February 2012 Archive
2012-02-29: Arbitron has written a letter to its subscribers warning them against allowing its ratings data to get into the hands of non-subscribers, who it notes are not entitled to the information or to use it in sales pitches.
The letter starts of by saying it is a "friendly reminder sent as part of our ongoing effort to keep licensed agency subscribers informed of any radio station subscription changes as they occur" and then goes to add a little bite, saying that "any radio stations not in good standing or not listed at the website [http://www.arbitron.com/subscribers/subscribers.asp ] as Arbitron subscribers (collectively, the "Unauthorized User"), may not receive, reference, or use any Arbitron audience estimates, reports, data, surveys, maps, software, or any other Arbitron information (collectively, the "Arbitron Information"), in any manner whatsoever, in whole or in part. Any such use of Arbitron Information is in violation of Unauthorized User's license agreement(s) and/or Arbitron's intellectual property rights, including but not limited to U.S. copyright protections."
Later it adds a threat - after saying that subscribers are contractually prohibited from "providing, sharing, using, or referencing any Arbitron information to or on behalf of Unauthorized Users" it goes on to say that it is important that if a company becomes aware of this happening it should "contact and promptly notify your designated Arbitron representative in writing. This step is important in order to protect your company from any potential liability since courts can impute that failure to provide prompt written notice can make a party complicit with the Unauthorized User's actions."
It later enhances this by writing, "Please further note that a 'rogue'employee, such as a disobedient or negligent employee, just with a single act or omission, can subject your company to liability for their noncompliant actions, placing your company in breach of Arbitron's intellectual property rights. Consequently, we encourage your company to clearly inform your employees of their obligations. We would also suggest that you ensure that departing employees, voluntarily or involuntarily departing, are apprised of their continuing obligations prior to their departure.
2012-02-29: The BBC World Service today marked its 80th Birthday with a special day of live programming including a debate in which audiences commented on air, online and on social media forums about what they now want from the service.
In all audiences were invited to take part in more than 12 hours of programming in English and more than a dozen languages and the daily editorial meeting at its Bush House headquarters was broadcast live for the first time.
Highlights include the 11:00 GMT World Have Your Say global interactive news discussion programme asking audiences around the world what they want the programme to be about on that day; a live global audience with Sir David Attenborough at 1500 GMT; and a debate about the future of international broadcasting in Newshour to air from 2000-2200 GMT plus a special editionof the global artys programme The Strand Extra from 2200-2300 GMT edited by special guest artist and music producer William Orbit.
Bush House (named after American businessman Irving T. Bush who funded its construction as a major trade centre) is now owned by Japanese Company Kato Kagaku and the BBC lease expires at the end of this year and the BBC is moving the World Service (which began as The Empire Service in 1932) to its Broadcasting House HQ in London, which has been renovated and expanded and where it was based until a parachute mine damaged the service's original Broadcasting House studios in December 1940
In addition the open courtyard of Bush House was used to host many of the programmes on the day, which was hosted by BBC Persian's Pooneh Ghoddoosi and BBC World Service presenter Ros Atkins.
Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News, said of the day's programming, "The 80th birthday and departure from Bush House means these are historic and changing times for the BBC World Service. We want our audiences to be at the heart of both the commemoration of the past and conversation about the future."
BBC World Service Commissioning Editor, Steve Titherington, added, "We are turning Bush House inside out showing who we are and what we do to our audiences and asking what the world wants next from the BBC World Service."
2012-02-28: Clear Channel's KFI-AM, Los Angeles, was pushed to hire more minorities at a meeting yesterday between black community leaders, station management and afternoon "John and Ken Show" hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, just back on air following a week's suspension after t the late singer Whitney Houston was called a "crack ho" on their show (See RNW Feb 16).
The Los Angeles Times quoted activist and communications strategist Jasmyne Cannick as saying after the meeting, "KFI has 14 shows, and 13 of them are hosted by white men. There are no blacks in their newsroom. This fosters an environment where insensitive comments like this can happen. And they are not living up to [parent company] Clear Channel's statement of a commitment to diversity."
Chris Strudwick-Turner, vice president of marketing and communications for the Los Angeles Urban League, added, "Systemic change needs to happen. They have to come back to us with a solid plan to improve this situation."
The paper says that KFI executives did not return calls for comment, but members of the group that met with them told reporters the officials promised to respond within 72 hours with a plan to improve the station's diversity.
The hosts did not dwell on their suspension when they returned - spending less than a minute on the issue and the paper says that Kobylt, who had apologized after making the comments, commented, "We're not going to talk about what happened a week and a half ago in any detail. What I said on the air and in the press statement 10 days ago still stands, and it was sincere."
On the air Kobylt thanked supporters and added that the duo had "a lot of issues we want to cover .... It's time to turn all that energy on the bad guys."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous John and Ken:
Los Angeles Times report:
2012-02-28: Entercom has reported revenues in the final quarter of 2011 down 7% on a year earlier to USD 95.1 million with full year revenues down 2% to USD 382.7 million with other metrics also down (except for net income which benefited from an income tax refund) but President and CEO David J. Field was bullish about the performance and future prospects.
"2011," he commented in a statement "was a year of extensive strategic investment for Entercom, during which we launched four new station brands and established FM simulcasts of three core AM stations in San Francisco, Boston, Sacramento, Kansas City and Buffalo."
"These moves," said Field "significantly enhance our future growth potential and are expected to contribute positively to revenue growth commencing in second quarter. However, they diluted our fourth quarter revenues by 4%. "
Like other companies comparisons with a year earlier were affected by significantly greater political advertising in 2010 and Field continued, "Excluding political and stations reformatted in 2011, fourth quarter revenues were flat. We are optimistic on 2012 growth, bolstered by improving economic conditions, accelerating performance from newly reformatted stations, and political advertising. And we are highly encouraged by strong industry fundamentals as innovation accelerates, audience usage trends remain outstanding, and radio remains the most cost-effective major advertising medium."
Other figures showed expenses down 2% for the full year at USD 262.6 million and down 4% for the final quarter at USD 60.3 million with station operating income down 10% for the year to USD 120.1 million and down 11% to USD 34.9 million for the final quarter.
EBITDA was down 14% for the year to USD 100.4 million and down 12% for the quarter to USD 30.1 million but net income was up for the year by 47.5% to USD 68.51 million (From USD 1.30 per basic and USD 1.23 per diluted share to USD 1.88 and USD .18 respectively), boosted by USD 16.44 million in income tax benefits compared to interest expenses of USD 21.00 million in 2010: For the final quarter net income fell by 41% to USD 10.52 million (From 48 to 29 cents per basic share and 46 to 28 cents per diluted share - income tax in the quarter was down 11% to USD 4.45 million).
2012-02-28: BBC Radio 1 and 1 Xtra Controller Ben Cooper has announced a revamp of the schedules of both stations from Monday April 2 including a move to the Radio 1 1600-1900 drivetime slot for Greg James who swaps places with current drive host Scott Mills: Mills, who turns 39 at the end of March will move into James' current 1300-1600 slot and the move is being seen as likely to position 26-years-old James as a likely successor to Chris Moyles - who was 38 earlier this month - in the station's breakfast slot
Other changes include the signing of Jameela Jamil to host the Radio 1 Request Show which will be now broadcast on Sunday's from 1900-2100; a move from the BBC 1Xtra afternoon show to the Radio 1's weekend breakfast show which airs from 0700-1000 for Gemma Cairney and associated move for Edith Bowman, the slot's current host to host the Tuesday 2100-2200 Radio One Review Show;
On Saturdays the 1600-1900 slot, currently hosted by Reggie Yates, will be taken over by "R1's Dance Anthems with Danny Howard" hosted by 24-years-old Danny Howard who was discovered through a talent search by the station.
There will also be a new DJ line-up for the specialist music strand, In New DJ's We Trust, which is to be hosted on a four week rotation by B.Traits, Mosca, Jordan Suckley and Julio Bashmore.
At Radio 1Xtra Sarah-Jane Crawford, currently hosting the weekday afternoons (1300-1600) slot will move to the weekdays afternoon slot vacated by Cairney and a new hiring -Adele - will take over the weekends.
Cooper said of the changes in a BBC release, "These are exciting times at Radio 1 & 1Xtra. The latest changes are about attracting even more young listeners by bringing in new and fresh talent to the stations. At the end of last year we announced changes to the specialist music line-up, so I'm really looking forward to hearing the new line up in full when we launch in April."
2012-02-27: Although Rush Limbaugh may claim the audience ratings he's also amongst the most disliked news personalities in the US - amongst both Republicans and Democrats - according to a Harris Poll.
The poll was conduced online within the US between January 16 and 23, 2012 among 2,016 adults who were asked to choose their three favourites and three most disliked.
Topping the positive poll were ABC News' Diane Sawyer (23%), CNN's Anderson Cooper (19%) and NBC's Brian Williams (19%).
On the negative side Limbaugh scored 46%; Bill O'Reilly 31% and Nancy Grace (23%): Limbaugh managed to top the disliked poll and score highly in the liked poll amongst Republicans - 24% disliked (topped by Nancy Grace with 25%) and 22% liked - topped by Bill O'Reilly (29%) and Sean Hannity (25%).
Amongst Democrats Limbaugh was least liked - 66% followed by Bill O'Reilly (45%), and Sean Hannity (23%) while for Independents the rankings were Rush Limbaugh (49%), Bill O'Reilly (31%) and Nancy Grace (25%).
2012-02-27: A review into the BBC's local radio operations conducted by Radio Academy chief executive and former Guardian Media Group Radio CEO John Myers has said that planned cutbacks to them should be scaled down but there are efficiency savings to be made, notably through cutting management.
Myers had already been commissioned to look at the BBC popular music stations Radios 1 & 2 and their sister digital stations and produced what the BBC Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie termed a "broadly positive" report (See RNW Jun 14, 2011).
In this case Myers recommendations follow a decision by the BBC Trust to ask the Corporation's Executive to look again at its target for cuts following a public consultation (See RNW Jan 25).
Myers' remit was "examine the working practices of the local radio network, to investigate areas of possible savings without impacting the on-air performance and review the current levels of management and back office staff" but not to review content although Myers comments that he "did so if I felt it impacted on the cost of running local radio or where it provides context, colour or background to a particular point."
Myers visited nine stations - Cumbria, Essex, Merseyside, Shropshire, Nottingham, Tees, Manchester, Oxford and BBC Sussex and Surrey - and in his report commenting on the original management plans that involved GBP 15 million (USD 23.9 million) of cuts, he writes, "I have concluded that the maximum total value of savings that can be made without affecting quality is approximately GBP 9.0 million ( USD 14.3 million) , but this can grow to GBP 11.0 million (USD 17.7 million) or GBP 4.0 million (USD 6.4 million) short of the target if Managing Editors are shared."
The reasons for this says Myers are "any further savings comes with a risk of reducing current audience and importantly, damaging the quality of the output and the role of the BBC in each respective market." And he continues," As a consequence I am suggesting slimming down the BBC?s initially proposed scope savings and, to compensate, an increase to the productivity savings including taking a bolder approach to the role of Managing Editors alongside some longer term initiatives."
In terms of time slots Myers says that the loss of quality and localism involved in afternoon, evening and weekend sharing of programming is too great to justify the savings and he suggests that the savings should be found n the evening off-peak periods.
After commenting on productivity savings - of some GBP 5.5 million (USD 8.8 million) - and possible savings of a further GBP 2 million USD 3.2 million) through sharing managing editors, Myers says there is still a gap and to address this he makes a number of suggestions.
"These include," he writes, "people initiatives and further investigation into centralised costs. On the people side, there are potential initiatives around further delayering of management and reviewing remuneration levels. Centralised costs, such as HR systems, sports rights and other corporate functions, are a much larger proportion of the BBC?s local radio station budget than any commercial local radio network in the UK would expect to see and could be driven down by rethinking the incentive scheme behind the centralisation / decentralisation of costs, as well as defining a renewed negotiation strategy."
Within the report Myers comments of there being "too many people with management responsibilities and that a slimmer structure is required" and suggests two possible changes - eliminating the role of Assistant Editor and having one Managing Editor role for each site "taking on more of the day-to-day editorial responsibilities than is currently the case" or - his preferred option, which is to have one managing editor for two or maybe three stations: He suggests that, for example "a single Managing Editor across Nottingham, Leicester and Derby would seem far more sensible than staffing up with individual expensive senior management in each location."
He also comments on the difficulty of removing staff and the costs of staff - which may be a quarter more than their salary and also criticizes current national agreements with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) that mean management are powerless to control salary increases to NUJ staff "even if they believe these increases are non-deserving."
He also comments on under-investment in modern technology writing, "was genuinely surprised by the lack of investment in facilities in BBC Local Radio and in many ways this is a barrier to reducing staff numbers. Facilities can fall below that found in community radio and one or two, I am told, are close to not being fit for purpose. 15 stations within the 40 are operating analogue desks that were invented over 30 years ago" adding of station premises "Rental terms for new buildings are often lower than the BBC currently pay for these over-sized, outdated and ill equipped facilities and as such they miss out on the opportunity of operating within a reduced staffing structure and delivering content to air quickly."
Responding to the report, The BBC's Controller of English Regions, David Holdsworth, said in a BBC news release, "We are grateful to John Myers for his report which will inform our thinking as we consider the BBC Trust recommendations on savings to be made in BBC Local Radio. We value his endorsement of BBC Local Radio as an excellent service, staffed by dedicated professionals, passionate about delivering much-valued output."
BBC management now has to go back to the BBC Trust with revised proposals next month.
BBC - Myers report (20 Page 445 kb PDF):
2012-02-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 4,500 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to a Puerto Rican company for failing to inform it of a change of ownership for an antenna structure.
Hacienda San Eladio Inc. acquired WRRE-AM together with a 300 foot tower Radio Emanuel, Inc. in April 2003 although the tower - antenna structure number 1222789 was not specifically listed in the agreement.
It did not update ownership records and the FCC increased the base penalty of USD 3,000 to USD 4,500 because it was not informed of the ownership change for eight years.
2012-02-26: Last week was yet another when there were no major regulatory postings regarding radio - and none at all from Ireland with only a few elsewhere.
In Australia, the only radio-related posting from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) did not relate to broadcasting as such but to its plans to accept from Mar 1 applications from amateur advanced licensees to use transmitter output power of up to 1,000 watts peak envelope power (Permissible Output Power Level ) from nominated fixed locations.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a number of radio postings including the following:
*Approval of application by Mark Tamagi, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate an 1,100 watts English-language country music format commercial FM radio station in Leduc.
*Approval of application by Newcap Inc. for a licence to operate a new 11,000 watts country music English-language commercial FM in Stettler to replace its CKSQ-AM, Stettler. A three-month simulcast was also approved once the FM goes to air.
*Approval of application by Newcap Inc. to acquire from Sun Country Radio Ltd. the assets of English-language commercial station CKKO-FM, Kelowna for CAD 5 million (Just above USD 5 million the CAD is currently 1.00414 USD)) which when adjusted for working capital, leases and debts became CAD 5.33 million taking the tangible benefits package of 6% of the price up from the CAD 300,000 that Newcap had proposed to just under CAD 320,000 to be allocated over seven years.
The CRTC also posted a list of applications processed under its streamlined procedures that included the following radio items:
*Approval of Extension of the Voting Trust Agreement for the sale of CFEL-FM and CJEC-FM, Quebec, by the trustee, Fernand Belisle, for a period of 6 months from the date of the administrative letter of approval
* Approval of change to the effective control of Shore Media Group Inc. licensee of CHHR-FM, Vancouver, British Columbia, from being controlled by its board of directors to a control exercised by Astral Media Inc., through the transfer of all the shares of Shore Media to Astral Media Radio Inc., a subsidiary of Astral Media Inc.
*Approval of change to the effective control of 1475435 Alberta Ltd. , licensee of CJNW-FM, Edmonton, Alberta, from John Yerxa to Paul J. Hill through the transfer of all issued shares of 1475435 to Harvard Broadcasting Inc.
*Approval of Change to the effective control of Harvard Broadcasting Inc. -which controls a dozen FMs in Canada - from Frederick W. Hill to Paul J. Hill following the death of Frederick W. Hill in July 2008.
