December 2000 personalities:
Jenny Abramsky -(2) Director of BBC Radio and Music; Frank Ahrens -Washington Post media writer; Sue Arnold -(2) -UK Observer radio columnist; Oliver Barry -(4) co-founder of Century Communications Ireland (collapsed 1991);George G. Beasley - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Beasley Broadcasting, US; Ralph Bernard -(3) - chief executive UK radio group GWR; John Birt - former Director-General British Broadcasting Corporation; Sir Christopher Bland -BBC chairman: Helen Boaden -(3) -controller BBC Radio 4; Ed Breslin - Head of National Music, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; John Brier - president and founder of; Ray Burke -(4) -former Fianna Fáil (Ireland) minister responsible for communications; Patrick Carrick - acting programme manager, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Classic FM channel; Helen Chamberlain -presenter of BBC radio sports quiz show, Hel's Bells 'n' Buzzers; Mark Collier -incoming manager, Australian ABC Radio National: Michael Costa - managing director, 2KY, Sydney: Paul Donovan- (2) -U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Greg Dyke - Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Chris Evans - British broadcaster and radio mogul; Robert Feder - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Reginald Fessenden - Canadian-born radio pioneer of AM and voice radio; Prof. David Flint --chairman, Australian Broadcastng Authority chairman; Kenneth A. Ford - vice chairman, Pacifica Foundation, US; Gary Fries - President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau,,US; Eddie Fritts - President and Chief Executive Officer, US National Association of Broadcasters; Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth - - Commissioner, US FCC; Eddie Gallaher - WGAY-AM, Washington, morning host (retiring); Charles Giddens - trustee appointed to handle the remainingClear Channel--AMFM disposals required by regulators; Amy Goodman - host of the US Pacifica Network's daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!; Senator Rod Grams -(4) -Republican, Minnesota(introduced bill to limit Low Power FM Bill into Senate); Patrick Hanratty SC -(3)- counsel for Flood Tribunal, Ireland; Chuck Harder - syndicated US talk host; Michael Harrison - Editor of Talkers Magazine,US ; Peter Harvie -chairman Austereo; Philip Hensher - UK Independent columnist; Sue Howard - (3)- Director of Radio. ABC, Australia; Valerie Van Isler - (2) -general manager, Pacifica Corporation New York station,WBAI-FM(under threat); Catherine L Hughes - founder and chairwoman Lanham (Maryland, US)-based Radio 1 Inc.; Noreen Hynes- former head of finance, Century Radio, Ireland; Dean Johnson - Boston Herald writer; Alan Jones -Sydney UE breakfast host; Tim Jones- Chicago Tribune journalist; Mel Karmazin - Viacom President & Chairman and CEO Infinity Broadcasting (US) ; William Kennard - Chairman US Federal Communications Commission ; Ramona Koval- deputy staff-elected director,Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Utrice Leid - producer and now acting general manager,Pacifica Corporation New York station,WBAI-FM; Roger Lewis - (2)- head of Classic FM and a director of GWR, UK; Nick Lezard - UK Independent radio columnist; Alfred C. Liggins III - president and chief executive, Radio1 Inc (US); Rush Limbaugh - Conservative US talk-show host; Kelvin MacKenzie - -head of U.K. Wireless Group which owns TalkSport; Joe Madison - morning host, WOL-AM,Washington: John Mainelli - New York Post columnist; Michael Mason - Head of local networks,Australian Broadcasting Corporation ; Simon Mayo - BBC Radio1 disc jockey, moving to Radio 5 Live; L.Lowry Mays - Chairman and Chief Executive,Clear Channel, US; Allan Mcfee- Canadian broadcaster -former host of CBC's Eclectic Circus (deceased); John Mulhern -Century Radio co-founder and son-in law of former Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey; Susan Ness- US Federal Communications Commissioner; Guy Noble - Australian Classic FM breakfast presenter; Tim O'Donnell- ABC. America, radio anchor(deceased) ; John O'Hara - managing director,Atlantic 252, UK; Seamus O'Neill - former marketing director, Century Radio, Ireland; Steve Orchard - operations and programming director, UK GWR Group; John Ousby - head of Virgin Online (departing); Mike Parry - Head of Sport, TalkSport,UK; Michael Powell - US Federal Communications Commissioner; Vin Ray - executive editor, BBC newsgathering; Alberto Riera - former Mega Communications andSpanish Broadcasting System executive jailed for fraud); Jane Robins -UK Independent media correspondent; Richard Sambrook - Deputy director BBC News; Francisco Sánchez Ugarte - president Mexican Federal Anti-trust Commission; Jonathon Shier- (3) - managing director Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Clea Simon- writer on radio for the Boston Globe/New York Times ; Michaela Smith - managing editor, Virgin Radio,UK ; Raymond Snoddy- UK Times media correspondent; James Stafford - co-founder of Century Radio(Ireland); James Stannard - UK DJ (censured for remarks to caller); Howard Stern -(3)- US shock jock; Patrick Taylor -former finance director, Capital Radio, UK: Tom Taylor - editor of US radio trade journal M Street Daily; E.R.Thompson -former BBC correspondent and editor (deceased); Gloria Tristani - Commissioner, US FCC; Andria Vidler - potential managing director, Capital Radio, London: Bessie M Wash - Executive director, Pacific Foundation, US:
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

December 2000 Archive

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December 2000 Archive
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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.

2000-12-18: We have concentrated on the topic of US talk radio leads for this week's columnists.
First the question of freedom of speech versus responsibility, taken up by Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post.
He comments on a defamation case being brought by police officer Wayne Cheney against WOL morning host Joe Madison who had called him "functionally illiterate", a "racist" and a "murderer." The case is rooted in a 1993 incident involving three black men, two police officers and a driver.
One officer pulled over motorist Archie Elliott III on suspicion of drunken driving.
Cheney arrived shortly afterwards and whilst Elliot was handcuffed in the front seat of a police car says he and the other officer thought they saw Elliot pull a gun.
The officers fired 22 shots into the cruiser, hitting Elliott with 14 slugs and killing him. They said they found a gun at the dead man's feet.
A grand jury cleared both officers but Madison suspected the officers planted the gun.
Madison, writes Ahrens, "has used his show as a platform to call for a reopening of the case, to hector Cheney and to address larger racial issues, such as profiling. Cheney declined Madison's invitation to appear on his show."
As well as the defamation suit, Cheney is suing Madison, his employer Radio One Inc., and others who made accusations against him, for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking more than $3 million in damages.
The defence claims that the comments are protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Madison's lawyer does not deny in a dismissal motion that inflammatory comments were made but writes, "Put simply, no reasonable member of Joe Madison's audience could mistake his program for an impartial news report."
Cheney in effect claims that epithets and unproved accusations cannot be made with impunity; to win it he has to show that the defendants meant to harm him and also, for the privacy suit, that he is not a public figure.
The second topic is "where now?" as the audience boost from the US presidential elections ends and the right-wing hosts in particular have to find a new line with no Bill Clinton to have a go at.
That topic forms the basis of a number of US articles with speculation about where the hosts will go. Common to most of them is reaction from Michael Harrison, Editor of Talkers Magazine who is quoted in the Boston Herald as saying of the recount, "It is the biggest story of the year, one of the biggest stories of the decade, and in terms of pound-for-pound, square-inch coverage, possibly the biggest story of all time."
In the Chicago Tribune, Tim Jones quotes him as saying of the hosts, "They'll have to rearrange their act a little bit. "
"Some will fall by the wayside, and most who go by the wayside will be those who forget that this is entertainment."
As far as targets go, Harrison e said, "There is always Hillary (Clinton). They are privately celebrating this election of Hillary (as New York Senator)."
He also speculates about how George W Bush will fare, saying "very, very vulnerable target because he didn't come in with anything near a mandate." "Private recounts of Florida ballots will likely produce more fodder for talk shows, and some conservative hosts may attack Bush for not being conservative enough."
He also suggests that there may be a possibility for a successful liberal host now that the administration has changed. This was a line also taken by Tom Taylor, editor of the radio trade journal M Street Daily who told Dean Johnson of the Boston Herald," ``The level of venom out there is pretty high and one big reason is that, maybe for the first time ever, very, very angry moderates and liberals are also calling in to talk stations, people who generally listened before but never called in. I think you're going to hear those voices more on the air.''
Taylor continued, ``One (talk radio) programmer told me, `This is just the beginning, because the bickering in the Senate and the House now will make a nursery school look like a school of etiquette.
People won't be stabbing each other in the back, they'll be stabbing each other in the front.''
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2000-12-17: Licence news this week; and the main action has been in Australia where the new Melbourne commercial licence went to DMG radio (RNW Dec. 15) and the UK where planned changes in the regulatory structure could lead to significant consolidations (RNW Dec. 13).
In Australia there's nothing apart from the Melbourne licence and Canada was also fairly quiet with just a few radio applications.
They included approvals of two applications for a switch from AM to FM and one for a new station.
The first conversion approved was from Rogers Broadcasting for new 157-watts English-language FM radio station at Hope, British Columbia, to replace CKGO-AM.
The new station will offer a gold-based adult contemporary music format similar to the current "oldies" format on the AM station.
It will serve the Fraser Valley area and will not be available in the Greater Vancouver area.
The second conversion approved was for a 4,250 watts French-language FM radio station at Lac Mégantic in Quebec to replace CKFL-AM.
The new station will retain the same, predominantly music format, as the AM station and local programming will be retained.
In both cases, simulcasts will be permitted for three months.
The new station is an 0.8 watt low-power French-language FM radio station at L'Assomption in Quebec which will provide live broadcasts of masses, marriages, funerals, baptisms and other such religious ceremonies.
In Ireland, an announcement is awaited at the time of writing from the Independent Radio and Television Commission concerning its shortlist of applicants for the new radio licence for Cork for which seven applications have been submitted,
The IRTC is also expected to comment soon about the proposed take-over by Ulster TV of County Media (RNW Nov. 24).
County operates three stations in the Cork area, - 96FM in Cork city, 103FM in north Cork and 103FM in west Cork.
UTV wishes to completely purchase the radio stations, which is not permissible under current IRTC policies.
In the UK, the main decisions were the renewal of TalkSport's national analogue licence (RNW Dec. 16) and the award of the North East digital multiplex licence to MXR Ltd.
MXR is planning nine commercial channels -- Children's radio; Urban; Melodic adult contemporary; Jazz; Adult rock; Easy listening; Rolling regional news; Dance / rhythmic hits; and Music and talk.
The Authority has also confirmed the award of the local digital radio multiplex service licence for Humberside to Emap Digital Radio Ltd and published its assessment of the award. Emap was the only applicant,
Also on the digital front, the Authority has received three applications for the West Midlands regional digital multiplex.
They are from :
The Digital Radio Group Ltd (DRG), whose shareholders include The Wireless Group plc, GWR Group plc, Emap Digital Radio Ltd. and SMG plc;
MXR Ltd whose shareholders include Chrysalis Group plc, Capital Radio plc, Guardian Media Group plc, Jazz FM plc, UBC Digital Ltd, and Soul Media Ltd.;
West Midlands Digital Radio Ltd. (WMDR) whose shareholders include SCORE Digital Ltd. (Scottish Radio Holdings plc), Forever Broadcasting Digital Radio Ltd. and Saga Regional Digital Radio Ltd.
As well as reserving capacity for the existing BBC Asian Network service for the West Midlands, which all applicants have to provide, each applicant is offering capacity to the successful applicant for the second West Midlands analogue regional licence with reserve applicants if its offering is too close to any of the formats already being proposed.
The formats being offered are:
- total 10 channels -News, information and Community access; Music magazine and album tracks; Easy listening; Current chart; Dance; Ethnic and Adult contemporary (and two channels for the successful applicant for the second West Midlands analogue regional licence).
MXR - total 9 channels - Children's radio; Jazz; Adult rock; Easy listening; Rolling regional news; Urban and rhythmic music; and Melodic adult contemporary. (and one channel for the successful applicant for the second West Midlands analogue regional licence).
WMDR - total 8 channels - 50 plus; Modern music mix; Pop country; UK young Asian; Soft adult contemporary; and Urban contemporary.
On a more local scale, the Authority has re-awarded the Fort William local radio licence to Nevis Community Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Nevis Radio under its fast-track procedure when no competing application was received.
The Authority has also announced that it will advertise is next week a new small-scale Independent Local Radio licence for Rugby, in Warwickshire.
The US was quiet, apart from the FCC's decision to open another Low Power FM filing window despite the uncertain future of the plans because of legislation still before the US Congress.(RNW Nov. 5)
The latest window runs from January 16 through January 22 next year. It covers applications for LPFM licences in American Samoa, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The FCC has also been involved in 3G spectrum auctions (RNW Dec. 12) and the issue of proposed rules regarding commercial radio market definitions where it is considering a move away from its current contour signal approach to a market-defined one. (RNW Dec. 10).
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2000-12-17: Sydney 2UE breakfast host Alan Jones may have escaped having to apologise for comments he made during his show which had led to a complaint by the Western Aboriginal Legal Service.
A tribunal had ordered an apology in July but, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal appeal panel has now dismissed the complaint, which accused Jones of racially vilifying Aborigines.
The comments, made five years ago, followed a case when an Aboriginal woman was awarded damages after she was told no accommodation was available for rent when she had previously been told on the phone that four properties were to let.
A white friend of hers, who subsequently went to the estate agent concerned, was told that flats were available.
Jones commented on air, "I don't care what colour he is, looking like a skunk and smelling like a skunk with a sardine can on one foot and a sandshoe on the other and a half-drunk bottle of beer under the arm and he wanted to rent the final property available and it was mine, I would expect the agency to say no."
The appeal panel held that the complaint had no legal standing because it was lodged by the legal service and not an individual and a corporation could not constitute a person under Australia's Anti-Discrimination Act.
Diana Black, for the legal service, told the paper that the Aboriginal people would be disappointed with the decision to dismiss the complaint "on a technicality".
She said legal service members would meet to consider lodging an appeal in the New South Wales Supreme Court.
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2000-12-16: US shock jock Howard Stern has now signed another five-year-deal with Viacom-CBS-Infinity in a deal said to be worth just under $100 million and to have been handled personally by Viacom President Mel Karmazin.
Financial terms have not issued yet of the terms, rumoured officially and Karmazin said, "Howard is entertaining 20 million people for free every morning. If they are not paying for it, why should I?"
Karmazin added that he never doubted that Stern would sign and that he did not have a back-up plan.
Stern himself said, "Until 4:42 yesterday afternoon, I had no contract with Infinity. I am telling you, at 4:41 I wanted to kick Mel in the nuts."
"But by 4:42, I was on my knees, kissing up to him like everyone else does."
"Mel thinks I got more than I deserve, and I think I got less than I deserve."
The Stern deal follows another inked this week under which Internet gossip Matt Drudge, whose radio show was axed by ABC Networks (RNW Nov. 14), signed up with Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Networks.
"The Drudge Report" will be syndicated by Premiere from February 4 next year.
The show is likely to continue on air at a number of ABC stations including those in Chicago and New York.
Again no financial details have been released but whatever they are, the big money man in broadcasting remains Rush Limbaugh according to Drudge.
He says that Limbaugh, who takes a percentage of all revenues he generates, took in around $30 million last year, making him the highest paid "information broadcaster in history."
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2000-12-16: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's latest cuts are hitting metropolitan and regional radio stations according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
This is despite assurances from Managing Director Jonathan Shier and director of radio, Ms Sue Howard, that rural services would not be affected by Shier's decision to reallocate funds within the ABC.
On December 8, Howard told a parliamentary enquiry that there "would be no cuts to the national broadcaster's 48 regional radio stations."
The paper reports that Head of local radio, Michael Mason, confirmed that local radio budgets had been cut and conceded that cost savings required of each State manager could come from metropolitan or regional radio.
However Mason added that regional radio was already "very lean" and cuts to rural services were unlikely.
He commented, "The bottom line is there will be no cuts to programs or stations output" and said that the cuts were largely attributable to government taxation changes which meant that in theory many items will be cheaper because taxes have been reduced.
The ABC is seeking some Aus$40 million a year of extra government funding and the paper reports that Shier indicated that almost half that total, if it is available, would go to enhance the range of services provided by each of the 48 country radio stations.
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2000-12-16: The UK Radio Authority has renewed TalkSport's national analogue licence for 8 years on the basis of a significantly reduced cash bid and an increased PQR (Percentage of Qualifying Revenue). Under the new deal, the annual cash payment drops from £4.3 million a year to £500,000 a year(subject to inflation increases) but the PQR increases by half from 4% to 6%.
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2000-12-16: A look back at the business side of radio which this week saw a rise in US radio stocks after the Bush win was announced, followed by a drop back
Recording particularly strong gains, in its case based on its record fourth quarter and 2000 revenues was Spanish Broadcasting System.
It had net revenues for the final quarter up 26% compared to 1999 at $34 million, most of which it attributed to the inclusion of results for Puerto Rico stations bought from AMFM.
On a same station basis, net revenues were still healthy, up 13% to $102 million for the year and up 9% for the fourth quarter to $29.2 million
Broadcast Cash Flow for the year was up 24% to $65 million, for Q4 up 20% to $17million
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year, excluding the effects of a one-off $10.2 million related to the purchase of an annuity for two retired executives, was up 30% to $54.6 million.
EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased 29% to $14.5 million.
After tax cash flow (ATCF), excluding the one-off severance was up 62% for the year at $25.5 million, and up 40% for Q4 at$5.9 million.
Net loss for the year was $10.6 million, compared to net income of $5.8 for 1999. The loss was caused by an extraordinary loss of $17.2 million, net of a tax benefit of $11.4 million, on the early retirement of our 11% and 12 1/2% notes and the non-recurring severance payment.
On a less happy note for Centennial Broadcasting, they have dropped from $25 million in re-negotiations of the purchase of six of their stations by Beasley Broadcasting. Beasley.
Beasley had announced in June (RNW June 6)that it was paying $138 million for Centennial..
It has now cut the sum to approximately $113,5 million.
The stations involved are KKLZ-FM, KSTJ-FM, and KJUL-FM in Las Vegas and for WRNO-FM, KMEZ-FM and WBYU-AM in New Orleans.
Beasley intends to finance the purchase through a combination of working capital and a recently expanded $300 million senior credit facility.
Beasley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George G. Beasley, said, "The strategic value proposition behind this purchase is as valid today as it was last June."
"In acquiring Centennial, we obtain a rare collection of assets that allow us to expand our position in top 100 markets from a position of strength and build strong market clusters where we can apply our proven operating and programming disciplines to enhance financial results."
The deal already has FCC approval and is expected to close at the end of January. Beasley has also switched the format of its Philadelphia WWDB-AM station to MoneyTalkTM talk radio, a format originally launched in south Florida.
It features financial advice, news and information weekday mornings, complemented by health, fitness and ageing-related programming on the weekends.
Finally a Standard and Poor's change with Clear Channel, which has more than doubled in size this year, joining its &P 100 Index at market close on Friday. Ceridian is dropping out of the 100 Index because of the break-up into two companies as Arbitron becomes a stand-alone company. (RNW Aug. 15)
Ceridian remains in the S&P 500 Index.
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2000-12-15: DMG Radio, a subsidiary of the UK Daily Mail and General Trust, which recently gained the new Sydney FM commercial licence for a record Aus$155 million in a joint venture with GWR (RNW May 25) has now added the new Melbourne Commercial licence, for which bid Aus$70 million (Around US$38 million) at auction.
Under Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) rules it has to start broadcasts within a year of the licence allocation which should take place shortly after full payment of the licence fee at the end of January.
The licence is the first new commercial licence in Melbourne for 20 years and is one of 13 new services planned for the area; the others are community licences (see RNW Licence news October 29).
GWR holds a 25% stake in DMG, which has more than 50 Australian stations, and its chief executive Ralph Bernard said the licence meant that GWR now had "strong presence in Australia's two major cities whilst further consolidating our excellent position in the total Australian market".
Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman, said, "This is a significant occasion in broadcasting planning in Australia. This is only the third commercial licence in a metropolitan area to be allocated by the ABA since its inception in 1992. It is the first new commercial licence for Melbourne in the last 20 years. And it means that the enormous task of planning the analogue radio spectrum for this continent is now in its last stages."
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2000-12-15: A whole run of obituaries or retirements this week of radio veterans around the world.
Youngest was ABC, America, radio anchor Tim O'Donnell who has died aged 57 after suffering a heart attack.
His career began in Brunswick, New Jersey, and he had been reporting for some 40 years.
Much older was Canadian radio institution Allan McFee who has died of cancer aged 87.
McFee began his career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1937 and was best known as the host of CBC's Eclectic Circus, which ran for 13 years from 1972 -1985 although his last broadcast was in 1991.
The Toronto Globe and Mail notes that he had a reputation for wildness at the CBC because of clashes with producers and on-air pranks such as providing reports of the weather at Dribble Lake until someone checked and found it didn't exist.
In a memo to CBC staff, CBC radio vice-president Alex Frame described McFee in a memo to staff as," a "maverick, workaholic, consummate professional, cultural institution and a legend."
Outdating McFee was E.R.Thompson, who as the BBC's first lobby correspondent pioneered parliamentary reporting, first on radio then television.
Thompson, who has died aged 93, started in broadcasting in 1945; before that he worked in newspapers including the then Manchester Guardian (predecessor of the Guardian) and then, from 1937 and through the second World War as a civil servant.
After his lobby days, his BBC career included spells as Head of news talks, which included being editor of Radio Newsreel.
And finally retirement from the airwaves for a Washington radio legend who has been on the air for 53 consecutive years.
85-years-old Eddie Gallaher will host his last morning show on WGAY-AM on December 22.
When he goes, reports the Washington Post, it will mark the impending death of WGAY's easy-listening "Music of Your Life" format as the Clear Channel-owned station is soon to switch formats as part of changes at its Washington stations.
Previous Frame:
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Toronto Globe and Mail (search for McFee.
2000-12-15: The reporting of BBC moves to cut down its bi-media approach and ask correspondents to focus either on radio or television (RNW Dec. 13 ) has now rumbled on in the British papers for a couple of days with reports that one correspondent went home in tears after she was described by the UK Daily Mirror as "too ugly for TV".
As well as giving the tabloids some fun and the correspondents more serious concern, it's also provoked a response from BBC management.
In an e-mail to staff, Richard Sambrook, Deputy director BBC News, says that the newspaper reports are "as I hope you all realise, substantially wrong and misguided."
Sambrook goes on to say that the purpose of the re-organisation of the Social Affairs unit "is designed to build stronger relationships between specialists and programmes and give greater clarity about correspondent roles."
He continues, "In particular we wanted to strengthen the service to radio, online and News 24 -- all of which are vitally important services for us."
RNW note: Most of the correspondents quoted in newspaper reports are not named, which while understandable means it is difficult to accurately assess how widespread is the feeling that post allocations relate to telegenic qualities taking priority over expertise but certainly the defence that the BBC still has some slightly odd-looking correspondents on television holds water. Regrettably nowhere have we seen anyone seriously suggesting that a good radio correspondent needs as many skills, albeit not the same ones , as a television one; the comments have rather been on the lines of correspondents not being able to do TV packages or not looking good on television.
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2000-12-14: Some interesting comparisons in Internet audio ratings out this week. MeasureCast's weekly summary, which again shows how the current news in the US may be skewing listenership as talk radio, was in the top two places last week.
Arbitron's Net Ratings, which are conducted on a different basis and are for September, show the nine top places for music stations with news talk in tenth place.
First MeasureCast, whose figures cover 886 stations and are based in server information and relate to total time spent listening (TTSL) and Cumulative persons (CP) which is an estimate of the number of people who listened for five minutes or more during the period.
In their ratings ABC took seven of the top ten spots, all talk or news talk stations with the other three going to Urban Rhythm and Blues, Classic Rock and Alternative Rock.
MeasureCast's top five were:
Talk WABC-AM with 80,466 TTSL/ 18096 CP :
KSFO-AM, San Francisco, another ABC talk station with 46,736 TTSL/9,875 CP;
The Beat, Los Angeles, with 46,169 TTSL/4,768 CP;
ABC news-talk WBAP-AM, Dallas/Ft. Worth with 45,259 TTSL/7,592;
ABC news-talk WLS-AM, Chicago, with 35,014 TTSL/9,628.

