June 2011 Archive
2011-06-30: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 25,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to a Port Neches, Texas, AM licensee for failing to maintain a main studio with a meaningful staff and management presence and a complete public inspection file and make that file available.
The breaches came to light when the agency attempted - following a complaint -to inspect the main studio of Vision Latina Broadcasting, Inc.’s KBPO-AM in Port Arthur, Texas.
On the first attempt on December 2 last year the agent found the main studio entrance locked and no employees present several times and a week later made a second attempt, finding that the only person present was an announcer who said that the company’s President was scheduled to return from Mexico on December 13, 2010, and acknowledged that there was no manager at the Station.
The agent asked for the station’s Public Inspection file and found that it did not contain a current copy of the station authorization, service contour map, the most recent ownership report, Public and Broadcasting manual, or any issues-programs lists. The announcer said he did not know where the missing documents were and the President would provide them when he returned from Mexico.
The agent then returned to the station on December 13 and found three people in the broadcast booth, one of whom came out and said the President was still in Mexico and would not return until sometime in January. All refused to make any part of the public inspection file available for inspection.
2011-06-30: A brief news release from Emmis saying "The WRXP TaKliberty festival featuring Coldplay has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances" has sparked further speculation that Merlin Media, which is taking over WRXP and two Emmis Chicago stations (See RNW Jun 21)) is to flip the station to a news or talk format.
The Festival was only announced a week ago: It was to have been staged at the PNC Arts Bank Center in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, in September and the Emmis announcement adds that refunds are available at the point of purchase.
In its report on the cancellation, the Village Voice, as well as speculating about the cancellation meaning the flip will take place before September and commenting on the past of Randy Michaels, Merlin's chairman and CEO, comments of WRXP, that it "is definitely a flawed attempt to make rock a viable radio format, one that couldn't figure out exactly what it wanted to be and as a result its playlist was spread a little too wide for anyone to tune in steadily, let alone religiously."
Village Voice report:
2011-06-29:Univision has promoted its Executive Vice-President and COO Randy Falco to the post of CEO to succeed Joe Uva, who announced in Marchthat he was to step down when his contract expired at the end of April this year (See RNW Mar 14).
Commenting on his appointment Univision chairman said, "Randy has over 30 years of relevant industry experience and has demonstrated his highly skilled leadership and strategic vision at Univision over the past six months. We are confident in Randy's ability to deliver on Univision's goals and accelerate our growth."
2011-06-29: In what it describes as an exclusive report on the dispute between Sirius XM and Howard Stern over options that the host says were owed to him because listener targets set in his deal with Sirius were exceeded. Deadline says affidavits filed by the host and his agent Don Buchwald show the dispute is now getting personal between stern and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin.
Buchwald, it says, reveals that in early 2010 he contacted the satellite radio company about why compensation owed for 2008 and 2009 hadn't been paid to which Sirius responding by saying no compensation was due.
Stern's lawyer says Buchwald then wrote to Sirius's General Counsel asking for an explanation but payment was again refused and the Sirius's lawyer claimed "that the subscribers on the XM platform did not count toward the total number of Sirius subscribers and pointed out that we had already received the 'merger bonus'." writes Buchwald.
Buchwald says he then tried again, writing, "I attempted to discuss the performance-based stock awards with Karmazin," writes Buchwald. "Karmazin, however, refused to discuss any resolution of the matter."
He adds that Karmazin was not with Sirius when the original agreement was negotiated, adding that the CEO at the time was Joseph Clayton. Scott Greenstein [Sirius XM President and Cheif Content Officer] has told me a number of times that Karmazin is unhappy with the size of the Agreement that was negotiated and agreed to by his predecessor, and that Karmazin has said that if he had been CEO at the time, he would have given Stern much less and not given into our demands. Stern, says Buchwald, would not have made the move to satellite on that basis.
The host says in his affidavit, "Our Agreement is clear - the stock awards are based upon the total number of subscribers that the company has at the end of any given year. When we were negotiating the agreement, Don raised with Sirius the possibility that Sirius and XM might combine. Sirius never said that, if that happened, it would not count the new subscribers for purposes of the stock awards."
He later comments, "I do not understand how the company can brag to the world that it has more than 20 million subscribers, and then turn around and tell me that only half of them count. All of these subscribers are subscribers of Sirius. Sirius has pointed to them as a measure of the company's success, and the whole purpose of the performance-based stock awards was to allow me to share in that success."
Buchwald says they only decided to bring the lawsuit when it was clear they weren't going to "make any progress with Karmazin" : He and Stern, who agreed a new five-year contract with Sirius XM last year (See RNW Dec 12 2010), were reported last month to be asking for at least USD 75 million in damages.
RNW comment: We question the degree to which this matter is personal rather than one of business - neither Karmazin nor Stern is widely reputed to generous by nature to others than themselves or to let business interests be deflected by other matters - but in the end we suspect that Karmazin's lawyers will have gone through the actual agreement with a finer toothcomb than those of Stern. Stern of course, gains publicity through the action and thus some benefit irrespective of the final ruling.
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-06-29: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back in enforcement mode has issued penalties totalling just under USD 20,000 to three radio stations in connection with late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation. They were (in amount order):
*Issued USD 10,000 forfeiture to Colby-Sawyer College, licensee of non-commercial educational station WSCS-FM, New London, New Hampshire for failing to properly maintain a public file.
The FCC had issued an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability of Forfeiture) for this amount in September 2007 after the licensee disclosed the breaches in its 2005 licence renewal application to which the college responded by requesting a cancellation or reduction because the station serves an educational and community-related purpose; the student-run nature of the Station warrants a measure of leniency when assessing the penalty; and that it will take steps to prevent future violations by designating a non-student supervisor to oversee its public file.
The FCC rejected the arguments and confirmed the penalty.
*Reduced from USD 7,000 to USD 5,600 forfeiture issued to Pittsfield Public School Committee, licensee of WTBR-FM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
A USD 7,000 NAL was issued to the station in September 2007 and in November that year the FCC rejected a response from the licensee arguing for a reduction on the basis of a history of compliance and of financial hardship.
The licensee then filed a petition requesting cancellation of USD 4,000 of the penalty because it did not engage in unauthorized operation and of the remaining USD 3,000 because of a history of compliance and inability to pay.
The FCC noted that the station had renewed operation after its renewal application had been submitted to the agency but without obtaining an STA (Special Temporary Authorization) to do so until the application was granted and also that the financial details - a budget summary - submitted were inadequate to support the financial hardship argument. It did accept, however, that the issue of a history of compliance should have been taken into account and on this basis reduced the penalty to USD 5,600.
*Issued USD 4,000 forfeiture to La Tremenda Radio Mexico, Inc., licensee of KZUE-AM, El Reno, Oklahoma, for unauthorized operation of the station after its licence had expired and admonished the licensee for late filing of renewal application. Accordingly it substituted an admonishment for the USD 3,000 NAL for late filing of renewal application.
In this case the agency had initially issued a USD 7,000 NAL for the breaches but was itself too late in issuing the NAL for late filing. The licensee had also requested cancellation on the basis that it attempted to timely file the application and believed that the filing had been successfully completed electronically and that paying the forfeiture would present a financial hardship.
The FCC dismissed the first argument and noted that it had not received documentation to justify a reduction on the grounded of financial hardship: It accordingly issued a USD 4,000 forfeiture order for unauthorized operation.
2011-06-29: According to a study conducted for the UK Radio Advertising Bureau (Part of the UK RadioCentre), listening to radio "boosts consumer happiness and enhances receptiveness to brand advertising" to cite a sub-heading in the report "Radio: The Emotional Multiplier".
The 24 page report was commissioned says the RAB because "many advertisers remain indifferent to radio's brand building potential, unconvinced about the ability of an image-less medium to influence brand perceptions" and to "understand the emotional influence of radio relative to other media, and explore how this can benefit advertisers seeking to build brands."
The study notes that recent advertising effectiveness thinking suggests that ads which have an emotional appeal are more effective than those which just use rational arguments; that such messages are handled by people "more instinctively, less critically and in a way that is strongly influenced by context - and that we are more inclined to do this if we are in a happier
Mood"; and that media industry research continually demonstrates that people use media to affect their mood, rather than purely for information or interest."
The survey was conducted by asking 1000 consumers in a smartphone-based survey about their mood and media consumption and this supplemented by neuro-science based lab investigation into the way the brain responds to audio content.
The sample, says the report, broadly reflected the UK population in terms of age and commercial radio listening, but to ensure that the findings provide not just a snapshot of the present but also act as a barometer for future technology trends and related behaviours, all were classified as in the "advanced mainstream" group in terms of technology and to ensure this had to be smartphone users and also use the internet for entertainment.
The survey was then structured to allow the researchers to identify how people were feeling
*when consuming none of the three media to provide our Base Level
*When consuming any TV, radio or online, one at a time or in combination
* When consuming a specific medium ("Individual Media").
The results showed people consuming 'Any Media' indicated significantly higher indices for both Happiness and Energy levels than people consuming 'No Media' and that people consuming radio are much Happier and more Energetic than those consuming TV or online.
The authors suggest that the reason for this may be because TV's central role lies in the area of escapism and entertainment, and the key strength of TV - its ability to transport you elsewhere - brings with it an inevitable flat feeling when you return to the real world.
As regards radio EEG brain scan tests, says the report, showed that mood enhancing effects of radio editorial extend into the ad break, generating higher levels of positive engagement with radio advertising.
It concludes from this that radio offers the most cost-effective opportunity for advertisers seeking to enhance positive perceptions of their brands; that radio provides a unique opportunity for advertisers to exploit mood enhancement at important times for brands; and that radio always influences how the listener feels about advertised brands, and suggests exploiting this through creative development?
RAB report (24-page 2.24 Mb PDF):
2011-06-28: BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have announced the 10 winners of the inaugural New Generation Thinkers Scheme - the culmination of what the station terms "a nationwide search for the brightest academic minds with the potential to turn their ideas into fascinating broadcasts."
The winners were chosen from 57 finalists - who had been selected from more than 1000 applications from university researchers - and will now work with mentors from the production team of the Monday to Thursday Night Waves programme to produce a programme: Starting from tonight and running for the next nine nights they will talk about an idea inspired by their research.
The scheme was launched in November last year at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas with the aim according to Radio 3's Head of Speech programming Matthew Dodd "to find the next generation of academics who can broadcast their ideas to the general public."
"The response from scholars," said Dodd "has been overwhelming - and the quality of their proposals a revelation. New Generation Thinkers will introduce Radio 3's audience to charismatic new voices and fascinating areas of contemporary research."
The ten 2011 winners and their specialist subjects are:
*Alexandra Harris, Department of English, University of Liverpool - "A Brief History of Being Cold: Journeys through English art and the elements."
*Corin Throsby, University of Cambridge - "The History of Fan Mail" (A look at how fan letters provide insight not only into how 19th century authors such as Tennyson and Browning were read in their time, but also into the emerging culture of celebrity.)
*David Petts, Durham University - "The Commercialisation of British Archaeology."
*Jon Adams, London School of Economics - "Rat Cities and the Bee-hive Worlds: Space and Numbers in the Modern City" (An examination of how arguments about the effects of crowding on human behaviour have influenced city planners and architects during the 20th century.).
*Laurence Scott, Kings College London - "Desert Space "(The image and significance of the desert in modern culture.).
*Lucy Powell, University College London- "Mind Forg'd Manacles" (A literary exploration of prisons.).
*Philip Roscoe, University of St. Andrews - "Investigating the Moral Work of Economics in Everyday Setting" (How economics affects the moral landscape of internet dating.).
*Rachel Hewitt, Queen Mary, University of London - "Britain in the 1790s: The Age of Despair" (An alternative narrative of Romantic-era Britain, told through the projects that failed to succeed.).
*Shahidha Bari, Queen Mary, University of London - "The Arabian Nights" (A voyage of discovery around the Arabian Nights, both their interpretation in Western literature, and also the stories themselves and why they tell us about notions of Arab identity.).
"Zoe Norridge, University of York - "The Testimony of Place: Cultural Responses to the Rwandan Genocide" (How the memorial landscape and geography of Rwanda have affected writers, directors and journalists seeking to represent the genocide.
As well as the broadcasts of their initial discussions the winners will receive advice on how to develop their ideas into viable programme propositions, and will spend time shadowing the work of presenters and producers.
2011-06-28: The agreement reached between the University of San Francisco (USF) and Classical Public Radio Networks under which the University's free form student station KUSF-FM was moved online along with a frequency swap between Entercom and the University of Southern California (USC) that turned KDFC-FM, the last major market commercial classical station into a non-commercial station controlled by USC (See RNW Jan 18) has come under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) scrutiny.
The move online appears to have failed to produce the results predicted (See RNW Mar 19 ) but KUSF is currently airing classical music ahead of agency approval of the deal and the FCC has sent an LOI (Letter of Inquiry) to USF and Classical Public Radio Networks, LLC (CPRN - the body that is to operate the classical station)asking for details related to the PSOA (Public Service Operating Agreement) under which the switch to classical was made.
In the letter, copied to Friends of KUSF - a body set up to oppose the deal and retain KUSF's free form format on FM - the FCC says "The terms of the PSOA present issues involving the parties' compliance with Commission rules and policies concerning the operation and control of the Station."
It goes on to asks a total of 15 questions including details of how much CPRN content is being aired and when and where that content was produced; details of any CPRN programming that was pre-empted or rejected; the ability of the Licensee (including availability of necessary personnel and equipment) to originate programming at the station's main studio location; and the process by which USF "reviews and evaluates the programming supplied by CPRN for broadcast on the station."
It also asks for details of station employees that USF has retained and paid for and financial details related to studio, office, and transmitter related rent and salary payments.
The inquiry is specifically related to the terms of the PSOA and it asks that the parties explain how the application of the PSOA complies "fully with the Commission's rules and policies" and specifically how "specifically how the airing of CPRN programming over the Station furthers the Licensee's obligation to use the Station for the advancement of an educational program, as required."
Regarding financing the station the LOI also specifically asks "how the PSOA does not violate the prohibition on third-party fundraising, given that the PSOA permits CPRN to be the Station's sole programmer and to retain all donations, underwriting receipts, and other Station support during the PSOA term."
Friends of KUSF website:
Save KUSF web site:
2011-06-28: The US Supreme Court has agreed to consider the issue of whether the US Federal Communications Commission's current broadcast indecency regime as its docket (the docket also notes that Justice Sotomayor took no part in the consideration or decision in this case) puts it "violates the First or Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution", a decision that follows a sudden tightening up of the rules after the exposure very briefly of one of Janet Jackson's during a 2004 Super Bowl half-time performance.
That exposure led to an orchestrated e-mail campaign of complaints - around half a million were sent to the agency, then headed by Republican Michael K Powell - and it responded by tightening up its rules and increasing the fines it levied (See RNW Feb 12, 2004) and later the US House of Representatives voted to increase the maximum penalty from USD 27,500 to USD 500,000 per incident (See RNW Mar 12, 2004).
The agency also put forward large fines for radio violations including one of USD 495,000 against Clear Channel over the broadcast of an episode of The Howard Stern Show, and a backlash began (See RNW May 4, 2004).
Other actions included finding that its rules had been breached by U2 singer Bono's use of the term "fucking brilliant" during the January 2003 Golden Globes award - the FCC Enforcement Bureau had initially ruled in October 2003 that the rules were not breached as at that time they referred to material that was intended to describe or depict sexual and excretory activities and organs but the full FCC reversed the decision in March 2004, although it did not propose a fine.
The clash between various broadcasters held to have breached FCC regulations then continued with the issue of "fleeting expletives" - the airing of expletives briefly during live broadcasts - a particular point of contention.
Last year the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York in a ruling concerning FCC enforcement action against Fox TV for expletives from Cher and Nicole Richie on live awards shows in 2002 and 2003 said that the FCC rules were too vague and could have a chilling effect on broadcasters (See RNW Jul 13, 2010) and this year the same court overturned the FCC's fine against ABC for showing the naked buttock of a female actress during a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue (See RNW Jan 5)."
The FCC in a statement from the chairman's office about the Supreme Court decision to consider the matter said, "We are hopeful that the Court will affirm the Commission's exercise of its statutory responsibility to protect children and families from indecent broadcast programming" and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in a statement from its Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, "NAB supports a constitutional review of the FCC's enforcement of program content rules."
"As broadcasters," it added, "we will continue to offer programming that is reflective of the diverse communities we serve. Responsible programming decisions by network and local station executives, coupled with program blocking technologies like the V-chip and proper guidance of children by parents and caregivers, are far preferable to government regulation of program content."
The Parents TV Council, which was amongst the organizations calling for tighter broadcast indecency enforcement, welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying in a statement from its president Tim Winter, "On behalf of families across the country, we extend our thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court for agreeing to take up broadcast decency. The High Court will have the opportunity to reverse misguided Second Circuit Court of Appeals rulings that would open the floodgates for graphic nudity and some of the harshest profanity in the English language."
"Decency," continued the statement "has been a fixture of federal law since the dawn of broadcasting and despite the opinion of the TV networks and three judges in New York, it has not suddenly become an outdated relic. The case for commonsense decency protections in exchange for free use of the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves is a no brainer. The networks make our case for us every time they tell advertisers the medium remains uniquely pervasive and highly accessible to children. The law has been previously upheld by the Supreme Court, made even stricter by the U.S. Congress, and has the overwhelming support of the American people. We ask the High Court to affirm and clarify the law yet again and halt the TV networks' crusade for the 'right' to air f-words and explicit nudity in front of children."
The welcome preceded another release condemning the Supreme Court for ruling in a 7-2 decision (the dissenters were Justices Stephen Breyer, generally considered liberal, and Clarence Thomas, generally considered a conservative) that a California law that prohibited the sale of "adult" video games including sex and violence to children violated the First Amendment on Free Speech. Winter commented that the ruling "proves the United States Supreme Court heard the video game industry loud and clear, but turned a deaf ear to concerned parents. The Court has provided children with a Constitutionally-protected end-run on parental authority."
RNW comment: When this whole business began we expressed the opinion that we hoped that the FCC would so far overstep the mark that the issue did make it to the Supreme Court.
We also considered the FCC to have behaved unreasonably in overturning a decision made quite reasonably by its Enforcement Bureau on the basis of the rules as published at the time by the agency and note that despite the clamour polls showed most Americans whilst concerned about the issue were more concerned about government regulation of the issue than the breached.
Indeed in as far as there is any clear condemnation to be made so far our view is that it should go to those at the FCC and in politics and lobby groups who took part in or welcomed a decision that in effect retroactively changed the rules: all of them in our view trod a dangerous path.
