Frank Ahrens -(2) -Washington Post media writer; Kurt Andersen - host of arts show "Studio 360" on US Public Radio; Mathew Bannister- former BBC Director of radio and BBC 1 controller, now Chief Executive and chairman of music talent agency "Trust The DJ"; Chris Berry - vice president of ABC News Radio, US; André Bureau - chairman, Astral Media, Canada; Mark Byford - director , BBC World Service; Michael J. Copps - US FCC commissioner; Anthony Cumia -(2) -Anthony of US Opie and Anthony afternoon and syndicated show; Maggie Cunningham - head of BBC Radio Scotland; Lewis W. Dickey Jr. - President and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Paul Donovan- (4) -U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Lord (Alf) Dubs - chairman UK Broadcasting Standards Commission: Greg Dyke - Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Chris Evans - (3) - British broadcaster and radio mogul; Robert Feder - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Prof. David Flint --(2) -chairman, Australian Broadcastng Authority; Jon Gaunt - UK host and winner of 3 Sony Gold Awards, 2001; Don Geronimo - US radio host ( Don of "Don and Mike"); Dick Gordon - former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter/new host of "he Connection" on US public radio; Ian Greenberg - President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc, Canada; Previous Text Media: Sydney Morning Herald report: Paul Harvey - ABC network commentator/ most listened to "radio voice" in the US; Richard Hooper-chairman UK Radio Authority; Gregg Hughes -(2)- Opie of US Opie and Anthony afternoon and syndicated show; Nick Jackson - drivetime host at Virgin Radio, UK; Paul Jackson - programme director, Virgin Radio, UK; Terry Jacobs -Chairman and CEO, Regent Communications, US : Mike Janssen - writer on US public broadcasting magazine "Current"; Andy Kershaw - British disc jockey; G. Gordon Liddy - US radio host and convicted Watergate conspirator; Rush Limbaugh - Conservative US talk-show host; Larry Lujack - Chicago veteran disc jockey; Christopher Lydon (2)--former host of "The Connection" on US Public Radio; Kelvin MacKenzie -head of U.K. Wireless Group which owns TalkSport; Elisabeth Mahoney -(2)- UK Guardian radio reviewer; Brad March - managing director,Austereo; Kevin Martin - Republican US FCC Commissioner (Sworn in July 2001); Simon Mayo - BBC Radio presenter; Gerry McCarthy - UK Sunday Times writer on Irish Radio; Mary McGrath - former senior producer of "The Connection" on US Public Radio; Jim Moir -(2)- head of BBC Radio 2; Stephen B. Morris - President and Chief Executive Office,Arbitron, US; Erich "Mancow" Muller - (4) - U.S. '"shock-jock"; John Myers - Managing Director of Guardian Media Group Radio(UK); Mike O'Meara - US Host ( Mike of "Don and Mike"); Hugh Panero - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio; Andy Parfitt - BBC Radio 1 Controller; Steve Penk - former UK Capital Radio host-joined Virgin Radio 2001; Michael K. Powell - (3) - Chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Robert Rabinovitch- president Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Hilary Rosen - President and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth -- Commissioner, US Federal Communications Commission(Stepped down June 2001); Clea Simon- (2) - writer on radio for the Boston Globe/New York Times; Graham Smith - senior producer "The Connection" on US public radio; Tony Stoller - chief executive, UK Radio Authority; Chris Tarrant - UK Capital Radio breakfast show presenter; Carole Taylor - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation chairwoman (appointed July 16); Gloria Tristani - US FCC Commissioner;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once
July 2001 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
July 2001 Archive
Previous month -
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.
RNW July Comment looks at the value of International Radio Services.
Quality or size? RNW June Comment looks at what we should be "rating" for radio..
RNW May Comment -- picks up on a speech at UK Radio Authority symposium to consider what makes "high quality radio."
2001-07-31: Chicago shock-jock Erich "Mancow" Muller was back on the airwaves on Monday with reports that over the weekend Emmis had agreed general terms on a new contract.
Muller, whose 3-year $9million contract expired last Thursday, was absent from his Q101 programme on Friday (See RNW July 28).
Emmis is saying that it hopes to have a final agreement within a fortnight.
2001-07-31: The UK Radio Authority has given Britain's national commercial sports radio station TalkSport permission to run a separate soccer programme to Scotland and Northern Ireland for up to three hours a day.
TalkSport had asked for the "split" so as to provide cover of Scottish Premier League related cover rather than of English topics.
Provision of limited "splitting" was envisaged before the licence was granted and last year the Authority agreed to allow TalkSport to split its programmes to allow for two hours a day of live soccer commentary in London although the station has not yet put this programming split into operation.
The Authority says that it regards these opt-outs as "exceptional" and will not be prepared to sanction further splits for other regions of England.
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-07-31: More deals and results in the US starting with Fisher Communications for whom a $7.6 million plus net income for the first half of 2000 has turned into a $2.8 million loss for the second quarter.
Fisher, which recently sold its flour mills -the start of the family fortunes - reported second quarter broadcasting revenues down to $ 38,574 $ 50,035 although it did not report the split between TV and radio; for the first six months, broadcasting revenues went down from $94,862 to $73,762.
Fishers' stations are concentrated in Seattle and Portland and benefited from the dot com boon last year.
In California, the last Z-Spanish Media station, which had to be spun off following Z's acquisition by Entravision, has now been sold. KLOC-AM, Ceres, in the Modesto, market is fetching $400000 from Threshold Communications, which already owns KVIN-AM, Turlock, and KRVR-FM, Copperopolis, also in the Modesto market.
In Idaho, Sand Hill Media Corporation is paying $1.2million for KADQ-FM in Rexburgh plus a Construction Permit for KOSZ-FM, a class C1 station, at Idaho Falls.
In Michigan, MidWest Communications is paying Conrad Communications $1.45 million for WYVN-FM in Saugatuck. MidWest already owns WHTC-Am in Holland, Michigan.
Fisher web site:
2001-07-30: We start with a juxtaposition of quotations from four columns to start of this week; all from august journals in their countries, and for the moment leave hanging their origins.
First, "These contests represent the worst of today's commercial radio: The medium reveals itself to be truly amoral. The mantra is: anything for ratings
Second, "They all work for a small percentage of what they get in television, have no fancy deals and the work is creatively demanding. So what's the attraction?"
Third, "He was generic highbrow - irreplaceable, eclectic, infuriating highbrow. His success came from his ideas, not his personality. And his ideas came from his own private untethered universe.
Fourth: "To which music is radio most generous? Classical, certainly, with two out of eight national stations devoted to it. Chart hits and rock, which dominate two other national stations, plus the majority of local stations."
So how many of you correctly attributed first and third to the US; second and fourth to Britain?
Working numerically, we start with Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post and a column on radio competitions which began, "It's rarely worth writing about radio contests because they are so common: Almost every station does one nearly every week, it seems."
"Most of them are innocuous but not newsworthy. Just some harmless fun."
"Others, however, try to lure contestants by using hurtful stereotypes, mean-spirited jokes and hateful language."
Then came our first quotation.
The competition was the "The Running of the Bull Dykes."
Ahrens says the station had some Melissa Etheridge tickets, Etheridge is gay, and Pamplona in Spain had just staged its annual running of the bulls.
Thus a competition plan, which involved, to quote Ahrens again, "Morning show stuntwoman Rebecca Froman (whose on-air name is Becky Butt Rub, which gives you an idea of the taste factor involved here) meant to affix tickets to her body and commence running on the Mall, pursued by lesbian contestants, or, to use the slur, 'bull dykes.'"
" Whichever contestant caught Froman first got the tickets."
Unsurprisingly the idea attracted complaints, which led to an on-air chastisement of the DJs involved by a representative of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, but this apparently didn't get through to one of them, Mark Kaye.~
He said later that he thought the contest satisfied the three obligations of broadcasting: to entertain, inform and educate.
The event itself didn't happen as a phone call had elicited the fact that the station had no permission from the US Park Service to stage it and when station representatives turned up at the Washington Monument they were greeted by Park Police, around 25 lesbians and one "contestant" who was given the tickets.
The second item we would consider to have a better meaning of that Reithian triplet of qualities. It came from the UK Times, written by former BBC Radio 4 commissioning editor, Mary Sharp.
The answer to the question of what the attraction was came succinctly from TV presenter and Radio 4 host Michael Buerk: "I do it because it is intelligent, argumentative and fun . . . there's greater freedom in dealing with abstract ideas - you don't have the constant struggle to find illustrations and visual metaphors or to persuade executives that bright and passionate people arguing can be visually compelling."
"Radio 4 is the perfect place for arguing about issues that shape our moral world."
Buerk also raised the question of a fear of failure leading to many layers of control on TV whereas radio, pointed out Sharp, "does not have the money to waste on this control and must be more forgiving."
The third item: Well that was the Boston Globe and the comment, in a column by Sam Allis, was about Christopher Lydon, the former host of "The Connection".
The article itself looks at the challenge faced by his successor Dick Gordon (See RNW July 26).
And finally the music?
This quotation was from Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times in a column lamenting the lack of "generosity" to Jazz on British Radio.
Commercial channel Jazz FM, he points out, is now "almost entirely soul and funk."
On the BBC he welcomes the first annual BBC Jazz Awards, which will be announced at a musical gala, hosted by Humphrey Lyttelton and Jools Holland, on Tuesday evening with highlights being broadcast on Radio 2 and Radio 3.
"Sadly, " he notes, "one of the winners - the Duke Ellington and Count Basie trumpeter, Clark Terry - is too ill to travel from the United States to collect his trophy (there is no money involved in any of the prizes) for international jazz artist of the year."
Also noted is a new tie-up between Radio 3 and the London Jazz Festival in November, with the station becoming its "media partner" in a two-year deal to be announced shortly.
Maybe some hopes after all!
Boston Globe - Sam Allis:
Sunday Times -Donovan:
UK Times - Sharp:
2001-07-28: Quite a busy week in Australia with more area licence plan details being released and also in the UK but fairly quiet elsewhere: In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has released draft area plan details for south east Queensland and south east South Australia as well as allocating new community radio licences for Camberwell and Waverley in Victoria.
In southeast Queensland, details have been released relating to the Nambour, Gympie and Remote North East Queensland licence area plans.
They include proposals:
* to make channels available in the Noosa/Tewantin area to improve reception of the commercial radio services 4GY and 4NNN Gympie and 4SSS and 4SEE Nambour;
*to extend the licence area of the commercial radio service 4SUN Remote North East Queensland to include Caloundra (which is also served by 4SSS and 4SEE Nambour);
*and to make a channel available for retransmission of the service to the Mt Tamborine area.
In south east South Australia, the Authority is proposing to:
*make available an additional community radio service in Mount Gambier and two new community radio services in Victor Harbor;
*to extend the licence area of commercial service 5EZY Murray Bridge to include Mount Barker and Victor Harbor;
*to extend the licence area of Bordertown community radio service, 5TCB, to Kingston/Robe, Naracoorte, Padthaway and Tintinara;
*to change the frequency and increase the power of community radio service 5GTR Mount Gambier;
*and to make an additional FM channel available for the ABC in Mount Gambier.