The demographics which MeasureCast also provide show that the audience is 71% male, 24% are aged 25-34, 23% 35-44 year olds and 20% 18-24 year olds, which leaves a third either young or old.
Most listening was in office hours.
RNW comment:As we noted last week (RNW Dec. 6) , these are hardly impressive numbers
Then Arbitron, whose ratings are also server-based and cover 1000 webcast channels.
These relate to Aggregate Tuning hours(ATH), the total time listeners tuned to a channel during the month.
Their ratings show Internet-only webcaster NetRadio with seven of the ten top spots.
To put it in perspective, after ATH, we list what we will term average At Any Time (AAT) numbers, calculated by dividing the total by the minutes in the month.
RNW comment:This again makes seemingly impressive figures rather less so.
In the Arbitron ratings, the top five were
NetRadio 80's hits with 248,600 ATH/ 5.8 AAT;
NetRadio Smooth Jazz with 234,300 ATH/5.4 AAT;
NetRadio Hits with 232,000 ATH/ 5.4 AAT;
KNAC Pure Rock with 213000 ATH/ 4.9 AAT;
NetRadio the X with 212800 ATH/4.9 AAT.

Previous Arbitron;
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2000-12-14: A deal between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Canadian streaming audio company Iceberg Media is to make some 60 years of CBC radio archives available on the Internet. The material includes music, drama and historical recordings and is available via two sites, and
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2000-12-14: Massive budget cuts for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Classic FM channel are reported by the Sydney Morning Herald which adds that Australian music industry predict disastrous consequences for Australian music.
The Corporation has cut the channel's external budget, which covers all costs other than salaries, by 34% and the Herald says it understands that the cut applies to the current financial year which means that the effective cut over the next six months will be around 70%
The paper says it had difficulty getting any comment from the ABC as ABC radio head Sue Howard and head of national music Ed Breslin were "in meetings" and Patrick Carrick, Classic FM's acting programme manager, declining to comment. However Guy Noble, presenter of Classic FM's Breakfast Show, was prepared to speak publicly on the subject.
"This isn't even a matter of ABC staff looking after their own territory," he said.
"This is money that goes straight to artists, straight back into the music community. I'd like to know where that money is going to go now."
Richard Letts, executive director of the Music Council of Australia, described the budget cut as a self-inflicted wound, made by senior management with the implicit support of the ABC board. "It's in direct contravention to the ABC's charter, which requires the ABC to reflect national identity and cultural diversity," he said.
"The cut is an indication of the official policy at the ABC towards Australian music on radio."
Various orchestras told the paper they had not received official confirmation with many of them expressing concern over the effect it would have on them reaching their audiences.
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2000-12-13: Our main story today is the UK government White Paper on broadcasting which sets the pattern for the future UK broadcasting balance between commerce and other factors such as content and diversity of ownership.
The changes on the latter will almost certainly lead to media concentration in the UK along similar lines which followed US regulatory changes in 1996.
The White Paper has not made firm proposals regarding cross-media ownership regulations; instead it is seeking comment on these from industry and the public.
Lighter regulation on the matter of concentration of ownership is, however, indicated by the statement that it plans a "lighter touch" in this and other areas.
Other proposals in the paper include the setting up of a new communications industry regulator, OFCOM (Office of Communications) to cover radio, television and communications.
It would handle the roles of the nine current regulators, which include the Independent Television Commission, the Radio Authority, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Radiocommunications Agency, and OFTEL, which regulates UK phones and telecommunications.
Even before the White Paper was published moves had been made by companies to position themselves in the consolidation race, particularly the Scottish Media Group (SMG) raid on Scottish Radio Holdings in which it took a 15% share in its competitor Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) (RNW Dec. 9).
SRH, whose shares rose by nearly a quarter after the SMG raid, has subsequently hired investment bank Goldman Sachs as advisers for a strategic review, which could see the company up for sale.
Another UK radio industry leader, GWR, has warned that UK radio's future as a stand-alone entity is in danger.
Its chief executive, Ralph Bernard expressed concern that questions of its future could be overshadowed by the attention devoted to TV.
Although Bernard criticised the points allocation currently in use as out of date he says that UK radio has overtaken that of the US in terms of quality because it is being run by radio-only groups.
Bernard sees the best defence as radio-industry consolidation in which his group would be a leading player.
As regards the BBC, the White Paper left its governing board with its existing responsibilities for content on all BBC services and the sole responsibility for delivering the BBC's public service remit.
The BBC welcomed the White Paper and chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, said it "contains sensible proposals which maintain the independence of the modern BBC within a common regulatory framework."
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2000-12-13: Reporting on a BBC news re-organisation which will pull back on the Corporation's "bi-media" strategy begun by the former director general, John Birt, but that is now being dismantled under his successor, Greg Dyke, the UK Guardian says some of the correspondents who have been moved to radio "have been left with the impression that their craggy features simply were not welcome on the small screen."
As part of the re-organisation many BBC specialist reporters, who formerly worked for both media, are being asked to focus on just radio or television.
The BBC says the changes are intended to address problems of resources, particularly for Radio 4 news programmes.
It quotes Vin Ray, the executive editor at BBC newsgathering, as saying radio reporters should not regard their role as inferior. "Radio is incredibly important to the BBC, he said. "We have to service radio as well as we have to serve television."
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RNW comment: We have long felt radio required different skills to those of television or print if a quality output is wanted. Telling a story through words on a page, we think, requires a different approach to doing the same with the spoken word and actuality and we're really tired of TV reporters who merely describe pictures we can see for ourselves. One person may be able to do all jobs well in rare cases, but not at the same time! E-mail us if you have comments about this. .

