November 2011 Archive
2011-11-30: Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin has told the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York that he believes the company's subscription-based business model is stronger from both a consumer and investor perspective than that of its competitors, which range from terrestrial radio players like CBS and Clear Channel to online radio companies such as Pandora Media and Spotify.
Reuters reporting on the summit quoted Karmazin as saying, "The advertising business today is not as good of a business as it used to be. The main reason is the Internet has made so much content available and so much supply available it's difficult to have pricing power."
Karmazin also took up the issue of a potential takeover of the company by John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, which took a 40% stake in the then financially-strapped satellite radio company two years ago as part of a deal under which e lent it USD 530 million to stave off bankruptcy (See RNW Feb 17, 2009).
Liberty has an option to increase that holding above 49.9% in March next year and many analysts think it is likely to do so but Karmazin took a different view.
Liberty Chairman Malone and CEO Greg Maffei should, said Karmazin, be very happy with the deal they have and he added, "They could call me and say 'Mel, I love the company so much, I want to buy the whole company They haven't called and I don't suspect they will."
Reuters notes in its report that Karmazin is not good at playing second fiddle and adds that when he was President and COO of Viacom, which then included CBS, he repeatedly clashed with Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone before he finally left (See RNW Jun 2, 2004).
Karmazin commented of that period, "I'm not really good at working for somebody; I just could not be a No. 2. I don't blame Sumner at all. I'm just not good at that."
Should Liberty take a controlling stake in Sirius he said, although he has a great relationship with Malone and Maffei he would want a clearly defined role.
Karmazin moved to the then Sirius Satellite Radio in 2004 (See RNW Nov 19, 2004), taking over from Joseph P. Clayton who had himself taken over from Sirius founder and chairman David Margolese in November 2001 (See RNW Nov 8, 2001).
Karmazin's contract ends in Mach next year and he said of staying on, "It depends on whether this company needs me as much or if I could make as much of a contribution someplace else or here. I'm going to work every day. The only time I would stop is if I felt like I couldn't do it as well as somebody else."
Karmazin also commented on the company's relationship with Howard Stern, who is currently involved in a lawsuit over shares he says are owed to him (See RNW Jun 29), saying, "Howard brought an awful lot of credibility to the medium I don't know of another radio talent in the history of radio that has been as extraordinary performer."
In a blog Reuters also reports on Karmazin's comments in relation to the sale of companies he headed: He was appointed Infinity Broadcasting President in 1981 and ran the business before it was bought by Westinghouse Electric Corporation (then the owner of CBS) in 1997 in a USD 4.9 billion deal. Karmazin had tried to buy CBS but Westinghouse's CEO Michael Jordan refused to sell to Karmazin and instead bought Infinity following which Infinity became part of CBS Radio with Karmazin as President.
Westinghouse then sold its non-broadcast operations and renamed itself as CBS Corporation, which in 1998 span off part of its radio and outdoor operations as Infinity Broadcasting Corporation with the stock offering raising USD 2,.87 billion.
Karmazin meanwhile had tried to buy Viacom but its CEO Sumner Redstone refused to sell but bought CBS in a USD 37 billion deal that completed in 2000.
Karmazin told Reuters (RNW Comment: To wind up Redstone?) that the one sale he'd have liked to have made was of Viacom, commenting, "I would have sold Viacom if Sumner wasn't around," and after a wide smile adding, "If he went out to lunch I would have sold it."
Previous Sirius XM:
Reuters blog re Karmazin:
2011-11-30: Sacramento is to lose its only hot AC station tomorrow when Clear Channel flips the 92.5 frequency of KGBY-FM to a simulcast of its news-talk KFBK-AM.
The company seems to be following its usual practice of not giving any prominence to the move on the stations websites although the KFBK Twitter account carries a number of promotions of the move including a prominent one from sports host Rob McAllister.
On a more formal level Clear Channel's Vice President and Market Manager Jeff Holden described the move as "a milestone for Sacramento broadcasting as KFBK expands to the 92.5 FM frequency to better serve the local community."
"The void for quality, local and full service news and talk on FM has now been filled" he continued. "This will give a younger audience access to one of the most influential stations in, not only, Sacramento but all of Northern California. KFBK has demonstrated leadership over the past 90 years and it continues with the same dedication and progressive nature that makes it unique. KFBK will now reach the nearly 70 percent of the market that doesn't tune into the AM band. "
The station says the move is the first of a number of events hat will mark the station's 90th anniversary, which falls on February 2 next year.
Clear Channel earlier announced that it is to expand its talk output in San Francisco where it will launch "San Francisco's Talk 910 KKKSF" on January 3 next year.
KNEW-AM (Fox NewsRadio 910AM), which currently airs on the frequency will move to the 960-AM frequency currently used by progressive talk KKGN-AM (Green 960), which will be moved to the HD2 Channel of oldies KKSF-FM.
KKSF will retain the morning team of Armstrong and Getty and will also have its own live local afternoon show for which a host is currently being sought.
KNEW will feature Glenn Beck in mornings and Fox News Channel's John Gibson in afternoon drive with balance from progressive host Randi Rhodes from noon to 15:00 and Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes in Evenings.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-11-30: Emmis has announced the launch of a modified "Dutch auction" tender offer to purchase up to USD 6 million's worth shares of its 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock.
Under the offer, shareholders indicate how many shares and at what price(s) they wish to tender their shares within the specified share price range, which in this case is less than $12.50 and not greater than $15.56.
The offer will close at 17:0) ET on December 16 and if the offer is fully subscribed, Emmis could purchase between 385,604 and 480,000 Preferred Shares representing 14.8% to 18.4% of the issued and outstanding Preferred Shares as of November 30, 2011.
Emmis announced earlier this month that it had agreed USD 35 million of financing from Zell Credit Opportunities Master Fund L.P. to purchase this Series of its stock (See RNW Nov 16) and when a deal agreed with the Alden Global Distressed Opportunities Master Fund L.P. closes will have drawn USD 28.5 million of this before this latest tender offer (See RNW Nov 23).
Should shares valued at more than USD 6 million be offered in response to the tender, Emmis will purchase shares tendered at or below the final purchase price on a pro rata basis.
2011-11-29: BIA Kelsey in its latest "Investing In Radio Market Report" has revised downwards its earlier over-the-air radio revenue forecasts and is now expecting only a "marginal" increase - of 1.2%- to USD 14.1 billion this year compared to a forecast in April of a 3.7% rise (See RNW Apr 4).
Commenting on the revision against a background of "economic concerns affecting advertising spending across all local media", Mark Fratrik, vice president, BIA/Kelsey, said in a news release, "It's been a year of nominal growth for the radio industry, as advertisers remain cautious about spending their ad dollars in this sluggish economy."
"On the upside," he added "the radio industry has maintained its value, both from a dollar and sales volume perspective. Sales across the country have been steady and the total value of sales has increased to over $4.2 billion through October. All of this together underscores radio's continuing ability to effectively reach and monetize local audiences via its proven business model. This is a positive situation considering the considerable dollars at stake during next year's election."
The report's also says digital/online revenue will be up 15% to USD 479 million but has revised downwards its forecast of the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) - in April it forecast a 14.1% CAGR to reach USD 783 million by 2015 but now says it expects a 13.4% rise to reach USD 758 million by 20.15
Next year the forecast is for a 3.5% rise in overall boosted by election year political spending and the rise in online/digital.
Fratrik also noted the industry's integration of digital and traditional activities that he sees as giving stations opportunities to attract advertisers through online, social media and mobile channels and drive on-air audiences online. In particular, he says, stations have been launching deals into their offerings.
"Local radio stations are a natural participant in the deals space. We've been told that you can literally see the sales meter jump when there is an on-air mention of a deal," commented Peter Krasilovsky, vice president, BIA/Kelsey. "Stations typically participate in deals with links to their websites, or in partnership with other deals sites."
As regards stations ales, the report says the transaction numbers fell by 0.2% but the value was up.
RNW comment: In April we were sceptical of the projections in view of political events in the Middle East, commodity price rises including oil, ad the potential effects of cuts in public expenditure and the rise in unemployment, particularly if the Republicans continued their hard line on public spending and rejected tax increases.
Since then the Euro crisis has added to the uncertainty and none of the earlier factors have gone away. We wouldn't invest on the basis of these projections and would welcome any sure way of retaining the value of assets. Investing in radio in the US doesn't appear to be one of them in our view but we hope we're wrong.
2011-11-28: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has rules that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation breached one clause of its Code of Practice by failing to respond to a complaint about an edition of it's the Science Show within 60 days but that there was no breach of clauses related to impartiality and accuracy.
The ACMA had investigated in May this year following a complaint that an August 2010 edition of the show on climate change had supported only the opinions of "the consensus" and misled the public by not mentioning contradictory information to which the ABC responded by saying that the programme made "an attempt to explain in simple terms some complex scientific concepts and the conclusions drawn from scientific research" and thus there was no "perspective" requiring "the airing of alternative perspectives" although it also noted that "a diversity of principal relevant perspectives about climate science have been demonstrated across Radio National "
The ACMA agreed that there had been no breach of Codes regarding impartiality in view of other programming aired on the topic of climate change although it did not accept the ABC's view on the issue of perspective, and factual accuracy since an ordinary, reasonable listener would have regarded comments made - described as "expert opinion" - as a summary of one scientific theory regarding climate change, which would be one of many contestable theories on the subject.
Regarding the issue of response, the ABC said that it had made an honest mistake and taken the complainants first e=mail to be a comment rather than a complaint, adding that the complainant's "habit of submitting a confusing number of emails and attachments, and resubmitting complaints in different formats, and the lack of prominence accorded to his complaint in his 25 October email, materially contributed to the error made in relation to his complaint " and added that had he used the ABC's online form as frequently suggested it would have been clear that the message was a complaint rather than a comment.
The ACMA disagreed and said it was clear from the correspondence that a complaint had been lodged and that the ABC breached its Code by not responding within 60 days.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2011-11-28: Clear Channel has fired WUSL-FM (Power 99) host Tarsha Nicole Jones of the "Jonesy in the Morning" show, a week after comments she made about a day care business led to a lawsuit by the business's owner who said she had been misidentified on the "show as a mother who had beaten up teenage girls.
The comments said Tracey Parson, owner of the Kiddie Kare Day Centers, had led to death threats, broken windows at the centres and to parents removing their children from the centres.
The lawsuit says that five days after an incident when some teenage girls from North Philly were in a fight with some girls from South Philly following which the month of a South Philly girl was alleged to have attacked a North Philly girl, Jonesy took phone calls during which one caller said the mother involved was the owner of the Kiddie Kare centres. Jones it adds did nothing to check about the facts - police had said another mother was identified and that Parson - whose daughter was in the incident -was never a suspect and later rebuffed a caller who said the wrong person had been identified.
Jones, who claims to be "the "Most controversial diva in radio" is no stranger to controversy but in this case appears to have shown even less sense than in some of the past incidents (She was suspended following the row over the Tsunami Song parody aired whilst she was hosting the "Miss Jones in the Morning" at Emmis's Hot 97 in New York in 2005 - See RNW Feb 3, 2005). In 2008 Emmis changed the station's morning line-up and her contract was not renewed: She then returned to Philadelphia and Radio One's WPHI-FM (The Beat - now defunct as the name was dropped in August in preparation for WRNB's move to the 100.3 frequency before the launch of Hot 107.9 in September) for which she had been working before she moved to New York. Her earlier spell there from November 2002 to May 2004 had included two suspensions and a slander suit that was settled out of court before she was fired.
She was dropped by Radio One in July 2008 and started at WUSL in September 2009.
In May this year she was involved in a lawsuit (against Clear Channel, Radio One and Robert Littal - of the website BlackSportsOnline who refused to take down the photographs until Augins proved that she had not been the caller -but not the host herself - the docket is here - after a caller told the host she was pregnant by NFL player Chad Ochocinco and the station posted a photograph, sent by the caller, that was of another unrelated woman who was in fact newly married Hana Augins and whose husband was serving in Afghanistan.
When Jonesy received a cease-and-desist letter from Augins' attorney, requesting that the host apologize to Augins, once per hour during her show, she responded, "Tell ur lawyer he's a f**kin fool if he thinks I'm apologizing to you once an hour on air or at all! Yall are greedy bastards trying to get a payday but it aint gonna happen."
The Philadelphia Daily News said that a Clear Channel spokeswoman would only confirm that Jones was "no longer an employee of Clear Channel Philadelphia" and that the host did not return a call for comment.
RNW comment: Unless the academic institutions at which Jones graduated with honours (the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts) and gave her a Bachelor's degree in music (Syracuse University) have undeserved reputations, one has to assume that Jonesy is no fool but maybe has somewhat of a deficiency in the area of common decency: At the end of 2005 New York-based author Playthell Benjamin following comments she made about a transit strike termed her "foul mouthed, racist, embarrassingly ignorant, contemptuous of working people, a vulgar careerist who will do anything for ratings, and a straight up fool who brags about not reading the news papers on the air (See RNW Jan 3, 2006 ), comments that may not be that far off the mark.
At the same time it is clear that at least three major US radio companies knowing her proclivities hired her because of the ratings she got - a pretty damning comment on both the groups involved (Emmis, Radio One and Clear Channel) and the audiences for their stations.
Jones will obviously not be in a position to pay much in damages should a large sum be awarded in this latest case - and we wouldn't be particularly concerned to see her out of the radio business altogether -but Clear Channel and Capstar, who are named in the lawsuit, clearly can and in our case we rather hope they have to.
Freedom of Speech is precious but Jones seems to be pretty good at abusing it and our view is that the best method of prevention is one not involving damages but when there is proven factual accuracy prominent and repeated corrections: Unfortunately this seems to be beyond US law so maybe a few seven figure damages awards would work just as well where there is a refusal to back off - to be reduced to costs and only three to four figures when corrections are made promptly.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Miss Jones/Jonesy:
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Philadelphia Daily News report:
2011-11-27: Last week was again fairly quiet as regards radio for the regulators with - a rare occurence - the US seeing no radio postings beyond normal routine work: There were also no radio postings from Ireland but elsewhere there was some activity.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that the Alan Jones Breakfast Show on Sydney 2GB breached commercial radio codes of practice by failing to present factual material accurately and not making reasonable efforts to present significant viewpoints that were different to those of the host (See RNW Nov 23).
The ACMA has also opened a public consultation with a January 6 deadline for responses about a proposal to allow Melbourne commercial radio broadcasting service 3MP (Melbourne Talk Radio - 3MTR and MTR1377) to increase its transmitter power and change the directionality of its radiation pattern to improve reception in northern and western Melbourne.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was also in censorious mode over the use of montages by some Francophone stations, seeing them as an attempt to circumvent regulations concerning their licence requirements for the airing of French vocal music (See RNW Nov 24 ).
The agency announced the award of two new AM licences for Montreal to Francophone applicants (See RNW Nov 21) and approval of an application by Elliot Kerr, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate a 2,000 watts daytime and 280 watts night time news/talk format English-language commercial AM radio station in Mississauga, Ontario.
There were no radio postings from Ireland as already noted but in the UK, Ofcom has upheld one radio complaint in its latest Broadcast Bulletin (See RNW Nov 21) and also posted its latest Community Radio report that says stations income dropped by nearly a fifth last year and most stations are operating at a loss (See RNW Nov 25).
The agency has also opened a consultation concerning a request from Asian Sound, which currently uses two AM frequencies to serve its area with the main 963 kHz frequency covering the majority of the area geographically, including the towns of Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Rochdale and Bolton whilst a second transmitter on 1377 kHz covers the Manchester, Oldham and Stockport areas.
Asian Sound wishes to 'split' its frequencies and provide a different service, specifically targeting the Asian Arabic Muslim community, on 1377 kHz while continuing to provide the existing Asian Sound Radio service on 963 kHz
Responses to the consultation have to be submitted by 1700 GMT on December 22.
Previous Licence News:
2011-11-25: UK media regulator Ofcom in its fourth annual community radio report says that of the 231 stations it has licensed over three rounds 196 are on air and a further 23 have decided not to launch or handed back their licence, largely because of funding problems: The rest are preparing to launch in a gloomy economic climate as Ofcom noted that the average income is down by around 19% to GBP 63,000 ( USD 98,000) on the previous year following a drop of around 6% for the 2009-10 period and that most were operating at a loss - average spending at GBP 64,500 (USD 100,000) was 2.4% more than average income . Median income was down by around 7% to GBP 42,000 (USD 65,000).
Ofcom also notes that 71 of the 163 stations that submitted annual reports for the year to the end of March 2011 - stations that launched during the period or after it did not have to submit annual reports - were in deficit with the deficit for 39 being more than GBP 10,000 (USD 15,500) and the highest GBP 90,000 (USD 140,000).
The picture is a little better for stations that have reported for the past two years - their average and median incomes fell by 5.3% and 3.4% respectively - and stations that target a community of interest (rather than a geographic community) reported a higher income than the sector average. Stations serving a general audience in an urban area reported a higher average income than town/rural stations (GBP 89,500 - USD 139,000 compared to GBP 45,000 -USD 70,000).
Ofcom also notes that the total reported income of the four highest earning stations - each reporting more than GBP 250,000 (USD ) in income and just more than GBP 1.5 million ( USD ) in total) is equal to that of the 74 lowest income stations.
In terms of income sources, Ofcom says public sources (RNW note: Which are, of course, facing severe pressure on their budgets) were the largest single group - around a quarter of the total with more than half of this from local authorities. The Community Radio Fund that Ofcom administers on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, accounted for GBP 321,500 (USD 499,000 - a little more than 3% of the sector's total reported income of some GBP 10 million - USD 15.5 million).
Ofcom also says that based on the reports it received, community stations offered more than 12,500 volunteering opportunities in the period and originated more than 15,000 hours a week of original radio output in many languages with volunteers putting in more than 45,000 hours a week.
