radio 00s."
Also in London, Bauer's Magic retained its lead in reach although the figure fell from 2.149 million in the third quarter to 2.051 million - up from 1.821 million a year earlier - and its share fell from 6.7 to 6.3 compared with 6.1 a year earlier.
Global Radio's Capital was down from 2.125 million to 1.961 million - 1.827 million a year ago - with share of 4.5%, down from 5.3% and 4.9% respectively.
In third rank was Bauer's Kiss with a weekly reach of 1.821 million up from 1.771 million in the third quarter and 1.605 million a year earlier (Share was 5.0; 4.9; and 4.3 respectively) as it swapped places with Global Radio's Heart FM in fourth rank for reach with figures of 1.766 million; 2.057 million; and 1.881 million (Share was 4.6; 5.3 and 5.3 respectively).
Bauer in its comment headlined Magic's success - it overtook BBC Radio 2 in London for the first time in the third quarter and retained that lead (Radio 2 had a London weekly audience of 2.013 million in the fourth quarter) - and also that of Kiss in leapfrogging Heart.
Round the UK it noted that its local stations were top ranked in "20 of 25 key markets across the UK, including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Aberdeen" and it also noted continued success for its digital stations The Hits and Smash Hits.
Dee Ford, Group Managing Director, Bauer Radio commented, "Commercial radio is in great shape and continuing to attract listeners away from the BBC. Over 13 million people trust Bauer Radio every week to deliver a compelling mix of music and entertainment that they are passionate about - from Southampton to Inverness and from Belfast to Hull. Special congratulations must go to Magic 105.4 which is again crowned the number one station in London - ahead of Radio 1, Radio 2 and gaining more share over Capital and Heart. A great performance."
Amongst London commercial breakfast shows Capital's Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon remained in the lead with a weekly audience of 1.084 million, down from lost nearly 150,000 listeners year on year but remained the No 1 commercial breakfast show with an audience of 1.084 million, down from 1.150 million in the previous quarter and 1.231 million a year earlier.
Neil Fox at Magic was up a rank to second with a reach of 853,000-previously 787,000 and 782,000 -after which the Kiss team of Rickie, Melvin and Charlie (Rickie Haywood Williams, Melvin Odoom and Charlie Hedges) moved up into third with 777,000 - up from 669.000 and 668,000 - pushing Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott down from second into fourth rank with 728,000 - previously 834,000 and 790,000.
Within the figures compared to the second quarter of the year and a year ago:
*BBC Radio 1 lost 226,000.00 listeners and had a weekly audience of 11.421 million and listening share was down from 9.1% to 8.8% (9.8 % a year ago when it had 10.763 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 gained 261,000 million listeners and had a weekly audience of 13.943 million with listening share up from 15.6% to 16.2% (16.5% a year ago, when it had 13.473 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 gained 71,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 2.216 million and listening share unchanged at 1.2% (1.1% a year ago, when it had 1.874 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 lost 49,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.319 million and listening share was up from 11.8% to 12.1% (12.5% a year ago when it had 9.841 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, gained 798,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 7.093 million, with listening share up from 4.7% to 5.3% --(4.5% a year ago when it had 6.106 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it gained 773,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 7.212 million and a listening share up from 4.9% to 5.5% (4.6% a year ago when it had 6.188 million listeners).
*BBC World Service gained 140,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.459 million and listening share unchanged at 0.6% (0.6% a year ago when it had 1,227 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network gained 15,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 477,000 and listening share unchanged at 0.2% (0.2% a year ago when it had 360,000 listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd's (Times of India parent) Absolute Radio (total including all AM and FM) - lost 279,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.375 million and listening share down from 1.2% to 0.9% (1.1% a year ago when it had an audience of 1.493 million).
*Global Radio's Classic FM gained 44,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.720 million and listening share up from 3.5% to 3.9% (3.5% a year ago when it had 5.134 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 592,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 3.088 million and listening share up from 2.1% to 2.3% (2.1 % a year ago when it had 2.496 million listeners.).