*Approval of extension to 6 November 2012 of the time limit to implement the transmitters in Cleadale, Peerless Lake and Chateh, Alberta, for CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association's CIAM-FM, Fort Vermillion. The transmitters were originally approved in 2008.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland and in the UK there was only one from Ofcom - that of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld three complaints against radio broadcasts (See RNW Feb 20).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had quiet week as regards radio although it did propose a USD 10,000 penalty on a Florida FM for public file breaches (See RNW Feb 24) and also denied a petition to reconsider a decision to void a construction permit for an AM in Little Falls, New York.
The permit was originally issued to Michael Celenza in April 2008 with a deadline for construction of April 14 last year and at the end of March 2010 the FCC approved transfer of the Construction Permit for DWKAJ-AM (D for Dark)to Cranesville Block Company, Inc. (CBC) and extended the construction deadline to Oct 15 that year.
In February 2011, CBC filed an application to modify the facilities by changing the community of license from Little Falls, New York to Saint Johnsville, New York, because the original transmitter site was no longer available and this modification was granted on July 14, 2011.
At the end of August last year flooding affected the area following hurricanes and a tornado that limited access to the transmitter site and at the end of September CBC filed a tolling request seeking to revise the construction deadline to no earlier than December 1, 2011.
This was granted and the construction deadline extended to December 15 but then the FCC says it received no licence application by the deadline nor a request for a further waiver. CBC's attorney was contacted over the matter with a request for a response by January 6 this year but did not respond until January 8 when the FCC was told that construction had been delayed but completed, giving no construction details or completion date.
FCC staff took the view that this corroborated their view that the permit had expired on December 15 last year and accordingly cancelled the CP and deleted the call sign from its database.
On January 27 the CBC petitioned for reconsideration of the FCC decision, re-instatement of the Construction Permit, and additional time to complete construction and file a licence application: It argues reconsideration is warranted for changed circumstances and additional facts; says it modified the previously authorized facilities in order to serve "a larger area and communities that have no local radio" but its contractor abruptly abandoned the project without notice shortly before permit expiration, even though CBC had already paid two-thirds of the contract price. CBC added that, due to the holiday season, it was unable to find anyone to complete the job prior to the December 15, 2011 deadline and submitted photos dated January 26, 2012, and claims to have built all four towers, the transmitter, and control unit with the only matters that currently prevent it from filing a license application being the need to install transmission cables on one of the towers and to perform proof of performance testing.
The FCC said that the Petition was as procedurally defective and dismissed it as such but also that in any case the CBC had not presented a good cause for a Waiver of its rules and that the construction work appears to have occurred "after the December 15, 2011 permit expiration, at a time when CBC had neither requested a waiver of the deadline nor special temporary authority to construct despite expiration of its permit." It rejected the petition. CBC now has to keep the towers lit and maintained until they are taken down.
Previous Licence News:
2012-02-25: US talk host Phil Hendrie is ending his Saturday evening (1900-2200) show on Clear Channel's KFI-AM, Los Angeles, with today's show and will concentrate on his weekday Phil Hendrie Show, which is syndicated by the Talk Radio Network and airs on Clear Channel's KTLK-AM in Los Angeles, and TV work.
The host is quoted in the Orange County Register by Gary Lycan as saying, "Robin Bertolucci (KFI program director) has been one of my best friends in this business and there is nobody that I've loved working with more. This was not an easy decision because I'm going to miss everyone at KFI big time.
"However, doing a show like mine six days a week is murder. With the acting work cranking up and my obligation to TRN, something had to give."
KFI is to fill the slot from next weekend with "Dark Secret Place" with Bryan Suits: The KFI website currently lists "The Fork Report with Neil Saavedra" in Suits former 1400-1600 slot.
Previous Clear Channel:
Orange Country Register - Lycan report:
2012-02-24: Clear Channel which rebranded Clear Channel Radio as Clear Channel Media and Entertainment last month (See RNW Jan 13) has announced the "promotion" of John Hogan, the President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio since 2002and then Clear Channel Media and Entertainment to the post of Chairman and CEO Of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
In an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission it also said Hogan's employment contract has been extended by two years to the end of 2015 with automatic extensions from year to year thereafter unless either the company or Hogan gives written notice of non-renewal on or before October 1, 2015, or annually on Oct 1 thereafter.
The filing does not specify base salary - in 2010 Hogan's base pay was USD 825,758 on top of which he received a bonus of USD 225,000 plus options and other compensation to take the total up to just above USD 3.58 million and last November his contract was amended to take the base salary up to USD 1 million on top of which he was eligible to receive a target of up to 120% of that base salary. It does, however note that under his new contract there is a 2012 Supplemental Incentive Plan under which he has the opportunity to add a bonus with a target of USD 900,000 on top of the established annual performance criteria. He will also receive a restricted stock unit award on December 31, 2015 that will vest on December 31, 2016, if the Target Amount (as defined below) is less than USD 5,000,000 on December 31, 2015 and if he remains employed on both of those dates. The Fair Market Value of the restricted stock unit award will equal USD 5,000,000 minus the Target Amount.
Making the announcement Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman said in a release, "Under John's strong leadership and vision, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has integrated the company's assets so that it is today the leading media and entertainment company in the U.S. with a greater reach than any other radio or television outlet. It provides a one-of-a-kind national platform for partners in addition to the powerful local activation market by market and demo by demo.
"He has built a deep creative and management team that is fulfilling the company's commitment to offering the best entertainment, news, sports, and other experiences everywhere our listeners want us to be-on air, online, on mobile devices, and on a wide variety of emerging devices and platforms. We feel fortunate that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has a leader like John in the driver's seat at this transformational moment in its history."
Hogan responded, "I am pleased and honoured to be named to this position, which is a clear endorsement of the soundness of our strategy, the value of our assets, and the depth of the incredible team we are building here. I appreciate the energy and vision that Bob Pittman has brought to the organization and look forward to pursuing with Bob the vision we share as we continue to push the boundaries of the definition of entertainment, giving our audience what they want now and in the future."
Previous Clear Channel:
2012-02-24: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for forfeiture to to WJZT Communications, LLC., licensee of WTSM-FM, Woodville, Florida, for public file breaches.
The company in its licence renewal application said that station staff were unaware that issues-programs reports were to be prepared and placed in the file on a quarterly basis and had now been instructed as to the correct procedure and, to the extent possible, will create prior issues-programs reports for placement in the station's public inspection file. It added that issues-programs reports for the second and third quarters of last year had been placed on file on time and staff were able to recreate the report for the first quarter of 2011 but not for the period from August 2006 when it acquired the station up to that time.
The FCC has accordingly proposed the base penalty of USD 10,00.
2012-02-23: Washington D.C. public station WAMU-FM has dismissed suggestions by its former news director Jim Asendio that an event set up by its development office that involved major donors meeting editorial staff including reporters breached journalistic ethics.
Asendio resigned over the involvement of the reporters saying that they should not be meeting donors, which was a matter for managers. He had indicated that he would not attend the meeting and told the Washington Post that in response he received an e-mail from WAMU General Manager Caryn Mathes saying his "refusal to attend a major station event would send an irreversible and permanent statement on whether I was a member of our team" and that "...seeing the handwriting on the wall and not wanting to get into any kind of job difficulty, I felt it best to stand on my journalistic ethics and resign."
Asendio added that the get together was set up by the "major donor office" and he had understood that it was a "meet the producers" theme to which he would have had no significant objections but that the addition of the reporters went too far, commenting, "When it comes to crossing the firewall, that's where I draw the line. That questions our credibility and trustworthiness."
Following Asendio's resignation, WAMU Communications Manager Benae Mosby in an e-mail to Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, said the departure was a "personal decision" and then continued, "WAMU maintains a firewall between journalists and funders; journalists may not - and do not - discuss coverage planning with grant-making officials or individual donors. It is senior management's responsibility to manage contacts for their respective divisions with funders. Any one-on-one, private contact between a non-management journalist and a funder has high potential for putting that journalist in an awkward position and communicating the wrong message to the funder, and there is no situation where this should be allowed to occur.
"As we discussed earlier, this morning, the station hosted a Meet the Producers Breakfast as a 'thank-you' for approximately 30 people. The context was to give donor constituents an understanding of how the work is performed. Approximately nine of our reporters and producers spoke on a panel discussion moderated by program director Mark McDonald. They discussed how their work comes together, and entertained general questions from the audience, like "how do journalists in the nation's capital decide what is a local or a national story?"
Allowing people to see the impact that their investment makes in our work is completely appropriate. However, the station does not permit crossing the line between a funder seeing that impact and a funder being allowed input into the planning process for coverage."
Washington Post - Wemple on Asendio resignation:
Washington Post - Wemple on WAMU response:
2012-02-23: Shares in UTV Media, which as well as holding the Northern Ireland ITV licence has radio holdings in the UK and Ireland including national UK sports station talkSPORT, closed at GBP 135.5 up 8.4% on the day - and 14.1% on the day's low - today following a board upheaval; that saw the departure of chairman John McGuckian and two non-executive director: The changes led to rumours of a possible takeover of the company.
UTV in a news release said, "A majority of the members of the Board consisting of Roy Bailie, Helen Kirkpatrick, John McCann, Scott Taunton and Norman McKeown considered that Mr McGuckian's close association with TVC, a major shareholder of UTV, had compromised his independence to such an extent that they no longer considered it appropriate for him to continue as Chairman."
It added that McGuckian plus Shane Reihill and Kevin Lagan - respectively the executive chairman of Dublin-based TVC Holdings (which is UTV's largest shareholder with an 18% stake) and UTV senior independent director - then resigned as directors of UTV.
This leaves UTV with only two of five non-executive directors, one of whom - Helen Kirkpatrick - has taken the role of interim chairman and, said UTV, has started a search for a new independent non-executive chairman and as lease two non-executive directors "in order to ensure that in the future the company's affairs can be conducted in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code and best practice for corporate governance.
TVC expressed concern about the ousting of McGuckian, who became a non-executive director of UTV in 1970 and chairman in 1990 and who is also amongst other posts is Non Executive Director, Chairman of Audit Committee, and Member of Remuneration Committee of TVC Holdings. It said that the three men had resigned over "corporate governance concerns" as only a minority of non-executive directors had voted to remove McGuckian, adding "The actions taken by the executive directors and a minority of non-executive directors to have the chairman removed from his position without following due process were contrary to the UK Corporate Governance Cod"
McGuckian and Lagan in a joint statement said, "In so acting to remove Mr McGuckian as chairman, the board proceeded contrary to the UK Corporate Governance Code (leaving them with) no choice but to resign as non-executive directors of UTV. "
UTV responded by saying that the decision was in accordance with UK corporate governance codes as the majority of the nine-strong board, including executive directors, had voted for his removal.
2012-02-23: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has announced that the Radio Program Directors (PD) course it developed and that has been delivered in Australia by the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) for more than a decade is to be made available internationally.
The AFTRS will continue to deliver the course in Australia but it will also now be delivered online from next month in partnership with the International Media Broadcasting Academy (IMBA), an Australian broadcast training business with a range of industry training affiliates in India, Afghanistan, South Africa and throughout the Asia Pacific.
Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner said of the move, "CRA has decided to partner with IMBA to offer professional training for program directors and managers who want to improve their own career prospects and the success of the radio industry in their country," Ms Warner said.
"The PD Course has been widely credited with lifting the quality of radio industry management in Australia and the industry believes the time is right to open up the course internationally.
"So many countries want to improve the quality of radio programming and management just as we have done in Australia. We hope this course will help the radio industry in those countries and will offer individuals the same level of personal career success as this course has given to Australian radio industry staff."
IMBA CEO, Steve Ahern, who was previously Director of Radio at AFTRS when the course was developed, and is a renowned broadcast trainer, said he had enlisted a range of highly respected Australian and international program directors to tutor course participants, including Craig Bruce, Duncan Campbell, Peter Brennan, Dan Bradley and Valerie Geller.
"This course is a path to a career in programming or management. It has helped many professional broadcasters jump to the next level, because it teaches the skills that lie behind successful staff leadership and programming theory," said Ahern.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2012-02-22: This year's Country Radio Broadcasters' Country Radio Seminar in Nashville has been told by Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman that the consolidation of radio has benefited local markets by improving the quality of programming compared to that which local stations on their own could provide.
Giving the keynote speech to the seminar Pittman noted that radio, TV and the Internet were now the strongest American media sections with radio reaching 90% of Americans each week with country radio the strongest format reaching some 65 million listeners a week: Of Clear Channel's 850 stations 120 are country format.
The Tennessean reporting on his speech noted that consolidation has taken more programming out of the local markets with DJs and playlist decisions made centrally, a change of which Pittman commented that it provided local markets with the best and strongest on-air personalities - saying "It's like television. If you've got Jay Leno, he's better than the local TV guy."
The Seminar also heard a presentation from Edison Research President Larry Rosin entitled Beyond Country's P1s and based on a two-part study of Country music fans aged 18-54.
Amongst other things Rosin said the research showed 40% of Americans in the demographic liked country music but that a fifth of the genre's self-described fans never tune to country radio stations, choosing instead to get their music from websites, their own collections or listening to other music format stations.
Amongst the reasons given were that family members prefer other radio stations; listened mainly to own music collections for country; too many commercials on AM/FM Country radio; don't like country stations and country music has changed in ways I don't like.
The study identified what it termed a "twang" divide between hard core country fans and others who like it but aren't dedicated fans - citing as examples a high degree of liking from country fans but much lower one from casual country listeners for artists such as liked Rodney Atkins, Josh Turner and Billy Currington with a marked country twang in their songs whilst there was a fairly similar liking from each group for performers such as Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.
The study also showed that most country listeners prefer comparatively recent songs and family friendly songs.
Previous Edison Research:
2012-02-22: CBS Radio has appointed Michael Martin, its Vice President of Programming for its San Francisco's music stations, to the additional role of Vice President, CHR Programming: The role was left vacant when the company's VP/Top 40 programming and WXRK-FM (92.3NOW, New York) Program Director Dom Theodore left the company earlier this month and Martin, who is also Program Director of 99.7 NOW (KMVQ-FM), Alice @97.3 (KLLC-FM) and Live 105 (KITS-FM) in San Francisco, has also been overseeing the on-air presentation of 92.3 NOW in New York while the company looks for a new program director.
Martin will retain his San Francisco roles and Greg Strassell,its Senior Vice President, Programming, commented in a release, "Michael has done a tremendous job growing the audiences for our San Francisco stations, and transitioned 99.7 NOW into a top performer in the market. He's already worked with a number of our Top 40 stations, providing the kind of insight that can only come from someone who has first hand experience creating incredibly successful stations. We welcome his influence on our entire portfolio of CHR properties."
Martin joined CBS in 2009 after years in radio in Los Angeles and San Francisco including spells as Program Director of KYSR-FM, KMEL-FM, KYLD-FM and KIOI-FM.
2012-02-21:Clear Channel Media has reported final quarter 2011 revenues up 1% on a year earlier at USD 1.65 billion with full year 2011 revenues up 5% - 4% excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates - on 20120 to USD 6.16 billion, a performance of which CEO Bob Pittman in a company news release commented, "We are pleased with our business performance in the quarter and throughout 2011. In the last year, we have made great strides: putting our leadership team and strategic plans in place, strengthening our relationships with consumers globally and developing new strategies to better serve our advertising and marketing partners."
Looking ahead he commented, "I believe we are well positioned for new successes in 2012, as we continue working toward realizing the full potential of our businesses. We are continuing to build on the strengths of our national radio and digital content platform, including iHeartRadio, and further developing and executing new strategies for our outdoor businesses around the world, especially our unique digital products."
EVP and CFO Tom Casey added, "By executing our strategy, we delivered a solid 5% increase in revenues for the full year. Combining this revenue performance with effective cost management initiatives enabled us to improve our overall operating profit margin in 2011 despite a sluggish economy. We also continued to invest strategically in the Company, while successfully managing our debt maturity profile and liquidity. In the coming year, we will stay focused on leveraging the global diversification of our portfolio and our industry-leading assets."
The company in its release listed key achievements including the launch of the New iHeartRadio and the staging of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas along with building out the Company's digital radio operations, including the acquisition of digital music company Thumbplay; "Developing a Strategic Partners and Distribution group and a National Programming Platforms group, both of which allow the Company to use its scale to maximize opportunities for all of its partners; and the Traffic acquisition.