It concludes the report by saying that as "the community radio sector is now relatively mature" it does not intend to publish a similar annual report next year although stations will still be required to submit their annual reports:
Ofcom Community Radio report (859 KB 114-page PDF):
2011-11-25: Global Radio has hired former BBC Radio 2 host Alan Titmarsh to host a new Saturday morning - 0900 to noon - show on its Classic FM starting from January 7 next year.
Titmarsh had hosted the Sunday evening "Melodies for You" show since 2007 when then BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas merged it with Your Hundred Best Tunes: The show launched at the start of 1967 on the then Light Programme with conductor and broadcaster Eric Robinson as the host and the last show aired on August 28 leaving only Friday Night is Music Night and Sunday Half Hour remaining of the former Light Programme service.
When it announced the ending of the show Radio 2 said Titmarsh would continue to present on the network and the station was in discussions with him about presenting a series on operetta and hosting a run of Friday Night Is Music Night but Global says Titmarsh will be exclusive to Classic FM with Global Radio director of broadcasting, Richard Park commenting, "Alan is a first-class presenter and broadcaster and this, alongside his love of classical music, makes him the perfect addition to the Classic FM family as we kick off our 20th anniversary celebrations."
Titmarsh commented, "I am delighted to be joining the radio station that I tune in to most of all and look forward to sharing my passion for a wide range of classical music at, what to me, is a very special time in the week - Saturday morning."
The new show is part of a shuffle of Classic FM's weekend schedule that will see the current Saturday morning Official FM Chart with Mark Forrest moved to 1700 on Sundays
The schedule remains unchanged earlier on Saturday retaining John Brunning's show from 02:00 to 06:00 and More Music Breakfast with Tim Lihoreau until 09:00 and also in the afternoons with Nicholas Owen from noon to 1500 but then Anne-Marie Minhall 's show is shortened by an hour to run until 1700.
Th re is then another new show - Saturday Night at the Movies with Howard Goodall running until 1900 and taking over the last hour of Minhall's show and replacing the New CD Show with David Mellor, which moves to 21:00.
The current Howard Goodall's Saturday Concert and The Classic FM interview that together cover the slot from 1900 to 2200 are dropped with Mylene Class's Smooth Classics remaining in the slot until midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sunday then starts as now with Jane Jones until 0600 followed by Tim Lihoreau to 0900; Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to noon; Jamie Crick to 1500; after which The A-Z of Classic FM Music is replaced by Anne-Marie Minhall whose show moves forward from 1700 to make way for the Classic FM Chart and loses its last hour.
David Mellor then starts an hour earlier at 19:00 with a one-hour show in place of his current two hours from 20:00 with the hour remaining before Myleen Class from 2200 to midnight taken over by Classical Music's Great Performers with Natalie Wheen.
Previous Global Radio:
2011-11-24: Canada's regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that it has taken action to restrict the use of musical montages by two Francophone commercial radio stations - Astral's CKTF-FM, Gatineau, and Cogeco's CKOI-FM, Montreal - and commented about their inappropriate use of such montages. It also posted an Information Bulletin giving details of its definitions and expectations regarding montages.
The announcement follows a May public hearing in which the Commission addressed, among other things, the montages broadcast by three French-language commercial radio stations: During the hearing, the licensees submitted that the Commission's definitions and expectations regarding montages left room for interpretation and consequently should be clarified and the agency has also issued an information bulletin regarding montages.
Regarding CKTK-FM the commission said that it found that the station "used montages inappropriately and thus circumvented the Radio Regulations, 1986 with respect to the broadcast of French-language vocal music (FVM)" and it has renewed the licence only for four years to the end of August 2015. The station had also been found to have failed to make required Canadian content development (CCD) contributions for the 2009-2010 broadcast year.
The CRTC had received a complaint from the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ) alleging that certain French-language radio stations, including CKTF-FM, were abusing the use of montages: It commented that the stations "wrongly qualify a simple succession of English-language selections broadcast almost in their entirety as a montage in order to consider this montage as a single English-language selection for the purpose of calculating the levels of FVM."
Astral at the public hearing claimed that the montages it used complied with Canadian regulations and said that as regards CCD contributions it is prepared to make its outstanding contributions to an eligible party should the Commission refuse to consider the École nationale de l'humour (ÉNH -which the CRTC pointed out is not an eligible party) as an eligible party.
At the hearing ADISQ's position was supported by SOCAN, APEM and the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec and the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec commented on its view that the level of FVM provides an important opportunity to broadcast French-language songs and asked that the Commission be vigilant in enforcing strict adherence to its own regulatory provisions.
The CRTC in its decision noted that the montages broadcast by the licensee were mostly made up of excerpts of non-Canadian English-language music, that they account for a significant part of the station's programming, and that they are not generally made up of selections by new artists that would not otherwise be broadcast and also that, in several instances, the montages are not made up of musical excerpts that are tightly woven and tied together by unifying elements but instead are played almost in their entirety, and that the duration of each montage is relatively long.
The licensees had jointly proposed a cap of 14% on the proportion of their output that could be made up of montages but the CRTC said it considered this too high and instead is to impose a 10% limit, a limit it made a condition of the licence renewal.
The CRTC also disagreed with the view that its current definitions and expectations regarding montages left room for interpretation had should be clarified but it has nevertheless re-iterated its objectives and expectations regarding montages in an Information Bulletin as already noted.
In the case of CKOI-FM, whose licence is not due for renewal, the CRTC concluded that the station had made inappropriate use of montages, thus circumventing FVM regulations and at the hearing heard similar comments to those made about CKTF-FM: It noted that montages had made up 17.9% of the programming in its analysis of broadcasts from May 30 to June 5 last year and has imposed a 10% cap on their use as a condition of the station's licence.
The CRTC also opted to issue a short-term renewal to the end of August 2016 for RNC MEDIA Inc.'s French-language commercial station CFTX-FM, Gatineau, about which it had received similar complaints concerning FVM and which in its licence renewal application indicated failure to comply with conditions of licence relation to the promotion of Canadian artists.
CFTX also requested the deletion from its licence the condition requiring a minimum of 45% of its musical selections from content category 2 be devoted to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety because a switch to a classic rock format had made this difficult to achieve.
RNC in its submission to the hearing submitted that its apparent non-compliance with regulations relating to FVM content related only to the use of montages and said it believed its use had been compliant with the CRTC's definitions.
The CRTC noted that in the case of CFTX montages had made up only 4.6% of its output in the period it had monitored and added that they were neither too numerous nor too long, and that they contained excerpts of Canadian musical selections. Although it considered that its regulations had been breached it said it did not consider that the station had used them to circumvent regulatory FVM requirements and that the licensee would have used montages in compliance with regulatory objectives if they had not contained interruptions.
It deleted the licence condition as requested but only renewed the licence for a short-term because of non-compliance with FVM regulations.
CRTC Information Bulletin re montages:
2011-11-23: Emmis Communications has revealed in an 8k filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has settled its ongoing dispute with Alden Global Distressed Opportunities Master Fund, L.P. and that it will buy from Alden around USD 16.3 million worth of its 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock (1,035,925 shares at USD 15.75 per share).
The transaction will give Emmis the right to direct the vote of approximately 56.8% of its outstanding Preferred Stock and when it closes Emmis will have drawn upon USD 28.5 million of the USD 35 million available to it under a Note Purchase Agreement with Zell Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P. that was announced earlier this month (See RNW Nov 11)
The filing also notes that Emmis has also agreed a deal to end legal action between the parties and also its former director Joseph R. Siegelbaum: Siegelbaum resigned on Nov 15 (See RNW Nov 16): Emmis had launched a lawsuit against Siegelbaum last week alleging that he had leaked information to Alden about a confidential Emmis board meeting called for Oct. 25 to approve an offer by Alden to sell its preferred stock to the Emmis -a deal Alden said was good for seven days and that was also associated with an end to legal action between the two companies.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Emmis claimed that hours after the board was alerted on Oct 24 about the meeting, Alden contacted Emmis to cancel the deal whilst Siegelbaum says that he informed Alden of the meeting during a conference call on Oct 25 and then left the call.
Emmis and Alden had been in dispute since Alden pulled out of a deal to finance CEO Jeff Smulyan's bid to take the company private (See RNW Sep 9, 2010): This was followed by a series of lawsuits after Smulyan's acquisition vehicle JS Acquisitions launched a lawsuit against Alden (Originally in state court - See RNW Sep 16, 2010 - and subsequently moved into Federal Courts - See RNW Oct 29, 2010).
Alden subsequently launched a lawsuit against Emmis for ignoring obligations to its investors making a loan to Smulyan so he can pay his legal fees for his suit against Alden Global to which Smulyan responded with a lawsuit claiming that Alden and its manager Randall Smith had violated "short-swing" securities rules. (See RNW Mar 25).
Indianapolis Business Journal report:
2011-11-23: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ruled that Macquarie Radio Network's Sydney flagship 2GB breached commercial radio codes of practice by failing to present factual material accurately and by not making reasonable efforts to present significant viewpoints.
The breaches relate to broadcasts of The Alan Jones Breakfast Show in February last year and segments in which the host was highly critical of the operation of native vegetation laws and their administration by the (then) New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) .
The ACMA investigation of a subsequent complaint found that 2GB did not present nor take steps to present more than one significant viewpoint about the operation and administration of these laws in the state and also was factually incorrect in one segment.
The complaint referred to three segments of the Jones show, one aired on Feb 8 in which Jones referred to a "show cause" sent to a farmer by the DECC related to the clearing of native vegetation; the second - aired on Feb 11- to a dispute between a landowner in relation to a dispute with the DECC; and the third, also aired on Feb 11, that involved a discussion between Jones and a caller who had phoned in.
In all three segments, Jones was highly critical of the DECC and he also named a member of the DECC staff, made statements such as "We'll find out where he goes next" that the complainant considered intimidating and likely to incite violence. The ACMA in rejecting this part of the complain said that the only mention of violent action was when Jones said that over "the last two and a half years the farmer I am about to speak to has had his life slowly destroyed and his faming business destroyed by the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change. I mean, the behaviour of this department is the kind of behaviour that leads people to murder "
The ACMA said it considered this reference to murder to be "hyperbolic and intended to highlight Mr Jones' opinion of the impact of departmental practices on landowners" but was "undirected and abstract and does not call for action by any person."
This and other views it said while strongly held and expressed in colourful language did not breach industry codes and was not likely to "encourage listeners to violence or brutality."
Regarding accuracy the complainant cited three examples that were said to be inaccurate, one of which it said related to the show cause letter that had in fact not been sent by the DCC to the owner of the property on which clearing took place but to the owner of the adjacent property who was alleged to have illegally cleared land that did not belong to him. A second said the letter did not threaten an AUD 1.1 million (USD 1.07 million fine) as said by Jones but did ask the individual to show cause why a penalty infringement notice for a much smaller amount should not be issued and the third that it was not made clear that the dispute was because of alleged illegal clearing of native vegetation.
The ACMA held that Jones was factually inaccurate in saying that he show cause notice was issued to a farmer because "he cleared a strip of land on his property"
Regarding the amount because Jones had made it clear that he was giving the maximum penalty (the maximum for an individual for illegal native vegetation clearing is AUD 3,300) the ACMA did not uphold the complaint nor did it uphold the third complaint of factual inaccuracy.
The licensee had argued that under current codes (which came into effect four months after the broadcasts) it had only to "use reasonable efforts to ensure that factual material is reasonably supportable as being accurate" and that under this requirement it had had not breached codes, arguments the ACMA described as "without merit" as the Codes to be applied had to be those in effect at the time of a broadcast.
As regards presenting opposing points of view, the ACMA in its 33-page decision lists a number of programme segments that 2GB had argued provided this - after receiving a preliminary investigation report the station gave details of 12 additional segments that it argued did so but the ACMA noted that all but one of these dealt with the issue of land clearing by Australian farmers but not with the administration of the law as focussed on by Jones in his broadcasts. The exception it noted - was an interview with the then New South Wales Premier that focussed not on the issues Jones had discussed but on a hunger strike by a New South Wales farmer and associated Federal government policies including the Kyoto Agreement and the Emissions Trading Scheme.
It rejected the licensee's attempt to broaden the issues to one of land clearing by Australian farmers and noted that even had it accepted the argument the reports were providing similar viewpoints to that offered by Jones and were overwhelmingly "negative and stridently critical of government policy."
The complainant also alleged 2GB breached the code rule against broadcasting material likely to encourage violence for its own sake but the ACMA did not uphold this complaint
Commenting on the decision ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman noted, "The codes require licensees to make reasonable efforts or give reasonable opportunities to present significant viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. Licensees can do this either within the same program or across similar programs but merely presenting substantially identical viewpoints is not sufficient to satisfy the code."
The ACMA is now in discussion with 2GB about its response to the breaches.
RNW comment: Reading the whole of the ACMA report our conclusion is that we would not trust either Jones or Macquarie (any more than we would on a number of occasins in the past) to be honest about anything unless facing the prospect of literal immediate execution of the individuals involved combined with incontrovertible proof of facts contrary to their view in front of them. Eels would have nothing on them and we would hope that the ACMA has enough courage to hoist them yet again if they try the same slippery approach in future.
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
ACMA report (300kb 31-page PDF):
2011-11-23: Tribune Co. is proposing to pay former CEI Randy Michaels USD 675,000 plus up to USD 50,000 in legal costs to settle his claims in relation to a bonus of USD 900,000 to which he had argued he was entitled.
The details were revealed in a bankruptcy court filing yesterday and the Chicago Tribune, the company's flagship publication, says that Michael argued his resignation last year (See RNW Oct 22, 2010 ) was the equivalent of being fired because he was pressured to step down - the filing says "terminated without cause" - following reports concerning what the New York Times, which published the initial report, referred to as a "bankrupt culture" at the Company involving sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective (See RNW Oct 6, 2010).
Tribune Co. lawyers argued in their submission that it was financially sensible to pay Michaels a reduced bonus and up to USD 50,000 of Michael's legal fees rather then risk paying more if the matter went to trial and Michael's won.
They said that they estimated costs of USD 18,000 a month would arise if payment was delayed. The settlement was agreed adds the filing after "extensive negotiations" with Michaels' lawyers and also included a non-disparagement clause and other provisions that limit liability to any future claims from Michaels.
The agreement, which Tribune says has been approved by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the U.S. Trustee, is scheduled for a court hearing on December 13 under Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey.
Last Friday the company filed a Third Amended Plan of Reorganization that it said it thought addressed concerns about a previous plan that was in part approved by the court in October: The new plan continues implementation of USD 534 million settlement of certain claims arising from the company's 2007 leveraged buyout transactions but includes modifications that comply with the rulings and findings made by the court and also contains an Allocation Dispute Protocol that would allow the court to resolve potential inter-creditor disputes regarding amounts that will be paid to various groups of creditors without interfering with the company's efforts to secure prompt confirmation of the amended plan and the company's subsequent emergence from bankruptcy.
Tribune's says the amended plan continues to have the support of its co-proponents, the Unsecured Creditors Committee, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Angelo, Gordon & Co, L.P., and JPMorgan Chase Bank and the company is requesting a confirmation hearing in February, 2012.
Previous Tribune Co.:
2011-11-22: Australia's commercial radio industry in conjunction with retailers has launched an AUD 5 million (USD 4.85 million) advertising campaign to highlight the importance of the retail sector in the country and thank people for shopping locally.
The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) developed the ads which will run on 261 radio stations, both metropolitan and regional and will be complemented by a new website and research report on the power of retail in the Australian economy, developed by ANRA with the Australian Retailers Association [ARA] and the National Retailers Association [NRA].
Commenting on radio's involvement, Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said the retail sector was very important to radio advertising, accounting for over a quarter of its total revenue, adding, "Times are tough, particularly for Australian retailers. The radio industry wants to show its support for the retail sector and offered airtime allocated to the industry's on-air brand campaign for a promotion of the importance of the Australian retail sector The bottom line is that the retail sector is crucial to many people around Australia and the radio industry is keen to show its support in helping promote the sector."
The ad campaign will replace the radio industry's on-air radio brand campaign for the five weeks leading up to Christmas.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-11-21: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has awarded new AM licences for the Montreal Market to two French language applications - from 7954689 Canada Inc. (Tietolman) for a 50,000 watts daytime and night-time French-language spoken word format commercial AM radio station at 690 kHz and from and from Dufferin Communications Inc. for a 50,000 watts daytime and night-time French-language commercial AM - Radio Fierté, with a spoken word and music format directed to Montréal's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community - at 990 kHz
The Commission also approved an application from Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership to change the frequency of its English-language commercial station CKGM-AM, Montréal, from 990 kHz (Class B) to 690 kHz (Class A).
Rejected were applications from:
*7954689 Canada Inc. (Tietolman) for a 50,000 watts daytime and night-time English-language spoken word format commercial AM radio station in Montréal at 940 kHz.
*Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for a 50,000 watts daytime and night-time English-language traffic information commercial AM radio station at 940 kHz (Class A)
*Gospel Media Communications for a new religious station
*and from La Méga Radio inc.; Neeti P. Ray, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated; and Radio Humsafar Inc. for new ethnic stations - to serve Montréal's Latin-American community in the case of the La Méga application and South Asian communities. The Commission noted in rejecting these applications that Montreal already has five commercial ethnic stations and a religious station.
Commenting on the awards CRTC Vice-Chairman Tom Pentefountas said in a release, "We are pleased to be increasing the diversity of voices in Montreal's radio market by offering additional choices to listeners. The Commission received high quality proposals, but was unfortunately unable to approve all of them."
2011-11-21: Westwood One in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveals that its former President and CFO Rod Sherwood will continue to be paid his base salary of USD 600,000 a year plus health benefits for 12 months following his exit from the company.
Sherwood's outstanding unvested stock options and unvested restricted stock units in the Company will vest as of his termination date of November 18 and he will be able to exercise options up to November 18 next year.
