October 2000 personalities:
Jenny Abramsky - Director of BBC Radio and Music ; Vinod Advani - Indian "Radio Jockey": Frank Ahrens -(2)- Washington Post media writer; Stephen Armstrong - UK Sunday Times columnist; Sue Arnold - UK Observer radio columnist; Mathew Bannister- former BBC Director of radio, currently BBC director of marketing and communications (departing); Oliver Barry -(3) former chief executive of Century Communications Ireland (collapsed 1991); Art Bell - US overnight radio host (retiring); Jonathon Brandmeier - midday host WCKG, Chicago; Les Brown - former WMMJ-FM, Washington, morning host ; Declan Burke - (2)--Columnist on Irish Radio for UK Sunday Times; Ray Burke -(5)- former Fianna Fáil (Ireland) minister responsible for communications; Gay Byrne -(2)-Irish Broadcaster; John Cameron - deputy director of news and current affairs, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Bob Collins - WGN,Chicago, Morning Host (deceased): James Connolly SC - counsel at Flood Tribunal for James Stafford, co-founder of Century Communications, Ireland; Frankie Crocker - veteran New York broadcaster (deceased) ; Steve Dahl - Chicago WCKG-FM afternoon host (suspended, quit and then reinstated); Paul Donovan- (2)-U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Greg Dyke - Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Liam Fay - UK Sunday Times writer ; Robert Feder - (3)-Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Liz Forgan - former BBC managing director of network radio ; Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth -- Commissioner, US FCC; Senator Rod Grams -(8) Republican, Minnesota(introduced Low Power FM Bill into Senate); Chris Gilbey - co-founder, Australia (now defunct): Rob Glaser - founder and chief executive, RealNetworks; Judd Gregg - Republican Senator, New Hampshire; Charles J Gussman - veteran writer of radio soap operas(deceased); Tony Hall - BBC Director of News; Steve Harris -XM Satellite Radio Vice President, External Programming : Professor Ray Hills - former head of the UK Independent Broadcasting Authority's Communications Services divisionand technical adviser to Century Radio, Ireland; Richard Hooper-chairman UK Radio Authority ; John Humphrys -BBC Radio 4 Breakfast show presenter; Gerry Jackson - director of Capital Radio, ZImbabwe; Arun Jaitley - India's Communications and Broadcasting Minister: Tom Joyner - syndicated US morning host; Edwin J Kane - veteran US(AP) radio broadcaster (deceased); William Kennard -(8)- Chairman US Federal Communications Commission ; Kevin Klose - (2) -President, US National Public Radio; Liam Lawlor - (2) - former Fianna Fáil Dublin West TD (Member of Parliament) ; Roy Leonard - former WGM,Chicago, host ; Andy Mahoney - Irish radio broadcaster ; John Mainelli - New York Post writer; David Mansfield - chief executive Capital Radio, UK; Michael Mason - head of local networks, Australian Broadcasting Corporation ; John McCain- (3)-Republican Senator for Arizona (proposer of LPFM bill); Gerry McCarthy - UK Sunday Times writer on Irish Radio; Tom Moore - accountant to James Stafford, former director of Century Radio, Ireland; James Naughtie - BBC Radio 4 Breakfast show presenter; Susan Ness- US Federal Communications Commissioner; David Noble - Chair of the Low-Power FM Task Force for the International Association Of Audio Information Services; Gerry O'Brien - finance director of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ; Spike O'Dell - WGN,Chicago, morning host; Paul O'Hagan SC - counsel for Irish State Broadcaster RTÉ at the FLood Tribunal; Sally Oldham - director of strategy and development director, UK Capital Radio; Antonio Paciencia - Angolan radio journalist (body found in River Zambezi); Al Parker- former Chicago radio broadcaster who also spent more than 50 years at Columbia College(deceased) ; Dr. Drew Pinsky - host of syndicated US radio show "Loveline"; Michael Powell --US Federal Communications Commission Commissioner; Kate Rowland - BBC head of radio drama : Dr Laura Schlessinger -(3) -Conservative U.S. talk show host; Antonio Russo -Radio Radicale , Italy, reporter, killed in Georgia; Helen Shaw -RTÉ (Ireland) director of radio; Mike Siegel - weekday overnight host of US syndicated show "Coast to Coast AM": Clea Simon- writer on radio for the Boston Globe/New York Times; Paige Smoron- Chicago Sun-Times columnist;James Stafford -(3)- co-founder of Century Radio(Ireland); Tony Stoller - chief executive, UK Radio Authority; Eric Taub- New York Times writer; Ryan Tubridy - Irish radio broadcaster; Richard Wheatly - chief executive, Jazz FM, UK:
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

October 2000 Archive

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October 2000 Archive
Sep 2000 Nov 2000
Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.

2000-10-22: Licence news this week. And with Congress still sitting, the fate of low power FM in the US is still awaited (RNW Oct 21); elsewhere it has been reasonably busy.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated a community radio licence to serve the Narrabri area in New South Wales, to Narrabri Shire Community Radio Incorporated.
Two bids had been made for the licence when it was first advertised in June 1999, the second from Kaputar FM, and the authority decided at the time not to allocate the licence because it was concerned about the ability of each of the applicants to provide a satisfactory service to the general community of the area.
This time Kaputar FM had been dissolved and its members were been accommodated within the organisation of Narrabri Shire Community Radio.
Narrabri already has three national radio stations (2ABCFM, 2JJJ and 2ABCRN) and two commercial radio stations (2MO and 2GGG).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has renewed for 18 months the licence of CKLP-FM Parry Sound, Ontario, owned by Playland Broadcasting Limited.
The station has been in trouble with the Commission for failure to comply with licence conditions and its licence was previously renewed only for a short-term 3-year period.
Since then there have been further breaches in terms of the level of Canadian music and failure to keep adequate tape logs of output.
As a result the station was summoned to a July meeting with the CRTC to show cause why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order requiring CKLP-FM to comply with the regulations.
Since the meeting the station has moved into new facilities, relocated and tightened up on its logging facilities as well as installing a back-up machine and has also obtained a new music selector system.
This computer software is more advanced than that previously used, and can ensure the proper levels of Canadian music are programmed even when the station's music format is adjusted for special occasions such as Christmas.
The Commission has also published public notices seeking comment concerning radio licences for greater Toronto and television licences for Greater Vancouver for reports to be prepared to ensure that services reflect the diversity of languages and cultures in the two areas.
This follows criticism of the Commission for not paying enough attention to Canada's multicultural nature (RNW Oct 19).
In particular in the Toronto area, it wants comments concerning demographic trends, availability and composition of existing radio services, technical ways in which more radio services providing greater diversity could be made available and the impact of regulatory policies and licensing criteria on potential new entrants to the Greater Toronto radio market.
The commission says it will put on ice until the report is completed any applications for new frequencies or amendments to existing radio service technical parameters in the area.
In the UK, the Radio Authority is advertising a new regional Independent Local Radio FM licence on the FM waveband covering most parts of the former metropolitan counties of South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, including the cities of Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford.
It will serve a smaller area than the existing regional station for Yorkshire, Galaxy 105, primarily because there is no frequency available for coverage of the Humberside area.
The authority has also announced that it received three applications for the North-East Regional Digital Multiplex licence.
They are from The Digital Radio Group (North East) Ltd, owned by The Wireless Group, GWR Group, Emap Digital, Scottish Media Group, and the Carphone Warehouse; MXR LTD. owned by Chrysalis Group, Capital Radio, Guardian Media Group. Jazz FM, UBC Digital Soul Media and Ford Motor Co. and North East Digital Radio Ltd. owned by Forever Broadcasting Digital Radio Ltd., Saga Regional Digital Radio Ltd. and Score Digital Ltd. (Scottish Radio Holdings plc).
Digital Radio Group is proposing ten services, three of which would only be part-time; the part-time services proposed are for "kids" radio in daytime, jazz in off-peak hours only, and news and community information.
MXR is proposing nine full-time services, including a children's service and jazz and North East Digital Radio is proposing seven full-time services. between 6am and midnight including an over-50's service and jazz.
As well as the new digital service, the authority has given details of it assessment of the local digital multiplex licences for Central Scotland, awarded to Switchdigital (Scotland) Ltd. and due to start in May next year and for Northern Ireland. awarded licence to Score Digital Ltd. due to start in Autumn next year (Licence news Oct 8).
In the case of the Scottish licence it says it was pleased about the broad range of music-based formats proposed but concerned about the lack of local content on non-simulcast services. It hoped that in future, with the growth of audiences for digital services, service providers would produce more local speech elements aimed at Scottish listeners.
Concerning Northern Ireland it comments that it was pleased to note the wide range and number of services proposed most of which will be new to a considerable portion of the potential audience.
It notes that four of the services will be simulcasts of existing local Northern Ireland services but listeners throughout the Province will for the first time be able to access all of them. It rejected a competition complaint against Score by Radio Telefis Éireann (RTÉ) which applied to it to be a programme service provider but was not chosen.
The authority has also invited public interest comment on the application by GWR Group subsidiary, Storm (West Midlands) Ltd, for the new regional West Midlands licence.
Storm's signal would overlap with two services owned by GWR, Beacon FM and Classic Gold WABC.

A similar operation is already under way concerning an application for this licence from Variety FM Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Media Group plc (Licence News Oct 8)
Previous Licence News
CRTC website ;
UK Radio Authority website:

2000-10-22: Another bit of radio history died this week, courtesy of finances, technological advances and Viacom, when CBS ended its news operations from "Black Rock", the modernist skyscraper designed by Eero Sarinen at 51 West 52nd street.
The building has housed CBS since 1964.
Just before 2pm on Friday, WCBS Newsradio co-anchors Paul Murnane and Susan Kennedy came up after the briefing to say "That's it for us from Black Rock. Goodbye, Black Rock" although the final news report from the building was actually transmitted up to 8:59:10p.m.
"Black Rock" was occupied only by CBS until 1987 when the network began moving staff to its studios and renting space to other tenants.
Then two months ago, Viacom, which bought CBS earlier this year, announced that it was to sell the building; six weeks ago the FM station was moved out and AM station WCBS Newsradio has now followed.
CBS says the building's infrastructure could not support the technology needed to today's operations; WCBS is now on all-digital technology, the first all-news station in the US to make the transition according to the company.
Staff it says will have more room in their new home which features a central newsroom surrounded by studios and has an extra 9000 square feet (around 850 square metres) of office space and none of the reel-to-reel tape machines which lined the old cramped workspaces.

2000-10-21: US radio giant Clear Channel has come under attack over the way in which it promotes national prize contests which critics say give the impression that they are local and thus offer a higher chance of winning than is the actual case.
It's also been accused in a New York Daily Post article of side-stepping guidelines imposed by Florida following an $80,000 dollar fine in May on deceptive trade charges.
In his article John Mainelli says that in Florida Clear Channel reacted to orders to give much more frequent on-air contest disclosures, to reveal locations along with winners' names, and to stop editing interviews to make them seem local, by simply stopping announcing winners and playing tape on its Florida Channels.
In New York where Clear Channel's "$100,000 Thursdays" contest runs on aZ100, Mainelli says the contests continue but "you need a search party to find rules that reveal you're not competing with just New Yorkers - but with millions of contestants listening to stations in up to 49 other states. "
He continues, "In radio's version of "the fine print," a fast-talking Z100 announcer rattles off rules just once a day that include two subtle disclaimers: "This station is participating in a contest with other Clear Channel stations" and, "Odds will vary based on entries from this and other states."
Mainelli says Clear Channel denies any intention to mislead but has issued a 27-page "group contesting" manual to coaches station staff on ways to respond to media inquiries about their contests.
In the Boston Globe, Clea Simon also takes up the question of the "$100,000 Thursdays" competition which runs on WXKS-FM.
"Each week, the station advertised," she writes, "that it would give away $10,000 an hour, beginning during Matt Siegel's show at 8 a.m. and continuing for 10 hours."
"Despite a daily recorded spot that announces that many Clear Channel stations are involved, the much more frequent invitations to ''call in and win'' still sound as if they only involve the Boston Top 40 station."
" Second, when the winners are announced on the air, their hometowns - or even their local stations - are not mentioned. This furthers the illusion that every winner is local, even though trade journals report that the contest is airing on 83 of the more than 900 stations owned by the international company, which is based in San Antonio."
"Finally, even that fast-talking disclaimer doesn't make it clear that a WXKS listener will not win every hour, and that there is no guarantee that a WXKS listener will win at all. Not once each day, not ever."
Simon also says that standardised answers are given to queries and that the station is not allowed to give out information how many WXKS listeners have won.
Previous Clear Channel :
Previous Mainelli :
Previous Simon :
New York Post report:

2000-10-21: As the US Congress session continues past its scheduled end date, the fate of Low Power FM plans are still in abeyance with broadcasters continuing fierce lobbying against the idea.
Congress is now going to be in session next week and it's still unclear what will happen to the Rod Grams Bill to require third adjacent channel protection which would severely curtail the number of stations possible.
The bill now has the support of some 55 of the 100 US Senators but could face a presidential veto which has led to efforts to attach it to an appropriations bill which would not be vetoed.
Sen John McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee has condemned this tactic in a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
He wrote," By any reasonable interpretation, the Appropriations process has been highly irregular, with the use of legislative gimmickery designed to avoid debate, subvert the regular legislative order, and obscure from the American people special interest-driven legislative riders and pork barrel spending."
Previous Grams:
Previous LPFM
Previous McCain :
2000-10-20: For those of you thinking about the future of radio, two interesting articles by Eric Taub in the New York Times on digital radio are worth a read.
They're timely as well since development continues apace, particularly for satellite radio, where XM Satellite Radio which last month demonstrated its prototype receives has now announced successful fabrication and initial testing of XM's system chips which are now being delivered to go into satellite capable radio receivers.
Both XM and rival Sirius Satellite Radio are scheduled to start services next year, Sirius in January and XM in May or June.
Commenting on satellite radio, Taub writes that satellite radio "it could mean a big shift in the radio world. Narrow-format digital shows, mostly free of commercials, will go head to head with the advertiser-laden talk and pop-music channels on AM and FM radio."
"In fact, digital satellite radio could presage the biggest change in broadcast radio offerings since the advent of FM in the 1950's."
He notes that both Sirius and XM are doing what cable TV companies have done in offering a subscription service of narrowly focused channels for a wide range of tastes.
Surveys show, he writes, that people will pay $9.95 a month for something they are used to getting free and he cites a Yankee Group survey which found a fifth of listeners did not like today's US radio.
Senior analyst, Michael Goodman said that m any of the dissatisfied listeners complained about a large number of commercials and a lack of programming variety, adding, "Improved sound quality alone would not have been enough for digital satellite radio to succeed."
"People don't buy satellite television just for improved reception, and they won't buy satellite radio solely for better sound."
Both the satellite radio companies are in alliance with automobile makers who will supply receivers in more expensive models from next year with major manufacturers also supplying them for older models and those lower in the makers' range of vehicles.
Cognisant of the problems the US cellphone companies faced because of differing standards, the two companies have now agreed to develop radios which will be able to receive their signals as well as AM and Fm radio but this will not be available for two to three years which could inhibit initial take-up.
Although the emphasis is on car radios, home receivers will also be offered and Sirius has already said there will be no extra subscription where people have a car radio subscription; XM still has to decide what its policy will be for home receivers.
Both companies have also taken measures to try and ensure continuous reception across the US including the use of terrestrial repeater stations in some locations, such as skyscraper-lined streets, where satellite reception is not possible.
They have also taken measures to ensure continuous reception in difficult terrain as where a mountain could block reception from a satellite. Both companies will have two satellites above the US at any time to help prevent signal loss.
In the case of Sirius, the signal is normally received from one satellite and heard after a four-second delay: if there is a signal interruption such as when driving under a bridge, the radio can then pick up the signal from the second satellite, which is four seconds later, and seamlessly make up the required signal using this buffer.
Both companies will be working in digital format only from start of production to the receiver and will offer around a hundred channels plus date services such as satellite navigation and other information.
US terrestrial radio transmissions are also making the transition to digital although many listeners may not notice as the radios being developed by Ibiquity, formed from a merger between USA Digital Radio and Lucent Digital Radio (RNW Aug 24 ) will be able to receive AM and FM as well as digital signals and will in some circumstances use the analogue signal as a back-up when there are digital problems.
Like satellite radio, some of the companies may introduce extra data services into their digital service for a subscription fee.
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:
New York Times on satellite radio;
Sirius web site:
XM Web site:

2000-10-20 : Contrasting items about Internet radio and audio, (to distinguish it from radio distributed via the Internet), over the past few days.
By far the most uplifting was the launch of the RealNetworks Foundation which according to an AP report was in part inspired by of streaming audio from independent Belgrade radio station B92 which was frequently taken off air by the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Milosevic.
To get over this B92 started streaming its audio as early as 1996 and this, says the report, gave Rob Glaser, RealNetworks founder and chief executive, a focus for his company's philanthropic efforts. Glaser commented, "It was a great example of how the work we were doing could really make an impact." The Foundation has been set up with an initial $2 million endowment and will also receive 5% of Real's profits every quarter.
In the third quarter of this year Real announced record net revenues of $67.1 million, up 92% over the third quarter of 1999.
Pro-forma net earnings for the quarter were $7.6 million, $0.04 per diluted share compared to $0.03 per diluted share for the same period in 1999.
No grants have yet been announced although the organisation' web site is inviting applications, in general for grants from $10,000 to $75,000 for a one year project. The site sets out the foundation's goals as being to Enable alternative voices or foster the right of free speech throughout the world; Broaden access to technology among underserved communities throughout the world; Enhance the quality of life in the areas where RealNetworks employees live and work. " In a totally different vein is the creation of Barbie FM by Mattel, makers of the Barbie Doll. This is an Internet-only venture although Mattel says they had considered creating a UK radio station aimed at young girls but had been hampered by UK radio authority rules (which place restrictions on advertisements targeting children amongst other things). The "station" will be on the Internet from October 24th running from 8am to 4pm for three days of the UK school half term. Mattel says it was the brainchild of two sisters who contacted Mattel with the idea of launching a station devoted to subjects of interest to young girls -animals, beauty, dancing, fashion and music. The company has not said how much it will spend on the station, which is to be put out as part of a pre-Christmas marketing push, beyond terming it a "substantial amount." And in the US, Musicmusicmusic inc. has launched It is to feature fairy tale readings, music, games and so on.
RNW comment: Is it only us who seems something uplifting about B92's efforts and precisely the opposite where the prime aim is to sell to children.
Do E-mail us with your comment, either in general or indeed if you care to listen, about the output of any of the sites (translations into English please for comments on B92!).
Our attitude is plain from the links below: we do not care to market the children's sites for them.