2000-12-13: Australian radio company DMG Radio Australia is taking legal action for damages against rival Austereo and the country's largest public relations group according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
DMG, the subsidiary of the UK Daily Mail group which recently won the bidding for the new Sydney FM licence, claims that a bogus letter campaign harmed its reputation.
It also claims that the letters were written by Austereo chairman Peter Harvie and Ken Davis, a former director of PR company Turnbull Porter Novelli.
The letters attacked DMG and resulted in a parliamentary inquiry into the radio industry.
DMG claims that the supposed author of many of the letters over the past two years, a Mr Peter Johnson, is a fictitious person and says it became suspicious shortly after the letter-writing campaign began.
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2000-12-12: The time is fast approaching for US shock jock Howard Stern , the self-styled "King of All Media ", to sign-on or sign-off, with the signs pointing to the former.
Stern's five-year-contract with Viacom-CBS-Infinity ends on Friday and in September he was putting out suggestions that he might move on.
Last month, during an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stern said that December 15 could be his broadcast finale but since then the rhetoric has eased.
Last week he told his listeners, "I believe there is a better than 60 per cent chance I will be coming back. I don't want to paint a picture that I'm leaving."
After this he backtracked again saying 90% would be "close to signing."
Speculating on the outcome, New York Post columnist John Mainelli comments on the background and then writes," So how much money is the self-dubbed King of All Media likely to get when - OK, if - he returns in January after his holiday hiatus?"
Mainelli goes on to note that CNBC gave figures of $18 million a year for a five-year-deal, around half as much again as he currently gets from radio and the kind of sum which Forbes Magazine estimated as his total income in 1999 from all sources.
Mainelli notes that Stern contributes handsomely to CBS-Infinity with estimates of $25 million a year advertising revenue for his New York outlet alone, never mind the 50 plus other stations to which his show is syndicated.
Mainelli also adds that only giant Clear Channel could really make a serious bid for his services and it doesn't look as if they have done so.
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2000-12-12: The next 3G mobile phone spectrum auction starts today in the US where the Federal Communications Commission is auctioning 422 licences in 195 markets.
This auction is expected to raise some $15 billion with a second auction in March to follow.
This compares with $35 billion for UK 3 G licences (RNW April 28) and $45 billion for those in Germany(RNW Aug. 19).
Already more than a hundred companies have applied to bid including giants such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless.
The last of these has put down a deposit of $130 million for its rights to bid and bidding for major conurbations will start around $20 million.
Many US companies see 3G technology generating new business because of the additional facilities, such as Internet access it can offer.
Others fear that the costs are too high as evinced by the fall in share prices of European mobile companies following their high bids.
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2000-12-12: Another US audio has folded.
This time it's whose site now just carries a forlorn statement about it pioneering "efforts to unite fans and musicians -- building a loyal following for emerging artists and using the power of the Internet to expose new music."
It then adds that they cannot "cannot continue to service these fine communities in the current economic marketplace" and thanks everybody for their help over the 19 months of its existence.
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2000-12-11:A little slim in the columns this week, partly because the election is still dominating US politics and partly because some of the stronger UK columns have not ended up on their paper's web site.
To start off with, some reflections from Chicago on the likely demise of classical Music at WNIB which has just been taken over by Bonneville International (RNW Dec. 1).
For once even the competition is expressing sadness as evinced in a Chicago Tribune article which quotes Steve Robinson, vice president of Chicago's other classical station, WFMT-FM, as saying, "It's a sad day for classical music in Chicago and the United States. We think it was fairly inevitable, and it was a great tribute to the Florians that they were able to maintain it as long as they did. But there's no jumping for joy here."
On the surface this may appear to be a local issue but, as the article makes clear, it's part of a larger picture.
To give a fairly full quote, "While WNIB's potential dismantling would leave less than a dozen commercial classical stations nationwide, it is not necessarily proof that Bach, Brahms and Bartok are on the wane."
"Chalk up the attrition of classical on the FM dial to radio industry deregulation -- which has driven the value of stations higher than the hottest tech stock."
. "The decline in classical radio has nothing to do with the popularity of the format, with listeners or with advertisers," said Ray Nordstrand, Robinson's predecessor at WFMT and now a marketing consultant to the station.
"It has to do with the astronomical property values of these licenses. WNIB, for its format, was doing quite well in terms of its ratings and sales."
" But now that companies can own multiple stations in major markets, properties are trading hands at a fever pitch, with big-time broadcast groups uprooting even the most stalwart formats to rake in huge ad dollars". "It's money. When they deregulated radio, radio as we always knew it was gone," said Kal Rudman, publisher of the radio industry trade magazine Friday Morning Quarterback.
"It's very bad, very bad. Everybody wants these facilities. These radio stations are a license to steal. They're gushing oil wells."
As far as Rudman is concerned, it isn't a matter of if WNIB will change formats, but when -- and to what kind of music.
And even though WXCD-FM 94.7 changed from classic rock to '80s rock Wednesday -- the same day WNIB's sale was announced -- Rudman said he wouldn't be surprised Bonneville takes WNIB in the same direction.
"The hot new format is '80s rock, all over the country," Rudman said. "Why? It's a demographics game and the people who grew up listening to '80s music -- 35 to 54 -- are a prime demographic target."
On to a theme we've raised before but this time reflecting technological as well as demographic targets from Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times.
He takes up the BBC's move online and in particular the use of webcams, writing, "Today there is a new mantra, Listen While You Surf. "
"Spawned by a generation that gazes at screens rather than labours in factories, it is the key to understanding why the BBC is now spending £3m annually - the equivalent of 70 people earning £40,000 a year each - on colourful, interactive, all-singing, all-dancing web sites, promoted on the airwaves with wearisome repetition."
"Yet another part of Radio 4's site, with new material on The Archers, goes online today. Jenni Murray can already be spotted via webcam on the Woman's Hour page, on at least one occasion wearing make- up for the benefit of watchers from cyberspace." Donovan links the development to a number of factors including the return to radio of Jenny Abramsky, creator of BBC News Online, more plugs for the BBC's first site, that of Radio 1, and research from America which showed that the Internet was affecting sleep and television habits but not radio.
Simon Nelson, BBC radio's new development manager, commented, "It showed that the Internet was impacting on sleeping and watching television, but not on radio usage."
He adds, "That was, quite simply, because you can listen while you surf, but you cannot sleep or watch television while you surf. With BBC radio having made a strategic decision to target 15- to 24-year-olds, we all felt that web sites had enormous potential."
Donovan then comments on some of the sites, some of the problems with rights to material, and some of the plans but concludes that "at the moment the web sites are little more than enjoyable but brazen BBC propaganda. We have no idea how many people log on, because the BBC refuses to say. "
He concludes, "If one doubts the propaganda element, remember that the Today web site includes among the names of its former presenters Melvyn Bragg (who did two shows) but not Peter Hobday (who did 14 years)."
"This has been pointed out to the web site manager, Chris Berthoud, and Today's editor, Rod Liddle, but the entry has not been amended in any way."
"But then Lord Bragg has to be cosseted because he is on Radio 4 every week, while Peter Hobday, sacked from Today in 1996 and now not even heard on Radio 3's Masterworks, has been quietly airbrushed out of history."
Which could take us back to the US elections but we felt it better to move on to Tanya Wilson in the UK Guardian.
Even not knowing her sex, you could take a good guess from the introduction to her column, "When Radio 1 announced that, from October, all its breakfast shows would be presented by women, it felt like A Good Thing."
"We were used to ladettes doing weekday breakfast - hard to imagine it was ever not thus - and the demise of Kevin Greening and Mark Goodier's weekend shows was never going to throw the nation into existential despair."
" In a wider sense, it was another sign that radio as a pocket of sexist resistance to social change was a thing of the past."
"In the bad old days, and they were not very long ago, Radio 1 was about as welcoming to women as a retrograde old golf club, with a bedazzling range of career options: middle-of-the-night shifts or answering the phone for DLT."
However she does go on to say, "The Good Thing feeling is less easy to sustain when actually listening to the early morning women,"
Later she adds, "….she looks like a young Laura Dern. I know looks shouldn't matter on radio but I've never quite got over seeing the Capital Radio mugshots in the station's window display as a teenager. They all looked like my friends' ugly dads. I changed station pronto. "
RNW comment: Sexism or ageism , prejudice or what? Well chew on the next comment," You don't want all female DJs to be Germaine Greer, but it would be nice if they made sense", and think about radio -no just think! Because one of the joys we fell about radio is that it's the quality of the sound that ultimately should matter. Webcams away-forget the appearance, listen to the quality when you can get it.
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2000-12-11: Another update on the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial licence to Century Radio.
And last week, which was dominated by testimony from Century co-founder Oliver Barry, ended with Mr Justice Flood telling Barry that he had given "unsatisfactory evidence" and that the matter would be referred to the Irish High Court if necessary.
"I do require openness and frankness, and when I find it isn't there I will take the necessary steps . . . to refer the matter to the High Court," he said in relation to what he termed a "remarkable lack of clarity" concerning some banking transactions.
Barry's evidence was adjourned until he could give more information to the tribunal about the accounts, which involved money transferred from Barclays Bank accounts in the Isle of Man.
Tribunal Counsel Patrick Hanratty SC asked about these accounts and also about a Cork bank account used by Barry's concert promotion company, Quality Artistes Management (QAM).
Barry had not disclosed the accounts and Hanratty said, "It seems to be a case of `catch me if you can', but you're not volunteering the information."
Barry's counsel said Barry had taken his inquiries into the accounts as far as he could; the Cork account was in the name of another QAM director who had to give her consent to Barry obtaining information and Barclays only kept records for five years so were unable to supply the required information.
Earlier Barry had given evidence about giving more than £10,000 in donations to politicians during the 1987 and 1989 Irish elections.
He said he had received receipts or letters of acknowledgement for each of them including amounts of £5,000 and £2,500 to Fianna Fáil members of government at the time and also various amounts of £500, £250 and £100 to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael backbenchers.
He also said he had not asked the then broadcasting Minister Ray Burke for a receipt for a separate donation of £35,000 not had it been mentioned in any subsequent letters to him.
A letter from Mr Burke in July 1989 thanked Mr Barry for "his work during the campaign" and gave him numbers where he could be reached should he need to contact him for "advice or help" but did not mention the £35,000 donation.
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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: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-12-10: Licence news this week. And nothing worthy from Australia or Canada on the radio front.
In the UK the Radio Authority has announced its intention to advertise for declarations of intent for two local licences next week
They are those for Stirling & Falkirk and for Stockport, both for 8 years from January 2003.
The current licensees are by Central FM Ltd for Stirling & Falkirk and by KFM Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Imagine FM for Stockport .
If only the existing holders apply, the licences will then be handled under the authority's fast track procedure.
The authority has also issued a schedule for licences to be advertised in the near future.
Following plans previously announced to advertise a Rugby small-scale licence around the turn of the year (RNW July 9), the following sequence of licences will be advertised: Pembrokeshire; Reading (small-scale); Chester or South Flintshire (small-scale); Mid-Ulster; East Midlands (regional) and Worthing (small-scale).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)has invited comments on rule changes relating to US commercial radio markets (see below Contours1). It has also issued notice of rules concerning software-defined radio.
The proposals would permit equipment manufacturers to make changes in the frequency, power and modulation of such radios without the need to file a new equipment authorisation application with the Commission.
It would also permit electronic labelling so that a third party may modify a radio's technical parameters without having to return to the manufacturer for re-labelling.
Finally to move forward yet another technology, the FCC is to make spectrum available for fixed ku-band satellite services such as high-speed Internet access and is seeking comment about this.
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2000-12-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now asked for comment relating to its proposed changes in defining US commercial radio markets which imply a probably move towards commercial market definitions.
All the commissioners both concurred in the decision but to different degrees and from different viewpoints and issued separate statements.
The FCC says that its current method of defining a market based on "mutually overlapping" signal contours and of counting stations based on overlapping signal contours has sometimes led to results that are "at odds with commercial market definitions and economic reality."
It cited an example in Wichita, Kansas, where there signal contour method produced a market of 52 stations thus permitting a single owner of 8 stations, where the commercial market definition included only 24 stations which would have limited maximum ownership to six stations.
The FCC had suggested changing to a commercially defined definition but noted that, although Arbitron's classification covered 850 counties and 80% of US population, this left approximately 2250 more counties.
It also noted that it would need to consider the effect on FCC determinations when commercial market services changed their definitions and said it had considered retaining the signal overlap method for determining geographic markets but revise standards relating to the number of stations in the market and ownership limits.
The FCC is asking for comment on alternative counting methods which it lists on its web site but says it does not intend to apply any changes retroactively to existing ownership combinations. Commenting on the proposals, FCC chairman William Kennard says they represent " a critical step in bringing the Commission's rules in line with the commercial realities of the radio marketplace."
He adds that current methods have "the potential to produce unanticipated and anti-competitive results in particular cases."
Commissioner Gloria Tristani, who has long criticised consolidation in the US radio industry, says the proposals represent progress but are it is only a "small step on a long road."
She adds, "Real listeners in real communities have been harmed by a consolidation of the airwaves that should not have been permitted to take place." "Across America, in cities like Omaha (Nebraska), Wichita (Kansas), Youngstown (Ohio), Portland (Maine), Pine Bluff (Arkansas) and Augusta (Maine) listeners have been deprived of the broadcast diversity to which they are entitled and which the Commission is duty-bound to ensure."
"For those communities, today's notice of proposed rulemaking will provide cold comfort. We must now move with dispatch to spare other communities a similar fate." Commissioner Susan Ness also speaks of delays and bolting the door after the horse has bolted.
She concludes that the FCC should be "mindful of the law of unintended consequences."
"Any remedy we adopt must be applied prospectively and fairly, with cognisance of the reasonable market expectations of parties who hold combinations lawfully assembled under our existing rules."
"Finally, whatever definition we adopt should be consistent with the intent of Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in relaxing radio ownership restrictions."
The approval from the other two commissioners is from a different viewpoint.
Commissioner Michael Powell says he concurs, "for the sole purpose of correcting what may be an arbitrary counting methodology for determining the size and number of stations one may own in a local radio market."
Even more grudgingly, Commissioner Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth talks of concurring "for the limited aim of rationalising our arguably arbitrary and capricious methodology of counting radio stations."
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2000-12-10: XM Satellite Radio has announced details of its third round of hirings in advance of its service due to next summer.
It includes three new production directors, two more music directors and seven new programme directors.
The new production directors are Tripp Fennell, until recently creative services director at WSHE, Orlando, Florida; Jordan "TAZ" Lerman who was formerly at WABX, Evansville, Indiana and Chicago underground music station WCRX and David Zeimer, formerly at WHFS, Washington, DC.
The two music directors are Bradley Jay music director for XM's dance music and Buddy Ladd is a music director for XM's American standards music.
The seven programme directors are Bobby Bennett (soul music); Bruce Kelly (contemporary music); Bob Mackowycz (USA Today); Maxx Myrick (Jazz); and Jessie Scott (Country music).
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2000-12-09: Moves already seem under way in the UK towards the kind of radio consolidation that has taken place in the US.
Perhaps anticipating the release, due next week of the UK government's White paper on Communications, which is expected to allow a greater ownership concentration, Scottish Media Group (SMG) has taken a 14.9% stake in Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH).
SMG declared a 2.9% stake in SRH before the market opened on Friday and then increased its holding by a further 12%. The stake cost £70 million and under current rules SMG could not hold more than 20% because of its TV holdings.
SRH owns stations in Ireland and Scotland, including Radio Clyde and Radio Forth, and its board is advising shareholders not to accept offers for the moment.
In a statement, SRH said, "The board of SRH anticipates that there will be significant changes to media ownership rules and this may open the way to a period of consolidation in radio."
"In view of this, the board strongly advises SRH shareholders to take no action."
SMG, which owns Virgin Radio, said it does not intend bidding for the whole of SRH.
Its statement said, "SMG intends to be a leading player in any consolidation of UK media and believes that this investment positions it well until the implications of the new legislation are clear." Currently there are seven main groups in British commercial radio: Capital, Chrysalis, EMAP, GWR, Scottish Media Group, Scottish Radio, and Wireless Group.
The major groups would like to see this reduced to three or four main companies with Capital Radio, EMAP, GWR, and SMG most likely to survive.
Of these groups, EMAP is rumoured to have already made moves, which would enable it to be an active player in radio consolidation.
It's said to be offering its communications division, which publishes, trade magazines for sale at around £750 million.
This would enable it to cancel its debt of around £650 million.
EMAP has recently lost its position in the UK FTSE 100 index after its shares dropped to under £8 from a year high of nearly £18.
EMAP's current radio holdings include Kiss FM, Piccadilly Radio in Manchester and Radio City in Liverpool.
Commenting on the likely outcome of changes under the White Paper, UK Times media correspondent Raymond Snoddy says it is likely to create a new batch of multimillionaires. He says that a bidding war is likely with all the top seven all initially wanting to be buyers rather than sellers.
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2000-12-09: The US Copyright Office has ruled that the 4000 or so US radio stations, which stream music over the Internet, must pay additional copyright fees.
''Transmissions of a broadcast signal over a digital communications network, such as the Internet, are not exempt from copyright liability,'' the Copyright Office said in a ruling to be published in the Federal Register on Monday.
The broadcasters' body, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), argues that they should not have to pay extra fees for streaming their broadcast content.
They said Internet-related copyright liability should be covered by the annual $350 million royalty payments they already make.
The Federal District Court in New York has yet to rule on a case brought by NAB against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) asking for a declaration that broadcasters were exempt from the additional fees.
Independent webcasters already pay fees and they may now make common cause with the broadcasters in negotiations over the fees to be paid, which could hit hard their already struggling industry.
The Copyright Office, which ruled against the broadcaster's argument that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exempted them from extra payments, has said that the broadcasters should begin negotiating a fee schedule in February.
The Office however gave some consolation to the streaming industry by ruling that Webcasters are not interactive services which have to negotiate license fees for each individual song carried on the service.
This means that the webcasters and the broadcasters could agree to put Internet royalties into one pool, such as the Sound Exchange organisation including more than 2000 record companies, from which payment will be distributed to the record companies.
The ruling does not specify the amount of fees or when stations must pay them, but liability will date back to audio streamed from October 1998 when DMCA came into operation.
Until the matter goes further in the courts, it will still be uncertain what the full legal position is although payments will certainly be owed by any radio station that has streamed music broadcasts unless new legislation is brought in or there is a ruling contrary to the Copyright Office from the New York Federal District Court in the NAB law suit.
Whether or not the ruling almost kills already struggling audio streaming operations is up for debate but almost without doubt the lawyers will collect handy amounts from both the Recording Association of America (RIAA), representing the record industry, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), representing the webcasters, and NAB representing the broadcasters.
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2000-12-09: Redundancies are inevitable at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National division if budget cuts reported by the Sydney Morning Herald are put into effect.
According to the paper, executive producers were told on Friday that up to Aus$200,000 is being cut from their budget which would mean that there was not enough money to pay wages."
According to the paper, the producers were given six months to implement the cuts but also received an e-mail from the head of ABC radio, Sue Howard, saying there were to be no budget cuts or redundancies. The journalist' union has told staff to prepare for as many as 30 jobs being cut.
The paper says the cuts will affect Radio National Talks, which produces two thirds of the channel's programmes including many long interviews.
It adds that Radio National Arts, which handles the rest, is already pinched following a spending freeze. The paper also runs a second report on Radio National against the background of the imminent arrival of new manager, Mark Collier, due to move into his new office on Monday.
Collier was recruited from commercial radio but has so far refused comment about his plans for Radio National or its sister Parliamentary News Network.
His radio background was at top-rated Sydney station 2UE where he was news director and then general manager from 1982-1988. He has also done recent on-air work for the station.
The paper comments," He makes no claims to being an intellectual, has never made programs for pseuds and, frankly, doesn't look like a natural candidate for the top job in the brainiest part of the ABC."
The paper also says that Radio National's world is "is genuinely intellectual, but also a trifle stuck-up" and it notes that Radio National gets a paltry 1.4% audience share in Sydney.
It adds ,however, that it is also attracting a growing audience to its Web site which has some 145000 hits last week.
The Herald concludes that, although Collier has said privately that he will not "dumb down" the network, he will have to handle a difficult bunch of people by any standard.
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2000-12-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dropped the two radio items expected to come up at Thursday's meeting (RNW Dec. 5).
Proposed rule changes to the way in which the FCC defines radio markets did not come up because the Commissioners had already agreed on details of their proposed rule.
No details have yet been released and current politics in the US mean that action is unlikely in the near future.
There have been suggestions that the FCC should drop its rule, which defines markets by signal contours in favour of using Arbitron -style definitions.
The second item, on the issue of "red flagging" when stations had too high a share of the market, fell through because Anderson Broadcasting had pulled its application to sell five stations in Bismarck, North Dakota, to Cumulus Media. Cumulus had been running the stations under a Local Management Agreement since the deal was announced last year and the future of the LMA has now to be settled.
If nothing else, the $3.75 million involved will help troubled Cumulus with another purchase.
It's planning to pay Lovett Communications $2 million for WSLE-FM in Cairo, Georgia.
Lovett is keeping of sister-station WGRA-AM
Other deals on the go include the sale by Cox Radio for $5 million of WHOO-AM in Orlando , Florida, to Disney-owned ABC Radio and of KOKE-AM, not yet on air but to be licensed to Pflugerville in Texas, for $2.3 million to Lasting Value Broadcasting Group.
And on a smaller scale but with more names to remember is the $1million sale of WNST-AM in Baltimore by Capital Kids Radio.
The buyer?
Nasty 1570 Sports, so-named because of the nickname of Baltimore Sports Talk host Nestor Aparicio who lined up the local investors making the purchase.
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2000-12-08: A look at some of the topics which have come up at this week's UBS-Warburg Media Conference, which heard a vote of confidence in radio from Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays (RNW Dec. 6).
Other expressions of confidence have come from Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan and Hispanic Broadcasting CEO Mac Tichenor.
Smulyan said he though radio advertisements were still cheap compared to other media.
Emmis, he said, had put up its prices already but had a long way to go and he expected Emmis to grow next year.
Tichenor said he perceives the Spanish language market in the US as still under-served.
He suggested that Hispanic would be interested in expanding beyond its current top 156 Hispanic markets to the top 20 and also building up at least three FMs and an AM in each market.
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2000-12-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined Viacom-CBS-Infinity station WLLD-FM in Holmes Beach Florida $7000 over a broadcast "the Last Damn Show" made in September last year.
The programme featured explicit lyrics, which were both sexual and profane.
The station defended the broadcast on the basis that current community standards find such material acceptable and that current prime-time shows use graphic language and show graphic sex scenes.
The FCC said that neither the material involved nor anything remotely like it had ever been considered acceptable for broadcast media.
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2000-12-07: Another update on the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which later went bankrupt.
The Tribunal has being hearing evidence this week from Century co-founder Oliver Barry, in particular over various payments he made, claimed for, or about which he forgot details.
Barry was stopped from completing a statement to the tribunal and told that he could only make it if it was relevant and not adverse to other parties.
Barry apologised to the Irish Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) for concealing the fact that a shareholder in Century Communications Ltd was John Mulhern, son-in-law of the then Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey.
"In hindsight it was totally wrong of us to do so," Barry said.
He added that Mulhern wished to remain private when the licence application was made in 1998.
Barry and co- founder James Stafford each invested £275,000 in the company and Mulhern £300,000.
Although he said the concealment was "innocent" Barry agreed that elaborate arrangements were made to keep Mulhern's involvement secret.
Questioned about his previous evidence of making a £35,000 political donation to then broadcasting Minister Ray Burke, Barry said he was taken aback when Burke asked him for £30,000 to help secure the second seat in his constituency.
However he decided to pay £35,000 in cash because the country had an interest in the return to power of if Fianna Fáil, which had legislated for independent broadcasting.
Barry insisted that he would not have made the payment without the approval of Mulhern (who has testified he was only told in 1989 after it had been made) and Stafford (who has testified he only learned of the payment in 1991).
Asked about a £66,000 payment into Century's capital account on behalf of Mulhern, he said he could not recall whether he made the payment.
Tribunal counsel Patrick Hanratty SC referred to a memo compiled by Century's former financial director Noreen Hynes, about payments to Century's Century's £900,000 paid-up capital and a shortfall of £90,000 in this.
The memo showed that Barry made a £33000 in March 1998 from the Quality Artistes Management (QAM) account and that a second payment of £66,667 was made on behalf of Mulhern.
Barry said he had not made the payment.
Hanratty then pointed out that the QAM account showed a debit item of £66,667 had been paid out on March 1st, 1989, and there had been a corresponding credit on April 3rd.
Barry agreed that it was possible he could have paid the monies for Mulhern and been reimbursed by him
On the matter of payments to RTÉ(state broadcaster) technical staff who had provided the transmission services for Century, Barry was asked about his claim to have paid £5000 in cash as against the £1600 or £1700 that RTÉ engineer Peter Brannigan had said he had received.
Barry insisted he had made one payment and the sum was £5000,money he had withdrawn from the bank. He said two people were involved, Brannigan and John McGrath, RTÉ's head of network.
McGrath had testified he received no payment.
Barry also testified about the difficulties of working for Century when it met financial problems.
He said £40,000 he was claiming was for 25 weeks work at £1600 per week. |He said he had saved the company at the time and earned "every single penny" of the payment.
Previous Barry:
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Previous IRTC
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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: Look for Flood Tribunal .
Irish Times
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2000-12-07: Despite gloomy prognostications from various quarters , the US Radio Advertising Bureau has reported another month of growth in US radio in October.
This made it the 98th consecutive month of growth.
The gain for the month was 3% over October 1999, with local revenue gains of 6% being offset by a fall of 5% in national advertising.
September l revenues were similar. Overall revenue was up 3%, local revenues up 6% and national revenue down 6%.
The year to date figures , however, show how much slowdown there has been; national advertising was up 16%, local advertising up 14%, and overall figures up 14%.