In Victoria, new community licences allocated are the Camberwell licence to be allocated to Whitehorse Boroondara Community Radio Inc on September 1 and the Waverley licence, to be allocated to Golden Days Radio For Senior Citizens Inc on 1 August.
The authority notes that Whitehorse Boroondara Community Radio has agreed to grant access to Swinburne Student Radio Inc., one of the unsuccessful applicants, to provide programming that caters to youth.
A third applicant in Camberwell was Youth With A Mission, which withdrew its application in April.
In Waverley there were two applications, the unsuccessful applicant being Monash University Union Radio Inc (3MU).
The allocation decision was made after the Authority found the over fifty-year-old group to be growing at a faster rate than youth in the Waverley community.
The Authority is also to hold a public meeting concerning its plans for three new Melbourne-wide community radio licences and a Melbourne City community radio licence.
The Authority has also welcomed the proposed introduction by the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters Limited (FARB) of a new code of practice that covers response procedures to be followed by commercial radio stations in the event of an emergency.
FARB has released a draft code for consultation and ABA chairman, Professor David Flint, commented, "The ABA is pleased that FARB has released the draft code, which will provide all commercial radio broadcasters with clear guidelines on the minimum standards expected of them in responding to emergencies, thus establishing 'industry best practice' in this regard."
"These minimum standards should ensure that commercial radio service providers can be contacted at all times with a view to broadcasting important information should the need arise."
Canada was very quiet with the only radio business being two time extensions that were approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): they related to an FM station at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan for Golden West Broadcasting and a transmitter at Sherbrooke for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to re-broadcast the programming of CBM-FM Montréal.
In Ireland there was nothing of note but in the UK the Radio Authority was fairly active on both the analogue and digital fronts.
It has renewed the licences of:
*Radio Aire Ltd., Leeds, which broadcasts as Radio Aire (FM) and Magic 828 (AM);
*of Century Radio Ltd., which broadcasts as Century FM in northeast England;
*and of Northsound Radio Ltd., Aberdeen, which broadcasts as Northsound One (FM) and Northsound Two (AM).
All were automatic renewals under legislation concerning analogue stations, which are providing services on the relevant digital multiplex in their area.
On the digital front, the Authority has announced that it has received only one application for Exeter & Torbay digital multiplex licence, from GWR Group subsidiary, Now Digital Ltd.
Now is proposing six commercial services initially with a seventh to be added within two years; it will also carry BBC local service, BBC Radio Devon.
Commercial services proposed are:
* Contemporary hit radio -- Gemini FM (provider: Gemini Radio Ltd.):
*Gold -- Classic Gold (provider: Classic Gold Digital Ltd.):
*Adult contemporary - Passion (provider: Passion for the Planet Ltd.):
*Country - Ritz (provider: RMG plc): Music from films and shows - Flix (provider: Infinity Media Ltd.):
*Dance - Provider: to be advertised.
Assessments have also been published of two recent awards, that of the Bournemouth local digital multiple for Bournemouth to Now Digital, the sole applicant (See Licence News May 20), and the new south and west Yorkshire regional licence which went to Variety FM, owned by the Guardian Media Group (GMG)(See Licence News February 11).
Of the Bournemouth application, the notice says it met all necessary requirements and comments that a "broad" service was being offered
In particular it singles out range from young to old from the rhythmic dance music service, which will potentially be provided by The Fire to Saga's 'easy listening' and also the inclusion of all four existing analogue services on the multiplex (subject to agreement being reached with The Fire).
In the case of the south and west Yorkshire licence, there were 16 applications and the authority lists factors that determined its award to Variety FM.
In particular it noted that Variety's research showed that over-35's in the area were "under-served by existing local commercial radio, and that there is a demand from this audience for more local news provision." "In Members' view," the Authority says, " Variety FM would do much to address the outstanding needs of listeners in the area because it proposes a service which is likely to appeal to 35-54 year olds with a format which is rich in local news programming."
It also highlighted " GMG's investment plans for the station, which included developing a training school, something that in Members' view would be a real contribution to the community." The Authority has also advertised a new FM local licence for a service either to the city of Chester or the towns in the southern part of Flintshire (Mold, Buckley and/or Connah's Quay), and the immediately surrounding area.
It says that as only one suitable frequency exists in the area, it will award this single licence to the applicant providing the "most convincing" proposals for a service directed at either of the areas.
In the US, new members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been completing staff appointments.
There has also been a dismissal of a rather "cheeky" application by American Radio Brokers Inc. for review of a $4000 fine imposed for failure to respond to written enquiries concerning KAXX-AM, Eagle River, Alaska.
American had one argument only: that "that the Commission lacked the "moral authority" to impose forfeitures because the Commission has not met certain statutory deadlines imposed on it relating to applications. "
The FCC comments, " It is regrettable that the Commission has missed certain statutory deadlines. Nevertheless, the argument that this affects the Commission's authority to impose a forfeiture is frivolous and the Bureau properly rejected it."
Previous Flint :
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-07-28: Continuing second quarter radio reports, Kentucky-headquartered Regent Communications has reported results ahead of forecasts.
Net broadcast revenues were up 37.5% compared to Q2, 2000, to $14.7 million and broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 31.5% to $4.8 million.
On a same-station basis, net broadcast revenues were up 5.2% to $8 million but BCF was down 9.8% to $2.6 million largely because of investment expenditure.
Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs commented, "We are especially pleased with our same station revenue growth of over 5%, demonstrating our ability to outperform both our individual markets, as well as the radio industry as a whole."
He also commented,"Regent has also been successful on the acquisition front, entering the attractive middle market of Peoria during the second quarter, and most recently solidifying our position in the Flint and Grand Rapids markets."
Regent has just announced definitive agreements with Haith Broadcasting to acquire WFGR-FM serving the Grand Rapids market and with Frankenmuth Radio Company to acquire WZRZ-FM serving the Flint market, both in Michigan.
In all, it is paying $ 7 million for the stations, $1.4 million of it in Regent stock.
Completion of the deals is expected in the fourth quarter and would leave Regent with four FMs and an AM in Grand Rapids plus 3 FMs and an AM in Flint.
In all, including pending transactions, Regent will then operate 53 stations in 11 markets.
For the full year, Regent forecasts reported revenues and broadcast cash flow of approximately $53.5 - $55.5 million and $17.0 - $17.5 million.
Also reporting but less favourably was Interep which, unlike Regent, is heavily dependent upon national advertising.
Its second quarter radio commission revenue was down 15% to $22.7 million and operating EBITDA was down 52% to $3.3million.
Earnings per share however were up from a loss of 14 cents in 200Q2 to a positive 12 cents because of a $20 million increase in contract termination revenue, primarily from a settlement of a lawsuit against Katz Media and its parent Clear Channel.
Previous Clear Channel:
Interep web site:
Regent web site:
2001-07-28: Australian newspaper and magazine company Text Media has pulled out of its deal to buy a half share in two Melbourne radio stations according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
A week ago the company announced that it had agreed to buy a half-share in 3AK talk station and 3MP easy listening music station (See RNW July 20): Now it says that after completing its due diligence checks it has been unable to continue the deal with station owner Data and Commerce.
The paper also quotes Data & Commerce managing director Jeff Chatfield, who had said the deal collapsed because of disagreements over strategic direction, as saying Data and Commerce had received another "slightly improved" offer for a half-share in the stations.
Text Media had originally agree to pay for its share $4.25 million cash and 1.4 million Text shares.
Previous Text Media:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-07-28: Still no word or mention on its website from Chicago Q101 and owner Emmis on whether Erich "Mancow" Muller has signed up again with them.
His 3-year $9 million contract expired on Thursday and Friday's "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" went ahead without him.
According to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times, Emmis remains confident that they will successfully negotiate a re-signing.
Mulle,r said the paper, had not closed the door on a settlement, commenting, "The idea of leaving Chicago is heartbreaking."
"We both have our poker faces on, and I feel like I'm in the middle of this thing…………. To me, it's kind of like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton."
"We hate each other, we love each other, we hate each other. I'm just not sure that we could ever love each other again."
Feder also reports that Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart have agreed long-term renewals for their morning show on Bonneville's modern rock WTMX-FM.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the paper, attributing the information to "sources" says Ferguson signed a five-year $5 million deal and Hart agreed to a four-year extension.
In recent Arbitron ratings, the duo were first in two key demographic categories--among adults between the ages of 18 and 49 and adults between the ages of 25 and 54.
And finally Feder notes that Clear Channel's contract with Larry Lujack has now ended. Lujack has been off the air since the former WUBT dropped its Jammin'Oldies format and his agent says talks are under way with a number of stations.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous "Mancow" Muller:
Sun-Times -Feder columns:
2001-07-27: More second quarter results now out, including those of Viacom in the US and also for the third quarter of last year from Astral and Corus in Canada show a mixed picture.
Montreal-based Astral Media reported third quarter earnings up some 60% to CDN$8.1 million compared to CDN$5 million for Q3, 2000.
It said growth was led by its pay TV services but the highlight of the quarter was its CDN255 million deal to buy Telemedia's 19 radio stations in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (See RNW June 30).
"This move underscores our determination to grow the radio side of our business in Quebec and will allow us to expand our radio operations outside the province and to gain entry into the English-language market, " commented Astral chairman André Bureau.
Toronto-based Corus had a seventh consecutive quarter of revenue growth, which it said was "fuelled by a mix of acquisitions and a buoyant television and radio advertising market."
It posted an 150% increase in revenues, from CDN$55.4 million last year to CDN$138 million, and EBITDA (income before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and other) of CDN$31.1 million, a 95% increase over 200.
Corus owns 52 radio stations in Canada and commented of radio that," Corus' Radio division continued to perform well in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary with 9% revenue growth on a pro-forma basis."
It added," Overall radio growth, while positive at 1.4%, was impacted by numerous format changes initiated to strengthen Corus' position for the future."
In the US, Viacom, which had a net loss of $495.6 million (41 cents a share) in Q2, 2000, returned to profit with net earnings of $16.7 million (1 cent per share)for Q2 this year but Infinity Radio's results were hit by the absence of last year's dot com earnings.
Infinity's pro forma EBITDA of $436 million decreased 5% on pro forma revenues down 4% at $985 million although the company says it "continued to gain market share by outpacing the out-of-home market and was No. 1 in radio revenue billings in seven of the top 10 markets."
The Pro forma results assume the acquisition of Infinity as part of the CBS merger, and the subsequent acquisition of the minority interest of Infinity, had occurred on January 1, 2000 and also assume the completion of all acquisitions and related divestitures of radio and outdoor properties by Infinity had occurred at the beginning of each period presented
For the first six months of the year, Infinity pro-forma revenues were down 4% at $1819.8 million and EBITDA was down 5% at $758.1 million.