New York Times/AP article:
Real Networks web site:
Real Foundation web site :
B92 Web site:

2000-10-19: Canada's broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, has been accused of not being sensitive enough to the country's multicultural make-up according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The paper says that Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and the cabinet have told the CRTC to take a second look at how its broadcast licences reflect ethnic diversity in Vancouver and Toronto.
Copps has told the regulator to do an in-depth review to find new ways to make sure Toronto radio stations reflect cultural diversity after a period in which there were 39 appeals to the government about the CRTC's awarding of radio licences(RNW Aug 16).
Earlier this year, the CRTC issued three radio licences that were supposed to be specifically for ethnic audiences, but one of the licences went to a station that is aimed at people over the age of 50, and seems to have little to do with ethnicity.
In addition to the cabinet's action, a Montreal-based antiracism organisation has taken the CRTC to the Federal Court of Appeal, arguing that the commission is not listening to its complaints and is clouding the complaints process.
Fo Niemi, executive director of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (CRARR), told the paper, "There are . . . substantive issues of racial equality and multiculturalism which we feel the CRTC does not take into consideration when analysing complaints of bias."
CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel responded by saying that the regulator realises it has some work to do to let the public know how to exercise its rights and make complaints."
Toronto Globe and Mail
(search for radio and date).

2000-10-19: "Honorary Bob Collins Way", a section of Illinois Street in Chicago, has been dedicated to the memory of the late WGN-AM host, killed in a plane crash in February.
The ceremony was attended by colleagues from the station who heard Illinois governor George Ryan say. "Bob would be proud if he were here, but I think it's a real tribute to a fellow who had millions of people who he was friends with on a daily basis."
Previous Bob Collins :
Chicago Tribune report :.

2000-10-19: The Irish High Court is to deliver judgement next Tuesday on proceedings by the Flood Tribunal (into Ireland's first commercial national radio licence award) against Dublin West TD (Member of Parliament) Liam Lawlor.
Lawlor failed to appear before the tribunal on October 10th and also to hand over documents demanded by the Tribunal.
Lawlor has now said he is willing to testify in private before Mr Justice Flood and with the right of legal representation; he has also said through his lawyer that the tribunal is asking for too wide a range of documents relating to his financial dealings.
The offer marks a change in stance by Lawlor who last year argued successfully in the Irish Supreme Court that he could not be compelled to attend private hearings with tribunal lawyers who are investigating allegations against him.
He does, however, have precedents to aid him in his objection to providing documents in action taken by former Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey who succeeded in having Moriarty tribunal orders quashed on the basis that they were too general.
Subsequently, however, the court rejected objections by developers Michael and Tom Bailey to Flood Tribunal to orders that they produce their financial records.
In this week's Flood Tribunal proceedings which resumed on Tuesday, Michael Grant, an assistant secretary in the Department of Communications during the 1980s, resumed his evidence about drawing up the Radio and Television Bill in 1988.
He testified in regard to an unauthorised amendment to the bill that very grave error to tamper with the stamped copy of the Bill and he would "assume it was done by someone who was not aware of the strict rules."
Previous Flood Tribunal:
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:
Irish Times
--search page
(go for radio and October 2000)
2000-10-18: The Ford Motor Company is to take a stake in MXR, the UK consortium created by UK regional radio operators to bid for UK regional digital radio licences.
Ford is taking 5% of the consortium formed by UK Capital Radio, Chrysalis, Guardian Media and Jazz FM (RNW July 26), and as part of the deal is to fit digital radios in all its models by 2004.
Similar deals have been done by automakers in the US, relating to satellite radio as well as digital.
MXR recently put together its first bid, for a 9-channel service on the North East regional digital licence.
Previous MXR
2000-10-18: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio current affairs programs - AM and PM - are to be subjected to a major overhaul next year according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
It says they are to give more emphasis to business reporting and less emphasis to politics and economics.
In addition, says the paper, PM is also likely to be shortened and will include "outpoints" so that individual stations can choose whether to run the entire program.
The Herald says it has obtained a copy of a confidential memo from the head of local networks, Michael Mason, addressed to John Cameron, deputy director of news and current affairs, which was accompanied by an E-mail saying AM will move away from politics and economics into a much wider array of programs while PM will be even more radically reshaped to become a 20-minute program followed by a half hour devoted to a specialist business show. The memo lists health, business, technology, social change, and other topics identified by audience research as areas to be included in the revamped AM. The memo, which proposed trimming PM to 20 minutes from 50 minutes, says it is a unanimous view that the programme is too long with variable content.
The Herald story has been published just after ABC issued its annual report claiming an audience increase in most Australian metropolitan centres during the past year.
Concerning radio, the report says significant gains were made by NewsRadio, which increased its audience by 4.5 per cent and ABC Classic FM, which increased its audience by 3 per cent; Triple J remained steady with a 0.5 per cent increase in its audience. It also says that during the year local and regional radio produced more than 109,000 hours of radio programming, an increase of almost 10,000 hours compared with the previous year.
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC news release on annual report:
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2000-10-18: The senior police officer who broke down the doors of Capital Radio in Harare, Zimbabwe, and seized its equipment in defiance of a court order (RNW Oct 10) has been found guilty of contempt of court.
Assistant Commissioner Libberman Ndlovu, who was served on October 4 with a high court order prohibiting a raid until an appeal was heard the next day, was fined Z$3000 (US$60) and given a months prison sentence, suspended for three years, on condition he does not commit any similar offence during the period.
Ndlovu had disregarded the court order saying he took orders "only from his superiors and not the courts."
His superior, police chief Augustine Chihuri, who had also been cited for contempt, denied involvement and said he was "not ready to stand by his officer." Chihuri was cleared of contempt.
Previous Zimbabwe report.

2000-10-17: Bad news for news in the Chicago radio business from the Arbitron summer ratings just released.
WGN-AM has dropped down to third place, behind music stations urban-contemporary WGCI-FM and top-40 WBBM-FM.
Compared to the spring ratings, WGGI rose to a 6.8% share from 6.4%, WGCI-FM climbed to 6% from 5.7% and WGN-AM dropped from 6.2% to 5.6%, gaining nothing from the August demise of news stations WMAQ-AM (RNW Aug 1) although all-news WBBM-AM lifted its share 3.7% to 4.4%.
As well as the top two, music stations making gains included classic rock WLUP-FM up from 2.8% to 3.3%, alternative rock WKQX-FM up from 3.4% to 4% and smooth jazz station WNUA-FM up from 3.6% to 4.6%.
In the morning drive slot, where Spike O'Dell took over from the late Bob Collins who died in a plane crash (RNW February 9 ),WGN-AM held on to the number one spot but its share fell from 9.6% to 8.7%.
Below him gains were made by the second placed WBBM-AM team of Felicia Middlebrooks, Ken Herrera and Pat Cassidy, up from 5.6% to 7.5%, ``Crazy'' Howard McGee at WGCI-FM, up from 4.9% to 5.1% and Mancow Muller at WKQX, up from 3.0% to 4.7%
WGN also suffered losses in at midday, down from 5.1% to 4.6% and Afternoon Drive, down from 4.8% to 4.3%.
On the all-sports scene, WSCR-AM, The Score, which took over the WMAQ signal, raised its share from 1.1% to 1.5% and competitor WMVP-AM lifted itself from 0.9% to 1.1%.
Previous O'Dell :
Chicago Tribune report on ratings:
Chicago Sun-Times on ratings:

2000-10-17: Some good news for the radio news staff at the BBC if a report in the UK Guardian is correct.
The paper says the corporation is planning to move its London-based radio news operation back into London after three years in White City in West London.
The paper says the most likely scenario is a return to Broadcasting House whence the news staff were ousted in 1997 with subsequent complaints, especially from the Radio 4 "Today" and "World at One " news programmes, that big-name interviewees would not make the tip out to White City.
An announcement will only be made after decisions have been made where to move departments currently based in Broadcasting House and the move will not happen, says the paper, before 2007.
BBC World Service staff re expected to move from Bush House into Broadcasting House at the same time according to the report which says the paper has learned that the corporation has secured an extension to its lease there which was due to expire in 2005.
Previous BBC :
UK Guardian report :

2000-10-16: Driving along a motorway on Sunday, I picked up an edition of BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme which near its head contained an anecdote by one of the contributors about a lecturer who dramatically illustrated the "pumping" action of the Oesophagus by standing on this head before his students and then proceeding to empty a two pint (litre) of milk from a container via a tube in his mouth.
Which seems as good a way to look at some of this week's radio columns starting with Gerry McCarthy's UK Sunday Times column in which he deprecates Irish state broadcaster RTÉ's science coverage.
Writing of a programme on nanotechnology. McCarthy says it was "admirably logical and organised in the best scientific manner but made for poor communication. Nothing here to engage the casual listener. "
"This problem." adds McCarthy, "routinely crops up in RTE's coverage of the sciences, but dullness is not intrinsic to the subject."
Indeed it isn't, as my newly found knowledge of the human digestive system would testify.
And that in turns takes us to things that could be said to have "stuck in the gullet" of various columnists to varying degrees.
One of them is what Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times described as CBS radio stations in the city "forfeiting their news legacies."
The following segment of his column is worth a fairly full quote: "Just as CBS is getting ready to pull the rug out from under Carol Marin at WBBM-Channel 2, the company's local radio stations are forfeiting their news legacies, too."
"Little more than two months after CBS/Infinity Broadcasting shut down WMAQ-AM (670) after 78 years and fired dozens of first-rate news professionals, the surviving all-news station, WBBM-AM (780), showed what can happen without competition."
"Reporters at "Newsradio 780" were outraged Sunday when they weren't allowed to break into the Bears football game--after their station's transmission has been restored--to report on the Loop power outage that left thousands stranded in the dark. Radio listeners desperate for information in a real crisis had nowhere to turn."
"And CBS/Infinity Broadcasting's WXRT-FM (93.1), the adult rocker that once prided itself on a solid news operation, last week sent its sole surviving journalist to Hollywood to interview the stars of CBS prime-time programming………..Mary Dixon, news anchor on Lin Brehmer's WXRT morning show, was forced to swallow her integrity by reporting from the CBS junket, accompanied by afternoon host Frank E. Lee."
"It was, by all accounts, a corporate sellout of the worst sort. CBS is getting very good at that these days."
And in a similar vein, Pati Poblete in the San Francisco Chronicle, reflects on the Wild 94.9 FM DJ's who could end up fined $1000or spending a year in jail, or both, in jail as a result of a stunt in which they are said to have dressed up as escaped prisoners and knocked on people's doors asking for help in sawing off their handcuffs (RNW Sept 29).
Poblete says the fine seems unlikely to deter, commenting, "Howard Stern is a thriving example of that. A thousand-dollar fine is a drop in the bucket compared to the free publicity they get from pulling these pranks."
"Because there's been considerable deregulation of the radio industry in the past decade, DJs are pretty much given free rein over the airwaves."
``Well, we can't swear. We can't kill anyone,'' said one of 94.9's morning DJs known as ``Hollywood.'' Other than that, it's anything for a laugh.
The Federal Communications Commission, Poblete writes, does have a rule banning broadcast of hoaxes harmful to the public, such as those that falsely report a catastrophe that cause mass hysteria but the popular tradition of live-air hoaxes has been a continuing dilemma for the FCC, which has struggled with how to punish stations without trampling on their First Amendment guarantees of free speech.
She concludes, "The intense pressure to maintain high ratings has caused DJs to cross the frontiers of good taste and, in some cases, break the law. "
"The problem is, shock radio has created a ratings bonanza for some stations. And for these jocks, good ratings are more important than good taste. It would be pretty difficult for them to turn Mary Poppins on us now. "
"No doubt, the pranks will get more crass than cautious, the more we tune in. But as much as we need a good laugh on the way to work, a bad joke that can affect a community is just a plain turnoff. "
"Frightening schoolchildren and old women? Halting morning rush-hour traffic? Sounds more like a rude awakening than a morning show to me."
Previous Columnists:
Previous Feder :
McCarthy UK Sunday Times column;
Feder Chicago Sun-Times column:
SFGate search page (radio and date will find San Francisco article).

2000-10-16:Another look at the Flood Tribunal hearings to start the week before hearings resume on Tuesday into the 1989 award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio which later collapsed with debts of £8 million.
As the tribunal ended last week's hearings it heard that the idea of an independent national service came out of the "blue" two years earlier from then communications minister Ray Burke.
Michael Grant, assistant secretary at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, told the tribunal that since the early 1980s, his Department's emphasis had been on replacing pirate stations with legal local stations and on October 6th, 1987, the Government agreed to licence new local and community radio stations.
Three weeks later Burke said there was to be a national service as well, something the department had not been asked to research before Burke made his decision.
Grant also testified that the minister had told civil servants that the Broadcasting Bill should carry a stipulation that new stations carry a minimum 20% of news and current affairs in their output.
He said that Ray MacSharry, then minister for finance, had made a strong case for licences to be auctioned to the highest bidder but that this had been rejected by Burke.
Burke said this would mean that only the "well heeled" would be able to afford to get involved whilst his (Burke's) option would give everyone "an equal chance to get access to the airwaves."
Previous Burke :
Previous Flood Tribunal:
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:
Irish Times
--search page
(go for radio and October 2000)
2000-10-15: The issue of the public responsibilities of broadcasters as technological changes such as digital broadcasts and the Internet offer new opportunities have been featuring in comments from regulators both sides of the Atlantic this week.
In the US, the emphasis, apart from the continuing differences about low power FM radio, have related to fairness rules (RNW Oct 13) and television but in the UK regulator's minds radio has been high on the agenda.
Speaking to the 23rd General Conference of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in South Africa, Tony Stoller, Chief Executive of the UK Radio Authority stressed the difference between telecommunications and broadcasting.
Broadcasting, he said, "has always had a different social purpose than telecommunications…… it espouses values and aims which are not merely industrial or commercial, which deploy a public good . . . for the broad benefit of listeners and viewers, and of the society they inhabit."
Yet, he noted, even in the UK , "with its broadcasting heritage and history, new structures for broadcasting are being looked at in the same landscape as those for telecommunications."
"The likely outcome is going to be legislation which, in one way or another, seeks to equate those two hitherto distinct fields."
Stoller then went on to give various examples of "convergence" which had show up differences and led to failure rather than success.
He also neatly put some of the Internet propaganda into perspective, noting that in a BBC Reith Lecture Dr. Gro Haarlem Bruntland claimed that "the Internet will be a great equaliser" but in the same speech said that half the world's six billion population survive on less than $2 a day.
"Given that 70% of the world's population have never used a telephone, and 95% have never used a computer, " said Stoller, "the Internet revolution may be a little while in coming."
He continued, "Broadcasters need to be both clear in understanding, and vociferous in asserting, that broadcasting and telecommunications are fundamentally different."
"It is not just the economics that are different. One radio or television transmitter broadcasts to (at least in theory) an infinite number of people. It doesn't matter therefore whether you are reaching one person or a million, the costs are the same."
"This is true broad-casting."
" In telecommunications, every time you add even a single extra listener or viewer, there is an added cost. This is narrow-casting, or one-to-one."
"We use the broadcasting method where a single output is desired by a substantial number of people. It is a better use of resources, both technical and financial."
"It is not the same as a telephone call or an Internet hook-up. "
Politicians and law-makers. like all of us are attracted by the new he said but "They need to be reminded constantly of the virtues of what broadcasting already offers and will continue to do into the new century."
Speaking in the UK, the chairman of the Authority, Richard Hooper, told the Community Media Association that the "need to make radio as inclusive as possible" is at the centre of the authority's vision, part of which leads it to want a new tier of non-profit "Access" radio in Britain.
It sees Access radio as," a new approach to harnessing the individuality and potential of non-commercial radio, and of using radio to assist in the broader aspects of education, social inclusion and social experimentation."
Before outlining further details of the proposals, Hooper stressed that "localness is a requirement for commercial radio stations licensed by the Radio Authority."
He continued, "A good local commercial station can and should be a good community station. We are concerned if stations, in the wake of ownership changes for example, lose their local flavour and become automated outposts of a distant networking operation."
In a further comment, which also has echoes in the US context of consolidation and low power FM, he said of the time ten years ago when he was just a member of the authority, "I remember us being criticised by some of the large existing stations to the effect that we were licensing too many radio stations and the market could not sustain them."
" I found the argument self-serving and without merit. My view has always been that, especially given increasing consolidation of ownership at the top of the industry, the Authority has an obligation to encourage where possible new market entrants in the interests of plurality and diversity."
"Access radio is born out of this drive for plurality and diversity, giving as many people as possible access to the microphone in a democratic society. It is given even more importance at a time when we are suggesting to Government that ownership rules should be further liberalised for radio." Commenting on the practicalities of the proposal, Hooper said that although it was born out of the success of RSLs (Restricted Service Licences for specific purposes and special events) alongside hospital and student radio the existing structure was limited because little new analogue spectrum is available.
He therefore thought the bulk of such services would be unlicensed stations on cable and Internet in the early years but that from around 20005 the introduction of digital radio would bring a major opportunity to offer small-scale digital services.
Coupled with legislation for this, the authority proposed a Radio Fund to provide start-up and non-recurrent funding for access stations.
The details of this fund, which would require stations to attract matching funding from other sources, would have to be worked out with consideration of such ideas as individual subscriptions and pledges and business support - but not programme sponsorship -- as exists for US National Public Radio.
Hooper stressed that the idea was for it to provide "seed corn" funding so as to stimulate a large number of stations which would become self-sufficient.
However he also stressed that such stations would be banned from sponsorship or spot advertising since the authority believed strongly that "the historic British tradition of broadcasters competing for audiences not for sources of funding has stood us in good stead over many years."
Previous Hooper :
Previous Stoller :
UK Radio Authority web site
(has links to both speeches)..