Also being paid and receiving health benefits following his exit - in his case for six months from his Separation Agreements dated November 16- is SVP Sales Steve Chessare, who was on a base salary of USD 380,000. His employment was terminated on October 24, three days after the company merged with Verge Media Companies, LLC (Triton Media's Dial Global - See RNW Aug 1).
In each case the separation agreements include clauses under which the two men give up their rights to take action against the company.
Sherwood - a former CFO of the Gores Operations Group - was brought into Westwood One by The Gores Group, initially as CFO (See RNW Sep 17, 2008) and became President in Oct 2008 after former President and CEO Thomas Beusse was ousted (See RNW Oct 20, 2008). Gores effectively took control of the company in April 2009 following a refinancing in which it increased its holding (See RNW Apr 3, 2009).
Last year it increased its revenues by 6.5% and cut its operating loss by more than three quarters (from USD 95.6 million to USD 22 million) with net loss down nearly two thirds (From USD 82.6 million to USD 31.3 million).
Earlier this year the company sold its Metro Traffic Division to Clear Channel enabling it to cut its debt by around USD 104 million (See RNW Apr 29).
Westwood One's third quarter revenues this according to the company's 10Q filing last week were down by 7.57% on a year ago at USD 40.88 million with first nine months revenues 4.62% to USD 133.37 million with its operating costs down 5.72% to USD 39.23 million and up by 2.79% to USD 133.97 million respectively. It put down much of the fall down to the effects of the NFL lockout on both its barter and sports advertising revenues and also the absence of fees related to format sold in July this year to Verge subsidiary Excelsior Networks.
Its net loss from continuing operations was up 6.77% for the first nine months to USD 9.22 million but down from USD 6.39 million to USD 682,000 in the third quarter with net loss of USD 19.38 million in the first nine months of 2010 becoming net income of USD 5.626 million (from a loss of 94 cents to income of 25 cents per basic and diluted share) whilst for the third quarter a net loss of USD 7.24 million became net income of USD 1.41 million (from a loss of 35 cents to income of six cents per basic and diluted share).
Previous Westwood One:
2011-11-21: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld just one radio complaint in its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it lists sanctions of GBP 60,000 (USD 94,000) against Playboy TV UK and GBP 50,000 (USD 78,000) against Just4Us Limited over "adult chat" advertisements that repeatedly breached UK codes; and a TV "standards" breach concerning a sponsored programme;
Ofcom also posted its latest table of TV Advertising Minutage and Scheduling Findings and details of three TV Fairness and Privacy complaints that were not upheld as well as listing one radio and two TV complaints assessed but where no breach was found.
The figures compare with no radio or TV standards or Fairness and Privacy complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which Ofcom considered on radio standards complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcaster.
The radio complaint upheld involved Bauer Media's Edinburgh commercial FM Forth One and Mercedes-Benz sponsorship of travel bulletin: In one case the credit referred to a dealership "with 100% after-sales customer recommendation in 2011."
This led to a listener contesting the claim and in response to an Ofcom inquiry Bauer said that the station had obtained clearance from the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) before the credit was aired.
Ofcom then asked both Bauer and the RACC for comment on the credit in relation to codes that say "Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so" and that "Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation."
Bauer than passed the buck saying that it considered the credit complied with the rules as it had obtained RACC clearance and the substantiation provided by the sponsor had been "in the form of a survey which was operated by an independent company on behalf of Mercedes Benz" although it did add that the "100% customer recommendation claim may have been clearer as the substantiation was a sample of the total number of customers."
The RACC said that the substantiation was based on the responses of 70 of the dealership customers, out of 247 that had used its workshop in 2011 but added that it had understood this was based on the entire customer base of the dealership, although it had now established that such material related to only 28% of customers - i.e. those who had responded to Mercedes-Benz?s survey.
Sponsor Mercedes-Benz said that many manufacturers operated similar systems to establish their customer satisfaction index scores, adding that Mercedes-Benz UK used such scores to analyse performance on a regular basis and to compare dealerships across its national network.
Ofcom said did not question the validity of the Mercedes-Benz index but it did consider the credit was likely to have misled and that the claim had not been substantiated, thus breaking both the codes concerned and Rule 10.7 of the Broadcasting Code, as it had not complied with the advertising content rules that apply to radio broadcasting.
In addition to the above Ofcom listed a further 406 TV complaints against 262 items and 22 radio complaints against 22 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 337 TV complaints against 228 items and 23 radio complaints against 23 items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-11-20: Yet again the regulators were far more concerned with areas other than radio last week with only a few postings from most areas and none from Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has now posted its final report on the country's Commercial Radio Standards, proposing the ending of the Compliance Standard but retaining the Advertising and Disclosure standards although it says the former might be ended should the industry develop its own appropriate code of practice (See RNW Nov 15 ACMA2).
The ACMA also ruled that Sunshine FM Radio Association Inc.'s community station 4SFM, Nambour, Queensland, had breached rules barring the broadcast of adverts.
The agency had received complaints that the station was broadcasting adverts; had exceeded the permitted five-minutes per hour allowed for sponsorship announcements and was not continuing to represent its community interest but rejected the last two complaints.
The advertisement complaint related to a music programme that promoted the sale (via the internet) of compilation CDs: The licensee had responded to the complaint by saying that the programme presenters had a major concern to ensure that they did not breach the act and at no point had mentioned that the CDs concerned were available for sale. It added that with hindsight it conceded that that clarification of the content should have been sought and added that the programme will now go to air with no reference to the website from which the CDs can be purchased and with no references that would encourage a purchase.
It also broadcast an interview with its President concerning an R V Motor Home and sponsorship announcements concerning arrangements for the shared ownership of a motor home that the complainant considered amounted to advertising.
It added that the current owners on the Sunshine Coast hoped to buy out the motor home and 4SFM ran a sponsorship announcement from 15 July to 26 July to see if there was someone else locally who would like to join us.
The ACMA held that in this case there was no breach and it also rejected the complaint that the station was failing to represent its community interest.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was rather busier with radio announcements including the following:
*Approval of application by Astral Media Radio G.P., to relocate the transmitter for its English-language commercial station CFQX-FM, Selkirk, from its current location approximately seven kilometres west of Selkirk to a new location 19 kilometres south of Selkirk, and to increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 138.5 metres to 147.5 metres.
*Approval of application by Seaside Broadcasting Organization (Seaside) to relocate the transmitter of its English-language commercial station CFEP-FM Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia; increase its power from 716 to 1,680 watts and decrease the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 39.2 to 37.6 metres.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approval of application by Newcap Inc. (Newcap) to relocate from Grand Falls to Lewisporte the transmitter of its CKXG-FM-1 Grand Falls (the rebroadcasting transmitter of its English-language commercial station CKXG-FM, Grand Falls); increase its power from 40 watts to 50 watts, and decrease the antenna's effective height above average terrain from 66 metres to 47.3 metres.
*Approval of application by Maritime Broadcasting System Limited (MBS) for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,000 watts, daytime and night time English-language commercial AM radio programming undertaking in Digby, where it currently operates a radiocommunication distribution undertaking (RDU) with a re-transmitter in Weymouth.
MBS proposed to convert its Digby RDU to a radio programming undertaking to provide local service to Digby; to continue to use the existing transmitter facilities of its Digby RDU; and continue to operate its Weymouth rebroadcasting transmitter.
*Approval of application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to add a 50 watts FM transmitter in Atikokan to replace its AM transmitter CFOB-1 to carry the programming of CFOB-FM, Fort Frances. The licensee said that its AM transmitter was nearing the end of its life and that it would like to replace it with an FM transmitter, which would reduce maintenance and operating costs while providing a significant improvement in service and signal quality to Atikokan residents.
As already noted there were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom has allowed a format change to Global Radio's Capital FM stations in Birmingham and Scotland that would allow the airing of a wider range of music (See RNW Nov 17).
Ofcom also noted the reasons for the award of three new community FM licences, the first in its third round of community radio licensing: The licences went to Fantasy Radio (Devizes, Wiltshire); Frome FM (Frome, Somerset); and WCR Community Radio (Warminster, Wiltshire).
Each was awarded a licence for five years and in the case of Fantasy Radio and Frome FM, licensee is to be allowed to seek up to 50% of its annual income from the sale of advertising or programme/station sponsorship under rules that allow this because the expected coverage of the service falls within the coverage area of a local commercial radio service which has fewer than 150,000 adults living in its measured coverage area
Fantasy Radio, a long-established group , is proposing low-cost volunteer-run service for the community of Devizes and surrounding villages; Frome FM will broadcast a local community service and has links to a number of local organisations which should help it to deliver a service; and WCR will broadcast a local community service for the people of Warminster and the surrounding area. There will be a particular focus on serving the over-35s and 16-20 year-olds. Ofcom added that WCR put forward a good business plan and realistic programme plans, based on the group's previous broadcasting experience in the area.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a very quiet week as regards radio with only one radio-specific announcement beyond routine ones: this was the granting of an application from Kenneth W. Diebel, licensee of KGGM-FM, Delhi, Louisiana, to substitute Channel 228A for vacant and unapplied for Channel 230A at Bastrop, Louisiana, as part of a contingently filed "hybrid" application and rule making petition to allow the upgrading of KGGM from Channel 228Ato Channel 230C3.
No comments had been received in regard to the application and the FCC considered that the move would be in the public interest.
Previous Licence News:
2011-11-20: It's not clear how much was personal, how much was a publicity stunt, and how much just a wind-up but the departure of breakfast host Johnny Vaughan from Global Radio's Capital FM (See RNW Nov 18) has stirred up a run of twittering from another former Capital host Steve Penk and Greg Burns, who is currently standing in for Vaughan.
The exchange began when Penk, who now owns Oldham-based Revolution FM, said of the changes, "Capital have made a big mistake getting rid of Johnny. In the history of Capital FM the radio station has never been bland. But it is now" and said of Burns that he was nothing more than an "average" host and later added, "Greg Burns? Has anyone ever heard this guy? As dull as they come. Capital was always about Big personality and that big London sound."
In response to a tweet about his comments that noted that Burns hadn't even started hosting the breakfast show, Penk responded, "I've heard him before. Extremely boring. Not my sort of radio I'm afraid I want someone with a bit of bite."
Burns started off with a fairly low key response, commenting amongst other things, "Of course you have the right to your opinion. I can only try to do the show as well as poss till new host arrives " but then added some bite by going on to comment, "Then if all else fails, and I can't get a gig anywhere, I'll buy my own tinpot fm, put myself on air, and tweet bitter messages."
Burns had another go yesterday with the comment, "I'm just chuffed u took the time to tweet about me. Busy weekend, what with Rochdale's Xmas lights being switched on! Aw bless x."
Penk, who is rather good at getting publicity for his station, responded to another tweet from Laura_Showgirl - who commented, "OMG Steve Penk I used to love your wind ups on Capital" - by saying, "Greg burns, very easy to wind up. Too easy in fact. No more interaction with him, can't be bothered wasting my time."
Previous Global Radio:
Burns tweet re Christmas Lights:
Penk tweet re wind-ups:
2011-11-19: LBI Media, Inc. has reported third quarter revenues down 0.8% to USD 30.4 million with the fall put down primarily to decreased advertising revenue from its radio segment - whose revenues were down 8.2%, to USD 15.1 million, partially offset by an increase in advertising revenue from television - with revenues up 7.6% to USD 15.4 million: For the first nine months of the year revenues are up 3% to USD 87.4 million led by TV whose revenues were up 13.7% to USD 45.9 million compared to a 7% fall for radio down to USD 41.6 million.
Total operating expenses were down 12.6%, to USD 25.4 million for the quarter - attributed mainly to a USD 4.6 million reduction in broadcast license and long-lived asset impairment charges and a USD 500,0000 gain for proceeds received related to an insurance claim: The changes were partially offset by a USD 800,000 increase in loss on disposal of property and equipment, primarily related to the disposal of obsolete television stage props and other equipment and a USD 200,000 increase in selling, general and administrative expenses, primarily attributable to additional costs related to the expansion of LBI's EstrellaTV network, including additional sales staff; costs related to Denver station, KETD-TV; a USD 200,000 increase in program and technical expenses; and a USD 100,000 increase in depreciation and amortization expense.
Total operating expenses for the first nine months were up by 0.4%, to USD 73.6 million for similar reasons but also including a USD 700,000 charge related to a legal settlement and an increase in legal fees and employee related costs: The increases were partially offset by a USD 6.3 million decrease in broadcast licenses and long-lived asset impairment charges; (2) USD 500,000 received from an insurance claim.
As a result adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was down 2.4% to USD 9.5 million and down for the first nine months by 9.4%, to USD 24.0 million and overall the company recognized a net loss of USD 5.3 million for the quarter - up from a loss of USD 5.2 million a year earlier - and a net loss of USD 15.6 million for the nine months compared to a net loss of USD 9.0 million a year earlier
Commenting on the figures, CEO and President Lenard Liberman highlighted the company's TV performance noting that EstrellaTV delivered more growth in impressions over any other broadcast network, Spanish or English, in primetime among Adults 18-49 adding that they believed that a focus on Estrella's distribution "coupled with the strength of our internally produced programming and our owned and operated radio and television assets in key Hispanic markets, will enable us to continue to outperform our competitors, as we have so far in 2011."
2011-11-18: Cumulus Media, which has been busy ousting people following its takeover of Citadel, has also found time to file to put one of its units into Chapter 11 bankruptcy: the unit is AR Broadcasting Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cumulus Media Partners, which is in turn wholly owned by Cumulus Media, which earlier this week was bullish about its prospects when it released third quarter figures (See RNW Nov 14 ).
The Chapter 11 filing was made yesterday to Judge Brendan Linehan Shannon of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware under case number 11-3674 (BLS) and as with issues of staff departures Cumulus is rather coy about details.
The debtor is listed as AR Broadcasting Holdings Inc. of Atlanta and co-debtors are AR Broadcasting LLC and AR Licensing LLC with the firm representing them listed as Landis Rath & Cobb LLP of Wilmington.
The first hearing was held this afternoon and the motions granted by the court included an Order Directing Joint Administration of the related Chapter 11 cases and various orders related to continuing the business including making payments to employees and also for orders prohibiting utility providers from altering, refusing or discontinuing their services.
The initial hearing is to be followed by a confirmation hearing to be held by Judge Shannon listed for the afternoon of December 20 and objections to the plans or disclosure statements have to be filed by December 16.
A summary of the Chapter 11 plan says that all "allowed" unsecured claims will be paid in full under the pre-packaged plan, which has been accepted by holders of the debtors "Class 2 pre-petition credit facility": No statement of financial affairs has yet been posted but in all fewer than 1,000 creditors are owed up to USD 100 million and the debtor, which operates stations in Dallas, Houston, and San Francisco, has assets worth from USD 10 million to USD 50 million.
No details are given as to why the company needs Chapter 11 protection from its creditors of its assets: The creditors' list posed runs from 911 Restoration Houston followed by A/C Maintenance Inc. of Tomball to Zones Inc of Seattle followed by ZZBroadcast Electronics Inc of Quincy, Illinois and ZZ Cumulus Media Inc of Atlanta, Georgia.
Amongst prominent names listed are American Express; The American Society of Composers; Ando Media LLC; Arbitron; AT&T; Billboard; Broadcast Electronics Inc.; Various Cumulus companies; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Fedex; The Georgia Department of Revenue; Harris Corporation; Katz Media; Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.; The Missouri Department of Revenue; The Texas State Comptroller; UPS; Verizon Wireless and Xerox.
Others include various insurance companies; utility providers and small and large stores and businesses.
2011-11-18: US radio revenues in the third quarter of this year grew for the seventh consecutive quarter according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) although it noted that sport revenues were flat at USD 3.665 billion for the quarter and USD 10.499 billion for the first nine months of the year.
All other segments recorded revenue increases with Digital leading the way in percentage terms - up 17% for the quarter to USD 190 million and 18% for the first nine months to USD 524 million.
Following this off air grew most - up 10% for the quarter to USD 390 million and 8% for the first nine months to USD 1.094 billion while network revenues were up 2% for the quarter and first nine months at USD 282 million and USD 824 million.
Commenting on the figures, RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley said, "The positive growth we've seen over the twenty-one month period is unprecedented since the late 1990's. Once again, this underscores Radio's strength during these unusual economic times "adding, "Advertisers' expanding use of Digital and Off-Air platforms to complement their sustaining broadcast commitment strengthens Radio's current and long term viability."
"The live and local environment that Radio offers," went on Haley "provides an ideal platform for a diverse group of advertisers to zero in on their target audiences. This strong marketing mix affirms Radio's position as a trusted partner to many, including this group representing the top ten for Q3."
In terms of advertising segment, the strongest year-on-year percentage growth was recorded by Insurance Companies - up 48% to USD 270.4 million - followed by Home Furnishings - up 29% to USD 122.2 million and Restaurants - up 15% to USD 375.4 million.
Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups Manufacturers held on to the top spot for the quarter in terms of spending with a 10% increase to USD 393.0 million and in terms of brands Chrysler Group Corporate increase is spending most - up 263% to USD 44.3M, with Dealer Association spending up 553% to USD 18.0 Million.
Chrysler also led for the first nine months with a 72% increase to USD 143.3 million whilst Dealer Association spending more than doubled - up 111% to USD 41.4 million.
Largest individual spender was AT&T which spent USD 298.4 million in the quarter.
Previous RAB Revenue figures:
2011-11-18: Johnny Vaughan, who has co-hosted the London Capital FM breakfast show since he took over from Chris Tarrant in 2004, has been dropped by the London station, which is owned by Global Radio: He and Lisa Snowdon - his co-host since 2008- had two year contracts running to January next year but Vaughan opted to leave after his show today.
According to the UK Guardian Vaughan, who was reputed to be paid GBP 1 million ( USD 1.58 million ) a year had been told by Global Radio's Group executive director and director of broadcasting Richard Park that his contract was not being renewed and decided he did not want to stay any longer.