Also in the US, The Ackerley Group has reported net revenues down, this time by 7.5% to $55 million and EBITDA down 55% to $6.4 million. Radio revenues were down 24% to $5.7 million and Broadcast Cash Flow was down 77% to $600000.
Ackerley web site:
Corus web site:
Viacom Web site:
2001-07-27: The UK Radio Authority's latest quarterly bulletin shows that in the second quarter of this year it received fewer programming complaints than in the same period last year but upheld more; concerning advertising it both received fewer complaints and upheld fewer.
In all, 51 programming complaints were received instead of 55, 17 being upheld compared with 15.
These broke down (2000 figures in brackets) by category into
*7 (6) concerning accuracy of which 4 (2) were upheld;
*10 (7) concerning balance/bias/ fairness of which 6 (9) were upheld;
*1 (3) concerning promise of performance or format of which none (none) were upheld and;
*8 (5) concerning other matters of which 4 (0) were upheld.
There were 45 (61) advertising related complaints of which 2 (7) were upheld.
These broke down by category into:
*3 (4) said to be harmful of which none (1) was upheld;
*12 (22) said to be misleading of which 1 (3) was upheld;
*28 (30) said to be offensive of which 1 (2) was upheld and;
*2 (5) concerning other matters of which none (1) was upheld.
In each of the categories except that of accuracy and promise of performance or format, there were occasions when there was more than one complaint about a particular matter.
Programming complaints upheld included:
A complaint against Century 105 (North West England), which offered a year's supply of gas or electricity but in fact had a prize limited to £350:
A complaint against Ridings FM (Wakefield) that had given the impression that a programme was "live" when part of it was not.
A complaint against Asian Sound Radio (East Lancashire) on the basis that it said it was broadcasting to West Yorkshire when it was not.
Complaints against News Direct 97.3 FM (Greater London), particularly concerning the station's general technical and editorial quality, in particular concerning its simulcasting of Independent Television News items and the use of picture-based scripts.
Balance and fairness:
A complaint against Sunrise Radio (Greater London) concerning its "news" broadcasts about news the candidacy of Sunrise Radio's Chief Executive, Dr Avtar Lit, who was standing for parliament in the general election:
A complaint against TalkSport (National) about bias in its cover of a May Day protest.
A complaint, before the election was called, against Marcher Gold (Wrexham & Chester) that the complainant felt to be a "sustained anti-Labour diatribe."
Taste and decency:
A complaint against BRMB (Birmingham concerning an item in which the presenter spoke to a caller who claimed to be an Asian restaurant worker whose employer (who had been the victim of a racial attack) paid him £100 a week to masturbate into customers' food.
A complaint against BRMB (Birmingham) over a late night show discussion of the sexual behaviour and practices of the boyfriend of a woman caller who had expressed concern over his behaviour.
A complaint against Century 105 (North West England) over a breakfast show containing a song called 'Dear Penis' and a spoof entitled 'The Psychic Nun'.
A complaint against the Virgin 1215 (National) breakfast show in which the "which the breakfast team discussed "shagging", whom the guest "would shag" and the size of his 'genitalia', compared with other celebrities."
A complaint against Scot FM (Central Scotland) over a breakfast show in which, although the words were beeped out, it was clear the word 'shit' and 'bastard' had been said on more than one occasion and that the presenter had also used bad language.
A complaint against Heart 106.2 (Greater London) concerning a reference to a nice 'chinky' meal by a host who said the term was used by staff at his local Chinese take-away.
A complaint against Galaxy 102 (Manchester) concerning the editing and subsequent broadcast without the caller's permission a conversation with a presenter concerning a competition.
A complaint against Vibe FM (East of England) in which a caller, who had called to make a request who was bounced from person to person and put on air without her consent.
"Other" programming complaints included Complaints against Isle of Wight Radio (Isle of Wight) concerning its coverage of a pyramid "money scam" in which the complainants thought callers were allowed in effect to promote their schemes.
This complaint was partially upheld.
Advertising complaints upheld included some concerning claims about "free Internet access" on a mobile phone,and an advert for a condom named Kok Xox (cock socks).
Previous UK Radio Authority:
Previous UK Radio Authority Bulletin:
UK Radio Authority Bulletin (577kb PDF):
2001-07-27: Salvador Homero Campos, former vice president of programming at Sacramento-based Z-Spanish Radio, has been fined $15,000 and sentenced to 24 months probation for failing to report to the tax authorities $100, 000 he received in record company kickbacks.
Campos had admitted receiving up to $15,000 a month from Fonovisa Records for giving their recordings airtime. The charges could have carried up to three years in prison but earlier this year (See RNW Feb 15) he had entered a plea agreement with prosecutors who promised to recommend a light sentence in return for his co-operation in prosecutors' investigation into the record industry.
Los Angeles Times report .
2001-07-26: Boston public radio station WBUR-FM has chosen Canadian Broadcasting Corporation veteran Dick Gordon to replace Christopher Lydon as host of its syndicated talk show "The Connection."
Since Lydon parted company with WBUR in March (See RNW Mar 3) after a dispute over his demand for part ownership of the show, the Connection has fallen back in syndication.
It then had around 75 stations taking it but now has some 55.
Lydon subsequently hosted web casts on his site and has been in talks with US National Public Radio(NPR) about a new show but nothing definite has emerged so far.
45-years-old Gordon will start in his new post on October1, until when the station will air a series of hosts.
He had guest hosted the Connection at the end of June and the beginning of this month and was on a shortlist which included NPR correspondent Neal Conan and ABC ''Nightline'' correspondent John Donvan.
WBUR general manager Jane Christo, who made the final decision, commented," ''We had this incredible group of candidates. ''
"We picked him because we just thought he had a little edge over the others.''
Gordon himself, who sent in demo tapes which led to his guesting spell, said the Connection was a "a brilliantly designed piece of radio'' that "doesn't really set margins on what it wants to cover but relies on the ingenuity and curiosity of its producers and host.''
As well as selecting Gordon, WBUR has appointed Graham Smith, who had been acting senior producer since Lydon's senior producer Mary McGrath left with him, as senior producer for ''The Connection''
Boston Globe report:
Boston Herald report:
Lydon web site:
2001-07-26: The BBC is to consult staff this week over plans to spend some £400 million on developing its Broadcasting House headquarters in London with the aim of putting together the Corporation's news, radio and World Service operations (See RNW Oct 31, 2000).
Only three years ago, the Corporation spent some £30 million on creating new offices for management in the building; in the process it closed radio studios for a number of programmes and transferred journalists to its White City TV complex in West London.
The Corporation has to apply for planning permission for the development soon as it only has until 2007 before it must re-house World Service staff because the lease ends on their current base at Bush House.
The new complex will include modern digital broadcasting facilities and around half the budget will go on upgrading the building's infrastructure and providing new technology.
The scheme is being financed through a joint venture with the property management specialist, Trillium.
Previous BBC :
2001-07-26: Saga Communications has started the second quarter radio results cycle with results pretty well as forecast in April.
Net revenues were $28 million compared to a forecast of $27.5 million, up 7% on 2000 Q2; Broadcast cash flow was up 1.5% to $10.8 million as forecast.
After tax flow, however, was down a cent to 35cents per share.
On a same station basis net revenues were up 0.3% to $26.3 million and BCF was up 0.3% to around $10.7 million.
For the full year, Saga is sticking to its forecast of $106.6 million in net revenues and $41.1 million BCF.
Saga web site:
2001-07-25: XM Satellite Radio has now unveiled its planned national advertising campaign "Radio to the Power of X", rollout plan and channel line-up.
The $100 million national advertising campaign will kick off on August 10 with a one-minute spot in some 3000 cinemas.
XM's commercial service is to start on September 12 in two lead markets, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego in conjunction with a multimedia marketing effort
There will then be a major regional launch in mid-October in the Southwest, covering a population of 55 million people and including major markets such as Austin, Houston, Denver, and Los Angeles.
Service over the rest of the US will commence in early November.
Speaking at a news conference, XM President and CEO Hugh Panero said, "We intend to change radio the way cable and DBS changed television, by providing compelling entertainment choices to consumers."
"Twenty years ago next week, MTV launched with the song 'Video Killed the Radio Star,' he added.
"We are here today to tell you that XM will bring radio back to life."
The line up announced by XM was 71 music channels, over 30 commercial-free; and 29 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels; three fifths will feature original content from XM.
The line up is segmented in to categories including 6 Decade channels; 5 Country channels; 15 Hits; 10 Rock; 7 Urban; 6 Jazz and Blues; 4 Dance; 5 Latin; 7 World Music; 4 Classical; 2 Kids; 8 News and Perspectives; 4 Business, Finance and Technology; 5 Sports; 3 Comedy and 9 Variety channels.
Subscription has been set at $9.99 a month.
XM Web site:
2001-07-25: The BBC whose cost-cutting measures last year included ending free croissants at morning meetings and severe restrictions on the use of taxis is now to ban free biscuits at al meetings and cut back on free tea and coffee according to the UK Guardian.
The paper says that an internal document it has seen shows that Corporation staff spend £3.3 million a year on catering hospitality.
This includes £210,000 a year is spent on biscuits for the meetings of BBC chiefs and middle management; £500,000 on complementary lunches, meals and buffets for employees; £80,000 on alcohol; £100,000 on "miscellaneous staff events" and at least £350,000 of which goes on regular free tea and coffee for staff outside of meetings.
The Corporation is also to ban staff use of kettles, which, it says, will have the dual benefit of "eliminating the potential safety and electrical loading issues and reducing cleaning costs".
Staff will however be allowed up to ten free drinks of tea or coffee a week from the vending machines that are to be installed.
UK Guardian report:
2001-07-25: Illinois Governor George Ryan has vetoed a bill, which would have forbidden non-compete clauses from future on-air talent contracts in the state, and forced the re-writing of current contracts.
The bill -the Broadcast Industry Free Market Act- had passed both houses of the state legislature (See RNW April 30)
It was strongly supported by The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and equally strongly opposed by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.
Ryan, announcing the veto, said the act would interfere with free market negotiations and push the state into playing a role in private party negotiations.
It would also, he said, cover only contracts finalised in the state allowing broadcasters with offices outside the state to circumvent it.
2001-07-25: Internet listening again dropped back a little in the week to July 22 according to Measurecast whose Internet Radio Index fell from 198 to 189.
Of the top 25 stations ranked by total time spent listening (TTSL), 17 were Internet only streamers compared to 16 last week and 11 of the top 25 streamed more hours than in the previous week.
At the top there was again little change but Virgin jumped back to the second spot, ESPN retained its third placed ranking with a significant increase in listening and3WK came back in at 5th; Hot 100 was pushed out and down to 6th place.
The top 5 ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) were (with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets):
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 153,401 (164,927); CP 43,128 (41,539) - Position unchanged- but listening down.
2): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 98,819 (80,355); CP 20,243 (14,482) - Previously 4th.
3): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 98,598 (84,764); CP 14,150 (12,180) -Position unchanged.
4): Internet only Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville TTSL 69,180 (69,065); CP 10,784 (10,429) - Previously 5th.
5): Internet only Alternative Rock 3WKUndergroundradio TTSL 43,898 (66,674) CP 11,220 (24,713) - Previously 6th.
Previous MeasureCast ratings: MeasureCast web site:
2001-07-24: More radio station deals in the US, a denial in Canada that Astral Media could be up for sale, and in the UK Scottish Radio Holdings tries again to sell its tabloid "Ireland on Sunday" newspaper.
First the US and in Georgia, Cumulus is disposing of more on its "non-strategic" assets with the sale of WLOV-AM and WXKT-FM in Washington to Southern Broadcasting Companies Inc. for $635000.
Cumulus kept these stations when its seven Augusta stations were sold to Clear Channel last year during various Cumulus disposals and swaps; earlier this month (See RNW July 13) it sold "non-strategic" WTLZ-FM in Saginaw, Michigan, to Wilks Broadcasting.
A larger deal which in turn resulted from another larger deal, is the $4.5million sale of KSQR-AM & KZSA-FM, Sacramento-Placerville, California by the trust set up to control stations which Entravision was barred under anti-trust laws from acquiring in its take-over of Z-Spanish Media.
Buyer Moon Broadcasting started running the station under a Local Marketing Agreement last week.
The trust now only has KLOC-AM in Modesto, California, to dispose of.
In other US announcements, Salem Communications Corporation says it has completed several of its deals.
They include the $735,000 purchase of WBTK-AM (formally WVBB-AM) in Richmond, Virginia; KSFB-AM (formally KBZS-AM) in Palo Alto, California and WFHM-FM (formally WCLV-FM) in Cleveland, Ohio.
The last was acquired from Radio Seaway in a three-way asset swap which saw a Salem AM in Cleveland go to Seaway and a Salem FM in Canton, go to Clear Channel.
North of the border, the Toronto Globe and Mail, quotes Ian Greenberg President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc. as firmly denying that the company is up for sale.
He insists the Montreal-based group is, to the contrary, still interested in buying more properties.
Earlier this year Astral spent Can$255 million on the purchase of the Quebec and Maritimes radio assets of Telemedia Communications Inc. (See RNW June 30).
Through that deal Astral became Quebec's largest radio owner and top in every Atlantic market where it has a station; it did not attempt to buy Telemedia's other 60 stations.
They were sold to Toronto-based Standard Broadcasting, which thus became Canada's largest radio owner
The paper says that Greenberg said that to have bought the stations would still only have left Astral third or fourth largest operator in Canada and his preference is to lead in every market where Astral has a presence.
Finally in the UK, Scottish Radio Holdings(SRH) , which has a stake nearly a quarter of Irish commercial radio station Today FM, is trying to cut back on its newspaper holdings in the Republic.
It is involved in negotiations with Associated Newspapers over the sale of its tabloid "Ireland on Sunday " paper at a price rumoured in the region of £7 million.
The title cost SRH under £6 million last year but its circulation has since slipped and its losses have mounted.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Standard (Canada):
2001-07-24: The price of digital radio receivers in the UK could fall to as low as £100 (around $150) by Christmas this year according to Texas Instruments and RadioScape, a British software firm.
The two say that their developments mean Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) receivers could be made at around £30, around a third less than existing components.
The two companies are in talks with manufacturers about production of the new receivers.
2001-07-24: The US Federal Communications Commission has confirmed a fine of $25000 on Clear Channel for taking control of WBTJ-FM in Youngstown, Ohio, without authorisation (See RNW April 6).
Clear Channel had been running the station under an LMA and the FCC has also ordered that it allow Stop 26, the licensee of the station, to resume control of the station.
Clear Channel had refused to allow Stop 26 to take back the station in August 200, claiming that it was due a refund of LMA payments; it then obtained a local court injunction allowing it to keep control.
The FCC had issued a notice of apparent liability to which there was no response and has now held that this means Clear Channel failed to take its first opportunity contest the decision and is thus barred from seeking further review.
Previous Clear Channel:
2001-07-23: For this week's look at newspapers on radio, we have chosen to look at columns or articles reflecting people or formats, which in a way are out of place.
First a brief comment in a review of "World Routes" by Andy Kershaw that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and the World Service during the week.
Elisabeth Mahoney of the UK Guardian quotes him as saying of a section of desert between the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, "I can't see any reason to live here……….It's one of the most godforsaken places I've ever been."
It wasn't only Kershaw who seemed a bit out of place; so did what he found out about the effects of the Gulf War and subsequent sanctions on music in the area.
"We never had pop singers before the sanctions," his guide told him "but people need an outlet after all the suffering."
Also out of place is a former Baltimore radio host now on the airwaves in Lagos, Nigeria.
An Associated Press feature carried by the New York Times looked at the content of the five-hour "Breakfast Jam" show hosted by San Francisco-born DJ Dan Foster "Cool FM" in the city.
Foster says Cool FM's Lebanese owner was looking for an ``American flavour'' when the station heard a three-minute sample of his work on the Internet and offered him a contract.
The article notes the range of music on the show from US pop to local singers, oddball items like "fake helicopter traffic reports -- fake since no station in Lagos has a helicopter -- and characters like 'The Village Woman'' who speaks pidgin English and calls in to educate the foreign DJ on the intricacies of Nigerian life."
It also remarks on Foster's penchant for criticism of the authorities which a few years ago, when the country was under a military dictatorship, would not have been permitted.
Also seemingly out of place is US public radio host, Kurt Andersen whose weekly arts and culture show Studio 36 was moved into the station's top ranked Car Talk slot in New York by WNYC-FM.
There it has not only held the audience but also increased it.
The show, produced by WNYC, is aired nationally through Public Radio International (PRI) and writer Mike Janssen of Current Magazine comments that Andersen's show and Car Talk have in common one element - that they're both not what they seem.
The latter, says Janssen is more about its ebullient host than cars and Studio 360 "pretends to be about art, but it's more accurate to say that it covers human experience-humour, love, fear, pain and, above all, the ways we express these emotions."
Melinda Ward, senior Vice President of Productions at PRI, which owns, funds and distributes Studio 360, comments, "I don't see it as an arts program per se. "
"The way Marketplace looks at the world through a business and economic lens, we're using arts and culture."
"But there's almost nothing we can't take a look at, and that's a great way of people bringing in and helping them realize . . . that the arts are maybe broader than that painting in a museum they never see, or the concert they never go to."
Janssen notes that "public radio has no problem creating shows that zero in on one kind of art or music" then adds that, "The idea of a general-interest arts show may seem obvious, but lots of past efforts have sputtered out or failed to find berths on stations. RNW note: The Janssen article brings to mind comment by an American on a BBC Radio 4 show this week concerning the presence of poetry on the airwaves and in English culture whereas in the US it hardly got any attention in the media but was one of the most popular areas of the Internet. Maybe PRI have something here!
For the next entry, what is the place?
Paul Donovan's column in the UK Sunday Times commences, "Fancy a full-figured black lesbian who smokes and is at least 60 years old? Or perhaps a non-smoking, slim, white, gay man of 25?"
"Maybe you swing both ways and are none too fussy? No problem with any of these "alternative lifestyle choices", as the taped voice of Jane Jones describes them.
As a clue, the reference is to a service of Classic FM run in association with Chicago-based Spark Services, leaders in the field.
Next clue," For alternative lifestyle choices, press three."
"If you opt for the third way, you hear Jones say - most incongruous, given her Home Counties tones - "if you are a gay man, press one; if you're a lesbian, press two; if you're a bisexual man, press three; if you're a bisexual woman, press four."
For the answer follow the link below!
Current Magazine - Janssen:
New York Times/AP-Lagos DJ:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2001-07-23: The University of Maryland seems close to a long-term deal with Infinity Sports Marketing, a subsidiary of Infinity Broadcasting Corp., on a marketing package worth some $2million a year over the next 8-10 years for the radio and other rights to the university's sporting activities.
Up to now sponsorships, radio rights, and other rights were handled separately and the university invited marketing proposals from outside organisations.
Infinity now seems sure to beat four other bidders - Host Communications, Clear Channel, Learfield Communications and Nelligan Sports Marketing - who responded with proposals.
According to the request for proposals, the successful bidder would handle various rights including radio rights to men's basketball and football games. (currently held by Learfield Communications, which has contracted with WBAL-AM in Baltimore to carry the games through the 2001-2002 academic year), the right to sell radio and television shows for men's basketball coach Gary Williams and football coach Ralph Friedgen, sponsorships for game-day events, advertising on the school's Web site (currently handled by FANSonly) and spots in a new basketball arena's skyboxes.
The deal may mean that WBAL, which has carried Baltimore's games live since 1984, loses them although the station says that the University has made it clear that it prefers to remain with them.
Previous Clear Channel:
PreviousViacom-CBS- Infinity: Baltimore Sun report:
2001-07-23: BBC Radio 2 is to start a weekly top-40 album show in October as it consolidates its hold on its mid-market audience.
Presenter will be current BBC Radio 5 Live host and former BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Mayo.
He said the show as well as carrying the chart, as does the Radio 1 top 40 singles show "but will also reflect the chart with interviews, live music and features."
BBC Radio 2 controller Jim Moir, echoing this said, "I intend this new programme, along with our Saturday night album show Stuart Maconie's Critical List, to reflect the importance of albums in the UK. Our audience buys albums and many of the great artists develop some of their best work within the context of albums."
BBC Radio 2 announcement:
2001-07-22: Quite a busy week for radio including Australian plans for a number of new licences, a whole run of licence renewals in Canada and three new licences in Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has announced plans for new licences under revised licence plans for Adelaide, Western Victoria and the Spencer Gulf region of South Australia.
The Adelaide plans include provision for a new commercial station in two years time; this would require community radio service 5CST and a low power retransmitter for commercial service 5SSA to move frequencies.
In Western Victoria, the ABA proposes new commercial radio services in Warrnambool and Hamilton, along with a new community radio service in Horsham.
It also proposes to reduce the licence area of the Warrnambool commercial radio service, 3YB, to exclude the Portland region and to extend the licence areas of the existing Warrnambool community radio service 3WAY, which would also have to change its frequency, and of the Melbourne 3RPH community radio service to include Warrnambool.
In Hamilton, the ABA proposes to make channel capacity available for the 3ABCFM service, currently reserved to operate in Portland on 88.1 MHz, to change to an alternative frequency.
The ABA is also proposing to make channel capacity available for one additional national radio service in Portland.
In Horsham, the ABA proposes to make channel capacity available for a community radio service and one additional national radio service in Horsham; it also proposes two additional national radio services in Nhill.
In the Spencer Gulf region, the Authority plans new community radio services in Port Pirie and the Yorke Peninsula, to extend the licence area of the commercial radio service 5AU Port Augusta to include Roxby Downs, and make a channel available in Wudinna for retransmission of the 5CC Port Lincoln commercial radio service.