Among digital stations the top ten stations in the survey had a weekly audience as below - (previous quarter in brackets) - this excludes Bauer's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and had a total weekly reach of 1.408 million including its analogue stations (down from 1.416 million quarter on quarter and up from 1.215 million a year ago) but includes BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network:
1: BBC 6 Music - 1.137 million (Down from 1.196 million and up from 695,000 a year ago.).
2: The Hits (Bauer) -1.123 million (down from 1. 1.153 million and up from 1.011 million a year ago).
3: Smash Hits (Bauer) -1.045 million (down from 1.109 million and from 858,000 a year ago).
4: BBC 7 - 941,000 (Down from 949,000 and up from 931,000 a year ago).
5: Planet Rock (Independent) - 827,000 (up from 783,000 and up from 698,000 a year ago). Up from sixth rank.
6: BBC 1Xtra - 816,000 (up from 806,000 and from 531,000 a year ago). Down from fifth rank
7: BBC Five Live Sports Extra - 751,000 (up from 648,000 and from 663,000 a year ago). Up from ninth rank
8: Absolute Radio 80s - 665,000 up from debut 564,000. Down from seventh rank
9: Heat (Bauer) - 557,000 (Down from 578,000 and up from 447,000 a year ago). Down from eighth rank
10: BBC Asian Network - 477,000 (up from 462,000 and from 360,000 a year ago). Same rank.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Absolute's ultimate parent):
Previous Global Radio:
Previous RAJAR ratings (Q3, 2010):
2011-02-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 4,000 penalty against a South Carolina station for airing telephone conversations without giving prior notice to those being put on air.
Rejoynetwork, LLC, licensee of WAAW-FM, Williston, South Carolina, had appealed against the proposed penalty, which was originally levied in February 2010 after the station aired phone conversations between one of its hosts, Ryan B, and airport officials without telling them the calls would be broadcast.
Rejoynetwork had argued that this was an invalid and unenforceable restraint on free speech violating the First Amendment but the argument was given short shrift and the penalty was confirmed.
The FCC noted that the requirement was to give notice but not precluded from broadcasting calls.
2011-02-02: BBC Radio 4's The Archers, the world's longest-running soap, has revealed that a, Duchess of Cornwall who is a fan of the programme, is to make cameo appearance on the programme.
On today's episode regular character Caroline Sterling revealed that the Duchess was to pay a visit to the Grey Gables hotel.
The episode was recorded in early December last year and will air on February 16 when the Duchess will visit BBC's Birmingham studios to meet members of the Archers cast and attend a reception.
She is not the first Royal to appear as herself on the programme - the Queen's sister the late Princess Margaret was in a 1984 episode marking the centenary of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), of which she was president- and the Duchess will feature in her role as president of the National Osteoporosis Society, a charity she has supported since 1994..
The programme has just celebrated its 60th anniversary and a decade ago the Duchess, then Camilla Parker Bowles, revealed her addiction to the soap while attending as a guest at a reception to mark its 50th birthday that was hosted by Prince Charles at St James's Palace
BBC Archers blog re Duchess:
2011-02-01: Although Austereo has welcomed an AUD 741 million (USD 748 million) bid for the company from Southern Cross Media (SCM- formerly Macquarie Southern Cross - The Macquarie Group, which owns around a quarter of Southern Cross is also understood to be in favour of the deal.) and Village Roadshow, which owns 52 per cent of Austereo, and Village Roadshow, which owns 52 per cent of Austereo, has indicated that it will sell its share unless there is a better offer, the bid has had a less than warm welcome from the markets.
Southern Cross stock fell on initial news of the offer - it was down from AUD 2.05 to close at AUD 1.91 on Monday and today fell further to AUD 1.86 whilst Austereo stock, which ended last week at AUD 1.89 rose on Monday to hit 2.09 at one point and has since steadied at AUD 2.09.
Austereo stock had begun to rise ten days ago after Village Roadshow started negotiations for a sale of its share in the company with potential bidders expected to include private equity group Archer Capital and Ironbridge Capital, which bought MediaWorks in New Zealand from Canwest in 2007 (See RNW Jul 21, 2007) but not another private equity group CVC Asia Pacific, which owns Nine Entertainment had had shown interest in Austereo in the past.