2000-10-15: Licence news this week. And the main issues this week again are community radio in the guise of US Low Power FM and UK Access radio plans (See above).
The FCC has also released more spectrum for mobile communications.
In Australia and Canada, authority announcements were pretty well confined to telecommunications and television, in Ireland the main news was the churches decision not to apply for the medium wave "religious" radio licence for Dublin (RNW Oct 13), but the UK was quite busy.
In the UK the Radio Authority has received an application from TalkSport for renewal of its national licence which expires in 2003.
The application was made under 1996 legislation which permits an Independent National Radio (INR) licence to be renewed if the licensee's service is to be simulcast on the national digital multiplex.
As well as the £50,000 non-refundable application fee paid, the authority now has to set terms for additional payments by the station. These comprise a cash bid and a percentage of qualifying revenue (PQR) for the licence period and have to be commensurate with those which would be obtained if the licence were re-advertised and awarded to the applicant submitting the highest cash bid, although the authority is now stressing the PQR component.
TalkSport, then Talk radio, made a cash bid of £3,820,000 for its licence in 1994, a sum which inflation would now have brought up to £4,251,660. It currently pays 4% as its PQR as well as a £305,000 annual licence fee to the authority.
On the local licence side, the authority has renewed the local licence held by Q102FM for Londonderry in Northern Ireland and invited the sole applicants for renewal of the St. Albans & Watford area licence to re-apply for "fast track" consideration. This is St. Albans & Watford Broadcasting Co. Ltd., broadcasting as Mercury 96.6 FM.
The authority has also announced that next week it will advertise the digital multiplex licence for the Scottish city of Aberdeen and the surrounding area.
In the case of another local licence, that for Kettering, Corby & Wellingborough, the authority has received a declaration of intent to apply from two companies, one a renewal application from existing holder KCBC Ltd., broadcasting as Connect FM and will now re-advertise the licence later this month.
The authority has also fined Oxford station Oxygen FM £1000 for over-deviation (RNW Oct 11).
In the US, the FCC has also been involved in disciplinary action against stations. It has upheld a $7000 fine levied KRXK, Rexford, Idaho, over an incident following explicit discussion about her sex life with a woman who called the station's morning show.
It has also levied fines of $4000 each on stations in Dallas and Detroit then owned by AMFM for sponsorship violations.
They concerned an AMFM advert of the song "On a Day Like Today" which a former AMFM executive said he had been pushed into playing 14 times a week.
Under FCC rules the playing of the song should have been announced as paid for.
The FCC has also allocated for commercial wireless services 50Mhz of spectrum in the 3650-3700 MHz band, currently allocated for government use.
The action preceded an order by President Clinton for the US federal government to review and then auction wide swathes of spectrum controlled by government agencies and also by private companies as a precursor to plans to auction it in 2002.
The auction, for new services like 3rd generation mobile phones, would be expected to raise tens of billions of dollars for the US treasure as it already has for European governments(RNW Aug 19 and RNW April 28).
Some of the money, however, would have to go back to government departments and private companies to compensate them for moving their communications to spectrum which is currently under-used but is not suitable for such purposes as third generation mobile devices.
Previous Licence News
UK Radio Authority website:
FCC Web site :

2000-10-14: Mathew Bannister, currently BBC director of marketing and communications but better known for his axing of a number of famous presenters during his re-launch of BBC Radio 1 which aimed it at a younger audience, is to leave the corporation in mid-December.
BBC director-general Greg Dyke said in a statement that BBC Radio's current success was in no short measure down to the work he did, firstly - and famously - as the Controller of Radio 1 and subsequently as Director of Radio.
Previous BBC :
Previous Dyke :

2000-10-14: The Grand Ole Opry country music show, created as the WSM-AM show in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1925 is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend with a birthday show which will reach around three quarters of American states by radio as well as a much wider audience on the Internet.
For the first time the station's official web site,, will have live video streaming of the birthday show which will have as guest announcers US radio personality Casey Kasem and CBS Early Show co-host Jane Clayson.
According to a history of the show, it started when WSM announcer George Hay, credited with thinking-up with the name ``Grand Ole Opry,'' a play on a Grand Opera segment that preceded the show, asked a fiddler to play tunes requested by listeners.
Grand Ole Opry web site :

2000-10-14: More consolidation in radio on both sides of the Atlantic: In the UK the Wireless Group, which already holds a quarter of the shares of Wave 105 FM in Southampton is to paying £21 million to buy the rest, thus valuing the station at £86.5 million pounds.
And in the US, the seemingly insatiable Clear Channel is paying $11 million for four stations in New Hampshire near the border with Vermont. The four are WTSL-AM & WGXL-FM Hanover, WXXK-FM Lebanon, and WVRR-FM Newport.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous US Deals:
Previous Wireless Group :

2000-10-13: A US Federal Appeals Court has upheld a submission by the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio-Television News Directors' Association and thrown-out "fairness" rules which required broadcasters to give candidates a chance to respond to personal attacks and political endorsements.
The rules had already been suspended for 60 days by the Federal Communications Commission to assess the effect this would have (RNW Oct 7).
The broadcasters had claimed that the rules had a chilling effect on free speech and hailed the court order that the FCC to repeal the rules as "a tremendous and historic victory for the First Amendment rights of broadcast journalists ", saying it now gave broadcast journalists the same rights as their print colleagues.
FCC Chairman William Kennard and Commissioner Gloria Tristani both said they regretted the court decision to repeal the rules without the benefit of the further information that the suspension already in effect would have brought.
Commissioner Tristani in her statement said," The rules at issue have been part of the modern broadcast landscape for many years and have been both praised and attacked."
"The purpose of the rules has always been to ensure the American public is an informed citizenry, a goal fundamental to our democracy."
Previous Kennard
Previous Tristani :
Tristani Statement:

2000-10-13: Encapsulating its report in the effective headline, " goes bigfatbroke", the Sydney Morning Herald reports the demise of the internet venture fronted by a cast of former Australian Broadcasting Corporation Stars.
The station was launched earlier this year (RNW June 16|) despite the fact that dotcom problems were already becoming apparent.
Stating the obvious, co-founder Chris Gilbey told the paper, "If you have a business that is spending more money than it is making, it can't keep going."
He attributed the failure to the inability of advertisers to understand streaming media.
Financial backer Chris Coudoudanris said the venture had failed to attract a second round of funding. "There was nothing wrong with the business, it was just bad timing."
In the US, however, reports seem to be premature that a similar fate had befallen Feed the Monster Media, which is 17% owned by CBS and which runs eight online radio station operations for Viacom-CBS- Infinity radio operation.
For a short period its clients sites were replaced by a one-page message telling each station's listeners to contact the station's general manager>
The company said that it was in negotiations with investors, investment banking firms and potential strategic partners to raise new capital.
It said if it did not successfully conclude the negotiations it would suspend its operations. All the stations are now back on line.
Previous BigFatRadio :
Sydney Morning Herald report :

2000-10-13: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has been told that Bank of Ireland officials believed the company would be a lost cause if the advertising revenue of state competitor RTÉ was not capped.
Eamonn Gallagher, area credit manager with Bank of Ireland, told the tribunal that, "It didn't take much analysis to see that the losses were huge."
"Revenue down. Costs up. Everything going wrong."
The tribunal heard that five months after Century went on air in September 1989, the chief executive and marketing director had resigned, only 45 of the original staff were left and ten more were due for redundancy.
Gallagher said Century directors Oliver Barry and James Stafford continuously promised the Government would soon be enacting legislation to cap RTÉ's advertising, which was expected to divert some advertising spending towards Century Radio.
"It was the only window of hope," said Gallagher. "I'd say we would have considered it was probably a lost cause if it continued as it was."
Gallagher also said that after seeing the true state of affairs the bank sent a letter to Century on January 3, 1990, only a week after bank officials and Century directors had attended a meeting with then communications minister Ray Burke at which he had said he would be introducing legislation to cap RTÉ's advertising.(RNW Oct 8).
The cap was introduced later in the year but failed to stop the closure of Century in November 1991.
Still in Irish radio-land but concerning a more current licence issue, the Irish churches have decided not to apply for the medium wave "religious radio" licence for Dublin.
This has been advertised by the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission but the churches hoped to get an FM licence. The churches' radio consultation group. made up of representatives of Catholic and Church of Ireland representatives but which is also involved in discussions with the Presbyterian and Methodist churches, says it is still interested if an FM licence becomes available.
Iin the meantime will explore other ways of taking part in broadcasting, possibly with existing stations in Dublin.
Previous Barry:
Previous Ray Burke;
Previous Byrne
Previous Flood Tribunal;
Previous Stafford :
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:
Irish Times
--search page
(go for radio and October 2000)
2000-10-12: Conservative US radio -and now TV - talk-show host Dr Laura Schlessinger has taken a full page advertisement in the trade magazine Variety to issue a "heartfelt" apology to the gay community.
In the back page advertisement, she pegs her comment on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on which Jews reflect on their actions over the past year.
She continues, "While I express my opinions from the perspective of an Orthodox Jew and a staunch defender of the traditional family, in talking about gays and lesbians some of my words were poorly chosen."
"Many people perceive them as hate speech. This fact has been personally and professionally devastating to me as well as to many others."
"Ugly words have been relentlessly repeated and distorted for too long."
She then says she was one of the first talk hosts to take calls on-air from openly gay and lesbian listeners and ends by saying that she deeply regrets "the hurt this situation has caused the gay and lesbian community."
The apologies were rebuffed by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) whose director Joan Garry said the host was refusing to be held accountable for what she had said and has not promised to stop calling gays "deviant."
Criticism from gays andlLesbians has led to a number of major advertisers dropping the host's shows and the TV show, which started in September, has already had a break for re-working amidst poor reviews and low audiences. It has already been dropped by all the Canadian stations that had run it.
The apology is featured on the StopDrLaura web site but is not mentioned on the host's own web site.
Previous Dr Laura :
Dr Laura web site:
StopDr Laura web site :
Variety site (mentions advert but you need to subscribe to read full stories).

Next column

2000-10-12: Taking up the issue of Low Power FM which may yet be effectively emasculated or killed by US legislators, the Los Angeles Times issues a stirring defence of the plan.
It says that Federal Communications Commission chairman William E. Kennard has bent over backward to address big commercial broadcasters' concerns but their objections, on which they have spent some $19 million in lobbying, have been endless.
It cites as an example expert testimony that "in the absolute worst case" would affect existing station signals as a result of which Kennard agreed to require an LPFM shutdown when they cannot resolve the interference.
The broadcasters then came up with new objections.
The paper comments unfavourably on the three bills involved, "Senate Bill 2068 by Sen. Judd Gregg (Republican-New Hampshire) would bar the FCC from issuing any low-power FM licenses at all; SB 3020 by Sen. Rod Grams (Republican -Minnesota.) would severely restrict and delay new licenses; and SB 2989 by Sen. John McCain (Republican -Arizona) would give big commercial stations new rights to sue and collect punitive damages from any low-power station that interferes with their signal."
Of these it says," McCain's measure is the most mischievous. It doesn't specifically ban low-power FM, but effectively kills the idea by placing the burden of proof on the low-power stations, which obviously won't have the financial and legal wherewithal to withstand such court challenges."
The paper concludes," All of these legislators, and McCain particularly, have made election promises to return Washington to the people." "But in their attempt to defeat Kennard's plan 'to give voice to those ideas not always heard, but which many yearn to hear' these legislators have shown that the federal government remains too firmly in the hands of the powerful. Congressional leaders might help prove otherwise by spurning all three bills, allowing Kennard and the FCC to approve the community-oriented microstations."
Previous Grams :
Previous Gregg :
Previous Kennard :
Previous LPFM
Previous McCain :
Los Angeles Times article :

2000-10-12: UK Capital Radio is calling on the British government for tighter regulation of the BBC, including making the corporation comply with commercial radio ownership according to the UK Guardian.
The call, in a submission to the UK Department of Trade & Industry, follows a fall in UK radio stocks earlier this month after the BBC announced its plans for new national digital radio channels (RNW Sept 29).
Capital was particularly hard hit with its shares falling nearly 9% on the news.
The paper quotes Sally Oldham, strategy and development director of Capital Radio, as saying, "The BBC should be included in any measure of ownership legislation because it accounts for such a large share of this country's listening audience."
"We know it does not compete for revenue, but you cannot just leave it out there."
Capital wants "relaxation of ownership rules to allow growth"as the radio industry consolidates in ther UK.
It also wants government commitment to the switch to digital radio in which it has a large investment.
In February its chief executive David Mansfield called for a date to be set for the switch-off of analogue services to boost the take-up of digital services.(RNW Feb 14)
Previous Capital Radio;
Previous David Mansfield.
UK Guardian report :

2000-10-11: US Federal Communications Commission Chairman William E.Kennard seems likely to get more flak from the US broadcasting industry following a speech in which he proposed that broadcasters should pay fees for their use of analogue spectrum.
Although he only mentioned TV spectrum mobile companies have already paid billions for radio spectrum.
The suggestion was made in a speech "What Does $70 Billion Buy You Anyway?"delivered at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York.
Kennard noted the importance of broadcasting in people's lives as evinced by the seizure of Serbian television as the Belgrade demonstrator's first objective after they had taken the parliament.
Saying that the people of Serbia and South Africa could "could teach us a thing or two about recognising the critical importance of television and radio to democratic government", Kennard said that, "for fifty years, the solemn public interest commitment of broadcasters, borne of their role as public trustees of the airwaves, has deteriorated in the face of financial pressures and an increasingly competitive marketplace."
" Indeed, we reached a new low last week, when two of the four major networks - NBC and Fox -- chose to pre-empt the first debate of the most hotly contested Presidential election in four decades for sports and entertainment programming."
Referring to a "$70 billion" compact, Kennard said, "Unfortunately, in recent years, broadcasters have increasingly elevated financial interests above the public interest." "This is particularly galling because Congress recently gave the television industry even more spectrum to offer digital television - spectrum valued by some industry experts at over $70 billion dollars." "This gift to broadcasters stands in stark contrast to other users of the spectrum - like wireless providers - who have paid billions for licenses to use the airwaves. "
And in words that could equally apply to radio,Kennard said," Simply put, television should enhance our democracy."
"It should inform the electorate and facilitate the democratic process. It should serve the needs of our local communities and expedite democratic deliberation at the community level."
" It should empower our parents and educate our children." "Television should appeal not only to our wants as entertainment consumers, but to our needs as democratic citizens."
He then suggested," one of the best ways broadcasters could enhance democracy and the public interest in this digital era is by speeding up the transition to DTV and returning the valuable analogue spectrum to the American people."
Kennard went on to suggest that one way to push towards this would be for a change in rules so that all new television had to be digital after 2003 and broadcasters had to pay an analogue "spectrum-squatters' fee" which escalated annually after 2006 until they had returned this spectrum to the public.
RNW note: Bearing in mind the billions paid for mobile licences-and the billions paid for radio and TV stations - we might even regard a move of this kind as just retribution over NAB's opposition to Low Power FM. However we suspect all the speech will do is lead to even more heavy lobbying against the FCC.
Previous Kennard :
Kennard speech :

2000-10-11: The UK Radio Authority has fined Oxygen Fm, Oxford, £1000 for signal over-deviation.
The fine follows checks on July 26 of the station's signals, which were found to be outside limits allowed under the Authority's engineering code, thus increasing interference to other radio services.