At the same time, although we did and do not agree with some of the changes subsequently made, we do consider it reasonable that a society should be able to enact and change laws on matters such as these and accept that any such changes will inevitable be linked to social attitudes at the time - we wonder if there would now be substantial support for the rules after the upholding of the 1978 FCC v Pacifica case over George Carlin's dirty words allowed the FCC to move into this ground.
In the end, much as we generally have little time for the NAB, on this issue we go along with them in this case as we also find it preferable that a combination of technology to allow parental blocking - which depends in turn on rating programming content with all the weaknesses that this implies - and parental action is preferable to government action even if we also realise that this may also mean commercial boycotts of stations and advertisers that might be just as costly for the broadcasters.
2011-06-27: Arbitron in cumulative audience estimates for the 46 networks rated in its RADAR 109 survey just released (See RNW Jun 20) says that compared to a year earlier network radio's audience in the US has increased by just above 1.9 million to 189.99 million each week for those 12 and older.
Within the figures there were gains of 1.59 million for adults 18 plus; of 1.19 million for adults 35 plus; of 1.03 million for adults 180-49 and 975,000 for adults 25-54
2011-06-27: Merlin Media, the company headed by chairman and CEO Randy Michaels that is taking control of three Emmis stations (See RNW Jun 21) has announced the appointment of Walter Sabo as Chief Operating Officer.
The appointment together with last week's appointment of Greg Janoff as EVP of Revenue, with responsibility for all revenue generation across all platforms, has further fuelled speculation that Merlin will flip at one or more stations to news or news/talk as Janoff was formerly with WINS-AM in New York and Sabo having experience with FM talk - he was involved in creating the talk format at WKXW-FM (New Jersey 101.5) amongst other things.
Earlier speculation had suggested that WKQX-FM (Q101, Chicago) might be flipped from alternative but this has now widened to suggestions that WRXP-FM, New York, will be the first to go to news or talk and that in Chicago WLUP-FM (The Loop) may be flipped instead or that all stations may be flipped.
Sabo, who was formerly with ABC Radio Networks and NBC-owned FM stations, founded New York-based Sabo Media in 1984 and has consulted about content in all media, most recently at Sirius XM. In 2007 Sabo founded Hitviews, a marketplace that strategically places brand products and messages inside online videos, and will continue his participation there.
Commenting on his appointment Michaels said in a news release, "Walter has unparalleled experience and a true passion for this industry, making him a perfect fit to lead Merlin Media's operations. He has founded two businesses of his own in Sabo Media and Hitviews, and that core competency will be hugely valuable to us. Success requires building brands that are unique, desirable and difficult to duplicate. Walter has the vision, intelligence, leadership skills, and experience to move Merlin beyond current convention and to take advantage of emerging media opportunities. It also means attracting special, talented people, and Walter knows how to do that."
2011-06-27: The takeover by Essential Public Media (EPM) the non-profit owned by WYEP-FM, of Duquesne University's WDUQ-FM at the end of this month will mean the departure of a number of staff who have been sent their termination notices.
They include long time WDUQ-FM evening jazz host Tony Mowod - he has been with the station for 23 years - who, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, was offered the chance to stay on but turned it down. The layoffs were expected after the announcement of agreement on the USD 6 million takeover in January (See RNW Jan 15).
Mowod, who will remain at the university as an adjunct professor in the music department, told the paper he "felt it was best for me not to take the offer" but will continue to promote jazz through his work with The Pittsburgh Jazz Society, which he founded 25 years ago and that he termed "my life and love."
The paper says seven staffers have accepted posts with the new station and four more on-air personalities will continue as volunteers with the new station, which will continue to air much of WDUQ's current NPR line-up, along with producing its own news programming on local and regional issues but has moved Jazz to a six-hour shift on Saturday nights and a full-time jazz HD channel.
EPM announced last week that staffers who will remain include WDUQ jazz hosts Bob Studebaker and Helen Wigger, who'll continue as hosts on the station's HD JazzWorks programming plus assistant news director Mark Nootbaar who will be senior assignment editor and WDUQ news director Kevin Gavin will be director of interns and producer for the new station.
Dennis Hamilton, interim president and general manager for the new station said of those they had hired that they have "good experience, and they fill the needs we have for staffing... They're local. They know the market. They know how radio works and they're excited to be part of what we're trying to do. "
EPM has also announced the hiring of three people from outside WDUQ including Tammy Terwelp from WBEZ-FM/Chicago Public Media who was hired as director of content and programming and Russ Lloyd broadcast engineer/IT specialist/facility manager for Clear Channel in Nashville who will be director of technology for EPM.
The takeover has yet to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and until completion EPM will handle programming under Duquesne's executive oversight under a local marketing agreement announced earlier this month.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report:
WDUQ web site:
2011-06-26: Last week was very quiet as regards radio-related postings with nothing new from Australia, only a posting regarding funding for Irish language radio and TV projects from Ireland and only the posting of the latest Broadcast Bulletin form the UK.
Things were a little busier in North America where amongst other postings the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved applications for a number of national specialty audio services.
Two were from Bhupinder Bola, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated - one for Chutney Radio, to provide programming devoted to the English-language Caribbean communities in Canada; and the other for Tamil Radio, to offer programming devoted to the Tamil-speaking communities in Canada with 90% of programming to be in Tamil and the rest in English.
Also approved was an application from Holy Mother World Networks of Canada to offer a single faith religious service offering programming devoted to the Roman Catholic faith with 65% of the programming would be devoted to spoken word programming and the remainder to music programming.
The CRTC also approved an application from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Radio Station Corporation to operate a 30 watts English- and Cree-language low-power Type B Native FM at Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan.
In Ireland as already noted the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced that it is to award Euros 633,000 (USD 900,000) in the 2011 Special Schemes round of Sound & Vision II - the Broadcasting Funding Scheme to three Irish language projects (See RNW Jun 22) and in the UK Ofcom posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it found that two community radio stations had breached their licence conditions (See RNW Jun 20).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a fairly quiet week as regards radio actions although it did confirm two penalties (See RNW Jun 23) and also posted details of decisions on 33 groups of mutually exclusive applications for new or modified non-commercial educational FM station construction permits.
Applications for permits had been filed in a window that was open from
February 19, 2010, through February 26, 2010, for 67 existing, vacant FM allotments and the allotments were made according to the agency's points system.
The stations for which permits were issued are in California; Massachusetts; Michigan; Missouri; Montana; North Carolina; New York; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Texas; Virginia; the Virgin Islands; Washington State; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming.
Looking ahead amongst the items on the agenda for the FCC's July 12 Open Meeting are a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Low Power FM and FM Translator Stations that seeks comment on the impact of the Local Community Radio Act on the future licensing of low power FM and FM translator stations.
Previous Licence News:
2011-06-25: This year's Radio Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions advertising festival has gone to South African agency NET#WORK BBDO, Johannesburg (which also took four gold awards) for three "Accident Avoidance Features "adverts - 'Bud', 'Love' and 'Toby' -made for Mercedes Benz.
In all The Radio Lions jury, led by Eugene Cheong, Regional Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, voted and deliberated on a total 1,363 entries. Having narrowed entries down to a shortlist of 138, the jury made 16 Gold awards to nine adverts, 26 Silver to 16 adverts and 35 Bronze awards to 24 adverts
German and South African entries did best each taking a total of four Golds respectively with the German awards going to an Animal Protection advert "What's That Noise? " made by Jung Von Matt, Hamburg
for "Noah" ; and three "Music Lessons" adverts - 'Hiking', 'Break-Up' and 'Christmas Tree" - made by Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, for the Modern Music School.
The South African gold awards went to NET#WORK BBDO, Johannesburg, for the three adverts that took the Grand Prix award plus a further award for the advert 'Brad' on Benzac Acne made for Treatment made for Galderma.
After that Latinworks of Austin took three awards for the US - with International Film Festival adverts 'Cameron', 'Merkel', and 'Obama' made for Cine Las Americas.
The other gold awards went to
*Australia - a Kitchen Installation advert ' Holidays' made by Three Drunk Monkeys, Sydney, for IKEA;
*Colombia - an Armed Forces Support advert 'The Code' made by DDB Colombia, Bogotá, for the Armed Forces of Colombia;
*Singapore - a Colour Mixing advert 'Awesome Light' made by Lowe & Partners, Singapore, for Samroc Paint & Hardware; and
*Thailand - an Ichitan Double Drink advert 'Killer Bees' made by Y&R Thailand, for Mai Tan.
Previous Cannes Lion Awards (2010)
Cannes Lions site (Full list of winners- 3 page 248 kb PDF):
2011-06-24: Millennium Radio has announced that it is not renewing the contracts of its afternoon drive team (1400-1700) The Jersey Guys (Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi) on its WKXW-FM (New Jersey 105) and that it is bringing back the Deminski and Doyle (Jeff Deminski & Bill Doyle) team from July 5.
Deminski and Doyle had been with the station from 1993 to 1999 but then moved to Detroit, joining CBS Radio's WKRK-FM, in Detroit, in the afternoon drive slot. They were then moved to morning drive after the station was flipped to sports in 2007.
They were then unable to agree on a new contract and left CBS in December 2007, turning up next hosting the morning show on Greater Media's WCSX-FM, Detroit, from which they announced their departure in January 2010 after the station opted to feature more music: They said they moved as they were talk hosts not DJs.
Since then they have been doing late-night fill-ins on CBS Radio's conservative talk station WPHT-AM, Philadelphia.
Commenting on their return on the WKXW website, Program Director Eric Johnson says, "The Deminski & Doyle Show will continue New Jersey 101.5's 21 year commitment of talking about the challenges and fun of everyday life in New Jersey! We are thrilled to have them back!"
The Jersey Guys team was initially Rossi with Craig Carton - Bartholomew took over from Carton in 2007 when the latter moved to CBS Radio's WFAN (See RNW Aug 15, 2007). They were in hot water a number of times over comments made by Carton and earlier this month the original team and Millennium were back in the news when a federal appeals court re-instated a copyright suit brought against them brought by a photographer for what he says was an unauthorized use of his photo and false claims about his sexual orientation.
So far no word on Bartholomew and Rossi's plans but Millennium Radio itself ran into debt problems and is in the process of being taken over by Townsquare Media (See RNW May 9)
New Jersey 105 re new team:
New Jersey Star-Ledger re copyright lawsuit:
2011-06-24: BBC Radio 6 Music has announced that it is to broadcast its coverage of this year's Glastonbury Festival online in its HD Sound (Its term for a stream of some 320 kbps with advanced audio coding).
Coverage actually began yesterday with a two-hour special "Introducing Glastonbury" and continues live from the site from morning until night until Sunday when the Festival ends.
Paul Rodgers, BBC Radio 6 Music commented in a release, "To be able to offer 6 Music's coverage in HD quality upgrades our offering this year. I hope it will enhance the experience for those listeners enjoying the festival from the comfort of their own mud free living rooms."
2011-06-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode has confirmed two more penalties on Alabama radio stations.
The largest was one of USD 12,800 which was levied on Manuel Huerta, licensee of WJHX-AM, Lexington, Alabama, for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation and also for failing to maintain a public inspection file for the station.
Huerta was issued with a USD 16,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in May 2005 to which he filed a response requesting a waiver or substantial reduction on the basis he did file the application although he filed it late; the forfeiture amount was larger than for similar breaches; that he disclosed the public file voluntarily and also had a record of compliance.
The FCC subsequently reduced the penalty to USD 12,800 on the basis of a history of compliance but rejected the other arguments and it noted that the petition was filed after the required deadline. It dismissed his argument that he had not received a copy of the forfeiture order in the mail as a reason for the late filing and rejected the petition as untimely.
In the second case, the FCC rejected a petition by the Florala Broadcasting Company, licensee of WKWL-AM, Florala, for reconsideration of a USD 1,500 penalty for late filing of renewal application.
Florala had been issued with a USD 1,500 NAL in January 2007 and dismissed a request for reduction or cancellation on the basis that the delay was inadvertent and financial hardship, although it did not submit adequate documentation to substantiate the claim.
In the petition Florala included tax returns for 2005-2007, the most "recent years available" but the FCC said that one the basis of the gross revenues - of USD 52,901, USD 68,764, and USD 55,102 - a reduction was not justified and if confirmed the penalty.
2011-06-23: BIA/Kelsey, which in April forecast radio online/digital revenue growth of 14.1% compound (CAGR - See RNW Apr 4) for radio has predicted even greater increased for US mobile local advertising.
It says the market for total US mobile advertising will go from USD 790 million last year to USD 4 billion in 2015 and local mobile advertising to go from USD 404 million to USD 2.8 billion - compared to its forecast for radio online/digital revenues of USD 783 million by 2015
Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey's Mobile Local Media practice, commented that the revenue growth would come "from not only ad volume, but also premiums placed on location-targeted ads."
2011-06-22: Latest Australian radio ratings covering the periods Sun Mar 27 - Sat Apr 30 and Sun May 8 - Sat Jun 11, 2011 show the leaders holding onto their slots but generally losing share with the main change in Melbourne where ABC 774's Jon Faine knocked Fairfax Media-owned 3AW's Neil Mitchell from the morning (0900-noon) top spot as he increased his share from 13.7 to 15.8 whilst Mitchell was down from 16.8 to 13.9
Overall 3AW's share was down from 16.4 to 14.2 and it was down in all time periods with the most significant drops at weekends (down 3.0 from 16.9 to 13.9 compared to an increase from 11.0 to 12.9 for ABC774) and afternoons (down from 12.9 to 10.6).
In Sydney, perennial leader Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB was down in all time slots except Mornings where Ray Hadley increased his lead with an 0.6 increase from 20.1 to 20.7 although talk rivals ABC 702 did slightly better with an 0.8 rise from 9.1 to 9.9 and commercial talk rival, Fairfax Media's 2UE also took its share up 0.6 -up from 5.3 to 5.9: At breakfast Alan Jones held onto the top rank for 2GB but was down from 18.3 to 18.0
There were also ratings gains for DMGs Classic Rock stations in both Sydney and Melbourne with the Sydney station up a rank from 12th to 11th as its share rose from 2.6 to 3.3 and the Melbourne station up from 11th to tenth as its share increased from 3.9 to 4.2 and even a share rise for MTR, the new Melbourne talk radio - although the rise from 1.8 to 2.2 will hardly cause serious concern for leader 3AW.
In the Sydney FM race Austereo's 2DAY remained top of the pack and retained third place but its share was down from 10.1 to 9.4 and DMG's Nova was also down - from 7.2 to 5.7 and fell from fourth to sixth equal.
Commenting on the results Austereo highlighted the Today network's success and wins at breakfast and drive in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with Guy Dobson, Director of Austereo Metro Radio, commenting, "Austereo is the leader in FM radio in metro Australia and this was again reinforced today, with wins in four out of five metro markets across both drive and breakfast. It doesn't get much better than that!"
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 14.5 (12.7) - Up from fourth rank; Mix 102.3 with 13.4 (13.7) - down from shared top rank; ABC 891 with 12.5 (13.7) - down from shared top rank.
SAFM then fell a rank to fourth with 10.9 (12.9) followed by 5MM which was up from seventh to fifth with 9.3 (7.4), overtaking Nova, which was down a rank to sixth with 8.4 (8.9) and Cruise 1323 which was down from sixth to seventh with an unchanged 7.7. 5JJJ remained eighth with 5.9 (5.1)
*Brisbane- B105 with 12.5 (12.7) -Same Rank; 97.3 FM -with 12.2 (11.3) - Same rank; Nova with 10.8 (10.9) - Same rank;
*4MMM was then up a rank to fourth with 10.4 (10.0), swapping places with ABC 612, which was down a rank to fifth with 97 (10.1) followed by and 4BC, which remained sixth with 7.5 (8.5).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.2 (16.4) - same rank; ABC 774 with 13.1 (11.7) -same rank; Fox FM with 11.2 (11.6) - same rank;
*Gold then remained fourth with 7.9 (7.2), ahead of Nova remained fifth with 6.7 (6.2) after which 3MM moved up a rank to fifth with 5.8 (5.7).
Magic remained sixth with 5.9 (5.6) followed by 3MMM -up a rank to sixth with 5.8 (5.7) swapping places with SEN, which went down to seventh with 5.7 (5.4).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, was up a rank to tenth with 4.2 (3.9) but Melbourne Talk Radio remained next to bottom with 2.2 (1.8), and ABC News Radio in bottom rank retained a 1.5 share.
Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 17.1 (15.4) - same rank; ABC 720 with 11.9 (11.6) - up from third; 92.9 with 11.5 (11.6) -down from second;
*Nova remained fourth with 9.7 (9.9), after which 6PR was up a rank from ahead of 96 FM, which was down from fourth to fifth with 10.0 (9.5) after which 6PR remained fifth with 8.6 (9.1) but 96FM then moved up a rank to seventh with 8.6 (9.1), swapping placed with 6JJ swapping places with 6JJ, which was down a rank to eighth with 7.2 (8.8).
Sydney - 2GB 15.8 (16.2) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.2 (10.4) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.4 (10.1) - same rank;
*After this WSFM was up a rank to fourth with an unchanged 6.8, followed by 2UE, which was up a rank to fifth with 6.7 (6.1). Mix 106.5 was then up a rank to sixth with 5.8 (5.7) - the same share as Nova which was down from fourth to sixth equal with 5.8 (7.1). 2CH then remained eighth with 5.4 (5.0)
DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, was up from 12th to 11th with 3.3 (2.6).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2011-06-22: The BBC Trust has welcomed an announcement by Britain's Foreign Secretary that the BBC World Service will receive an extra GBP 2.2 million (USD 3.5 million) a year over the next three years in funding from the Foreign Office - funding for the service will come out of the BBC Licence fee from April 2014.
The government had reduced to the grant that currently funds the World Service by 16% in October last year as part of its Spending Review and the additional funding, says the Trust, means that the World Service spending will still have to be cut by GBP 42 million (USD 67.5 million) in 2013/14 compared to the 2010/11 spending.
The Trust has also announced that it has approved the reallocation of GBP 9 million (USD 14.5 million) of existing World Service funding to editorial investment over three years, to mitigate the impact of recent funding cuts, following lower-than-expected restructuring costs - the Trust had agreed that GBP 20 million (USD 32.1 million) from the licence fee could be used for World Service restructuring an all this amount was spent - and pension contributions: Together with the additional funding from the Foreign Office World Service editorial will get an extra GBP 4.7 million ( USD 7.6 million) a year for 2011/12 and 2011/13 and an extra GBP 6.2 million (USD 9.96 million).