Within the figures Media and Entertainment ("CCME," formerly known as Radio) revenues grew by 4% for the full year to USD 2.987 billion - primarily thanks to its "Traffic" acquisition (Clear Channel bought Westwood One's Metro Traffic division on April last year- See RNW April 29, 2011), an acquisition that it noted added some USD 107 million to revenues and USD 98 million to expenses: For the final quarter CCME revenues were up 2% to USD 790.75 million.
Clear Channel Americas Outdoor also saw a 4% revenue increase for the year - up to USD 1.336 billion and International Outdoor was up 11% to USD 1.667 billion but things slowed in the final quarter when America's outdoor revenues rose by 1% to USD 359.2 million and International Outdoor was up 6% to USD 456.8 million.
Operating expenses rose by 4% overall for the full year to USD 4.105 billion and 1% for the final quarter to USD 1.054 billion and OIBDAN was up 10% for the full year to USD 1.834 billion and 7% for the final quarter to USD 537.4 million.
Overall the company trimmed a USD 479 million net loss in 2010 to a loss of USD 302 million whilst for the final quarter the net loss was down from USD 62.7 million to USD 43.0 million.
Previous Clear Channel:
2012-02-20: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upholds three complaints against radio - two of them against digital station Planet Rock and the third against Birmingham community station New Style Radio.
It also notes a GBP 25,000 (USD 39,000) fine on The Light Academy Limited, licensee of Believe TV is a service which broadcasts Christian programming and whose broadcasts in which "testimony" was given on healing was found to have the potential to cause harm to viewers with serious illnesses who might as a result not seek or abandon conventional medical treatment for their illnesses.
In addition Ofcom upheld standards complaints involving five TV broadcasters; considered another TV Standards case resolved through action - including the broadcast of apologies - taken by the broadcaster; upheld two TV Fairness and Privacy complaints and gave details of two further TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld and listed with no details five TV complaints and one radio complaint not upheld.
Both the Planet Rock cases involved variants of the word "fuck" being aired - in once case in a broadcast during the Rob Birnie Show at 09:17 of a version of the song "Word Forward" by the Foo Fighters which twice included the lyric "they're just fucking words".
The other involved the airing on the Nicky Horne Programme at 1900 of the track "Some Girls? by the Rolling Stones, which contained the lyric: "...black girls want to get fucked all night..."
Ofcom noted that the broadcasts aired during term time when few children were likely to be listening but nevertheless asked the licensee to explain: Planet Rock said the Rob Birnie show had aired the wrong track from a Foo Fighters CD in error and that no apology had been aired as the presenter did not wish to draw attention to the offensive language that had been played in error
In the second case it said the track was aired as part of promotion the station was running and that it "was dragged and dropped into the programme from a storage database without the necessary lyric check being made" in contravention of its procedures.
It added that it had now "introduced a new compliance procedure which means that two members of staff have to check a song before it can be broadcast. The Licensee said it has also made sure all the songs in its playlist are approved for airplay. A daily check is also in place to approve songs for broadcast."
Ofcom said that its rules had been breached and added that it "does not expect any recurrence of similar compliance failures by Planet Rock" although it added "Any future breaches of this nature may lead to Ofcom considering further regulatory action."
In the New Style Radio case two listeners alerted Ofcom to a discussion on the channel about the August 2011 riots in Birmingham which the complainants believed could incite violence and licensee Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre (ACMC) Ltd. was asked for a recording to that it could assess the broadcast.
ACMC provided a recording of one hour of the two hour programme - obtained it said from one of the presenters because the computer hard drive, which stored the station's output, became full and had not recorded the station?s output between 13 and 17 August 2011.
ACMC admitted that it had breached rules concerning recordings and said that the Technical Manager of the station had undergone serious heart surgery during the period in question. The focus of the station it said had been on the disturbances at the time.
The numbers compare with no radio complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which two TV standards complaints were upheld, details given of one radio and two TV Fairness and Privacy Complaints not upheld and also of a total of five TV advertising breaches in which permitted advertising allowances were exceeded.
In that bulletin Ofcom also listed four without details TV complaints and two radio ones investigated and where no breach was found.
Ofcom also listed 297complaints against 170 TV items and 12 complaints against 12 radio items that it assessed but did not investigate: This compares with 410 complaints against 254 TV items and 27 complaints against 27 radio items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2012-02-19: Last week saw radio-related postings from all areas except the UK but it was a quiet week with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) making most radio related announcements.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one radio posting, a ruling that WYN-FM Community Radio Inc.'s community station 3WYN, Werribee, Victoria, breached rules prohibiting community stations from broadcasting adverts and relating to the handling of complaints but did not breach rules prohibiting the stations from being part of a profit-making enterprise as a complainant had alleged.
The issue of being part of a profit-related enterprise related to shows run by a particular presenter whom the complainant said were "run for commercial purposes with commercial links." The complainant had also alleged that the station had broadcast advertisements as sponsorship announcements did not have tags and interviews or announcements were "advertorials" and that prior to 18 May 2011, 3WYN did not have a complaints handling policy.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a quiet week although it did make a couple of radio postings.
In British Columbia it approved an application from Newcap Inc. for authority to acquire from Great Valley Ltd. the assets of the English-language commercial radio station CIGV-FM, Penticton, and its transmitters CIGV-FM-1, Keremeos, and CIGV-FM-2, Princeton, British Columbia and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of the undertaking. It also renewed the broadcasting licence for CIGV-FM and the above-mentioned transmitters for five years from the original expiry date of 31 August 2011, noting that the short-term renewal related to failure by the station to comply with regulations relating to CCD contributions, for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years.
In Saskatchewan it approved an application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 100,000 watts English-language, Classic Rock commercial FM in Weyburn.
Golden West noted that the station will complement its existing Weyburn stations country format CFSL-AM and Hot AC CKRC-FM , and the Commission said it considered that by realizing efficiencies and maximizing synergies among its existing radio stations in Weyburn, Golden West will be able to provide a viable third local radio service in that market.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has signed a contract with WLCR FM Limited trading as West Limerick Community Radio for a further licence term. The station has been on air since 2005 and broadcasts a wide range of programmes to communities in West Limerick with studios in Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale but as already noted there were no specific radio announcements from the UK.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted details of its proposed 2013 budget (See RNW Feb 13) and also complaints figures for the final quarter of 2011 (See RNW Feb 14) as well as details of a number of enforcement actions.
The latter in order of descending amount of penalty imposed or proposed included:
*Issuing USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to Curran Communications, Inc., licensee of WPAM-AM, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, for by failing to maintain and make available the quarterly issues/programs lists in the local public inspection file.
The breaches came to light during an inspection of the station in August last year.
*Issuing USD 10,000 NAL to Taylor Broadcasting, licensee of WJTB-AM, Elyria, Ohio for failing to maintain a management and staff presence at their main studio. These breaches came to light in March 2010 when agents attempted to conduct an inspection. The company responded to a Letter of Inquiry by saying that station personnel do not have specific days and times that they work, but rather are "scheduled as needed." It also claimed that the agents were not able to gain access to the main studio because they did not push the entry buzzer but a second attempted inspection in August 2010 when agents found that the front door to the main studio was locked and there was no entry buzzer on the outside of the locked door, contrary to Taylor Broadcasting's representation.
*Issuing a USD 7,000 forfeiture to St. Bonaventure University, licensee of WSBU-FM, St. Bonaventure, New York, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation after the station licence expired.
Te licensee was issued with a USD 7,000 NAL and its arguments for reduction on the basis that the violations were inadvertent; corrective measures taken and the station was operated as a non-profit were all rejected with the full penalty being confirmed.
*Issuing a USD 4,600 forfeiture to Hope Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WFGN-AM, Gaffney, South Carolina, for late filing of licence renewal applications twice and subsequent unauthorized operation after the station licence expired.
Hope was issued with a USD 10,000 NAL in December 2011 to which the company responded by saying a cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture is warranted because the station's co-owner is ill and because it operates a struggling AM radio station in a small town and payment of the proposed forfeiture will cause it financial hardship. On the basis of Federal Tax Returns submitted by the company the FCC reduced the penalty to USD 4,600.
The agency also dismissed a petition from William Johnson to deny the assignment of the license for FM Translator Station W244BC, Ocala, Florida from Radio Training Network, Inc. to Generations Broadcasting Corporation.
Johnson had argued that the assignment was not in the public interest and also alleged that the station had been silent for more than 12 months and thus had expired, an allegation denied by RTN. He also alleged that RTN discriminated against him in agreeing to sell to GBC
The FCC took the view that Johnson had not provided evidence to justify his arguments and has approved the transfer.
Previous Licence News:
2012-02-18: The legal spat between Birmingham, Alabama, WJOX-FM, host Paul Finebaum and Citadel has now seen Citadel (now owned by Cumulus) filing a countersuit against Finebaum and the host's original suit against Citadel formally moved back to the Jefferson County Court.
In its countersuit, reports the Birmingham Business Journal, Citadel is claiming that Finebaum breached his contract by conducting secret negotiations to move to a competitor as early as 2009 - - Cox Media in September last year confirmed that it made an offer to Finebaum to move to its sports station The Zone, if he could get a release from Citadel or a court ruled his contract invalid (See RNW Sep 6, 20112) - - and also shared confidential information about Citadel during his negotiations.
Finebaum launched his suit in the Jefferson County Court on July 6 last year with a further suit filed on August 4: Details were initially sealed although the seal was then partially lifted with the documents showing that Finebaum was claiming that he was coerced into signing an unfavourable amendment to his employment agreement under a threat to take his show off the air and leaving him with no option but to sign (See RNW Aug 26, 2011). He also alleged a breach of contract related to Citadel's bankruptcy reorganization
Citadel filed successfully to move the jurisdiction to the US District Court because of a "complete diversity of citizenship between the Plaintiff and Defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of USD 75,000, exclusive of interest and costs." (Also RNW Aug 26 with further details of the lawsuit).
Finebaum's attorneys subsequently filed to have the suit returned to the County Court (See RNW Sep 2, 2011) and then seemed on the way back but for a conflict between the secondary suit filed by Finebaum (See RNW Oct 6, 2011): Last week Jefferson County Circuit Judge Helen Lee Shores approved an October motion from Citadel to move Finebaum's initial lawsuit against the company to the county's commercial litigation docket.
Shores at the end of January had lifted a temporary seal on the case file requested by Finebaum.
[RNW Comment: Confused? Probably! The lawyers and parties concerned seem to have woven a particularly complex web in this case in relation to where the suit(s) should be heard and the sealing of documents has also not helped clarify the issues involved.
Our feelings are that what employers are permitted under various US state laws in relation to no-compete and various other clauses is far too close to the medieval practice of serfdom in circumstances where the employer holds most of the cards.]
Previous Cumulus (Citadel):
Birmingham Business Journal report (Includes link to print edition report - subscription required):
2012-02-17: Comedian and entertainer Nick Cannon, who has been in hospital recently for kidney problems and was then back in hospital after two blood clots were found in his lungs stepped down today as the morning host on CBS Radio's WXRK-FM (92.3NOW, New York ) on doctor's orders although he says in a statement posted on the station website, "I will continue to host my syndicated "Cannon's Countdown" weekend show and look forward to contributing to 92.3 NOW whenever possible" adding "Even Superman has to sleep."
The statement begins, "Under doctor's orders, I have been asked to put my health first and cut back on some of my professional commitments in order to allow my body to get the rest that it needs to keep up with the demands of my multi-tasking schedule" and Cannon adds, "It has been an absolute pleasure working with CBS Radio and the 92.3 NOW morning show team and I would like to thank them for their unwavering support."
Cannon who is married to Mariah Carey - the couple have young children (twins) - was on holiday when he had to have treatment for his kidney problems. He travels constantly and divides his life between homes in New York and Los Angeles. He is currently involved in the auditioning for NBC's "America's Got Talent" and told his audience that his medical problems were likely to be linked to his workload.
"My doctor was saying y work is going to kill me and he's not joking," Cannon told his listeners, adding, "I think part of the reason why my health did kind of deteriorate was because I wasn't resting a lot and was doing too much, I was overworking my self."
WXRK commented, "We respect and understand Nick's decision to step down from his day to day position as host of morning drive on 92.3 NOW, and fully support him as he takes on a less demanding role with the station in order to address his health. Everyone at the station and all of the CBS RADIO family wish him well, and look forward to his continuing contributions to 92.3 NOW."
It added that for the time being, DJ Lil Cee will be holding down the morning spot with Sarah Lee."
WXRK, the former K-Rock and home to Howard Stern, was flipped to Free FM format WFNY-FM at the start of 2006 but its audience plummeted -Stern's replacement David Lee Roth lost nearly three quarters of his predecessor's audience and his successors Opie and Anthony ( ) only improved things slightly and other attempts failed to bring in the audience and at the end of May 2007 the station reverted to its WXRK/K-Rock format but again failed to pull in enough listeners.
It was flipped in March 2009 to the current contemporary hits format - pitting it against Clear Channel's WHTZ-FM (Z100) - but although it has made the top-ten in its target 18-34 demographic has not made serious inroads into the Z100 audience: Earlier this month its Program Director and CBS Radio VP/Top 40 programming Dom Theodore left the company leading so some speculations that CBS could use the frequency to simulcast its sported heavyweight WFAN-AM (The Fan) although CBS has played down the idea and says it's actively looking for a replacement.
WXRK-FM website - Cannon departure report:
2012-02-17: US radio revenues in 2011 grew for the second consecutive year - up 1% on 2010 at USD 17.4 billion according to figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) .
Within the figures spot revenues were down 1% for the year at USD 14.060 billion and down 4% in the final quarter at USD 3.611 billion but there were rises for Network - up 3% for the full year to USD 1.136 billion and 5% in the final quarter to USD 312 million; up 7% for Off-Air for the year to USD 1.491 billion and up 6% for the final quarter to USD 397 million; and Digital - up 15% for the full year to USD 709 million and up 8% in the final quarter to USD 185 million.
In terms of sectors. Automotive was in the top rank for each of the past five years, with its percentage of top five spending at 29%;28%;23%;24% and 26% from 2007 to 2011.
Communications was second in each year with its percentages 21%; 20%;22%;22% and 19% - the latter the same in 2011 as Restaurants ( 15%;18%;21%;18% and 19%) and TV/Networks/Cable ( 19%; 17%;17%;18%;19%). Fifth was Financial with 16%; 16%; 17%; 18% and 17%
In revenue growth terms in 2011the top five were insurance up 26% on a year earlier at USD 1.019 billion followed by 6% rises for Television/Networks/Cable Providers to USD 1.442 billion and Beverages to USD 898.8 million then 5% rises each for Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups Manufacturers - to USD 1.986 billion, Restaurants - up 5% to USD 1.434 billion and Department/ Discount Stores & Shopping Centers - to USD 693.5 million.
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley commented of the performance, "The diversity of Radio's revenue mix helped our industry achieve a second consecutive year of growth since rebounding from the recession. Spending across Radio's top five categories has been consistent since 2007 and contributed greatly to Radio's revenue performance. Further, while Automotive remains dominant, the categories ranked #2 to #5 have grown closer to each other compared to 2007 levels and now represent a larger percent of the overall pie."
2012-02-16: Clear Channel has suspended KFI-AM, Los Angeles, afternoon hosts John and Ken (John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou) after an on-air exchange in which the late Whitney Houston was called a "crack ho."
The station, announcing the suspension until Feb 27, did not give details of the comments which it termed "insensitive and inappropriate" on its website, adding, "KFI AM 640 Management does not condone, support or tolerate statements of this kind."
John Kobylt added, "We made a mistake, and we accept the station's decision. We used language that was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize to our listeners and to the family of Ms. Houston."