Austereo Executive Chairman Peter Harvie said of the offer in a release "This transaction is a good outcome for our shareholders, our clients, our talent and our people. I'm very enthusiastic about the potential of the combined business, the value that will be created through this transaction, and working together with the SCM to realise the future potential. By allowing our shareholders to take shares in SCM, they will have the opportunity to continue to have exposure to these two businesses, as well as the benefits arising from their combination."
He was backed by Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson of Austereo who added "This is a great outcome for our business and our team. We will be able to offer our clients improved coverage and it will throw up new and exciting opportunities for our people. The fit from a geographical and a brand perspective is highly complementary as is the cultural fit with both businesses having strong roots in radio."
The offer is a total of AUD 2.05 per share including an AUD 0.05 proposed dividend, a sum that will increase to AUD 2.15 per share, also including the dividend, if SCM becomes entitled to proceed to compulsory acquisition of the Austereo shares it does not own. One major Austereo shareholder, Perpetual, has already said that it has sold almost 5% of Austereo when the bid was announced.
For those who prefer stock to cash - Village Roadshow has said it will take the cash - there is an option of 0.95 of a Southern Cross share per Austereo share plus the dividend.
The Sydney Morning Herald, which is owned by Fairfax Media, quoted a number of analysts as recommending the deal with Morgan Stanley telling clients, "'We recommend taking profits now. Importantly, we believe a competing offer is less plausible; as this has been a vendor-led sales process, under way for some time.''
The Herald also quoted RBS as saying the transaction offered ''a fair premium'' on Austereo's recent share price and Deutsche Bank saying the offer made ''strategic sense'' given the national network it would create and, while the offer price was ''towards the lower end of our expectations'', it came within its valuation of Austereo.
The deal could affect a possible move by The Ten Network to take over Southern Cross according to The Australian, which is owned by News Corporation. The paper says Royal Bank of Scotland's media team that if the deal goes through it could make its December prediction of a Ten bid for Southern Cross less likely: RBS had forecast a bid if the Australian government ends if 75% TV audience reach rule but analyst Ashley Wallace and his team today told clients "the larger size of the group would make a deal more difficult", based on Southern Cross's estimated post-deal market value of AUD 1.2 billion (USD 1.21 billion) against Ten's at AUD 1.5 billion (USD 1.52 billion).
Wallace said the offer price was reasonable with estimated synergy savings of AUD 10-15 million a year, commenting, "We see savings from removing head office costs, as well as programming and other operational efficiencies from combining metro and regional radio. We expect additional revenue uplift from being able to sell advertisers a national radio audience,"
Previous Southern Cross:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2011-02-01: Corus Entertainment Inc. announced today that the sale it announced in April last year of its Quebec radio stations to Cogeco Inc. for CAD 80 million (then USD 78.7 million) has been completed.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the sale - which is comprised of Montreal stations CKAC-AM, CFQR-FM, CHMP-FM, CKOI-FM and regional stations CFEL-FM and CFOM-FM in Québec City, CHLN-FM in Trois-Rivières, CHLT-FM and CKOY-FM in Sherbrooke, CIME-FM in St-Jérôme and CJRC-FM in Ottawa-Gatineau - on December 17 last year.
The acquisition took Cogeco above market limit in Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrook and COGECO has announced that it is to sell CFEL-FM and CJEC-FM in the Quebec City market and Radio Sherbrooke 104.5 FM in the Sherbrooke market but in Montreal the CRTC allowed an exception to its policy to allow Cogeco to own and operate three French language FMs, one above the normal limit (See RNW Licence News Dec 19, 2010).
Rival Astral Media had asked Canada's Federal Court to suspend the CRTC exception to its policy, a move that would have held up the completion (See RNW Jan 13).
2011-02-01: BBC Radio has announced a series of moves that will see Jo Whiley move from Radio 1, where she currently hosts the weekend 13:00 to 16:00 slot, to Radio 2 and Huw Stephens take over her slot while Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie will host new shows on 6 Music.