It says that the additional funding will help provide support to some priority frontline services, including sustaining the Hindi short wave service, the Somali service and services for the Arab world and will also allow a small amount of investment in new activities, in particular on new platforms and in emerging markets but details of the exact allocation are still to be worked out.
BBC Trust chair Lord (Chris) Patten commented in a news release, "As Aung San Suu Kyi said only this week, the World Service is a lifeline for those hungry for unbiased news and information about their country and the wider world. It is also an export for British values of fairness, accuracy and impartiality. I am delighted that we have been able to work with the Foreign Secretary to direct some more funding to these services. The additional money will help protect BBC services in the areas where they are most valued and needed."
This still means further cuts and Patten continued, "However, it does not mean that we will be able to restore all of what has been lost, and there will still need to be some cuts to the World Service as we have known it. We are determined that when we take full responsibility for funding of the World Service after 2014, it will have the priority it deserves."
2011-06-22: A study commissioned by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that local US commercial broadcasters "originate" USD 1.17 trillion - 7% - of America's annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 2.52 million jobs attributable to the industry every year.
The 68-page report- which details economic effects state by state - was prepared by Woods & Poole Economics, with support from BIA/Kelsey and NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith commented of its finding in a release, "As this study indicates, local broadcasting is a remarkable engine for commerce and economic growth, creating high-paying jobs and helping business drive sales through advertising of goods and services. Decision-makers now debating spectrum policies need to be cognizant of the millions of people and thousands of businesses reliant on the unparalleled impact of local TV and radio for economic survival."
"TV and radio broadcasting not only provides communities with local news, sports, weather and emergency information, but remains a valuable source of employment that fuels local economies," added Smith. "With the country struggling to recover from the downturn, broadcast innovation that includes mobile DTV and multicasting should be given an opportunity to succeed and put more Americans back to work."
The report says that in direct terms the local broadcast industry employs more than 300,000 people with TV employing around 187,000 and radio 118,000 contributing some USD 30 billion and USD 18 billion directly to the US economy.
In addition it says that the ripple effects through the consumption of goods and services by broadcast industry employees generates almost USD 135 billion in additional GDP and more than 833,000 jobs nationwide.
As regards the additional economic activity generated through advertising on broadcasters, the report says that this stimulates more than USD 986 billion in economic activity and supports 1.38 million jobs.
The study focuses only on local commercial radio and TV broadcasters and excludes non-commercial stations and the operations of over-the-air broadcast networks were not part of the analysis, except for networks' owned-and-operated local television stations.
It says that the primary role of broadcast television and radio is reducing the cost of product information through advertising and that it is in this way that broadcast television and radio stations have their most significant impact on economic growth.
RNW Comment: As with almost every study produced by any lobby group, we have a degree of scepticism about both the accuracy and the limits of this study. As an example of the latter, night after night it is noticeable that US TV advertising includes considerable advertising for drugs whose message seems to be that you can avoid what may be a minor inconvenience by continuing purchase of a product that might seriously injure or kill you - maybe a little too much of a caricature but also containing more than a grain of truth.
That same advertising also generates significant spending by Americans on goods imported from other countries (retail sales according to the report amounted to USD 4.29 billion of the USD 13.95 billion US GDP in 2010 but it does not break down the origin of goods bought) that are certainly not necessities and that harm the country's balance of payments.
In other words its figures may or may not be accurate but they rely on assumptions that need careful consideration and are not full spelled out although the report does give some detail on methodology used and also need to be seen in a context of not only what is but what could be the best economic model for a country. GDP in the US certainly grew on the back of unwise borrowing but that wasn't necessarily an unalloyed benefit to the country!
Study - "An Analysis of the Importance of Commercial Local Radio and Television Broadcasting to the United States Economy" (69-page 9.72 Mb PDF):
2011-06-22: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced decisions that it is to award funding of Euros 633,000 (USD 900,000) in the 2011 Special Schemes round of Sound & Vision II - the Broadcasting Funding Scheme.
The money it says has been allocated in principle to three Irish language projects which will result in the production of 8 hours of television and 3 hours of radio by new Gaeltacht based talent with the programming to be aired on TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta.
2011-06-22: Melbourne 3AW host Derryn Hinch says he expects to be sentenced to home detention rather than jailed following his conviction for four offences of breaching orders prohibiting the naming of sex offenders (See RNW June 3).
Writing in his blog on the Fairfax Media station's website Hinch, who has liver cancer, says, "I am under no illusions. If it hadn't been for my serious medical condition I would be in jail right now instead of writing this."
"That's understandable. He continues. "I have previous convictions for contempt of court and have already served one term in jail for revealing the prior convictions of a molesting Catholic priest."
Hinch then goes on, "Instead of immediate jail, it would seem I am about to be sentenced to a term of Home Detention. The magistrate did not indicate how long that would be, but he made it obvious that he would also attach some added restrictions."
Hinch then goes on to say the final decision has been postponed until next month because his eligibility is still being assessed but comments, "I received a very fair hearing in court today where I represented myself and I don't think I had a fool for a client."
He then notes that evidence from his medical witnesses is that unless he receives a liver transplant within three months he will die or his condition will become operable and disputes evidence from the Victoria authorities that they could have him transferred from prison to hospital for an operation within 45 minutes should a liver become available, citing a traffic reporter as saying in peak hour it would take 1hr 35 minutes on a good run.
3AW - Hinch blog:
2011-06-21: Emmis Communications has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell three stations - WKQX-FM (Q101) and WLUP-FM (The Loop) in Chicago plus WRXP-FM (Rock 101), New York, NY) to Merlin Media LLC, a new company whose chairman and CEO is former Clear Channel and Tribune Co. executive Randy Michaels and that is controlled by Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR.
Emmis will be paid between USD 110 and USD 130 million in cash and will also take a "significant minority stake" in Merlin. Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan commented of the deal in a news release, "While it is always difficult to part with stations that have been valuable contributors to our company, we believe that today's transaction will create significant value for our shareholders. As a significant minority partner in Merlin Media, we're delighted to remain engaged with these markets and stations in the exciting days ahead."
GTCR principal Philip A. Canfield added, "We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with Emmis and Randy. Emmis's CEO, Jeff Smulyan, and Randy Michaels are both proven veterans of the media industry and we look forward to working with them to provide valuable media content to Merlin Media's future consumers."
Under the agreement GTCR affiliates will begin a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) to program and sell advertising on the three stations in the next 45 days and Emmis will continue to own and operate the stations during the term of the LMA until Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval is granted for the transaction.
In an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission Emmis says that it will receive a fee of USD 200,000 a month for the LMA until the closing of the deal and adds that its interests in Merlin will "vary depending on the cash election by Emmis under the Purchase Agreement, and will initially represent approximately 20% to 35% of Merlin's common equity interests. Emmis' preferred interests will also vary depending on the cash election by Emmis under the Purchase Agreement and will initially represent from approximately USD 28 million to USD 47 million of preferred interests, accruing a return of 8% per annum."
Emmis also says in the filing that it will be entitled initially to appoint one out of five members of Merlin Media's board of managers and will have limited consent rights with respect to specified transactions. It will have no obligation to make ongoing capital contributions to Merlin Media, but is subject to dilution if it fails to participate pro rata in future capital calls.
The filing also contains operating results of the stations for the last three years - financial year to Feb 28 - showing them to have revenues of USD 24.40 million, USD 22.94 million and USD 25.36 million in 2009 to 2011 and to have made operating losses of USD 161.67 million in 2009 (including USD 155 million in impairment charges) and USD 81.70 million in 2010 (including USD 78.25 million in impairment charges) and operating income of USD 1.43 million in 2011 (when there were no impairment charges). It adds that as of the end of February this year it had Federal accumulated net operating losses ("NOLs") of USD 118 million and state accumulated NOLs of USD 189 million available to offset future taxable income and that with regard to Federal taxes, Emmis expects to utilize NOLs and fully offset the taxable gain from the transaction, resulting in no cash tax outlay.
In a separate release, Merlin Media announced that it has appointed John Gehron, former Infinity Broadcasting and Harpo Radio (later renamed Oprah Radio) executive and most lately founder of Wisdom Radio and AccuRadio COO, as chairman of its advisory board and Liz Aiello, former SVP of Broadcast at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia , as Vice President, New York.
It says the company was formed “to acquire and operate radio stations through a partnership between Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR and Emmis Communication” and that it will seek “to develop a network of radio stations across the country.”
Michaels commented, “I was lucky enough to recruit John to run the Chicago cluster during my time at Clear Channel and I am thrilled to be working with him again now. At Merlin Media, we aren't building a broadcast company, but a multimedia, multiplatform company. Liz has deep experience in radio, television, satellite, cable and interactive, and her intelligence and extensive contacts in New York will be the perfect addition to our new company.”
According to Robert Feder writing in TimeOut Chicago Q101 is expected to drop its modern rock format and switch to all-news soon after Merlin begins programming the stations, a move that Feder says will take aim at CBS Radio's all-news WBBM-AM (780) , currently the top-rated and top-billing station in the market.
He surmises that before Merlin makes this move CBS may simulcast “Newsradio 780 on WCFS-FM , its underperforming adult-contemporary station known as Fresh FM and that veteran media consultant Walter Sabo, a former SVP in charge of the ABC Radio Networks and previously Executive Vice President of NBC-owned FM radio stations, may be tapped to run the radio operations for Michaels.
2011-06-21: Cumulus is proposing to pay 3.75 to 4 points above LIBOR (the London Interbank offered rate) for the USD 2.04 billion loan it wants to support the acquisition of Citadel and refinance its debt according to Bloomberg.
In a report posted by Business Week that cites two people with knowledge of the deal but who wish to remain anonymous because the terms are private, Bloomberg adds that the lending benchmark will have a 1.25 percent floor
The loan is coming from a group led by JPMorgan Chase & Co.-led transaction includes a $375 million five-year revolving line of credit and Standard & Poor's has assigned a B+ rating to the credit facilities,
Lenders it says have until June 29 to say if they will take part in the deal and it adds that they will get 101 soft-call protection for one-year- meaning that Cumulus would pay one cent more than face value to re-price the debt in its first year.
Business Week/Bloomberg report:
2011-06-20: In a further call for his release and statement about the detention by Tajikistan of of Urunboy Usmonov (See RNW Jun 16), the BBC says that a week after his detention the BBC World Service reporter "has been denied regular and confidential access to his lawyer, and has not been allowed any access to his family and colleagues, which is against the norms of both international and Tajik law."
It adds that a recent interview arranged by the Tajik security agencies and a subsequent article published by the Press.tj agency that accused the BBC correspondent "of being a member of Hizbut-Tahrir represents a breach of legal practice and a serious violation of presumption of innocence" and goes on to say, "We strongly reiterate that these allegations are unfounded and the BBC sees them as a serious threat to professional journalism and to freedom of expression in Tajikistan."
"Usmonov, as a BBC journalist," says the Corporation, "is expected to cover all sides of any story and in the course of his work it is only natural that he would meet and interview people representing all shades of opinion. It is vital for all journalists to be able to report freely on any organisation without fear of harassment and intimidation."
It concludes by saying that the BBC continues "to be highly concerned" for the safety of Usmonov, who has a serious heart condition and whose family 201C have expressed deep concerns about his health and possible maltreatment in the detention centre."
2011-06-20: Triton Media's Dial Global yet again dominated the top-rated US radio networks according to Arbitron's RADAR 109 survey just released that shows the Dial Global Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Adult Power Network holding on to the top three ranks amongst those 25-54;
The Premiere Informed Network was again fourth followed by Premiere Today's Men Network in fourth rank - up from seventh and pushing the Westwood One Adults Network down to sixth: Citadel's Media Family FM, which in RADAR 108 leapt up the ranks from 18th to sixth fell two ranks to eighth.
Arbitron adds that the report, based on a survey from April 1, 2010 through March 30, 2011, shows network radio reaching between 74% of those 12+ and 77.2% of those 25-54 in the US.
In the 25-54 demographic Dial Global took four of the top ten spots - the other was ninth rank with Dial Global Female Perspective; Premiere Networks three spots; and Citadel, Westwood One and United Stations one each.
Amongst the 18-49 demographic Dial Global again had four out of the top ten networks with its Dial Global Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Adult Power Network in the top three spots' and the Dial Global Female Perspective in eighth rank- down two ranks: Premiere had four networks in the top ten, up from three in RADAR 108 - its fourth ranked Premiere Modern Women Network; fifth ranked Premiere Today's Men Network and sixth- ranked Premiere Young Influencers (up from seventh) plus the Premiere Informed Network in tenth rank (up from 11th): The two remaining spots were taken by the Westwood One Adults Network, which remained ninth; and United Stations Impact Network, which was up from tenth to seventh, whilst Citadel's Media Family FM dropped from eighth to 11th.
The top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also posts details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 108 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 4.243 million and an average rating of 3.3 (In RADAR 108 the network was first with 4.302 million and an average rating of 3.4).
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 4.020 million and an average rating of 3.2 (In RADAR 108 it was second with an average audience of 3.971 million and an average rating of 3.1).
3: Dial Global Adult Power with an average audience of 3.019 million and an average rating of 2.4 (In RADAR 108 the network was third with an average audience of 3.042 million and an average rating of 2.4).
4: Premiere Informed Network with an average audience of 2.829 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 108 it was fourth with an average audience of 2.930 million and an average rating of 2.3).
5: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.829 million and an average rating of 2.2 (In RADAR 108 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.6.06 million and an average rating of 2.1).
6: Westwood One Adults Network with an average audience of 2.705 million and an average rating of 2.1 (In RADAR 108 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.804 million and an average rating of 2.2).
7: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.631 million and an average rating of 2.1 (In RADAR 108 it was eighth with an average audience of 2.513 million and an average rating of 2.0).
8: Citadel Media Family FM with an average audience of 2.350 million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 108 it was sixth with an average audience of 2.648 million and an average rating of 2.1).
9: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.307 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 108 it was ninth with an average audience of 2.427 million and an average rating of 1.9).
10: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2.206 million and an average rating of 1.7 (In RADAR 108 it was tenth with an average audience of 2.187 million and an average rating of 1.7).
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR rankings (RADAR 108):
Previous Westwood One
2011-06-20: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin finds two community radio stations to have been breaching their licence conditions and upholds standards complaints involving five TV stations: It also upheld a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint and posted details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
The community stations found to have breached licence conditions were Brick FM, which provides a service for the people of St Boswells, Newton St Boswells and the surrounding area in the Scottish Borders; and Radio Sandwell, which is licensed to provide a service for the African Caribbean community and other residents of West Bromwich and the surrounding area of Sandwell.
In Brick FM's case Ofcom had been in correspondence with the station since January 2010 following a complaint that was considered to have been dealt with by the licensee's response but that was followed by a second complaint in March last year concerning the amount of live programming being aired.
The station's 'key commitments' require that "the service will typically be live for at least 10 hours per day" but the complaint alleged that all output broadcast on 18 March 2010 was pre-recorded and appeared to have been made some time ago.
Brick FM was asked to provide recordings of the output that day by April 9 but did not reply by the deadline, which was subsequently extended and recordings were provided on April 19 but no response was made concerning the specific points raised by Ofcom.
The station was contacted again and said that on the day in question a presenter was off ill and that there was "typically over 8 hours of live"on that day.
Ofcom noted that on listening to the recordings it found it difficult to assess whether the station's 'key commitments' in other respects were being delivered and it requested further recordings and asked that the licensee "signpost" its output indicating how and when certain specified key commitments were delivered.
Again the deadline for a response was not met but after Ofcom contacted the station again it did receive a response and the recordings but from these it again found itself unable to assess whether the commitments were met as the recordings provided were "were unmarked, no dates or times of broadcast were provided and no supplementary information was provided."
They were returned to the licensee and further information requested with a final deadline given for response of December 2 but yet again the response was not received in time and in February this year Ofcom formally recorded a breach of licence conditions for the failure to provide recordings (See RNW Feb 21).
Further recordings were requested in March this year to allow assessment of whether the station was meeting its key commitments and monitoring of the recordings led Ofcom to conclude that key commitments - that the "output will typically comprise 75% music and 25% speech" and "the service will typically be live for at least 10 hours per day" - were not being met. The programming was predominantly music and two programmes appeared to be repeats of previously broadcast programming.
The licence also requires that "Brick FM will provide a platform for discussion and the expression of opinion via live, daily phone-ins" and Ofcom found no evidence that discussion and expression of opinion was being catered for at all.
Ofcom accordingly contacted the licensee and was told that the two programmes concerned were in fact live but were spoof" programmes and that regarding the platform for discussion the people who made the programmes "are give [sic] a platform and a chance to express an opinion. People are given an opportunity to phone the station and make there [sic] own programmes and express an opinion".
Ofcom did not accept the licensee's arguments and has formally recorded a breach of license conditions: It says it is continuing its dialogue with the licensee, will monitor the station's output, and has given Brick FM notice that continued non-compliance with its key commitments may result in further regulatory action being taken.
In the Sandwell case Ofcom received a complaint in March this year to say that the station did not appear to be broadcasting followed by a later call to say that it appeared to be airing only pre-recorded programming.
The licensee was contacted and said there been "no break in the Station's broadcasting and Radio Sandwell continues to broadcast and provide a valuable service to the community of Sandwell."
Ofcom followed up at the end of the month and visited the transmission site, finding that the station appeared to be transmitting all of its output from a laptop linked to the transmitter (rather than from a studio). This laptop was running a software programme that appeared to be playing pre-recorded output only.
It therefore asked licensee Sandwell African Caribbean Development Agency Limited for comments and recordings but got no answer by its deadline and on contacting the licensee again was told by the chairman of the licence-holding company, to whom we had written, said he was out of the country on business and returned to the UK two days before the deadline given for recordings and information.
Ofcom has now received the recordings and is in contact with the station about its output but it recorded a breach of licence conditions because of the failure to provide the recordings in time.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 298 complaints against 100 TV items and 15 radio complaints against 12 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 232 complaints against 128 TV items and 36 radio complaints against 14 items that it did not uphold that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
RNW note: This report was updated.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-06-19: Yet again last week in a fairly quiet week, the major regulatory news came from North America albeit in this case from Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched an online consultation concerning the renewal of the renewals of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) radio and television licences (See RNW Jun 18).
There were no radio announcements from Australia or Ireland and in Canada, apart from the consultation noted, the CRTC also posted details of other radio related consultations: In order of province these were:
Consultation with a July 19 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, relates to an application from Rawlco Radio to relocate the antenna of CIUP-FM Edmonton, Alberta: The relocation would allow the licensee to co-site CIUP's technical facilities with sister station CKNO-FM.