Audio of the comments posted by the Urban Informer website includes an exchange : (Kobylt) "So she's cracked up for 20 years and we heard about how obnoxious she was at these parties and she's doing handstands and she's babbled like an idiot, running around .. (Chiampou) Red hair Mismatched clothes... (Kobylt) Yeah It's bag lady time" and then going on to comment on reports that she blew a hundred million dollars and was practically broke and hadn't had her head screwed on right for 20 years - and then went on to Kobylt commenting "It's like, 'Ah Jesus . . . here comes the crack ho again, what's she gonna do? Ah, look at that - she's doin' handstands next to the pool. Very good, crack ho . . . ' After a while, everybody's exhausted. And then you find out she's dead. It's like, 'Really? Took this long?' "
The audio is followed by comments, many of them praising the hosts for telling the truth
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous John and Ken:
KFI on suspension:
UrbanInformer posting - including approx 1.00 of audio:
2012-02-15: CBS Corporation has reported a 1% revenue increase over 2010 for 2011 - to USD 14.25 billion but final quarter revenues were down 3.1% to USD 3.78 billion in connection with which the company noted that in 2010 the figures included the second-cycle syndication sale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and significant political advertising.
Within the figures, the Content Group recorded 2.15% rise for the full year to USD 9.865 billion but an 0.08% fall for the quarter to USD 2.619 billion within which entertainment revenues were up 0.89% for the year to USD 7.457 billion but down 1.29% in the final quarter to USD 1.995 billion; Cable networks were up 9.9% to USD 1.621 billion for the year and up 7.34% in the quarter to USD 395 million; and publishing was down 0.51% to USD 787 million for the year and by 3% in the final quarter to USD 229 millions.
The Local Group, which includes broadcasting was down 0.39% for the full year to USD 4.583 billion and down 7.28% in the final quarter to USD 1.235 billion within which Local Broadcasting was down 3.34% to USD 2.689 billion for the full year and down 12.18% for the quarter to USD 721 million whilst Outdoor was up 4.12% to USD 1.894 billion for the full year and up
For the final quarter CBS noted that Local Broadcasting (CBS Television Stations and CBS Radio) fall was almost entirely attributable to lower political advertising revenues and lost revenues resulting from the NBA lockout during 2011: CBS TV stations' revenues were down 18% and Radio was down 5%.
For the full year it attributed the fall to difficult comparison to 2010, which included significant political advertising sales and revenues from the 2010 Super Bowl broadcast: CBS TV stations it said were down 7% whilst radio was up slightly reflecting growth in domestic auto, financial services, and retail advertising, partially offset by lower political advertising sales.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) was up 9% for the final quarter to USD 837 million and up 32% to USD 3.12 billion for the full year and adjusted net earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2011 were up 20% to USD 384 million from 46 cents to 57 cents per diluted share) whilst for the full year they were up 70.76% to USD 1.32 billion (From USD 1.11to USD 1.94 per diluted share): CBS noted that the adjusted figures exclude USD 46 million in restructuring charges associated with the relocation and closure of certain business activities and other exit costs.
Commenting on the figures, Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said "CBS's strategy of producing and distributing industry-leading content around the world and across multiple platforms continues to pay off. Our programming gets stronger every year, and our financial performance grows more and more robust. I am proud of the efforts of Leslie (President and CEO Leslie Moonves) and his team, and I am certain CBS will continue to be a powerhouse throughout this year and beyond."
Moonves added, "2011 was a record year for CBS, and we're confident 2012 will be even better. In the fourth quarter, margins continued to expand, and EPS continued to grow. And we've recently taken strategic steps to accelerate our growth in what we see as an improving marketplace What's particularly exciting, however, is our ability to capitalize on the fundamental changes in our business model, meaning that the ways we get paid for our content are becoming more lucrative all the time. As our momentum builds and our revenue mix becomes more steady and recurring, we are positioned to enhance margins, drive earnings, and return significant value to our shareholders for many years to come."
2012-02-14: Arbitron has reported a 6.8% year-on-year revenue increase to USD 422.3 million in 2011 with fourth quarter revenues up 7.6% to USD 120.11 million: Costs and expenses for the year rose 2.3% to USD 337.20 million and for the final quarter were up 7.3% to USD 99.49 million.
Operating income for the year was up 29.6% to USD 85.11 million and for the quarter rose 8.8% to USD 20.65 million but impairment charges of USD 3.477 million - associated with the Company's minority stake in a privately-held media research firm as well as pre-tax operating losses for Arbitron Mobile Oy (previously known as Zokem Oy), which was acquired in July 2011 - in the final quarter reduced EBITDA and net income.
EBITDA was up 18.8% for the year by 18.8% to USD 119.1 million - cut back by USD 3.5 million by the impairment charge and USD 3.9 million from Arbitron Mobile and for the final quarter it fell from USD 32.8 million to USD 32.0 million - cut back by the impairment charge and a USD 2.1 million operating loss for Arbitron Mobile.
Net Income was up 19.8% for the full year to USD 53.3 million (From USD 1.66 to USD 1.96 per basic share and from USD 1.64 to USD 1.93 per diluted share) but down 9.6% for the final quarter to USD 14.11 million (From 58 cents to 52 cents per basic share and 57 cents to 51 cents per diluted share).
Commenting on the performance, President and CEO William T. Kerr said in a statement, "In 2011, we made significant progress toward achieving the objectives we outlined during last year's call: growth in our core revenue, improved margins in the wake of the full commercialization of our PPM radio ratings service, and entry into new markets in the US and overseas.
"Importantly, we were able to expand our margins while making investments in both the quality of our core services and in our growth strategies such as digital radio, cross platform and mobile measurement."
Arbitron says it expects 2012 revenue to increase between 5% and 7% with Arbitron's cross platform initiative and Arbitron Mobile expected to account for USD 4 million to USD 7 million of the Company's 2012 revenue compared to USD 1.5 million in 2011.
It adds that it expects 2012 earnings per share (diluted) between USD 2.15 and USD 2.30, an increase of 8 percent to 15 percent over comparable 2011 earnings per share (diluted) of USD 2.00, which excludes the impact of the 4th quarter 2011 impairment charge of USD 0.07 per share (diluted.) The estimates include anticipated net investment of approximately USD 12 million pre-tax in Arbitron's cross platform initiatives and Arbitron Mobile in 2012.
Kerr commented, "For 2012 and beyond, we see our basic strategies as unchanged. We will pursue opportunities to improve performance and deliver compelling returns by leveraging our existing PPM and diary platforms, by continuing to seek out cost efficiencies and by deploying our financial and other resources to cultivate new markets. We will pursue these strategies with the goal of building long-term value for our customers, our employees and our shareholders."
Arbitron also announced that it Board has authorized a stock repurchase program to repurchase up to USD 100 million of the Company's common shares over a period of two years up to February 9, 2014.
2012-02-14: Complaints figures for the final quarter of last year just released by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show the overall number of complaints in the top five reported categories up by just below 1% from the third quarter total - to 67,476 from 66,847: A year earlier the figure for the top four reported categories was 48,469.
Within the total Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than 15% compared to the third quarter - up from 2,083 to 2,406: This compared with a final quarter 2010 total of 3,116.
Of the broadcasting complaints "other programming" complaints formed the largest category -
751 in all - compared to 881 in the third quarter and 1,272 in the final quarter of 2010. The second largest category was of Indecency/Obscenity complaints - 723 - up from 538 in the second quarter and down from 1,152 in the final quarter of 2010
Previous FCC complaints figures (To third quarter of 2011):
2012-02-14: Yesterday (Feb 13) was the first World Radio Day, a day proclaimed by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) that was selected as anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946, and was adopted by UNESCO's 36th General Conference on Nov 3 last year following a proposal from Spain.
The aim as proclaimed in the Conference declaration is "raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters" and it continues, "Radio has to be recognized as a low cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people's educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. There is also a changing face to radio services which, in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today."
The day seems to have garnered remarkably little publicity although the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) drew attention to it on its website with a link to the UNESCO World Radio Day page which quotes from the declaration and then says, "UNESCO encourages all countries to celebrate this Day by undertaking activities with diverse partners, such as national, regional and international broadcasting associations and organizations, non-governmental organizations, media organizations, outlets as well as the public at large."
As far as news media were concerned most of the reports were posted by publications in the third and developing worlds and we did note that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation both marked the day by offering tours of its Mildura-Swan Hill complex and posted a "virtual tour" page online.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in an audio message posted online (in MP3, WAV, OGG/Vorbis, and ACC formats) together with a transcript (PDF), commented, "The world is changing profoundly - but the marvel of radio remains as striking as ever. Radio is the mass medium that reaches the widest audience, especially the most marginalised parts of our societies" and later adds, "Free, independent and pluralistic radio is essential for healthy societies; it is vital for advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms. Today it is not enough to communicate - we must connect people and societies more deeply.
"Radio is one of the most powerful ways to build bridges of respect and understanding. On this first World Radio Day, let us celebrate this power and make the most of it!"
In Nigeria, UNESCO's country representative Joseph Ngu used the occasion to emphasise the need for community radio to be suited to the needs of rural communities commenting in a speech in Abuja, the country's capital, that "the present scope of radio in Nigeria is not established to cater for the rural people who constitute the majority of the population."
A Leadership Newspapers report said that he noted that the "number of broadcasting stations in the country has at the last count risen to 394 from less than 30 at the end of 1991, including terrestrial and cable televisions, adding that according to the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Nigeria has 137 radio stations, made up of 44 federal government owned, 41, state government owned, 25 private owned and 27 campus radio stations."
National Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Gbenga Onayiga in his presentation said the necessity of radio in a country like Nigeria cannot be overemphasised as it remains the one medium of communication that more Nigerians listen to especially in the rural areas.
In South Africa the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) in a statement from CEO Lumko Mtimde about the day noted, "South Africa has undergone profound political and economic transformation over the last 17 years, resulting in new and strong political institutions that underpin democracy and a macro economic framework that encourages greater freedom and competition. It is therefore critical to appreciate the broader context, as we celebrate the World Radio Day. In SA, we are celebrating 75 years of SABC Radio, 19 years of Community Radio, 50 years of Radio Freedom and more than 19 years of commercial radio."
Later he added, "Radio is even more important in SA, where the rate of illiteracy is reported to stand at around 18% of adults over 15 years old (about 9-million adults are not functionally literate). Radio reaches almost every corner of our country, rural, peri-urban and urban. Radio has informed, educated and entertained our citizens even during the apartheid days, Radio Freedom and community radio (through cassettes, campaigns, etc.) continued to empower citizens with alternative information. Information is knowledge and power."
A report in the US Radio Survivor blog noted that it is "important to remember that independent radio broadcasters around the globe face constant hostility from their governments. They must contend with regimes that politicize the licensing process, explicitly forbid free speech, or even prosecute radio hosts in the courts" and went on to note cases on which it has reported in Indonesia; Vietnam; Zimbabwe; East Jerusalem where the Israeli Communications Ministry shut down Radio Kol Hashalom (Roughly translated "All for Peace"); and Hungary.
The Zimbabwe report concerned the denial in September last year of a licence for pop music star Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi's KISS-FM by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe which awarded two licenses to several prominent supporters of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, a move denounced by Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, who called it "the final nail on the coffin of media plurality in Zimbabwe."
That report contrasts with the report on World Radio Day in the government-owned Herald which noted a speech by Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu urging broadcasters to adhere to standards and ethics that value the country's revolutionary ideologies.
Without a hint of irony the paper later reports on comments made during a tour of Radio Zimbabwe studios in Mbare - "Whenever broadcasting, one should always convey messages that earn him credibility from listeners," he said.
"This is why during the liberation struggle Voice of Zimbabwe gained popularity other than stations that peddled falsehoods about the war.
"The whites had a tendency of giving hyperbolic statements with a lot of exaggeration simply to intensify their propaganda but we stuck to the ethics and won the hearts of many people."
RNW comment: We don't know whether there is a local word for it but the concept of chutzpah is obviously thriving in some Zimbabwe circles, Of course if the concept of choking on their words whenever spouting bullshit took hold, President Mugabe and most of his party officials would have provided work for undertakers a long while ago as indeed would many other world political and business leaders.
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC Australia station virtual tour page:
Leadership Newspapers report:
Radio Survivor report:
UNESCO -Director-General speech:
World Radio Day website:
Zimbabwe Herald report (allafrica.com):
2012-02-13: US President Barack Obama has submitted to Congress a budget proposing USD 346.78 million in funding for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the 2013 fiscal year, a 2% increase on the 2012 figure of USD 339.844.
In staffing terms the agency is proposing the same level - 1,917 full-time equivalent posts - as in 2012 but salary costs go up by 0.5% because of pay raises by USD 913,000 whilst other costs are up USD 1.573 million.
In a release the agency said the requested funding level would include "continuing efforts to accelerate broadband deployment throughout the nation; implementing the FCC's reforms to the Universal Service Fund programs; improving the FCC's information technology infrastructure and continuing to enhance the security of its systems; investing in the FCC's technical and engineering capabilities to detect interference issues, plan for interoperability needs, and test new technologies; and studying participation in the communications industry."
The 113 page budget proposal in its introduction concentrates on the Internet, saying its mission is to "harness the power of broadband Internet to drive economic growth and benefit all Americans."
In all, the agency lists Strategic Goals -- 1: Connect America; 2: Maximize Benefits of Spectrum; 3: Protect and Empower Consumers; 4: Promote Innovation, Investment, and America's Global Competitiveness; 5: Promote Competition; 6: Public Safety and Homeland Security; 7: Advance Key National Purposes; 8: Operational Excellence.
There are few references to radio - the main one in financial terms is a proposal to spend USD 1.1 million on buying eight new Radio Direction Finding Vehicles.
FCC FY2013 Proposed budget (1.10 Mb 113-page PDF):
2012-02-13: Beasley Broadcast has flipped its WRXK-FM, Classic Rock 96Krock to a talk format as "talk that rocks" with associated changes at its Fort Myers sister station WJBX-FM (99X), whose morning team moved to the new station.
The new 96Krock will feature Bubba the Love Sponge from 0600-1000; then from 1000-1400 it will air the former 99X Morning Duo of Zito & Garrett followed from 1400-1600 by Stan and Haney then Lex & Terry from 1800-2200; Nick and Artie from 2200-0100 and John & Jeff in overnights from 0100-0600.
99X Program Director Chris Delozier will take on the additional role of PD at the new station, reporting to Beasley Broadcast SW Florida VP & Market Manager Brad Beasley.
99X's modern rock format becomes a mix of new and heritage rock with mornings from 0600-1000 featuring Music intensive mornings with DC followed in middays by Roger Marley from 10:00 to 14:00 then Kennedy, who moves from the middays.
Commenting n the changes, Brad Beasley said in a release, "96Krock has always been the home for classic rock and entertaining talk in Southwest Florida. In the early 90's when Joe, Stan and Mark Haney did mornings, we saw that listener's responded positively. In the late 90's - 2004 Howard Stern did mornings, creating a huge following. Over time we have found Southwest Florida listeners really enjoy entertaining talk, so (beginning Monday) that's what 96Krock will provide, and just up the dial, the exclusive home for all rock in Southwest Florida, 99X."
Delozier added, "96Krock has the personality and attitude that reflects its listeners' mentality. Adding superior local talent (Zito and Garrett) and national talents (Lex & Terry, Nick & Artie, John & Jeff) to Bubba the Love Sponge mornings and Stan & Haney afternoons, will ensure 96Krocks #1 placement on Southwest Florida's radio dials. All attitude, all the time. 96Krock, talk that rocks."
2012-02-12: Yet again last week there were no radio postings from Australia or Ireland and only a few from the other regulators: In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission(CRTC) was busier with radio related postings including:
Denial of application from Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for its English-language specialty radio station CJLT-FM Medicine Hat in order to delete the station's condition of licence relating to the broadcast of religious musical selections.
The CRTC also denied an application to change the station's frequency, increase its power from 2,300 watts to 58,000 watts; and relocate its transmitter and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 99.5 to 109 metres.
Lighthouse argued that the changes would increase the station's commercial appeal but it was opposed by Clear Sky Radio Inc. and the Jim Pattison Broadcasting Group with Broadcasting Limited, the licensee of CKMH-FM, Medicine Hat, also submitting comments to the effect that removing the religious language requirement would be tantamount to introducing a full-fledged new commercial radio service into the Medicine Hat radio market, and that this would have a negative financial impact on existing services in that market.
Pattison argued that the market could not support the increased competition and Clear Sky that the application was a "back door" attempt to get a mainstream commercial FM licence in the market.