When he took over the show from Tarrant, who had been its host for 18 years, some doubts were expressed about his being able to fill Tarrant's shows but he outlasted a number of female co-hosts including Becky Jago, Zoe Hanson, and Denise Van Outen and for the past three ratings the show has led the commercial radio breakfast ratings in London with a weekly reach of 1.14 million in the latest ratings.
Snowdon is remaining with the station and Greg Burns will stand in for Vaughan from Monday: The station website has expunged Vaughan and in its schedule promotes the show with "Join Greg and Lisa as they provide the perfect morning pick-me-up with a blend of the latest hits, travel news and incomparable morning banter."
Commenting on his time with the station, Vaughan said, "I have just loved doing this job, but after all these years of getting up in the middle of the night, I really think the time is right to hand over the microphone to someone else. It's been a joy waking up London every morning and a thrill to have been part of the broadcasting tapestry of this great city."
Park paid tribute to Vaughan, saying, "Johnny has done a fantastic job over the years, particularly recently, building the programme with Lisa Snowdon, into London's most popular commercial radio breakfast show."
Global Radio says it will make an announcement about Vaughan's replacement in due course, probably before the end of this year.
Previous Global Radio:
2011-11-17: Howard University has announced that it will mark the 40th anniversary of its public radio station WHUR-FM by launching H.U.R. Voices on Sirius XM on December 1: The University was granted a lease on two channels on the satellite service as part of Sirius XM's agreement to set aside 4% of its channels to "qualified entities" as one of the conditions of allowing the merger of Sirius and XM.
Sirius XM announced the lease of seven services including the university's two channels on 11 channels in April (See RNW Apr 18).
WHUR says the H.U.R. Voices service will offer educational and entertaining original programming that examines and explores issues that affect people of colour, including a unique mixture of talk radio, local and national news and music.
Existing programmes that will air on H.U.R Voices include "Daily Drum," a weekday public affairs program that will expand to one-hour; the "Dr. Audrey Chapman Show"; with the relationship guru; and the "Sighlent Storm," which WHUR says is the only radio show devoted to the issue of domestic violence with new programming to include "People Money Life," "The Traveling Eye" and "He Said She Said."
The station celebrates 40 years on air on December 10 and its general manager Jim Watkins, who will take the same role for WHUR-WORLD, and H.U.R. Voices, commented, "This is a milestone year for us. Not only are we celebrating 40 years of our flagship radio station, we have been given the awesome opportunity of rolling out H.U.R. Voices on Sirius XM, which gives us the opportunity to further expand our brand and nationalize our programming."
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-11-17: UTV in an interim statement says that for the ten months to the end of October its overall revenues were up 2% on last year, driven by GB radio, whose revenues were up by 5% compared to an overall 2% decline in the US radio market during the period: It adds that it expects revenues in the division in November and December to be up 9% on a year ago.
In contrast Irish radio revenues were down 4% on a year ago with translation exchange gains accounting for 1% although it notes that the total sales decline of 5% was a "significant outperformance of the Irish radio market." UTV says it expects Irish radio revenues in November and December to be flat compared to a year ago.
Of its other division, TV revenues were up 1% in line with the network over the first ten months but are expected to decline by 7% for November and December whilst New Media is up 1% and this trend is expected to continue for the final two months of the year.
2011-11-17: UK media regulator Ofcom has allowed Global Radio to change the format of its Capital FM stations in Birmingham and Scotland so as to play a wider range of music.
The stations have different existing "characters of service" and Global had proposed to move to a common character - of a "Rhythmic-based music-led service for 15-29 year-olds supplemented with news, information and entertainment. The service should have particular appeal for listeners in their 20s and at least 12 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes."
Following a public consultation - which resulted in five responses for Capital Birmingham, all opposing the change and 15 in Scotland of which ten were non-confidential and all opposed to the change - and discussions with Ofcom Global modified its request for the Birmingham station.
In this case the existing character was for a "Rhythmic-based music and information station primarily for listeners of African or Afro-Caribbean origin, but with cross-over appeal to young white fans of urban contemporary black music and at least 26 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes (to include Reggae, RnB and hip hop rhythmic-based (e.g. Dance, Club etc)' "
The approved change retains the first sentence as proposed but then specifically requires programming of interest to African or Afro-Caribbean listeners, with a second requirement, "The service should have particular appeal for listeners in their 20s and at least 12 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes and include programmes of specific appeal to listeners of African or Afro-Caribbean origin."
Ofcom commented of the proposals that the change agreed would not broaden choice and "would represent a potential narrowing " in the range of some genres but noted that this "was counterbalanced to a certain extent by the existence in parts of the area served by Capital FM Birmingham of community radio stations which play the types of music in question (e.g. reggae), and also by the fact that the station would continue to have a requirement to provide programmes of specific appeal to listeners of African or Afro-Caribbean origin."
In the case of Capital Scotland its existing character is for "A fresh dynamic mix of new rock and dance music for central Scotland for listeners below 39, with at least 30 hours a week of identifiable specialist music programmes" and the proposed change has been accepted.
Global had submitted audience research that it said showed that the station had been "most popular when it has focused primarily on dance/rhythmic-based music rather than rock music" to which Ofcom responded by saying that although this might be true "it did not consider that this evidence indicated that there was a significant demand, or significant support, for the specific changes Global has requested."
It also noted that in relation to Global's contention that a format which requires it to target 15-29 year-olds would lead to a lowering of the average age of the station's audience, thereby broadening choice was not in fact supported by Ofcom's analysis of the listening to the Capital FM network of stations that indicated an average age of 34 for listeners. It concluded that the change requested would not broaden choice but also would not narrow it and allowed the change.
Previous Global Radio:
2011-11-16: Emmis, which earlier this week announced that it has arranged financing that it intends to use to purchase preference shares (See RNW Nov 11), has now revealed in 8K filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has purchased 645,504 shares at a weighted average price of USD 15.25 per share- approximately 23% of the total outstanding shares of the Preferred Stock.
To finance the purchase it has drawn USD 11.7 million out of the 35.0 million available to it under the Note Purchase Agreement with Zell Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P.
Emmis did not say whose shares it had purchased but a subsequent 8K filing the company says that director Joseph R. Siegelbaum who was nominated by holders of Emmis' 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock has resigned from the Board. It adds that the resignation was not due to any disagreement with Emmis on any matter relating to Emmis' operations, policies or practices.
2011-11-16: CBS Radio has announced a deal under which it will acquire Christian -format WFSI-FM's Annapolis frequency 107.9 FM from Family Stations, Inc. and launch an all-news FM outlet on the 99.1 frequency that currently is currently used for its Spanish-hits WLZL-FM (El Zol), which will launch on 107.9 under a Local Marketing Agreement from December 1.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed [RNW Nov 17 update:CBS is in fact paying USD 8.5 million in cash for the frequency] but CBS has announced some details of staffing for the news station, which is to launch in January. They include Program Director Robert Sanchez, who is currently Assistant Director of News and Programming for WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York and News Director Michelle Komes-Dolge whose career has included serving as news director and managing editor at WTOP-FM.
Making the announcement, CBS noted that it has "more major market news stations than any other broadcaster" with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Detroit that attract more than 12 million listeners a week between them.
CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason commented, "CBS Radio's history in all-news is rich in tradition and recognized nationwide for its excellence. There is no one more regarded in this field, nor anyone with the journalistic expertise and capability to put forth a product with such instant credibility. We have perfected this format over many decades and we're thrilled to expand the options for the D.C. community who have a distinct passion for news."
2011-11-15: BBC Radio is to mark the 70th anniversary of the Radio 4 Desert Island Discs programme with an extension into vox populi --listeners are invited to go online and nominate the one record they would save if stranded on the imaginary Desert Island and give details of why the music brings back memories.
Entries from Radio 4's Desert Island Discs website will be sent to producers across the BBC Nations and BBC local radio stations so they can record the personal stories behind the choices of listeners in their area and a selection of the stories will be featured in special broadcasts by the 45 stations involved on January 29 following BBC Radio 4's 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs.
Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young said in a BBC news release, "We're all really excited about it. The idea came about because earlier this year we asked the listeners to choose their top 8 tracks - tracks that really meant something to them. We elicited some fascinating, intimate stories that we didn't expect. So we think this will be a wonderful way for people all across the nation to celebrate Desert Island Discs' anniversary by sharing more of those stories with us."
Desert Island Discs was devised by the late Roy Plomley with the first broadcast going to air on January 29, 1942. It is the world's second-oldest radio programme - the oldest is the Grand Ole Opry, which started as the WSM Barn Dance programme aired on November 28, 1925
2011-11-15: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that it has finalized its review of the country's Commercial Radio Standards and proposes to strengthen both the Advertising and Disclosure Program Standards, while scrapping the Compliance Standard, although it adds that if the industry develops an appropriate code of practice for dealing with advertising it will consider revoking the Advertising Standard.
The Disclosure, Advertising and Compliance Standards were made by the ACMA's predecessor, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA, following its 1999 Commercial Radio Inquiry (the 'Cash for Comment' inquiry) over deals various broadcasters had with sponsors. Following the report the ABA imposed tough new disclosure requirements on Sydney 2UE whose then breakfast and morning hosts Alan Jones and John Laws were at the heart of the scandal (See RNW Feb 8, 2000).
The ACMA says that plans to broaden the Disclosure standard by requiring disclosure of not only 'presenter agreements' (where the presenter has a commercial agreement with a sponsor) but also of some 'licensee agreements' (where the presenter has an interest in the licensee company which in turn has a commercial agreement with a sponsor).
It also proposes to allow current affairs presenters more flexibility in how they identify sponsorship arrangements - rather than compelling them to use one of six scripted statements and change register and to change the formal notifications' process so that industry can keep online registers without the need for formal notices to the ACMA.
As regards advertising the new Standard requires advertising must be distinguishable from other program material at the time of broadcast rather than later in a segment or program generally and in the case of both Standards the ACMA is broadening the definition of 'consideration' so as to include within its scope other beneficial and indirect benefits.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, said of the plans, "The ACMA has decided that it is appropriate to continue regulating both commercial influence in current affairs programs on commercial radio and advertising on commercial radio. However, given improvements in the industry's compliance practices and culture the Compliance Standard will be revoked" and added, "The ACMA believes these reforms will provide better insights and clarity for citizens while materially lessening administrative burden on licensees."
The current standards are now being redrafted, with the new regulatory instruments due to come into effect on 1 March 2012 and public comment will be invited soon on these draft instruments.
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, welcomed the ending of the Compliance Standard and potential abolition of the Advertising Standard but expressed disappointment over the proposed Disclosure Standard.
Regarding this she said in a release, "We are disappointed that radio remains the only medium to be denied the opportunity for integrated advertising. We will, however, work with the ACMA on the new definition of "consideration" once the draft instrument is out for consultation in an effort to ensure the final definition is practicable for both the industry and the regulator."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-11-14: Cumulus Media has reported pro-forma revenues in the third quarter down by 1.9% to just above USD 297 million but notes that excluding the impact of its USD 3.1 billion takeover of Citadel Media and the part of Cumulus Media Partners it did not own net revenues for the quarter were down 0.6% to USD 67.0 million.
It put the revenue fall down mainly to the reduction in political advertising compared to a year ago - down USD 1.2 million - and a fall of management fee income of USD 700,000 that it says was partially offset by an increase in core advertising.
Actual revenues were almost double - up 96.1% from USD 67.46 million to USD 132.30 million - but direct operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and LMA fees) were up almost as much proportionately -by 92.35% to USD 77.87 million and total operating expenses nearly tripled - up 178% from USD 58.74 million to USD 135.71 million.
For the first nine months of the year pro-forma revenues are down 2.5% to USD 851.3 million and actual revenues up 34% to USD 259.34 million with direct operating expenses up just below 28% to USD 154.6 million and total operating expenses 52.2% to USD 220.8 million.
Pro-forma adjusted EBITDA was down 8.4 % for the quarter to USD 43.41 million and by 6.7% for the first nine months to USD 126.53 million and free cash flow dropped 24.4% for the quarter to USD 43.41 million and by 17.4% for the first nine months to USD 126.53 million.
Overall Cumulus reported a loss before income taxes of USD 11.10 million for the quarter - compared to income of USD 11.12 million a year earlier and income of USD 10.88 million for the first nine months compared to income a year earlier of USD 26.64 million with post tax net income of USD 59.54 million for the quarter compared to USD 9.73 million a year earlier (from 23 cents to 64 cents per basic share and 23 cents to 60 cents per diluted share) with the nine month figures showing net income of USD 77.00 million , up from USD 21.89 million ( from 52 cents to USD 1.27 per basic share and from 51 cents to USD 1.21 per diluted share).
Pro forma income - including the effects of the Citadel and CMP acquisitions - went from income of USD 6.52 million a year ago to a net loss of USD 14.70 million and from a loss of USD 8.85 million a year ago to a loss of USD 10.19 million.
Commenting on the performance Chairman & CEO Lew Dickey told analysts at the company's conference call that this was the last time they would discuss the results of the individual businesses- in future only consolidated results would be issued.
He noted that for the quarter same station Cumulus revenue was down 0.6% but excluding political rose 1.65; Cumulus Media Partners (CMP) was down 3.4% and excluding political down 2.8%; and Citadel was down 2.3% and excluding political down 0.9%.
Regarding expenses he noted that Cumulus operating expenses were down 5.1%; CMP flat and Citadel up 4.2%.
Dickey said the effect of the acquisitions was "truly transformative for our company" adding "We now own and operate approximately 570 stations in 120 cities in addition to a fully-distributed content network serving over 4500 affiliates nationwide."
"The attendant financings associated with these transactions," said Dickey "enabled us to accretively increase our equity capital base six-fold while extending the maturities of our credit agreements. We now have a true national platform with a large and liquid market capitalization and a flexible, covenant-light debt complex that is designed to optimize free cash flow and de-risk the equity. Our team is making excellent progress on the Citadel integration and is energized by the upside potential of our newly transformed platform."
Dickey said that the cost of the acquisition was around USD 40 million and that by the end of this year they would realise projected merger synergies of USD 59.1 million - it had initially forecast reaching the saving in the first 12 months with most of it in the first six months.
Looking at the current situation and ahead Dickey said the boost from political advertising a year meant comparisons were tough with the fourth quarter pacing around 4% down - flat excluding political - but next year they anticiapted political revenues of around USD 30 million.
He also noted that apart from the concentration on mergers and acquisitions Cumulus was progressing well with "SweetJack" - its in house daily deals programme that competes with companies such as Groupon. This he said was now being fine-tuned and operating in 15 markets with a goal to be nationwide within 12 months.
CFO Joseph P Hannan concentrated on the company's financing arrangements in his comments noting that the company had debt of USD 2.9 billion at the end of the quarter with a blended interest rate of 6.22% and interest payments of around USD 193 million due during the next 12 months.
Asked about future expenses, Dickey said that it would be very difficult going forward to unpick the details of separate businesses - noting overlaps in various markets - but he did expect Citadel expenses to fall in the final quarter.
He also spoke of a focus in income generation on categories that had not been large radio advertisers such a healthcare, education and financial and professional services and in general in reducing its debt..
2011-11-14: The US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has announced that Erica Farber is to become its Executive Vice President and head a group in which it will consolidate its Membership, Professional Development and Services units.
It also announced that SVP Professional Development Sheila Kirby is to leave to join CBS Radio as SVP, Sales Training and Development, in which role she will continue a close relationship with the Bureau.
Farber, who takes up her new role on January 1, is an industry veteran whose career includes spells at KRTH-FM, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles; as General Seles Manager and General Manager at WROR-FM in Boston; Vice President/ General Manager of WXLO-FM, New York; various roles at the now defunct Interep where she rose to become Executive Vice President/Radio Development Director; and some 15 years with Radio and Records during which period she held various positions including COO, President, Publisher and CEO.
Most recently she has been CEO the radio consulting and Internet service provider, The Farber Connection LLC, a firm she founded in 2010.
She will report to RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley who commented in a release, "I am thrilled about Erica joining the management team of the RAB. We are at a pivotal time as we look to serve the industry and ensure our product offerings meet the demands of an evolving medium. There's no better executive for the role than Erica."
Farber added, "I am excited about joining the RAB. I can't think of a more perfectly suited role to leverage my sales, marketing, programming experience and relationships within this great industry."
Kirby, a former President of Strategic Sales Development at Interep, joined the RAB at the end of December last year as Senior VP of Professional Development, reporting directly to Haley, who said of her work, "Sheila has been an integral partner in the re-shaping of the RAB's Professional Development group. Her contribution to developing a premier training organization enables us to take this next step forward."
Kirby takes up her new role at CBS on December 5 and will be based in Chicago.
The RAB also announced that RAB veteran Ron Ruth, EVP Membership, is moving to a consulting role for the RAB.
2011-11-14: Digital radio receiver sales in Australia recorded their largest quarterly increase since Christmas 2010 according to industry body Commercial Radio Australia, which says almost 100,000 DAB+ sets were sold in the third quarter of this year.
This it adds brings the total number of DAB+ radio sold to 603,932 according to GfK Marketscope: The figure in July last year was only 150,000.
The recent figures include the Father's Day period during which more than 40 commercial radio stations in Australia's five metropolitan capitals - DAB+ is yet to be launched in regional areas although it trials are currently on air in Canberra and Darwin - aired Father's Day adverts for digital radios, promoting them for being available "from as little as AUD 59 (USD 60.50)".
The improvement took place in one of Australia's weakest retail markets for many years and Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said: "These are great sales figures and show that radio's call to action to our listeners to try and buy digital radios continues to work, even in a tough retail environment."