Here the CRTC has received an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial radio service for Fredericton, and is asking other parties who might wish to apply for a licence in the area to submit their completed application to the agency by Sep 12. The agency says it then intends to consider the applications at a public hearing.
Also in New Brunswick the has received an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial radio service for Miramichi, and is again asking other parties who might wish to apply for a licence in the area to submit their completed application to the agency by Sep 12.
The CRTC also posted one radio decision, the denial by a majority vote of an application by Cobequid Radio Society for a licence for a 50 watts English-language community FM in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.
The CRTC received nearly 500 interventions in support of the application but in refusing the application said that it was concerned that proposed structure of Cobequid's board of directors is limited and does not allow members of the community to participate in the management of the station, nor to control it.
It noted that members of the community at large cannot become members of the board of directors without the current board's approval and said that as such, the Commission considers that the structure of the board of directors proposed by Cobequid does not comply with the campus and community radio policy.
It was also concerned by the apparent commercial programming orientation of the service proposed by Cobequid, which proposed that 70% of Cobequid's music programming would be devoted to selections from subcategory 22 - Country and country-oriented., a service Cobequid said would fill a void for its target audience of those 45 and above.
It was also concerned about the limited spoken word programming being offered and taking all factors into account denied the application.
In the UK there were no radio postings as such by Ofcom although the regulator did welcome the end of court proceedings brought against its ruling that its codes were breached by comments made for former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt, who had termed an interview a "NAZI" (See RNW Jun 17).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed down or proposed around USD 40,000 in penalties to radio stations (See RNW Jun 14, Jun 15 and Jun 18) albeit this was a tiny pittance compared to nearly SD 12 million in penalties proposed against four carriers in a clampdown on cramming (they are said to have unlawfully billed tens of thousands of consumers for unauthorized charges).
In other radio related postings the FCC, after much toing and froing, granted a petition from East Kentucky Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WPKE-FM, Coal Run, Kentucky, to reconsider an earlier decision denying it an upgrade that involved moving the station from Channel 276A to Channel 221C3 at a new transmitter site and the modification of its license to specify operation on non-adjacent Channel 221C3.
In relation to this the FCC issued an order to Dickenson County Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WDIC-FM, Clinchco, Virginia, to show why its licence should not be modified from Channel 221A to Channel 276A.
Dickenson objected to the move on the basis that there was a was a major terrain obstruction between Coal Run and the proposed reference site that would preclude 70 dBu service to Coal Run and the FCC in its Report and Order agreed with Dickenson that to overcome the major terrain obstacle would require a tower some 173 meters (568 feet) above ground level.
This, it said, meant the station's ERP would have to be reduced to 5.1 kilowatts, which is below the minimum 6 kilowatt ERP provided in the Rules for a Class C3 station and accordingly it denied the East Kentucky proposed upgrade.
East Kentucky in its reconsideration petition argued amongst other things that the Report and Order misapplied FCC rules and that these did not establish an invariable six kilowatt minimum ERP for Class C3 stations and noted that there are 125 Class C3 stations operating with an ERP below 6 kilowatts.
Dickenson then responded by saying that even if East Kentucky is correct about the application of the rules, the proposal is not technically feasibly because the obstruction is in fact far worse than originally reported and will require a tower significantly taller than indicated in the report and order and would have to be some 401 meters (1,317 feet) and East Kentucky had not shown that it can construct a tower of this height in mountainous terrain or obtain FAA clearance for the tower. .
Kentucky then submitted data showing that to deliver a signal level greater than 70 dBu from the site listed in the report and order it would only need a tower of 207 meters (679 feet) and an ERP of 1.75 kW and the FCC opted to accept its figures.
It has accordingly granted the upgrade and is "involuntarily substituting Channel 276A for Channel 221A at Clinchco", and modifying the license of WDIC-FM to reflect the change: East Kentucky in connection with this says it will reimburse the licensee of WDIC-FM for its reasonable expenses associated with changing its frequency to Chanel 276A.
Previous Licence News:
2011-06-18: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched an online consultation concerning the renewal of the renewals of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) radio and television licences.
It says that it will be looking at the CBC's overall mandate in terms of programming and conditions of licence and will consider the results from the consultation at a hearing in Gatineau, Quebec, commencing on September 12.
Amongst the questions it is asking are "How can the CBC be relevant and meaningful in the future?"; "How can the CBC best deliver content to all Canadians?"; "Should the CBC only provide different programs and services than private broadcasters?" ; Does the CBC's programming meet all of its objectives?; What more (or less) should it be doing?; What should it do differently?; and Does the CBC fill your need for reliable and authoritative news and information?
The consultation will conclude at midnight ET on July 18 and comes against the background of a search by the Canadian government of Stephen Harper for some CAD 4 billion (USD 4.1billion) in savings in public spending; Harper when in opposition had said he would like to put the CBC on a more commercial footing and only subsidize activities that commercial companies would not provide.
The CRTC last held a public consultation concerning the CBC in 2,000 and the Toronto Sun quoted its former chairman John Meisel as saying the agency places enormous importance on public hearings. If I learned one thing when I was chairman of the CRTC, it was the enormous importance in a democratic society of public hearings."
The paper reports that early comments included one critics comment that "the heavily biased journalism, practised by the CBC, can only happen because they survive on handouts from the taxpayer "¦ CBC doesn't 'report' news. Their so called jouralists (sic) manufacture it" with other comments including a number in defence of the broadcaster and others calling for it to be sold off.
When we last checked there were 27 comments or responses about fulfilling the "need for reliable and authoritative news and information?" of which 21 were critical of the broadcaster, most of them accusing it of left-wing bias.
In favour of the CBC was one comment from Prince Edward Island appreciative of the TV's local service, the only one available as the population is too small for a profitable private station - together with a response saying amongst other things "Its high time the rest of Canada stopped subsidizing those that choose to live in remote areas; especially when they have other options available to them."
Responses to the other questions were also generally hostile to the idea of subsidized public broadcasting and radio got only a few mentions although one comment on what the broadcaster should do said "CBC radio in particular is a valuable service for Canadians in the hinterland."
CRTC consultation - Page re news carrying links to other questions and responses:
Toronto Sun report:
2011-06-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode has imposed or proposed further radio station penalties for public file and late renewal application filing. They were:
*USD 15,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to L. Stanley Wall, licensee of WLSW-FM, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, for failing to maintain and make available the quarterly issues/programs lists in the station's local public inspection file.
FCC agents had found 15 files missing during an inspection of the station's main studio in April last year and in response to a Letter of Inquiry Wall admitted that the files were missing and said they "could tell that a person or persons had gone through the file and that some items had been removed." He committed himself to replacing the missing documents and said that to avoid future problems the station planned to make copies of major parts of the file for storage in another location.
A follow-up inspection in February this year showed that WLSW's public inspection file only contained one issues/programs list, making a total of 17 missing files. Wall on this occasion responded to another Letter of Inquiry by saying that the missing lists had been moved to storage and further claimed that many of the files in storage were lost or damaged when part of the roof on an adjoining building collapsed from the weight of snow: Employees at the station had not mentioned any move to storage at the time of the inspection or that the files could have been lost or damaged.
The FCC opted because of the continuing breaches to increase the proposed penalty from the base level of USD 10,000 to USD 15,000.
*Denied request from Bible Broadcast Church School, Lupton, Michigan, licensee of WMSD-FM, Rose Township, Michigan, for reduction or cancellation of USD 1,500 Forfeiture Order for late filing of renewal application.
An NAL for this amount had been issued in December 2005 and a subsequent request for reduction on the basis that the breach was inadvertent had already been rejected. Bible Broadcasts then asked for reduction on the grounds of financial hardship but did not submit documentation to support the claim, which was accordingly rejected.
*Denied request from Tennessee Technological University (TTU), licensee of WTTU-FM, Cookeville, Tennessee, for reduction or cancellation of USD 1,500 Forfeiture Order for late filing of renewal application.
The agency had issued an NAL for this amount to which the licensee responded by requesting cancellation because the failure was inadvertent. This argument was rejected and TTU then requested cancellation on the grounds of financial hardship, enclosing its annual budget to substantiate the argument.
The FCC noted that this did not provide details of revenues, the basis on which it normally judges ability to pay, and accordingly rejected the request and confirmed the penalty.
2011-06-17: Mexican regulator COFETEL (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones) has now completed the process of giving regulatory approval to the voluntary use of iBiquity's HD technology for both AM and FM radio in the country, a decision announced in February (See RNW Feb 28 ibiquity1).
The decision was published Mexico's the Diario Oficial de la Nacion (Federal Register) and publicized during a Presidential press conference held at Los Pinos *the President's official residence), and included a statement by President Felipe Calderon saying to broadcasters, "By establishing this new digital standard, we are opening the door so that Mexicans can receive more content with greater signal quality. And in that transition, we will all win .I want to invite you to invest in your radio stations, and to take advantage of these new conditions that have just been created, to bring to our country the very latest technology that will allow you to offer much better radio to all Mexicans. We have the opportunity to position ourselves as a world leader."
The formal approval was welcomed by iBiquity, which said its President and CEO Bob Struble thought the move boded well for an eventual common digital radio standard in North America (Canada went for digital radio on the Eureka DAB system used in pretty well all of the world outside US influence in 1999 but most broadcasters went for simulcasts of existing programming and the system was dismantled last year - the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announced in June that it was to close down all its remaining DAB stations - after a low take-up, leading Canadian broadcasters to press for the use of other systems. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had reversed its original policy and started to allow testing of other digital systems in December 2006).
iBiquity added that automakers and receiver manufacturers would prefer a common digital radio platform to lower design, manufacturing and marketing costs in North America. It commented that it is working with transmission manufacturers and receiver manufacturers to accelerate the HD rollout in Mexico and commented, "It will be interesting to see how many stations there implement the technology and if other countries with large populations in the Americas, like Brazil, follow Mexico's lead and adopt HD Radio."
RNW comment: As we have made clear in the past, we think a common world standard would be much better for listeners than a North American one and in those terms iBiquity seems to have lost out, gaining acceptance only on a very limited basis as most countries have opted either for DAB, using separate additional spectrum rather than part of the existing analogue bandwidth as in iBiquity's IBOC (in-band on-channel system) together with Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), which is similar to HD and used codecs based on MPEG4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding). All the systems have problems with reception inside buildings and in many cases in our view with the decision to cram more signals into the spectrum rather than going for improved audio quality (Not in terms of getting rid of some of the audible interference with analogue systems that all digital systems remove but in terms of audio range).
We suspect that the proprietary HD system will win in North America and Mexico but its future remains in doubt in much of South America and it seems to us that it has pretty well no future for most of the world where the open-standard DRM systems are making progress.
With a world view, we would prefer to see worldwide systems -already delivered well by AM/FM/SW - and on that basis prefer a regulatory approach allowing use of various standard rather than just one (The US Federal Communications System has approved only HD - and of course it is much better for existing broadcasters as they keep their frequencies and can thus keep out newcomers albeit there is no benefit of freeing spectrum through the move to digital as there had been with the switch-off of analogue TV).
2011-06-17: Former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt, who was fired by UTV in November 2008 after he termed a local councillor a "Nazi" (See RNW Nov 18, 2008) has lost his appeal against a High Court ruling that UK media regulator Ofcom was justified in upholding a complaint against the interview concerned (See RNW Jul 13, 2010).
The three appeal judges had been told that Gaunt's comments about a decision to ban smokers from being considered as foster parents had resulted in 53 complaints on the basis that the children's needs should take preference over those of foster families and that Gaunt had subsequently apologized on-air for the comments, saying he meant to say "health-Nazi."
He was backed in legal action against Ofcom by UK human rights organisation Liberty (The former National Council for Civil Liberties) on the basis that the decision breached article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and was an unlawful interference with his freedom of expression.
In delivering the appeal court's verdict Lord Neuberger noted that Ofcom's broadcasting code said "offensive material or language will often be justifiable, but justifiability must be assessed by reference to the context" but that in this case "when one combines the extremely aggressive tone of the interview, the constant interruptions, the insults, the ranting, the consequent lack of any substantive content, and the time which the interview was allowed to run on, it seems to me clear that Ofcom was right to conclude that there had been a breach of ... the code."
Neuberger also noted that by the time Ofcom had published its finding ( In May 2009 - See RNW May 12, 2009) the host had already been fired by talkSPORT and that there was no suggestion of him losing specific work because of the finding and added of the issue of freedom of expression that although such findings might do damage to a broadcaster the "point serves to underline the importance of anxiously scrutinising any curb on freedom of expression, but it goes no further than that, and anxious scrutiny is precisely what Ofcom gave the matter."
Ofcom's spokesman said they were pleased with the court of appeal ruling, which agreed that "the interview had an extremely aggressive tone combined with constant interruptions, was full of insults, ranting, and lacked any substantive content and that it was a breach of generally accepted standards."
Gaunt official web site (So far he has posted no comment on losing this case):
2011-06-17: CBS Radio News has for the fifth successive year taken the "Edward R. Murrow Overall Excellence Award" in the series of awards named after the network's celebrated reporter and commentator: Overall it took five national awards, up two from last year - the others were for Audio Breaking News Coverage (which went to AP Radio news last year); the Audio Continuing Coverage as last year; the Audio Newscast as last year; Use of Sound (to CNN last year) and Writing (to MSNBC last year). National Public Radio (NPR) took four awards - down from five last year - including one to Youth Radio with National Public Radio's All Things Considered and other awards went to ESPN and Public Radio International.
In the large market awards WTOP-FM, Washington, took the Overall Excellence award - last year it had four other awards but WBUR-FM, Boston, took overall excellence; and in the radio small market category WRVA-AM, Richmond, Virginia took the overall excellence award.
Overall this year 95 awards go to 62 organizations compared to 89 awards to 59 organizations last year. As last year, audio of the winning awards is on the RTNDA (Radio Television Digital News Association- US & Canada) website.
The radio awards went to:
Radio Network/Syndication Service
Overall Excellence - CBS Radio News
Audio Breaking News Coverage - CBS Radio News for Earthquake in Haiti
Audio Continuing Coverage - CBS Radio News for Disaster in the Gulf
Audio Feature Reporting - ESPN for The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap - A Goal, A Ghost
Audio Reporting: Hard News- National Public Radio for The Foreclosure Nightmare
Audio News Documentary - Public Radio International (This American Life) for Long Shot - Hasta La Vista, Maybe
Audio Investigative Reporting - National Public Radio for Home of Nursing Home: America's Empty Promise to Give the Elderly and Disabled a Choice
Audio News Series - Youth Radio with National Public Radio's All Things Considered for Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation
Audio Newscast - CBS Radio News for CBS World News Roundup
Audio Sports Reporting - ESPN - ESPN, Outside the Lines: "Coach Randolph"
Use of Sound - CBS Radio News - Kids' Digital Day
Web site - National Public Radio - for NPR.org
Writing - CBS Radio News to Dave Ross
Radio: Large Market
Overall Excellence - WTOP-FM - Washington, DC
Audio Breaking News Coverage - CFRB-AM - Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for G20 Black Block Party in Toronto
Audio Continuing Coverage - KCBS-AM - San Francisco, California, for Firestorm Follow-Up
Audio Feature Reporting- WBAL-AM - Baltimore, Maryland for A Harrowing Experience
Audio Reporting: Hard News - KUT-FM - Austin, Texas for Bernier Doctors on Healthcare Curran
Audio Investigative Reporting- WBT - Charlotte, North Carolina for State Airplanes
Audio News Documentary- Michigan Radio - Ann Arbor, Michigan for Coal: Dirty Past, Hazy Future
Audio News Series- KUT-FM - Austin, Texas for NASA End of the Space Shuttle
Audio Newscast- KSL-AM/FM - Salt Lake City, Utah for Best Newscast 9/20/10
Audio Sports Reporting- KGO-AM - San Francisco, California for Cut Man
Use of Sound - WCBS-AM - New York, for Sean Adams
Web site WBUR-FM - Boston for wbur.org
Writing- KIRO-FM - Seattle, for Best of Dave Ross
Radio: Small Market
Overall Excellence WRVA-AM - Richmond, Virginia.
Audio Breaking News Coverage - WCHS-AM - Charleston, West Virginia, for Upper Big Branch Mine Explosion
Audio Continuing Coverage - WNRP-AM - Pensacola, Florida, for Continuing Coverage of Gulf Oil Spill
Audio Feature Reporting WATD-FM - Marshfield, Massachusetts, for Down in the Dumps
Audio Investigative Reporting - KUNC-FM - Greeley, Colorado for Sergeant Lynch's War
Audio Reporting: Hard News - WMSI/WQJQ-FM - Jackson, Mississippi, for Volunteer City
Audio News Documentary - WVPS-FM - Colchester, Vermont, for
Afghanistan's Other War
Audio News Series - WSHU Public Radio - Fairfield, Connecticut, for Policing the Mentally Ill
Audio Newscast - US 1 Radio - Big Pine Key, Florida, for Evening Edition
Audio Sports Reporting- WITF-FM - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for Beep Baseball
Use of Sound - WVPS-FM - Colchester, Vermont, for Night Patrol
Web site - Rubber City Radio Group - Akron, Ohio, for AkronNewsNow.com
Writing - WVPS-FM - Colchester, Vermont, for an Appreciation for the Cluster Fly
Previous Murrow Awards (2010 awards):
RTNDA - 2011 winners (including links to audio):
2011-06-16: The BBC, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and British and US governments have all expressed varying degrees of concern and condemnation over the detention of BBC World Service reporter Urunboy Usmonov in Tajikistan.
Urunboy, a 59-years-old Tajik citizen who has worked as a reporter for the BBC World Service Central Asian department for ten years, was reported missing by his family on Monday and subsequently accused of having links to the Islamic organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir , which is banned in Tajikistan.
In a statement the World Service said that on Tuesday "Usmonov appeared at his home accompanied by members of the Tajik security services. Mr Usmonov's family reported that he appeared to have been beaten up. A search was conducted of his home by the officers and he was then taken away. He has been denied access to his family since then."
It then noted the accusations and commented, "Whilst Mr Usmonov has reported on the judicial trials and activities of the Hizbi Tahrir party in Tajikistan at the request of the BBC, the BBC has no reason to believe these allegations. The BBC deplores the alleged treatment of Mr Usmonov whilst detained, in particular the denial of access to a legal representative. The BBC demands that Mr Usmonov is released with immediate effect."