2000-10-11: US Catholic Family Radio which started putting up its stations for sale in April and had ended most of its operations by June (RNW June 11), has now found a buyer for the first station to go from its eight stations for which it was hoping to get around $75 million.
It's to get $4.2 million from Colorado Public Radio for KKYD-FM in Denver.
The seven stations still up for sale are in Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Another Christian Network, however, seems to be doing rather better. The non-profit Educational Media Foundation is paying $16 million to Colorado Christian University for three Colorado stations -- KWBI-FM Denver-Morrison, KJOL-FM Grand Junction and KDRH-FM Aspen-Glenwood Springs-which will now become part of its K-Love Contemporary Christian network.
And in another deal, Good News Broadcasting is doing a swapl in Tucson, Arizona, with Clear Channel. Clear gains KGMS-FM to add to its existing two FMs in the area and Good News will get $2.9 million plus KCEE-am, one of Clear Channel's two AMs.
Previous Catholic Family Radio;
Previous Clear Channel :

Previous US Deals

2000-10-10: The UK Guardian reports on the plight of Capital Radio in Harare, one of two stations that closed down last week following a presidential order banning independent broadcasting.
The other station, FM100, closed its facilities pending an appeal against the order but Capital was forcibly closed when police forced their way into its studios and removed equipment.
Both stations had only been on air just over a week following a ruling by Zimbabwe's High Court that the state's broadcasting monopoly was unconstitutional because it breached rights to free expression.
This decision was then overruled by an order from President Mugabe, which outlawed private broadcasting without state approval.
In Zimbabwe, the ruling party tightly controls the state television channel and four state radio stations, and in many poor rural areas state radio is the only source of news.
The High Court has subsequently ruled that the police raid was illegal an ordered the country's police chief and his deputy to appear in court to explain why they breached an order forbidding them to raid the Capital radio.
The court also ordered the return of Capital's equipment but as the Guardian reports, this hasn't happened.
It reports that the mainly-white directors of Capital, led by Gerry Jackson, whose house was also occupied by police, had owned a shell broadcasting company since 1996 but did not broadcast because it was an imprisonable offence to own a transmitter.
That changed after a black businessman successfully opposed the ruling and was able to set up a mobile phone company and Capital rode on the tails of the earlier decision to get the ban on private broadcasting overturned.
A transmitter was brought in from South Africa and Capital went on air, broadcasting music.
Then it put out its first news and current affairs programme at the beginning of October, a move which the Guardian reports seemed to have prompted the government to act.
It quotes Jackson as saying, "In Zimbabwe, radio is the only medium that reaches rural areas," Jackson explains. "It was the rural vote that stopped Mugabe getting thrown out at the last election. We wanted to set up a soft-rock music station, but we also wanted to provide independent news. Once we started reaching the rural communities, it became clear to the government that they couldn't keep transmitting lies to the electorate so they had to do something."
UK Guardian report :

2000-10-10: US giant Clear Channel still hasn't lost its appetite for more deals; it's now revamped a deal with Nassau Broadcasting which was to have given it $30 million in cash for WEEX-AM and WODE-FM Allentown, Pennsylvania to instead end in Clear paying Nassau $12 million but get four of Nassau stations.
The stations Clear will now acquire are WNNJ (AM), WNNJ (FM), WSUS (FM) and WHCY (FM), all in Sussex, New Jersey.
In addition Clear has a $2 million option to obtain the Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) and option to acquire two more channels, WTSX (FM) and WDLC (AM) in Port Jervis, New York.
Clear Channel has also been buying in debt left from two of AMFM's predecessors, Chancellor Media and Capstar. Clear had to offer to do this as part of the acquisition of AMFM.
It has now paid out around $240 million for several of Chancellor's notes.
So far, however, holders of Capstar securities, which pay 12.65%, have been hanging on to them.
Another large US radio company Emmis Communications has now announced completion of its previously announced acquisition from Sinclair Broadcast Group of six St. Louis radio stations for $220 million(see RNW June 24) .
It's also completed its ' swap with Bonneville International Corporation of four EMMIS' St. Louis station in exchange for KZLA-FM, Los Angeles.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Emmis:
Previous Nassau:
Emmis web site;
Nassau web site;

2000-10-09:A rather disappointing week for radio columns, not helped by the absence from the UK Times of Peter Barnard's Saturday column nor indeed by the seeming inability for the UK Observer to make its Sunday radio column available on the Internet (it may be there but if so was well hidden when we checked).
A pity in both cases as Barnard was invariably worth a read and in her Observer column this week Sue Arnold makes some good points about another area where radio has advantaged over TV.
Arnold compares a history series currently on British TV and Christopher Lee's award winning "This Sceptred Isle" on BBC Radio 4.
As Arnold says, "History on radio is more subtle in every sense."
She points out that the radio version of the Battle Hastings was "definitely better on radio" because it " gives you all the facts while still allowing your imagination to work."
Arnold continues," History works on radio because it's not confined to or by visual images. It's also the perfect platform for opinion, which is, after all, what make sit so interesting."
In the UK Sunday Times, Declan Burke, after reviewing some drama programmes turns to some of the realities of Ireland and in doing so touches on some important general issues.
One of these is the individual's right to protection against exploitation or prurient public interest. In this instance a newspaper editor was pilloried by radio show callers about his paper's "lurid and insensitive coverage" of a Kilkenny murder.
On the other side of the coin, was an instance in which the Irish Minister for Justice was pursued by the media after his ministerial car was stopped for speeding.
The persistence of a radio reporter resulted in the Minister, whose wife and children had been improperly using his official car, into making repeated apologies and admitting responsibility.
As Burke says, in itself this was "a nothing story, but as it concerned a public representative misusing public property, the public had a right to know the details."
Still in a sense on public interest as opposed to just what the public wants, Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post takes up the audience and financial ratings pressures which have led Washington Public Radio Station WETA-FM to cut back on its classical music output.
Ahrens writes, "Perhaps the justifications hold merit: that public radio listeners have demanded more news; that folks driving home at night want news and not music, certainly not classical music; and that classical music listeners aren't the best pledge donors. "
The move is part of WETA's shift from being a classical station to a mixed format one combining classical music with news and talk.
In WETA's case the station which last year dropped its morning show in favour of US NPR (National Public Radio) "Morning Edition" has now trimmed music in the evenings when it is cutting back on NPR's classical music show "Performance Today" in favour of a simulcast of the audio from the Public Broadcasting Service evening television show.
News shows on public radio are the largest pledge-getters and that may also be a factor in other pressures on public radio in the US to increase its news and talk output, an issue dealt with in the current edition of "Current Magazine" which reports on a push for midday public radio changes.
And on a different but much more commercial tack, Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column reports that Steve Dahl's position as afternoon host on WCKG-FM may be under threat.
Feder says sources have said that Jonathan Brandmeier has been offered a five-year multi-million dollar contract to move back to Chicago and take over the slot when Dahl's contract expires in July next year.
Dahl's relations with the Infinity-owned station hit a low in April when the host "resigned" over a week's suspension(RNW April 19), a resignation which was later rescinded.(RNW April 26).
Brandmeier has been hosting middays for WCKG-FM from Los Angeles since 1998.
The cynical note at RNW is to wonder how far this is another "contract negotiation" ploy: Time will tell.

Previous Ahrens
Previous Arnold;
Previous Brandmeir :

Previous Burke
Previous Columnists :

Previous Dahl

Previous Feder :
Ahrens Washington Post column:
Burke Sunday Times column :
Feder Sun-Times Column :

2000-10-09: The Chicago Sun-Times, in a report by Bobby Reed considers the dilemma of country music's relationship with radio noting that mainstream country stardom needs to attract mainstream radio yet risks losing its core audience if it goes too far along the line of pop-oriented music.
Looking at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show on October 4, the article takes bluegrass musician Larry Cordial and pop diva, Faith Hill as representatives of the ends of the spectrum.
Cordial, along with Larry Shell, wrote "Murder on Music Row," a scathing critique that lambastes Nashville for abandoning traditional country sounds, and his fans say that the quest for wider success has polluted country music.
Hill, at the other end of the spectrum, his having huge success and her fans say that this helps to pull in new listeners who have not historically been fans of country music.
In Nashville itself, WKDF-FM, Music City 103, has been ruffling feathers by incessantly playing "Murder on Music Row" and by polling listeners to see which industry figure "killed" country music, as the song describes.
Its station's chief competitors are WSIX-FM, WSM-FM and WSM-AM, home of the Grand Ole Opry live broadcast.
WDKF, which was a rock station for two decades until its 1999 format switch to "Today's Best Country and the All-Time Country Legends" is second placed in Nashville in most demographics according to program director Wes McShay.
He says it plays roughly 40 percent current hits, 40 per cent recent gold and 20 per cent classic gold hits from the 60's to 80's. WKDF morning host is Carl P. Mayfield, who gained popularity as an afternoon jock at WSIX and instigator of the "Murder on Music Row" movement.
He began playing the song after Shell delivered a tape of the song, which won the Country Music Association award for best song, to WKDF.
Chicago Sun-Times

2000-10-09: Despite attempts by the Vatican to claim diplomatic immunity for its radio station in a northern suburb of Rome, three executives from Vatican Radio look likely to face trial over harm its emissions have allegedly caused.
Investigations were started after complaints from residents of Cesano, which is near the Vatican's antennae at Santa Maria de Galera. Investigations showed a higher incidence of tumours and leukemia than average and electromagnetic energy in the area was three times the legal limit. (RNW April 23).
Italy has no specific laws on electromagnetic radiation so the three -- Vatican Radio's president, director-general and technical director - - are to be charged with "dangerous throwing of things."
Previous Vatican Radio :

2000-10-08: Licence news this week. A little busier than recently with Low Power FM topping the agenda in the US as the lobbying has intensified as the current session of Congress draws to an end (RNW Oct 7).
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has invited applications for new commercial licences for Melbourne and Gosford in New South Wales.
The reserve price for the Melbourne licence is Aus$500,000 and for Gosford is Aus$100,000.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has rejected two bids on behalf of AD Communications, a company to be incorporated, for new English language low power FM stations in Ontario.
Both were for pop, rock and dance" music format, one at Kapuskasing, the other at Timmins and the commission in its decision said that it felt that the budgets proposed would not be enough to produce programming of an high enough quality.
The commission has also rejected an application by Golden West Broadcasting to change its frequency and move the transmitter for its new FM station in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, to on Global Communications Limited's television tower at Disley, Saskatchewan.
The move would have saved around $10000 in construction costs but the Commission said the change would not have extended coverage within the Moose Jaw market but rather would have improved the signal to Regina and Lumsden, within the Regina radio market.
The change was opposed by HDL Investments Inc., licensee of CKRM and CHMX-FM Regina, who argued that the proposal was essentially an application for a Regina radio station.
Among other applications listed by the commission is one by Radio-Classique Montréal Inc. to allow CJPX-FM Montréal a second Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel for 168 hours of programming per week comprising 161 hours of programming in Creole and 7 hours in French originating in Haiti and Montreal.
In the UK the Radio Authority is to double its fees to applicants for analogue licences from the start of next year and increase the annual analogue licence fee for both local and national licences by 3%.
For a new FM licence in an area covering 4.5 million adults or above, the application fee will now be £21,500 and for a national analogue licence it will be £100,000.
The authority has also announced the award of the digital multiplex licences for Central Scotland and Northern Ireland.
That for Central Scotland has gone to Switchdigital (Scotland) Ltd which was the sole applicant.
Switchdigital which is owned by amongst others the Wireless Group, Clear Channel International and Capital Radio, is proposing eight commercial services; it will also carry the BBC Gaelic radio service for Scotland, Radio Nan Gaidheal.
The Northern Ireland licence has gone to another sole applicant, Score Digital Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings. Score is planning nine commercial services; it will also carry the BBC national regional radio service, BBC Radio Ulster.
The authority is also pre-advertising two local FM licences, those for the Isle of Wight, currently held by Isle of Wight Radio Ltd, and for the Tendring area of Essex, currently held by Audio Management Ltd., broadcasting as Dream 100 FM.
Concerning applications, the authority has announced that it received two applications for the new small-scale Independent Local Radio licence for Kendal and Windermere in Cumbria.
They are from Lakes Fm (Carlisle Radio Ltd.) which proposes a service of personality radio with hits and oldies, news and information and Mint Fm (Westmorland Radio Ltd.) proposing a mix of popular music from the past forty years plus a substantial information service.
In addition th authority has called for public interest comment concerning an application for the new West Midlands regional licence from Variety FM Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Media Group plc.
This is necessary as regulations prohibit the award of a licence to a national newspaper group who has a national market share of 20% or more unless it can be shown that the licence would not be expected to operate against the public interest in terms of such factors as diversity of ownership and variety of information sources.

Previous Licence News
ABA website :
CRTC website ;
FCC website;
UK Radio Authority website:

2000-10-08: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial broadcasting licence to Century Radio has heard testimony from broadcaster Gay Byrne on why he turned down a million-pound offer to join Century.
It's also heard from a retired Bank of Ireland senior official about his reaction to a 1989 meeting with the then minister for communications, Ray Burke, and promoters of Century.
Byrne, as the star witness, added glamour to the proceedings but little new in terms of information.
He said that he did not want the responsibility on his shoulders of ensuring the success of Century Radio with his own programme.
Byrne added that he began to doubt the viability of the operation as a national licence-holder and felt that too much store was being placed in having his name.
He thought they would want an extraordinary delivery of listeners and when eventually he did not succeed in that he would get the blame.
The tone of evidence from Joseph Maguire, general manager of the Bank of Ireland in 1988-89, was in a different league.
His bank was pressing Century over its debts when he, along with two other bank officials, was invited to a meeting with Burke.
Maguire said the minister gave them a broad assurance of his commitment to independent radio in general and Century in particular and spoke of capping the advertising income of state broadcaster RTÉ.
"He left us in no doubt that his commitment to Century was strong," Maguire said, adding that never before had he been given assurances by a government minister over a particular client or over legislation.
Previous Ray Burke;
Previous Byrne
Previous Flood Tribunal;
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:
Irish Times
--search page
(go for radio and October 2000)
2000-10-07: Radio Business Report says that 54 Senators have now signed up to oppose US Low Power FM plans, increasing the chances of being apple to attach the Senator Rod Grams bill requiring third adjacent channel protection to an appropriations bill.
The commercial radio industry organisation, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), has been lobbying strongly against Low Power FM.
And in another action against the Federal Communications Commission, NAB has joined with the Radio- Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), to as a federal appeals court to end "fairness" rules that require them to give candidates a chance to respond to personal attacks and political endorsements.
The rules were already out of action as the FCC suspended them on October 4 for 60 days to assess what effect this would have before the year 2000 US elections.
The FCC wants stations to give it information at the end of the period on the number of political editorials run compared with previous election cycles and also concerning complaints about personal attacks.
The two broadcasters' organisations, however, want the rules scrapped completely as they say they have a "chilling effect " on free speech and deter stations from broadcasting editorials. Under the two rules concerned, one requires TV and radio stations that endorse a particular candidate have to give an opponent free rebuttal time and the other requires them to provide air time for a response when they have been attacked on the air.
Previous Grams
Previous LPFM:

2000-10-07: The Walt Disney Company appears to have escaped a complaint from US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson over its role in a radio promotion called "The Black Hoe" which ran on its KLOS-FM radio station in Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson decided not to file a complaint after Disney promised to settle two lawsuits stemming from the promotion on the "Mark & Brian Show" two years ago.
In the promotion, build around a double meaning involving the slang pronunciation of "whore", the station gave away black, plastic gardening tools -"Black Hoes" as prizes.
Three former black women employees had launched lawsuits against Disney, saying the promotion had the "conscious aim and intent of providing racially offensive, sexually charged entertainment for its primarily white male listening audience and advertising clients."
Disney at first said the lawsuits were without merit and that it would fight them in court but in August the Times reported that it had offered $2 million to settle one of them while continuing to fight the other two.
Jackson then told the company that his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition was considering lodging a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and just before the end of September it agreed to pay a settlement of $1.5 million.
There was a meeting this week with Rainbow/PUSH officials at which Disney apologised over the promotion and said it would police future content on the station.
It refused, however, to fire any of the executives involved in overseeing the promotion or the show hosts Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps. Their programme is a significant money-maker for KLOS, which the paper estimated, bills around $30 million a year in advertising.
Los Angeles Times report:

2000-10-06: The Flood Tribunal hearings in Dublin into the award of the country's first national commercial radio licence in 1989 to now-defunct Century radio, has been told by a consultant that then Communications Minister Ray Burke was described to him by Century co-founder Oliver Barry in a bar conversation as "the minister who is going to give us our licence."
The testimony, given by Professor Ray Hills, former general manager of the UK Independent Broadcasting Authority's Consultancy Services engineering division, was rebutted by Barry's counsel who said his client was "absolutely adamant" he had not made the remark.
Hills said that at the meeting in the bar, someone said the next round was his and, when he asked Oliver Barry who he was Barry said, "'That's Mr Burke, the minister who is going to give us our licence,' or words to that effect."
Hills admitted in answer to a question from James Connolly SC, counsel for Century's co-founder, James Stafford, that there could have been a note of sarcasm in Barry's remarks.
Professor Hills also told the tribunal that he had urged Century's principals to explore every possible avenue for reducing costs through hard-nosed negotiations with RTÉ, including ministerial pressure, if necessary.
He had strongly criticised RTÉ's capital cost projections for the proposed commercial radio station and believed the best option was for himself as technical adviser to sit down with RTÉ's head of engineering to see what "padding" could be eliminated from these projections.
Because the new equipment to be purchased would have a useful life of 20 years, he had argued that the cost should not be borne entirely by Century as the first franchisee whilst RTÉ had stipulated it must be paid for within five years.
Hills also said he was broadly in agreement with the rental figure of £375,000 a year submitted by Century in its application.
Counsel for RTÉ, Paul O'Hagan SC, admitted that over-manning at RTÉ was a factor in the figures it prepared but said that was a fact of life and reflected the true cost of the only service available unless Century had elected to set up its own service.
Due to give evidence to the Tribunal today is Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne, who turned down a £1 million offer to join Century and opted to stick with RTÉ.
He has already told tribunal lawyers that he was promised Century would be "a licence to print money."
Previous Barry;
Previous Ray Burke;
Previous Byrne
Previous Flood Tribunal;
Previous Hills
Previous Stafford;

RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:
Irish Times
--search page
(go for radio and October 2000)
2000-10-06: Satellite radio plans in the US continue to progress with Sirius Satellite Radio announcing successful completion of in-orbit testing of its Sirius 2 satellite and XM Satellite Radio announcing a whole swathe of staff appointments.
The latter include the that of ABC Radio Networks executive Steve Harris as Vice President, External Programming in which role he will supervise all content provided by XM's brand-name programming partners, including BBC World Service and BBC Concerts, CNN/Sports Illustrated and CNN Financial Network, Bloomberg, Hispanic Broadcast Corporation and C-SPAN Radio.
Earlier this month XM announced eleven more programme and music directors. They will work on XM's adult alternative and progressive, alternative, blues, classical, classic country, jazz, reggae, 60's and 90's channels.
On the satellite front, Sirius has also said that it expects to launch Sirius 3, the final satellite in its constellation, in November. Later this month to have a revised date for the delivery of Sirius 4, its ground spare satellite.
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM :
Sirius web site:
XM web site :

2000-10-05: Senator Rod Grams bill on low power FM in the US now has 52 backers, adding even more weight to the lobby against the idea.
LPFM backers are now in a last minute fight before the 106th session of congress closes and seem to be putting hope in action from Arizona Republican John McCain.
He had put forward his own bill (RNW Oct 1)which would have allowed a go-ahead with monitoring against interference but that bill died last week.
However as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, McCain could still block the Grams' bill.
Previous Grams:
Previous LPFM:
Previous McCain :

2000-10-05: And still the deals go on in the US.
Giant Clear Channel has come up with two more deals, subject to regulatory approval.
They are a $35.5 million deal to buy McCoy Broadcasting's ten stations and a $32 million deal for seven Ohio stations from Ashland Broadcasting.
On the block from MCoy are KPAY-AM, KMXI-FM and KHSL-FM, in Chico, California, KPNW-AM, KODZ-FM and KDUK-FM in Eugene, Oregon and KCCY-FM, KDZA-FM, KGHF-AM and KCSJ-AM in Pueblo, Colorado.
The Ohio sale comprises WNCO-AM and WNCO-FM in Ashland, WGLN-FM in Galion, and WWBK-FM in Fredericktown, WBZW-FM in Loudonville and WMVO-AM and WQIO-FM in Mt. Vernon.
And in another deal involving Clear Channel, Cumulus, which is now headquartered in Atlanta, has announced the closing of its deal with Connoisseur Communications, a closing on some sales to Clear Channel and an agreement and initial closing of a swap and cash deal with Clear Channel.
The Connoisseur deal was a $259 million cash purchase of 35 stations (see RNW July 27 ).
It was funded through receipt of $69 million from the second part of its asset exchange and the sale of 30 stations to Clear Channel.
Cumulus is also in a swap under which it transfers 45 stations to Clear Channel for four stations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and $52 million cash, $15 million of which has now been paid. Following the Connoisseur deal, financially-troubled Cumulus whose stock recently fell below $4 from a high of $55, has sold four stations received in the Evansville, Indiana, marke.
It has also agreed to sell five of the stations in the Muskegon, Minnesota, market.
After all transactions, Cumulus which is the second largest owner by number of stations in the US, will have 224 stations in 47 midsize and smaller U.S. markets
.In Texas, Entravision and First Broadcasting are doing a swap under which Entravision gains KXGM-FM Muenster, a Class A station with permission to upgrade to Class C.
In return First Broadcasting gets just under $19 million in cash plus KRVA-FM & KRVF-FM.
And in Idaho, Horizon Broadcasting, whose founders include its CEO Bill Ackerley, the former President and COO of The Ackerley Group, has put together a deal to buy five stations from FM Idaho Co.
Stations involved are KTPZ-FM, Boise/Mountain Home, KMXM-FM," Boise/Gooding, KIKX-FM, Twin Falls/Ketchum, KTFI-AM, Twin Falls and KMHI-AM, Mountain Home.
Horizon was formed with the stated intention of acquiring small- and middle-market radio stations in the western United States; it will begin operating the stations immediately under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA).
Another mid-sized market player, Citadel Communications, has announced that it has now completed its acquisition of eleven stations from Dick Broadcasting. Citadel has arranged credit and borrowings to pay for the deal; they comprise a fully-drawn $200 million loan, a $325 million multi-draw loan facility to finance permitted acquisitions up to December 15th this year, and a $225 million revolving credit facility. After the acquisition of Dick's stations Citadel will have some $80 million of credit left available.
In a smaller deal, Blaze Broadcasting Corp is selling KSFX-FM and KMOU-FM, Roswell, New Mexico, for $1.25 million to Roswell Radio Inc.
And yet another group, Saga Communications, is following the trail of Hispanic Broadcasting (RNW Sept 29) in committing itself to more buy-backs of stock while prices are low.
Saga has now upped its buy-back commitment from $4 million to $6 million.
Previous Citadel :
Previous Clear Channel
Previous Cumulus :
Previous Entravision
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting
Previous Saga:
Previous US Radio Deals :
Citadel News release:
Cumulus news release (has all stations involved)
2000-10-05: Following on the BBC announcement of five new BBC radio channels (RNW Sept 29) concerning which the BBC is now seeking public comment, the UK Independent profiles Jenny Abramsky, director of BBC Radio. In a laudatory article she is described as "is passionate about radio" and a woman who does not resort to waffle or evasions.
The paper quotes her on changes made in 1999 as saying, "In that first year of changes, there were quite a number of programmes that weren't good enough."
"The quizzes were terrible, as were some of the new comedies. The Today programme wasn't good enough, particularly the first half-hour and last half-hour. But Radio 4 has now improved no end."
The paper describers Abramsky as, "widely recognised in the corporation as a powerful and effective force whose regime could stabilise BBC radio after some years of ill-received changes, and restore the faith of many alienated programme makers."
Previous BBC:
Previous Abramsky :
UK Independent report;
BBC news release re consultation.

2000-10-04: US National Public Radio (NPR) has not moderated its opposition to Low Power FM (LPFM) plans in the US according to an AP report in various US newspapers.
According to the report NPR says it is still concerned about interference affecting radio-reading services for the blind, although the FCC has now said it will allow third adjacent channel protection where such services exist until further tests are carried out (RNW Oct 1).
The FCC also agreed to limit LPFM when there are threats to NPR relay stations about which NPR has also expressed concern.
The AP report quotes NPR President Kevin Klose, as saying, "We need a guarantee of protection. It's just common sense to prevent the problem before it begins."
FCC chairman William Kennard reacted with dismay, saying that NPR seemed to want a monopoly in public broadcasting.
He said their demands would make it virtually impossible to create LPFM stations, this denying more diversity in the airwaves.
"I can only conclude that NPR does not want to find a way for these new stations to exist, " Kennard said.
"Who is it that said that NPR should have the exclusive monopoly on public radio in this country?"
RNW note: Having ploughed through the whole 78-page FCC report (see link below), it does seem to us that the opponents to LPFM are hot on protecting their vested interest but slow on coming up with convincing evidence or rational argument against the FCC case.
Politicians and money being what they are in the US we fear for the future of LPFM and rather cherish the wild dream that at some stage the public could take the whole airwaves back from current holders and put them up for auction with proper reservations for non-commercial public interest outlets.
It will never happen but what a lovely thought is some of the over-greedy were to lose everything once every so often!

Previous Kennard :
Previous Klose :
Previous LPFM:
AP report in Los Angeles Times:
FCC report (345kb Acrobat PDF file).

NAB site
( links to NAB's case against LPFM):

NPR site (search for LPFM):

2000-10-04: Radio and Internet Magazine has come up with another well-thought out piece of monitoring and analysis, this time concerning advertising breaks in US radio.
It monitored the Howard Stern Show on WCKG, Chicago, and says it found commercial breaks running more than 15 minutes in duration and also containing more than 35 commercials in a row.
RAIN carries a table of one 18minutes 48 second section of the show with 39 monitored items in a row, one a station ID, one a Stern read, another a Stern promo and 36 commercials, although 19 of these were 10-second spots sold in a deal with a local beeper company's service.
It then speculates whether such long runs of commercials might have something to do with a decline in radio ratings in the US
. It also queries whether such activities could spell opportunity for Internet radio which doesn't have the same limitations for commercial breaks (RNW July 14 ).
RNW Note: From our point of view we would certainly say it could as we would need considerable payment to stay listening to commercials for five minutes solid never mind nearly 20. If you have comments either E-mail us or send feedback to RAIN (link below- go to Oct 3rd issue for their item and comments form).
RAIN web site:

2000-10-04: The Chicago Tribune reports the death aged 74 of Al Parker, a former Chicago radio broadcaster who also spent more than 50 years at Columbia College where he was chairman of the radio and sound department.
Born Alexander Pavloff, Parker's first radio experience was with US Armed Forces Radio during the Second World War.
After the war he worked at WIND and WJJD in Chicago as well as being a charter member of the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications.
He launched WCRX-FM as a training ground for Columbia students, saying experience was one of the best teachers.
In 1963 he joined WBKB-TV, later WLS-TVB, and was an announcer there for 26 years
Chicago Tribune obituary:

2000-10-03: According to Radio Business Report the Rod Grams bill to require third adjacent channel protection for low power FM stations now has a majority.
It says Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has become the 51st senator to co-sponsor the bill, thus enabling it to be tacked on to a bill which is not likely to be vetoed by President Clinton.
A requirement for third adjacent channel protection would significantly reduce the number of LPFM stations which could be licensed.
Previous Grams:
Previous LPFM :
RBR site :

2000-10-03: Shakespeare has often been modified to modern times and new locations; now the BBC is to do the same with Chaucer.
To mark Chaucer's 600th anniversary, the corporation has commissioned 21 British writers to produce stories inspired by the Canterbury Tales.
The new travellers meet and tell their stories in a motorway service station and the UK Sunday Independent quotes Kate Rowland, the BBC's head of radio drama, as saying, "The question of how they met was the key - the concept of pilgrimage now has changed so we spent a long time thinking about a suitable setting for the stories."
"Eventually we decided on a service station in the Midlands, which, after all, serves as a place where everyone has to stop, regardless of money, race, belief or class."
One writer, Barrie Keeffe, who wrote the film The Long Good Friday, said he had never been able to understand Chaucer at school but added, "now I'm old - 56 next month - I suddenly absolutely love him. Read it out loud - it's meant to be spoken."
He wrote his Shepherd's Tale inspired by a conman he met when he spent three months working as a host at the (UKMillennium) Dome to escape the isolation of being a writer.
Lin Coghlan, who recently held writing workshops for women prisoners, used the experience to write The Good Woman's Tale, about a kind old lady who loses her mind when a half-way house for ex-offenders opens in her street.
UK Independent report

2000-10-03: After Dr Laura Schlessinger whose TV show is in trouble with weak ratings and few advertisers, another US radio host's attempts to diversify into other media are in trouble for different reasons according to the New York Times.
This time it's advice guru Dr. Drew Pinsky who dispenses advice to teens on his nationally syndicated radio show ``Loveline'' and on MTV. He's the victim of the current squeeze on dot.coms and his Dr site, which three months ago had 70 employees is down to six. The paper quotes's CEO as saying the site is likely to be sold. Pinsky himself, a practising physician who has been giving advice on sex, health and relationships for 17 years, said, "We're caught in this unbelievable downdraft."
Previous Dr Laura :
New York Times/AP report

2000-10-02: With the Olympics in mind, we couldn't resist starting this week's columnists with a quote from Declan Burke in the UK Sunday Times. "Was that a starting pistol that began the Angelus on Thursday? No?"
" Oh well, more disappointment, then. RTÉ went for a defensive formation in Sydney with the functional reportage of Des Cahill, Con Murphy and Greg Allen anchoring Jimmy Magee's occasional forays into passionate commentary."
" Their concentration on Irish prospects meant the reporters were reduced to combing their thesauruses for variations on "disappointing" during their cheerleading for the underachieving Irish squad."
It rather reminded us of two German businessmen who, when Graf and Becker ruled the tennis world, were frank enough to admit they'd rather watch the worst game in the world when of their heroes won than the best with neither of them playin..
And whilst on the attitudes of sports fans, a little later Burke gives his paper a plug and looks at the idea of a "clean Olympics", writing, "Lacking the strength in numbers of RTÉ's Sydney squad, Eamon Dunphy and David Walsh, the Sunday Times sports writer, put the boot into the notion of a drugs-free Olympics on The Last Word (weekdays on Ireland's Today FM)." "Claiming a conspiracy between the International Olympic Committee, corporate sponsors and television programmers was behind the whitewash, the pair set out to reveal what they see as the sordid reality of the games. " Burke concludes, "What The Last Word had to say about the Olympic games and drug taking by some athletes might not be palatable. "
"But it is ironic that the national broadcaster did not take issue with the flawed nature of the Olympics while a commercial station deployed its meagre resources to fly in the face of public opinion."
While in other worlds, a valuable but little noted facet of radio in a UK Guardian column by David McKie entitled," A radio cure for insomnia."
He refers to sleeplessness when you can't get to sleep at all and then the kind when, having fallen asleep, you subsequently wake at some ungodly hour and cannot get back to sleep.
"Some people," McKie writes, "rely on music, either from Radio 3, which nowadays runs through the night, or from tapes designed for the purpose. The trouble with Radio 3 is that programmes are not designed to benefit insomniacs."
He then ruminates on the problems with various channels - "you can't risk Classic FM because of the ads"… … but more value in the BBC World Service although even that has it downsides "Some of the news in the small hours is so intriguing you almost forget that you're trying to sleep."
" One night while trying this method I picked up a report of a presidential election, somewhere in central Asia I think, where the challenger's only contribution to the debate was to draw attention to his utter inadequacy and to urge the nation to vote for the incumbent, which is what he would be doing himself. Even Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister), parading contrition, never asked us to vote for Hague (UK Opposition leader). "
" There are other hazards. Where a previous World Service regime was ruthlessly set on eliminating extraneous music, banishing much-loved signature tunes to some kind of Bush House Siberia and even threatening Lilibulero, the present one seems intent on infiltrating the odd quirky blast of orchestra in between items on Newshour."
"What is more, some pleasantly soporific debate on the state of Latvian agriculture will suddenly be replaced by a blast of Robert Robinson in your ear as he launches another session of Brain of Britain."
RNW note - E-mail us if you have candidates for the role of guaranteed soporific radio!
Having digressed a little into different worlds, on to another one and a glorious opening to another UK Sunday Times columnist, Paul Donovan, who writes, "Tramps have their own show west of the Rockies, and last night it came here."
" Loafer's Glory - now there's a laid-back title for you - goes out every weekend on Nevada City's tiny community station, KVMR, high in the Californian Sierras."
"A charismatic hobo called Utah Phillips, who describes himself as a "rapscallion, storyteller, folk singer and tramp", is the host. In his programme, syndicated to other stations in the American west, he regales his diaspora of listeners with tales of how Burl Ives made $1m from Big Rock Candy Mountain, a tramps' anthem that, long ago, Ives apparently appropriated, expurgated and popularised. " "Snippets of Loafer's Glory were included in A World In Your Ear, a monthly Radio 4 treat for Saturday evenings."
"There were also extracts from an Australian station that blends heavy metal music with a disgusting sci-fi serial called The Flesh Eaters; examples of internet-only stations such as India's Musicurry; and a savage exchange from Radio 702 in Johannesburg in which the presenter, the former Irish rugby international John Robbie, lost his temper with South Africa's health minister over the sensitive topic of Aids, and eventually slammed the phone down on her, which makes the occasional tantrum on the Today programme very small beer indeed.
" One need not have the slightest interest in any of these people, or programmes, to appreciate the value of A World In Your Ear. "
"Both the fact of its existence and the remarkable nature of its content make one realise just how much we take for granted when we switch on the radio in Britain, and how rich a variety of radio life flourishes elsewhere on the planet"
Donovan then muses on the way things are taken for granted and the value in opening our minds to other traditions and ways of doing things.
He then concluded his column on the latter theme but in a different vein.
"And for those who would have taken it for granted that, even on Radio 1, a presenter would not feel the need to reveal she was too lazy to buy lavatory paper and was now using kitchen roll, Tampax and a dog's blanket instead - well, obviously they were not listening to Sara Cox on Radio 1 last Monday."
"Everywhere you turn, radio is just full of surprises."
Beat that for an ending if you can. We couldn't so decided to pass on other less inspired columns this week.