The CRTC refused all the applications noting that two stations in the Medicine Hat market had only launched in 2008 and that since then the profitability in the market had declined significantly.
It considered that the addition of a mainstream commercial radio station at this time could strain the profitability in the Medicine Hat radio market.
It also noted that the station had been licensed initially as a low-power English-language specialty Christian music FM and that subsequently it had authorized amendments including a significant power increase.
The CRTC also noted the withdrawal of an application by Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd to change the frequency of its commercial station CKDG-FM, Montréal, and increase its power from 141 watts to 407 watts.
In addition the agency posted details of applications processed under its streamlined procedures.
Radio applications included two change of ownership applications:
Shore Media Group Inc. DENIED - Change to the ownership and control of Shore Media Group Inc. . - licensee of CHHR-FM Vancouver) through the transfer of SMG Inc.'s shares to Astral Media Radio Inc.
Cogeco Diffusion inc - APPROVED - Intra-corporate reorganisation, including the transfer of the shares of Cogeco Diffusion inc. (CDI- licensee of CJMF-FM Québec, CJEB-FM Trois-Rivières, and CFGE-FM Sherbrooke and its broadcasting transmitter CFGE-FM-1 Magog, Quebec) from Cogeco inc. to Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions inc. (CDAI) and of the shares of CFEL inc. (licensee of CFEL-FM Québec, Quebec.) and Radio Sherbrooke inc. (which at the time of the approval was the licensee of CJTS-FM Sherbrooke, Quebec ) from CDAI to CDI.
Also included were a number of licence amendments:
APPROVED - Extension to 10 November 2012 of the time limit to commence operations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new FM rebroadcasting transmitter CBOB-FM Brockville, Ontario.
The CRTC notes that this is the final extension it will grant.
APPROVED - Extension to 27 October 2012 of the time limit to commence operations of Radio coopérative de Coaticook, Coop de solidarité's new French-language type B community statopm CIGN-FM Coaticook, Quebec.
APPROVED - Extension to 23 September 2012 of the time limit for Radio Ville-Marie to commence operations of the new FM rebroadcasting transmitter approved in CIRA-FM Montréal - New transmitter in Gatineau.
APPROVED - Extension to 27 October 2012 of the time limit to commence operations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English-language FM approvedin the conversion of CFWH-AM, Whitehorse, to FM
As already noted there were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin (See RNW Feb 6) and also its January Radio Update.
In this it noted the issuing of one new commercial licence, a digital service from Black Cat Radio Ltd to deliver a community focused service consisting of music and speech of relevance to those living in St Neots and the surrounding area.
It also noted the reception of two applications for the Ceredigion analogue service (See RNW Licence News Feb 6) and an updating of its timetable of the re-advertising of local analogue commercial licences.
In particular it has invited declarations of intent to apply for the Carlisle licence, currently held by Carlisle Radio Ltd and the West Cumbria licence, also currently held by Carlisle Radio (deadline for submissions for both is Feb 29 and the new licence would run to April 2020 in each case).
It also noted that it received only one application for the Burgess Hill & Haywards Heath licence currently held by Media Sound Holdings (broadcasting as Bright FM) and that the incumbent will now be invited to apply under its fast track procedure.
Analogue station format changes were noted for Utopia Broadcasting's Yorkshire Dales and Skipton station Fresh FM which is to be allowed a change from a service character that reads "A community-orientated broad music-led station for over 25 yr olds in the Yorkshire Dales and Skipton area, highly focused on local issues" to one that reads "A music-led station for 25-54 year olds in the Yorkshire Dales and Skipton area, highly focused on local news and issues."
The station is also to be allowed to change from producing all its own programming to sharing with the UKRD's Harrogate Stray FM, be rebranded as Stray, and broadcast from Harrogate.
The licensee said that following an in-depth review it was clear that it is not viable to run the licence independently any longer within its current licence area.
"The service ," said the licensee "can be produced similar in target to the existing one, however, potentially stronger as part of the successful UKRD group with a strong music offering and dedicated news and commercials from Harrogate which is approx 25 miles (40km) away."
Content sampling reports were noted for Radio Ceredigion and Radio Ceredigion (Cymraeg).
Change of control reviews were noted for three commercial stations:
More Radio, Warminster (Control transferred from More Radio to Celador Radio, which has re-branded the station as "The Breeze"; Midwest Radio, Yeovil and Vale FM, Shaftesbury, which airs as Midwest Radio (Both now owned by Celador, which merged them in August) ; and London Turkish Radio (Control transferred from Turkish radio (UK) Ltd, to Kirmizi Beyaz Kibris Ltd.). In all cases no licence variations were proposed.
Three DAB multiplex changes were noted - the addition of GMG Radio's Smooth 70s to the national DAB multiplex; the additions of the Black Cat community-focussed service to the Peterborough multiplex; and the removal of community-focussed Affinity Radio from the Cambridge multiplex service.
There was also quite a long list of commercial licence transfers, most of them transfers within UTV of music stations to talkSPORT. They were:
Gold, Birmingham - to Birmingham Broadcasting Ltd.
Dream 100. Tendring - to Mellow 1557 Ltd.
Midwest Radio, Shaftesbury - to Midwest Radio Ltd
Fresh Radio, Yorkshire Dales & Skipton - to Stray FM Ltd.
Radiowave, Blackpool - to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Wish FM, Wigan & St. Helens to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Wire FM, Warrington to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Signal 1, Stoke-on-Trent to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Signal 2, Stoke-on-Trent to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Wave, Swansea to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Swansea Sound. Swansea to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Pulse, Bradford to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Pulse 2, Bradford to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Tower FM, Bolton & Bury to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Juice FM, Liverpool to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Wolf, Wolverhampton to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Peak FM, Chesterfield to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Severn, Telford to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Severn, Shrewsbury & Oswestry to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
The Wyre Kidderminster to UTV's Talksport Ltd.
Touch Radio, Stratford-upon-Avon - to Touch Broadcasting Ltd
Community Radio related actions included the announcement of awards made to 16 stations from Ofcom's Community Radio Fund in the second round of grants for 2011/12: A total of GBP 237,145 (USD 374,000) was awarded after the Ofcom panel had considered 63 applications for grants that totalled GBP 1.116 million (USD 1.76 million).
In descending amount order, the grants made (to nearest GBP 10) were:
GBP 31,090 (USD 48,700) to Preston FM (with partners across the sector) for a Preston Training Toolkit Project and Coordinator and sector project to improve training delivery and revenue.
GBP 18,250 (USD 28,590) to Indigo 106.6fm, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria for a Station Manager and Development Post.
GBP 16,092 (USD 21,210) to 107.8 Academy FM, Thanet, and 105.9 Academy FM, Folkestone, both in Kent for a Business Development Officer working across both stations.
GBP 15,435 (USD 24,180) to Crescent Community Radio, Rochdale, for a Sustainability Manager.
GBP 15,420 to (USD 24.160) to BCB 106.6FM, Bradford, for a Volunteer Training and Support Worker.
GBP 15,000 (USD 23,500) to Biggles FM 104.8, Biggleswade, for a Fundraiser / Income and Development Manager.
GBP 15,000 (USD 23,500) to RWSfm, Bury St Edmunds, for a Station Manager.
GBP 15,000 (USD 23,500) to Phoenix FM, Brentwood, Essex, for a Fundraising Manager
GBP 14,956 (USD 23,430) to Radio Dawn 107.6FM Nottingham Business Development Officer (part time).
GBP 13,535 to Gravity FM, Grantham, for a Station Coordinator.
GBP 13,520 to Bute FM, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, for a Business Development Manager (part time).
GBP 13,470 (USD 21,100) to Dunoon Community Radio, Dunoon, for a Station Sustainability & Development Officer (part time).
GBP 13,280 (USD 20, 8000 to 105.3 Zack FM, Forest Heath, West Suffolk Fundraising Coordinator (part time).
GBP 10,010 (USD 15, 90) to 96.5 Bolton fm, Bolton, for a Roadshow Coordinator (part time).
GBP 9,090 (USD 14.230) to Lincoln City Radio, Lincoln, for a Business Development Manager.
GBP 8,000 (USD 12,530) to Saint FM Community Radio, Burnham on Crouch, for a Station Manager (part time).
In addition five-year licence extensions were granted to
BRfm Ltd's BRfm Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent;
Celtic Music Radio Limited's Celtic Music Radio, Glasgow;
Community Broadcast Initiative Tyneside Ltd (CBIT)'s NE1fm 102.5, Newcastle upon Tyne;
and Verulam Community Radio Limited's Radio Verulam, St Albans.
Key Commitment changes were also noted for Orkney CIC's Super Station that allow it to change the music-speech mix from 70% and 30% to 80% and 20% and change music output from "Music output will mainly be a mix of classic hits from the past 40 years mixed with the most appropriate current songs. Specialist music will include classic and Celtic rock" to "Music output will mainly be a mix of popular, contemporary melodic songs mixed with similar hits from the past 35 years. This may occasionally include quality examples of Celtic Rock, Classic Rock and their crossover styles when available and when appropriate."
Local news key commitments were also eased and live commitments amended and commitments to work experience placements were reduced and amended.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was again involved in a number of enforcement actions and also posted details of its FM Auction 93 (See RNW Feb 10 ): Penalties imposed or proposed included a USD 44,000 fine on Cumulus (See RNW Feb 6) and of USD 10,000 each penalties on Iowa and Texas station operators for various rule breaches (See RNW Feb 7).
The agency has also sent a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to Radio Power, Inc. in relation to allegations that through a series of minor change applications it has abused the Commission processes by effectuating a major change in the facilities of W250BN, now licensed to West Allis, Wisconsin.
In Hawaii it granted applications from Visionary Related Entertainment, LLC. relating to the licences of KNUQ-FM, Paauilo, and KAOI-FM, Wailuku, although with conditions.
Objections had been filed against renewals of the licences by the D.T. Fleming Arboretum and Martha Vockrodt-Moran, an Arboretum employee who had contacted the agency to express concerns in relation to the KAOI-FM tower site, which is next to the Arboretum.
She noted that there was no fencing around the tower, nor were there any warning signs, and that the antenna was mounted at a very low height, which could present additional radiation hazards.
Agents subsequently inspected the site in January 2004 and noted that the antenna height of radiation centre above ground level was eleven meters shorter than its authorized height of 25 meters: They issued a Notice of Violation concerning this but did not address the other concerns and Visionary responded in April that year explaining that the improper height of the antenna may have been caused by clerical errors and stating that it would take corrective action.
In July it then filed an application to modify the antenna height and to operate KAOI-FM at reduced power and the objectors subsequently filed and arguing that Visionary had misrepresented certain facts about the KAOI-FM site in the modification application.
Agents again visited the site in November 2004, noted that radiation levels exceeded the public RFR MPE limits in a twenty foot by ten foot rectangular area in front of the tower and that there was no restrictive fencing or warning notices.
In January 2005 Visionary said it had constructed a fence round the tower that would permit operation within permitted limits whilst the FCC subsequently issued a NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for the previous breaches.
It filed a renewal application in October 2005 to which the objectors responded opposing the grant on the basis that there was still no fencing round the site and that it did not comply with FCC rules.
Visionary subsequently filed an application to relocate the facility for KAOI-FM to a new site approximately 21 kilometres from its original location. The staff granted this application on November 5, 2008, and Visionary thereafter filed the KAOI-FM covering license application in which it said that the new site was safe for the public and requested Program Test Authority ("PTA"), which was granted, to operate from the new site.
There was a similar pattern in relation to KNUQ-FM, which in April 2008 was found to exceed permitted radiation levels in an area outside its fenced-in site despite operations at 68.16 kW, well below its authorized effective radiated power of 100 kW.
When agents conducted a follow-up inspection in May that year agents that these deficiencies had not been corrected, and again found that both public and occupational RFR MPE limits were exceeded in this area. The agents also interviewed personnel from the neighbouring Ulupalakua Ranch and learned that staff from the Ulupalakua Winery were using a building adjacent to the KNUQ-FM site and that no fence prohibited access to areas at which RFR MPE limits were exceeded.
An NAL was issued regarding these breaches and in June 2008 Visionary filed an application to relocate and otherwise modify the station's facilities, and a little later a request for temporary authority ("STA") to operate at reduced strength. It enclosed a field strength report and photographs showing a new fence and warning signs and the request was granted.
The FCC commented that it was clear to the agency that "Visionary's conduct has fallen far short of the standard of compliance with the Act and the Rules that would warrant routine license renewal" but not to the extent that it was justified in conducting a hearing on whether the renewals should be refused.
It noted actions taken to remedy the breaches and payment of penalties opposed for them and granted the renewals but only for a 12-month period and subject to the condition that the licensee conduct training for all employees, agents, and contractors of the stations whose job responsibilities require and/or may result in their presence at or near the stations' transmitter sites, regarding the hazards of exposure to radio frequency radiation in controlled environments, as well as the requirement to post appropriate warning signs.
Previous Licence News:
2012-02-11: BBC's Radio 2 and 6 Music have announced Saturday show changes to start later this month beginning with a series of six shows on 6 Music to be hosted by writer and actor Peter Serafinowicz starting next Saturday.
Serafinowicz's show will air from 10:00 to 13:00 and will feature a diverse range of musical choices, opinions and weekend guests: 6 Music Editor Paul Rodgers commented, "Peter is a great addition to the Radio 6 Music family. He brings with him a wealth of experience from his past projects and I am really pleased to have him as part of our Saturday schedule."
On Radio 2, Anneka Rice is to take over as host of the Saturday morning Breakfast Show from February 25, replacing Zoe Ball, who recently announced her departure.
Rice's show will include a regular feature 'Anneka Challenges' with listeners set setting a challenge on air for someone near and dear who has failed to finish or even worse - start a task. The audience will decide whether or not a challenge has been successfully completed.
Other regular features on the show will be "Changing Tracks" where listeners share memories of their first grown-up music track and "Family Fixtures" with shout outs to families pounding the motorways to deliver their sporty offspring to whatever the fixture of the day is.
2012-02-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted details of 145 short-form applications received for its Auction 93 of 119 FM Construction Permits.
The auction is scheduled to start on March 27 and upfront payments have to be made by Feb 22 and 111 of the applications have been adjudged complete; 32 have been assessed as incomplete and two rejected.
Those who have submitted applications held to be incomplete will be advised of information required to make them complete whilst the two rejected - Hammock Educational And Environmental Community and Jones, Melvina had checked "yes" to the Non-commercial Educational election question on the FCC Form 175 - are disqualified from the auction.
2012-02-10: Veteran Boston radio host Dave Maynard has died aged 82 in Florida where he had been living in retirement. His death was reported to be from complications of Parkinson's disease, which was diagnosed ten years ago.
Maynard was born in Larchmont, New York and worked as a DJ at the former WHIL-AM radio in 1952, later moving to WORL-AM. In 1965 he became host of the talent show "Community Auditions" on WBZ-TV, a post he held for 21 years and in 1979 he started at WBZ -AM - now owned by CBS Radio - on the midnight to 05:30 shift, moving to mornings a year later to take over the slot from Carl DeSuze. The "Maynard in the Morning" show was the top rated show in the market for the 11 years it aired until Maynard retired in June 1991 although he still continued to work on fill-in shifts for a period.
In 1999, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association named Maynard Broadcaster of the Year and the host was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in September 2009.
In a blog on the station's website Gary LaPierre, a former news anchor on WBZ who worked for a period on Maynard's show, comments, "To say that Dave epitomized what broadcasting was, and is all about, is not an over-statement. He had the voice, he had the wit, he had the intelligence and most of all, he had the compassionate understanding of his audience, and he used every ounce of his gifts, to serve others. Oh, he wasn't afraid to take on any issue, obstacle or not, but his innate feelings for the people on the other end of his microphone, made Dade Maynard the legend he will always be. The WBZ internal family, the WBZ audience and the radio and TV broadcasting industry as a whole has lost one man ..who may have been 'the best'."
The Boston Globe quoted Peter Casey, director of news and programming for WBZ news radio, as saying of Maynard, "He was just a genuine, honest person on the radio. There wasn't a Dave Maynard on the air and a Dave Maynard off the air. He made a career being Dave Maynard on the air, and that was the Dave Maynard who lived next door to you."