The CPJ said it "condemns the detention and reported beating in custody" of Usmonov and called for his "immediate release".
It noted that the Russian news agency Regnum had reported that on Wednesday Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Makhmadullo Asadulloyev told journalists that Usmonov joined Hizb-ut-Tahrir in 2009, and distributed extremist materials and leaflets in the Web-based social networks and also allegedly agitated local residents through online social networks to join the banned group.
CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said the charges were "nothing but an attempt to censor coverage of sensitive political and religious issues."
The BBC reports that Usmonov's lawyer Fayzinisso Vakhidova says that he was charged without legal representation and that his isolation from his family was illegal and that the British Embassy in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, has expressed concerns over the arrest, saying the Tajik authorities should conduct their activities in accordance with their international commitments.
The Associated Press also reported that the US Embassy in Tajikistan had voiced concern: In video statement, U.S. Ambassador Ken Gross called for the Tajik authorities to investigate the alleged maltreatment and added, "We believe journalists shouldn't endure physical abuse or imprisonment for what they write."
Usmonov suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and his family has expressed concern over his health. His wife told the BBC that when he was taken away her husband barely spoke and seemed to have difficulty walking, adding, "He looked very down and there were signs of beatings."
The family have rejected the accusation that Usmonov joined Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic organisation which says it does not advocate violence but wants to establish an Islamic state (a "Caliphate") across the Middle |East and Central Asia and is openly critical of the Tajik regime.
BBC News report:
2011-06-16: Rush Limbaugh, never one it would appear judging by Politico's report on his sponsorship by Heritage Foundation (see below) to pass by an opportunity to make a dollar, has launched his own brand of tea, priced at USD 23.76 per case of 12 16oz bottles.
The host promoted the drink heavily on his show on Wednesday - not only in a segment devoted to it but also slipping in references whilst on other topics - and on the drink's website promotes four varieties "Original Sweet Tea"; "Raspberry tea" and diet versions of each.
The "nutrition facts" pop up indicate a slightly different story to the descriptions of the teas themselves - the "Original" is said to give its drinkers "all the goodness of our original flavoured tea, yet calorie free and sugar free. No worries, you still get a dose of pure Americana in every single drop you taste. Best of all, you don't have to put up with an artificial chemical aftertaste found in many other beverages."
The "Facts" say none of the teas contain protein or fat; but the non-diet versions both contain sugars (30gm Original and 40 gm Raspberry per bottle) plus calories (120 and 160 respectively) and 10 mg of sodium is listed for all varieties - down as 0% of daily volume: the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggest a daily intake of around 1,500 - 2,300 mg for an adult).
On the drinks' site is a "Letter" from Limbaugh - who is seen on the bottle labels wearing colonial gear while he rides a horse and holds a bottle of his tea in his hand - about the origins of the name starting with "The Liberals are Coming. The Liberals are Coming" and then going on to tie the title in to Revere's Ride - or rather HW Longfellow's poem which includes "Sound the alarm! One if by land. Two if by Sea"
He then goes on to say the tea represents "traditional American values of capitalism and the pursuit of excellence" and continues "Each bottle is designed to rise above the sameness and mediocrity that threatens our great nation. Just grab a 12-pack and join the fight to preserve the America we know and love. It's worth it!"
The site also contains a link to "Support" - and the promise to donate a minimum of USD 100,000 to the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation beginning in June - a promise also mentioned on his show.
Unsurprisingly the product launch has attracted a degree of scepticism and derision in some quarters with politicsusa heading its report "With Listeners Fleeing Rush Limbaugh Sells Tea Partiers $23 Iced Tea" and in the body of the report saying he his "seriously selling overpriced iced to an audience whose majority is elderly and retired. He is also doing this in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Apparently, Limbaugh decided that if Glenn Beck can take the rubes on the right for every dime they've got he can too (RNW note- a reference to "Survival Seeds" advertised on Beck's show)."
It also suggests that "most of the cash will probably go into Limbaugh's pocket. (Judging from the $100,000 number, he is probably donating around 10% or less)."
RNW comment: We will be interested to find out how many people buy this product rather than making their own tea and also what percentage of the profits end up going to MCLEF and what percentage to Limbaugh.
Limbaugh site re "tea":
2011-06-15: Saga Communications has announced that it has now closed on a new USD 120 million credit agreement with Bank of America; JPMorgan Chase Bank; Huntington National Bank; Charter One Bank (a part of RBS Citizens) and Peoples United Bank.
The facility includes a USD 60 million term loan and a USD 60 million revolving loan and was initially funded in the amount of USD 92.1 million: Saga intends to reduce the balance outstanding by USD 4.1 million on June 16, 2011 leaving a balance of USD 88 million drawn on the combined term and revolving facilities at that time.
Saga President and Chief Executive Officer Edward K. Christian commented that the facility was "great for our stockholders as it provides us a solid commercial banking facility upon which to build Saga's future."
2011-06-15: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC 0 has confirmed a USD 3,000 penalty on Lazer Broadcasting Corporation for failing to inform it immediately of a change in ownership of two towers in Santa Barbara, California.
The towers are used for KZER-AM and the breach came to light in October 2008 when following an inspection the FCC tried to contact the registered owner, Engles Enterprises Inc., d/b/a KTMS radio
At the end of November, the FCC contacted Lazer the owner of KZER and was informed that it bought the towers when it took over the station: Lazer was advised that they needed to be re-registered to the new owner and this was done at the start of December.
A subsequent letter of inquiry was sent to Lazer which said the breach had been inadvertent and a USD 6,000 NAL (Notice of Liability to Forfeiture) was issued in May 2009 to which Lazer argued for cancellation or reduced because the two towers were part of the same AM array, that it is not a licensee and no harm was caused by the failure to update the registration of the structures.
The FCC rejected all but the first argument and halved the penalty to USD 3,000 on the basis that both towers were part of the same array but warned that in the future it might make upward penalty adjustments based on various factors including the number of towers in an array.
2011-06-15: In a report that to us carries slight shades of Australia's cash-for-comment scandal (over hosts taking payment from companies and organizations but then not making it clear to their audiences that they had been taking payment when endorsing their sponsors) and rather more reflects cultural differences over hucksters, Politico reported today on the sponsorship of popular US talk shows by three prominent conservative groups.
The report lists them as FreedomWorks, which is plugged by Glenn Beck; Americans for Prosperity - plugged by Mark Levin; and Heritage Foundation that has deals with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
The report says there three organizations "are paying hefty sponsorship fees to the popular talk show hosts. Those fees buy them a variety of promotional tie-ins, as well as regular on-air plugs - praising or sometimes defending the groups, while urging listeners to donate - often woven seamlessly into programming in ways that do not seem like paid advertising."
It quotes Michael Harrison, founder and publisher of the talk media trade publication TALKERS Magazine, as saying, "The point that people don't realize is that (big time political talk show hosts) are radio personalities - they are in the same business that people like Casey Kasem are in - and what they do is no different than people who broadcast from used car lots or restaurants or who endorse the local roofer or gardener."
The Heritage Foundation it says pays around USD 2 million to sponsor Limbaugh's Show and USD 1.3 million to sponsor Beck and quotes its vice president for operations and marketing Genevieve Wood as saying, "We approach it the way anyone approaches advertising: where is our audience that wants to buy what you sell "And their audiences obviously fit that model for us. They promote conservative ideas and that's what we do." The report also details some of the other arrangements and the benefits to the fundraising of the groups involved.
It then quotes an example of Rush Limbaugh, paid by Heritage since 2009, as defending Heritage when they did a U-turn over health insurance mandates and examples of the other hosts commenting in favour of their sponsors.
The deals in this case, unlike those in Australia where hosts had direct deals, says Politico are with the distributors of the shows and adds that the hosts are not precluded from discussion or criticism of the groups involved although in some cases the deals include "embedded ads" according to some "sources familiar with the arrangements."
It adds that the arrangements have prompted some concerns from other groups both about the advantage to better-funded groups and also because many of the listeners are unaware of the deals, quoting one unnamed group leader as saying, "I wish more of the grassroots knew the reality that this wasn't Rush or Sean or Beck saying these things out of the goodness of their hearts. If the grassroots found out that these guys were getting paid seven figures a year to say this stuff, it might leave a bad taste in their mouth."
RNW comment: As we regard endorsements by highly paid personalities as a good reason to look for alternative providers of the goods or services involved, knowing of these deals would not change our habits but we agree that it leaves a bad taste.
The Australian system as now operating seems much sounder - hosts have to identify their interest when dealing with matters involving sponsors and this requirement does seem in the public interest to us. In the meantime the article is a good guide to hosts to treat with scepticism and a deal of disdain and groups of which to be suspicious albeit they are not doing anything illegal (their ethics may fairly be criticized, however) , merely gaming the system to their best advantage.
2011-06-15: Arbitron says that its RADAR 109 Network ratings report, due to be released on June 20, shows a year-on-year increase of some 1.9 million listeners a week amongst listeners aged 12 and older.
The report prepared from surveys carried out from April 1, 2010 through March 30, 2011 puts the total weekly audience at an estimated 241.5 million, representing 93.1 percent of all Persons twelve and older.
The increase it says was across all demographics with the greatest gains amongst adults aged 18 to 34 -of nearly 350,000 weekly listeners in the age group in the past year to take the total to nearly 66.5 million, around 93.6% of all members of this demographic. The number of Teens aged 12 to 17 listening to radio was up by 158,000 listeners to more than 22.8 million weekly listeners, some 92% of all in this demographic.
Arbitron adds that the medium also continues to attract a diverse base reaching more than 93% of Black (non-Hispanic) Persons aged 12 and older (29.8 million a week) and more than 95% of Hispanics aged 12 and older (36.5 million a week - up 1.1 million on a year earlier).
Within the Hispanic audience there was a sharp increase in the 18-49 demographic -up around 600,000 to more than 23.7 million a week.
Radio also does well with the better educated and more prosperous reaching nearly 96% of Adults aged 18 to 49 with a college education and a household income of more than USD 75,000 (22.8 million listeners) and 96% of the 25-64 demographic with a household income of USD 50,000 or more (71.7 million listeners).
For adults 18 to 34 with a college degree, an attractive demographic for advertisers, the reach is around 95% (17.3 million a week.)
Previous RADAR (RADAR 108):
2011-06-14: The BBC has posted online what it terms a online what its Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie terms a "broadly positive report" prepared by John Myers on the running of its popular music stations - BBCs Radio 1and 2 plus their sister digital stations 1Xtra and 6 Music - in which Myers suggests putting the stations under a combined management structure.
In the report Myers - current Chief Executive of the Radio Academy and a former chief executive of Guardian Media Group (GMG) Radio - rejects simple comparisons with commercial stations as "meaningless on many levels" adding "It is akin to comparing apples with oranges, due to the very different ways in which they operate."
He goes on to say that had he used the commercial sector as the sole comparison it might suggest that commercial radio "had adopted the tight model. This would be a poor assumption and is simply not correct" and goes on to say that although the commercial sector has "excellent national brands and many first class stations" it is "generally underfunded, understaffed and over-regulated."
Myers then goes on to comment on his initial assumption that "finding synergies" within large public networks with guaranteed funding should be "an easy task" and finding that the reality was more complicated.
He notes that he was not asked to look at the creative process, choice of programming and cost of talent on the networks concerned and praises the BBC staff involved as "broadly the best of the best - intelligent, entertaining, bold, enthusiastic and ambitious and importantly, proud of what they do and who they do it for."
In his findings he notes the obligation put on each network controller through the Service licence, suggesting that this "does appear to be overly prescriptive", citing as an example a requirement on Radio 2 to "air comedy when BBC network radio as a whole more than adequately provides for this" and also the differences in the networks in terms of structure and operational roles with much more cross promotion between Radio1 and 1 Xtra than Radio 2 and 6 Music, suggesting that to an outsider it is "confusing" to understand why 6 Music is not within the Radio 1 family as it has more musical connection with that than with Radio 2 (6 Music and Radio 2 are under one controller, the other two stations under another).
This leads him to suggest that a "huge amount of experience and professionalism" within each network is not shared with others and that the structure and upper level management could be simplified.
He also notes that Radio 2 has studio managers on almost every programme but the other stations have very few and comments that the "radio 1 and 1 Xtra approach comes from a mindset of only hiring talent who can self operate studio equipment", suggesting that Radio 2 could take up this approach and that it currently often uses studio managers as a "comfort blanket". He also criticizes Radio 2's use of newsreaders who do little other than read a brief hourly bulletin and the staffing levels -- 52 full-time staff - for Radio 1's Newsbeat programme which airs two fifteen minute bulletins a day.
Regarding news he comments that its delivery is set up very differently from that of the networks with the result "that it is expensive to run and both structurally and financially complicated."
Myers also notes that "Compliance issues are, without doubt, the source of the biggest complaints within the networks I reviewed" and says that although all the staff he talked to acknowledged the need for control and good basic compliance many are "exasperated" by its scale and he suggests restoring "much more responsibility" to producers whilst retaining some sort of "red flag" system.
A common operating model says Myers should be explored with its potential for significantly reducing overheads, slimming down the management structure, removing "mirrored" departments within each network; reducing the charges from new; and increasing operational efficiency and the sharing of expertise at all levels" and he suggests this would best be delivered through co-location of all the services
In a blog entry Davie comments that Myers "key challenge was to identify possible ways of sensibly reducing costs while protecting the quality of our programmes" and tales up Myers point about the inappropriate comparison of BBC and commercial services but then goes on to commented, "However, this doesn't mean that we can't and shouldn't learn from external best practice - this is the very reason that I commissioned the review."
"The report," writes Davie "has some valuable insights and recommendations which have been fed into our discussions around Delivering Quality First (DQF) - the BBC name for the work that is underway to develop a plan for the period of the next Licence Fee settlement."
He adds that it's "too early to speculate on specific outcomes (which would all require BBC Trust approval)" but then says Myers has "identified some clear areas where we can look to do things more efficiently, such as improving co-ordination and reducing unnecessary duplication where appropriate."
BBC - Davie's blog:
BBC - Myers report (14 page 142 kb PDF).
2011-06-14: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 20,000 penalty to a Florida man for operating an unlicensed Fm from his residence in Miami.
Marckenson Bazile had been issued with a USD 20,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) in March this year (See RNW Mar 31)but did not file a reply so the penalty was confirmed: The FCC had doubled the standard USD 10,000 proposed penalty at the time because of a previous breach in 2007 when they had traced an unlicensed signal to a house owned by Bazile in Port St. Lucie, Florida and issued him with a USD 1,450 Forfeiture - reduced from USD 10,000 that time on the grounds of financial hardship although it rejected his other arguments for cancellation - that he did not intend to break the rules and was that he started the station for altruistic purposes and that the station broadcast primarily educational, religious and news programming in French and Creole.
In this case FCC agents in responding to a complaint had traced signals to a residence leased to Bazile on two days in June last year and in May last year had traced a signal on the same frequency to a location that Bazile said was garage space he was subleasing to someone else. The FCC also found on the site www.paradisfm.com a photograph listing a contact as "T-Pouchon": His photograph was of the same individual as the Bazile whom the agents had met in May.
2011-06-14: Greater Media has officially named Doug Meehan as the replacement for Jay Severin as drive host on WTTK-FM (Boston Talks) whom it fired in April this year following comments he made on air about hiring "mostly attractive young women" and having sex with them (See RNW Apr 6).
A posting about The Doug Meehan Show (1400-1800 weekdays) on the station's website notes that Meehan has been on the station since May this year and quotes the host as saying, I am re-energized by this incredible opportunity because there is no better way to personally connect to people directly than through talk radio," Meehan says. "This is an exciting new chapter in my broadcasting career."
WTKK Program Director Grace Blazer adds, "The people of Boston and New England will get to know a terrific live and local guy with a big commitment to the community. Doug brings to 96.9 FM smart and entertaining talk radio with relevant guests, sharp topics, and the wisdom and wit of a great radio talent."
A brief biography of Meehan on the same page notes that he began in radio at WLDM in Westfield and WPXC on Cape Cod and most recently flew for seven years as FOX25's Morning News Helicopter Reporter.
Previous Greater Media:
WTTK re Meehan Show:
2011-06-13: This UK Radio Production Awards, the second annual awards - they were set up by the Radio Academy and the Radio Independents Group for achievement by individual producers and production companies - have seen production company Folded Wing take the Indie of the Year Award and Somethin' Else, who took the Indie silver award, collect four of the other eleven awards.
They went to Russell Finch for Best Documentary/Feature Maker; Claire Neal for Best Music Entertainment Producer; Peggy Sutton for Best Live Music (Concert); and Polly Thomas for Best Drama Producer.
The Wireless Theatre Company took two awards - Mariele Runacre Temple for Best Entertainment Producer and also for Best Online/Multi-Platform Creator with the other awards going to Dean Woodcock and Absolute Radio for (Best Live Music (Studio); Cathy FitzGerald and Rockethouse Productions Ltd. / BBC World Service for Best Newcomer; talkSPORT Creative (Imaging) for Best Creative; Jill Waters and The Waters Company for Best Readings Producer; and Peregrine Andrews and Moving Air Audio Productions for Best Sound Designer.
Previous Radio Academy:
2011-06-13: BBC Trust chairman Lord (Chris) Patten in his first newspaper interview - with the Sunday Telegraph - has indicated that he wants to protect the World Service -currently funded by the Foreign Office, which has cut its grant following a government review of spending, but to be financed from the BBC licence fee from 2014 .
In particular the paper quotes him as describing the Arabic, Somali and Hindi networks as "at the core of what the BBC is doing" but indicating that he would not be against axing one of the BBC digital TV channels, BBC3 or BBC4 and cutting back on bidding for sports evens and commenting that more executive pay cuts are to be unveiled next month but for a variety of reasons ruling out publishing the salaries of individual stars even though he suggested some had been grossly overpaid.
Regarding the World Service and the cuts in funding from the Foreign Office he commented, "I hope that with the Foreign Secretary we can successfully mitigate the effects of some of the decisions which were taken. I'll be talking to him reasonably soon. I know he regards the World Service as an important part of this country's soft power and I'm sure that with goodwill and without megaphones we'll be able to sort it out."
UK Sunday Telegraph report:
2011-06-12: Last week the main regulator postings again came from North America with only a few postings elsewhere and none from Ireland.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one posting, of a decision not to free spectrum for temporary community broadcasting in Melbourne.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also had a quiet week with only a few radio related postings including:
*Approval of application by Société Radio Taïga for authority to acquire from L'Association Franco-Culturelle de Yellowknife the assets of the French-language Type A community radio programming undertaking CIVR-FM, Yellowknife.