Previous RAB

2000-12-07 : Mexican anti-trust authorities say they will prohibit the planned deal by broadcaster Televisa and Grupo Acir Communications (RNW Sept. 20) to create the country's largest radio company with some 190 radio stations.
Under the planned deal, Televisa would have combined with US giant Clear Channel to buy Grupo Acir for some $100 million.
Televisa, which would first have bought 28% of Grupo Acir, would then have folded its Radiopolis radio group into new company Grupo Acir-Radiopolis.
This new group would also have operated Grup Acir's stations.
Televisa, which owns more than 1100 TV stations, would have had a 50.01% share in the new radio company and Clear Channel, already a partner in Acir, and Acir itself would each have held 24.995%.
Comisión Federal de Competencia ( Mexico's Federal Anti-trust commission) made the ruling on the basis that the merger would jeopardise competition in the country.
Commission president Francisco Sánchez Ugarte said that the decision had been made more difficult because Televisa had broadcast attacks on him, which he felt were an attempt to intimidate him and prevent a ruling unfavourable to it. In the attacks Televisa accused him of abusing his authority to aid a family member in business deals.
Televisa and Acir now have 30 days to file an appeal.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mexico deal:.

2000-12-06 :Australian Broadcasting Corporation staff have now staged a 24-hour strike following their industrial meetings which disrupted radio yesterday (RNW Dec. 5).
More than 4000 staff are involved and pickets are expected outside the Corporation's board meeting today.
The Sydney Morning Herald reporting on the meeting in Sydney says Radio National journalist Jane Connors drew strong support for a speech in which she referred to the "decline in standards of competence at the top" of ABC management over the past eight months and said it was clear that many managers were just there for the money.
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Sydney Morning Herald report:

2000-12-06 Both the BBC and UK commercial station TalkSport are claiming victory in the settlement of a High Court action over TalkSport's broadcasts of commentaries on the Euro 2000 soccer tournament based on viewing TV broadcasts.
The BBC says it is a "victory for sport" because the agreement requires TalkSport to make frequent disclaimers when broadcasting unauthorised commentaries on sporting events for which the Corporation has radio rights.
Jenny Abramsky, BBC Director of Radio said, "The whole market for broadcast sports rights would have collapsed and sport might have lost a great deal of money if this hijacking of sports events had been allowed to continue unchecked.
The BBC statement says, "TalkSport has agreed that it will have to broadcast disclaimers at the beginning, every 15 minutes, whenever a goal is scored in football or a wicket taken in cricket, and at the end of any broadcast it might make in future of sports events for which the BBC has obtained official rights."
"The station has conceded that it must not represent its broadcasts during the commentary as being official or authorised or as containing genuine sound from the stadium."
"And TalkSport has further agreed that any advertising or promotion for such programmes must state that the broadcasts will be unofficial or unauthorised, that background sound comes from a studio and not the event, and that coverage is being described from television monitors and not from the event."
TalkSport in its turn says that is has won in that it can "continue to broadcast commentary of major sporting events off TV as it did during Euro 2000 - even if the BBC has rights to the event."
The station says it "plans to exercise this right every time it is excluded from the process of being able to bid for broadcast rights, as it was during Euro 2000 and the Sydney Olympics."
TalkSport, owned by the Wireless Group, had objected to the bundling of radio and TV rights by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Mike Parry, Head of Sport for TalkSport, said: "This agreement is what we wanted all along. "
"Whenever we are shut out from the bidding process for any reason, then we will exercise our right."
"That could mean, for example, doing commentary of the Grand National off the telly from Hereford racecourse."
"We will keep all our options open - but this settlement means we are no longer going to be locked out of any major sports event by the BBC here or anywhere in the world."
"The Wireless Group has lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission in relation to the activities of the European Broadcasting Union, which sells TV and radio rights bundled together."
"TalkSport has been turned down three times for membership of the EBU, so it could not even bid for the TV and radio rights for Euro 2000 and the Olympics."
"TWG believes it should be able to bid for purely radio rights for sporting events."
Kelvin MacKenzie, chairman and chief executive of the Wireless Group, said he was "very chirpy" about the agreement and spoke of the BBC getting a "bloody nose" in the High Court action.
He also said he was now confident that TalkSport would be admitted to the EBU.
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TalkSport web site -news segment links to statement on the agreement. RNW comment: From the fact that the TalkSport site carries the full details of the restrictions required, we would give the BBC the edge in this case.
We suspect, however, that TalkSport will manage to join the EBU, which originally was exclusively comprised of traditional public broadcasters in Western Europe

2000-12-11: The BBC arrangement for Radio 4 to spend most of the day with a Harry Potter reading (RNW Dec. 1) has now come home.
The Corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has bought Cover to Cover, a leading producer of unabridged readings of books in a deal worth around £1 million.
Cover to Cover, whose titles include Stephen Fry's readings of the Potter books, was set up in 1983 by former BBC producer Helen Nicoll after she noted that most audio books were heavily abridged.
It now has around 75 titles including classics such as the Jane Austin novel Emma read by Prunella Scales and Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights read by Patricia Routledge
The BBC, the biggest player in a UK market worth some £75 million a year, has more than 600 titles in its audio book business but it has mainly produced abridged versions.
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2000-12-06: US Internet streaming ratings organisation, MeasureCast Inc, has just released its first weekly list of the top ten Internet audio broadcasters in the US.
Boosted by the continuing US election story, a surprising six of the slots went to talk or news radio.
Heading the list was talk radio WABC-AM with a total time spent listening of 107,409 hours and cumulative listenership (unique listeners for more than five minutes) of 19,336.
It was followed by Urban R&B, The Beat, Los Angeles, with 59,590 listening hours and 6558 cumulative listeners and News/Talk WBAP-AM, Dallas-Forth Worth, with 53,188 listening hours and 7,755 cumulative listeners.
The company's demographic highlights showed 71% of the streaming audience to be men, 29% women. It also showed that 90 per cent of listening was on weekdays, three-quarters being between 0900 and 1900 EST. RNW note: A quick summing of the top ten shows the cumulative number of unique listeners as 46,314, a pretty paltry showing on a top story in a nation with a total population of some 450 million and the 18 million or so who listen each week to top rated US host Paul Harvey (RNW Nov. 11)
It confirms our view that, whatever the growth rate, Internet audio will supplement and complement, not supplant broadcasting.