The ABA is also proposing to make channels available for three national radio services to serve Port Lincoln and lower Eyre Peninsula.
In addition the ABA notes requests by the licensee of both the 5AU Port Augusta and 5CS Port Pirie commercial radio services to decrease the licence areas of the services.
This would have the effect of making the licensee eligible to apply to provide second commercial radio services on the FM band in each of these licence areas.
At this stage, the Authority does not intend to do this but is seeking comment about reception of 5AU and 5Cs in the relevant areas.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a licence for an English Language FM station at London, Ontario, to broadcast the 2001 Canada Summer Games.
The licence would run only for the Games' duration and would broadcast information for the games using the existing transmitting facilities of CFPL-FM and CFPL-TV London.
The CRTC has also renewed a number of licences including licences for:
Ontario -- CJQQ-FM Timmins;
CFNO Marathon and its transmitters at additional locations;
Quebec:-- CFTH-FM-2 La Tabatière and Mutton Bay;
CFTH-FM-1 Harrington Harbour; CIEL-FM Rivière-du-Loup;
CIEL-FM-4 Trois-Pistoles; CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup, and its transmitters;
CIBM-FM-1 Rivière-du-Loup and CIBM-FM-2 Trois-Pistoles;
CHOX-FM La Pocatière, and its transmitter CHOX-FM-1 Baie Saint-Paul;
CION-FM Québec and its transmitter CION-FM-1 Beauceville;
CFLO-FM Mont-Laurier and its transmitter at L'Annonciation; CHJM-FM Saint-Georges;
CHOE-FM Matane; CHNC New Carlisle, and its transmitter CHGM Gaspé;
CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda, and its transmitters serving Amos/Val-d'Or.
In Ireland, the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) has granted of three new community radio licences, subject to contract negotiations.
They are for Cashel, Co. Tipperary; Knock, Co. Mayo; and Waterford Institute of Technology.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has advertised the new Inverness digital multiples; it has also announced that it only received one declaration of intent to apply for Luton/Bedford AM licence.
This was from existing licence holder, Classic Gold Digital Ltd., which has now been asked to apply under the special "fast track" procedure applicable in such cases.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has red-flagged a planned Clear Channel deal; this involves Clear Channel's acquisition of Oldies WCND-AM in the Louisville market where it already owns eight stations.
The Commission has also received a petition from a coalition of organisations involved in the new Low Power FM services for various rule modifications and revisions.
Most are minor such as:
allowing more time to come up with sharing plans for contested frequencies or allowing one applicant to re-apply for a different locally available frequency;
to permit minor transmitter changes;
and in one case to allow amendment of a list of directors to eliminate any individuals (pirates") found guilty of operating without a license in the past since their presence on the list automatically rules out the application.
The coalition which involves community and church organisations and the Media Access Project, note that more than 3400 LPFM applications have now been filed.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
IRTC web site:
Media Access Project site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-07-22: The Washington Post reports that talk radio host and Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy is being fired as part of a major shuffle at Infinity's WJFK-FM.
He's been at the station for nine years and is to continue being syndicated to some 160 stations by Westwood One, which is run by Infinity.
The Post says that Liddy's 11 am to 3p.m. show, although top rated in its target audience in the most recent Arbitron ratings, does not fit in with the rest of the station's line-up and is less popular than the shows which precede and follow it, those of Howard Stern in the morning and Don and Mike (Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara) in the afternoon.
Don and Mike will take over Liddy's slot, thus permitting them to go live on WNEW-FM in New York where they are currently airing via a tape delay.
The midday slot at Infinity owned WNEW became available when Leslie Gold was fired recently.
Moving to the afternoon slot then vacated by Don and Mike will be Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia).
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Previous Westwood One:
Washington Post report:
2001-07-21: The US Senate Appropriate Committee has not only approved President Bush's budget for the Federal Communications Commission but has gone one better and added an extra $3.5 million: Congress however has trimmed the sum to $9.5 million less than the $248.5 million requested (See RNW April 12).
The Senate committee approved a budget of $252 million, combining the extra sum with a request that the Commission examine the declining standards of broadcast television and the impact this has upon children.
Congress, however, in passing by 409-18 a bill covering the budgets of FCC and the Department of Commerce, only approved a budget of $239 million for the FCC.
This creates a discrepancy, which will have to be resolved in a conference between the House and Senate later in the year.
2001-07-21: UK Capital Radio breakfast host Chris Tarrant has signed a new contract with the company despite suggestions that the success of his "Millionaire" TV show could mean he would leave breakfast radio.
Details have not been released but the contract is said to include performance-rated elements, which link his remuneration to the show's advertising revenue and Capital Radio Group's overall profits.
Previous Capital Radio:
2001-07-21: A dispute amongst Islamic groups in Australia may lead to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) facing court action over its award to Muslim Community Radio (MCR) of the country's first Muslim community radio licence (See RNW May 27).
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the challenge comes from the Islamic Council, which claims that MCR is a minority group with fewer than 500 supporters.
Teh paper quotes an Islamic Council spokesman as saying of MCR, "They are rejected by mainstream Muslims and Islamic scholars around the world." "MCR's teachings are regarded as poison ... and they have isolated themselves from the orthodox Muslim community."
The spokesman also alleged that some of the letters of support tendered by MCR bore forged signatures or were obtained under false pretences.
The ABA has confirmed it is investigating one complaint from a Muslim leader who claimed that his signature was forged on a letter of recommendation for MCR of which he had no knowledge but has defended the award.
ABA chairman, Professor David Flint, commented that MCR had the potential to represent the interests of about 30 per cent of Sydney's multinational Muslim population.
MCR's President said they had every intention of representing the general Muslim community, and denied allegations of fraudulent activity, describing the Islamic Council's tactics as unacceptable and nonsense.
The paper also reports that according to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, neither MCR nor the State council are fit to hold a licence; MCR has never been a member of the peak body, and NSW was expelled from the national organisation in March this year, for what were described as a series of "serious wrongdoings".
The Supreme Islamic Council of NSW, the organisation set up in March to replace the expelled NSW council, said it would approach the broadcasting authority seeking a second community radio licence.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-07-20: US radio ratings and audience research organisation Arbitron reported second quarter revenues up10.1% from a year ago at $50.3 million; year to date revenue was $110.5 million, an increase of 9.1% over last year.
Arbitron is still involved in negotiations with its biggest customer Clear Channel (See RNW July 18), which accounted for more than a fifth of its revenue last year and CEO Steve Morris said they appeared to have moved into the final stages of the negotiations.
The extended Clear Channel negotiations reduced Arbitron's revenues by around $500000 and the effects of increased spending on new ventures such as it Webcast ratings and Personal People Meter (PPM) combined with $5.0 million of net interest expense related to debt linked to the company's spin-off from Ceridian in March, hit net income hard.
This was down 41.1% to $4.7 million, and EBITDA for the second quarter was down around 2.0% at $13.9 million compared with $14.2 million for the second quarter of 2000.
Morris says Arbitron is increasing financial support for the PPM but cutting back on its Webcast ratings where market growth has been slower than anticipated.
Arbitron has just released its first test ratings from the PPM: The trial in Wilmington, Delaware, involving 35 radio stations, eight TV stations and eight cable outlets.
It showed that cable and TV viewing was above currently-measured levels, while radio was on par.
For radio, there were higher levels of daily cumulative AQH (Average Quarter Hour) audience --75.9% compared to 66.0% in the diary survey; but daily time spent listening was down, with a 2 hour, 12 minute PPM measurement as opposed to a two hour 30 minute level according to the diaries.
Marshall Snyder, president, Worldwide PPM Development, for Arbitron, commented, "We are encouraged by these first comparisons because we've also seen that the encoding system works as designed-broadcasters and cable networks can and do encode their audio on a continuing basis and the meters readily detect the inaudible codes."
"We have also been able to recruit and maintain a panel of consumers who are representative of the market we are measuring and who, on average, carry their meters for more than 15 hours a day."
Previous Clear Channel:
Arbitron web site: .
2001-07-20: Australian newspaper and magazine company Text Media, whose flagship title is The Melbourne Weekly, has bought a half share in Melbourne radio stations 3AK (talk) and 3MP (easy listening) for Aus$4.25 million in cash plus 1.4 million shares.
The seller, digital broadcasting group Data and Commerce Ltd, paid Aus$8.5 million plus 8 million shares for the stations earlier this year.
It bought half of 3AK in January and the remainder in February, paying Aus$3.6 million in all for the station; in May it paid Aus$4.9 million in cash plus 8 million shares for 3MP..
2001-07-20: BBC radio has agreed non-exclusive commentary rights for the next two cricket world cups - in South Africa in 2003 and the West Indies in 2007 - and the ICC knockout trophy competitions in2202, 2004 and 2006.
The deal leaves the door open for TalkSport and other broadcasters to negotiate their own deals for the competitions.
The BBC and TalkSport recently shared commentary rights for the British Lions rugby union tour of Australia
Previous TalkSport: .
2001-07-19: While the format change may have been a cultural loss for Chicago, the ratings for Bonneville's WDRV-FM, The Drive, the former classical music WNIB-FM, have been the reverse.
It took a 2.2% share and ended up an 18thplace tie with Bonneville's soft rocker WNND-FM in Arbitron's spring ratings compared with 1.3% for the winter ratings.
The city's other newcomer, WPWX-FM the urban contemporary station of Crawford Broadcasting jumped to a 2.9% share and 10th place tie compared to an 0.8% 29th place in winter.
Loser to WPWX was Clear Channel's urban powerhouse WGCI-FM which ranked second but whose audience share fell from 6.9% in the winter to 4.8% allowing Tribune Company's WGN-AM to move into the lead with a 7% share in spring compared to 5.6% in winter.
In the Morning Dive, WGN's Spike O'Dell was first with a 10% share, up from 9.2%, whilst second placed, Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy of WBBM-AM, dropped back to a 7% share from 7.3%.
Further down, Erich Mancow Muller in a 7th place tie pulled his share up from 3.3% to a 3.6% but his station, Emmis's WKQX-FM dropped back to a 2.7% share from 2.8%.
Earlier this week Robert Feder reported in the Chicago Sun-Times that Muller, whose contract is up for renewal later this month, was considering an offer from Infinity Broadcasting to move to San Francisco with an allied increase in syndication.
In Los Angeles, the ratings headline was the return to top spot of an English-language station for the first time since summer 1995; taking top spot was Infinity's KROQ-FM, which upped its share from 4.5% to 5.1%.
2001-07-19: BBC World Service Online has been voted best radio site at the 5th annual Webby Awards ceremony in San Francisco.
The awards, by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, were founded by Tiffany Schlain in 1997 and this year took place against a backdrop of dot.com collapses, which have seen a number of nominees close to bankruptcy or even closed down already.
The awards are made in 30 categories on the basis of such factors as a site's functionality, interactivity and overall experience, but not its financial success.