The CRTC noted that during the current licence term, CIVR-FM may have contravened regulations regarding the submission of annual returns for the 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 broadcast years and that the applicant indicated that the acquisition of assets was complete, it would pursue the matter so that it could submit the missing annual returns to the Commission by the end of March 2012. This matter is to be reviewed when the licence is due for renewal in 2013.
*Confirmation of 2006 decision to award a licence to Intercity Broadcasting Network Inc. for a service to serve Toronto's Caribbean and African communities providing it could find a suitable frequency.
The authorization had lapsed but Intercity has now obtained authorisation to use 98.7 FM following tests: the frequency is second adjacent to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) station, CBLA-FM, on 99.1 MHz, and the CBC was amongst those - the others were Media Inc., Astral Media Radio Inc. and CTV Limited and the Douglas Kirk, President of Durham Radio Inc., - who had not opposed the application but expressed concerns regarding the way that the Department of Industry had authorized the use of 98.7 MHz, a frequency second adjacent to a CBC station, for this 446 watts FM.
The CRTC noted that Kirk had advised it that as a result of a contractual dispute with the applicant, he had commenced legal action in the Superior Court of Ontario seeking an order granting him an ownership stake in Intercity: Kirk asked that the Commission delay the consideration of the application and reschedule it to a future hearing at a date to be determined once the court proceeding is resolved.
The agency rejected this request and another from the CBC asking for a licence condition to prohibit transfer of ownership of the frequency during the licence term (saying that this was not needed as it had to approve any transfer request) and regarding the other concerns noted that the Department of Industry had said it is the applicant's responsibility to solve any valid cases of interference caused.
*Approved application by Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for authority to acquire from Niagara Radio Group Inc. the assets of the English-language commercial radio stations CFLZ-FM, Niagara Falls, and CKEY-FM, Fort Erie, and its transmitter CKEY-FM-1, St. Catharines, in a CAD 5.5 million (USD 5.6 million) deal.
The approval includes a tangible benefits package of CAD 330,000 (USD 340,000) - 6% of the total - over seven years and the Commission also directed Haliburton to fulfil by 31 August this year the shortfalls in CFLZ-FM's and CKEY-FM's Canadian content and talent development contributions for previous broadcast years up to and including the 2009-2010 broadcast year.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom announced the appointment of two new non-executive directors (See RNW Jun 9) and posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Jun 6, OFCOM3); and also its May Radio Update.
That update included a note of its approval of a format change for Celador's Solent regional station The Coast, which is to be re-launched as a JACK FM outlet (See RNW Jun 7).
The update also included note of two local digital licences issued during the month - to Festival Church Trust Ltd for Mountain FM, Ebbw Vale, South Wales, to provide a service of mixture of uplifting music from the 60s to date- and to Radio Manx Ltd for Radio TT, a service dedicated to the Isle of Man TT Festival featuring practice and full race commentaries
Mountain FM, which is already streamed on the Internet, is able to launch on the digital multiplex following the award from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust of a GPP 100,000 (USD 162,000) grant. Mountain FM has taken on three new staff who will help train its current 12 volunteers to handle the project.
In commercial station announcements the update lists the re-award for seven years under its fast track procedures of the Bristol licence held by Tomahawk Radio and the Winchester licence held by Play Radio Ltd., and the reasons for the award to Celador Radio (South West) Ltd. of the Bath licence - against competition frm two other bidders - for its The Breeze format (See RNW May 25) - commenting that Celador's revenues and costs projections were "realistic and achievable", an important factor "both in the context of the previous financial performance of the Bath licence and that of similar-sized commercial radio stations elsewhere in England."
In format changes, as well as that for The Coast noted already Ofcom also noted approval of a request from Andover Sound Limited and West Berkshire Radio Ltd. to be allowed to co-locate the Newbury service in Andover and for programme sharing between the two stations.
Two content sampling reports were issued during the month, one for Touch FM, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the other for Star Radio, Durham, both of which were found to be operating within their formats.
DAB changes listed were the addition of Mountain FM to the South Wales and Severn Estuary multiplex and a reduction of the bit rate of Rock Radio and Real Radio on the same multiplex plus a similar bit rate reduction for Rock Radio on the North East digital multiplex and the replacement of existing Capital service with a simulcast of Capital FM South Coast on the Bournemouth multiplex.
Regarding community radio the update included a change for Poole Community Radio's The Bay 102.8FM, which instead of being required to broadcast a programme presented by children, for children and young people 15 and under in Poole will now air "a regular programme relevant to young people (under 25s)."
Ofcom also approved a transfer of the licence of Wythenshawe FM, Manchester, to WFM Community Media; issued two new licences - to AHBS Community Radio, Ashford, Kent, and Marlow FM, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and noted that the licence of Rother Arts and Media Company Limited's RXFM had been surrendered.
In addition licence extensions were granted to Midlothian Community Media Association's Black Diamond FM (To March 28, 2017); BRFM Bridge Radio Limited's BRFM Bridge Radio, Isle of Sheppey (To Oct 29, 2018); Chorley FM;'s Chorley FM (To Nov 23, 2016); Castledown Radio Limited's Castledown Radio, Tidworth, Wiltshire (To Nov 3, 2016) and Radio Asian Fever CIC's Radio Asian Fever, Harehills and Chapeltown, Leeds (To Feb 28, 2017).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted was involved in a number of enforcement actions including a Consent Decree that involved Clear Channel paying USD 20,000 in relation to rules regarding gaining consent before recording phone calls for airing (See RNW Jun 6) and a number of other forfeitures relating to public file and late filing breaches (See RNW Jun 8).
The agency also issued a USD 24,000 penalty to a California man who had deliberately interfered with the signals of a shopping centre's security signal and refused to allow inspection of his own licensed equipment and a USD 15,000 penalty to a Louisiana CB operator who had caused interference by operating his equipment above its specified power.
In other actions the FCC issued a 475-page report on the "Information Needs of Communities" and announced that it is to hold its first ever nationwide diagnostic test of the Emergency Alert System on November 9.
The report -"The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age," - prepared by a group chaired by former political journalist and Beliefnet co-founder Steven Waldman, who is now Senior Advisor to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski - expresses concerns about the quality of local news reporting in the US despite the proliferation of Internet sources for news.
Its summary comments that in many ways today's "media landscape is more vibrant than ever, offering faster and cheaper distribution networks, fewer barriers to entry, and more ways to consume information" but then goes on to warn that in part because of the digital revolution the US now faces "a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting."
"This," it says, " is likely to lead to the kinds of problems that are, not surprisingly, associated with a lack of accountability-more government waste, more local corruption, less effective schools, and other serious community problems. The independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism-going so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracy-is in some cases at risk at the local level."
Genachowski in a statement on the report praised the report, which he said while it" identifies and celebrates the potential of new communications technologies, it also highlights important gaps that threaten to limit that potential."
Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps, who has commented frequently on the weaknesses of the US media in informing the public and the FCC's attitudes to its responsibility for ensuring diverse information to produce a well-informed electorate, was lass praising of the report.
After commenting that "most of the past 30 years, the Commission has turned a blind, and sometimes hostile, eye toward this responsibility" he said in a statement, " It will come as a surprise to few here this morning that this just-released Staff Report and its accompanying recommendations are not the bold response for which I hoped and dared to dream. Instead, the overarching conclusion of the Staff Report seems to be that America's media landscape is mostly vibrant and there is no overall crisis of news or information."
"But," continued Copps "there is a crisis when, as this Report tells us, more than one-third of our commercial broadcasters offer little to no news whatsoever to their communities of license. America's news and information resources keep shrinking and hundreds of stories that could inform our citizens go untold and, indeed, undiscovered."
"Where," he asked "is the vibrancy when hundreds of newsrooms have been decimated and tens of thousands of reporters are walking the street in search of a job instead of working the beat in search of a story?
In terms of FCC action he said he agreed that the current licensing policy had "failed" but put that down to lack of action because "beginning 30 years ago, the Commission wiped from its books most of the public interest guidelines that consumers and advocates had won after long, tough struggles for media reform."
The FCC, he noted has "not taken a license away for public interest non-performance for the 10 years I have been here or in the 20 years before that. Nor does the Commission even issue warnings or impose a probationary period giving a poor-performing licensee a chance to clean up its act."
Regarding the Internet, he commented, ". Right now the vast majority of the news we read on the Internet is produced elsewhere-in traditional media newsrooms What hasn't developed there is the model, mass or momentum to sustain the kind of resource-hungry journalism that an informed electorate requires. An open Internet is not the entire solution for robust Twenty-first century journalism. It's tougher than that, and I, for one, don't believe we'll get there absent some positive public policy solutions. We have never had successful dissemination of news and information in this country without some encouraging public policy guidance, going back to the earliest days of the young republic when Washington, Madison and Jefferson saw to it that newspapers were financially able to reach readers all across the fledgling young republic."
RNW comment: We're rather with Copps on this one. Frequently when in the course of our work we try and check a story on the Internet we find the content, as opposed to comment on it, goes back a single agency report with US broadcasters and indeed some newspapers frequently using an agency for reports in local areas that they in the past would have covered themselves.
Equally it's noticeable the degree to which US media in general shy-away from anything that might "upset" someone or challenge the comfortable myths that abound in American as every other society - a good recipe for producing an Ostrich-generation that one day will get its backside kicked very hard while the head is the sand - with many outlets, particularly on radio and online, choosing to reinforce the prejudices of those who form most of their audience or readers rather than inform that audience.
Previous Licence News:
FCC- Report -"The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age." (475-page 5.12 Mb PDF):
2011-06-11: Forum Communications' North Dakota station WDAY-AM, Fargo, which was taken off air after it lost two of its three radio towers in a Memorial Day storm (See RNW Jun 1), is now back to nearly full power on air.
The station was out of action completely for around a day because the damage also cut power to the broadcasting complex but then maintained its service as an online stream and a channel on digital TV until early evening on June 2.
The Fargo Infoforum, also owned by Forum Communications, quoted WDAY general manager Kevin Weaver as saying engineers have now finished boosting the signal and bolstering the structure of the station's one remaining tower: In the storm one of the other towers was brought down and another snapped off at the top by high winds.
"It's near full power," said Weaver. "I don't think any of our listeners will notice a difference."
He added that after power was restored on June 2 the station had occasionally had to be taken off air to allow reconfiguration of the remaining tower to increase power until the other towers are rebuilt but that now the signal should remain on air. The Federal Communications Commission he said had given special approval to allow the signal to be transmitted on a non-directional basis at night as opposed to a directional signal from each of the towers prior to the damage.
So far no dates have been given for when the other towers are likely to be rebuilt.
Fargo Infoforum report:
2011-06-11: This year's Reith lectures on BBC Radio 4 are to be given by Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the former Director-General of MI5, Baroness Manningham-Buller on the topic "Securing Freedom."
Commenting on the lectures in a release, Gwyneth Williams, Controller, BBC Radio 4 said, "This Reith Lecture series engages with some of the currents arising from a period of exceptional international political and economic turmoil. I am thrilled to have as our 2011 Reith lecturers Aung San Suu Kyi addressing the themes of dissent and liberty and Eliza Manningham-Buller who, on the 10th anniversary, will reflect on 9/11 and intelligence and foreign policy since. These are two very different sides of a familiar story - the struggle for liberty and its defence."
Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy won a landslide victory won a landslide victory in Burmese elections in 1990, subsequently spent 15 of the last 21 years in jail but was released by Burma's military junta in November last year. She is a recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (1990) and the Nobel Peace Prize (1991) and her two lectures were recorded in Burma earlier this week.
She said, "To be speaking to you through the BBC has a very special meaning for me. It means that once again I am officially a free person.
"When I was officially 'unfree', that is to say when I was under house arrest," she added, " it was the BBC that spoke to me - I listened. But that listening also gave me a kind of freedom, the freedom of reaching out to other human minds, of course it was not the same as a personal exchange but it was a form of human contact."
She continued, "The freedom to make contact with other human beings with whom you may wish to share your thoughts and your hopes, your laughter and at times even your anger and indignation, is a right that should never be violated.
"Even though I cannot be with you in person, I am so grateful for this opportunity to exercise my right to human contact by sharing with you my thoughts on what freedom means to me and others across the world who are still in the sad state of what I would call 'unfreedom'."
Eliza Manningham-Buller in her lectures marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with reflections on the event and its impact on the world plus repercussions in terms of security, intelligence, threats to freedom, and countering them.
She said she was "honoured to share this year's Reith Lecture series with Aung San Suu Kyi whose selfless courage on behalf of Burma's freedom should remind us not to take our own freedoms for granted."
San Suu Kyi's lectures will air on Radio 4 at 08:00 GMT on June 28 and July 5 and Manningham-Buller's lectures at the same time on September 6, 13 and 20. They will also be available online and as a podcast afterwards.
2011-06-10: UBC Media's Unique radio production division has announced that it is to take over production of 'Sounds Of The Sixties', hosted by Brian Mathews and which airs in from 08:00 to 10:00 on Saturdays, from the start of next month: It has been produced in-house for 27 years by the BBC.
Unique already produces the 13:00 "Pick of the Pops" , hosted by Tony Blackburn, which airs on Saturdays from 13:00 to 15:00: The programme commenced on the former BBC "Light Programme" in 1955 based on the top 20 singles chart in the UK and then transferred to BBC Radio 1 with a Radio 2 simulcast in 1967. It was taken of the air in 1972 but then revived by Alan Freeman, who hosted it at the time, as "Pick of the Pops - Take 2" on Capital Radio from 1982 to 1986 and returned to Radio 1 in 1989, airing until 1992 when it was again killed off. Unique brought it back as an independent production to Radio 2 in April 1997, initially with Freeman as the host.
The commission is welcome news for UBC which in earlier this month had reported that its full-year revenues to the end of March had fallen from GBP 4.94 million (USD 8.02 million) to GBP 4.46 million (USD 7.24 million) with pre-tax operating loss up from GBP 536,000 (USD 870,000) to GPP 903,000 (USD 1.465 million) and after tax profit down from GBP 214,000 (USD to GBP 56,000. It had an underlying operating loss of GBP 495,000 (USD 347,000 - after GBP 223,000 (USD 362,000) of exceptional professional and acquisition costs) - up from GBP 277,000 (USD 450,000)
At the time the company said it had pushed ahead with its "objectives: developing our content businesses into digital video, moving our interactive business into mobile apps and removing our legacy digital radio liabilities" - it made a GBP 2.3 million (USD 3.7 million) deal with Bauer to remove GBP 3.1 million (USD5.0 million) of long-term digital radio liabilities from the time when it was a broadcaster and a release from its from MXR spectrum payment obligations.
Within the figures it reported video revenues up 61% - it did not split out audio in its content division figures - and software revenues up 22%.
UBC is one of the largest independent radio producer to the BBC with around 12% share and Chief Executive Simon Cole commented of the latest contract, "We said in our results statement on Monday that, despite pressure on margins, we had reason to be optimistic about the future prospects of business with the BBC. We are very proud to have been chosen to produce this high profile part of Radio 2's weekly schedule and committed to providing the BBC with the highest quality programming."
The BBC has been lobbied by independents to increase its outsourcing or programming and amongst other recent commissions was a move to Somethin' Else of the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film review programme that had been produced in-house by Radio 5 Live for a decade.
Radio 2 has also put its weekday overnight programming in the hands of independent producers with Somethin Else to make Janice Longs midnight to 02:00 programme, and Wise Buddah to take over the production of Alex Lesters02:00 to 05:00 show.
2011-06-10: Canada's private radio industry revenues in 2010 were up 3.2% on a year earlier at CAD 1.560 billion (approx USD 1.60 billion) - 97.6% of it from advertising - according to Statistics Canada although when inflation is taken into account they have still not reached the 2008 figure of CAD 1.595 billion (then circa USD 1.44 billion) : In 2009 - first time Canadian private radio revenues had fallen year on year since 1993 - they fell 5.2% on 2008 to CAD 1.5 billion (Then USD 1.41 billion - See RNW Aug 31, 2010).
Profit margins were also up last year with the margin before interest and taxes 19.1% compared to 17.9% in 2009 taking total PBIT to CAD 298.4 million (approx USD 306.5 million - the 2008 figure was CAD 336.7 million, then around USD 303.3 million).
There were again significant regional variations with Ontario the most profitable province with PBIT of 22.9 cents per dollar of revenues whilst Saskatchewan, had the lowest margin with 11 cents of profit: The PBIT margin was last year was more than 10% in all regions for the first time since 1976 and was highest in large markets - 24.8% compared to 15.5% in medium markets and 13.7% in smaller markets.
After tax figures however were in reverse with a net loss of CAD 40.2 million (approx USD 36.2 million) compared to net income of CAD 307.8 million (then around USD 297.8 million) in 2009 and net income of CAD 356.1 million (then around USD 365.8 million) in 2008. For AM stations net income of CAD 25.2 million (approx USD 24.4 million) in 2009 became a net loss of CAD 5.71 million (approx USD 5.53 million) whilst for FMs net profit of just below CAD 280 million (approx USD 270.9 million) turned into a net loss of CAD 27.1 million (approx USD 24.4 million)/
Operating revenues also varied considerably - they grew most strongly in medium markets - up 4.7% followed by small market growth of 4.5% and only 1.5% for large market stations.
In terms of station type, FMs recorded a 3.7% increase in operating revenues with the number of stations up from 512 to 528 and ARE stations a 1.3% rise with the number of stations down four to 147: FM PBIT margin was up from 20.7% in 2009 to 21.4% (24.5% in 2008)
In language terms Francophone stations with a 6.0% growth in operating revenues outperformed Anglophone stations - up 2.6% = and ethnic stations (Up 4.5%).
In terms of employee numbers there was a fall - for FMs the figure went from 7,601 in 2009 to 7,584 - the peak was 7,697 million in 2008 having risen from 6,902 in 2006 - and for AMs from 2,700 to 2,593 (AM figures have fallen steadily from 3,021 in 2006)
Previous Statistics Canada:
2011-06-09: Former Clear Channel host Eric Deters who was fired by WLW-AM, after comments he mad in a blog saying, "If you want to conquer an African nation, send white women and pot" (See RNW Jun 2) is to return to the Cincinnati airwaves on Monday.
As rumoured earlier he has been hired by Christian Broadcasting System's WQRT-AM (Conservative talk Real Talk 1160) for evenings with, according to Cincinnati.com, a promise of a move to 0900 to noon.