Casey in a statement on behalf of the station added that said "all of New England and the WBZ family has lost a radio icon and a treasured friend today. Dave Maynard ruled the airwaves and owned a special place in our hearts for many years. He was a hall of fame-calibre broadcaster from the very first day here at WBZ. Generations of broadcasters learned to be a communicator, an entertainer, and a friend from Dave Maynard."
Don Batting, who reported the news on Maynard in the Morning for many years added, "I think people who listened to him just loved him because he was down to earth" and also noted that liked the music he played saying, At that time, the disc jockey picked his own music. It was very personal for him, and people loved what he was playing."
Boston Globe report:
CBS Boston - LaPierre blog:
2012-02-10: Nassau Broadcasting Partners has given up on keeping the company going and has asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Kevin Gross to be allowed to auction off all its assets.
The company was pushed into Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy by creditors Goldman Sachs, Fortress Credor Opportunities I LP and P.E. Capital, LLC last September (See RNW Sep 16, 2011) but later convinced the court to convert this to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The company owes just under USD 284 million to its creditors and on the advice its financial advisor and investment banker, Rothschild Inc. has now opted for a sale, going for an auction to ensure a speedy conclusion.
It owns 49 stations and in addition to the debt above has some USD 2 million in debt incurred in conducting the business of the stations. It has asked the court for approval of auction procedures at a hearing and approval of the sale at a second Sale Hearing.
Potential buyers have to contact the company's bankruptcy attorneys at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Philadelphia or Wilmington, or a copy of the proposed purchase agreement and then have to submit required documentation of bids and financial qualifications to Pepper Hamilton and to Rothschild in New York. The proposed timetable requires bids to be submitted by May 1with an auction, if then needed to be held on May 8 and court approval of the sale to be sought on May 11:
2012-02-09: The 13th BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, aired yesterday on the station (audio is available online until next Wednesday) saw Lifetime Achievement Awards go to singer-songwriter Don McLean and Irish folk legends The Dubliners with Good Tradition awards going to Ian Campbell and Bill Leader and the Roots Award to Malcolm Taylor.
The awards were held in the Lowry in Salford, the first time they have come from outside London, and were presented by Radio 2 Folk Show host Mike Harding and singer Julie Fowlis.
Ten other awards made went to:
FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR - June Tabor.
BEST DUO - Tim Edey & Brendan Power.
BEST GROUP - June Tabor & Oysterband.
BEST ALBUM - Ragged Kingdom - June Tabor & Oysterband.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG (JOINT WINNERS) - The Herring Girl - Bella Hardy and The Reckoning - Steve Tilston.
BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK - Bonny Bunch of Roses - June Tabor & Oysterband.
HORIZON AWARD - Lucy Ward
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR - Tim Edey.
BEST LIVE ACT - The Home Service.
BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD - Ioscaid.
Commenting on the awards, Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music said, "Folk music is enjoying a fantastic resurgence in popularity in the UK with a vibrant and varied scene. Tonight's event proves once again how important it is for Radio 2 to schedule our annual Folk Awards as well as our weekly folk show, and I'd like to congratulate all of the winners."
2012-02-09: Sirius XM Radio has reported 2011 revenues up 7% on a year earlier at USD 3.01 billion with subscriber numbers up from 20.2 million to a record 21.9 million and a forecast total of 23.2 million at the end of this year.
Operating expenses were up 3.7% to USD 2.294 billion and adjusted EBITDA was up 17% to USD 731 million for the year: Sirius XM has now raised its 2012 EBITDA guidance to USD 875 million from USD 860 million but re-iterated its previous guidance of Free Cash Flow of some USD 700 million and revenues of USD 3.3 billion.
Free cash flow nearly doubled - up from USD 210.48 million to USD 415.74 million and net income for 2010 of USD 43.056 million was up almost tenfold to USD 426.96 million ( from one cent too 11 cents per basic share and one cent to seven cents per diluted share).
In the final quarter the company reported unaudited adjusted revenues up 6/14% to USD 787.7 million and operating expenses up 3.81% to USD 618.4 million and adjusted EBITDA up 15.8% to USD 167.3 million. The revenue increases for the quarter and year were driven mainly by subscriber increases whilst the expenses rise it says was "primarily driven by higher revenue share and royalties expenses associated with growth in revenues, increased customer service and billing expenses associated with subscriber growth and higher subscriber acquisition costs related to the 12% increase in gross additions, partially offset by lower programming and content costs."
Sirius XM also noted a decrease in subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) per gross addition - improved by 7% to USD 55 in 2011 from USD 59 in 2010 but Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU) was down by 15 cents from USD 11.73 to USD 11.58 "driven primarily by an increase in subscription discounts offered through customer acquisition and retention programs and the decrease in the U.S. Music Royalty Fee, partially offset by an increase in sales of our premium services, including Premier packages, data services and Internet subscriptions."
Commenting on the figures CEO Mel Karmazin commented, "We are proud to announce that Sirius XM delivered another record-setting year in 2011, meeting or exceeding all of our guidance."
"Our strong content and subscriber focus," he continued "helped set a post-merger record of 1.7 million net subscriber additions, and we achieved record levels of revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. We expanded our adjusted EBITDA margins to 24% by tightly controlling costs and growing our revenue. Our improved profitability, coupled with lower capital expenditures, contributed to a substantial increase in our free cash flow."
Looking ahead Karmazin said, "In 2012, we expect to accelerate our revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth, and we project our free cash flow will jump by approximately 70% to USD 700 million. Our subscriber base will once again end this year at another all-time record high. We continue to invest in improving the subscriber experience, all with the goal of keeping our subscribers engaged and entertained. All of us here at Sirius XM look forward to another fantastic year of subscriber growth and improved financial performance."
Of the expectations Karmazin added, "With auto sales expected to rise in 2012, and what appears to be only a modest increase in churn associated with our January price increase, we expect to grow our net new subscribers by roughly 1.3 million in 2012, continuing our strong multi-year track record of subscriber growth."
Sirius XM EVP and CFO David Frear said the company "ended the year with USD 774 million of cash, even after reducing our long-term debt by over USD 200 million in 2011. "
"Our leverage at year-end," he added, "improved to 4.1x our adjusted EBITDA on a gross basis and 3.1x on a net basis. With no debt maturities due this year and our growing free cash flow, we expect to end 2012 with nearly USD 1.5 billion of cash."
Previous Sirius XM:
2012-02-09: Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is to host a three hour show starting on April 2 on the Cumulus Media Networks
Huckabee already does three daily commentaries that are carried by the network and his new show, to air from noon to 15:00 ET, will be head to head against The Rush Limbaugh Show that is syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks.
Huckabee commented in a statement on Thursday, "Expanding my presence on the radio to include a daily live show will allow me to engage listeners on the important issues facing our country, and I'm grateful for this terrific opportunity."
The conservative Sunshine State News said that unnamed sources "close to the project" had told it that most of Huckabee's shows will be broadcast from Florida, to which he moved after the 2008 elections, though he will take the show on the road, hosting town hall events.
It added that Huckabee's show will start off in 20 markets, including some in the Sunshine State and sources told it that a formal announcement of what stations will carry the show is in the works and will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
For Cumulus, EVP and co-COO John Dickey said, "Governor Huckabee is an important, insightful and influential figure in American public affairs, and we're excited about launching his live daily radio show during the presidential election season."
The publication adds that by taking on the show Huckabee almost certainly removes himself as a contender to end up on the Republican ticket in 2012 and he told the New York Times in regard to his presidential ambitions, "If, a few years down the road, I see an opening, I don't rule it out, but I'm not plotting a political return either."
Concerning competition with Limbaugh he added, "He's going to have an audience that will be very loyal and has been for over 20 years. I doubt that will change."
The Times adds that noted that Limbaugh makes around USD 50 million a year under his contract but said Cumulus gave no figures on Huckabee's remuneration but Dickey said that Cumulus would position it as an alternative to Limbaugh - who can only be on one station in a market.
The show, said the Times would be far cheaper for stations than Limbaugh's but would probably have to settle for second- and third-tier stations in many markets, just as past competitors of Mr. Limbaugh's had to.
It added that whilst Limbaugh hosts a conservative talk show, Huckabee's intended to be a talk show by a conservative, not necessarily defined by the ideology of its host.
Huckabee will continue to broadcast the radio commentaries and his weekend talk show on the Fox News Channel.
Previous John Dickey:
New York Times report:
Sunshine State News report:
2012-02-08: Radio One Inc in preliminary final quarter results for 2011 says that giving effect to the consolidation of TV One, consolidated net revenue increased approximately 37% year-on-year but revenues for its core radio business excluding Reach Media was down around 9.4%. There were increases for Reach Media - up around 13% - and internet - up around 30%
It goes on to say that local radio revenues for the period were down around 4% and national ones down around 22% and adds that this compares to a fall of 3.8% overall for the markets in which it operates radio stations.
The current quarter's pacings it says show radio up around 6% with TV One up in mid-single digits whilst Reach Media is approximately flat: Internet is up around 40% and the company says given these trends it expects a strong consolidated first half performance, and anticipates remaining in compliance with the various covenant tests contained within its credit agreement for the foreseeable future.
Previous Radio One:
2012-02-07: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a further USD 20,000 in penalties on two radio stations - in one case reducing the proposed amount from a total of USD 43,000 in base forfeitures to USD 10,000 on the basis of ability to pay.
In this case it issued a USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to KM Radio of Independence, LLC., licensee of KQMG-AM and KQMG-FM, Independence, Iowa, for failing to maintain operational emergency alert system (EAS) equipment for both stations; exhibit required obstruction lighting on its transmission Tower; and maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
In addition the FCC also found that KQMG-FM was operated with more than its authorized transmitter output power.
The breaches came to light when an agent responding to a complaint found that nobody had contacted the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) about a light outage on the tower and subsequently inspected the main studio of the two stations where the public information file produced did not contain any issues/programs lists for either station after 2001 and also had no logs of any EAS tests being sent or received. Agents also observed that the power meter showed KQMG-FM's unattended transmitter operating at 1.87 kW, is 108% of its authorized transmitter output power. Neither station had any station logs, and both unattended transmitters could not be accessed remotely
In response to a Letter of Inquiry the station said that it did not know that the EAS equipment was damaged before receiving the letter and was in the process of repairing it and that it also did not learn of the tower light outage until receipt of the letter and had instructed its engineer to make the necessary repairs.
It also said regarding the power output that it took transmitter readings one week prior to the inspection, and that any overpower operations were inadvertent.
The base forfeitures for the breaches are USD 8,000 for EAS breaches; USD 10,000 for tower lighting breaches; USD 4,000 for exceeding power limits; and USD 10,000 to each station for public file breaches to make a total of USD 42,000 but in view of financial information provided by KM Radio it reduced the proposed penalty to a total of USD 10,000 on ability to pay grounds.
In the second case the agency issued a USD 10,000 NAL to the L.R. Radio Group, Inc., licensee of KPIR-AM, Granbury, Texas, for failing to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The breach came to light during an inspection in May this year when the station was asked for its public information file but was only able to produce a folder of advertisements and marketing material. It could not produce any issues/programs lists, service contour map, ownership reports, or the most recent Public and Broadcasting and there was no evidence that the station had ever maintained any of these items in its public inspection file.
The FCC accordingly has proposed the base penalty of USD 10,000.
2012-02-07: A decision by BBC Radio Scotland to drop the Saturday morning Janice Forsyth Show after 18 years has led to a listener campaign to reverse the decision: Amongst those expressing their opposition were Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish Nationalist Party) and "Detective Inspector Rebus" author Ian Rankin, who called those responsible for the decision "numpties", but the BBC has said it will not reconsider.
A Radio Scotland spokeswoman said the change was being made as part of a policy of moving to more speech-based output during the day with music at night that it said was in line with a strategy backed by the BBC Trust and noted that Forsyth still had two daytime weekday shows - the Comedy Café and the Movie Café - and that she would be returning with a new series next year.
"Janice is a terrific broadcaster and continues with her two current shows on BBC Radio Scotland with The Movie Café on Thursdays and The Comedy Café on Fridays and we very much hope to be starting a new series with Janice next year," said the spokeswoman who added "BBC Radio Scotland will continue to offer distinctive music across its evening schedule and is committed to promoting new music and Scottish artists within these programmes."
Regarding the change, to be made in July and the launch of Olympics-linked programming, she added, "It is always difficult when we change schedules as all our programmes have loyal audiences but BBC Radio Scotland has been evolving to become more speech-based during the day, with music scheduled for evenings which is in line with the BBC Trust-backed strategy of offering programmes that are different from commercial radio and other BBC stations."
Forsyth told the Glasgow-based Daily Herald she was disappointed by the decision to axe the 18-year-old show but touched by the number of people who have reacted angrily to the news, saying, "Any show that's gone on that long, you're always aware that you could be up for the chop at any time, but there's inevitably disappointment that it has happened. However, there's no way that my producer and I expected the response that we've had; it's just been incredible."
She did not however expect a reprieve, saying, "Although the response has been great, the plans are pretty much set in stone, which is disappointing for the listeners because people feel they should have a say in what they are listening to."
The paper noted that more than 600 people have signed an online petition to reverse the decision including Rankin, author Jenny Colgan, politician Rosie Kane and comedian Susan Calman."
Others tweeted their opposition including Sturgeon, Scottish musician Edwyn Collins who said, "JaniceForsyth, jewel in your crown. It's not too late to change your mind. This is daft" and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand who said, "She's the best thing on Scottish radio, you fools."
Daily Herald report:
2012-02-07: Australia's metropolitan radio advertising revenue has started the year off with a January year-on-year 1.38% increase to AUD 45.37 million (USD 49.00 million) according to figures released today by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
The figures were mixed found with country with the 2012 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte showing healthy increases in Adelaide and Melbourne and (smaller) decreases in the other capitals.
Adelaide was up grew 6.1% to a total of AUD 4.415 million (USD 4.768 million); Melbourne grew by 6.07% to a total of AUD 13.729 million (USD 14.826 million) to overtake Sydney which fell 0.15% to AUD 13.689 million (USD 14.783 million); Brisbane fell 1.4% to AUD 7.304 million (USD 7.888 million) and Perth fell 4.4% to a total of AUD 6.235 million (USD 6.733 million).
Commenting on the figures, Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said the figures showed the patchiness of the advertising market, noting, "Melbourne has had a strong January and Adelaide has continued to perform well, after recording the strongest growth out of the five metropolitan markets for 2011."
"The resilience of radio as a cost effective and efficient advertising medium is a great asset during tough trading conditions," she added. "The industry must continue to promote the benefits of radio and its ability to deliver for advertisers in tighter economic conditions."
Previous Australian radio revenues (December 2011 ):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2012-02-07: UTV Media has acquired three local radio licences - those held by MNAB for Telford, Shropshire and Kidderminster - to add to its GB radio division which comprises national station talkSPORT and 13 local stations across England and Wales.
The stations are to be merged with the company's Wolverhampton station The Wolf to create a new station Signal 107 which will have a potential market of almost 900,000 listeners.
UTV Media plc Group Chief Executive John McCann said of the company's plans in a release, "UTV's local radio business is all about delivering entertaining, engaging and relevant radio to listeners at a local level, and our recent RAJAR and JNLR ratings results continue to encourage us along this path.
"The purchase of these three licences is an important step in growing our local radio network which includes U105 in Belfast and six local radio stations in the Republic of Ireland. With radio now the largest division in the UTV Group, we look forward to building on our recent ratings success in Ireland and GB in 2012."
UTV noted that its local radio stations in GB together posted a year-on-year increase of 11% in listening audiences and a 9% increase in listening hours in the last quarter of 2011 according to latest industry figures released by RAJAR.
2012-02-06: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a USD 44,000 penalty - the base penalty of USD 4,000 for each of 11 breaches - on Cumulus's WLS-AM, Chicago, for sponsorship identification violations.
The FCC had received a complaint alleging that in March 2009 the station aired program matter on behalf of an organization called Workers Independent News ("WIN") without adequately disclosing the fact that it was an advertisement, rather than a news story and in response to a Letter of Inquiry the station admitted airing the program material - of a total of 45 ninety-second spots, 27 fifteen-second promotional announcements, 2 two-hour programs, and 1 one-hour program.