Still in the US but with the old radio industry, the markets seemed rather more sceptical than the radio executives, in this case, Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays.
He was bullish about radio's prospects, telling analysts at the UBS Conference in New York that radio advertising growth will continue to draw from newspapers, which are becoming less effective.
Mays showed charts illustrating how radio revenues had increased year after year, with one exception, even in economic downturns.
The markets did not take heart however and radio stocks continued to slide on Monday.
Clear Channel was down just over 1% and Citadel fell around 10% to end up under $10. Troubled Cumulus dropped below $4 for a while
.Most recent Arbitron web ratings:
(for comparison)
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2000-12-05:A strike at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is to be discussed today during national meetings of staff concerned about the corporation's budget cuts and re-organisation.
The meetings themselves will disrupt radio programmes and the Sydney Morning Herald reports that eight of the ABC's most senior journalists l have warned that the budget cuts and moves to commercialism are destroying the public broadcaster.
The plea followed a meeting between ABC managing director Jonathan Shier and staff and union officials.
Shier in a statement said that the root of the problem was the level of government funding for the corporation, which had put pressures on it, forcing painful decisions.
"The ABC has 48 regional radio stations, local radio in every capital city, an international radio service, 14 international offices, four national radio networks, a television presence in every state and territory and an online network that receives six million accesses a week," he said.
"I am on the record as stating the amount of funding the ABC receives to cover this huge broadcasting responsibility is inadequate. "
Perhaps in a hope of countering growing criticism, the Corporation has also just launched the first copy of a fortnightly report on its web site.
In the first edition, radio forms the lead story with a report about a visit to ABC radio networks centre in Sydney by members of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications, Transport and the Arts, which is currently inquiring into the adequacy of radio services in non-metropolitan Australia.
The report notes that in its submission to the Committee the ABC had outlined its role and its plans to expand its services in regional and rural Australia and says that almost all Australians have access to an ABC local radio service and 97% have access to Radio National.
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ABC Web site (links to Shier statement and 100kb Acrobat PDF of fortnightly report):
Sydney Morning Herald report: .

2000-12-05: More gloomy news for the radio business as two advertising industry leaders forecast an advertising slowdown next year.
During 2000, helped by a strong US economy, national advertising in all media was up by nearly 12% at getting on for $143 billion but for 2001 the forecasts, while still for growth, are for around half of this.
At Universal McCann, director of forecasting Robert Coen predicted growth of around 6.3% and, at Zenith Media, chairman John Perris predicted a 6% growth in global advertising expenditure to some $357 billion following a 7.9% increase this year.
For local advertising in the US, Coen forecast overall growth of around 5%, compared to 6.8% this year, with radio to do best with growth of around 6.5%.
The concern about advertising growth has been at the centre of falls in media stocks over recent weeks with virtually all companies down including the two satellite radio companies due to go on air next year.
At the end of last week Sirius Satellite Radio was just over $30 compared to a high of 70 for the past 12 months and XM Satellite Radio was just over $13 compared to a year high of $50.
Also down was Cumulus, which again dipped below $5.
Cumulus may also be affected by a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) review due shortly concerning its acquisition of five radio stations in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The sale is the first to be marked for hearing since the FCC launched a policy of the "red flagging" mergers which result in heavy concentration in a local market.
With the completion of the purchase of the stations from Anderson Broadcasting, Cumulus would own nine stations in the area.
This would attract a "red flag" under rules which institute the procedure when one company has half the advertising in a market or two companies share 70%.
The FCC is also to consider whether it should alter the way it defines radio markets according to signal contours.
There have been suggestions that the Arbitron method of market definition should be adopted in its place.
Gloomy news on the Internet audio front as well. In Australia, Talk Australia, which was launched in October just after folded, has had its equipment seized by suppliers.
In addition OzWorld has lost founding backer John Treloar although for the moment it is continuing with the support of other backers.
In the US, cut its audio streaming service to some 150 stations.
Its president John Brier told Radio Business Report that they were just not profitable. He added, "We looked at all of our stations and found we're paying anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 a month and they've got 10 people listening a month-it's not worth their while, even with ad stripping. They are not going to make any money. So we had to make some tough decisions." BroadcastAmerica is in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation, pending a merger with (RNW Nov. 9).
Also filing for chapter 11 is, the Massachusetts based Internet broadcaster rated the fourth most popular music web site on the Internet. The company had already cut its staff from 20 to three.
Entertainment site has also been closed down with some 70 staff losing their jobs.
After which some more positive UK News. Virgin Radio is to follow competitors Capital Radio (RNW Nov. 7)and Chrysalis in new Internet moves with the launch of four new digital online stations.
They will start with Virgin Classic which is to be followed by Virgin Lite, Virgin Modern and Virgin Wheels of Steel.
The UK GWR Group has also announced a re-organisation.
It's to split its operations into five divisions with GWR chief executive Ralph Bernard in charge of the programming division, Classic FM managing director Roger Lewis in charge of commercial activities, and GWR group operations and programming director Steve Orchard in charge of a new UK local radio division.
In addition the group's digital and new media operations are being consolidated into one division under commercial director and a new human resources division is also being created.
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Radio Business Report

2000-12-04:A wide range in the columnists this week, except maybe in the US where, apart from local changes, the US elections are still taking up a lot of space. More about that later though, although we have had some wry enjoyment of e-mails making their rounds which put the process in the context of a mythical African or Asian context.
And first a column spurred by the BBC decision to run a marathon eight-hour Harry Potter reading (RNW Dec. 1).
Commenting on this in the UK Independent, Philip Hensher says he is no Harry Potter fan but is heartened by the news, continuing, "It is not going to be the customary cut-and-paste job, which reduces a 400-page novel to a few half-hour slots, but every single word of the novel, read out with all Mr Fry's customary panache."
"Radio 4 must have taken some persuading, and I don't suppose anyone with less clout that JK Rowling could have managed it."
"But, whatever one feels about the whole Harry Potter phenomenon - and I feel fairly sceptical - I must say that it seems to me absolutely the right way to treat a novel. "
" It may appear unduly austere, but the current climate is dominated far too much by the cult of "adaptations", and a fairly extraordinary belief that a work of art can be transformed into some other medium and still retain some sort of essential life."
The author, he writes, has stuck up for the fact " that the work of art is what it is, and anything less is, at best, what the 18th century would have called "elegant extracts", and at worse, a vile traducing of the original "
He writes of what he thinks are false beliefs that there is more to a book than the words in it.
" An abbreviated reading of this month's best-seller doesn't boil it down to its essentials, it simply puts a particular slant on a few moments in a text" and later says "tactful as any adaptation is, it inevitably poisons the imagination with a particular set of voices, a particular set of faces, and can do nothing but diminish the original."
A less welcoming response to the Harry Potter saga, however from Sue Arnold in the UK Observer (No link to this as it did not appear to be on their web site).
Writing "as the mother of a ten-year-old Harry Potter addict", she says that Rowling's insistence on an uncut version was arrogance when Shakespeare and Booker Prize winners can be cut.
Arnold makes it clear she would have consigned Rowling to silence rather than air her at this length, feeling that the chances of her son listening are miniscule.
"Like Miss Boaden (RNW Note: BBC Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden)," writes Arnold, " I'm all in favour of encouraging kids to listen to speech radio instead of incessant pop bit in that case wouldn't it have been better to do the HP on Radio 1" (RNW note -an interesting suggestion, the reaction to the implementation of which we'd have delighted in).
Arnold describes is as madness to put the reading on Radio 4 FM and banish regular programmes to AM but then writes, " The Great Boxing Day Heist raises an interesting question."
"Is anything worth listening to continuously for eight-and-a -half hours or, more to the point, are we capable in this soundbite-obsessed era of concentrating on a single subject for that long?"
(RNW note: To be fair to Boaden, her comments (RNW Dec. 1) suggest that she is quite realistic about the likelihood being, not of continuous listening but rather of listeners dipping in and out of the broadcast.
We also note that Hensher is writing in defence of literature but the last sentence it seems to us has resonance in any medium and we would argue that radio does more to spur and less to "poison" the imagination than most TV. On to radio itself and one of our stalwarts, Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times.
He takes up the point he made two weeks ago (RNW Nov. 20) concerning the lack of humans much of the time at radio stations.
He writes that the UK Radio Authority is so concerned at the spread of "automation" that it has decided to impose some restrictions.
During daytime use of pre-recorded programming is to be limited to two hours on FM stations and four hours on AMs.
Donovan quotes the Authority's letter, which says, "Members acknowledged the extent to which automation has proved to be a real strength, particularly during overnight programming and for doubling up star presenters to get the most from a varied schedule."
" However, they felt the 'localness' of stations would be jeopardised if programming were allowed to be automated for more than limited periods during the day."
"They considered that listeners have a reasonable expectation for presentation to be live, and that too high a level of automation could undermine the trust that exists between the station and its audience."
The ruling, Donovan writes has split commercial stations with some defending it strongly including Atlantic 252, which is always "live".
Its managing director, John O'Hara, says, "The software is now so advanced that some stations record their output a week in advance, then cheat the listener by creating the impression that there is someone live in the studio."
Others take a different view such as Roger Lewis, boss of Classic FM and a director of GWR, Britain's biggest radio group.
"I am concerned that the authority seems to equate automation with low- quality output", he says.
"Most of Radio 4 and Radio 3 is not presented live, yet nobody seems to consider this a problem."
"At Classic FM, pre-recording allows us to present programmes of quality that have been honed and refined. Without the opportunity for us to stop and do it again, our listeners would have a less enjoyable time of it."
Donovan takes the point but sums up by saying that radio is "unthinkable without live output" and suggests that all stations should say on air at the start or end of a programme (RNW Note - Why not both) whether the programme was live or recorded.
And finally US Politics but in this case what we feel was a perceptive article in the Chicago Tribune. The meat was about the actual hearing before the US Supreme Court and reactions to it.
How's this for the sauce though?
"For a short time Friday, it was just like the old days before television won the battle for the American attention span and families relied on radio for everything from information to entertainment."
"Area residents joined millions of Americans who spent part of the day huddled around radios, their ears glued to recorded audio broadcasts of the camera-free U.S. Supreme Court proceedings in the Florida presidential election fight."
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Previous Donovan
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2000-12-04: More on the Flood Tribunal on the 1989 award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which eventually went bankrupt.
At the end of last week the Tribunal had been told that a payment to the then broadcasting minister was made in return for capping the advertising revenue of state broadcaster RTÉ.
It's also been told co-founder Oliver Barry was said to have made the payment, using "political clout" on behalf of the station.
The testimony about the payment, of £35000, to then Broadcasting Minister Ray Burke, came from Patrick Taylor, the finance director until 1996 of UK Capital Radio.
Capital invested more than £1 million in the troubled Century in 1990 and Taylor said the comment about the payment was made in the context of a claim by Barry for £40,000 from Century.
Barry said the monies were for work done for Century by himself and his staff and Taylor said he asked for details to substantiate the claim but never received them.
He suggested Barry take the claim to the board and in January 1991 it was decided that he should be paid.
In late 1991 the matter was raised by another co-founder, James Stafford, in a discussion centred on the suggestion that the payment was made "to assist in work being done to change the legislation" in capping RTÉ's advertising revenue.
Taylor also said that he was not aware of the involvement in Century of another co-founder, John Mulhern, the son-in-law of Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey, and this was not mentioned in legal documents drawn up when Capital invested in the station.
Concerning the investment, Taylor said that Capital felt Century was not viable in the medium term although Barry and Stafford thought it could be turned round more quickly.
In late 1991, Capital decided not to go ahead with a second planned investment but eventually agreed to increase its stake to 30%. The Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) vetoed this and Capital pulled out.
Commenting on political involvement, another witness, Paddy Corbett, manager of Bank of Ireland in O'Connell Street, testified that he had noted in an internal bank memorandum that Mr Oliver Barry, used his "political clout" to get a "level playing-field" in broadcasting.
He also said he learned from Barry of Mulhern's involvement in Century and that his superior expressed surprise when told.
In other testimony, Century's former marketing director Seamus O'Neill said the station should never have been launched when it could only reach 45% of the Irish population.
O'Neill said he was told there would be 60% coverage and sold advertising on this basis.
He was never shown RTÉ's transmission document which showed it would be nine months before the 60% level would be reached and the news of the lower cover came as a "hammer blow."
O'Neill said advertisers responded by cancelling orders and it became difficult to get new business.
On the matter of RTÉ's reaction to Century, he said it was negative and aggressive but RTÉ did not use predatory pricing.

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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: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
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2000-12-04: Australian radio group Austereo which owns Sydney 2DAY-FM and MMM-FM as well as FM's in most major Australian metropolitan areas has bought 5% of the unlisted UKRD Group which has 15 regional UK radio stations.
Austereo, which has not released price details, has an option to double its holding but under current regulations could not, as a foreign owner, take control of any UK stations.
UKRD made a small loss last year and AusStereo says it hopes to bring in skills to turn the business around within two years..