The latest Australian ratings show that the weekly audience for DAB+ broadcasts in Australia has now topped 940,000 - it accounts for more than 7.5% of listening in the metropolitan capitals and Time Spent Listening at 11hrs 56 minutes a week is almost double that to listening vie the Internet, which stands at 5 hours 56 minutes a week - and the industry anticipates reaching the million mark soon: Warner added that Commercial Radio Australia is currently working on a Christmas DAB+ campaign with details to be released early next month.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-11-13: :Last week was again quiet for the regulators as regards radio with no postings from Australia or Ireland with Canada as the busiest area.
In Canada, radio related postings from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following:
Notice of hearing to be held in Calgary, Alberta, on February 6 next year - with a deadline of December 9 this year for the submission of comments or interventions - that will consider the following applications for a new FM to serve Calgary:
A). Mutually exclusive applications proposing the use of 95.3 MHz from:
*Diversified Society of Alberta, a not-for-profit organization, for a licence to operate a 50-watts ethnic-based FM that would serve a minimum of five cultural groups in a minimum of six different languages per broadcast week.
*Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership for a licence to operate a 36,000 watts English-language Adult Album Alternative commercial FM.
*Unison Media Inc. for a licence to operate a 21,000 watts ethnic commercial specialty FM radio that would serve ethnic programming to a minimum of 21 cultural groups in a minimum of 19 different languages per broadcast week,
*Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for a licence to operate 11,000 watts English-language Adult Contemporary commercial FM.
*Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership for a broadcasting licence to operate a 21,000 watts English-language Rhythmic CHR commercial FM.
* Clear Sky Radio Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 21,000 watts English-language 90's-based Country music commercial FM.
*Alberta Mosaic Radio Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,871 watts ethnic commercial specialty FM that would serve ethnic programming to a minimum of 18 cultural groups in a minimum of 16 different languages per broadcast week
B): Mutually exclusive applications proposing the use of 100.3 MHz from
*7954689 Canada Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 7,800 watts English-language Hybrid Hit Music/ Hybrid Hit Radio commercial FM.
*Rawlco Radio Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 27,000 watts English-language Hit music commercial FM.
C): Mutually exclusive applications proposing the use of 106.7 MHz and 106.9 MHz from
*(106.7 MHz) Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,100 watts ethnic commercial FM that would serve ethnic programming to a minimum of 23 cultural groups in a minimum of 19 different languages per broadcast week.
*Corus Entertainment Inc., on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary CKIK-FM Limited, to add a 1,000 watts FM transmitter in Calgary to broadcast the programming of CHQR-AM.
D): Application from Punjabi - World Network Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 5,000 watts day-time and 1,000 watts night-time ethnic commercial AM to provide ethnic programming to a minimum of 13 cultural groups in a minimum of eight different languages per broadcast week.
Also to be considered at the hearing are the following:
*Application from Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for authority to acquire from Rick Sargent the assets of the English-language commercial stations CJFB-FM, Bolton, Ontario, and CFGM-FM, Caledon, Ontario, for CAD 200,000 (Approximately the same in USD). The CRTC notes that current licensee, Rick Sargent, may have failed to comply with Radio Regulations concerning the filing of annual returns and basic annual Canadian content development (CCD) contributions.
*Application from Papoo Holdings Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,000 watts, day-time and night-time ethnic commercial AM radio programming undertaking in Ottawa that would provide ethnic programming to a minimum of six cultural groups in a minimum of ten different languages per broadcast week.
*Application by Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate a 372 watts Classic Hits English-language commercial FM in Uxbridge.
*Approval of application by Byrnes Communications Inc. to increase from 7,100 to 8,950 watts the power of CIHR-FM, Woodstock.
*Announcement that following a procedural request from Corus Entertainment Inc. in relation to a November 21 appearing phase to be held in Blue Mountains, Ontario (concerning mutually-exclusive applications from Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation and Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for licences for an English-language commercial FM in Shelburne; MZ Media Inc. for a licence and Evanov Communications for licences for an English-language commercial specialty FM in Collingwood (See RNW Licence News, July 17) that those who submitted written interventions relating to the applications concerned will be allowed to file final written comments up to November 28 following which the applicants may file responses up to December 5.
In the UK, Ofcom posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints (See RNW Nov 7).
Ofcom has also posted its October Radio Broadcast Update in which it notes the issuing of a new RLCS (Radio Licensable Content Service) licence to Thamil Broadcasting Centre UK Ltd.'s TBC Radio and the ending of the Passion for the Planet Local DAB service.
It also announced that it invited declarations of intent to apply for the FM licence currently held by Morecambe Bay / Bay Radio Ltd. The new licence would run to February 2020 and declarations of intent have to be submitted by 15:00 GMT on November 23.
Two local FM licences were re-awarded in the period to current licensees - the Londonderry Q102.9 licence held by Northern Media Group Limited and the Alton and Haslemere Kestrel FM licence held by Delta Radio Limited.
One format change was approved in the period - a request by More FM Ltd. to ease locally-made programming requirements - currently all programmes may be shared between the Bath licence ; the Swindon Licence ; and the Warminster licence and produced within the licensed areas and under the proposed arrangements locally made programming has to be produced within the licenses areas of Bristol, Bath or Warminster and may be shared between the licences - replacing Swindon with Bath in the trio of areas.
Ofcom noted that the Warminster station- which has the smallest MCA of any independent local radio station in the UK (only 18,410) - is unsustainable on a stand-alone basis and notes various sales and periods of receivership for the station following its launch, adding that the station has been unprofitable and continues to lose money.
Allowing the co-location with Bristol will it considers allow the station to continue to operate.
One Content Sampling Report is included in the update - that of Global Radio's Capital FM East Midlands, carried out in response to "specific complaints received by Ofcom regarding the quality of the Nottingham & Derby licensee?s local news provision."
Ofcom noted that the news coverage aired by the station was comprised of comparatively short-duration items and concluded that "there were just enough stories" relevance to listeners in Nottingham & Derby in the bulletins it monitored to comply with the station's format requirement.
The Update also noted three DAB multiplex changes - a reduction in bit rate of Smooth Radio UK and addition of Smooth Radio Xmas a short term station complementing the Easy Listening station Smooth Radio UK, featuring music with Christmas connections on the national multiplex; a reduction in the bit rate of Absolute Classic Rock and the addition of Absolute Radio 60s a 1960s-centric rock and roots music service on the London III, Ayr, Swindon and West Wiltshire, Cardiff and Newport, Coventry, Exeter and Torbay, Liverpool, Central Lancashire, Humberside, Leeds, South Yorkshire, Teesside, and Tyne and Wear multiplexes; and a reduction in bit rate of Absolute 00s and addition of Absolute Radio 70s a 1970s-centric music service on the Greater London II multiplex.
As regards community radio, the update notes that Applications for the second round of grants from the Community Radio Fund in 2011/12 opened on 19 October 2011 and will close at 5pm on 16 November 2011; the issuing of a licence to Guildford station Kane FM; the granting of five-year licence extensions to RNIB's Glasgow West Insight Radio; Lionheart Radio and Media Community Interest Company's Alnwick, Northumberland, station Lionheart Radio; Phoenix FM Limited's Brentwood, Essex, Phoenix FM; RadioReverb Limited's Brighton, West Sussex, RadioReverb; and West Hull Community Radio Limited's West Hull station West Hull Community Radio (WHCR)
One transfer of licence was approved in the period - of Lisburn City Radio to Lisburn Community Radio Limited.
In addition reasons were posted of the reasons for the award of three community licences - to Fantasy Radio (Devizes, Wiltshire); Frome FM (Frome, Somerset); and WCR Community Radio (Warminster, Wiltshire); and of the approval of a change in key commitments for the licence of Spirit of Plymouth (Radio) Ltd's Cross Rhythms (Plymouth), that amongst other things would allow a reduction of speech content in daytime from 25% to 20% with a corresponding increase in the remaining (music) content of the service.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a quiet week as regards radio although it did of its own volition grant a temporary waiver of its main studio rule to permit co-location of two Florida stations that are in the hands of the receiver and also rejected a plea to reconsider its decision not to allow a new entrants bidder discount to the winner of a Construction Permit for an FM in Friars Point, Mississippi, in its Auction 37 (See RNW Nov 10).
The agency also announced details of its Auction 93, which is due to launch on March 27 next year: It also announced that during the Auction 93 Form 175 application filing window that runs from January 3 to January 12 next year it will not accept FM commercial and NCE (non-commercial educational) minor change applications. In all there are 119 permits on offer in the auction.
Previous Licence News:
2011-11-12: A Kansas man has been indicted by a federal jury in Wichita one count of attempted damage to a communications system and one count of attempted damage to an energy facility in connection with pulling down a tower pole owned by Heartland Rural Electric Co and the theft of lines that provided power to two Pittsburg radio stations country - KKOW- FM - owned by American Media Investments - and Pittsburg State University's KRPS-FM.
Jeffrey L. Blake of Scammon had been arrested in September when police responded to a call about a possible theft in progress in a house near to the transmitter tower (See RNW Sep 10).
The Wichita Eagle in its report quotes KKOW engineer Jerry Tibbetts as saying they had suffered from thefts before but not damage of the kind caused in this case, commenting, "We've had copper stolen before but no one has wrapped a rope around a pole. He just hooked it to his pickup and pulled it down." He added that the damage cost the station around USD 6,000.
The paper notes that the damage to KRPS equipment was not included in the federal charges because it is not part of the national EAS (Emergency Alert System) unlike KKOW.
The maximum penalties for the offences are up to 20 years in a federal prison and a fine of up to USD 250,000 for attempting to damage an energy facility and ten years and a fine up to USD 250,000 for attempting to damage a communications facility. State charges have been dismissed pending the federal case.
Wichita Eagle report:
2011-11-11: Emmis Communications has announced an agreement to finance purchase some of its 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock through a series of unsecured notes totalling up to USD 35 million that will mature in February 2015: Interest on the notes will accrue quarterly at a rate of 22.95 % t per annum but are not payable in cash and purchaser Zell Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P. (This is a fund that Chicago business magnate and Tribune Co chairman Sam Zell set up in 2009, primarily to target troubled commercial real estate securities) and , which has agreed to purchase the notes on up for four separate occasions before on February 2 next year
Emmis adds that the agreement related to the notes includes covenants and other "customary representations, warranties, and indemnities" that "are comparable to those in Emmis' senior secured credit facility, including the prohibition of any dividend payments on Emmis' capital stock and certain restrictions on the ability of Emmis to incur additional indebtedness."
It says that the purchase price it will be paying for its preferred stock under the agreements it has made with their holders are at prices that are 2below the closing price of the Preferred Stock on November 10, 20112 (Rumour has it that Emmis will pay around a quarter of face value for the stock)..
2011-11-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a waiver to allow the receiver of WJSJ-FM, Fernandina Beach, Florida, to locate the station's main studio outside its community of licence at the main studio of sister station WFJO-FM, Jacksonville, which is also in receivership.
Both stations are in the Jacksonville market and the receiver had argued that the new location fell within the Station's principal community contour as measured by the Longley-Rice alternative contour-prediction methodology. He also argued that the co-location was needed to "achieve much-needed economies due to the financial constraints on these distressed assets."
The FCC, after conducting its own evaluation ruled that the proposed new main studio location was outside the contours but added that it found "good cause" to temporarily allow the co-location, noting that the proposed main studio was only 0.6 miles further from the centre of the community of licence than the 25 miles that its rules allow.
In Mississippi, however, it denied a petition from L.T. Simes, II and Raymond Simes to reconsider a decision to deny the Simes' eligibility for a new entrant bidding credit with respect to the Friars Point, Mississippi, allotment in FM Broadcast Auction 37.
The Simes had applied for four FM allotments in the auction - two in Arkansas and two in Mississippi - and had claimed a 25 percent new entrant bidding credit against their auction bids, having certified in their Form 175 auction filing window application that they had attributable interests in only two other media of mass communication.
FCC staff, however noted, that the Simes were not eligible to claim the new entrant bidding credit against their bids for the construction permit at Elaine, Arkansas, because the proposed station at Elaine was in the same area as one of the stations in which the Simes have an attributable interest but "inadvertently indicated" that the Simes could claim a bidding credit for the other three FM permits selected on their Form 175 application.
The Simes were the successful bidders for the Friars Point, allotment, and timely filed their post-auction FCC Form 301 application, which included the required study demonstrating compliance with the Commission's radio multiple ownership rules. That study disclosed overlap of the 70 dB? contours of KCLT-FM, in which the Simes have attributable interests, and the proposed new Friars Point FM broadcast station and the staff concluded that the Simes were ineligible for the 23% new entrant bidding credit they had claimed.
The Simes responded by arguing that they had accurately represented their interests in the Form 175 application and pointed out that the Friar's Point allotment was in a different state and Arbitron market to KLCT: They also argued that the had relied on the FCC's "approval" of the bidding credit.
FCC staff rejected these arguments, pointed out that the FCC error arose from the Simes' initial failure to disclose the Friars Point overlap, and required full and final payment of their winning bid.
The Simes responded with their petition for reconsideration in which they said they had no reason to know the FCC had erred when it initially approved the bidding credit; that they had bid on this basis; that the final price they would have to pay without the credit was above the fair price for the station; and that the FCC should have given them other options than simply requiring payment within 60 days.
The FCC denied the petition, saying no new evidence had been brought forward and noting that the "same area" restriction was specifically detailed in "several pre-auction public notices,14 as well as being set forth in the Rules" and the Simes should therefore have know they were not eligible for the credit.
2011-11-10: UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center in what it terms a "pilot study" on "QUANTIFYING HATE SPEECH ON COMMERCIAL TALK RADIO" claims that conservative talk radio programming that it studied creates danger for Latinos and is often promoting views as based on facts when in fact most were anything but factually-based.
The study (posted this week as a 42-page PDF) by Chon A. Noriega, the Director, and Francisco Xavier Iribarren, assistant director at UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center, opted to look at three conservative talk shows on commercial radio (aired in 2008) pm the basis that radio has the greatest reach of any U.S. media with news-talk being the "predominant radio format in terms of dedicated stations nationwide (over 1,700)."
It adds, "We examined commercial radio talk programs reaching audiences in Los Angeles County because it is the most populous county in the United States and because Latinos comprised nearly half (48 percent) of the county's population in 2009" and notes that "conservative talk radio, which accounts for 91 percent of total weekday talk radio programming."
The three shows chosen for the study were the top-rated "John & Ken Show" (John Chester Kobylt and Kenneth Robertson Chiampou) aired on Clear Channel's KFI-AM; and "The Savage Nation" - aired on KFMB 760 AM and syndicated by Talk Radio Network and "The Lou Dobbs Show: Mr. Independent", syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks.
The research term analysing the shows identified four types of statements that were made relative to "targets" - defined by it as "vulnerable groups and/or their supporters" that were implied and named through references to them and through a speaker's call for action against them (that is, suggesting or implying that listeners might do something that could affect the target)."
The types were "unsubstantiated claims; flawed argumentation; divisive language (that is, "us-them" constructions); and dehumanizing metaphors."
The authors in the introduction to their study comment, "Nationally, hate crimes against Latinos, when compared with hate crimes against other racial/ethnic groups, have risen at the highest rate, with a 25 percent increase between 2004 and 2008 (Federal Bureau of Investigation figures 2004, 2008). This increase may be linked to the media generated negative discourse against immigrants that has been prevalent on the airwaves."
Of the programmes selected for analysis they say they "share certain general features of the news-talk format (news commentary, guest interviews) and focus on conservative topics (anti-immigration and free speech)" but add that each programme has a distinct profile.
The programmes also showed significant differences when it came to the "targeted statements" with readers of the transcripts of the shows identifying 148 "instances that met the study's criteria for statements targeting a vulnerable group or their supporter" of which just more than two thirds focussed on undocumented immigrants and Latinos: When it came to the shows Latinos (both citizens and undocumented) it says were 91% of the targeted vulnerable groups on Dobbs' show; 43% of these groups on The Savage Nation; and 43% on the Ken and John Show, although it adds that the figure for the last should be higher because of comments focussed on residents of "South L.A." (South Central Los Angeles), an area that is roughly 55 percent Latino and 41 percent African American.
Moving on from comments with which the authors obviously take issue, the report next deals with "unsubstantiated claims", starting by commenting, "The assertion of false, unverifiable, and/or distorted claims emerged as a significant feature of all the segments we analyzed."
It quotes from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) "Code of Ethics" - in the context of the report the most significant seem to us to be those on testing the accuracy of information; avoiding stereotyping by "race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or social status"; distinguish between advocacy and news reporting; and admitting mistakes and correcting them promptly and notes that Dobbs served on the SPJ Board. [RNW Comment: Adherence to these would probably kill off most US talk radio but then the hosts are not claiming to be reporters albeit they may well be bigots or exploiting bigots for their own benefit).
The analysis of the shows in this context shows significant differences No false claims were noted in Dobbs show, which had 27 substantiated claims compared to four unsubstantiated ones (None of these from Dobbs, who did make three unverifiable claims); One false claim plus eight unverifiable ones, and eight distorted ones making a total of 17 compared to 26 substantiated ones; and 21 unsubstantiated claims compared to 26 substantiated ones on the John and Ken Show, a total that included three false claims from John Kobylt; four from Ken Chiampou; and three from guest Jim Gilchrist, founder and director of the Minutemen Project in addition to which the report lists two unverifiable claims from each of these plus two distorted claims from Kobylt and three from Chiampou.
The report notes that the unsubstantiated claims in the Dobbs and John and Ken shows related either entirely or predominantly to undocumented immigrants and governmental agencies or public officials that were characterized as supporting them or facilitating their negative impact on society."
In all it says readers of the transcripts identified 114 fact-based claims of which 37 percent (42 of 114) were unsubstantiated; 11 proven false 18 found to be unverifiable, and 13 found to be distorted.