It added that all but except for 11 of the 45 ninety-second spots complied with FCC sponsorship identification requirements : The 11 spots it said referenced "Workers Independent News" and identified the narrator, but did not specifically state that the program matter was sponsored, paid for, or furnished by WIN. Despite this omission, Radio License contended that the announcements satisfy the Commission's sponsorship identification requirements as it was identifiable as paid programming because it "was included with other commercial matter and not embedded within [the Station's] news content." It also noted that the complainant was aware that the material was paid programming because he/she stated that "[o]ne of the advertisers is 'Workers Independent News' and that '[a]ds from "WIN" are intermixed with legitimate news/talk programming.'"
The FCC rejected the arguments, in particular noting that a Cumulus argument that the underlying purpose of the rule was satisfied because the name itself, "Workers Independent News," in contrast to a corporate or trade name, implies or creates the impression of an objective news program rather than an attempt at persuasion, was "without merit".
It also noted that the fact that the "the complainant may have been aware that the material he complained about was paid programming does not absolve the Licensee from complying with the Commission's sponsorship identification requirements."
[RNW comment: This kind of argument - that because a complaint is made by someone who know the rules or laws that were broken and can therefore identify how, is so obviously specious that in our view, if only to cut the crap from lawyers, there should be an ability to increase a penalty massively - and even with repeat offences revoke a licence on the basis that a licensee taking this view is unfit to hold a licence.]
2012-02-06: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin again upholds no complaints against radio although it gives details of a radio - and two TV - Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld and also upholds two TV standards complaints, lists two cases of TV advertising minutage breaches and posts a table of TV advertising breaches listing three cases where the permitted advertising allowance was exceeded.
The numbers compare with no radio complaints upheld in the last bulletin in which it noted the revocation of the Iranian-government financed Press TV and also upheld Standards complaints in 12 TV cases; gives details of three TV Standards complaints partly upheld, two more TV Standards complaints considered resolved and another TV Standards complaint not upheld.
It also listed a TV Advertising minutage case upheld ; another case in which the permitted number of breaks was exceeded and post details of four TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld and four other TV programmes found not to be in breach of rules relating to Violence and dangerous behaviour; Charity appeals; and Product placement.
The radio Fairness and Privacy Complaint not upheld was against the Straight Talk programme aired by Voice of Africa Radio: The programme featured a discussion on attitudes to homosexuality in Africa and included a contribution from The Reverend Colin Coward, a British man who runs an international organisation that works to change attitudes towards homosexuality in the Anglican Church.
He had complained that he was treated unjustly or unfairly in the programme as broadcast - it included discussion around the correct interpretation of biblical texts and some of the contributors argued that the Reverend Coward?s interpretation of the bible was incorrect and that homosexuality was "an abomination" saying that following a contribution to a programme on Aug 14 last year the station called him without advance notice on Aug 21 to continue the discussion and before he was able to decline he was connected to the studio.
The station responded by saying that Coward could have chosen to withdraw at any time during the telephone conversation he had with the presenter during the programme but instead he chose to continue to contribute to the programme and to express his views and opinions: It added that a studio assistant called the Reverend Coward three times on the day on which the programme was broadcast -failing to speak to him on the first occasion but leaving a message; reaching him as he was driving on the second one - when he said he would call back; and on the third occasion inviting him to contribute to a live edition of the Straight Talk programme on the issue of homosexuality in Africa. VOAR said that Coward happily consented to participate and was passed through to the presenter in the studio although he was left on hold for about ten minutes before he was put on air. It also noted that on the first programme he had agreed to take part in a future broadcast of Straight Talk.
Ofcom took the view that in the circumstances Coward might regret having taken part in the second programme but that he gave informed consent for his participation and was not unfairly treated. In regards to hostile questioning of him during the programme - it gives some transcript details and says it considers that comments from one contributor - Brother Mbandaka - amounted to an accusation that Coward was racist - it considered that adequate opportunity was given for a response and again there was no unfairness.
Ofcom also listed four without details TV complaints and two radio ones investigated and where no breach was found plus 410 complaints against 254 TV items and 27 complaints against 27 radio items that it assessed but did not investigate: This compares with 339 complaints against 178 TV items and 22 complaints against 17 radio items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
It also posted a table of complaints in 13 TV and two radio cases regarding which it started investigations between 19 January and 1 February 2012.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2012-02-05: Last week saw few radio posting from the regulators with none from Australia and only a couple from Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted details of a new procedure for the filing of applications for specialty audio programming services and also postponed until further notice its planned public hearing on licence renewals for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's French- and English-language services.
The CBC it says had requested that the existing timetable for its licence renewal process be postponed at this time because it will not have sufficient time to reflect on and operationalize its plans given that its budget is expected to be announced in late February or March.
The CRTC says that in it considers that it would be inappropriate to set a hearing date for the renewal of the CBC's licences until the CBC has had an opportunity to establish its future operating budget and has accordingly postponed the hearing.
The hearing had originally been set for Sep 12 last year, then postponed to June this year on the same basis
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has opened a consultation - with a March 14 deadline for the submission of responses - on a Draft Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs (See RNW Feb 1): It is also involved in posting radio ratings (See RNW Feb 3)
In the UK, Ofcom made only one radio posting - to say that it received two applications for the re-advertised FM local commercial radio licence for Ceredigion, currently held by Radio Ceredigion Ltd (broadcasting as Radio Ceredigion).
The applications are from the incumbent - for a local news, music and information service for Ceredigion targeting a broad 15+ audience and including regular and identifiable Welsh language programming - and a putative newcomer, Radio Ceredigion 2012 cyf, to air as Cydweithredol/ Radio Ceredigion. It says of the character of service it is proposing, "A station broadcasting half in English and half in Welsh. Welsh language speech in programming and Welsh language music must serve the Welsh culture. English language speech in programming and English language music must reflect the dual-cultured nature of the area. The bulk of programmes, in both languages must be community orientated and interactive. People of all ages will be targeted. A local news service will be provided throughout the day."
Its application was made in Welsh (Ofcom has posted its translation to English of the application) and the group concerned includes Geraint Davies (Chair), who amongst other things is a former Chair, Radio Ceredigion Ltd and former editor and presenter of Radio Ceredigion sport service plus Eileen Curry, a former presenter of Yr Awr Werin, Radio Ceredigion; Dafydd Edwards, former Station Manager, Radio Ceredigion; Euros Lewis, Editor of radio drama Bontlwyd (Theatr Felin-fach/Radio Ceredigion); and Carwyn Williams - a former co-editor and presenter of Radio Ceredigion Sport Service.
Radio Ceredigion was launched in December 1992 with a roughly half-and-half English and Welsh output but sold by Tindle Newspapers in 2010 to Town and Country Broadcasting, which moved its base from Aberystwyth to Town and Country's West Wales studios in Narbeth that is also the base for its Radio Pembrokeshire, Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM.
Last year the company proposed a reduction in Welsh language output to 10% arousing much opposition from Welsh-language interests: Ofcom after a public consultation rejected the plan.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied an attempt by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) to reconsider its 2010 approval of details of Sirius XM's implementation of its plans to make 4% of the full-time audio channels on their satellites available to "qualified entities" (See RNW Feb 2) and was also involved in a run of enforcement actions involving Florida pirate FM operators amongst other offenders.
In this case it has imposed or proposed penalties totalling USD 54,000: It also issued a USD 4,000 forfeiture to a California Ford dealership and a USD 8,000 NAL to a New Mexico AM (See RNW Feb 1).
The agency also issued a USD 10,000 NAL to The Padner Group, LLC, licensee of WODR-FM, Fair Bluff, North Carolina, for public file breaches.
The company in its licence renewal application explaining that issues/programs lists for all of 2006 and 2007, and the first three quarters of 2008, were missing from the Station's public file, adding that beginning with the fourth quarter of 2008, issues/programs lists have been timely placed in the public file and that it is trying to locate copies of the missing issues/programs lists.
The FCC proposed the base forfeiture of USD 10,000 and renewed the licence.
In other postings the FCC released complaints figures for the third quarter of last year (See RNW Jan 31) and also denied an objection to applications from the Owens One Company, Inc. , licensee of KUZZ-FM, Bakersfield, California, to modify the licence of the station and auxiliary facilities because a "recent internal review of KUZZ-FM's technical operation indicated that the actual site coordinates of the station's main and auxiliary antennas differ slightly from the coordinates set forth on the station licenses."
Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Inc., whose co-channel station KWVE-FM, San Clemente, California, is short-spaced to KUZZ-FM, argued that the applications had to be rejected because they increased the short-spacing in breach of a strict reading of the rules.
The FCC noted that the increase was by 304 feet, or .093 kilometres and the FCC decided that Calvary's reading of the rules was overly restrictive. It granted the application.
Previous Licence News:
2012-02-04: Lexus is to become the first Australian luxury vehicle marquee to make DAB+ digital radio standard: It will make the receiver standard on its new GS range with both of the model's audio systems, which will be controlled by Lexus' second-generation remote touch controller, paired with either an eight or 12.3 inch - the world's largest - multimedia display for a vehicle..
Joan Warner, CEO of Australian industry body Commercial Radio Australia commented, "The announcement by Lexus to include Digital Radio DAB+ as standard in the GS is an exciting start to 2012 for digital radio."It is the first luxury vehicle to offer digital radio as standard and I know Lexus drivers will enjoy the digital sound quality and additional stations available."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2012-02-04: It's probably fair to say that US talk hosts are hardly renowned for devotion to fairness and accuracy but apart from the political bigots the criticism generally doesn't go so far as to suggest they don't care about accuracy.
The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, however, is suggesting that about highly rated Entercom's WEII, Boston, hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan following a broadcast on the topic of the Stella Awards for the most frivolous US lawsuits - supposedly named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who was awarded damages for injuries sustained after spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee in her lap in 1994
The hosts, who says the weekly frequently lambaste the Massachusetts legal system, in this case picked up on a number of cases - including one in which a Texas woman who supposedly received a USD 780,000 jury award against a furniture store owner after she tripped over her own child while she was shopping - and spent a fair amount of time commenting on them with callers without realising that the cases concerned had been fabricated. They were posted by Snopes.com, which noted that the original list included a seventh item about a microwaved poodle (link in the Snopes list) that it considers was probably removed as it was so well known as an urban legend that it would have called into question the truthfulness of the other items.
The weekly goes on to say that Lawyers Weekly Publisher David L. Yas commented on listening to the show last month, "I couldn't believe they were going back to the same mythical set of suits and passing them off as fact. During the portion of the show I heard, they were not giving the impression that the cases were fakes and were reading them as if they were real events."
Lawyers Weekly says it then asked Dennis on Twitter whether he was aware the cases were phony and received the reply "Yes. "But funny."
Dennis it says then failed to respond to a follow-up inquiry asking whether he knew the suits were made up when he discussed them on air and station management did not return calls for comment.
It goes on to mention other examples including a case where the pair had accused a sitting judge, a retired judge and a high-ranking state prosecutor of wrongdoing but in the end had to issue an apology.
Lawyer Randy S. Chapman, who appeared as a guest on the Dennis and Callaghan Show to defend the trio commented of their attitude, "It's not just that the information they were relying on was inaccurate and that it can cause real damage. What's more disturbing is that the hosts just don't seem to care."
Previous Dennis & Callaghan:
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly report:
Snopes.Com on mythical lawsuits:
2012-02-03: Beasley Broadcast Group has reported fourth quarter revenues down 6.8% but net income was up 1.7% and for the full year revenues were down 0.3% but net income was up 26.5%.
In the final quarter the revenue decline from USD 27.0 million to USD 25.2 million was put down to "the impact of a reduction in national and political advertising compared with the same period in 2010" : Operating income was down by 11.5% to USD 6.9 million and station operating income (SOI) was down 9.5% to USD 9.4 million.
Operating expenses in the quarter were down by 4.9% but a 42.9% reduction in interest expenses as a result of lower outstanding credit facility balances and the expiration of swap agreements at the end of the 2011 first and third quarters more than offset the reduction in operating income taking net income up 1.7% to USD 3.4 million (Net income per basic and diluted share was unchanged at 15 cents.)
For the full year net revenue was USD 97.7 million, down from USD 98.0 million with SOI down 2.9% to USD 34.4 million; operating income up 4.6% to USD 23,9 million and net income up 26.5% to USD 10.1 million (From 35 cents to 45 cents per diluted share).
Beasley also noted that during the final quarter the company made repayments of USD 5.9 million against its credit facility; that total bank debt at the end of 2011 was USD 126.7 million compared to USD 142.0 million a year earlier and that the company remains "committed to using cash from operations to further lower debt as well as other initiatives that can enhance shareholder value."
Commenting on the figures chairman and CEO George G. Beasley said, "Radio advertising remained relatively stable despite widespread economic concerns and volatility in the capital markets throughout the year."
"Importantly," he added "during the fourth quarter and throughout 2011, we continued to make progress across the organization in enhancing operating efficiencies and maintaining a disciplined approach to spending. Overall, the industry recorded seven consecutive quarters of growth through the third quarter of 2011 which underscores our belief that radio remains both resilient and highly relevant in a digital world. During the quarter, the Company celebrated its 50th consecutive year in radio broadcasting and our success over this period has been defined by our ability to bring consumers and advertisers a platform that efficiently addresses their respective needs.
"In this regard, Beasley Broadcast Group remains committed to continuously developing strategies to benefit from changes in the media and advertising environments and the preferences of consumers and advertisers."
Regarding the income decline he noted the effects of a reduction in political spending, adding, "Excluding the impact of political, revenue would have increased on a full year basis."
"Looking forward, "he continued "we remain focused on our station clusters matching or exceeding their market's revenue performance, and further strengthening the balance sheet through reductions in borrowings.
We have strong station clusters and ratings in key markets and we are highly focused on generating profitable station and digital revenue growth.
"We believe our concurrent focus on our core content and new media opportunities allows us to best address both current and prospective radio users. We also believe our platform is emerging as a high value media buy for advertisers and a primary source of on-air, online and mobile entertainment for consumers, which in turn is expected to generate new value for shareholders. In addition, we expect a return of political spending in 2012 with several of our markets expected to benefit from contested elections."
Previous George Beasley:
2012-02-03: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released covering the period from January to December 2011 show 85% of the Irish adult population listen to radio daily, up from 84% in the previous survey and unchanged from year earlier.
Listening to listening to any multi-city/regional/local radio service compared to the previous quarter was unchanged at 58% but up from 57% a year earlier.
Of the main national stations, compared to the previous quarter RTÉ Radio 1 held on to its weekday reach of 25% (25% a year earlier); RTÉ 2FM held on to 11% (13% a year earlier); and figures were unchanged for Today FM at 13% (13% a year earlier) but up from 8% to 9% for Newstalk (8% a year earlier) and from 3% to 4% for RTÉ Lyric FM (3% a year earlier).
In terms of overall market share for weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 national stations recorded an 0.9% increase to 47.6% (53.6% a year earlier) within which RTÉ Radio 1 was up 0.1 to 23.4% (22.7% a year earlier), Today FM was up 0.4% to 9.5% (9.3 % a year earlier); Newstalk was up 0.3% to 4.7% (4.0% a year earlier); RTÉ Lyric FM was up 0.1% to 1.9% (1.7% a year earlier) and RTÉ 2FM was up 0.1% to 7.5% (8.2% a year earlier).
As regards weekday reach of the multi-city and regional stations Beat 102-
103FM held on to 20% (19% a year earlier) with share down from 12.1% to 11.1% (13.1% a year earlier); regional youth service Spin South West was down from 19% to 20% (21% a year earlier) with share down from 10.4% to 10.2% (13.1% a year earlier); North-West regional service i102-104FM was up from 19% to 20% (14% a year earlier) with share down from 11.7% to 11.6 (14.0% a year earlier) and North-East regional service i105-107FM, was down from 10% to 9% (9% a year earlier) with share down from 7.6% to 5.9% (7.0% a year earlier).
Multi-City Service 4FM, which went on air in February 2009, held on to 3% (3% a year earlier) with share up 1.8% TO 2% (1.8% a year earlier).