Previous Burke:
Previous Donovan;

Previous Columnists :

Burke column :
Donovan Sunday Times column :
McKie Guardian column

2000-10-02 The expansion of FM radio in India is set to continue according to the Times of India which says the government is to allow private cities in 60 more cities in addition to the 40 cities where private stations are due on air by December.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley meeting Telugu film industry representatives in Hyderabad, said the expansion would offer tremendous opportunities for the country's music industry.
And the change o emphasis in Indian radio is leading to a plethora of applications to become DJs according to another article in the paper.
All India Radio (AIR), in Lucknow received 1500 applications within a week and has been auditioning an average 40 candidates a day for the past month according to station director Satish Grover.
Many of them however do not seem well qualified for the job.
According to K. K. Srivasatava, the assistant station director who is in-charge of the FM channel , some do not even know what DJ stands for, although most fail because of faulty diction, grammatically incorrect scripts, lack of fluency in both Hindi and English, and poor voice modulation.
However the perceived glamour and fame associated with the post is attracting applicants from a wide range of occupations including architects, doctors and teachers as well as members of groups and university students.
In another article, the paper profiles Vinod Advani, who it calls, "one of the finest radio jockeys (RJs) the nation has seen." Advani, who has been on the airwaves since 1984 is on AIR FM twice a week and credits the Beatles for starting him on his path. "I began my career as a music critic thanks to the magic of their lyrics and melodies, " he told the paper. Advani attracts an audience ranging from the youth to the elderly with a mix of anecdotes, interviews from heads of state to drug addicts, music and advice and says radio's greatest asset is that it allows people to think whilst listening. "You can carry the radio anywhere, dream and imagine so many things, which you cannot otherwise do in front of the TV," he adds.
Previous Indian Radio report:
Times of India on more FMs :
Times of India on DJ's:

Times of India on Advani :

2000-10-01: Licence news this week. A very quiet week with little of real note anywhere apart from the publication by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of full details of its new memorandum on low power FM which included some concessions to blunt the lobby against LPFM (RNW Sept 24 ). For more on this see today's fuller story.
Elsewhere nothing of note in Canada or Ireland and not that much elsewhere.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a change in control of Radio Plus B.M.D. inc., licensee of radio programming undertaking CJAN Asbestos.
It's also published notices concerning various licence applications. These include the application by Radio Blanc-Sablon Inc to renew the community broadcasting licence of CFBS-FM, which has transmitters at Middle Bay and Rivière Saint-Paul,Quebec.
There are also notices concerning licence amendment requests to increasing the power of CJBB-FM Englehart, Ontario, from 17 to 1,600 watts which would result in a change CJBB-FM's status from a low power service to a regular Class "A" FM station, and from Rogers Broadcasting Limited to increase the power of CJMT-FM Canmore, Alberta, from 360 to 510 watts.
In the UK the Radio Authority has published notice of a request by The Channel Tunnel Group Ltd, ), broadcasting as Channel Travel Radio, to revoke its licence. The service had been under threat for a while (RNW Aug 31l ) and, according to the UK Radio Magazine, ceased broadcasting at midnight on September 27 without telling the authority first.
It had been on air for five years of an 8-year licence.
The authority has also now published its assessment of the award of the new licence for Dumbarton, in west central Scotland, to Castle Rock Fm Dumbarton Ltd (Licence News Sept 10)
Previous Licence News;
CRTC Website ;
FCC web site;
UK Radio Authority web site:
UK Radio Magazine :

2000-10-01: The FCC has now released its full document on its latest thinking on Low Power FM, 78 pages long giving details of its thinking concerning interference and also including personal statements by three commissioners and FCC chairman William E. Kennard. To take the latter first, Kennard is upbeat concerning the prospects for LPFM.
He notes that they have now received nearly 1200 applications and says he is confident that by the end of the year, "Low Power FM Radio service will provide wonderful opportunities for schools, churches, and other local organisations to use the public airwaves to make their voices heard."
Kennard notes that the FCC had changed LPFM rules so as to allay some concerns and would not now licence stations on 3rd adjacent channels where there were stations carrying radio reading services.
Backing for his stance and support for LPFM comes in a separate statement by Commissioner Susan Ness who notes, regarding National Public Radio concerns about its relay stations, that the new procedures whilst not foolproof, provide "significant safeguards that the promise of a new innovative service from LPFM stations will not deprive the public of the benefits of current FM public radio services.
Commissioner Michael Powell, in his statement, re-iterates concerns but expresses support for the aim of giving "greater voice to narrower interests."
He says that the changes made in terms of complaints procedures where interference is reported are a move in the right direction but says he continues his dissent as regards the possible economic implications for small stations of LPFM's introduction .
Commissioner Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth continues his dissent, particularly as regards the question of interference.
He says, "the Commission continues to forge relentlessly ahead on this issue, notwithstanding the expression of substantial congressional disapproval of its approach to the creation of this service and the serious interference questions for existing broadcasters and their listeners that remain unresolved to this day."
In its technical documentation, the FCC goes into considerable details concerning the question of interference and particularly deals with the concerns expressed by National Public Radio.
Regarding the concerns about radio reading services, it notes that the special radios that receive these signals from sub-carriers are more vulnerable to interference than ordinary receivers and also that because they are designed to be low cost they are also less selective; for this reason, it says, it will not licence LPFM stations on third adjacent frequencies (600khz away) until further tests are completed.

However the FCC rejects other submissions concerning interference by NPR and also by other organisations about interference.
In particular it says that laboratory tests of receivers, as traditionally carried out ,are most suitable as a form of assessment because they allow precise determination of the effect of both the receiver and the propagating transmitter.
"We compared receiver performance to the same desired-to-undesired (D/U) protection ratios that we have traditionally used in managing interference between FM stations, says the FCC.
"We continue to believe that this is an appropriate approach for assessing the interference potential of low power FM stations."
It further notes," In evaluating receiver performance, we did, however, find that the ITU-R Recommendation 641 50 dB S/N criterion used by NAB and the 45 dB S/N criterion used by CEMA were not appropriate criteria for today's FM radio service."|
" In making this determination, we observed that the majority of the radios tested by NAB did not meet its 50-dB criterion with no interference present and with the strongest level of desired signal."
The FCC notes that the wide range of receivers , the locations in which they are used, and the kind of listening for which they are used impose different constraints in different circumstances.
It says that NPR's contention that "public radio stations are particularly vulnerable to interference because their signals typically use minimum "loudness" processing to preserve the natural dynamic range" (i.e. classical music needs range whereas pop needs noise) is counterbalanced because "it is generally necessary to use a higher quality receiver, such as a home stereo system, in order to actually experience the broader dynamic range audio provided by these stations.
As indicated by the various receiver tests, home stereo receivers, car radios, and other high fidelity FM receivers generally are also able to adequately reject signals on third adjacent channels at the levels to be transmitted by LPFM stations."
It also says," For example, we examined the potential for interference in the immediate vicinity of a 100-watt LPFM station using the NAB's median receiver performance test results for its three "worst" performing FM receiver categories, i.e., clock, personal and portable, and found that the area where such receivers could potentially experience degradation from interference is small, generally one kilometre or less from an LPFM antenna.
In its document, the FCC also notes that the protection it is planning would only allow 10 watt LPFM stations in some areas because the spectrum is already so crowded there that "there are no available FM channels for LP100 stations in a number of major markets."
Other broadcasters complaints are dealt with in similar detail as are requests by LPFM advocates that less protection is needed for existing broadcasters, thus permitting more LPFM stations , that LPFM stations themselves should be given protection from interference where changes are approved to the licences of existing full power broadcasters, and also that 1000 watt LPFM stations be allowed in some areas.
The essence of the FCC case is put reasonably concisely in one section of the report which says LPFM is not in conflict with existing services but is " a complementary way to serve the needs of communities within a mature broadcast service. It is grounded on the success of the Commission's licensing policies and is designed to efficiently match the little spectrum that remains with the demonstrable demand for locally based programming."
" We conclude that an efficient, limited complaint procedure fairly balances the interests of incumbent broadcasters against the benefits of fostering a new and different kind of radio service."
RNW Note: although not technically qualified to give an expert viw of the FCC paper, we find it much ore impressive thanNAB's case against LPFM. The latter to us is higher in hype, the FCC better on detail and logic. If any of you do feel competent and have the time to go through the whole FCC paper (link below) do E-mail your comments.

Previous LPFM;
Previous Furchtgott-Roth:
Previous Kennard;
Previous Ness;
Previous Powell:
FCC report (345kb Acrobat PDF file).

NAB site ( links to NAB's case against LPFM):
site (search for LPFM):

2000-10-01:In a story reminiscent of a case in the US earlier in the year, the BBC has agreed not to lift stories from the Ipswich Evening Star newspaper.
According to the UK Press Gazette which led on the story, the newspapers lawyers had threatened the BBC with a lawsuit for breach of copyright after a story about a woman police constable's sex discrimination case was settled and the newspaper's story was put on the BBC's television text service, Ceefax, without giving any credit.
In the US case, the American Journalism Review reported that the Toledo Blade had filed a lawsuit under the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act against local radio station, WSPD-AM, for "pirating" stories without attribution.
In the Toledo case, the newspaper alleged that the station used substantial portions of newspaper articles without credits and the morning host even used the slogan "I Read the Blade So You Don't Have To."
That case led to a number of US newspaper articles concerning broadcasters "lifting" items from print sources, replete with digs suggesting that the broadcasters were merely "parrots."

Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem. Regarding external links, we give links where we can but some newspapers and stations only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA). Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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Sep 2000 Nov 2000

RNW October Comment
Following on our September comment on Internet audio looks at the potential of two other new technologies, digital and satellite radio.
E-mail your comments

RNW September Comment
Will the Internet ever really matter for radio?
E-mail your comments
2000-10-31: The BBC has confirmed that its governors have approved plans to move its radio news services back into Broadcasting House in London which is also to house BBC World Service staff from Bush House and network TV journalists who will move there from their existing base in White City. (RNW Oct 17)
Architects MacCormac Jamieson Prichard have been appointed to design the new Broadcasting House complex which will house some 4000 journalists and support staff.
It will incorporate the existing BBC HQ building - which dates back to 1932 and is a Grade II listed building - and a new extension.
Adjacent BBC offices built in the 1960s, Egton House - former home of Radio 1 - and 16 Langham Street, will be demolished and redeveloped.
The decision is a U-turn for BBC managers, who moved radio journalists out of Broadcasting House just two years ago as part of BBC director of news Tony Hall's drive to create a bi-media TV and radio news operation. It was opposed at the time by high profile journalists such as Radio 4 Today show presenters John Humphrys and James Naughtie and also by then BBC managing director of network radio Liz Forgan who last week broke her silence on the move which she said wasted £41 million pounds licence payers' money.
In an article in the UK Guardian, she was quoted about a meeting where she clashed with Hall over the move.
"I said it was inimical to pluralism and the integrity of each radio station's distinctive sound, that White City was a mad place to site the Today programme. It was also obvious - even before a brick was laid - that the site was far too small,"
Hall responded by saying that building the news centre was not a costly mistake.
He added," The idea was to bring all the BBC's network journalists together, as most other broadcast news organisations have done. Up to that point the BBC's journalists had been five miles apart……… No one is talking now about splitting up the BBC's journalists again."
The redevelopment is to be funded through a joint venture the BBC is to set up with a commercial partner to manage its property portfolio.
Previous BBC ;
Previous Humphreys
BBC News release :
Forgan comments-UK Guardian
Hall response - UK Guardian:

2000-10-31:Two more veterans of US radio, soap-opera writer Charles J Gussman and news broadcaster Edwin J Kane have died.
Gussman, who was 87, wrote for such radio serials as "The Road of Life," "The Right to Happiness" and "Young Doctor Malone." They were among the top-rated programmes in the early 1950's, when daytime drama serials termed "soaps" because they were sponsored by soap companies attracted peak audiences. Gussman, born in Kansas City, Missouri, worked as an announcer for various radio stations after having to drop out of the University of Missouri for financial reasons during the 1930's depression. When television overtook radio in the late 1950's, he moved over to TV soaps including early episodes of "Young Doctor Malone" which had also been moved over to. Kane, who was 76, was born in Massachusetts, began his broadcasting career in Newport, Rhode Island, after graduating from Boston University. He moved into television in 1953 but in 1967 started anchoring newscasts on ABC radio and then moved to the AP network as anchor of their hourly newscasts from 1974 to 1980. After his retirement he co-produced and announced AP Radio's' "Home Front" until 1998.
Gussman obit in New York Times; Kane obit by AP in New York Times;

2000-10-31: Star TV, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, has been accused of trying to gain entry to Indian radio by the "back-door" through a deal with a company in the Ispat group.
The deal is with Music Broadcast, which has called its FM Service Star Radio.
Star TV denies the allegations and says the agreement, to be signed within a month, will simply involve Star in handling Music Broadcast's advertising sales and providing content for a fee.
There has also been criticism of Ispat's use of the Star Radio name since the government had prohibited the use of established brand names for FM broadcasters.
Only Indian-registered companies can hold radio licences in the country.
Previous Indian Radio:

2000-10-30: Thoughts on differences between the UK and USA to start this week's columnists. Stephen Armstrong in the UK Sunday Times comments on the New York scene and says, "It's easy to take the commercial radio industry's line that all is well in New York and we could learn a lot from our American cousins."
"And yet all is not well. Last year, two of New York's longest- surviving radio stations switched format, just like that."
"There was no ownership squabble and no regulator involvement - just an overnight change of programming policy. "
"WNEW was the radio station that invented the rock FM format back in the 1960s, and it's been broadcasting to New York ever since."
"The management got cold feet about the success of Howard Stern and were caught up in the rabid quest for shock- jock talk that is sweeping America. "
"Thus, it was goodbye music and hello opinionated ranting. For a lot of New Yorkers, this has meant that new guitar music has been taken off the airwaves for good."
"As has, almost unbelievably in the town he immortalized, Frank Sinatra. American popular standards station WQEW has dropped its Sinatra and Tony Bennett music policy, and is now part of the Disney radio network, pumping out Donald and Mickey to kids and their parents. "
In Britain, Armstrong continues, "At the moment, (UK) radio stations are bound by a Promise of Performance, which dictates the kind of output the station should adhere to."
"Failure to live up to this promise - which the radio stations write themselves - can result in a heavy fine or even the loss of the licence."
"The big players in the industry have been pushing for this promise to be waived and have pointed, not unreasonably, to the BBC's ability to change the output of its stations at will without any penalty from anyone."
"But the commercial radio watchdog, the Radio Authority, in its submission to the DTI, has expressed its fear that services will tend towards the bland and points to the death of local radio across much of America."
And from the Chicago Sun-Times, two views of radio that could be said to put it in its place, albeit from very different perspectives.
In one, columnist Robert Feder passes on some comments from Roy Leonard who stepped down 2 years ago after 31 years as host and entertainment authority at WGN-AM, hasn't been back to the station since and says there's "nothing" he misses about not being on the radio.
Leonard says, "The truth is, I don't miss having to sit through bad movies. I don't miss having to be patient with phone calls from listeners that upset me. I don't miss having to hold back when I disagree with them. And I don't miss getting up at the crack of dawn."
Leonard also commented on one privilege he cherishes, that of not wearing a watch, about which he says, "I'll put one on if we're out and I have to be somewhere at a certain time. But basically, I don't wear one anymore."
"For a guy who lived and died by the clock, it's a pleasure."
In the other Sun-Times column, Paige Smoron (a name to believe) starts off by writing, "I do not ordinarily listen to sports talk radio, for the simple reason that I don't like sports" but then goes on to give some reasons why supporting sport may be acceptable but that "actually listening to sports talk is another--a very bad, ugly thing."
A flavour of the reasons is given in excepts such as, "One gentleman phoned in to comment that a player "throws a nice ball," but the conversation was largely negative."
"One suburban caller complained that the Bears performed so badly that everyone--the city, the nation, even, presumably, God--should boycott the team."
"Then there was the fellow who called to ask the hosts if they thought this Bears coaching staff would have been able to win with the '85 lineup."
"The discussion on this entirely imaginary situation took up about seven minutes."
"Jim Miller couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a banjo," concluded one of the hosts. "We'll be back after this." RNW Note: All of which suggests a certain lack of inspiration on the station concerned and reminds us of an English newspaper column which transcribed a commentary on a soccer game which went along the lines of name professional commentator after commentator talkling about a goal.
In effect all made almost the same pedestrian comment, "A passed to B who kicked it to C in the centre who headed it into goal."
Only four were cited but it made the point of the potboiler output which is so common in sports -and the fact that, by comparison, inspired commentators such as the late John Arlott on cricket deserved a "Nobel" prize for their phraseology.