Webby Awards site:
2001-07-19: As commercial launch date approches, both US satellite radio companies have announced deals to carry ABC Radio shows.
Sirius and XM are to offer ESPN, Radio Disney and ABC NewsTalk with Sirius adding two more - the "Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show" which Sirius and ABC have developed for US truckers, and 24-hour sports network ESP News.
None of the companies have released any financial details relating to the deal.
XM, which has just released its second quarter results, had operating losses for the quarter of $42.1 million, up from $13.9 million in the same quarter of 2000.
The company attributes much of this to the launch costs of its second satellite. Net loss was up from $5.1 million to $38.5 million and loss available to common shareholders was up from $7.3 m (15 cents a share) to $44.3 million (76 cents a share).
During the quarter it had announced a number of programming deals including arrangements with MTV, VHI, CNBET and CNBC.
It has also announced a deal with GMAC to include the costs of its monthly subscription as part of the lease or finance of a new General Motors vehicle; Gm holds a 12% share in XM, directly and through its subsidiary DIRECTV.
Previous ABC Radio (US):
Sirius Web site:
XM Web site:
(RNW note- both of these sites offer sample programming):
2001-07-18: The hardball between US radio giant Clear Channel and ratings organisation Arbitron has moved a step further in the public domain with Clear Channel chairman and CEO Randy Michaels saying that if he does not get a better deal soon he will not only drop Arbitron but also help finance a competitor.
Speaking to the Cincinnati Business Courier, Michaels said," I'm ready to do without it."
He then took a swipe at Arebitron's methods, saying, "They do not have a tool that measures radio the way it's being done today. This is a service that was developed for radio the way it was in '40s."
Michaels attacked the way Arbitron grouped its data by metropolitan areas, arguing that this is punitive to big AM stations whose powerful signals are hard over a wide area.
(RNW note: Nothing new there from the 40's: Big AM station in those days also had audiences over vast areas.)
Michaels argues that measuring this large audience could mean that national advertising rates for big AMs could be increased and said, "Right now, we're giving that away," said Michaels.
"Since we've worked hard to collect the best signals, that's punitive to us."
If Clear Channel did drop Arbitron's ratings - and renewals are due on Clear Channel stations in 130 of its 187 markets - it would cost the latter some $14 million a year; Clear Channel is by far Arbitron's largest ratings subscriber and accounted for more than a fifth of its revenue last year.
Previous Clear Channel:
Cincinnati Business Courier article.
2001-07-18: Russian government-controlled energy giant Gazprom has agreed to sell some of its shares in the Moscow Echo radio station to a commentator for the station.
The sale will limit state influence over the station, leaving the station's journalists with just four more shares than Gazprom; each holds around 42.5%.
The journalists had wanted to buy the remaining 9.5% but instead they have been sold to Russia's former economics minister, the liberal politician Yevgeny Yasin, who hosts a programme on the station.
The deal is a compromise acceptable to both sides and leaves neither of them with firm control.
No figures have been released of the price for the shares sold.
Previous Moscow Echo:
2001-07-18: Internet listening jumped 22% over the previous week to reach to a record according to Internet audio rating company MeasureCast; its Internet Radio Index was a record 198 in the week to July 15, now almost double the organisation's rating at the start of this year (a nominal 100).
MeasureCast CEO Ed Hardy said there were two reasons: "Streaming radio fans went back on-line to listen after the Fourth of July holiday, and many more people are discovering the variety of terrestrial and Internet-only stations available through the Web."
"This is extremely encouraging for advertisers who plan to devote a portion of their ad budgets to streaming media, " he added.
Measurecast has also released a study on Internet listening which showed that 17% of its sample of streaming media users listened to or watched streaming audio or video 20 hours or more during the past 30 days.
Measurecast selected 250 people for the survey from its panel of 50,000 plus streaming media users; Just over half reported listening more often from home rather than work but those listening from work listened for longer.
The survey also noted that faced with a choice of thousands of stations, nearly a third had only listened to two or three stations during the previous 30 days and a sixth had only listened to one; only 6% listened to 6-10 stations and 4% to 11 or more.
In the organisation's latest rankings by Total Times Spent listening (TTSL), 16 were Internet only stations, the same as the previous week.
In the top 5 there was one newcomer, ESPN; 3WK Underground Radio dropped out to 6th position.
The top 5 ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) were (with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets):
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 164,927 (132,093); CP 41,539 (40,214) - Position unchanged- but listening remains less than the 176,756 of three weeks ago.
2): Internet only Hot 100 TTSL 85,435 (60,948); CP 26,710 (25,581) - - Previously 3rd
3): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 84,764 (29,914); CP 12,180 (5,289) -Previously 8th.
4): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 80,355 (88,388); CP 14,482 (15,020) - Previously 2nd.
5): Internet only Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville TTSL 69,065 (56,161); CP 10,429 (10505) - Previously 4th.
Previous MeasureCast ratings: MeasureCast web site:
2001 07 17: Less than a week before BBC Radio 1's second "Love Parade", Britain's largest free music and dance festival, was due to be staged in Newcastle upon Tyne, it has been cancelled after local councillors and police could not agree on parking and safety for the estimated quarter million who were expected to turn up.
Most bookings had already been made and many people had set up plans to attend leading to expectations that many music fans may turn up anyway; Radio 1's web site, which carries details of the cancellation, links to a message board on which many messages urge the fans to turn up and part on Newcastle's Town Moor irrespective of the cancellation.
Last year the channel staged its first "Live Parade" with great success at Roundhay Park in Leeds.
The channel had been putting £2 million into next Saturday's event.
Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt said: "On behalf of the dance music community and dance music fans, particularly all those in the North East that have shown us so much support during the past 24 hours I express my sadness."
"Although I recognise that extraordinary efforts have been made by the Council, I am still very disappointed that they have failed to meet their obligations under the licence at this late stage."
"Radio 1 have been working on this event for more than 6 months and have met or exceeded all the requirements placed on us to stage an exciting and safe event."
"I pay tribute to the Live Events team at Radio 1 and our event organisers SFX who have worked flat out on meticulous preparations. I am very sorry that Love Parade cannot take place.
Radio 1 is now in urgent talks with national and local clubs and DJs to see whether, in the time remaining, a programme of smaller indoor events can be mounted in the city.
Tony Flynn, Newcastle's council leader, said: "Everyone involved has worked around the clock to make this work but the logistical difficulties of bringing 250,000 people into the city successfully in a very concentrated time frame proved insurmountable ... I know that this news will disappoint thousands of people who were looking forward to the event, and I share their disappointment."
BBC Radio 1 announcement:
2001 07 17: Continuing its international expansion, Austereo has moved into Greece by taking a 75% stake in Athens radio station Klik FM
Klik is one of 20 new stations granted licences following the introduction of a new regulatory regime in Greece.
Austereo had agreed a provisional purchase agreement in January subject to Klik being granted its licence and paid Aus$7 million (around $3.5 million) for its three-quarter share; a Greek publisher holds the rest.
Austereo operates the 2Day FM and Triple M networks in Australia and is currently researching the Athens radio market.
In December last year Austereo took a share in unlisted UKRD which operates 15 UK radio stations (see RNW Dec 4, 2000) and it expects international operations to account for 15 per cent of earnings within three to five years.
Austereo group managing director Brad March told the Sydney Morning Herald, "While there are a lot of stations [in Athens], there hasn't been competition in a program marketing sense." "It's like the Australian market was 10 years ago in terms of sophistication." He said he was confident Austereo could take Klik from its current 4% of the $50 million radio advertising market up to 10%. The paper also reports that Austereo has set up a joint venture with SBS Broadcasting, which owns the Lampsi station in Athens to share facilities and services with Klik; Lampsi is currently off air but expects its new licence in September.
Previous Brad March:
Austereo web site:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001 07 17: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has announced that Carole Taylor is to become chair of the board of directors of CBC/Radio-Canada. Taylor, whose predecessor Guylaine Saucier quit her post in November last year, four months before her term officially ended, is a former television news reporter and was the first host of CTV's Canada AM.
Taylor is currently Chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade; in a statement she said, "My commitment is to work with all stakeholders to help generate support for CBC/Radio-Canada, so that we can continue to provide high-quality, distinctively Canadian programming for our Canadian audiences."
CBC President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Rabinovitch, who has been acting as chairman since Saucier resigned, welcomed her appointment
"Ms. Taylor brings to CBC/Radio-Canada vast experience in broadcasting, public affairs, arts and culture, and business. I am delighted by her appointment as Chair of our Board," he said.
"As we continue to strengthen Canada's national public broadcaster, I believe that Ms. Taylor's appointment will go a long way toward ensuring that the Corporation continues to meet both the needs and expectations of Canadians."
The appointment means that both top posts at the broadcaster are held by Anglophones; traditionally one has been held by an Anglophone and the other by a Francophone.
2001 07 17: Conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh has signed an eight-year contract renewal worth $285 million according to Internet columnist Matt Drudge whose radio talk show, like Limbaugh's is syndicated by Premiere Networks.
Drudge says that the total is made up of $250 million over the next eight years, Limbaugh will get a $35 million signing-on bonus, making his annual take $35.6 million
Limbaugh, who has previously only accepted deals of up to three years, reportedly commented, "I am frequently asked if I expected this level of success, and the honest answer is yes."
"So why should I feign surprise when it happens?"
RNW note:As a comparison, Howard Stern last year signed a five-year deal for around $100 million (see RNW Dec 16, 2000) and Paul Harvey a ten-year $100 million deal (See RNW Nov 4, 2000 )
2001 07 16: For our look at radio through the print media this week, we have gone for the turn of phrase, rather than any particular line of thought.
First to Ireland and Gerry McCarthy's column in the UK Sunday Times which begins," "Somebody phoned Today FM to ask about sketches on The Last Word …… As political year segued into the silly season, it felt like a perfect week for satire, with everybody being silly and serious at once."
"But Eamon Dunphy was firm. There will be no sketches, he said. 'Navan Man is on holiday, and we all know there's only one Navan Man.'"
Having thus dealt with a commercial channel, which he later praises over a political interview, McCarthy continues, "Over on RTE, when somebody takes a holiday, there are armies of reserves on stand-by."
"On Liveline, Derek Mooney has been given the task of fielding calls in Joe Duffy's absence."
Comparing the stand-in with the original, McCarthy comes out very firmly in favour of the latter.
"Duffy," he writes, "for all his eccentricities, has become expert at sorting the quality from the crazies. Mooney, unfortunately, has not."
"He repeatedly gets it wrong, either underestimating the gravity of a topic or taking seriously something that more experienced figures such as Duffy would dismiss.
The UK Guardian also has some fine phrases in its reviews. The one we chose, by Elisabeth Mahoney, has a serious core as well.
It begins, "Dr Gillian Rice gets straight to the point. In Touch (BBC Radio 4), a programme about the "underdog of our senses", she answered a question even before it had formed in smutty minds."