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five ranks (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were taken by Donegal North station Highland Radio with 67% -up from 65% (67% a year earlier); Mayo station Midwest Radio -with 63% - up from 58% (49% a year earlier); Roscommon/Longford/Sth Leitrim station Shannonside -with 54% - down from 55% (- only the combined Shannonside/Northern Sound was listed a year earlier when it had 53% - the two stations have their own schedules for most of the weekday 0700-1900 period); then with an unchanged 50% Donegal South/Sligo/Nth Leitrim station Shannonside/Northern Sound (53% for the combined stations a year earlier) and Kerry station Radio Kerry, also with an unchanged 50% (51% a year earlier).
In weekday share terms the top five ranks were taken by Donegal North station Highland Radio with 62.8% (Up from 62.7% and from 62.3% a year earlier); Mayo station Midwest Radio with 53.3% (Up from 51.0% and from 49.0% a year earlier) ; Kerry station Radio Kerry with 53.1% (Down from 54.2% and from 57.0% a year earlier); Waterford station WLR-FM with 48.6% (Up from 46.5% and 45.1% a year earlier) Roscommon/Longford/ Sth Leitrim/ Cavan/ Monaghan station Shannonside with 48.3% (Up from 48.2% - 49% a year earlier when only the combined Shannonside was listed).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with
unchanged 31.0 (It also had 31% - up from 30% in the Dublin Commuter ratings - only introduced in the previous ratings - and 29 % year earlier: Its share was 33.1% for Co Dublin and 32.4% for Dublin commuter compared to 31.4% for each in the previous ratings. A year earlier it had 30.5%); FM 104 with 21% - up from 20% (20% a year earlier: Its share was 11.6%, up from 11.4% and 11.2% a year earlier); Spin 1038 with 15% (Up from 14% and 14% a year earlier: Its share was 5.7% (down from 5.9% and 6/6% a year earlier) ;
In Cork the leaders in weekday reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 49% (Up from 48% and 46 % a year earlier: Its share was 42.% down from 44.4- 41.6% a year earlier); Cork's 96FM with 36% (Up from 35% -30.3% a year earlier: Its share was 29%, down from 30.6% and 32.4% a year earlier) RTÉ Radio 1 with an unchanged 26% (26% a year earlier: Its share was 20.9%, down from 21% and 22.3% a year earlier); Cork's Red FM with a 19% (Up from 18% - 19% a year earlier: Its share was 10.7% up from 10.4% and 10.6% a year earlier); C103 with an unchanged 17% (14% a year earlier: Its share was 13.0o%, down from 13.8% and up from 11.4% a year earlier); and Today FM with 15% (Up from 13% and 15% a year earlier: Its share was 10.0%, up from 7.9% and 9.7% a year earlier).
Previous Irish Ratings:
2012-02-02: Montreal-headquartered Astral Media has reported what it terms "strong" results for its first fiscal quarter to the end of November last year with consolidated revenues up 2% over a year earlier at CAD 271.1 million (USD 272.7 million - this is the International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") figure to which Astral is moving - GAAP figure was CAD 268 million - USD 269.6 million) driven by Out of Home whose revenues were up 13% and TV - up 3%- whilst radio was down 4%.
Within the figures TV subscription related revenues were up 3% to CAD 112.96 million (USD 113.63 million); TV advertising revenues were up 1% to CAD 40.59 million (USD 40.83 million); radio was down 4% to CAD 88.29 million (USD 88.82 million); and Out-of-Home was up 13% to CAD 29.26 million (USD 29.43 million).
Earnings per share were up from CAD 0.86 basic and 0.85 diluted (GAAP - IFRS figure was CAD 0:53 for each - to CAD 0.88 basic and CAD 0.87 diluted with IFRS figures the same)
The company also noted that during the quarter, it repaid CAD 10.0 million (USD 10.1 million) of its long-term debt and repurchased 231,900 Class A shares for a total of CAD 7.8 million (USD 7.9 million) and also completed the acquisition of CHHR-FM (Shore FM) in Vancouver taking Astral Radio's number of stations to 84.
EBITDA rose 1% to CAD 90.4 million (USD 90.9 million) with earnings before income taxes up 4% to CAD 76.98 million (USD 77.47 million) and net earnings were up 5% to CAD 55/76 million (USD 56.09 million).
Commenting on the results President and CEO Ian Greenberg said, "I am pleased with our Company's overall growth in the first three months of Fiscal 2012. Once again, our balanced asset mix and geographical footprint enabled us to display continued consolidated growth at all levels, achieved in spite of the challenging economic and advertising conditions in which we operate."
"While we remain in a low visibility environment, he added "I am confident that the ongoing efforts to strengthen our multiplatform offering and presence in key markets, combined with new television distribution agreements and continued investments in our brands, provide us with the optimal conditions to achieve our goals."
Astral has also announced the appointment of Robert Fortier, who has served as the Company's Vice-President, Finance since October 2005, as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, effective February 1, 2012.
He takes over from CFO Claude Gagnon who left at the end of January to retire after more than two decades with the company.
Greenberg commented of the changes, "Claude has been one of the architects of Astral's transformation into a pure-play media company and played a key role in our many acquisitions and asset dispositions over the years" and added of his replacement, "Robert holds an impressive professional track record and has earned a strong reputation both within Astral and among the financial community."
2012-02-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied a petition from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) to reconsider its 2010 approval of details of Sirius XM's implementation of its plans to make 4% of the full-time audio channels on their satellites available to "qualified entities" (See RNW Oct 19, 2010)
Sirius XM made the commitment to further approval of the merger of the then Sirius and XM Satellite Radios and the FCC having adopted a definition of "qualified entities" left it to Sirius XM to make the selection of those entities who qualified. Details of the five organizations selected were announced last April (See RNW Apr 18, 2011).
The MMTC requested that the Commission broaden the definition of the term Qualified Entity to permit additional entities to qualify and in its petition asserted that the Commission was vague and ambiguous because the definition of Qualified Entity "does not address whether programmers that have had non-extensive relationships with Sirius XM . . . should be precluded from receiving the opportunity to program a set-aside channel."
The agency did not agree with the MMTC on this and other points and also noted that reconsideration if appropriate when it was demonstrated that an original order contained a material error or omission.
In this case it also considered and rejected the MMTC's arguments that it was necessary to direct Sirius XM to afford special consideration to companies that will promote diversity by virtue of their educational mission, language, or Native American status.
Previous Sirius XM:
2012-02-02: A slogan down each seems to be the endgame in the battle between Merlin Media and CBS Radio.
CBS won an earlier round when Merlin's WEMP ("FM News 101.9") stopped using the phrases of "all-news, all the time" and we'll give you the world" that CBS lawyers claimed were "intentionally confusingly similar" to the long-time WINS-AM slogan, "Give us 22 minutes and we'll give you the world." (See RNW Jan 20)
Merlin Chairman and CEO Randy Michaels fired back with a demand that CBS drop the slogan that WINS is "New York's one and only all-news station": Merlin lawyers said this was violating the Lanham Act and "falsely advertising the services it offers at WINS" and that it had been "patently false" since the launch of WEMP.
WINS has now dropped that slogan in favour of a new one - "More people get their news from 1010 WINS than any other radio station in the nation."
RNW comment: So lawyers 2; publicity score positive for Merlin; and net benefit to the public nil.
2012-02-02: Latest UK radio ratings covering the final quarter of 2011 show the medium holding up in audience terms reaching 90% of the UK adult population (46.677) million -each week, down slightly from the 91% (47.137 million) for the third quarter. Listening hours were also down slightly - from just under 1.076 billion to just above 1.030 billion a week.
BBC Radio took a 55.5% share - up from 54.5% in the previous ratings and commercial radio 42.4%, down from 43.3%.
Within the BBC listening Radio 4 , Radio 4 Extra (the former Radio 7), 6 Music and 1Xtra all did well with the Radio 4's audience up from 10.5 to 10.8 million and the digital stations all recording their highest ever audiences - 1.55 million up from 1.526 million for 4 Extra; 1.443 million - up from 1.229 million for 6 music; and 1.017 million - up from 904,000 -for 1Xttra.
BBC Radio 2, which remained the most listened to station, saw its audience down from 14.3 to 14.2 million and BBC Radio 1 was down from 11.8 to 11.6 million.
Of the national commercial stations Absolute Radio was down from 1.604 to 1.599 million and Global Radio's Classic FM also lost audience - down from 5.388 million to 5.364 million but UTV's talkSPORT was up from 3.132 million to 3.196 million - the combined total for BBC 5 Live and sister station 5 Live Sports Extra was down from 6.432 million to 6.342 million.
In London, Global Radio's Capital Radio was up from 2.179 million to 2.254 million, retaining its lead in reach and also overtaking Bauer's Heart - whose reach was down from 2.027 million to 1.931 million - in listening share: This quarter Capital took 5.9%, up from 5.6% in the third quarter whilst Heart was down from 5.8% to 4.6%.
Previous RAJAR & UK radio ratings:
RNW Note: This is a brief preliminary report that will be updated later with further detail and comment.
2012-02-01: In a run of enforcement actions involving Florida pirate FM operators the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed or proposed penalties totalling USD 54,000: It also issued a USD 4,000 forfeiture to a California Ford dealership and a USD 8,000 NAL to a New Mexico AM.
In four Florida cases the highest penalties went to repeat offenders: In descending amount order the FCC has:
*Issued a USD 25,000 NAL to Whisler Fleurinor of Fort Lauderdale. In March last year the agency had issued to USD 20,000 NAL - double the base amount - to Fleurinor, who had previously been issued with a Notice of Unlicensed Operation in 2008 (See RNW Mar 7, 2011).
This was later reduced to USD 500 on the basis of inability to pay - a forfeiture that was paid - but in August and November last year agents traced a signal to the same address identified in the earlier NAL.
In view of Fleurinor's history the agency has accordingly opted this time to increase the proposed penalty from the base amount of USD 10,000 to USD 25,000
*Issued a USD 20.000 NAL to Robens Cheriza of West Palm Beach: In his case following a complaint about interference to Palm Beach International Airport's control tower frequency agents traced a signal to a residence in West Palm Beach.
Cheriza admitted that he was the owner of an operational broadcast studio that led to a transmitter, that he had operated the station for around a month, and that he was aware that operating an unlicensed station was illegal.
He also confirmed that he broadcast a party live from his residence on the evening of April 1, 2011, which is consistent with the FAA's complaint about hearing audio of a party on that evening.
In this case the agency is proposing doubling the penalty from the base amount to USD 20,000.
*Issued a USD 10,000 NAL to Mercius Dorvilus of Pompano Beach after agents responding to a complaint traced a signal to residence in Pompano Beach in May last year;
In June they inspected the radio station, which was located in a locked room in the residence and two days later a detective with the Broward County Sheriff's Office interviewed Dorvilus regarding the unlicensed radio station.
During the interview, Mr. Dorvilus stated that he purchased and installed all of the radio station equipment and was responsible for operating and transmitting on 92.7 MHz from the rented room.
According to Florida Department of State Division of Corporations records, Dorvilus is doing business as "Radio VisionFM 927, Inc.": He has also registered the domain name, www.visionfm.org.
*Issued USD 1,000 penalty to Durrant Clarke of Miami, who had in May last year been issued with a USD 10,000 NAL for operating an unlicensed FM transmitter from his business (See RNW May 21, 2011 ).
Clarke responded and admitted that he allowed someone to place radio equipment in his space but denies participation in the "breaking of any law" Mr. and also requested a reduction of the proposed forfeiture based on his inability to pay the forfeiture.
In the other cases:
*Rosendo Casarez, Jr., licensee of KCRX-AM, Roswell, New Mexico, was issued with a USD 8,000 NAL for failure to ensure the operational readiness of the station's Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment.
Agents inspected the station in June last year and observed that although the station had EAS equipment it was not installed and operational. Casarez also informed the agent that the station's EAS equipment had not been operational since approximately eight months prior, when the EAS equipment was damaged due to water leaking into the station's main studio after a heavy rain storm.
The agency has proposed the base forfeiture of USD 8,000
*Cerritos Ford, licensee of WQKA311, was issued with a USD 4,000 forfeiture when following a complaint agents found it using a frequency not on its licence.
Cerritos Ford is authorized to operate the station on five frequencies and when issued with an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture" for this amount responded by saying that it thought it was operating on an authorized frequency, that it made a good faith effort to comply with the Rules, and that it paid a third-party radio company to program its radios to ensure no violations took place. The FCC said the argument did not justify a reduction or cancellation and confirmed the full penalty.
2012-02-01: The US Media Rating Council (MRC) has withdrawn accreditation for the company's monthly AQH radio ratings data from five of the 14 Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) markets that it had accredited.
Losing accreditation were Cleveland; Portland, Oregon; Riverside-San Bernardino; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo;and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: Neither Arbitron or the MRC has so far commented on the reasons for the withdrawal.
The nine markets remaining accredited are Atlanta; Cincinnati, Houston (DMA); Kansas City; Milwaukee-Racine; Minneapolis-St. Paul;Philadelphia; Phoenix, and St. Louis. In addition to these Arbitron produces PPM ratings for 34 markets that remain unaccredited.
Commenting on the move, Arbitron's executive vice president, Service Innovation and Chief Research Officer Gregg Lindner said in a company release, "Consistent with our long-standing priorities, we will work to retain accreditation where we have it, to regain accreditation where it was withdrawn and to achieve accreditation in our remaining PPM markets. As always, we will continue our work with the MRC in order to address their concerns."
Arbitron adds that it currently plans to have all 48 PPM markets undergo new MRC audits in 2012.
2012-02-01: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has opened a consultation - with a March 14 deadline for the submission of responses - on a Draft Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs that includes within a total of 32 draft rules proposed new rules for news presenters and reporters and current affairs presenters and reporters relating to the expression of personal views and a public register of interests.
Ireland's Broadcasting Act 2009 requires that broadcasters ensure that all news broadcast is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner without any expression of the broadcaster's own views and that the treatment of current affairs programming, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and presented in an objective and impartial manner without any expression of his or her own views.
It also requires the BAI to develop codes governing the standards and practices to be observed by broadcasters in response to which the BAI has developed the 32-page draft code of which its Chairperson Bob Collins, said: "This Code will assist broadcasters to meet the statutory obligations placed on them by Section 39 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. It will also assist viewers and listeners to determine whether the news and current affairs material they see and hear meets the standards to which the Code aspires."
He added, "In preparing the draft, we have tried to balance the right of broadcasters to present news and current affairs in an interesting and robust manner that promotes the public interest, with the need to ensure fairness, objectivity and impartiality for those who may be the subject of such broadcasts."
In regard to conflicts of interest the agency notes that "situations can arise when presenters, reporters or persons involved in editorial decision making are conflicted in relation to certain news or current affairs items, by virtue of their personal, professional, business or financial interests" and goes on to say that it is proposing that "such conflicts should be flagged and, where appropriate, a presenter or reporter should not present the item, nor should a person with an editorial role be involved in editorial decision making."
It then proposes the register of interests "to enhance transparency, together with rules that say interests that "call into question the perceived fairness, objectivity or impartiality of the item being covered must be made clear to the audience"; that "A presenter or reporter should not participate in a news or current affairs matter where such a conflict of interest arises."; and that "Each broadcaster shall maintain a Public Register of Interests in which personnel with an editorial role in news and current affairs shall enter details of all financial or commercial relationships that might be perceived as representing a material influence on them in, or in relation to, the performance of such editorial role, together with an indication of any individuals or companies to which the personnel in question may be deemed to owe a fiduciary duty."
Other topics dealt with in the proposed code include sections on "Code Objectives, Structure and Application" and "Principles Underpinning the Rules": There are various more detailed sections dealing with such issues as rules on the "Statutory Duties of Broadcasters"; "Procedures for dealing with contributors/interviewees"; "Consent: "no comment?; refusal to participate"; "Programme Compilation: Editing; Material re-use; Reconstructions"; "Secret/Undisclosed Recording; "Door Stepping"; "Confidentiality."; "Objectivity & Impartiality Rules" including a sub sections on "Accuracy; Linking Broadcasts; Factual Representation"; "Handling Mistakes; Treatment of Individuals/Groups in Society" , "Presenters? own views; Authored Programmes", and "Conflicts of Interest; Public Register of Interests"
BAI - Draft Code & Consultation Document (394 kb 32-page PDF):
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