Previous Columnists:
Previous Feder :
Armstrong UK Sunday Times column

Feder Chicago Sun-Times column:
Smoron Chicago Sun-Times column:

2000-10-30: Worcester, Massachusetts, rock station WAAF-FM continued its history of controversy at the end of last week when it pulled afternoon team Rocko and Birdsey off the air when they refused to stop airing what they had said were confessions which had been taped secretly in a local Catholic church.
The broadcast outraged the Boston Archdiocese whose spokesman told the Boston Herald ``If the confessions are real, I cannot believe any individual would violate the sanctity, confidentiality, and intimacy of the confessional."
" Such people would be beneath contempt. I can't imagine any responsible media outlet would play such a thing."
"It may be we're talking hate crime if it is true. It certainly is a hateful act even if it is a scam.''
WAAF-FM 's programme director said the tapes were false, ``theatre of the mind'' but a priest's call during the broadcast made him realise how some people were upset and offended by the tapes.
They purported to involve someone with a serious gambling habit, a father who physically abused his child, and a 28-year-old wife who was having an affair with a 55-year-old father.
When the duo refused to stop playing the tapes he tool them off the air for the final 90 minutes of their 3-7p.m. shift.
Among other incidents involving the station was one in April 1999 when Rocko and Birdsey when they fooled boxing promoter Don King into believing a call they made was from ex-heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. They were suspended for the call.
In 1998, their predecessors, Opie and Anthony, were suspended and then fired after an April Fools' Day ``prank'' announcement that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino had been killed in a Florida car crash.
Boston Herald report :

2000-10-30: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio resumes on Tuesday with Gerry O'Brien, finance director of state broadcaster RTÉ, scheduled to resume giving evidence.
He has already said last week that Century Radio co-founders James Stafford and Oliver Barry were "shocked" and "dumbfounded" to be old at a November 1988 meeting that RTÉ wanted to charge £1.14 million for transmitting its signal.
The two rejected the proposal "out of hand" he said but he insisted that RTE was "padding" the figures although it was charging a margin.
Later the figure was reduced to about £600,000, was further reduced in March 1989 to under £400,000 by order of the then Minister for communications, Ray Burke.
O'Brien said that Century was the only one of the four bidders for the licence to approach RTÉ about transmission facilities.
Others testifying to the Tribunal last week included Stafford's accountant Tom Moore who testified that around the time that Century was awarded its licence in February 1989 he was told that Barry wished to make a cash payment to Burke.
This contradicts earlier evidence by Stafford who told the tribunal in private in May that he first heard of the May 1989 £35000 payment earlier this year when he read newspaper reports of the tribunal proceedings.
In September (RNW Sept 26 ) Stafford said he first heard of the payment in March 1991 from Barry.
Moore said of the payment, "I think by implication and with the benefit of hindsight that it was effectively some sort of a bribe."
In other developments connected with the Tribunal, former Fianna Fáil TD (Member of Parliament) Liam Lawlor is still considering an appeal against the High Court's decision to order him to appear before the tribunal. (See RNW Oct 19 ).
Previous Barry
Previous Ray Burke
Previous Lawlor :
Previous Moore :
Previous Stafford :
Previous Flood Tribunal
RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:

Irish Times
--search page
Look for Flood Tribunal

2000-10-29: Licence news this week.
And the main news has to be the success of the commercial broadcasters' lobby in the US in their fight against Low Power FM radio plans.
As we reported (RNW Oct 28), the Senator Rod Grams' bill which would require third adjacent channel protection and thus severely curb the number of stations has been attached as arider to an appropriations bill.
The bill, however, has yet to be passed and could for other reasons be vetoed by President Clinton.
In Australia, community broadcasting is doing rather better.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has invited applications for a total of 12 community radio licences in Victoria.
Three are Melbourne-wide licences, six are for the Melbourne sub-metropolitan areas of Bacchus Marsh, Camberwell, Melbourne City, Sunbury, Waverley and Werribee, and two are for Geelong and one for Colac.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has also been active in terms of low power stations.
It has issued public notices concerning a whole swathe of applications in Ontario from Celestial Sound for licences for stations to carry the programming of CHIM-FM Timmins, a Christian music service.
They are for 1.3-watt transmitters in Chapleau, Elliot Lake, New Liskeard and Wawa and a 50-watt transmitter in Sault Ste. Marie.
Also in Ontario, the CRTC has approved a power increase for the Rogers Broadcasting station CHYM-FM Kitchener from 74,000 watts to 100,000 watts.
In Vancounver, the commission has issued a notice about the application by Fairchild Radio (Vancouver Fm) Ltd to amend the licence of CHKG-FM Vancouver to allow it to use an existing Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel to distribute a Punjabi-language service in place of a defunct Korean-language service.
In Quebec the CRTC has renewed for 21 months the licence of CKRS Chicoutimi.
The short term follows a period when the station failed to meet its licence obligations concerning the broadcast of French-language vocal music.
The station has had a history of problems and in 1998 its licence was renewed on a short -term basis because of complaints received about on-air comments.
It was taken over in January by Astral Communications Inc. (now Group Radio Astral) which has now taken steps to try and prevent a repetition of the problems.
The commission has also approved an application for a new French-language AM radio station at Saint-Nicolas in Quebec.
The proposal for an AM licence was made because there was no FM frequency available for use in the Quebec area and the applicant added that with the closure of many AM stations, it would be able to acquire transmission equipment at a more-than-reasonable price and, thereby, reduce its capital costs.
The service proposed is all to be produced locally and comprise country music together with regular newscasts during the morning rush hour, at noon and in the late afternoon.
However the CRTC refused a licence amendment request by Genex Communications Inc. to relocate the transmitter of CKNU-FM Donnacona from Donnacona to Val-Bélair, to decrease the station's effective radiated power, and to end a licence condition prohibiting CKNU from soliciting advertising outside the Portneuf area.
The crux of the refusal was that the request would effectively allow the station to compete in the Quebec market whereas the original licence, issued to La Coopérative du Courrier de Portneuf, gave a mandate to provide the first truly local service in Portneuf,.
Genex took over the station in 1998, at which time the station was unprofitable, but Genex agreed to provide for Portneuf by broadcasting local news, public affairs and community service programming.
However, the commission noted, Genex has provided no reporter on location to cover local events in Portneuf.
It also noted that the licensee acknowledged that it has not made a sufficient investment in developing a distinctive product that would attract a Portneuf audience, and felt that that this, together with the competition from Québec stations, might account for the low listenership levels of CKNU-FM.
The CRTC has also re-issued its election guidelines in view of the Federal General Elections due on November 27th.
They define limitations on paid political advertising to be made available by broadcasters, rates for such advertising, political parties rights to pre-empt other advertisers and so on. In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
In the UK the Radio Authority has issued its timetable of local radio licences due to be re-advertised next year.
In most areas digital spectrum will be allocated in the areas concerned and where a company is providing a digital service on a 'relevant' local multiplex renewal will be automatic.
There are four cases from areas where no digital spectrum has been allocated and where there has to be a re-advertisement.
These are two from Northampton, Northants 96 and Classic Gold 1557, where licences will be pre-advertised in January and two from Gloucester, Severn Sound and Classic Gold 774, where the re-advertisement will be in February.
In the case of the other licences, where re-advertising will depend upon the station securing space on the relevant digital multiplex , the authority has published a list of the earliest pre-advertisement date to apply should a licence holder not secure such space.
The licences affected, starting from the earliest, are:
North-East FM (Century 100 -Dec 2000);
Severn Estuary FM (Galaxy 101 -Jan 2001);
West Midlands FM (100.7 Heart FM) and Birmingham FM (Galaxy 102.2), both in February;
North-West FM (Jazz FM 100.4), Manchester FM (Galaxy 102), Aberdeen AM (Northsound Two) and Aberdeen FM (Northsound One), all in March;
Greater London AM (Ritz Country 1035), Greater London AM (Spectrum Radio), Luton/Bedford AM (Classic Gold 792/828) and Luton/Bedford FM (Chiltern FM) and Brixton FM (Choice FM ), all in April;
Southend/Chelmsford AM (Breeze 1359/1431) and Southend/ Chelmsford FM (Essex FM), both in May;
Ayr AM (West Sound AM) and Ayr FM (West FM), both in June;
Bournemouth AM (Classic Gold 828) and Bournemouth FM (2CR FM), both in July;
Dundee/Perth AM (Tay AM) and Dundee/Perth FM (Tay FM) and Exeter/Torbay AM (Classic Gold 666/954) and Exeter/Torbay FM (Gemini FM), all in September; Bradford FM (Sunrise FM) in October;
Peterborough AM (Classic Gold 1332) and Peterborough FM (Hereward FM), both in November.
In the case of London, should Ritz Country 1035 and/or Spectrum International Radio fail to secure spectrum on the third Greater London digital multiplex licence, the re-advertisement of their licences will be brought forward to be concurrent with that of the other two Greater London AM licences (Premier Christian Radio and Liberty Radio).
Neither of these can qualify for automatic renewal as the licence holders are religious bodies.
The authority has also announced that it has received only one application for the re-advertised licence for High Wycombe where it offered the option of an AM licence as now or two FM licences focussing on the towns of High Wycombe and Amersham.
Existing licence holder Radio Wye Ltd which currently broadcasts on 1170AM as Eleven Seventy, has applied for FM licences under the new name. Swan FM.
The authority has also re-advertised the Kettering, Corby & Wellingborough licence where there was expression of interest following the pre-advertisement from current licence holder KCBC Ltd., broadcasting as Connect FM. and one other party.(Licence News Oct 15).
The authority is also seeking public interest comment on the application by Westmorland Radio Ltd. (Mint FM) and another applicant for the new local FM radio licence for Kendal and Windermere.
Westmoreland Radio is owned by CN Group Ltd, which also owns The Bay whose Morecambe Bay signal overlaps that of the new licence. )
Previous Grams:
Previous Licence News
CRTC website ;
UK Radio Authority website:

2000-10-29: Arbitron's latest webcast Ratings -for August --show an impressive percentage increase in listeners over July's ratings.(RNW Sept 19)
Internet-only NetRadio which then took half of the top ten spots, this time took seven.
The remaining three places went to UK Virgin Radio which topped the July ratings, in second place, KNAC Pure Rock, in seventh place, and WABC-AM's streaming channel, in ninth place.
Top ranked NetRadio's 80's hits had aggregate tuning hours (ATH) of 311,600 compared to the 235,100 which gave Virgin top place in July.
Arbitron has also said that it had some errors in the July ratings which it has now corrected on its site.
The corrections increase the aggregate tuning hours (ATH) of eleven of the lower-rated channels -- Global Media's Kool Hits channel, WOKQ-FM, ABC Radio Network's Tom Joyner program,, Christian Pirate Radio, WBLS-FM, Global Media's The Edge, One-on-One Sports, KBLX-FM Global Media's Innercity Soul channel, and WBLM-FM.
In August, below the top ten most channels were again further music channels and news/talk/personality.
For August, a little more variety came in with KLTY-FM at 19 the top rated religious channel, then NetRadio's - Celtic ethnic channel at 32 and One-On-One Sports at 47.
The August top ten were
1 NetRadio - 80s Hits(Contemporary Hit Radio) ATH 311,600
2: Virgin Radio (Hot Adult Contemporary)ATH 264,800
3: NetRadio - Vintage Rock (Classic Rock) ATH 264,400
4: NetRadio - Hits (Contemporary Hit Radio) ATH 263,400
5: NetRadio - Smooth Jazz (New AC (NAC)/Smooth Jazz) ATH 257,600
6: NetRadio - The X (Alternative) ATH 254,800
7: Pure Rock (Album Oriented Rock) ATH 254,500
8: NetRadio - Quiet Classics (Classical) ATH 208,400
9: WABC-AM (News Talk Information) ATH 194,100
10: NetRadio - Route 1 (Country) ATH 179,300.

Previous Arbitron web ratings:
Arbitron web site;
Audio Web sites:
NetRadio ;
Virgin Radio

2000-10-28: The commercial broadcasters lobby in the US has won the latest round of its fight against Low Power FM radio.
It has succeeded in its campaign to get Senator Rod Grams' bill which would severely curtail LPFM attached as a rider to the appropriations bill covering the State, Justice and Commerce departments.
Th eattachment of Grams Bill was passed by the Senate 49-42 on Friday and by the House 206-198 on Thursday, but the appopriations bill itself has still to be passed.
President Clinton, who in a letter urged lawmakers to drop the measures against LPFM, has threatened to veto the appropriations bill for other reasons mainly because of provisions on immigration, tobacco litigation and other issues.
The votes were not enough to over-ride a veto.
The move has been attacked by Federal Communications
Commission chairman William E. Kennard who commented that public interest should always prevail over special interests. The LPFM measure is only one of a number which lobbies have been pushing.
Also attached to the appropriations Bill is a provision which would offer satellite, cable and wireless companies $1.25 billion in federal loan guarantees to transmit local TV signals too rural areas, a move criticised by the Consumers Union as looking for taxpayer support to provide services which the companies should already supply.
Another measure being pushed is one which would allow ATT, the largest cable operator in the US to hold on to cable assets it must otherwise shed by next year under conditions set by the FCC when the company bought cable giant MediaOne.
Previous Grams:
Previous Kennard
Previous LPFM
New York Times report:
Washington Post report:

2000-10-28: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has cancelled National Affairs, its quarter-hour satire broadcast on Fridays on Radio One's This Morning.
The executive producer killed off the show, which was in its fourth season, after she had scrapped two consecutive episodes.
According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, CBC spokesperson Ruth-Ellen Soles said that it had featured "inappropriate episodes" and a decision to end it was made because of "irreconcilable editorial differences."
The paper says the show's creator and writer Jason Sherman told them he had "yet to hear an adequate explanation for the cancellation" and asked who the episodes had been thought to offend.
In the show a fictitious panel of political pundits discusses the day's major events.
The first of the two episodes which was killed featured a discussion on the death of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and at one point mocked the avalanche of praise for him.
The second episode dealt with the fallout of having the Trudeau episode dumped.
Soles said the Trudeau episode had mocked Justin Trudeau, the former Prime Minister's eldest son, at a time when all Canadians were mourning his father.
"To do that at that time was inappropriate," she said.
The second episode, she added, was cancelled because the audience would have had no idea what the panellists were talking about.
National Affairs has regularly had portions excised over the years and in May an entire episode was scrapped by the then executive producer following a discussion about the Walkerton E-coli tragedy, in which the right-wing panellist on the show suggested that the epidemic proved it was time to privatise Ontario's water supply.
Sherman resigned at the time but later withdrew his resignation.
Previous CBC:
Toronto Globe and Mail (search for radio and date).

2000-10-28: The Angolan radio journalist Antonio Paciencia, whose body was found floating in the River Zambezi earlier this month, committed suicide according to the government.
Paciencia, an editor of "Radio National De Angola", disappeared in Zambia's western province after attending a workshop for southern African journalists organised by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

2000-10-27: Italian junior Foreign Minister Umberto Ranieri has said that radio reporter Antonio Russo, whose body was found on a country road, 25 km outside the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, just under two weeks ago, may have been killed for political reasons.
Russo had been bludgeoned to death and his Tblisi apartment was subsequently found to have been ransacked.
Possessions including a mobile phone, laptop computer, video camera, video reports and documents were missing.
Ranieri responded to a parliamentary question by saying that Georgian police authorities had offered Italy total co-operation and Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had described the death as "rather strange".
He added, "One of the paths taken by the investigation is linked to the fact that the journalist was collecting documentation re the Chechnyan crisis, some of which might have been very controversial and which, if published, could have had serious repercussions."
Russo ,a veteran of frontline reporting who chose to stay in the Kosovan capital Pristina after the NATO bombing began, had been covering the guerrilla war in Chechnya for Radio Radicale, the station closely linked to Italy's Radical Party.
Radio Radicale's web site includes Russo's graphic war reporting, including a filmed report on the Chechnya war.
Radio Radicale web site:
TV (News Talk has a tribute to Russo) .