Cincinnati.com notes that his new home is only a 5,000 watts station compared to 50,000 watts for WLW and adds that Deters' show will be streamed and also be available as a podcast for his "Bulldog Nation" fans.
In his announcement Deters, who said that he was not paid by WLW while working seven days a week last year, says, "I've accepted a deal with 1160 Real Talk. It will be a full-time gig, and I have a great financial package. It will also allow me to continue my full-time law practice. I'll begin Monday at a 6-8 p.m. time slot. My first guest will be Chris Smitherman, President of the Cincinnati NAACP."
He goes on to say the station is a "great opportunity for me to not only expand my radio work, but I believe will be a platform for my dream of a national show. They do not have the watts of 700 WLW, but in this deal, smaller is better for me."
A posting on his Facebook page directs readers to 1160 Radio's Facebook page which in turn says that Deters will be the guest host on Andy Furman's 0700-0900 show next week as well as launching his 1800-2000 show.
Facebook - Deters' page:
Facebook - 1160 Real Radio:
2011-06-09: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced that Dame Patricia Hodgson, a former Chief Executive of the Independent Television Commission before it became part of Ofcom in 2003, is stepping down as a member of the BBC Trust and is to join its board on July 1: She will take over from Philip Graf as Deputy Chairman when he retires at the start of next year.
Hodgson had been an internal candidate for the post of BBC chairman that went to (Lord) Chris Patten and was then defeated in the race for vice-chair, a post that went to Diane Coyle. She is also Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, a Non-Executive Director of the Competition Commission and Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Also appointed as a non-executive director to the Ofcom board was Dame Lynne Brindley who has been Chief Executive Officer of The British Library since 2000. She is a Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council and a Board Member of the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network. Brindley begins a three year term from the start of September and replaces Millie Banerjee CBE who retires from the Ofcom Board at the end of this month.
Ofcom's remuneration rates for the posts are GBP 42,519 a year (approx USD 70,000) for up to two days a week for directors and GBP 70,000 a year (approx USD 115,000) for up to two-and-a-half days a week for the deputy chairman.
Commenting on the appointments, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was "essential the regulator has people with extensive skills and experience on its board" and Ofcom Chairman, Colette Bowe, added, "I am very pleased to be welcoming Patricia and Lynne to the Ofcom Board. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise which will greatly benefit Ofcom and I very much look forward to working with them over the next few years."
The Department for Media, Culture and Sport has advertised for a board member for the BBC Trust - remuneration for around two days a week is listed as GBP 35,935 ( Approx USD 59,000) but with a note that BBC Trustees are currently take a voluntary reduction in their fees to GBP 32,952 a year (Approx USD 54,000)
2011-06-09: Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenues, whose rise after a February year-on-year increase of 5.79% (See RNW Mar 14) slowed in March to 0.3% (See RNW Apr 4) with falls in most markets but then rebounded in April with a 5.73% rise (See RNW May 16) again performed well in May with a 4.12% overall rise to AUD 58.40 million (USD 61.89 million) according to figures from industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
According to the 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, advertising revenue grew in all metropolitan markets:.
Largest increase was of 9.63% to AUD 7.60 million (USD 8.05 million) in Perth followed by 7.46 % in Adelaide to AUD 5.75 million (USD 6.09 million); then 4.85% in Sydney to AUS 18.50 million (USD 19.60 million); 3.69% in Brisbane to AUD 9.30 million (USD 9.86 million) and 0.33% in Melbourne to AUD 17.24 million (USD 18.27 million).
This makes the growth for the first 11 months of the final year 6.39% to a total of AUD 621.44 million (USD 658.55 million).
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner commented, "Radio continues to perform well in a softer business environment, which reflects its cost effectiveness and efficiency at getting the message out quickly. It continues to be a resilient medium and is performing well over the long-term."
Previous Australian Radio Revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-06-08: Former BBC6 Music DJ and TV host George Lamb, who left the BBC station in June last year, is to host a new weekend 2100-midnight local show on UTV's talkSPORT starting on Sunday.
A posting on the station's website says Lamb will be joined by his former 6 Music partner Marc Hughes for the show, which will be comprised of sport and celebrity chat.
Lamb, whose father is actor Larry Lamb, is a Fulham Football Club supporter, who hosted a number of TV series before his move to radio on 6 Music: he comments of the move, "Marc and I are super-hyped about our new show. We both love talking, we love sport and, a la Charlie Sheen, we love 'Winning' so, as you can imagine, we're thrilled to be joining the most exciting thing happening in radio at the moment. Everyone's talking about talKSPORT and it's great to be part of that buzz."
talkSPORT programme director Moz Dee added, "George is a real talent, he has a passion for radio and I think he'll be a terrific fit for us. I've seen the line-up of guests that are planned and it's very exciting."
Lamb was not universally popular when at 6 Music where he hosted the mid-morning and then weekday breakfast shows: At one stage listeners launched an online petition to have him dropped and an infamous interview with Ray Davies of The Kinks in 2008 - cut short by the singer after just before five minutes after questions (that included asking him if he was "bald", how to spell "Manoeuvre - to which Davies started replying FUC...) - was described by Paul Gambaccini as the "worst interview in the history of broadcasting" (Audio of this is still available on You Tube).
UTV blog re Lamb show:
You Tube - Lamb interview with Ray Davies.
2011-06-08: Clear Channel has announced that it has started simulcasting the output of five of its stations on the XM satellite radio service from noon ET today: The services will not be on the Sirius satellite service of Sirius XM but are on Clear Channel's iHeartRadio that is available online and on smartphone devices.
The stations are Los Angeles top 40 KIIS-FM (XM Channel 11); New York CHR/Top 40 WHTZ-FM (Z100 - on XM Channel 12); New York AC WLTW-FM (Lite FM - on XM Channel 13); Nashville country WSIX-FM (XM Channel 57); and Chicago Urban WGCI-FM (XM Channel 163).
Commenting on the move Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan commented in a news release, "Clear Channel's goal is to be wherever our listeners are with the content they want and expect, and that includes offering our top stations and formats on the satellite platform. These five stations have fans across the country, from people who listen in their home cities to those who have discovered them on iHeartRadio, our digital service. Now we can extend them to listeners who tune in via XM satellite radio."
The five simulcasts replace current programming by Clear Channel on the XM service although only one format changes.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-06-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode has again confirmed forfeitures against US radio stations totalling USD 23,500:
They included the following:
*Confirmed USD 9,000 penalty on Frank J. Neely, licensee of WGIV-AM, Gastonia, North Carolina for failing to properly maintain a public file for the station:
Neely had petitioned for reconsideration of a forfeiture for this amount issued in August 2008 after on a licence renewal application he admitted that the issues/programs lists from April, 1998, through the first quarter of 2003 - the entire period of Neely's tenure as licensee - were missing from the file.
He added that all issues/programs lists had been placed in the public file from the second quarter of 2003 to the present and that steps had been taken to assure that in the future all quarterly lists would be timely prepared and placed in the public file.
The forfeiture order followed a USD NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) issued for the breached in 2004 to which Neely had responded by arguing for cancellation on the basis that the public file requirement serves no useful purpose, the forfeiture assessed against him was three times greater than that assessed against other licensees for the same violation, and he was unable to pay the proposed forfeiture, submitting as evidence unsigned tax forms from the years 2001 to 2003. The arguments were then rejected and the forfeiture ordered to which Neely responded by filing the petition for reconsideration but the agency has rejected this on the basis that the petition provided no new arguments or evidence to justify the cancellation.
*In another ruling involving Neely, the FCC denied his petition to cancel a USD 3,000 penalty related to a new FM in Due West, South Carolina, for which he had placed the winning bid in FCC auction 62 but had failed to file his post-auction Form 301 application on time.
The agency had granted him a waiver but issued a NAL with the USD 3,000 penalty to which Neely responded by arguing for cancellation because he had not failed to file the form but failed it late and the amount was inconsistent with amounts levied in similar cases, and that the FCC did not have the authority to impose forfeitures on small entities such as him.
The FCC did not accept his arguments and issued the forfeiture and Neely responded with a petition for reconsideration and again the agency declined to accept his arguments, saying they did not differ from those already rejected. It confirmed the penalty.
*Issued USD 8,000 forfeiture to Linfield College, licensee of KSLC-FM, McMinnville, Oregon, for public file breaches. The College in its licence renewal application had admitted that issues/programs lists from 1999, 2000, and 2001 were missing from the Station's local public file and although the renewal was granted was issued with a USD 10,000 NAL.
Linfield responded by arguing for cancellation because the FCC had been late in issuing its NAL and a history of compliance to which the FCC responded by noting that the NAL was timely in regard to the date at which the renewal was granted (Linfield had argued in what the FCC termed a "novel assertion" that the date should have been the retroactive date listed on the licence rather than the date at which the renewal was granted) but accepted that the station had a history of compliance. On this basis it reduced the penalty by USD 2,000.
*Confirmed USD 1,500 forfeiture issued to Faith Trinity Assemblies, licensee of WZYZ-FM, Spencer, Tennessee, for late filing of renewal application.
The FCC had issued a USD 1,500 NAL for the violation in 2007 to which the station responded by arguing that the failure was due to a mistake in using the Commission's electronic filing system and also because it is a non-profit entity.
The FCC rejected the arguments and issued a USD 1,500 forfeiture to which Faith Trinity responded with a petition for reconsideration on the same grounds and because it would be caused financial hardship.
Documentation supplied did not support the hardship argument and the petition was rejected and the full penalty confirmed.
2011-06-08: Following at automotive workshops on digital radio held in Sydney and Melbourne at the end of last month and start of this month radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has said it is pleased with the automotive industry's response in relation to the medium.
The workshops included discussion related to in-vehicle reception of digital radio and plans for On Channel Repeaters (OCRs) to boost the current DAB+ signal in the five state metropolitan areas where transmissions are already on air, in car testing guidelines, and an update on the progress of planning for the rollout of DAB+ digital radio in regional Australia.
CRA CEO Joan Warner said the industry was "very serious" about getting DAB+ receivers into vehicles and was offering "bonus commercial radio airtime for manufacturers that integrate DAB+ technology into their vehicles" adding "Ultimately, the radio industry objective is to have every car sold in Australia factory fitted with a digital radio. We're very pleased with the response from the automotive industry to our workshops and look forward to continued communication."
Commercial Radio Australia also noted that last week some 100 delegates from 65 companies including representatives of leading automobile manufacturers attended a workshop held in Berlin by World DMB and that Australia was considering a similar system to one for European countries to set a pan-European standard of receivers for DAB (the MP2 based system in use in the UK), the more advanced DAB+ with AAC encoding used in Australia and some parts of Europe, and DMB, a system that would give economies of scale by allowing such receivers to function on a worldwide basis.
BMW is already offering DAB+ as a factory-fitted option and Directed Electronics Australia has released a system that combines DAB+, DVD, CD, MP3, WMA, AM/FM, SD/USB Multimedia Auxiliary Input, Bluetooth, GPS Navigation and a Reversing Camera with a number of manufacturers offering DAB+ aftermarket products.
Directed Electronics managing director Steve Siolis, creator of the first Australian designed, fully featured aftermarket product said: "We are excited to be part of the digital radio momentum with the first 2-DIN DAB+ unit released, the Orion AVR6.1, allowing consumers to experience digital radio and its features. The CRA workshops heightened the information level of digital radio to all that attended and hopefully it encourages them to adopt DAB+ in their offerings. "
Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), state manager - southern region, Lachlan Callaway said it was encouraged by the commitment of the radio industry to digital and added, "With over 800,000 consumers now listening to a DAB+ service, it is safe to assume this rapidly growing market will also be looking for both OEM and aftermarket DAB+ options for their vehicles."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-06-07: UK radio ratings company RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) has announced that it is to dip its toes into the digital age with a move to introduce an online listening diary and a new digital personal interviewing aid (CAPI - Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) into its surveys.
RAJAR had evaluated various electronic audio monitoring devices including Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) and the Eurisko Media Monitor, which performed best in tests announced in 2004 (See RNW Oct 12, 2004) with the latter performing best and the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch, which it ruled out for further evaluation: At the end of that year it won a case brought against it by the Wireless Group, which had been pushing the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch that the group used in alternative ratings that had shown it with a much greater audience than reported under RAJAR's diary system (See RNW Dec 17, 2004). The Wireless Group estimated that the increased audience shown using electronic metering would increase its revenues by around GBP 60 million (then USD 120 million) a year.
RAJAR opted to carry out further tests of the PPM and Eurisko systems (See RNW Feb 15, 2005) and later issued an invitation to tender for a revised specification system and continued to evaluate the two devices and also test a new audiometer developed by IPSOS-RSL, which uses mobile phone technology to capture encoded signals. (See RNW Jul 12, 2005).
In 2006 it opted to stick to diaries for at least two years but also decided to set up London area pilot panel using the PPM for electronic measurement.
(See RNW May 23, 2006).
RAJAR says its move to an online diary will allow it to improve demographic representation and that the online diary will appeal to some people "who may be less responsive to the existing format."
The online survey will mirror the paper diaries in format to allow integration of data from both sources.
Data from the online system, which will initially only be available via Personal Computers but later is expected to be modified to allow the use of devices such as Tablets and Smart Phones, will be used from the third quarter survey of this year.
RAJAR CEO Jerry Hill commented of the move in a news release, "The use of digital technology has become so prevalent across all demographics that we are now able to make these changes. Adding to our tool box to provide enhanced information is not only progressive for the industry but also beneficial in offering something easy and compelling for the consumers who provide our data."
In the same release, the changes were welcomed by the BBC Director of Audio and Music, Tim Davie, who said they hoped "the additional research will allow us even better insights into listeners' habits" and also by RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison, who added, "The accurate recording of listening figures is crucial to commercial radio, which relies on this to generate its revenue, so these improvements are a welcome addition to RAJAR's robust survey."
Kelvin Mackenzie, the former head of the Wireless Group, was robustly dismissive of the change, telling the UK Guardian, "What an absolutely ridiculous bloody idea. I've never heard anything so preposterous in my life. In the online TV world we can measure [down] to one [person] who will be watching us at any given time. The whole of the radio measurement business is a total racket."
He added that the new online option was "complete cobblers", commenting, "If someone can explain to me how you can contemporaneously fill in a form on your iPhone or laptop while driving down the M25 it's utterly, utterly preposterous."
UK Guardian report:
2011-06-07: Following approval by regulator Ofcom of its request for a format change to its Solent regional station The Coast, Celador is to re-launch it as a Jack FM outlet on July 4.
Celador took over the station in 2008 from CanWest who had won the licence in 20006 and launched it as Original 106 but subsequently sold its UK radio holdings (See RNW Aug 12, 2008) . It was subsequently rebranded and had a licence as "an adult album alternative station playing an album-led*, credible mix of adult-oriented music, with particular appeal for 40-59 year-olds, with 24-hour news."
This had been changed to that of a "a classic and contemporary rock station for listeners over 40 in the Solent region", a "substantial" change that required a consultation to which Ofcom received nine replies, two in favour and seven opposed.
Ofcom noted that a "common denominator among the individual respondents opposing the change was their enjoyment of The Coast as it is presently constituted, and that confining it to one genre (i.e. rock) may reduce the choice of listening available in the market" with some commenting that the album track requirement was an important consideration in the original licence award, and the reason why the station still sounds highly distinctive.
Ofcom in approving the change said however that the change would not narrow the range of programmes in the Solent region and the core target was essentially the same and regarding one comment about overlap with programming aired by Wave 105 noted that the Wave's format had no specific rock requirement but required it to play "a spread of Adult Contemporary and Soft Adult Contemporary hits."
The breakfast show on the new station is to be hosted by former Capital and Kiss FM host Bam Bam: it will be one of four Jack FM stations in the UK - in Bristol (Celador); Oxford (Passion Radio (Oxford) Ltd., a subsidiary of AIR Consultancy (Absolute Radio International Consultancy)) and Hertford (Shadow Radio Holdings).
Celador has also announced a re-organization of its radio division linked to the changes in which consultant Richard Johnson (former Managing Director of Tomahawk Radio which Celador bought in September 2010) has been appointed to the board of Celador Radio Broadcasting and Group Creative Director, with full responsibility for all programming output across the group, with immediate effect. Johnson will also continue to co-present and produce the JACK fm Breakfast show in Bristol.
In addition another consultant, Andy Turner, previously Programme Director for the Gold Network, becomes Programme Director for The Breeze across the group, based in Southampton.
2011-06-06: New Jersey governor Chris Christie has announced that the state's broadcasting operations are to be split up with TV operations to be run by New York public station WNET for five year; four radio stations to be sold to New York Public Radio; operator of WNYC-FM and classical station WQXR-FM and five others to be sold to Philadelphia public broadcaster WHYY.
The TV stations' operating costs will be cut by more than half the previous budget to around USD 8 million a year and WNET will get some USD 2.2 million a year in subsidies from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and also around USD 2 million a year from renting space on its broadcast tower: Some 120 employees of the current New Jersey Network will lose their jobs although they will be invited to apply for posts at the new entity, which expects to produce a weekday newscast, which is to be continued, with a staff of some 15-20.
New York Public Radio is to pay around USD 1 million in cash for the four licences - WNJY-FM 89.3 Netcong, WNJP-FM 88.5 Sussex, WNJT-FM 88.1 Trenton and WNJO-FM 90.3 Toms River - it is acquiring plus some USD 1.8 million in other compensation including investments in news coverage related to New Jersey whilst WHYY will pay around USD 926,000 in cash plus around USD 612,000 in non-cash compensation for its five licences - WNJM-FM 89.9 Manahawkin, WNJN-FM 89.7 Atlantic City, WNJZ-FM 90.3 Cape May Court House, WNJB-FM 89.3 Bridgeton and WNJS-FM 88.1 Berlin. The total for all the stations of some USD 4.34 million is broadly in line with the total valuation of USD 4.30 million that BIA Kelsey valued them at (See RNW Feb 10).
WHYY on its website has a story about the TV network deal that includes a brief reference to it purchasing "South Jersey NJN radio transmitters" whilst WNYC's report lists the stations it is to acquire and says that it will create a new public radio station focused on New Jersey news, and with a bureau in the Garden State.
The radio acquisitions, it notes, are subject to review by the New Jersey Legislature and approval by the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) whilst the NJTV arrangement needs the approval of the state legislature.