After consideration of the use of language - such as illegal alien, anarchist, community or communities and free speech or freedom of speech where meaning is significantly dependent on the context in which the terms are used - and differences between the hosts in the terms used when referring to the same topic the report says it found no examples of calls for unlawful action but "a distinct and recurring rhetorical pattern for targeting specific vulnerable groups that relies on the systematic use of a combination of unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, and indexical terms that point to a nativist attitude. Through this rhetorical pattern, vulnerable groups were defined as antithetical to core American values, which were attributed by the hosts to themselves, their audience, and the nation."
The report comments, "What we find most troubling in our findings is the extent to which this pattern relies on unsubstantiated claims while the talk radio programs situate themselves within the journalistic context of "news" and "opinion" directed at public policy debate."
Previous John and Ken:
UCLA report ( 42-page 577 kb PDF):
2011-11-09: The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that today's first ever nationwide US Emergency Alert System (EAS) test has "served the purpose for which it was intended - to identify gaps and generate a comprehensive set of data to help strengthen our ability to communicate during real emergencies."
In a FEMA blog, Damon Penn, Assistant Administrator, National Continuity Programs, continues, "Based on preliminary data, media outlets in large portions of the country successfully received the test message, but it wasn't received by some viewers or listeners."
FEMA, he adds, will "be spending the next few weeks gathering test result data from the test's participants, and feedback from all of our stakeholders" and he notes that under the Federal Communications Commission's rules, participants "have 45 days from the date of the test to analyze their data and provide a full report to the FCC on the scope and reach of the test."
In the meantime, he adds, FEMA is interested in feedback about how the test worked and is encouraging people to email comments to email@example.com
Penn's blog comments are followed by some feedback most of it critical of the test - one "anonymous" comment says, "Well, if any of our enemies wanted to make sure that we American citizens could not communicate with each other or get reports on emergency situations, all they would have to do is conduct an emergency alert system test."
FEMA - Penn blog:
2011-11-09: A report in the Sydney Daily Telegraph says that a PDF attachment to a memo from the General Manager of Fairfax Media's 2UE, Sydney, appears to show that the station's staff are paid very much less than rivals at Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB, which dominates the ratings.
The paper says that according to 2UE General Manager Tim McDermott there was no PDF attached to his memo advising staff to take holidays owing to them: He told the paper when asked if the list of salaries had been attached to the memo unintentionally, "Not correct" and when asked about pay commented, "It's inappropriate for me to comment about people's remuneration."
Others at 2UE reports the paper say otherwise and it goes on to detail various salaries said to have been in the attachment including AUD 440,000 for breakfast host Jason Morrison (USD 451,000 compared to around AUD 4 million - USD 4.1 million for 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones: in the latest ratings Jones was top ranked in the slot with a 17.5% share and Morrison seventh with a 5.3% share); AUD 200,000 for morning host David Oldfield - USD 205,000 compared to a reported AUD 2 million - USD 2.05 million for Ray Hadley at 2GB: In the latest ratings Hadley was top with a 17.7% share and Oldfield with 5.7% shared sixth rank); and AUD 250,000 for afternoon host Paul Murray (USD 255,000 compared to a reported AUD 400,000 - USD 410,000 for 2GB afternoon host Chris Smith: In the latest ratings Smith was top ranked with a 13.6% and Murray ninth with a 5.2% share).
Previous Fairfax Media:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Sydney Daily Telegraph report:
2011-11-08: Australian metropolitan radio revenues, which had fallen in July (See RNW Aug 6) and August (See RNW Sep 9) compared to a year earlier but then recovered to increase by 0.51% in September (See RNW Oct 10), were back to stronger growth of 2.3% to a total of AUD 64.02 million (USD 66.54 million) in October according to latest figures released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue figures, sourced by Deloitte, show advertising revenue up in every market except Sydney, where revenues were down 1.23% to AUD 19.53 million ( USD 20.30 million)
The rises elsewhere (in descending order (were of 8.91% in Perth to AUD 8.66 million (USD 9.01 million); of 8.61% in Adelaide to AUD 5.98 million (USD 6.22 million); of 2.08% in Brisbane to AUD 10.41 million (USD 10.82 million) and of 1.78% in Melbourne to AUD 19.44 million (USD 20.20 million).
For the first four months of the 2012 financial year the total is now up 0.33% to AUD 236.98 million (USD 246.40 million) with the figures virtually flat in all the metropolitan markets except for Adelaide, which is up 5.68%.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief Executive officer Joan Warner said the patchy market reflected challenging economic conditions "for all media" and added that "radio continues to be a resilient medium in tough trading conditions."
Previous Australian Radio Revenues (September):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2011-11-07: Fisher Communications has reported third quarter revenues down 5% on a year ago at USD 39.7 million - radio was down 14%, put down mainly to a decrease in political advertising this year: Its revenues for the first nine months were up marginally to USD 117.6 0 million from USD 117.2 million in 2010.
Operating expenses for the quarter rose by 3% for the quarter to USD 35.45 million but were down 2% for the first nine months to USD 105.44 million and EBITDA was down 13% to USD 6.822 million but up 4.2% for the first nine months to USD 15.663 million.
Net income fell drastically for the quarter - from USD 3.320 million to USD 1.444 million (down from 38 cents to 16 cents per share) but more than doubled for the first nine months - up from USD 1.469 million to USD 3.333 million (from 17 cents to 38 cents per share)
In divisional terms for the quarter Fisher highlighted TV, noting a 9% increase in core advertising revenues to USD 22.775 million but political advertising was down 80% to USD 947,000 and the combined total was down 7.75% to USD 23.722 million. Fisher includes Internet, which was up 52% to USD 1.408 million, in its TV segment and overall revenues were down 5% to USD 30.522 million.
For the first nine months the position was similar with core TV advertising up 7% to USD 69.579 million; political advertising down 81% to USD 1.301 million; Internet up 67% to USD 3.958 million and overall TV segment revenues up 1% to USD 90.557 million.
Radio fared much worse with revenues for the quarter down 14% overall to USD 5.344 million, hit by a 92% decline in political advertising to USD 22,000 whilst core advertising was down 10% to USD 5.059 million and barter and other revenues fell 3% to USD 263,000: For the first nine months, radio core revenues fell 6% to USD 14.951 million; political advertising was down 60% to USD 149,000; barter and other revenues were down 6% to USD 776,000; and overall revenues fell 7% to USD 15.876 million.
Radio was also affected by the ending of the company's joint sales agreement with classical format KING-FM, which ended when the station became non-commercial in May this year after 63 years as a commercial station (See RNW May 2)
Commenting on the figures, President and Chief Executive Officer Colleen B. Brown commented, "Our solid third quarter performance demonstrates the continued strength of our market-leading broadcast properties and the growing popularity of our digital platform. Through the successful execution of our strategic plan, we have transformed Fisher into a leader in local media by improving audience and revenue share, embracing new ways to distribute our content, and leveraging our unique multiplatform approach. Our demonstrated ability to anticipate the changing nature of advertisers' spending while developing innovative platforms and channels to meet their needs, positions us well to deliver long-term value to our communities and our shareholders."
2011-11-07: James D. (Jim) Ingstad, a member of the *Ingstad family which owns around 30 radio stations, has picked up 12 New Northwest Broadcasters stations in the Tri-Cities and Yakima areas of Washington State whose sale to TownSquare Broadcasting fell through because of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) veto on its Trust plans (See RNW Jul 30): TownSquare, which already owns stations in both areas had planned to cherry pick the best stations and put eleven others into a Trust for disposal after various signal swaps but the FCC agreed with objectors that the Trust proposed - which it had already accepted in May last year when it gave permission for the transfer of 31 New Northwest stations to the receiver - did not comply with FCC policy on Trusts and as a result reversed its position, thus ending the TownSquare deal.
According to the Bellingham Herald, Jim Ingstad who is principal of Ingstad Radio Washington that owns Radio Fargo Moorhead which operates six stations in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, is paying around USD 6.7 million for the 12 stations through a discounted purchase of debt .
It says that the deal is being structured by Ingstad Radio Washington buying some USD 16 million in debt owed by Seattle-based New Northwest Broadcasters from a creditor, CIT Group, at a discounted price according to Jim Ingstad, and adds that the actual amount that will be paid for the stations is likely to be less since the acquisition as well as the licences will include cash and other assets from New Northwest Broadcasters, which has been in receivership since last year.
The stations involved are four FMs and two AMs in Tri-Cities - classic rock KEGX-FM; variety hits KKSR-FM; country KIOK-FM; and Top-40 KUJ-FM; plus news-talk KTCR-AM and FOX Sports affiliate KALE-AM - and four FMs and two AMs in Yakima - oldies KARY-FM; contemporary hits KHHK-FM; variety hits KRSE-FM; and country KXDD-FM plus conservative talk KBBO-AM and ESPN affiliate KJOX-AM.
New Northwest Broadcasters has been under the control of Seattle-based Revitalization Partners since last year but so far Revitalization has not commented on the deal.
*As well as Jim Ingstad's interests noted above the Ingstad Family holdings include Ingstad Family Media (Two Rivers Broadcasting, Sioux Valley Broadcasting, James River Broadcasting and Dakota Radio Group), currently owned by Janice Ingstad, widow of Robert Ingstad whose father Robert Ingstad Sr. launched flagship station KOVC-AM in 1936, and which owns around 16 stations in North and South Dakota; Iowa City Broadcasting -owned by Tom Ingstad and owning stations in Morris, Montevideo, Willmar and Thief River Falls, all in Minnesota; and Ingstad Brothers Broadcasting, which owns five Minnesota stations - four News-talk AMs - KNUJ-AM, New Ulm; , News-talk KDUZ-AM, Hutchinson; News-talk KCHK-AM, New Prague; and KYMN-AM, licensed to Northfield - plus hits KARP-FM licensed to Dassel.
Bellingham Herald report:
2011-11-07: Although it lists a number of TV advertising scheduling and minutage cases, UK media regulator Ofcom upholds no standards or fairness and privacy complaints against either radio or TV in its latest Broadcast Bulletin although it lists one radio standards case considered resolved through action taken by the broadcaster and a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld and a further TV case where there was no breach..
The radio case considered resolved involved a misleading sponsorship credit aired on London commercial radio station Buzz Asia, which serves the Asian community.
The credit ended with the sentence "Eat as much as you can for just fifteen pounds and bring your own booze" but a complainant told Ofcom he had visited the restaurant and was told that the offer was no longer available and that the restaurant's sponsorship contract with Buzz Asia had finished: Buzz Asia, it said, had aired the credit without its consent.
Buzz Asia in response to an inquiry from Ofcom said that between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 the restaurant had sponsored its "hit of the Hour" segment that aired once an hour between 07:00 and 19:00 at weekends and that the broadcast complained about in August had been an error, adding that it had been unable to establish the circumstances surrounding the mistake, but assumed it had been caused by human error.
It acknowledged that it had breached two rules - one in Ofcom's Code and the other the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising Code (the BCAP Code) and apologized to the audience and the restaurant.
Ofcom in its ruling said that the credit had misled listeners but took into account the fact that the transmission was due to human error and noted that the broadcaster, who was not receiving payment from the restaurant, had not intended to transmit these credits. It therefore considered the matter resolved.
The numbers compare with the revocation of the licences of TV channels, the upholding of two radio standards and eight TV standards complaints and details given of a TV advertising schedule breach and of six TV Fairness and Privacy Complaints not upheld in the previous bulletin.
In addition to the above Ofcom listed a further 337 TV complaints against 228 items and 23 radio complaints against 23 items that were assessed but not further investigated - this compares with 405 TV complaints against 187 items and 16 radio complaints against 16 items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
It also listed a total of 23 investigations, two radio and the rest TV, that it commended between October 20 and November 2 of cases where it believes its Codes may have been breached.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2011-11-06: Last week the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was by far the busiest of the regulators, particularly in terms of a number of enforcement actions- it proposed or levied penalties on radio licensees approaching USD 100,000- whilst elsewhere things were very quiet as regards radio.
In Australia there was only ne radio announcement from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a decision for the second time not to grant a long-term community licence to High Country Christian Broadcasters Association Inc (HCCBA), which currently holds a temporary community licence in Upper Murray, Victoria.
HCCBA had been refused a licence in 2006 and was the only applicant for the licence this time: It proposed a service to represent the Religious - Christian community interest but the ACMA decided that the proposed service would not meet the existing and perceived future needs of the Christian community in the licence area to an adequate extent and also considered that HCCBA did not demonstrate that it had the capacity to provide the proposed service.
Canada was only a little busier with two radio decisions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). These were:
*Approval of application by Gabriola Radio Society (GRS) for a licence to operate a 60 watts English-language community FM radio in Gabriola Island
As well as interventions in support of this application there were a number in opposition, mainly claiming that there was no need for the station as Gabriola Island was already served by other stations and some also expressing concern about radiation from the broadcast tower.
*Approval of application from Alan Jacobs, in his capacity as the Director of Operations of Walpole Island First Nation Radio for a broadcasting licence to operate a 50 watts English- and Ojibway-language low-power Type B Native FM at Walpole Island.
The CRTC also announced in connection with a hearing that began on Sep 19 that it is to hold an appearing phase on November 21 in Blue Mountains, Ontario in relation to four mutually exclusive Ontario applications.
They were from Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation for a licence for a 12,500 watts Contemporary Country music English-language commercial FM in Shelburne, Ontario; from Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a licence for a 15,600 watts Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM in Shelburne; from MZ Media Inc. for a 3,100 watts English-language commercial specialty (mainly classical music programming from CFMZ-FM, Toronto) FM in Collingwood and from Evanov Communications Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence for a 1,000 watts New Easy Listening English-language commercial Specialty FM in Collingwood.
Ireland was also quiet with no radio decisions although the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland did announce closing dates for the four rounds to be held in 2012 of its Sound & Vision II - The Broadcasting Funding Scheme: Each rounds will have funding of up to Euros 3.5 million (USD 4.8 million) to broadcasters and independent producers to enable them to produce national, local and community level to high-quality television and sound broadcasting programmes in English and Irish which explore the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience, in contemporary or historic contexts.
The rounds will close at noon on January 27; April 13; July 13; and September 14 next year.
The BAI also, as required under Ireland's Broadcasting Act, published a statement on how it publish a statement setting out how the BAI proposes, during the period for which the statement is made, to ensure that regulation by the Authority and the statutory committees does not involve the imposition or maintenance of unnecessary administrative burdens and additionally posted a notice saying that it had received a total of 227 submissions to its consultation on how food and drink should be commercially promoted to children in the broadcast media.
In the UK, Ofcom also made no radio specific postings although it has started a consultation on a proposed Code for the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers, The proposed 17-page Code is on the agency's website in PDF form and responses have to be submitted by December 2.
The proposed rules require that both radio and TV broadcasters must not "unduly discriminate between advertisers that seek to have any commercial communication included in its licensed service"
In the agency's terms discrimination occurs when a licensee "treats one third party advertiser in a different manner to another and where it offers more favourable terms to itself or an associated company" and Ofcom will treat any cases through consideration firstly of whether there was discriminations and secondly, if there was, if it was undue. It notes that the Code does not cover commercial relationships between media buyers and advertisers.
Ofcom gives examples of justifiable discrimination, such as a decision to support a particular charity for a period; a decision not to carry advertisements such as for gambling services on moral grounds; and to make special provisions for an especially significant advertising campaign that it would not make for a short one of low commercial value.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued its latest licensed stations numbers, showing a fall (See RNW Nov 4) and updated details regarding its Nov 9 Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test
It was also fairly busy in terms of enforcement actions, proposing or imposing penalties totalling almost USD 100,000 to various radio broadcasters. They included:
*USD 25,00 Forfeiture to Spirit Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WGTM-AM, Wilson, North Carolina, for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment; to enclose its antenna tower within an effectively locked fence; and to maintain and make available a public inspection file.
An NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount was issued to Spirit in July this year but no response was received so the agency has affirmed the forfeiture.
*USD 21,000 forfeiture to Robert J. and Katherine M. Bohn, licensees of California stations KCNQ-FM, Kernville; KRVQ-FM (formerly KVLI-FM), Lake Isabella; KVLI-AM (formerly KQAB-AM), Lake Isabella, for late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation: The FCC denied a petition from the Bohns for reconsideration of three USD 7,000 forfeiture orders.
The FCC had issued three NALs, each of USD 7,000 for the breaches in September 2007, and the Bohns responded by arguing that the NALs should be cancelled because the amounts were excessive compared to those levied in similar cases; that the violations did not adversely affect the public interest; and that the Licensees' failure to timely file the renewal applications was partially due to difficulties with the Commission's electronic filing system.
The FCC rejected the arguments and in February this year confirmed the full USD 21,000 penalty. The licensees then filed their petition for reconsideration but the agency has now rejected this petition and affirmed the full USD 21,000 penalty.
*USD 20,000 NAL to Equity Communications LP, licensee of WMID-AM and owner of antenna structure number 1046225, in Atlantic City, New Jersey for failure to repaint the Antenna Structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility and failing to enclose the Antenna Structure within an effective locked fence or enclosure.
During an inspection in March last year agents found paint on the Antenna Structure was faded and chipped, significantly reducing the Antenna Structure's visibility and also that an unlocked gate on the southeast side of the Antenna Structure allowed unrestricted access to its base.
Equity responded to an NOV (Notice of Violation) concerning the painting of the Antenna by saying that it inspects the Antenna Structure several times per year and had been planning to address the faded and chipped paint issue for some time and added that during its own site visits, it had never seen the Antenna Structure's gate left unlocked although it noted that that several tenants lease space on the Antenna Structure and each of them has a key for the locks.
The FCC carried out a further inspection in November last year to check that the violations had been corrected and fount that Equity had neither repainted the Antenna Structure nor installed strobe lights and also that the gate on the northeast side of the Antenna Structure was unlocked, allowing unrestricted access to the Antenna Structure, which had radio frequency potential at its base.