2000-12-03: Licence news this week. And fairly busy everywhere except the US and Ireland.
The main news came from Australia where the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has released plans for seven new stations for Perth (RNW Nov. 30).
The ABA has also released its study of the Australian commercial radio industry over the past 20 years (RNW Nov.28).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is dealing with a number of low-power community and tourist information services and plans to move a number of stations on to FM from AM.
Applications involving changes from AM to FM are those in Ontario from the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to replace CJNH-AM Bancroft with an FM and from Telemedia Radio Inc. to replace CKGB-AM Timmins with an FM; in Nova Scotia from Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc. for to replace CKCL-AM Truro with an FM and in New Brunswick Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc. to replace CJCJ-AM Woodstock with an FM.
Other applications in the pipeline include two in Quebec, from Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles for a 20-watt French-language community FM at Charlesbourg, and from André Curadeau, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a 50 watt French-language Christian FM at Rouyn-Noranda.
The CRTC has also received an application in Ontario from John Elliott for a 50 watt English-language tourist information FM at Sault Ste-Marie.
It has also received an application from the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority for an English and French language low power AM service to give information to motorists about airport facilities, access routes, parking and flight delays.
Also in Ottawa/Hull the CRTC has delayed until the end of January the public hearing on an application from Coopérative Radio Ville-Marie Outaouais for a predominantly religious French-language FM; The hearing was originally to be considered at the end of October.
The commission has approved an application in Ontario from Big Pond Communications 2000 Inc. for a new English-language commercial FM at Thunder Bay to carry golden oldies plus news, weather and sport plus public announcements.
Objections from C.J.S.D. Incorporated, licensee of CJSD-FM and CKPR Thunder Bay, Ontario Limited, were rejected on the basis that the profitability of the Thunder Bay radio market over the past four years has exceeded both the Canadian and the Ontario average and that it could support the proposed station without unduly harming existing radio stations.
Also in Thunder Bay, the CRTC approved an application from Superior Information Radio for a tourist service of historical information, tourist attractions, outdoor activities, camping information, emergency telephone numbers and hospital locations.
Similar tourist licence applications were approved in Saskatchewan from Corey Lascelle for low Power FMs to replace talking sign services in Estevan; Moose Jaw; North Battleford; Swift Current and Weyburn. The Commission has also approved an application by Spirit Broadcasting, on behalf of a company to be incorporated for an English-language Christian music FM in Lethbridge, Alberta.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has published its assessment of the award to Compass FM of the Grimsby local FM licence against opposition from Haven FM Ltd and Southbank FM Ltd.
The Authority says that each application had serious weaknesses but on balance Compass best fulfilled statutory criteria.
In Scotland the authority has re-awarded the Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, licence to North East Community Radio Ltd., broadcasting as NECR, which was the sole applicant.
And in Northern Ireland the Authority has advertised the new local licence for Omagh and Enniskillen.
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2000-12-03: Reflecting on the Ulster TV bid for County Media which owns three Cork radio stations(RNW Nov. 24), the Irish Times suggests that the £30 million offer, including debts taken over, will have financiers in Ireland looking closely at how much their local radio licences are worth.
Calculated per listener, the paper says the bid is equivalent to some £155 per listener.
Local stations taking in county towns must, it reckons, be worth serious money, especially in the case of stations like Highland Radio in Donegal with a 66% share of listenership.
RNW note: The paper doesn't do any calculations but the total Irish listenership is getting on for 3 million which at the above sum per head would value the country's radio industry at some £450 million.
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2000-12-02: Yet more minnows for US giant Clear Channel.
In Maine, it's paying Rockland Radio Corporation $3.5 million for WRKD-AM & WMCM-FM in Rockland and in West Virginia its paying Heritage Broadcasting $1.5million for MMRE-AM & WXVA-FM in Charlestown.
And in another US deal syndicated radio talk host Chuck Harder is getting $350,000 for WFVR-AM Valdosta, Georgia. His other station, WNTF-AM Bithlo, Florida, is also up for sale.
Previous Clear Channel:

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2000-12-02: More moves on the US satellite radio front. Sirius 3, the final satellite in Sirius Satellite Radio's configuration has been successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Lift-off was at 17:59 GMT Nov. 30 and the satellite's solar panels were successfully deployed at 03:14 GMT Dec. 1st with in orbit testing scheduled to be completed within 45 days.
Sirius expects to start broadcasts early next year on a $9.95 per month subscription basis for 100 commercial-free channels.
It has already formed alliances to install three-band (AM/FM/Satellite) receivers in BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Mercedes, and Volvo vehicles and Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks.
Competitor XM Satellite Radio, due to go on air later next year, has announced that the first of its two satellites will arrive today at Sea Launch's home port in Long Beach, California, in preparation for its scheduled launch on January 8th.
XM will also provide around 100 channels, mainly commercial free, for the same monthly subscription.
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2000-12-02: BBC Radio 5 Live, which recently announced that DJ Simon Mayo is to move over from BBC Radio 1 to host its afternoon show (RNW Nov. 28 ) has now signed Helen Chamberlain, co-presenter of Sky Sports' Soccer AM, to front a new sports quiz show, Hel's Bells 'n' Buzzers.
The show will debut next summer and will feature teams of sports fans testing their sporting knowledge.
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2000-12-02: Although the US Supreme Court denied requests to allow live broadcast of its proceedings on voting recounts in the US elections (RNW Nov. 29) it did release audio tapes and for the first time ever proceedings have been aired.
The broadcasts of the hearing of arguments in the case were audio only, no stills or video being allowed.

2000-12-01: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation may face strike action next week over demands for a moratorium on staff cuts.
The call for strike action next Tuesday will be considered if moratorium demands made at a series of meetings in Australian are not met.
Staff attending the meetings also passed a vote of no confidence in ABC Managing Director Jonathan Shier. They said he had "demonstrated a manifest lack of commitment to the principles of independent public broadcasting", and had "shown contempt for staff".
The Sydney Morning Herald says that senior ABC sources say staff were reacting to Shier's new executive structure for the ABC and also to the diverting of resources from programming areas towards redundancy payments for fired executives.
The paper quoted ABC deputy staff-elected director, Ramona Koval, who attended a staff meeting in Melbourne, as saying: "Up until now there may have been some staff who were prepared to follow Jonathan Shier's lead, if only out of curiosity. "
"But the staff ... unanimously spoke of their lack of confidence in his leadership. We are terribly concerned about the profligate spending of public money for the management scheme while cutting budgets of programs and people's jobs."
The Unions say that division heads are being expected to produce details of redundancies needed to meet new budgets by December 15 and expect that termination notices will be sent out on December 18.
And in the UK there are suggestions that the strike over pay and night working conditions at the BBC World Service (RNW Nov. 27) could spread to other BBC News operations.
Particularly likely to be affected are areas with significant night work such as BBC radio news, News Online and News 24.
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2000-12-01: The radio story of the day in the UK, carried in almost all English national newspapers, is the BBC decision to broadcast an eight-hour marathon reading by Stephen Fry of the unabridged Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone on Boxing Day (December 26).
It will take up the main part of BBC Radio 4 FM, running from noon GMT until just after 20.00GMT
The channel's regular schedule will be moved to its AM service during the reading.
The reading is being broadcast at marathon length because the author, JK Rowling, insisted that she would only allow a radio broadcast of the full Fry recording which is already available commercially and is the only reading she has authorised.
The Potter reading is one of a number of programmes of interest to children scheduled by Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden during the Christmas and New Year period. Boaden said of the Potter reading that she was taken aback when told it could only go out in one chunk but then, when on a bus, came up with the way they would handle it.
"I'd be amazed if people listened intently for eight hours. I think there will be people who keep it on all day and dip, mentally, in and out, " she said.
Boaden added, " When I became Controller I was determined to get Harry Potter on Radio 4 because Harry Potter is now part of the imaginative landscape of several generations of children."
"I felt Harry Potter might be a way of bringing a new generation of children - however briefly - to the magical experience of listening to speech radio and seeing the pictures in their heads".
Other child-friendly programmes in the schedule include productions of a Martin Jarvis reading of a Just William story, a new production of Through The Looking Glass, the modern classics Skellig and The Ghost Of Thomas Kempe and The Echoing Waters, a brand new play by children's author Alan Garner
For those rather older, other programmes in the schedule include an episode of With Great Pleasure with Dame Thora Hird sharing her favourite selections of prose and poetry, a jamming session in Mali by Blur's Damon Albarn and a production of the 1939 classic comedy The Man Who Came To Dinner starring Simon Callow.
RNW Note: Along with almost every English national newspaper we found the decision to broadcast the full Potter marathon worthy of mention to say the least.
Apparently it was a "take it all or take nothing" option and we think the gamble was a worthy one for the BBC.
We will be interested to see any follow up, both in terms of the BBC's audience for the show and of sales of the commercial recording.
In particular, it will be interesting to see if any figures come along as to how people actually listen to the broadcast as per Helen Boaden's comments above.
Overall we see it as a master publicity stroke, a very welcome and masterful way to draw children into listening to the radio but probably not quite a radio masterpiece of itself.

Previous BBC
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BBC News release re schedules :
2000-12-01 : More on the Chicago scene in the wake of yesterday's report of the sale of top-rated Chicago classical station WNIB and its sister station WNIZ-FM.(RNW Nov. 30).
The duo, launched by Bill and Sonia Florian in 1955 with an initial $8,000 investment, are being sold to Bonneville International Corporation for $165 million.
The Florians say they will use the proceeds to set up a foundation to support the environment and the arts in Chicago.
Both the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune, say the price means that the stations' format is likely to be changed to provide the return on investment required by the new owners.
The papers add that Bonneville says no decision will be made until after they conducts audience research.
In the Sun-Times, columnist Robert Feder notes that Bonneville already runs classical stations in San Francisco and Washington DC but has no competition there whereas in Chicago there is a rival in WFMT-FM.
Bonneville, a privately held business arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, owns and operates 18 stations.
They include three in Chicago; modern adult contemporary WTMX-FM; classic rock WLUP-FM and adult contemporary WNND-FM, and Feder speculates that Bonneville is likely to consider contemporary hits or all-80's format.
Also in Chicago, the Tribune reports that ABC Radio has changed WXCD-FM from classic rock to 80's rock format and fired almost all its on-air staff apart from those on Kevin Matthews' morning show.
The change was made at 6pm local and staff were told of it just before the switch was made.
There was speculation that the Bonneville purchase may have spurred ABC into making the change.
WXCD executives told the Tribune that the change was made because there was a bigger growth potential in the new format.
And still with ABC, former e KRLA-AM in Los Angeles is being switched from talk to all-Sports ESPN Radio today.
ABC/Disney bought the station from Infinity, which had to make divestitures to gain approval of the Viacom take over of parent CBS.
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Previous CBS/Infinity (now Viacom):
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Chicago Tribune on Bonneville deal:
Chicago Tribune on format change:
Feder Sun Times column:

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Nov 2000 Jan 2001
New Year
This year we are taking a break from Saturday December 30 to Tuesday January 2 when we will expect to update to cover the intervening period.

RNW December Comment - following our earlier two months on technological change, reflects on radio's benefits as an aural medium.
RNW November Comment -looks back at the radio scene in year 2000 E-mail your comments
2000-12-31: Although spectrum auctions for third generation mobile communications are still going ahead, the year ends with much of the steam out of this market and mobile phone stocks down, although not as much as for the radio stocks (RNW Dec. 30).
The next European auction scheduled is that of Belgium, now to go ahead in March some three months later than originally planned.
Four licences are to be auctioned with the government hoping to raise some $1 billion.
So far there are only three declared bidders, the existing Belgian networks, Proximus, France Télécom S.A and KPN Orange.

2000-12-31: Los Angeles' KVEN-AM is changing its talk-format to golden oldies format "The Boomer" at the start of 2001.
The station says it is to keep hourly news reports plus a morning show and sports programming but will drop its nationally syndicated talk programming.
Station officials say they have difficulty competing with the big Los Angeles talk stations.
Two years ago they lost their morning drive hosts and many news staff to local rival KVTA-AM and they now say Ventura County cannot support two talk stations, possibly not even one on the long run.

2000-12-30:A final look before the New Year at the business side of US radio, where consolidation deals continue albeit they will have to be less in 2001 if only because nothing can match this year's Clear Channel take-over of AMFM Inc. (RNW Aug. 31 ).
It's also a year where share prices have ended up lower than they began as the boom draws to an end.
In the US the Dow Jones was down some 6%, its worst performance in a decade, the Standard and Poor's 500 was down more than 10% and the NASDAQ composite index had its worst ever fall, of nearly 40%.
The situation in the Far East was worse with Japan's Nikkei down 27%.
The UK was much the same as the US with the FTSE 100 dropping a little over 10%.
In Europe, Germany's Dax Index down 7.5%and its high-tech Neuer Market Nemax 50 down 40% although the French CAC 40 was only marginally down.
US radio shares did worse than the traditional markets in general with few buyers despite rosy predictions from Gary Fries, President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, who predicts a 7.5-8% increase in radio advertising for 2001.
Fries says radio is four-fiths a local business and that its revenue sources will defy national trends and confound those who analyse the medium at a national one.
Whatever the revenues may be, those who bought radio stocks at their peak this year in the US are lucky if they walk away with two-thirds of their funds intact, unless of course they held shares in a group which has been taken over.
Of the giants, Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting did best in percentage terms with its stock ending the year at 27 15/16 compared to a year high of 39 11/16, a fall of 29.6 % compared to Clear Channel which was 49.3% down from its peak at 48 7/16 compared to a high of 95 ½.
Amongst the worst performers were Cumulus which ended at 3 5/8 compared to a high of 35 5/8, an 86% fall from the peak and Radio 1 Inc. which ended 88% down from its peak at 11 11/16 compared to a year high of 96 ½
Latest deals this week include two more Chicago stations for Denver-based NextMedia Group which already owned WXLC-FM and WKRS-AM, and in July added nine more by purchasing Pride Communications (RNW Jul. 5).
It's now added two more with a $3.4 million acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, of Salter Communications' news format WKKD-AM and oldies format WKKD-FM.
While awaiting regulatory approval, NextMedia will take over station operations under a local marketing agreement.
In another US deal, Omaha-based Waitte Radio is to buy 14 Central and Western Kansas stations from Wichita-based Goodstar Broadcasting.
Waitte is principally owned by Gateway Computers co-founder Norman Waitte Jr,
The stations involved are KXXX-AM and KQLS-FM. Colby; KGNO-AM, Dodge City; KOLS-FM and KRPH-FM, Dodge City and Garden City; KZLS-FM, Great Bend; KGLS-FM, Hutchinson; KGTR-FM and KNNS-AM, Larned; KSLS-FM and KYUU-AM, Liberal; KWLS-AM, Pratt; KFNF-FM, Oberlin; and KILS-FM, KILS-FM, Salina.
Pending regulatory approval, Waitte will operate the stations from January 1 under a local marketing agreement.
Amongst the broadcasting giants, Viacom, which now owns CBS-Infinity, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue up to $5 billion of debt securities.
The filing is a general one, which covers offering various forms of debt for securities, which can be converted into Viacom non-voting B-class shares but does not disclose any price details.
In the UK, Radio Investments whose main investors include Guardian Media Group, is taking over GWR's shareholding in Minster Radio Group, The Local Radio Company (TLRC) and Stray FM.
Under the deal GWR takes a 20% stake in Radio Investments in return for its 20% of TLRC and 49% of Minster and Stray.
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2000-12-30: More on the Pacifica Foundation dispute in New York (RNW Dec. 29) where the New York Times reports that WBAI-FM's station manager and two other employees have now been locked out of their offices.
In addition many volunteers who had protested over Pacifica's actions have been banned from the station.
Station manager Valerie van Isler had been told at the end of November that, if she did not accept a position at Pacifica's national office in Washington, her employment would be terminated on December 31.
Instead, reports the paper, Pacifica acted early and locked out her, programme director, Bernard White, and programme assistant and union steward, Sharan Harper; Isler was replaced by producer Utrice Leid.
Previous Isler;
Previous Pacifica:
New York Times report;

2000-12-29: MeasureCast's Internet radio rankings for last week, just released, show a large drop in audiences as the US went into holiday mode.
It also shows a comparatively stronger performance by music stations whose audience fell less, thus moving them up the rankings.
In the top ten, which the week before featured 6 talk stations and four music channels, there were five each of music and talk channels.
The music channels also moved up the list -- three in the top five compared to one a week before.
The rankings below give the previous week's numbers in brackets.
1 Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) 68,040 TTSL (112,546); 12,687 CP (21,801):
2 Urban R&B The Beat LA (Los Angeles) 37,024 TTSL (4th with 41,533); 4,139 CP (4,136)
3 Talk Radio KSFO-AM (San Francisco) 34,792 TTSL (2nd with 54,644); 6,158 CP (8,997)
4 CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM(New York) 33,747 TTSL (9TH with 27,670); 3,078 CP (2,982)
5 Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville 27,374 TTSL (8th with 30,300); 4,332 (5,460)
RNW Note:
Margaritaville is Internet only; its site which is still up and running lists as streaming provider; BroadcastAmerica is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and also involved in lawsuits in which MCI and Sprint are challenging Surfer Networks' first call on the company's debt.