Whiley will host a new 20:00-21:30 show running from Mondays through Wednesdays from April 4 and leave Radio 1 after 17 years with the station: She will also continue to host Radio 2's Thursday 20:00 to 22:00 "In Concert" programme that featuring live performances and a round-up of the week's music gigs.
In a BBC news release she first thanked Radio1, which she joined in spring 1973 and where she co-hosted The Evening Session with Steve Lamacq until 1997, commenting, "I've loved working at Radio 1 for the past 17 years. It's given me opportunities I could only have dreamt of - Coldplay's first Live Lounge, Arctic Monkeys covering Girls Aloud's Love Machine, Jay Z performing live in my own lounge - I've even measured the distance between Bono's nipples live on air... don't ask" and adding "As well as supporting my love of music, Radio 1 have also supported and accommodated me bringing three further children into the world, something, as a woman, I will always be grateful for."
Whiley then went on to say, "Last year Radio 2, the BBC's other great music station, asked me to present their In Concert programme on Thursday evenings, hosting live shows by the likes of Paolo Nutini, Gary Barlow and the Manic Street Preachers which has proved to be much fun. When they offered me the chance to play new and quality music three days a week, along with In Concert, it seemed the perfect opportunity to join them full-time.
Stephens, who became the youngest ever Radio 1 presenter when he joined the station, aged just 17, in 1999 to front the Nations output, currently hosts two shows on Radio 1 - on Wednesdays from 21:00 to 22:00 and midnight to 02:00. He will continue to host the second of these, "concentrating on the finest new music and unpredictable emerging talent" and said he couldn't "wait to present my own weekend show."
He added, "Taking over from Jo Whiley is a real honour. She's a brilliant broadcaster and an inspiration and I hope to continue with Jo's enthusiasm and love for music on the show. My current shows give me the chance to dig deep and champion exciting emerging music, so I look forward to adding new sounds to weekend afternoons."
For BBC Radio 1, Deputy Controller Ben Cooper, Deputy Controller, Radio 1, said, "Jo has been an amazing ambassador for Radio 1. From the Britpop days of the Evening Session, via the muddy fields of Glastonbury, to incredible performances in the Live Lounge, her passion for breaking new bands has been second to none."
At BBC 6 Music The Radcliffe And Maconie Show will launch on April 4 running weekdays from 13:00 to 1600 , taking the slot over from Nemone (Nemone Metaxas) , and Maconie will also continue to present Sunday 18:00 to 20:00 Freakzone on the station: he will also present a new 50-part authored history of pop for Radio 2 next year and Radcliffe is to present a new Radio 2 show airing on Tuesday nights from 23:00 to midnight featuring a selection of new and classic music from Mark's own record collection.
Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music, commented of the Radcliffe and Maconie move, "This is another big moment in the history of 6 Music. Mark and Stuart's arrival will help us build on the phenomenal success of the past 12 months."
Following the loss of her weekday afternoon slot Nemone will move to weekends and host a new 6 Music weekend breakfast show between 7-10am, starting on April 9. Both her show and the Radcliffe and Maconie Show will be independent productions.
2011-02-01: The Australian commercial radio industry today launched its latest radio brand campaign - five adverts highlighting the power of radio to connect with listeners started to air nationally on all commercial radio stations.
The ads follow a study by market research company Neuro Insight, that showed Australians to be 32 percent more engaged with the content on their favourite radio station when compared to other media content- a finding that will feature in the adverts.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief executive officer Joan Warner said the new ads emphasise radio's very strong connection with listeners, based on the research, adding, "The research also shows that our brains react in different ways depending on the radio format - so the effectiveness of radio ads will be maximised when the creative execution is aligned with the mood or style of program in which they appear."
"Radio advertising is already very effective at getting the message across," she added "particularly given radio can now be accessed in a variety of ways - on analogue radio, digital radio, via the web, on mobile phones, and via podcasts. The research outcomes and additional information on how to further enhance that effectiveness are very exciting."
Warner also noted that other recent research by The Hoop Group also reinforces radio's strength in connecting with listeners, showing that 82 percent of Australians respond to the content they hear on commercial radio: The research showed the three most frequent responses from people to something they hear on commercial radio are to talk about it; visit the radio website and/or enter a competition.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
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