2000-10-27: More US radio results as third quarter figures are published and the drop in advertising bites for many companies.
As a result of the recent Internet stock meltdown, analysts estimate radio advertising growth has halved from the 18 percent of the first six months of 2000.
Things are expected to even tougher in the final quarter whose figures are up against last-year's pre-Christmas boom.
Against the general trend, the Spanish language networks gained little advertising so should weather the downturn better and the two giants Clear Channel and Infinity, majority owned by Viacom, had already indicated that they would beat analysts expectations.
The biggest of them all, Clear Channel says it now operates 1,120 radio and 19 television stations in the United States and has equity interests in over 240 radio stations internationally; it reported its best third quarter ever with record net revenues of $1.6 billion, up 98% over the third quarter of 1999.
The quarter's results received a massive one-off boost of $805.2 million gross, $499.2 million net of tax through gains on radio stations it had to sell off to gain regulatory approval of its take-over of AMFM.
After-tax cash flow, which excludes non-recurring items, was $338.9 million, an increase of 55% from the third quarter of 1999.and diluted after tax cash flow per share was $0.72 compared to $0.60 for the third quarter of 1999, an increase of 20%.
Attributable EBITDA (net revenue less operating expenses and corporate expenses (including non-consolidated affiliates)) was $493.2 million, a66% increase over the same quarter last year and net income was $448.9 million, compared with $1.5 million in the third quarter of 1999.
Radio is Clear Channel's largest operating segment, and its net revenues, which now take in AMFM, increased by some 48%
Infinity also delivered on its forecast. Its third quarter revenues were up to $1.03 billion and net income was $111 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $111 million, or 13 cents; radio revenue was up 13% to $541 million.
Parent Viacom showed a net profit of 2cents a share compared to expectations of a net loss of the same amount for the quarter.
Mid-sized marker broadcaster Citadel by comparison failed to meet expectations and its shares slumped, almost halving in value.
At one time they were at $8.25, their lowest level since they were first on sale to the public at $16 in 1998.
The company reported a net loss applicable to common shares of $11.2 million, or $0.30 per share for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.09 per share, in the third quarter of 1999.
Citadel net revenue was up by 55% to $78.2million and broadcast cash flow was up 65% to $31.3 million but on a same-station basis revenue and broadcast cash flow were up by only 1% to $43.5 million and $17million respectively.
The company's statement says," Modest revenue and BCF growth was due to lower-than-expected September sales, including national sales which were significantly below expectations, and an unusually high level of cancellations of September bookings."
For the nine months to the end of September, the figures were better with net revenues up 57% to $192.5million and BCF up 73% to $73million whilst on a same-station basis net revenue was up 8% to $103.5million and BCF up increased 14% to $39.3 million.
Saga Communications revenue was up 6.7% to $25.5millon and BCF up 8.85 to $10.6million; On a same station basis revenue was up 2.7% and BCF up 5.2%.
Saga, which has not had much advertising, said it hadn't had many September cancellations.
XM Satellite Radio, which has recently demonstrated its prototype receiver and tested its custom chips (RNW Oct 20), showed a third quarter operating loss of $28 million, more than three times its loss for Q3, 1999. Net loss was $20 million.
XM's first satellite is due to be launched in December by Sea Launch.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Citadel:
Previous Infinity:
Previous Saga;
Previous XM:
Clear Channel web site :
Citadel web site :
XM web site :

2000-10-27: Former late-night US radio host Art Bell, who in April announced that he was retiring from public activities (RNW April 3), has now settled a lawsuit concerning suggestions that he had been charged with child molestation.
In fact Bell's son had been raped by a high school teacher, now in jail for his crimes.
Bell, whose role as host of the syndicated Premiere networks show, Coast to Coast, was taken over by Mike Siegel, says in a statement on his eponymous web site, now used by the show, "On May 15, 1998, Mr. Bell filed a defamation suit in the Circuit Court for Davidson County, TN against Mr. Gunderson, his guest Mr. Hinkson and Radio Stations WWCR and WNQM."
"Mr. Gunderson and the ownership of WWCR have apologized to Mr. Bell and his family for the statements made by Mr. Hinkson…… Upon receipt of this apology and previous retraction, Mr. Bell, agreed to a confidential settlement releasing Mr. Gunderson and the radio station."
"Mr. Bell looks forward to putting this matter behind him and moving on with his life."
Previous Art Bell :
Previous Mike Siegel :
Notice on Art Bell web site :

2000-10-26: As we write, Low Power FM may have finally come to a vote in the US Congress, but since Congress has voted to stay in session on Thursday there may be a little more delay yet.
It's not clear either whether Senator Rod Grams has managed to attach his bill requiring third adjacent channel protections to the appropriations bill for the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce.
Anticipating that he may, LPFM supporters have written to President Clinton calling such a move to attach a rider "anti-democratic" and concluding, "Beyond the specific merits of the Low Power Radio issue, it is outrageous to think the outcome of a lengthy public process would be overturned by Congress -- on supposed "technical grounds" -- without a single hearing, debate or up-or-down vote in the Senate."
"This is a clear abuse of the appropriations process, and we strongly urge you to veto any bill that includes this rider."
Vice-President Al Gore has also come out against the tactic of attaching the bill as a rider to an appropriations bill in support of LPFM on his web site.
In reply to a question he writes," I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and imagination of schools, churches and community groups eager to start non-commercial low power radio stations." "The Federal Communications Commission held a lengthy public process investigating the merits of offering these licenses and, after building an extensive technical record, decided to move ahead with a scaled down version of their original plan."
"I agree with John McCain and many, many others that these stations will be a valuable resource for giving voices to the voiceless and non-commercial speech."
"The FCC can swiftly resolve any unforeseen technical problems. I oppose efforts to overturn the results of this lengthy public process through a back-door appropriations rider."
On the other side of the argument, Kevin Klose, President and CEO of US National Public Radio and David Noble, Chair of the Low-Power FM Task Force for the International Association Of Audio Information Services, have responded to Federal Communication Commission chairman William Kennard's comments about LPFM in the Washington Post earlier this week (RNW Oct 24) and re-stated their opposition to the FCC proposals.
They write that, "The FCC has not taken adequate steps to protect America's existing community radio from low-power radio interference."
"The FCC's proposal would disrupt public radio service to America's most vulnerable listeners: the millions of rural Americans whose public radio signals are transmitted across mountains and prairies by "translator" stations and the estimated 2 million blind and print-impaired listeners who rely on radio reading services for daily information." "The stations providing these services are licensed to communities, school boards and religious groups. Low-power radio can be compatible with public radio, but not under the FCC's plan." "NPR also has asked the FCC to conduct tests to gauge the danger of potential low-power radio interference. But the FCC has refused. Instead, it declared that longstanding interference protections accorded radio-reading services are "temporary," pending further study."
"The FCC also has declined to ensure adequate protection of translator signals." It is indeed a sad day when the agency charged with ensuring adequate protection for the nation's listeners abdicates that public trust."
RNW Note: The best contribution to this debate we have seen so far is the FCC's 78 page report -RNW Oct 4 .This gives considerable technical details and is a 350 kb Acrobat PDF. Follow this link to the report)
Previous Grams :
Previous Kennard :
Previous Klose:
Previous LPFM:
Vice President Gore web site :
Media Access Org (links to letter to Clinton calling for veto).

Washington Post letter:

2000-10-26: UK Jazz FM has reported a loss for the past year of £489,000, down from £2.03 million the previous year, and says it is on course to operating profitably in the current year having been breaking even for the past six months.
Jazz FM, whose owners include the UK Guardian Media Group and US radio giant Clear Channel has done particularly well with CD's whose sales have trebled during the second half of the year.
Its two stations - in London and Manchester have also recorded record audiences and chief executiveRichard Wheatly was cautiously optimistic about its digital broadcast prospects.
Jazz FM is already carried on digital in London and is due to start on a Scottish digital channel next year: In addition it is involved in UK regional digital bids through the MXR consortium.
Wheatly said that Jazz FM's audience included a high proportion of affluent listeners between 25 and 45 - not only valuable to advertisers but also the kind of audience who would be early purchasers of digital receivers.
Previous Jazz FM:
Previous MXR
2000-10-26: Irish ratings just out show a sparkling performance from Lite FM, the Dublin middle-of-the-road music station.
In its first four months according to the JNLR/MRBI listenership figures Lite took 17% of listeners, well above the "more than 10%" it had expected.
It is also more popular with men, again an unexpected finding.
RTÉ Radio 1, which is its main competitor and was expected to show a drop in audience, has retained its listeners with an unchanged 30% share nationally and RTÉ Lyric FM was also unchanged with a 3 % national share.
Today FM has increased audience share by 1% to 15 per cent nationally and 2FM, which has been heavily promoted since its re-branding in May, also increased audience share by 1% to 29%
Previous Irish Ratings:
Previous Lite FM :
Previous RTÉ

2000-10-25: Veteran radio broadcaster and program director Frankie Crocker, who helped take New York black-music format station WBLS-FM to the top spot amongst listeners from 18-34, has died in Miami.
A native of Buffalo, Crocker joined WBLS in the 1970's, left the station twice and was rehired in 1995 as both DJ and program director to regain listeners who had defected to rival WRKS, KISS-FM.
He also appeared as an actor in five films, including "Cleopatra Jones"
Crocker e moved to California some four years ago.
New York Times obituary:

2000-10-25: Conservative US radio host, Dr Laura Schlessinger, is still failing to make it on TV with another re-working being reported as ratings stay low and now her radio show is also beginning to take some hits.
In New York, WABC is to trim it by an hour; it's running the show from 10.00 to noon instead of from 9 a.m.
The early slot will now carry " Tom Martino's consumer-crusader talk show, "Troubleshooter"
Her recent apology in Variety has also come under attack both for not being genuine and also on the basis that she lacks the courage to stick by her convictions.
The Boston Herald says, "Syndicated talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is great at telling her callers to stand up for their principles. But under pressure from homosexual activists, the doctor found it impossible to defend her own."
It then opines, "What Schlessinger probably regrets most is the advertising boycott the movement has launched against her radio and TV show. (It's succeeding due to the gutlessness of corporate America.)"
On a slightly different tack, the Ventura County Star, says, "Who can argue with Laura's "take responsibility, it's your life" advice to many of her callers. But she stops short when it comes to her own life. She will not take responsibility for calling gay people "a biological error."
It continues of her apology, "That is not an apology. She is justifying her position and saying, in effect, "I'd say the same thing again only with milder words." And if she is such an Orthodox Jew, she would know that "Teshuvah," or repentance, requires remorse and action to correct the hurt. "

Previous Dr Laura
Boston Herald article:
Ventura County Star article:

2000-10-25: Although the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is continuing to praise its radio output on its web site (RNW Oct 24), with two more releases this time heralding its radio output in Canberra, Hobart and Tasmania, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that radio will have to take its share of budget cuts.
According to the paper, the ABC board is to be asked to endorse around Aus$20 million of cuts in Television, half in news and current affairs.
Radio, says the paper, is bracing itself for around $2million in cuts which are expected to fall most heavily on Radio National, the most costly of the ABC's networks.
Radio National has also decided not to renew the contract of its breakfast presenter Peter George which, says the paper, sparked off speculation that the network is to become more ratings driven, although this has been denied by the head of Radio National.
Previous ABC, Australia :
ABC, Australia web site :
Sydney Morning Herald report :

2000-10-24: In a Washington Post article headed "Voice of the People", US Federal Communications Commission chairman William E. Kennard again defends the concept of Low Power FM stations against what he calls "Not ghouls or goblins, but special interest lobbyists up to their old tricks and looking for more treats."
" And this time, " he adds, "they're out to devour small community radio. "
Kennard writes that LPFM "enhances democracy on the dial: It fosters new opportunities for true community radio to flourish in an age marked by the increasing consolidation and homogenisation of the industry and the marketplace of ideas."
He continues, "So it comes as a sad but predictable development that the special interests opposing low-power FM--namely, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)--have dispatched their high power lobbyists to prowl behind closed doors and use the Congressional appropriations process to quickly and quietly bury the program. "
This attempt to kill low-power FM is not about ideology--it's about money."
"As a smoke screen for their financial interests, incumbent broadcasters have consistently cited the remote possibility of signal interference as the reason to stop low-power FM."
"But this argument is disingenuous. Our job is to act as guardian of the airwaves, not to degrade them. We have thoroughly tested this new service and are confident that there will not be any harmful interference."
Kennard says that the broadcasters know their interference arguments are specious and says that in the past they have asked the FCC to allow hundreds of full power stations to sit as close to each other on the dial as any new low-power FM station would to any existing station.
He then says, "This attempt to kill low-power FM behind closed doors smacks of everything that Americans have come to distrust about our democratic process. How any self-respecting representative of the people could think of colluding with big radio to stifle the voices of our schools, churches, and local organisations is beyond me."
Previous Kennard:
Previous LPFM:
Previous NAB :
Washington Post article..

2000-10-24: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which in its recent annual was upbeat about its output (RNW Oct 19), has now put out no less than three news releases on its web site which highlight its radio successes.
In the Queensland release, radio rules the roost with TV being relegated to the third sentence in a release which begins," The ABC in Brisbane increased its local radio listening audience by 4.3 per cent according to the ABC Annual Report tabled in Parliament this week.
ABC State Director Lucy Broad said she was pleased to note there was also a significant increase in Classic FM's Queensland audiences by 47 per cent to 112,000 listeners."
Radio also features at the top of the Victoria news release which starts," ABC in Victoria produced the third highest rating program in the ABC's history and produced one of the most successful radio stations in Melbourne according to the ABC Annual Report tabled in Parliament. ABC Victorian State Director Murray Green said more than one million people a week listen to all ABC Radio in Melbourne with up to 700,000 people listening to 774 ABC Melbourne.
And even in New South Wales where the headline is on Olympic preparations and the New Year's party, radio is up high with the comment, "ABC's aggregate radio audience share remained unchanged at 19.2 percent in Sydney and increased in Newcastle to 21.1 percent. Across regional NSW, ABC Radio's weekly reach was 840,000, which was 40.2% of the population."
Previous ABC, Australia :
ABC, Australia web site :

2000-10-24: Catholic Radio Network, continuing its station sell-off, has now agreed a $7 million deal for WWTC-AM Minneapolis-St. Paul and WZER-AM Milwaukee.
They're going to Salem Communications, which runs primarily Protestant Evangelical programmes and with 73 stations including all announced transactions is the largest commercial religious radio group in the US.
Salem already owns KKMS-AM and KYCR-AM in Minneapolis but WZER will be its first Milwaukee station.
Catholic Radio Network was originally launched as a Catholic alternative to Protestant Evangelical stations.
Previous Catholic sale:
Previous Salem:
Salem web site :

2000-10-23: A look, to start off this week's columnists, at the relationships between the audiences for radio and television news in the UK as seen through the eyes of Sunday Times columnist Paul Donovan.
His comment follows controversy over the furore, surely baffling in most countries, over the changing of TV news bulletin times in the UK by the prime BBC and commercial channels.
Donovan notes that the main BBC Radio 4 late evening news, The World Tonight which airs at 10 p.m., gained no audience when the ITN (Independent Television News) main evening bulletin was moved from its 10p.m. slot.
This he suggests provides strong evidence that the radio and television audiences are completely different and thus there is no argument for the BBC moving its radio bulletin now that it has moved its late evening news from 9pm to 10pm.
However, he goes on, there is another argument for moving the bulletin to do with both the make-up of the evening's radio and the competition for resources in a BBC where correspondents work for both radio and television.
Television, he says, will win this battle whatever the official line, which is to keep the programme at its current time.
Donovan also comments that whilst moving it earlier would have effects in covering US and late UK news, the overall scheduling argument is for the move and it would open an the appealing prospect of late-night gems such as Book at Bedtime being heard earlier than they are now."
In the US, the Arbitron ratings just released, have shown the power of a personality to pull audiences as noted in Frank Ahrens' column in the Washington Post. In Washington he notes, the arrival of Tom Joyner as the morning drive host at WMMJ-FM has coincided with a ratings leap from eighth to sixth place among its target 25-54 audience.
This says Ahrens is probably the influence of Joyner although he did not replace former morning host Les Brown (See RNW Aug 8) at the black oldies station until August 28th, towards the end of the ratings period which runs from June 29 to September 20.
In Ireland, however, the emphasis is not on audience size but content for Andy Mahoney who features in another UK Sunday Times report.
Mahoney who is coming up to 40 years with state broadcaster RTÉ is described by Liam Fay as "a monument of erudition on a media landscape increasingly pockmarked with inanity and ignorance."
His output is said especially on radio to have long " been characterised by the unselfconscious ease with which he can glide between literature, philosophy, politics, theology and economics."
Mahoney was recently moved by Helen Shaw, director of RTÉ radio, off The Sunday Show, the weekend review and debate series he had hosted on Radio 1 since 1988.
His replacement, Ryan Tubridy, is described by Fay as " the twentysomething broadcaster who, though well able to talk, has yet to demonstrate whether he has anything to say."
Many at RTÉ felt that Mahoney had been "shafted" in the move but he denies this.
"If this is shafting, I wish I'd been shafted sooner," he says.
"She)Shaw) sounded me out on how I'd feel about trading in The Sunday Show for the opportunity to do a variety of material of interest to me, with pretty much a free hand, on Radio 1 and Lyric. "
"The contract offered was very attractive, the most satisfactory I've ever had from RTÉ."
Previous Columnists:
Previous Ahrens :
Previous Donovan :
Previous Joyner :
Previous Shaw :
Ahrens Washington Post column:
Donovan UK Sunday Times column;

Fay UK Sunday Times article

2000-10-23: A survey conducted for the UK Radio Advertising Bureau by consultants Millward Brown shows that radio offers much better returns for advertising expenditure than TV.
According to the survey, a radio advertising campaign produces three fifths of the advertising awareness of commercial television for one seventh of the price in the region studied and if 10% of a TV advertising budget is re-deployed to radio, the efficiency of the campaign in building brand awareness increases on average by 15%.
The survey involved 5,500 interviews to monitor awareness of 17 brands in Derby and Coventry, in the Central ITV region.
It was preceded by the establishment of an awareness base level in the area, reflecting the effect of previous advertising.
Then there were radio campaigns for each brand in either Derby or Coventry, while TV advertising was common across both areas, thus allowing the researchers to isolate, as far as possible, the effect of the radio campaigns.
Researchers calculated that the average awareness index for radio was three compared with five for television, although some of the best radio campaigns were judged to be as effective as television advertising.
Advertisements that were entertaining worked, as did those that had already become familiar through previous TV advertising.
There was also evidence that consumers often thought they had seen a campaign on TV when in fact radio was the sole advertising medium used.
UK Radio Advertising Bureau site (links to report)

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