"If you lost your sense of touch, she began, in the opening seconds of the show, 'lovemaking would become a mere shadow.' Our case study, Ian Waterman, thankfully had rather less saucy details of life without tactile pleasure."
"'There's just nothing there,' he said quietly, talking about patting his dog, 'dear old Daisy.'
"At 19 Waterman lost his sense of touch following an illness in which an antibody in his gut reacted against nerves that shape touch receptors."
"Now unable to feel the difference between sandpaper and silk, Waterman spent two years in hospital trying to recover functions he'd lost (walking, picking things up, holding a mug of tea) with the sense. Touch receptors monitor every part of the body and are central to balance, for example, so that walking is one of the toughest things to relearn."
"Despite Rice's excitability, this was a serious report with moments poignant enough to make you gulp."
It also might give you thought as to how WBAI-FM, New York, host Mike Feder might fare with no sense of touch.
Feder is the subject of a New York Times feature by Chris Hedges, who writes that Feder, who "has been through three marriages"; has "spent thousands of dollars on shrinks"; "has been in a couple of mental institution"; and whose "allergies preclude long periods of time outside walls of concrete."
Feder, continues Hedges, "feels guilty about, well, everything. And he thinks a lot about death."
"All this, and he loves to talk about it, a lot, 20 years of talk, although this is not, he will tell you, enough."
"Listeners of his radio program on WBAI, not content just to hear about his problems, can now read about how his mother killed herself and left a note blaming Mr. Feder for her death; how his father cut out when he was 4 and spent his life roaming the globe until he died in a plane crash over the Black Sea; how he had an abnormally high sex drive; and how he spent his childhood in an attic room overlooking Mount Sinai, the Jewish cemetery in Queens, where he watched burials."
Of his show, "Hard Work" on WBAI, Feder comments, "I have spent my whole life going to shrinks. I have been to seven shrinks over the last 40 years."
"I still see one. A lot of what I talk about on the radio is about seeing a shrink. A lot of my audience is patients and shrinks."
"I think of something to talk about and turn the microphone on. It is like jumping off a cliff. "I do an on-air autopsy. I perform experiments on myself. I do this on the radio. Maybe science and humanity benefits."
Finally back to the UK Sunday Times and Paul Donovan's column.
He takes up the dumping by the BBC of actress Elizabeth Marlowe who played Lilian Archer in the eponymous BBC Radio 4 "soap" for some 30 years.
She was recently dropped with no explanation in favour of a different actress, who played as many perceive it, a different character.
The change was described by Donovan as," Instead of a lazily attractive woman with a fondness for drink, we have a sex-mad, crazy, full-blown alcoholic whose histrionics would do justice to Joan Crawford. "
Marlowe commented," "It's like listening to a completely different character," and, writes Donovan, "Many other listeners have been aghast at the difference between Lilian Mk II and Lilian Mk I - even though Mk I has not actually been heard on the serial for 10 years, a huge tribute to the distinctiveness of Marlowe's deliciously silvery and girlish voice."
"They have fired off letters to Feedback, which has carried two separate items on it and aired a listener's poem: 'The gal we once knew/ Has got nothing to do/ With that tart on the bike riding pillion,' which just about sums it up."
"They have also e-mailed dozens of comments to the Radio 4 website, whose message board now has a whole section called "the amazing change of Lilian".
New York Times- Hedges:
UK Guardian - Mahoney:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
2001 07 15: A very quiet week for regulators on the radio side: there was nothing of interest from Ireland and more proposals than decisions elsewhere.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has proposed new commercial licences in Sale and Warragul near Melbourne, two new community services in Warragul and for the extension of the licence area of the 3RPH community radio service in Melbourne to include Warragul.
The Authority has also proposed to reduce the licence of Sale commercial service 3TR, to exclude the Moe-Yallourn region where it is not well received; this change would make the licensees of 3TR and Warragul 3GG eligible to apply for second FM commercial services in the two areas.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is calling for additional applicants for a new FM licence in Quebec City, Quebec and a new FM licence in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The CRTC has also announced that it has received an application from La radio communautaire inter-génération, jardin du Québec, St-Rémi, Quebec, to increase the effective radiated power for CHOC-FM from 0.8 watts to 200 watts.
This would change the licence from a low power one to a regular Class A1 FM licence.
CHOC-FM says it does not intend to expand its service contour but to provide better service within its existing area and to overcome interference form other nearby stations.
In the UK, the only activity of note from the Radio Authority was a pre-advertisement of the Sunderland area FM licence, currently held by Sun FM.
If only Sun applies when the licence is advertised, it will be invited to apply for the Authority's special fast-track procedure.
In the US, it was also fairly quiet but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued four more low power FM construction permits were issued; this takes the total issued to 91 from a total of 3,250 received to date. .
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001 07 15: Normally the traffic goes from radio to TV but the BBC has done the opposite with its latest episode of the cult science fiction series "Dr Who."
The series was the worlds longest running on TV; now it is back as audio on the Internet, some 12 years after it last appeared on BBC TV.
Advertised on the BBC website as "Death Comes To Time Finally, Doctor Who has returned. Hear the adventure here!", the half-hour programme features Sylvester McCoy as the time traveling doctor.
It is in six Real Audio segments on the site and involves the doctor enlisting the help of a mysterious Timelord, played by Stephen Fry, to battle an alien warlord, played by John Sessions.
BBC Dr Who web site:
2001 07 14: The Baltimore Sun reports that John Hopkins University is poised to sell the University's WJHU-FM radio station to Maryland Public Radio, a group led by WJHU talk show host Marc Steiner.
The group has raised more than $760,000 in individual contributions according to the paper which describes it as having "most tenuous finances of any of the suitors that explored buying WJHU."
It says the group is still far short of the estimated $5 million purchase price and would also have to spend heavily on upgrading the station.
Baltimore Sun feature (includes history of WJHU and the negotiation to sell it):
2001 07 14: The British Government has now published its Office of Communications Bill, which would set up a new super regulator, OFCOM, for the UK broadcasting and telecommunications industry.
It is being published jointly by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and prepares the ground for appointing an OFCOM board.
The heads of the departments, Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt stressed the importance of media and telecommunications as the "fastest growing sector" of the UK economy.
DCMS web site:
2001 07 14: Clear Channel's Chairman and CEO, L. Lowry Mays, has been ordered to submit testimony in a civil lawsuit filed by a Toledo Blade reporter.
Sandra Svoboda alleges she was slandered by WVKS-FM's "Breakfast Club" radio show.
She filed her lawsuit in January of last year seeking damages of more than $25,000 from Clear Channel, the station's owner and Denny Schaffer, the show's host; Svoboda alleged that false statements were made about her including comments made by Schaffer several times in October 1999 that Svoboda was dating the newspaper's co-publisher and editor in chief, John Robinson Block.
Svoboda later added Fred LeFebvre and Tricia Tischler, two other members of the radio show, as defendants in the action; her amended complaint alleges they told Schaffer that Svoboda was having a sexual relationship with Mr. Block.
In her lawsuit, she denies any such relationship.
Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge William Skow, at a pre-trial hearing, granted a motion requiring depositions from Mays and from three WKVS engineers but rejected requests to order depositions from two other Clear Channel Executives.
He also rejected defence requests to limit the scope of the questions during deposition.
The Toledo Blade is not involved in the lawsuit but in 1999 it sued WSPD-AM, another Clear Channel station in the city, for using stories from the paper without giving a credit or obtaining permission (See RNW October 1, 2000).
Morning host Mark Standriff, had used the slogan, "I Read The Blade So You Don't Have To'' as a promotional device; in a settlement he agreed to credit the paper when using its stories but Clear Channel itself did not admit any offence.
Previous Clear Channel:
Toledo Blade report:
2001 07 13: Canada's largest radio owner, Toronto-based Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., is to spend Can$20 million on adding four more stations from Winnipeg-based Craig Music and Enertainment Inc.
The stations involved, all in Manitoba, are CKMM-FM, Winnipeg; CFQX-FM, Selkirk; and CKXA-FM and CKX-FM in Brandon.
Standard recently agreed a sale of its existing Winnipeg FM to CHUM Limited and the purchase of CHUM-FM, Montreal from them.
In the US, Cumulus is selling WTLZ-FM in Saginaw, Michigan, to Wilks Broadcasting for $3.75 million.
It acquired the station when it bought Connoisseur in 1999 but had not added any other stations in the market.
Cumulus CEO Lewis W.Dickey Jr described the price as "attractive" for a "noncore asset."
Wilks Broadcasting already owns two AMs and three other FMs in the Saginaw market.
2001 07 13: UK local radio host Jon Gaunt, who won a record 3 Sony Gold Awards earlier this year (See RNW May 1) is to leave BBC Three Counties Radio to join BBC London Live in August.
His boss there will be managing editor, Dave Robey, who hired Gaunt at BBC Three Counties radio in 1996.
Gaunt has been the subject of three upheld complaints to the UK watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, but says he will not tone down the new show, a weekday phone-in programme running from noon to 1500 local.
2001 07 12: Chicago-based US radio commentator Paul Harvey, who has been off the air since the middle of May, has been diagnosed with a weakened vocal cord and is to undergo surgery to repair it.
Harvey thought at first that his problem, which kept him off the 25th anniversary edition of his show (See RNW May 12), was laryngitis.
The new diagnosis, which they attributed to a virus, was made by doctors at the Mayo Clinic last week according to Chris Berry, vice president of ABC News Radio which syndicates Harvey to around 1200 US radio stations and some 400 US Armed Forces Radio stations. In November of last year Harvey, who is 82, signed a ten year $100 million dollar deal with ABC (See RNW November 4, 2000).
He has an estimated weekly audience of some 18 million and in a letter to affiliates and listeners in June he wrote, "''I know it must seem that I have neglected my 'professional family' in recent weeks."
''The fact is that I've imagined that every 'next week' I would be back on your frequency broadcasting as usual, but this bug is tenacious! ''
"The good news is that the voice is returning gradually. The bad news is that it is not yet the broadcast quality which ABC affiliates deserve. Also, I'm told that to stress the voice prematurely could prolong the hoarseness. ''
"I am indeed sorry this uncertainty has dragged on so long, but the worst is past."
Harvey is now expected to return to the airwaves by the end of August.
Previous ABC, America:
2001 07 12: The UK Radio Festival, which ended on Wednesday in Manchester, has seen a whole swathe of subjects tackled by BBC Director General Greg Dyke who made the keynote address.
*defended the decision to cut BBC World Service short wave broadcasts to North America and Australasia;
*alled for the hiring of more members of ethnic minorities in radio;
*announced plans for radio expansion in the North of England to counter charges that the Corporation is biased towards the south-east;
*accused Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, of trying to interfere with the content of BBC programmes and ;
*tackled TalkSport boss Kelvin MacKenzie head-on and called him a "pathetic whinger".
On the World Service cuts which came into effect on July 1 (See RNW July 1), Dyke said that the money saved would help other less developed areas of the world such as Africa benefit from a stronger World Service presence.