A news release from the Governor's office says the TV agreement will take effect on July 1 and notes the WNYC plans for a new public radio station but adds nothing about WHYY's plans. It adds that the announcement "fulfils the Administration's goal to have New Jersey Network stand as an independent broadcast entity that continues to serve a New Jersey-centric programming mission, without taxpayer subsidy." and
It also notes that the New Jersey Public Broadcasting System Transfer Act, which was signed into effect in December last year, gives the "State Treasurer the authority to negotiate a contract to transfer all or any part of the assets of the authority, including, but not limited to the radio operating licenses, but not including the television operating licenses, to the selected non-profit corporation or other entity."
2011-06-06: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a consent decree with Clear Channel involving a USD 20,000 penalty for recordings by WHTZ-FM (Z-100), Newark, New Jersey, of telephone conversations for broadcast without gaining consent from those involved
The FCC had received complaints about recordings made without prior permission in March 2006 and February 2007 and the company admitted making recordings without gaining permission although it has witnesses that permission was sought and granted before the actual broadcast of the calls.
As well as the USD 20,000 contribution to the US Treasury, the station has to institute a compliance plan to run for three years to prevent repetition of such breaches.
2011-06-06: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no complaints against radio broadcast but does uphold two TV standards complaints; considers three other TV complaints resolved through action taken by the broadcaster; also considers resolved a number of advertising scheduling cases and gives details of a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld
The figures compare with upholding of complaints against various Northern Ireland broadcasters who carried a government advert; a complaint against a Somerset community station over a request programme; and a TV standards and a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint in its previous bulletin.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 232 complaints against 128 TV items and 36 radio complaints against 14 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 273 complaints against 143 TV items and eight radio complaints against eight items that it did not uphold that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-06-06: According to ThisisMoney, Global Radio has pulled out of the bidding for Absolute Radio - the former Virgin Radio, which ultimate parent Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. has put up for a sale as part of a business review (See RNW Apr 5).
Jefferies bank is handling the potential sale and ThisisMoney says that UTV and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group are in the bidding.
It speculates that if the Branson bid, which could include the current owners retaining a stake in a deal valuing Absolute at GBP 20 million (USD 32.9 million) succeeds the station could revert to the Virgin name which was dropped by Times Infotainment Media (TIML) - a subsidiary of the Times Group that is in turn owned by the Jain family's Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd - which did not buy the Virgin name that remains under Branson's control.
UTV, which owns talkSPORT as well as local radio stations in the UK and also UTV and radio stations in Ireland, suggests the publication could make cost savings through a merger with talkSPORT.
Whatever way things go, the station has a history of losing money for its purchasers - Virgin Radio was acquired by SMG (then the Scottish Media Group) as part of its GBP 225 million (then USD 371 million) takeover of Chris Evans' Ginger Media in 2000(See RNW Jan 13, 2000).
SMG subsequently ran into debt problems and sold the radio station for GBP 53.2 million (then USD 104.6 million) in 2008 to TIML See RNW Jun 21, 2008),.
TIML rebranded the stations as Absolute at the end of September that year but Absolute has been a loss maker from the start and in 2009, the latest year for which figures are available, lost GBP 4.3 million (then USD 6.84 million) before tax (See RNW Oct 5, 2010).
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Virgin Radio:
2011-06-05: Last week was again quiet as regards radio for the regulators with public holidays reducing both the FCC and Ofcom to four-days in the week.
In Australia there were no radio decisions but Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Chairman Chris Chapman in a speech on convergence to a lawyers association meeting has said that existing regulation of broadcasters is based on the former analogue world, not the digital one in which broadcasters now operate (See RNW May 30).
Canada was also quiet as regards radio with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posting one decision and two consultation notices concerning the following radio applications:
*Approval of application by the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to increase the power of its English-language commercial station CHMT-FM, Timmins, from 3,600 to 16,400 watts and increasing the height of antenna above average terrain from 75.8 to 95 meters and by changing its class from A to B1.
With a July 4 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments
*Application by Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. to add an 880 watts transmitter at Manning to broadcast the programming of CKYL-AM, Peace River. The applicant says the Am signal is experiencing significant deterioration due to low ground conductivity and an increase in electrical transmission lines.
With a July 5 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments
*Application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to add a 3,000 watts FM transmitter at Wingham to broadcast the programming of CKNX-AM, Wingham. The applicant says this would provide fill-in coverage at night and in areas most affected by interference in the station's licenses area.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) posted no radio decisions but has announced the launch of its Community Broadcasting Support Scheme 2011 with a total of Euros 40,000 (USD 57,000) available to licensed community broadcasters in Ireland to enable them to evaluate and review the operation and effectiveness of their services. (See RNW Jun 1).
In the UK, Ofcom has brought into effect new procedures for handling broadcasting complaints and imposing sanctions on broadcasters (See RNW Jun 1 ) and also published a consultation on Now Digital's request to extend the coverage area of its local radio multiplex licence, which covers Exeter & Torbay, to include North Devon.
Now Digital is proposing to cover North Devon by using transmitters at Huntshaw Cross, Barnstaple and Okehampton: It says it would launch the first within six months of Ofcom granting consent to its request, and the latter two six months after "a positive decision in 2013 by Government regarding digital switchover".
Ofcom notes that the plan would not affect existing services in the Exeter and Torbay area and adds that it would normally grant such applications if the move would maintain or promote the development of digital sound broadcasting, the plans are satisfactory and the licensees have the ability to maintain the services; and there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect the rights and interests of stations carried on the multiplexes and the rights and interests of other multiplex operators.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was again active on the enforcement front with radio related action including issuing a USD 8,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) - to a North Carolina broadcaster for failing to insure that its Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment was operational; reducing from USD 20,000 to USD 7,000 the penalty on a South Carolina operator for tower lighting offences from USD 20,000 to USD 7,000 and on a Michigan college FM from USD 7,000 to USD 250 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Jun 2) and issuing a USD 20,000 forfeiture to a Florida woman for operating an unlicensed FM (See RNW May 31).
The Enforcement Bureau also issued a reminder to boaters of Marine Radio Rules and the need to check their safety communications equipment to ensure compliance.
Previous Licence News:
2011-06-04: Planet Rock has added Glenn Hughes, the former singer and bass guitarist with Trapeze and Deep Purple, and currently the front man of the Black Country Communion to its roster of star names hosting shows.
Hughes Sunday evening show launches at 17:00 GMT (1800 BST) tomorrow and will feature Hughes telling anecdotes from his career as well as choosing his favourite rock songs and tracks that have influenced him over the years.
It will be followed by a new series, the seventh, of "My Planet Rocks " with blues veteran Seasick Steve picking his favourite songs and talking about his career.
Commenting on Hughes show, Planet Rock's Programme Director Trevor White said it continued a "radition of bringing rock's biggest names to the airwaves" and added "After a career spanning 40 years, he brings a wealth of stories from his life on the road, in the studio, his friendships with the likes of Keith Moon and Bonzo, the highs, the lows, and of course, the excesses. His choice of music will make the show a must listen."
Previous Planet Rock:
2011-06-04: Pittsburgh will get back a full-time urban station on Monday when the WAMO call signs, now owned by Martz Communications Group, go back on air from the former WPYT-AM in Wilkinsburg that Martz bought last year from the Langer Broadcasting Group in Framingham, Mass., for USD 290,000.
The original WAMO frequency of 106.7 MHz - a 37,000 watts signal - was sold in 2009 along with WAMO-AM and WPGR-AM in a USD 8.9 million deal by Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, which had acquired WAMO in 1973 and used the call letters to air mainstream urban programming. The original WAMO frequency of 106.7 MHz - a 37,000 watts signal - was sold in 2009 along with WAMO-AM and WPGR-AM in a USD 8.9 million deal by Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, which had acquired it in 1973 and used it the call letters to air mainstream urban programming. The signal had been on 105.9 but Sheridan switched frequencies with superpower WXDX-FM in a 1996 deal with Clear Channel.
WAMO buyer St. Joseph Missions is using the 106.7 MHz frequency to air Catholic religious programming as WAOB-FM.
Martz will air the urban format on AM on the 1,400 watts daytime former WYPT-AM frequency with a reach of around 60 miles (100 km - not on air at night as the frequency would clash with WFAN-AM in New York) and simulcast it on 99 watts translator 100.1 W261AX, which has a reach of 15-20 miles (25-35 km) during the day. The FM signal and an online stream will be available 24 hours..
Martz Communications Group founder, president and CEO Tim Martz told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that it was obvious the city needed an urban station, adding, "I said, 'Unless somebody else makes a move, I'm going urban, because there's a huge void in the market,'" he said. "The more I got into it, the more I understood how much those call letters meant in the history of Pittsburgh."
He also noted that promoters of urban musical acts had begun to bypass Pittsburgh, because there was no full-time urban radio station to spread the word.
The station's new management said at a news conference that they realized the significance of the call letters beyond the new stations commercial identity as "Pittsburgh's Home for Hip Hop and R&B" as it is branded on the website and director of marketing Orlana Darkins Drewery said, "We don't just want to be a radio station, but a radio station with a conscience."
Air staff include Tim Steele, who is also PD and will anchor weekday mornings; Mia (middays) Mike Jax (Afternoon); and Jay Style (nights).
Previous Martz Communications:
Previous Tim Martz:
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report:
2011-06-03: Fairfax Media's 3AW Melbourne drive host Derryn Hinch has been found guilty of four charges of breaching orders suppressing the names of sex offenders by naming two offenders at a rally and on his website but cleared on a fifth charge that related to information published on his website: The offences carry penalties of up to four years in jail and more than AUD 50,000 (USD 54,000) in fines and magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg ordered that Hinch be assessed for suitability for home detention but did not rule out that he may go to jail.
In a posting on his website Hinch noted the convictions in relation to the naming at a 2008 "Name Them and Shame Them"rally and options put forward regarding sentencing.
The Public Prosecutor has asked for a jail sentence in view of his previous convictions - Hinch was in jail for 12 days in 1987 after he named a priest on trial for child sex offences - agreed that sentencing should be deferred for two months to allow the host, who has liver cancer, to improve his chances of gaining a transplant without which he may die.
A pre-sentence hearing is to be held on June 21 at which the host will represent himself but he has said in his posting and comments to reporters after the verdict that he still feels the same about naming offenders and is not sorry: "It's a good cause and the law is a bad law, " said Hinch.
On his site Hinch says of his plan to represent himself at the hearing that he knows "the adage about 'a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.' But I feel this is my fight. It has been a long campaign and I want to put my version of what I did and why I did it directly to the court."
He goes on to give his version of the origins and details of the law involved and of the men he named, terming them "evil men. Cunning, plotting rapists and paedophiles."
The law he says "was meant to protect people not perpetrators. It is tainted. And it is fatally flawed. And it must be repealed or amended" and he calls for people to put pressure on politicians for changes.
RNW Note: A very quick check shows that the Act- the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 - that was in force in 2008 when Hinch breached the suppression orders was repealed at the start of last year and replaced with a new Act, the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.
That being so Hinch at the very least is misleading visitors to his site and the arguments he makes - in terms of offences that are indeed as one judge commented in one case "depraved and wicked" - do not necessarily relate to the act concerned but the sentences that can be passed in such cases.
Hinch is making arguments that apply to sentencing rather more then to supervision orders and if intelligent and knowledgeable about the issues is deliberately confusing the two.
Previous Fairfax Media
Hinch website - comments re verdict:
Melbourne 3AW - report on sentencing:
Victoria DOJ- 2009 Act:
2011-06-03: Entravision in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says that from the start of this month it entered into new employment agreements with co-founders Chairman and CEO Walter F. Ulloa and President and COO Philip C. Wilkinson, each of which will run to the end of 2013 and replaces previous agreements that came into effect in August 2005. That agreement, which ran to the end of last year, set the base salary as USD 800,000 with annual reviews, plus annual bonuses: In 2010 each man received total remuneration of USD 894,600:
Under the new deal each gets an initial base salary of USD 767,000 a year with annual reviews by the Compensation Committee, which can increase them, and in addition they are eligible to receive an annual bonus of up to the same amount as their base salary for the year concerned plus possible grants of stock options, restricted stock and other grants under the Company's 2004 Equity Incentive Plan, or any successor plan.
Should they be dismissed without cause each is entitled to a lump sum payoff of the current base salary plus annual average bonus over the three preceding years; continuation of all benefits for two years, and immediate vesting of any stock options or equity-based incentives outstanding at the time.
If the termination follows a takeover of the company the lump sum payoff goes up to three times the base salary and average annual bonus for the three preceding years with the other benefits remaining unchanged. If dismissed for cause all payments end apart from any base salary still due.
Ulloa and Wilkinson together with Entravision director Paul A. Zevnik control around 82% of the voting shares in the company.
2011-06-02: CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves has told the Nomura Media Summit in New York that the company is pulling back from the sale of more radio stations following an improvement in their performance that has meant he thinks offers are unlikely to make sales worthwhile.
After noting that CBS radio stations' performance had "improved greatly" Moonves went on to add, "Unless the prices are going to be stronger, we're not interested in selling them now. It would have to be a really, really strong price. And there's noting that fits that profile."
Moonves also praised the performance of the radio division and its President and CEO Dan Mason, saying "the Radio Division is in such great shape under their new management - not really new management, they've been there for a few years now" and adding of the stations, "We're finding no great desire to sell them unless the price is pretty high."
2011-06-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 8,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) - the base amount - to a North Carolina broadcaster for failing to insure that its Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment was operational.
CRS Radio Holding Inc., licensee of WFBX-AM, in Spring Lake was also required to show that it now has operational EAS equipment installed.
The breach came to light following an inspection in 2008 after the FCC received a complaint that the station had been without operational EAS equipment for more than a year. The main studio was co-located with the main studio for co-owned Station WFAY-AM and the agent observed that Station WFBX did not have any EAS equipment located in the room which contained the station's control equipment and also that the EAS equipment for WFAY was not operational, because it was turned off and was not connected to an antenna. Both WFBX and WFAY had notified the Commission that their studio locations had changed to the current main studio in Fayetteville.
In South Carolina the agency has reduced from USD 20,000 to USD 7,000 the penalty on Big Fish Broadcasting, LLC, former owner of antenna structure number 1044859 in Chappells, and owner of antenna structure number 1066000 in Greenwood, for failure to exhibit the structures' red obstruction lighting from sunset to sunrise; and to notify the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) immediately of lighting outages.
Power to both structures were found to have been disconnected on separate dates in 2009 and in later checks in October and November that year and a USD 20,000 NAL was issued. Big Fish had requested reduction or cancellation on the basis of a history of compliance and inability to pay and the agency after reviewing documentation provided by Big Fish reduced the penalty on the grounds of inability to pay.
In Michigan, a forfeiture of USD 250 was issued to Adrian College, licensee of Class D non-commercial educational radio station WVAC-FM, Adrian, for late filing of licence renewal application and unauthorized operation. The agency initially issued a USD 7,000 NAL for the breach to which the licensee responded with a request for cancellation or reduction on the basis of other penalties issued for the breach, a history of compliance, voluntary disclosure of the breach, and inability to pay
The FCC noted that it had been behind its deadline in imposing any penalty for the late filing but not for the unauthorized operation for which the proposed penalty was USD 4,000. In relation to this it rejected all the station's arguments except for that related to penalties issued for similar breaches on which basis it cut the penalty to USD 250.
2011-06-02: Former Clear Channel host Eric Deters, who was fired by WLW-AM, Cincinnati, after posting a video blog on Facebook that said "If you want to conquer an African nation, send white women and pot" says he is "very confident" he will be back on the air soon.
Cincinnati.com quoted Jamey Schleue, station manager for Christian Broadcasting System's WQRT-AM (Conservative talk Real Talk 1160),as saying he had spoken to Deters about doing 5-7 p.m. weekdays on the station and added, "It could happen right away. But we have to get corporate to sign off on it."
Deters, a Northern Kentucky attorney, was told on Tuesday by Clear Channel market manager Chuck Fredrick that he would no longer work for the station, and his WLW-AM blog was taken off the station's website.
Deters said of the video that after recording it he had told his "video guy" not to post it, but it was posted anyway. He added "It's an embarrassing thing, but I can't deny that we shot that There's sometimes you say things you wish you didn't say and this is one of them."
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-06-01: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched the Community Broadcasting Support Scheme 2011 with a total of Euros 40,000 (USD 57,000) available to licensed community broadcasters in Ireland to enable them to evaluate and review the operation and effectiveness of their services.
The scheme has developed from the former Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) scheme that was launched in 1966 in 1998 to provide such funding to community radio stations: It was extended to include community TV stations in 2009 and last year made awards to eight stations.
Commenting at the launch at 2011 Craol Community Radio Féile, in Blanchardstown, Dublin, BAI chief executive Michael O'Keeffe said,"The BAI is very pleased to continue its support of the community broadcasting sector through its Community Broadcasting Support Scheme. The Scheme makes a significant contribution to the development of individual community stations, the community broadcasting sector and the community as a whole. We believe that the funding being made available again this year will continue to enhance the development of the community broadcasting sector even further".
Details of the scheme are available together with application forms on the BAI website.
2011-06-01: North Dakota WDAY-AM, Fargo, is still off the air after Memorial Day storms severely damaged its three transmission towers: The station itself and TV operations from the broadcast facility hub that also serves WDAY-TV; WDAZ-TV; KBMY-TV; KMCY-TV were taken off air after the storms cut mains power to the WDAY building and a generator that had been used to keep the TV station on air failed to keep equipment cool.
The TV stations went back on air just before 17:00 local when power was restored but WDAY-AM has remained off-air because of the tower damage although its web site says it can be heard either as an online stream or through a TV channel.
WDAY has posted photographs of the damaged towers and says it had no time frame for when they can be repaired or replaced.
WDAY-AM damaged towers photographs (links to other reports):
2011-06-01: UK media regulator Ofcom today brought into effect new procedures for handling broadcasting complaints and imposing sanctions on broadcasters.
In all it has posted four guidelines - on Procedures for investigating breaches of content standards for television and radio ; Procedures for the consideration and adjudication of Fairness & Privacy complaints; Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences ; and Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in cases of non-payment of licence fees.
In essence regarding the first two, Ofcom says complainants should first go through the broadcaster's complaints procedures although it can consider complaints made directly on its complaints form and also initiate its own investigations.
It normally requires that complaints be submitted within 20 working days of the broadcast. For complaints made later an explanation has to be given for the delay (UK radio broadcasters have to keep recordings of programming for 42 days and TV recordings for 60 days except for the current or former analogue channels BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C which have to keep them for 90 days) and Ofcom will consider this in deciding whether to take the matter further.
Where complaints are made to both a broadcaster and Ofcom, the latter will usually wait until the broadcaster has had an opportunity to resolve the matter before considering the complaint.
Ofcom website - guidelines page (Links to all four guidelines):
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