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2000-12-29: The Pacifica Corporation, which at the end of last year was involved in dispute with staff at its KPLA station in Berkeley, California, following the firing of the station's general manager in March and subsequent clashes over programming, is now ending this year with a staff dispute at its New York outlet, WBAI-FM.
This follows anotherr dispute in October (RNW Nov. 1) which ended with Amy Goodman, host of the daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!, filing harassment and censorship grievances against the network.
The organisation's rebuttal of criticisms of it made at that time are still on its web site but there is no mention of the current New York dispute.
This began at the end of November, when WBAI general manager Valerie Van Isler met Bessie M Wash, Pacific Foundation Executive director for what she says she expected to be a routine performance appraisal.
Instead she was offered a job, not then in existence, as executive producer of national programming at Pacifica's national office in Washington DC.
When Van Isler, who had been with the station more than 20 years, ten of them as general manager, rejected the offer, she was told she would be out of a job at the end of December.
As happened after management decisions in California, staff have protested and demonstrated.
Also, as in California, there is a root cause in the desire of many staff to stick to the left-wing community style of station, which was the original Pacifica founded in 1946 by conscientious objectors.
The Foundation, which moved its headquarters to Washington DC at the start of this year (RNW Jan 9), says the stations have to move with modern times and suggests that some of the staff would prefer to be stuck in a 1960's time warp. Kenneth A. Ford, vice chairman of the Pacifica Foundation's board, says Pacifica needs to change and adds that it "had a mission at one time and had a credible voice but now it has gone from being insignificant to irrelevant."
Previous Goodman:
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Pacifica web site
2000-12-28:A sad dot-com death to note for us. Radio Digest, which we found a welcome US radio site not totally beholden to radio business sources has closed down.
Its site, noting that December 26th was its last day, says,"we have not been able to raise the additional funding necessary to finance the cost of maintaining a content-oriented Internet site."
" As such, our Board of Directors made the difficult decision to begin the orderly closure of after an 11-year run which began with the publication of the first print edition of The Bay Area Radio Digest in August 1989. "

2000-12-28: Inevitably the BBC decision to devote more than 8 hours of Radio 4 output on December 26 (RNW Dec. 1) to a Harry Potter reading has received some comment in the UK papers.
Of itself this is a plus for radio's publicity in the UK but the question of how it went as radio as such is more of a moot point.
If it went well, the UK Guardian suggests that it may not be the last Potter broadcast following the deal under which BBC Worldwide bought Cover to Cover, the company which owns the rights to the Potter readings (RNW Dec. 11).
It says that the deal cannot but give the BBC an advantage if it wants to negotiate further rights although the BBC insists that the negotiations with Radio 4 and BBC Worldwide were not connected.
"It is just unfortunate that the two sets of talks came to a head together," a Radio 4 spokeswoman told the paper.
"It has Helen Boaden's (RNW note - Radio 4 Controller) personal project to get Harry Potter on the radio and it is a coincidence that the other deal was at the same time."
Commenting on the actual broadcast in the UK Independent, media correspondent Jane Robins, appreciates the fact of the broadcast but found the actuality not so successful. "There's no doubt that to broadcast the novel is A Good Thing," Robins writes of the idea, which forms part of Boaden's aim to attract younger listeners to speech radio.
"She has a dream of twentysomethings of the future looking back fondly to Boxing Day 2000, when they listened to the radio. "
"But," continues Robins, "to simply play tapes that are already commercially available - the only difference being that you don't get Fry telling you when to turn the tapes over - and to do so in an extravagant half-day wodge, with a repeated Rowling Desert Island Discs for dessert, doesn't make a "radio event".
"The station did its best to break the day up into manageable segments, though. But eight and a half-hours was too long to sit still."
"My guinea pigs - children of nine and 11 - loved the idea, started enthusiastically but were fidgety after an hour, and suggested (illegal) taping as they zoomed off on their shiny new bikes. ………. In the end, the day was still something of a let-down."
"What we heard was undoubtedly a great reading of a book that we are potty about, but presented in a way that ensured very few children will have listened to the whole thing."
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Previous Potter:
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2000-12-27: The New York Times looks at the consolidation of the US radio business from a different perspective.
It considers the opportunities in serving an audience neglected by the giants, and indeed in some cases have also benefited from dispositions required to gain regulatory approval of some of the giants' deals.
In this case, Clea Simon looks at the Maryland-based and family-controlled Radio 1 Inc., which serves urban African-Americans from 48 stations and is worth around $1 billion.
Radio 1 has been built up from a single Washington station, 1000-watt WOL-AM, bought for $900,000 largely on borrowed money by founder Catherine L. Hughes in 1980.
She had gained her broadcasting experience running the Howard University station, WHUR, and programmed her new station to attract the inner-city audience.
Struggling financially, she took no pay for 18 months and had to sell her home and car to stay afloat.
She also saved money by becoming morning host on the station, which concentrated on local talk.
After it eventually became profitable she acquired her second station WMMJ-FM in Washington seven years later.
For that station she wanted to introduce a rhythm and blues format targeted at a adult African-American audience but was at first held back by her primary lender which wanted to maintain the station's established soft-pop format.
This bombed badly, the bank relented, and within two years the new format turned the station into profit and set a path for Radio 1.
This involves the company in buying smaller, under-performing metropolitan stations, which can be acquired more cheaply than larger stations, and then focussing them closely on the target audience -ethnically, demographically, and geographically.
The article quotes Hughes' son and Radio 1 CEO Alfred C. Liggins III as saying, "African-Americans tend to live in certain areas in the community."
"They tend to be concentrated. So if you're serving that community, you don't need to have enough power to cover the entire market."
The company also directs its content -- to serve the African-American community "from cradle to grave," as Liggins puts it.
This means it tries to acquire at leas two stations in a market, one "urban" format for the younger audience and another smooth rhythm and blues for an older demographic.
It does not forget its roots though and community issues, such as voter registration drives, are always part of its mix.
The strategy has put Radio 1 into the lead position among African-American owned broadcasters and with 48 stations it's way ahead of other groups such as Cincinnati based Blue Chip Broadcasting and New York based Inner City Broadcasting, which has five stations.
The manner in which it has built a national audience via local markets has also been followed by Spanish language stations but, the paper says, analysts see the African American market as undervalued compared to them.
The company itself has forecast above average revenue growth of some 10-13% next year.
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Previous Radio 1 Inc. :
Previous Simon:
New York Times article:

2000-12-26: More rumours and speculation concerning potential consolidation in the UK radio industry as leading groups position themselves in anticipation of regulatory change.
Although the recent UK government White Paper did not remove current regulations, Scottish Media Group had already made the first move by taking a surprise shareholding in Scottish Radio Holdings (RNW Dec. 9) which it later further increased (RNW Dec. 20).
Now Guardian Media Group has bought more shares in Jazz FM, taking its holding to a rumoured 19% or so.
The other main shareholder in Jazz FM is US giant Clear Channel.
And more rumours concerning Scottish Radio Holdings. This time the suggestion is that Scottish newspaper and comic publishing group DC Thomson, which has increased its stake in SRH to around 8%, may bid for the company.
The cash-rich privately owned group has no other radio holdings and would thus be unaffected by current cross-ownership regulations.
Previous Clear Channel;
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2000-12-25: Another week when we go to the US and one prime topic to start our look at the week's columnists.
The topic is the Federal Communications Commission plans for Low Power FM radio and their emasculation by Congress through the Senator Rod Grams rider to an appropriations bill (RNW Dec. 19 ).
The decision sparked comment from the US National Association of Broadcasters welcoming the decision as "a compromise (which) allows LPFM to go forward, while minimising interference for millions of radio listeners" and rather less favourable comment in a number of US newspapers.
The most thoughtful was a Christmas Day comment the Washington Post, entitled "Low Power Mugging."
It expresses scepticism and describes the passage of the Bill as a "sad triumph of powerful campaign donors over reasonable policy."
The broadcasters, says the paper, had insisted that their opposition was purely a technical one of interference and denied that they feared any competition from the new stations but then the paper remarks on some provision in the bill.
"It is worth noting, " says the Post, " that the language orders the FCC not merely to study the potential for interference but also to examine 'the economic impact' on 'incumbent FM radio broadcasters.'" Turns out market protection was an issue after all."
RNW Note: This refers to a passage in the bill which allows the FCC in nine test markets to experiment with removing the adjacent channel protection that protect FM stations from interference. It can then report to Congress on any resulting economic impact or interference but new legislation would be required to allow more stations.
The Post then concludes, "Whatever legitimate interference questions remained -- as some probably did -- the answer should not have been rescinding the commission's licensing authority or making that power contingent on a subsequent act of Congress. "
"Given the power of the broadcasters on Capitol Hill, they now effectively will have a veto over any effort to permit more liberal licensing once the FCC conducts the required studies."
"We have a hunch that, whatever those studies show about interference, that veto will be used."
LPFM apart, comment was limited but some complimentary remarks from Sue Arnold in the UK Observer deserve a repeat.
Her column begins, "This was the year I met someone who admitted to spending £800 on a digital radio because he wanted to listen to the Proms without crackle. Compared with what it would have cost him to go to the Albert Hall every night for two months (he lived in Scotland), it was a snip."
"Perfect radio deserves perfect reception and there were many instances of perfect radio last year."
"Whoever had the idea of celebrating the tribute to Shakespeare Man of the Millennium by getting ordinary people to stop whatever they were doing during the course of an ordinary day and read their favourite Shakespeare sonnet deserves prizes and promotion."
" We heard Fiona Shaw in a couple of inspiring masterclasses demonstrate the power and subtlety of Shakespeare's language."
"And in an explosive lecture we heard Michael Bogdanov predict that unless we took Shakespeare out of tights and into a modern context, he would go the same way as the Dodo."
"But Norman, a dairy farmer sitting on his tractor, engine idling while he read sonnet 130 ('My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun'), was living proof that WS is still very much alive, kicking and rooted in reality."
For the rest follow the link below
And finally, a note that the UK Radio 4 "soap" The Archers marks its 50th anniversary on New Year's Eve which has prompted a column from Nick Lezard in the UK Sunday Independent.
He remarks of the programme that, "Some say it portrays a mendaciously cosy view of rural life, but to many fans it is all too believable" and goes on to consider some of the dilemmas facing its producers.
"The constant struggle, " writes Lezard," is whether to make Borsetshire, its setting, as imaginary as Never Never Land, or a reasonable construct of existing rural realities; and indeed the public debates about the programme tend to revolve around the issue of whether it has forsaken 'reality.'"
Again for more follow the link.

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Previous Arnold:
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Arnold UK Observer column:
Lezard UK Independent column:
Washington Post article:

2000-12-24: Licence news this week: and the main news was the awarding of the first Low Power FM licences in the USA and 23 new Australian licences (RNW Dec. 23).
Elsewhere it was a very quiet time in the run up to Christmas and the New Year with nothing of radio significance in Canada and Ireland.
In the UK there was some activity from the Radio Authority has advertised another local digital multiplex, this time for the Southend/Chelmsford area which covers a 15 plus audience of some 1.2 million in the towns and surrounding areas of Essex.
The Authority has also published its assessment of its award earlier this month of the North East digital multiplex licence to MXR Ltd. (RNW Licence News Dec. 17).
The Authority says that all the applications were sufficiently strong to have been awarded a licence but valued MXR for its "proposed bouquet of services" and was particularly impressed by the clarity with which it had defined its formats.
The authority also said it was impressed by MXR's proposals for a regional rolling news service and 24-hour children's service.
As well as licence related matters, the Authority has also published its third quarter Programming and Advertising Review (810 KB PDF) and its new Local Analogue Licence Engineering Code (710kb PDF).
Amongst matters dealt with in the former are the question of reporting rumours, sparked in this case by the a fuel panic blamed in some reports on Red Dragon FM in Cardiff (RNW Sept. 21).
In this case the Authority commended Red Dragon for its reaction after the report had been aired.
In the case of another complaint, involving TalkSport which carried stories from listeners about renewed refinery strikes, the Authority upheld the complaint. The Authority said not enough effort was made to put the statements and rumours in a proper context.
Details of the complaint will be carried in the Authority's fourth quarter review next year.
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Previous MXR:
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UK Radio Authority site (has links to Quarterly Review and Engineering PDF files as well as licence reports)

2000-12-24: Sirius Satellite Radio, which launched its third and final satellite at the beginning of the month (RNW Dec. 2) has now completed in-orbit testing of the satellite.
Sirius is due to, commence broadcasts in January.
Like its rival XM Satellite Radio, which is not due on air until later in 20001, Sirius will be broadcasting some 100 channels of audio for a monthly subscription fee.
Previous Sirius Satellite Radio:

Previous XM Satellite Radio:

web site

2000-12-23: A go ahead for the first Low Power FM stations in the US and 23 new radio services for Australia have just been announced.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission has announced that 255 organisations have qualified for Low Power FM licences.
This is fewer than half the number that would have qualified but for the passage of the Sen. Rod Grams rider to the budget bill that has now been signed by President Clinton.
There had been more than 1200 applications for LPFM licences in the filings for the first 20 states eligible but the additional restrictions virtually ruled out licences in cities and meant that LPFM was generally only possible in sparsely populated areas.
Most of the licences tentatively granted have been issued to churches and schools. The qualifying organisations now have to wait during a 30-day comment and will then, if no objections are raised, be issued with licences and permits to build antennas.
The largest number of licences-54 -- has been issued to California, followed by 24 for Michigan, 21 for Georgia, 20 for Illinois and 19 for Alaska.
In Australia, 23 new radio licences are to be issued by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in Southeast Queensland and the north coast of New South Wales including four new commercial licences.
These latter will comprise two in Brisbane and on each in the Gold Coast and Nambour.
The ABA expects to allocate the first commercial radio licence for Brisbane together with the Gold Coast and Nambour licences early next year.
The second commercial radio licence in Brisbane is to follow in three years time.
In addition there will be changes to existing commercial licences to boost reception.
The other licences are for 17 community services and two open narrowcasting services.
The former will be for two in Brisbane, three in the Gold Coast, two in Nambour and one each in Ballina, Beaudesert, Boonah, Byron Bay, Casino, Coraki, Esk, Gympie, Murwillumbah, and Noosa.
Of the narrowcasting services, one will be in Brisbane and the other in Murwillumbah.
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2000-12-23: Radio stocks benefited from a general rally on Wall Street on Friday with the NASDAQ Composite Index up nearly 6% and the Dow Jones up by 1.4% but the consolation was small for those who had bought at the peak over the past year.
Strong performers like Viacom-CBS's -Infinity Broadcasting are still nearly a third down from their peak and troubled performers like Cumulus are now worth little more than a twentieth of their peak price.
Particularly strong gains came for Internet streaming company Real Networks whose shares slumped earlier in the week.
They picked up by more than 40% but from such a low that they're still well under a tenth of their peak value.
There was also a small rush of deals towards the end of the week including a final bit of tidying up of the Clear Channel take over of AMFM.
This involves five Houston stations, which were to have been sold to El Dorado Broadcasting. The deal has fallen through and now Charles Giddens, the trustee in charge of the remaining Clear Channel stations, which have to be sold off, has filed to sell them to Liberman Broadcasting for $44 million.
The stations involved are KJOJ-AM & FM, KQUE-FM, KSEV-FM & KTJM-FM.
Also involving Clear Channel, but in its more familiar buying mode, is a $30 million deal to buy more stations in Washington State, Oregon and Montana from Marathon Communications which is also involved in a deal with Simmons Media.
In all Marathon is selling 30 stations for $44.5 million.
In the Clear Channel deal, the stations involved in Montana amount for $19 million.
They are KBUL-AM, KCTR-FM, KKBR-FM and KBBB-FM in Billings; KMMS-AM & FM, KXLB-FM KPRK-AM and KSCY-FM in Bozeman; KMHK-FM in Hardin; KBAZ-FM, KLCY-AM, KLYQ-AM and KYSS-FM in Missoula; and KZIN-FM and KSEN-AM in Shelby.
Going for the remaining $11 million are KTHK-FM in Milton-Freewater, Oregon and in Washington, KFLD-AM & KEYW-FM in Pasco; KORD-FM in Richland and KXRX-FM in Walla Walla.
Marathon is also selling stations in Idaho and Utah for $14.5 million to Simmons Media.
Stations in this deal are KICN-AM, KFTZ-FM, KOSZ-FM and KBLI-AM Idaho Falls, Idaho and, in Utah, KREC-FM, St George, and KUNF-AM in Washington.
Also wheeling and dealing is Citadel Corporation which is selling one cluster for $4.25 million and spending $63 million on another.
Being sold to the Radio Partners Group is the Monroe, Louisiana, cluster comprising KMYY-FM, KYEA-FM, KTJC-FM and KZRZ-FM.
Being bought in a much larger $63 million deal are 5 stations in Tucson, Arizona.
Sloane Broadcasting gets $61 million in cash and $2 million in stock for KCUB-AM, KTUC-AM, KIIM-FM, KHYT-FM & KOAZ-FM.
In a smaller deal, but involving a better-known name, Howard Stern's First Entertainment Holdings Corp. is selling KCWY-FM Gillette, Wyoming to Legend Communications for $1.9M.
Legend will then assign the purchase to Wyoming Radio Trust and go ahead with another deal, this time to buy KIML-AM & KAML-FM in Gillette.
And finally more bad news for Internet streaming, and a problem for many radio stations in finding a streaming provider. BroadcastAmerica.Com, which last month cut back severely on its streaming service and went into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, has now shut down all its streaming operations.
Remaining employees have been told there's no money to pay them.
Following a court decision allowing streaming providers to halt all services to BroadcastAmerica, another court hearing is scheduled next month regarding distribution of assets to the company's creditors.
Another streaming provider, GlobalMedia has warned that unless it finds more capital it will have to cease operations at the end of the year.
Previous BroadcastAmerica:
Previous Citadel:
Previous Clear Channel;
Previous Cumulus:
Previous Giddens: .
Previous Stern:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2000-12-22: Britain's Broadcasting Standards Commission has censured a radio DJ for a verbal attack on a caller during a phone-in debate about US boxer Mike Tyson.
The phone-in took place amidst controversy over Tyson being allowed into the UK to fight and the caller argued that Tyson had served his sentence and thus should be allowed to box in the UK.
Piccadilly Key 103 DJ James Stannard responded by saying that he hoped the woman caller was personally assaulted by Tyson and asked her whether she had ever been raped.
The commission described his response as "unnecessary, gratuitous and an abuse of the presenter's position."
On a more positive note, UK Virgin radio presenter and radio mogul Chris Evans is donating £1 million to the charity, Comic Relief.
In making the donation he told his listeners that he wished Comic Relief " a Merry Christmas with this donation."
Previous Chris Evans:
UK Broadcasting Standards Commission

2000-12-22: Former US radio executive Alberto Riera has been jailed for five years for 11 counts of fraud. Riera, who had pleaded guilty in June, admitted embezzling $550000 whilst serving as controller and CFO of Mega Communications and another $360000 in his previous job as controller of Spanish Broadcasting System. He's also been ordered to pay $800000 in restitution to the companies.
2000-12-21: Latest MeasureCast weekly Internet Radio rankings again show ABC Radio taking most of the top ten slots -eight this time compared to ten last week (RNW Dec. 14); the exceptions this week were The Beat, Los Angeles (4th this week compared to 3rd) and classic rock Radio Margaritaville (8th this week compared to 7th).
Yet again talk and news talk dominated with continuing interest in the US elections.
MeasureCast's figures cover more than 800 stations and relate to total time spent listening (TTSL) and Cumulative persons (CP), which is an estimate of the number of people who listened for five minutes or more during the period.
The top five were:
1 Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) - 112,546 TTSL; 21,801 CP:
2 Talk Radio KSFO-AM (San Francisco) 54,644 TTSL; 8,997 CP:
3 News/Talk WBAP-AM (Dallas/Ft. Worth) 50,845 TTSL; 7,937 CP:
4 Urban R&B The Beat LA (Los Angeles) 41,533 TTSL; 4,136 CP:
5 News/Talk KGO-AM (San Francisco) 38,865 TTSL; 7,198 CP:
In the demographics released with the figures, MeasureCast says that the largest audience was on the crucial Presidential election day of December 12.
The audience was again predominantly male (72%) and broke down in age terms to 26% between 25 and 34, 24 % between 35 and 44 and 19 per cent between 18 and 24
Previous MeasureCast Ratings
MeasureCast Ratings :

2000-12-21:The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which later went bankrupt, has heard Century co-founder Oliver Barry testify that he met the then Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey but not in connection with Century in late 1989 or early 1990.
Tribunal Counsel Pat Hanratty SC referred to the Bank of Ireland minutes of a meeting which mentioned that Barry and co-founder James Stafford had met Haughey who assured them of governmental commitment to Century.
Barry first said he did not recollect a meeting about Century and reiterated his position despite being reminded that in June this year, at a private meeting with tribunal lawyers, he had said he had met Haughey in connection with Century.
Barry also rejected statements that he had failed to disclose nine bank accounts in his affidavits.
He said that three of them were not bank statements at all.
Barry's response came during questions about a December 1999 meeting with then communications minister Ray Burke.
Century was in financial trouble at the time and Hanratty suggested "it is inconceivable that you don't remember meetings with Mr Burke when he was the only hope of salvation."
Barry replied by saying that Hanratty made "a lot of suggestions" and asked for withdrawal of the statements about his bank accounts.
Hanratty said he had read out a factual schedule of Mr Barry's compliance with the discovery and that Barry's solicitors had admitted a number of them.
Previous Barry:
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Flood Tribunal :
Previous Hanratty;
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: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-12-21:The UK Guardian has a whole run of radio items, starting with one which says UK Capital Radio is poised to appoint Andria Vidler, the former BBC head of sports marketing, as managing director for Capital Radio London.
However it quotes a Capital Radio spokesman as saying no contracts have yet been signed and that they will make an announcement in the new year.
The paper also says that Scottish Radio Holdings is on the verge of being sold following the scramble for its shares sparked by the UK government's White Paper on Communications. (RNW Dec. 13)
The Guardian adds that SRH has received several bids after the suggestion that current radio ownership laws could be scrapped although in the end the White Paper did not recommend such changes.
Scottish Media Group recently took its holding in SRH above 20% (RNW Dec. 20) but SRH has not welcomed the move.
The paper also reports that Virgin Radio, which is owned by SMG, is to lose John Ousby, its head of online in the new year just as it gears up for Internet radio expansion.
Ousby, says the paper, is to set up his own Internet. He joined Virgin eight years ago as financial controller but became involved in developing the station's Internet strategy, launching its first web site and going on to set up Ginger Online.
Michaela Smith, Virgin Radio managing editor, is to step in as acting head of online when Ousby leaves in mid-January.
Previous Capital Radio;
Previous Ousby:
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Previous SRH:
Previous Virgin Radio:
Guardian on Capitol Radio:
Guardian on SRH:
Guardian on Virgin radio;

2000-12-20: Another significant rider has been added to the appropriations bill for the departments of State, Justice and Commerce as well as the Rod Grams rider which could virtually kill off Low Power FM radio plans (RNW Dec. 19 ). This one was added by another Republican, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and prohibits the US Federal Communications Commission from penalising any US public radio stations which deny requests from politicians for free airtime during US elections.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act, which permitted the massive consolidation in US radio over the past few years, also included a provision which required public radio to offer free airtime to candidates.
The provision had not been widely taken up until this year.
RNW note: Do we get a feeling that the National Association of Broadcasters, having fought of any threat to its audience from LPFM (which would not have been permitted advertisements) is now ensuring it protects its revenues .
Previous FCC
Previous Grams:
Previous LPFM:

2000-12-20: Scottish Media Group has increased its holding in Scottish Radio Holdings to 20.8% by purchasing another 5.9% in deals which have now cost £30.9 million in all.
SMG initially took a 14.9% holding in a surprise raid in advance of the British Government's White Paper on Communications (RNW Dec. 9 and Dec. 13 ).
Under current UK ownership rules SMG is restricted to a 20% share in SRH because its TV franchises overlap the radio ones of SRH and the move is seen as SMG positioning itself for a change in the rules which would allow more consolidation in UK media.
Under stock exchange rules SMG could take its stake up to 29.9% before having to launch a full take-over bid.
In the US, the consolidation continues with giant Clear Channel again in buying mode. It's paying Bridge Broadcast Corporation $1.1 million for WNSX-FM Winter Harbor, Maine, adjacent to its Bangor, Maine, station cluster.
Clear Channel has also now closed its acquisition of four Texan stations from Apex Broadcasting for $6.5 million. The stations involved are on KNIN-FM, KWFS-FM, KTLT-FM and KWFS-AM in Wichita Falls
And in Florida a somewhat forced sale for Circle Broadcasting's WELX-AM Callahan-Jacksonville.
Circle is 55% owned by Nestor Miranda who has been convicted of a money laundering offence.
Although he is appealing against the conviction, he is now trying to sell the station for $450000 as a "distress" sale under FCC rules which permit the sale of a station whose licence is at risk to a qualified minority at no more than 75% of a fair market value.
Of the proceeds $386,000 would go to creditors and the remainder to the station's 45% shareholder Edusa Holding Inc.
The station was said to be worth $635,000 when it was valued for African American Jeffrey Smith.
He is Director of Media for Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio, which already has Ohio radio interests.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous FCC:
Previous SMG:
Previous SRH:

2000-12-19: New South Wales state betting agency, the TAB, is buying Sydney radio station 2KY from the NSW Labor Council for Aus$25 million in a sale which brings to an end 75 years of station ownership by the trade union.
2KY was established in 1925 as Trades Hall radio and it changed to full time racing broadcasts in early 1980s.
The Sydney Morning Herald says in its report that "the 2KY purchase completes TAB's dominance of the distribution of NSW racing information."
It says racing sources described the sale of 2KY to TAB as "most unhealthy" for the industry. "They control the whole racing market now," said one long-standing industry observer.
The paper adds that the sale still has to get final approval from the Labor Council's annual general meeting in February although it has been approved by the Finance Committee.
The paper quotes Labor Council secretary and 2KY managing director Michael Costa said that the Council would retain its broadcasting interests in 2KM. 2KM, currently a golden oldies format, will, he said, become "will become a new "voice of labour" with music and current affairs sympathetic to the union cause." The Council will keep 2KY's property assets, valued at some Aus $15 million.
Sydney Morning Herald report (includes link to business report):

2000-12-19: Although the US Federal Communications Commission is going ahead with its third filing window for Low Power FM (RNW Licence News Dec. 16), it looks as if only a small number of stations will now get on air.
Senator Rod Grams bill to retain third adjacent channel protection, and thus massively reduce the number of stations allowed , has been passed as a rider to the appropriations bill for the departments of State, Justice and Commerce.
Some commentators say that stations in cities will not be possible, just leaving a few opportunities in sparsely-populated rural areas.
President Clinton is expected to sign the bill after negotiating a compromise with the Republicans over the remaining appropriations bills.
Eddie Fritts, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, the US commercial broadcasters lobby group, has said he's pleased that Congress has "protected radio listeners against additional interference that would have been caused by the FCC low-power FM radio."
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2000-12-18: An anniversary to remember this weekend when radio enthusiasts in the US marked the 100th anniversary of the historic speech broadcast by Canadian-born Reginald Fessenden from Cobb Island in Charles County and received a mile away on the other side of the Potomac River.
Six years later Fessenden became the first person confident enough to advertise in his music broadcast from Brant Rock in Massachusetts.(See RNW Dec. 1999 comment).
Professor Fessenden, who went on to help found what became RCA and register more than 200 US patents wrote," This afternoon, here at Cobb Island intelligible speech by electromagnetic waves has for the first time in the world's history been transmitted."
The words concerned were, "Is it snowing where you are, Mr. Thiessen? If it is, telegraph back and let me know."
The telegraph came back and another step towards the radio of today was made.
Previous Fessenden:

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