The agents immediately informed Equity's President and General Manager about the open gate but when they returned on the next day, they d found that the gate on the northeast side of the Antenna Structure was still unlocked.
In December a further inspection was carried out in the presence of Equity's President and General Manager and WMID's Chief Engineer and again the antenna had not been repainted nor had lights been installed. The FCC noted that the paint failed the Federal Aviation Administration's ("FAA") In-Service Aviation Orange Tolerance Chart.
Subsequently in January this year WMID's Chief Engineer informed the FCC that Equity had installed strobe lights and that the Antenna Structure's lighting system was fully operational.
The FCC noted that base penalties for the breaches were USD 10,000 for the lighting and marking breach and USD 7,000 for the failure to maintain an effective AM tower fence but in this case adjusted the penalty upwards because despite repeated warnings the "apparent violations continued, demonstrating a deliberate disregard for the Rules." It is proposing a USD 20,000 penalty.
*USD 10,000 NAL to Michael W. Perry of Cross City, Florida, for operating an unlicensed CB transmitter. The agency in response to a complaint of interference had traced the signal to Perry's residence and found anon-certificated CB transmitter and three linear amplifiers as part of Mr. Perry's CB station. . Perry admitted that two of the three linear amplifiers were capable of generating a power output of 200 watts and 1,500 watts, respectively, and that he had never tested the third and the agents observed that the transmitter and two of the amplifiers were warm to the touch, indicating that the devices had been recently operated. The agency has proposed the base-level penalty.
*USD 10,000 NAL to East Carolina Radio, Inc., dba WERX-FM and owner of antenna structure number 1016851 in Columbia, North Carolina, for failing to exhibit red obstruction lighting from sunset to sunrise and failing to maintain required records.
A complaint made by a pilot was forwarded to the FCC in March this year and in April 12 a Tyrrell County Sheriff's Office Deputy observed, at the request of an FCC agent, that all lights on the tower that all lights on the Antenna Structure, except one light approximately 100 feet above the ground, were unlit after sunset.
Two weeks later an FCC agent accompanied by East Carolina's contract engineer, inspected the Antenna Structure and found that the lights still were not functioning properly and also observed that the Antenna Structure's remote light monitoring system was also not functioning properly.
The contract engineer said that the remote light monitoring system did not notify East Carolina of the extinguished top beacon until April 20, 2011, at which time East Carolina notified the FAA of the outage and also admitted that East Carolina did not maintain any logs regarding lighting outages and had no evidence that it conducted regular maintenance of its remote monitoring equipment.
The FCC has proposed the base forfeiture of USD 10,000 for the breaches.
*USD 7,000 forfeiture to the Board of Trustees, Davis & Elkins College, licensee of non-commercial educational Station WCDE-FM, Elkins, West Virginia for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had issued an NAL for this amount for the violations in 2006 and subsequently denied a request for reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture in which the College argued that its failure was not wilful and that it had taken corrective action on learning that the station's licence had expired.
The FCC took the view that the College had not shown new evidence to justify reconsideration and confirmed the penalty.
*USD 4,000 NAL to Catholic Radio Network, Inc., licensee of KPIO-AM, Loveland, Colorado, for failing to operate in accordance with the Station's authorized power: Monitoring in December last year and January this year showed that KPIO had been operating at approximately 1531 watts during night-time hours, when it was limited to operate only between 11 and 32 watts. The station's chief engineer subsequently investigated the status of the Station's operating power and found, as the potential explanation for the excess power level, a faulty remote control system, a defective transmitter power reading meter, and a defective base current meter. The agency has proposed the base forfeiture of USD 4,000 in this case.
In licensing decisions the FCC denied an application from Best of Life Educational Services, Inc. (BOLES) for a review of its denial of a petition for reconsideration of the Bureau's dismissal of an application for a construction permit for a new Low Power FM at Lady Lake, Florida.
The FCC Media Bureau had found the Application defective because at the time of filing BOLES did not meet the eligibility criteria for holding an LPFM station license and the FCC concluded that the Bureau had made a correct decision.
Also in Florida, the FCC denied an application from Great God Gospel and Educational Station, Inc. (GGG), for a review of its denial of a petition for reconsideration of the Bureau's dismissal of an application for a new FM Booster station at Ocala.
In Montana, the agency has dismissed a Petition for Rule Making and amendment to an application by Spanish Peaks Broadcasting Inc. (SPB) relating to a new FM in Charlo for which SPB won a construction permit in the FCC's Auction 91.
Originally SPB won a permit for a station using Channel 251C3 but in May this year it filed a minor amendment to change the community of licence to Woods Bay and upgrade the allotment to Channel 253C there.
To accommodate this change Bee Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of KBBZ-FM, Kalispell, Montana, was asked to show cause why its license should not be modified from Channel 253C to Channel 296C.
SPB subsequently filed its petition and amendment to propose an upgrade at Charlo from Channel 251C3 to non-adjacent Channel 296C and abandon the proposed change in community of licence.
The FCC said the second amendment should not have been accepted as FCC rules do not permit an upgrade in channel class on a non-adjacent channel. This change, it said, would be a major change not a minor amendment and also because SPB does not yet have authorization for Channel 251C3 the Petition was prematurely filed. It dismissed both the second amendment and the petition.
In South Dakota, the agency has confirmed a decision to allow Dakota Communications, Ltd. to change the community of licence of its KXLG-FM from Huron to Milbank and also to change the Station's location and technical facilities.
Three Eagles of Joliet, Inc. filed an informal objection to the Modification Application (the "Modification Objection"), arguing that the facilities proposed in the Modification Application would fail to provide a principal community (70 dB?) signal to the entirety of Milbank as originally proposed. Three Eagles claimed that Dakota evidently intended to abandon Milbank in favour of bringing a new service to Watertown and noted that Robert Faehn, a former South Dakota state legislator, was quoted in a local newspaper proposing "location of station headquarters and the construction of a tower a few miles east of Watertown.
The Eagles contends that Faehn has an ownership interest in Dakota and says the station's own website "identifies Bob Faehn as the owner and manager of KXLG" although Dakota denies he has an interest and "never had anything to do with the operation, management or control" of the station. He is not shown in FCC records as having an interest.
Three Eagles also said that is on August 26, 2009, Dakota and TMRG Broadcasting, LLC, executed a Time Brokerage Agreement and Option Agreement "pertaining to the management and operation of KXLG and its potential sale to TMRG and noted that "Robert Faehn was identified as the Manager of TMRG" in both of these agreements."
It argues that it is clear that "Dakota's proposal to serve Milbank was a straw man to serve Watertown [South Dakota], a conclusion which was confirmed when Dakota entered into time brokerage and option agreements with an entity managed by Rep. Faehn who was instrumental in . . . efforts to establish a Watertown radio station contrary to [Dakota's proposed] . . . service to Milbank."
The FCC said that Three Eagles' Modification reply should have been considered by staff when it made its decision but added that Three Eagles had not alleged an unauthorized transfer of control and was relying on a newspaper article, something the Commission has to consider as hearsay and cannot act as a substitute for affidavits based on personal knowledge that are required to substantiate serious allegations and also that station website information is "not probative on the issue of determining de facto control."
Accordingly, it said, Three Eagles had not submitted probative evidence that Faehn in fact controls the Station's personnel, programming, and finances and had not shown that the station's move to Milbank would be against the public interest.
Previous Licence News:
2011-11-05: Andy Rooney, best known for his comments for CBS's 60 Minutes TV programme has died in hospital in New York aged 92 only a month after announcing in his 1,097th essay for the programme on October 2 that he would no longer appear regularly.
Announcing the news CBS said he had died of complications following minor surgery and paying tribute CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said, "It's hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much."
Rooney, born Andrew Aitken Rooney in Albany, N.Y., went into journalism after being drafted into the US Army in 1941. Following a brief spell in an artillery unit in England he became a correspondent for The Stars and Stripes and was one of six correspondents to fly with the Army's 8th Air Force on the second American bombing raid over Germany after which he reported on the Allied invasion of Europe and later from the Far East. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his reporting under fire at the battle of Saint Lo.
Rooney moved into broadcasting when he was hired by CBS in 1949 after telling Arthur Godfrey, one of the biggest radio stars of the day, that he could use some better writing.
He was hired for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," which moved to television and became a top-10 hit that was number one in 1952 and also worked on Godfrey's other primetime program, "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends," and the star's daily morning show.
He later became Godfrey's only writer in 1953 but quit two years later because he felt he could be doing more important things but - with a wife and four children to support - returned to CBS and TV writing two years later
He then wrote for a number of shows and in 1969 Time Magazine described Rooney, who by then was a six-time winner of the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the Year, as "The most felicitous nonfiction writer in television."
He convinced CBS he could write for TV on any subject - his first Essay - narrated by the late Harry Reasoner was on the subject of "Doors".
Reasoner and Mike Wallace launched 60 Minutes in 1968 and Rooney wrote for and produced Reasoner until the host left in 1970 to join ABC News as a co-anchor with Howard K. Smith.
Rooney also left CBS but he returned in 1973 and worked on various broadcasts for CBS News including 60 Minutes before delivering his first Essay in July 1978 whilst standing in for the for the Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick "Point/Counterpoint" segmenton 60 Minutes. The Essays then became a regular feature alternating with Point/Counterpoint before Rooney took over the slot for the next season, continuing the Essays until October this year.
CBS News report:
2011-11-05: Univision has announced third quarter revenues up 1.67% on a year earlier to USD 584.6 million with revenues for the first nine months down 0.71% to USD 1.657 billion: The company notes in connection with this that in 2010 the Soccer World Cup had boosted its revenues by an estimated USD 25.6 million and USD 100.4 million - excluding these figures revenues would have been up by 6.41% and 5.65% respectively.
Adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization), or for the quarter was up 1.9% to $236.2 million whilst for the first nine months it was down 3.8% to $658.2 million but when the effects of the World Cup are excluded OIBDA was up 1.8% for the quarter and down 0.9% for the first nine months.
Within the figures, radio revenues were up 1.50% to USD 86.4 million and down 0.29% to USD 239.9 million for the quarter and nine months with radio OIBDA up 0.35% to USD 28.8 million and down 7.45% to USD 65.8 million respectively.
The corresponding figures for TV were a revenue rise of 1.17% to USD 480.9 million and fall of 0.7% to USD 1.3733 billion with OIBDA up 3.59% to USD 207.7 million and down 5.88% to USD 569.9 million respectively.
Overall net income was up from USD 44.1 million in the third quarter of 2010 to USD 290,000 (the 2010 figure included a USD 2 million impairment loss and USD 2.1 million in restructuring, severance and related costs and this year no impairment charges but USD 4.9 million in restructuring, severance and related costs) and up from USD 76.2 million to USD 298.5 million for the first nine months.
President And Chief Executive Officer Randy Falco said the company's "solid third quarter results reflect the continuing strength of our multi-platform properties, including our flagship television network" and added, "As we move into the fourth quarter and 2012, we are focused on advancing our momentum with retransmission consent negotiations and the expansion of our multi-platform content monetization strategy."
Regarding radio, the company noted top-ranking Spanish-language radio station among all Adults 18-34 and 25-54 in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
2011-11-04: Almost as soon as the welcomes had died down following President Obama's nominations for two Federal Communications Commissioners (See RNW Nov 3), a Republican Senator has said he will place a hold on the nominations according to The Hill.
It reports that Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley of Iowa said he would "object to proceeding to the nomination because the FCC continues to stonewall a document request I submitted to the FCC over six months ago on April 27, 2011, regarding their actions related to LightSquared and Harbinger Capital."
LightSquared, in which Harbinger Capital is the largest investor, says on its website that it is "is building the nation's first integrated wireless broadband and satellite network, which will be a game changer for business and consumers" but the 4G network it is construction was shown in tests earlier this year to interfere with GPS (Global Positioning System) devices and it is currently involved in further tests to find out if changes it has made have removed the problem and has been granted a conditional waiver by the FCC to move forward.
In September Iowa Republican Rep Michael Turner asked the United States House Oversight and Government Committee to investigate LightSquared because of suggestions that the FCC granted the waiver because Phil Falcone, Harbinger's Chief Investment Officer from its founding in 2001 had made sizeable contributions to President Obama's election campaign: LightSquared responded by noting that "the size and scope of LightSquared's network, including the number of towers it would be allowed to construct and the allowable power levels, were approved back on February 25, 2005 - under the Bush Administration." and
Rreports at the time indicated that The Federal Election Commission has no record that either Falcone, a registered Republican, or LightSquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja had ever contributed directly to President Obama's political campaigns although Falcone has made various donations to both the Republicans - indeed mainly to them - and the Democrats and President Obama was an early investor in LightSquared when it was called Sky Terra, albeit through a blind trust.
Last month under the headline "Politically-connected LightSquared pushes wireless Internet plan despite GPS concerns" the Center for Public Integrity updated a July report on LightSquared that contains most of the relevant detail relating to the concerns and links between the company and Obama supporters.
RNW Comment: The evidence from various Center for Public Integrity reports seems to suggest that integrity is very rare in US politics, public life, and business with the natural deduction that Grassley's concerns are as likely to be purely partisan or a product of lobbying by those opposed to various FCC plans to extend wireless broadband as a rational expression of legitimate concerns about a new technology: Or even that the problem is that money has been going to the other side as well.
However it is looked at, we doubt that the action he proposes to take is likely to do much to further his calls for an investigation albeit it may well be to the detriment of policy on the matters involved as if the nominations do not move forward the Commission is likely to be down two members out of five in the very near future.
Center for Public Integrity report:
The Hill report:
2011-11-04: Clear Channel's KOGO-AM, San Diego, is to extend its range from Monday through a simulcast on the frequency of the company's country format KUSS-FM (New Country 95.7), licensed to Carlsbad.
The KOGO website currently carries a message telling visitors "We've Got Big News Monday @ 7.a.m." and continuing "Listen: Don't Miss the Big Announcement" although it does not give any clues as to what this may be and the KUSS website - dare we suggest in keeping with Clear Channel's well-known policy of playing it straight with listeners and keeping them informed - also carries no warnings that it is about to disappear.
KUSS had only one local host, Program Director Cindy Spicer, who is out.
On a mews release Clear channel San Diego President and Market Manager Debbie Wagner comments that KOGO has "incredibly strong brand in San Diego with its award winning News and Talk format" and adds, "The simulcast of KOGO on 95.7 FM allows us to provide complete expanded signal coverage of KOGO's market leading news and talk programming to better serve our local community as well as our advertisers."
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-11-04: The number of licensed broadcast stations in the US at the end of June this year fell by 237 to 30,406 compared to the 30,643 at the end of March (30,855 at the end of June 2010) but then increased by 35 to reach 30.441 at the end of September (30,785 at the end of September 2010) according to figures just released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Within the figures the total for licensed radio stations excluding low power FMS rose by 82 from 14,728 at the end of March to 14,810 at the end of June and by a further 55 to 14,865 at the end of September although the total for Commercial AMs was down from 4,778 at the end of March to 4,770 at the end of June (4,786 at the end of June 2010) and 4763 at the end of September (4784 a year earlier).
Commercial FM numbers also fell back from the 6,533 at the end of March to 6,257 at the end of June (6494 a year earlier) but then rose again to 6,530 at the end of September (6512 a year earlier) whilst the total for Educational FMs rose by 96 from 3,417 at the end of March to 3513 at the end of June (3,223 a year earlier) and then by a further 59 to 3,572 at the end of September (3,251 a year earlier).
Low Power FM numbers fell back by seven from 859 at the end of March to 852 at the end of June (864 a year earlier) a by a further four to 848 at the end of September (864 a year earlier).
Previous FCC station numbers:
2011-11-03: CBS Corporation has reported third quarter revenues up 2% on a year earlier to USD 3.37 billion despite what it termed a "difficult comparison to the third quarter of 2010 which included significant political advertising revenues": Revenues for the first nine months are up 2.97% to USD 10.461 billion.
Revenues for its Local Broadcasting Group (part of its Local Group that also includes Outdoor) that takes in its radio and TV stations were down 3.1% from USD 677 million to USD 656 million for the quarter although for the first nine months they are up 0.36% from USD 1.961 billion to USD 1.968 billion.
The bulk of the growth came from CBS's Content Group - Entertainment, Cable Networks, and Publishing - with group revenues up 3.04% to USD 2.272 billion for the quarter and 2.98% for the first nine months to USD 7.426 billion.
The Local Group, which includes Local Broadcasting and Outdoor, was marginally down for the quarter - from USD 1.136 billion to USD 1.133 billion although outdoor was up 3.92% - from USD 459 million to USD 477 million: For the first nine months the Local Group revenues were up 2.42% to USD 3.348 billion within which Outdoor was up 5.5% to USD 1.38 billion.
CBS also notes revenues by type and advertising was essentially flat - up from USD 1.991 billion to USD .1992 billion for the third quarter - but down 0.47% from USD 6.530 billion to USD 6.499 billion for the first nine months.
Commenting on Local Broadcasting, CBS said, "Without the benefit from the substantial political spending in 2010, Local Broadcasting revenues for the third quarter of 2011 decreased 3% to $656 million from $677 million for the same prior-year period. CBS Television Stations revenues decreased 6%, reflecting the lack of significant political advertising revenues CBS Radio revenues were flat compared to the same prior-year period, also reflecting lower political spending, offset by growth in domestic auto, retail and financial services."
On a more positive note it added, "Local Broadcasting auto advertising sales for the third quarter of 2011 increased from the prior year as domestic spending increased and the rate of decline in spending for Japanese auto slowed from the second quarter."
On other metrics CBS reported adjusted OIBDA (Operating income before depreciation and amortization) for the quarter up 25% to USD 837 million (OIBDA itself was up 11.6% as the 2010 period included USD 90 million in various charges) and up 43% for the first nine months to USD 2.286 billion (OIBDA was up 41%) and adjusted operating income up 33.1% (Operating income was up 15.06%) for the quarter and up 59.5% to USD 1.874 billion (Operating income was up 56.3%) for the first nine months.
Net earnings for the quarter were up 6.6% to USD 338 million (From 47 to 51 cents per basic share and 46 to 50 cents per diluted share) and for the first nine months net earnings more than doubled - up from USD 441 million to USD 935 million (Up from 65 cents to USD 1.40 per basic share and 64 cents to USD 1.36 per diluted share): Factors in the increase included reduced interest expenses - down from USD 127 million to USD 110 million for the quarter and from USD 399 million to USD 330 million for the first nine months - and provision for income taxes - EBIT (Earnings before income taxes) were up 12.8% for the quarter to USD 574 million and up from USD 763 million to USD 1.542 billion for the first nine months.
CBS has doubled its dividend for the quarter from five to ten cents per share and for the first nine months they are up from 15 cents to 25 cents per share.
Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said they "reflect the exceptional performance of CBS's premium content around the world" adding "The Company's strong operating fundamentals and strategic improvements to its business model continue to pay off. I know that Leslie [President and CEO Leslie Moonves) and his team will reach even greater heights as we look to 2012 and beyond."
Moonves added, "These third quarter numbers speak to the strength, stability and progress of our operations. Once again, we turned top-line growth into strong double-digit OIBDA and EPS growth, while continuing to produce spectacular free cash flow year-to-date. Across the board, we have transformed CBS into a content company designed to perform in any environment. So far this season, the CBS Television Network is significantly outpacing the field with more programs in the top ten and top twenty in all key measures than all the other networks combined."
"Meanwhile, "he continued "we continue to monetize our enormous library on new platforms, including domestic and international streaming deals signed since last quarter worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These content licensing deals are increasing the stability of our revenue base, and we are tracking ahead of our strategy to increase our mix toward more recurring, non-advertising revenue streams. Going forward, we are confident that we will close out 2011 strongly, and look forward to a terrific 2012 in which we will increasingly benefit from online video, retransmission consent, reverse compensation from affiliates, international and local opportunities as well as political advertising that promises to be very robust."
2011-11-03: Salem Communications has posted a rise in its broadcasting revenues in the third quarter - of 3% to USD 44.8 million (Same station net broadcast revenue increased 4.2% to USD 44.3 million) - although total revenues were up by more - 6.8% to USD 54.9 million driven by rises of 40.1% to USD 7.1 million for internet revenues and 6.8% to USD 3.0 million for publishing.
This takes the revenue rise for the first nine months 6.5% to USD 162.8 million within which broadcasting revenue increased 2.0% to USD 132.9 million (Same station net broadcast revenue increased 2.8% to USD 130.8 million); internet was up 46.4% to USD 20.9 million; and publishing rose 9.9% to USD 9.0 million.
Operating expenses were up by more - 6.2% to USD 45.9 million for the quarter and 4.3% to USD 131.9 million for the first nine months, albeit excluding gain or loss on disposal of assets they were up 7.7% to USD 136.3 million and operating income increased 10.0% to USD 9.0 million for the quarter and 17.2% to USD 30.9 million for the first nine months whilst EBITDA increased 4.8% to $12.5 million for the quarter (adjusted EBITDA increased 5.5% to $13.0 million) and 12.9% to $40.9 million for the first nine months (Adjusted EBITDA increased 0.5% to $38.6 million.
Net income was up five-fold for the quarter - from USD 300,000 to USD 1.5 million (from one cent to six cents per diluted share) and up more than four-fold - from USD 1.2 million to US D5.0 million (From five cents to 21 cents per diluted share) - for the first nine months.
2011-11-03: Cox Media Group (CMG) has announced that its Hawaii's General Manager Mike Kelly is to retire from the company at the end of the year after 26 years of service although he will remain in a consulting capacity into 2012.
Paying tribute to Kelly, CMG Group Vice President Jay O'Connor commented in a release, "It's rare these days in broadcasting to find an individual who has been committed to and served a location for 26 consecutive years. Over that time Mike has led our group through tremendous industry change, including the influx of FM signals in the 80s, local marketing agreements (LMA), Duopoly, consolidation in the 90s and early 2000s, and the great recession of the last few years."
Kelly responded, "We have great people at CMG Hawaii, and they're like family to me. I'll continue to be here for them through the transition and beyond to help them however I can."
Cox, which operates four FMs and two AMs in Hawaii, has already started the search for a successor to Kelly.
Previous Cox Media:
2011-11-03: In more US results, Entravision, Radio One Inc and Saga Communications have reported third quarter radio revenues down or flat:
Entravision revenues were down 6% in the quarter to USD 50.115 million and 4% for the first nine months to USD 144.42 million and expenses were flat for the quarter at USD 31.20 million and up 1% for the first nine months to USD 83.04 million.
Adjusted EBITDA plummeted by 47% to USD 4.27 million for the quarter and was down by 12% for the first nine months to USD 31.13 million and overall the company went from the black to the red for the quarter as income of USD 6.41 million turned into a net loss applicable to common stockholders of USD 1.38 million (from income of eight cents to a loss of two cents per diluted share) whilst for the first nine months income of USD 11.19 million became a loss of USD 6.17 million (from income of 13 cents to a loss of seven cents per diluted share).
Within the figures, TV revenues for the quarter were down 2% to USD 33.56 million whilst radio was down 13% to USD 16.55 million with TV operating expenses up 1% to USD 18.20 million and radio operating expenses down 1% to USD 13.00 million.
The company noted that USD 2.5 million of the USD 3.2 million fall in revenues for the quarter was in radio and was primarily attributable to the absence of advertising revenue from the World Cup in 2011 compared to 2010 and a decrease in political advertising revenue.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Walter F. Ulloa said of the results, "During the third quarter of 2011, we faced challenging comparisons to last year's third quarter, when we benefited from World Cup and political advertising revenue. Nevertheless, our audience shares remain strong in the nation's most densely populated Hispanic markets, and we believe we are well positioned to benefit as the U.S. Hispanic market continues to expand and advertisers increasingly recognize the importance of reaching our target audience. We remain focused on improving our operating performance while continuing to carefully manage our costs."
Radio One Inc. third quarter revenues were up 40.3% on a year ago, but the rise was primarily due to the consolidation of TV One - radio revenues were up only 1.7% (and up 2.5% for the first nine months) and that was primarily from digital revenues with national and local revenues relatively flat.
Expenses however were up more - by 59.9% to USD 91.33 million and operating income fell steeply - down by just under 25% from USD 17.3 million in 2010 to USD 13.1 million and net income of USD 1 million in 2010 became a net loss of USD 9.88 million (Down from income of two cents per share to a loss of twenty cents per share).
For the first nine months of the year net revenues were up 27.9% to USD 266.5 million; expenses were up 33.7% to USD 232 million; operating income was down 1.5% to USD 34.49 million; and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of USD 1.48 million went to net income of USD 24.42 million
CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III commented of the results, "The third quarter again highlights the importance of consolidating TV One into our results: radio was relatively flat, however, our TV and Internet divisions both showed good revenue progression from prior year, and provide a sound diversification strategy."
He continued, "We have made some changes in certain radio markets designed to improve long term performance: in Houston we are launching News 92 FM; in Columbus, we switched from gospel to the Jack format; in Detroit we signed a local marketing agreement for 107.5 WGPR; and, in Philadelphia, we moved our adult urban format to our hip-hop signal, and vice versa. I am confident that these strategic changes will reap rewards in the long-term."
At Saga, revenues were for the quarter were down 1% from USD 32,810 million to USD 32.494 million) and up 0.75% for the first nine months to USD 94.385 million with operating expenses essentially flat: Operating income was down 6.24% for the quarter at USD 6.976 million and essentially flat for the first nine months - down from USD 18.818 million to USD 18.619 million.
Overall Saga reported net income for the quarter up 3.9% to USD 3.7 million (Up from 84 cents to 87 cents per fully diluted share) and for the first nine months down 19.3% toUSD 8.53 million (from USD 2.50 to US D2.10 per basic and diluted share).
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2011-11-02: Cox Media Group (CMG) has agreed a sale of two AMs in Connecticut to Sacred Heart University in a deal expected to close in the first quarter of next year although the University is to begin operating the stations from next Monday.
No figures were given by Cox in announcing the sale of the stations - news-talk format WSTC-AM 1400 and WNLK-AM 1350, covering Stamford and Norwalk - nor did it give details of job losses: The Stamford Advocate cited Mike Raub, operations director at WSTC and WNLK as saying that ten employees will lose their jobs and 30 hosts their shows although he added that the University's public station and NPR affiliates WSHU-FM and AM may take on some of them.
The paper said staff we told of the layoffs on Tuesday after the deal was agreed on Monday evening and quoted WSHU General Manager George Lombardi as saying that under the new agreement, WSTC and WNLK will become listener-supported and won't air commercials during its news programming.
Cox in its announcement of the deal, quoted Kristin Okesson, CMG Connecticut's Market Manager, as saying, "CMG explored many options and chose Sacred Heart University because of their commitment to remain locally owned and operated, to support the Stamford/Norwalk community, and their ability to continue the great local coverage WSTC and WNLK have provided over the years."
She added, "Cox Media Group greatly values the substantial service that the employees of WSTC/WNLK have made to these stations and the service they've given our valued audience and clients in the Stamford/Norwalk market."
Lombardi commented in the CMG news release, "As a public radio station, we consider ourselves to be a community resource, and we always look for ways to increase the service we provide our community. We are thrilled about this new opportunity, as we can now serve Norwalk, Stamford and Greenwich with an expanded, more reliable broadcast signal than we ever had before and by bringing our award-winning local reporting, insightful news and talk, and programs. WSHU has been deeply rooted in Fairfield County for 30 years, and we look forward to expanding our services in lower Fairfield County."
CMG will continue to operate Fairfield County classic rock station WFOX-FM, Norwalk, and Adult Contemporary WEZN-FM (STAR 99.9), Bridgeport, in the Stamford/Norwalk market.
Previous Cox Media:
Stamford Advocate report:
2011-11-02: There has been a widespread welcome for the nominations by President Obama of lawyers Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai for two FCC commissioner seats.
Pai will take the seat left vacant by the resignation of Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who announced her resignation in May this year before joining Comcast (See RNW Licence News May 15).
He is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP and before that worked at the FCC as Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel. Pai is said to have been the choice of Kentucky Republican and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Rosenworcel, who is a former aid to Democrat Michael J. Copps, will if confirmed by the Senate, take his seat when he steps down at the end of his second term in December. She is currently senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and a policy advisor to West Virginia Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller, whose committee will vet the nominations.
Amongst those chiming in with welcomes were the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), whose President and CEO Gordon Smith described the nominees as "two talented individuals with a commitment to public service"; the Consumer Electronics Association whose President Gary Shapiro said both had "a deep understanding of technology issues and will be valuable assets to the Commission, the industry and the public";
There were also welcomes from FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Commissioners Copps and his fellow Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn plus Republican Robert M. McDowell.
Genachowski referred to them as "outstanding choices"; Clyburn commented that "Both of these nominees are well respected for their legal acumen and collegiality"; Copps termed Rosenworcel a "gifted public servant" and said of Pai "Ajit's experience, both at the agency and on Capitol Hill, prepares him well for the many urgent telecom and media challenges confronting the Commission; and McDowell termed Rosenworcel "tireless public servant who, if confirmed, will bring a unique perspective to our discussions at the FCC" and said of Pai, "Ajit, if confirmed, will bring a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors as well as a solid understanding of the issues that come before the Commission."
2011-11-01: Newstalk chief executive Frank Cronin in a round of responses to the hosts' comments has accused former Sunday show host Eamon Dunphy of making "false and malicious" allegations against the station according to the Irish Times, which also reports that Cronin also said that Dunphy's comments had been motivated by a cut in his fee.
The Irish Independent quoted Cronin as saying that Dunphy has made "serious and libellous allegations" about Newstalk, commenting, "His behaviour and libelling of a number of people on Sunday was a deliberate and reckless dereliction of his duty as a presenter. This is the same Eamon Dunphy that has admitted that he wrote an attack on Denis O'Brien [Founder of Communicorp, which owns Newstalk and also Today FM in its radio holdings] for 'The Irish Times' at the request of Tony O'Reilly[The Irish businessman who was a former CEO of Heinz and a former CEO of Independent News and Media in which he has a holding of around 28%. He was succeeded as CEO in 2009 by his son Gavin. O'Brien has a holding of around 22% in Independent News and Media]".
Dunphy in on-air comments on his last show attacked the station and Denis O'Brien. (See RNW Oct 31),
Cronin said that Dunphy's fee was being cut from Euros 100,000 to Euros 60,000 (From USD 138,000 to USD 82,800 - and not halved as Dunphy had said) and added that the fee was "inordinately high" for two hours broadcasting a week.
He also half-contradicted Dunphy over raising his audience, saying that the figures in the latest ratings showed a fall from 62,000 to 58,000 - Dunphy had claimed a 10% - 8,000 listeners - increase over the past year.
Mirroring Dunphy in terms of a multi-pronged attack Cronin also accused Dunphy of behaving similarly to when he made previous controversial departures from Today FM (like Newstalk now owned by Communicorps), RTÉ and Independent News and Media and of writing an article in The Irish Times about O'Brien at the behest of O'Reilly.
"Mr Dunphy has a duty of care and responsibility to act professionally at all times when on air," Cronin told the paper. "His behaviour and libelling of a number of people on Sunday was a deliberate and reckless dereliction of his duty as a presenter."
Dunphy in response to the allegations about his article for the Irish Times denied that he had written it at O'Reilly's request telling the Independent, "Tony O'Reilly encouraged me to write a piece for their paper (the Irish Independent). But I said no, but I did it for 'The Irish Times'. But I didn't do it because I was asked."."
In an interview in the Independent on Monday Dunphy said Newstalk had become a "slum" and claimed that staff were treated "disgracefully" to which Cronin responded by telling the paper, "To suggest that journalists in the station are 'intimidated and blackguarded' is ridiculous and absurd. I have received many calls from members of staff who are offended, upset and outraged by these false allegations."
Irish Independent report:
Irish Times report:
2011-11-01: Entercom has reported third quarter revenues down 2% on a year earlier at USD 100.4 million but station expenses were up 3% to USD 69.5 million taking operating income down 13% to USD 30.9 million.
Adjusted EBITDA was down 14% to USD 26.7 million and net income fell 23% to USD 8.23 million (From 30 cents per basic and 29cents per diluted share to 23 cents and 22 cents respectively).
For the first nine months of the year revenues are down 0.6% to USD 287.6 million with station expenses up just below 4% to USD 202.4 million taking operating income down 20.7% to USD 52.55 million.
Net income, however nearly doubled - up from USD 29.15 million to USD 57.99 million mainly because of a 2011 figure of USD 244 million for time brokerage agreement fees (there w as no such income in 2010) taking the per share earnings up from 82 cents basic and 78 cents diluted to USD 1.59 and USD 1.53 respectively.
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO David J. Field said, "Business conditions remained sluggish yet stable during the third quarter as Entercom revenues declined 2%, essentially flat ex-political."
"Entercom," he added, "gained revenue share in a significant majority of its markets. We remain highly focused on making strategic investments in content, distribution and digital capabilities to enhance our competitive position and accelerate our future performance. During the third quarter, we launched our full-time programming line-up on The Game, our new San Francisco FM sports station, and added FM distribution to WEEI, our Boston sports property."
"Over the course of the year," said Field "we have established FM distribution for a number of our core AM news, talk and sports stations. While these moves have diluted 2011 performance by eliminating a handful of our music stations, they are driving audience growth, protecting the long-term health of key franchises, and enhancing our revenue growth opportunities going forward. Looking ahead to 2012, we are highly encouraged by brightening industry prospects due to accelerating industry innovation and outstanding audience usage trends."
2011-11-01: Sirius XM Radio has reported third quarter revenues up 6% on a year ago at USD 763 million on the back of an additional 334,000 subscribers to reach a record total of 21,349,858 on September 30th with self-pay net editions up 364,000 (41% on a year earlier) to an all-time high of 17,534,310.
The company adds that self-pay churn was stable at 1.9% and cash operating expenses were up only 2.7% -- to USD 567.544 million - taking its adjusted EBITDA margin up to a record 25.8% and adjusted EBITDA up 16.2% to USD 197.288 million.
Net income was up 54.1% to USD 109.9 million *from 1 cent to two cents per diluted share and from two cents to three cents per basic share).
For the first nine months of the year subscriber revenues are up 7.23% to USD 1.922 billion and total revenues were up 7.19% to USD 2.231 billion with operating expenses up only 1.3% to USD 1.709 billion and net income almost tripled from USD 124.499 million to USD 355.624 million (from three cents to ten cents per basic share and from two cents to five cents per diluted share).
CEO Mel Karmazin commented, "In the third quarter, we once again delivered record levels of subscribers, revenue and adjusted EBITDA, and we are confident our positive momentum will continue in the fourth quarter. This has been an exciting year for Sirius XM, but I'm even more excited by the many opportunities awaiting us in 2012. We plan to accelerate our revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth, deliver more free cash flow than ever before, and we are thrilled to offer exciting new content and innovations to our existing and future subscribers."
EVP and CFO David Frear added, "We ended the third quarter with more than USD 600 million of cash and cash equivalents. Our ratio of net debt to adjusted EBITDA declined to 3.4x at the end of the third quarter of 2011 from 4.5x at the end of the third quarter of 2010. Our free cash flow for the first nine months of 2011 of USD 224 million exceeded the USD 210 million of free cash flow generated for the entire year of 2010. With the seasonally strong cash flow of the fourth quarter ahead of us, declining capital expenditures, the anticipated substantial 2012 growth in EBITDA and free cash flow, and declining debt maturities in 2012 our liquidity will continue to rapidly improve."
Previous Sirius XM:
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem.
Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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- October 2011 - - December 2011 -
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