He added that the World Service remained committed to short-wave in areas where it is the primary means of receiving the World Service.
On ethnic minorities, Dyke, who has called the BBC "hideously white" in the past, defended that description.
During questions after his speech he said, "I make no apologies for saying it. We look around the room today, and we should be embarrassed. In many ways radio is worse than television.
Dyke said he was determined to have more senior managers from ethnic minorities at the BBC and commented that half of London's population would be non Anglo-Saxon within ten years (RNW note: Using the term strictly, we'd have said it already is! We suspect Dyke is using a euphemism for non-pink).
The BBC wants to spend some £30 million on five new digital radio channels including plans to convert the current Leicester -based Asian Network into a national service and a black music and news-based station (see RNW Sept 29 2000).
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has warned that these must not be used to move minority broadcasting out of the main national services, which led Dyke to criticise her, saying, "It is not for the secretary of state to make decisions on content. That is for the BBC governors."
On another politically sensitive topic, the alleged bias of the BBC towards London the south-east of England, Dyke announced that an extra £600,000 a year would be spent on making more programmes for Radio 4 from the north.
The money will be spent on moves such as arranging for consumer programme You and Yours will be co-presented from Manchester regularly; for Woman's Hour tobe broadcast from the city at least once a fortnight; for arts magazine show Front Row to come from northern venues once a month and for travelling shows such as Loose Ends, Any Questions?, and Bookclub to be transmitted from the north of England more often.
Dyke commented," We're concerned that many viewers and listeners feel that the BBC is too southeast biased, too London-centric."
"These initiatives show we mean business in redressing that balance."
He also spoke in favour of BBC local radio stations; his predecessor cut investment in them but Dyke has reversed this move.
"BBC local radio is a crucial lifeline for everyone in the community when major news events impact real people's lives," said Dyke.
"By ending the annual cuts in local radio, by increasing budgets, and by making it clear that people at the top of the BBC care about local radio and the communities that the stations serve, I believe we have turned morale around, " he added.
On TalkSport, Dyke said the BBC was in the sports radio market first and still dominated it, with listeners preferring Radio Five Live to TalkSport by a wide margin.
The BBC, said Dyke, was there "when Kelvin decided to turn his radio station away from the talk franchise to sports. Kelvin knew the market he was coming into.
To hear him whingeing about competition now is a bit pathetic."
He added, "It appears that Kelvin wants us to withdraw from the market now he's there."
"We don't mind competition, but there's no way we are going to step aside from something we know our listeners value, enjoy and rely on just so that Kelvin or anyone else can make lots of money.
MacKenzie, who has long been a critic of the BBC, has been particularly vociferous concerning sports rights. He has accused the BBC of abusing a monopoly position and in June complained officially to Britain's Office of Fair Trading about the matter (See RNW June 27 TWG3).
RNW note: The UK Guardian and UK Independent have both been carrying reports from the Radio Festival: Search for radio between July 9 and 11:
Guardian web site:
Independent web site:
2001 07 12: The UK Broadcast Journalism Training Council Awards, sponsored by GWR, have been presented at the Radio Festival in Manchester to two students on the Broadcast Journalism Course at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston; they produced a radio feature covering mobile phones and a TV one on Kosovar refugees.
The judges described Heather Alexander's mobile phones feature, which won the Radio Award, as "original piece of work, containing interesting new pieces of information, good use of sound effects and a Name That Tune idea, which worked perfectly."
GWR news release:
2001 07 12: A Palm Beach, Florida. judge has found former WRMF-FM morning co-host Jennifer Ross in contempt of court for failing to honour a non-compete agreement with her former employer, CBS-Infinity's WEAT-FM.
The judge told Ross she would be fined $100.000 if she breaches again a court order prohibiting her from any involvement with WRMF.
Ross had left the station after a ruling that she had to take a one-year break from the local airwaves under the non-compete contract she had signed with Infinity but one day after the ruling she appeared at a WRMF-sponsored "March of Dimes" event.
2001 07 11: Continuing preparations for the launch of its service, XM Satellite Radio has announced a nationwide test programme in which "dozens of teams of testers" will be deployed in 20 markets in the US to road test the service.
XM President and CEO Hugh Panero, said, "The testers are providing feedback as we put our system through its paces in preparation for a commercial launch later this summer."
The company's news release does not mention if the areas chosen for the tests will have terrestrial repeaters in operation; these are planned as part of the XM system to give back up in locations where the satellite signal may be obstructed as in hilly terrain or in cities
XM web site:
2001 07 11: UK Capital Radio may sell some stations to give it more flexibility to acquire FM licences in key metropolitan areas according to the UK Financial Times.
The paper says that Capital may "warehouse" is AM and smaller FM licences with a third party but retain an option to buy them back should ownership regulations change to permit this.
Under current UK rules Capital is right up against the ownership ceiling and could only acquire a regional AM licence, says the paper, which quoted Capital Chief Executive David Mansfield as saying it could be an "option" to make some disposals in view of delays to new communications legislation in the UK.
"We had been told by Chris Smith (the former culture secretary) that the rules were going to be changed earlier than they will be," said Mansfield.
"We want to own major stations in major markets,"he added, "...... We haven't got any we would willingly dispose of. (But) we will have to make some adjustments to our portfolio of stations."
"We may well look to make arrangements over the coming 12 months."
Although legislative changes may be delayed, they are almost certain to lead to consolidation in the UK radio industry; the UK Guardian reports that the UK Radio Authority favours some consolidation.
It quotes Richard Hooper, the chairman of the Radio Authority, as saying that consolidation is "to a certain extent, a good thing. I think we will go down from six or seven big players to possibly three."
UK Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, gave assurances at the Radio Festival in Manchester, that radio would not be sidelined in the new communications legislation and would get its own division of the new super-regulator, OFCOM.
Jowell said the draft communications bill would be published early next year followed by a three-month consultation period and the hope was to have a bill by late 2002.
Much of her speech concerned broadcasting in general rather than just radio, and in particular included a call for a national debate on public service broadcasting, associated with comments about the benefit of competition between BBC radio and commercial radio.
"BBC stations are often very good, but that's because they have to be," she said, adding that commercial radio stations must be able to operate "without being crowded-out by the BBC."
She also said the government would be reviewing progress towards switching off analogue radio in the autumn of 2003.
On the new media front, Capital Interactive is to become the exclusive provider of web radio services to MSN.co.uk from later this month.
Under the agreement, which is part of an MSN plan to develop a strong Internet music brand, visitors to the MSN site will be steered to Capital Interactive's three stations.
MSN has some 11 million users in the UK, making it the country's most "popular website.
Previous Capital Interactive:
Previous Radio Authority:
Financial Times site (article was in the Creative Business segment on P4, July 10):
UK Guardian on Hooper:
UK Guardian on Jowell:
2001 07 11: Putting the blame on the Independence Day holiday, Measurecast has reported that Internet radio listening fell back 9% in the week to July 8, taking the organisations Internet Radio Index down to 162 from 177; on the holiday itself, listening was down by 47%.
The figures for the top 25 stations show only five increasing the Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) but 14 had a higher Cumulative Persons (CP) number indicating that their audiences increased but listeners tuned in for a shorter time.
Of the top 25, 16 stations were Internet only compared to 18 in the previous week but at the very top there was only more jostling for position.
The top 5 ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) were (with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets):
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 132,093 (137,803); CP 40,214 (39,920) - Position unchanged- but listening fell back; it was 176,756 two weeks ago.
2): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 88,388 (91,903); CP 15,020 (15,988) - Position unchanged but listening up.
3): Internet only Hot 100 TTSL 60,948 (69,575); CP 25,581 (24,813) - - Previously 4th.
4): Internet only Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville TTSL 56,161 (72,423); CP10505 (11,474) - Previously 3rd.
5): Internet only Alternative Rock 3WKUndergroundradio TTSL (58,500) CP (25,680) - Position unchanged.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-07-11: In another sign of the times and demographics, the new head of BBC Radio Scotland, Maggie Cunningham, has instituted changes to attract an older audience.
A new host, Vic Galloway, has been appointed for the Pop show "Air", which was formerly hosted by two youth presenters, Amanda MacKinnon and Douglas Anderson, and the show has been targeted at listeners aged over-35.
The station is discussing changes to its overall music strategy and has cut down on its classical coverage; it's also changing its arts coverage.
On the British national scene, BBC Radio 2 seems to find attractions in older staff but a younger audience.
Current station head, Jim Moir, has changed Radio 2 to attract an audience of the 30-somethings in place of its traditional older audience but his current five-year contract expires in November, is 59 and he was expected to retire then. Now the channel expects him to sign a further two-year contract. Under Moir, the Radio 2 audience has risen to nearly 11 million listeners a week and earlier this year it was named the "Station of the Year" in the Sony Awards (See RNW May 1)
2001 07 10: The UK broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) annual report for 2000-2001 takes up the issue of the need for regulation in a time of rapid technological change.
It argues for its continuation, saying that 90% of Britons want some regulation to remain; it also takes up the principles which should guide regulation in view of changes in the UK, which will see the existing five broadcasting regulators subsumed into one body. (See RNW June 21).
The report takes up and rejects arguments that technological change has meant that content regulation may not be sustainable nor may the divide between regulation of content delivery by broadcasters and other means.
Public opinion, it says, clearly supports continuing regulations, stating, "A solid 90% still support it. But there is agreement that the framework needs to be redefined to include more self-regulation and greater citizen empowerment."
"People want broadcasters and regulators to offer a safety net, such as the Watershed, to respect the privacy of individuals and to help underpin Britain's community values."
"The challenge," it concludes, "is not so much that of regulation versus no regulation but rather, how to ensure greater citizen empowerment."
"The only point of regulation is to ensure that the public's interest is served in ways that make sense to both consumers and citizens."
"The market alone achieves much but the Commission believes that with broadcasting, there are important citizens' rights issues that are concerned with the public good and the quality of public life."
"Moreover, there is a need to protect children and vulnerable groups from harmful or offensive material, while ensuring that freedom of speech and creativity are not stifled."
"The Commission would like to see content concerns articulated clearly as a lead issue within the new regulatory structure, setting the agenda against which licences are issued and influencing related economic matters, such as cross-media ownership or competition concerns."
"Content regulation," it says, " makes an important contribution to a healthy broadcasting environment by emphasizing and supporting range, quality, and diversity; by promoting freedom of expression; and by encouraging innovation while protecting human dignity."
"Positively, regulation will include the need for due impartiality, objectivity, accuracy and fairness in news and factual programmes and a range of public service programming appropriate to the nature of the channel."
"Negatively, protection will include the need for all services to conform to currently acceptable community standards that seek to respect personal integrity, human dignity and privacy and to protect children and other vulnerable groups."
"The new regulatory regime, " it adds," has to seek to hold two things in tension - one is the public interest, the other what interests the public."
BSC chairman, Lord (Alf) Dubs, a former MP (Member of Parliament), comments, "I don't see a contradiction here between the Commission's work and human rights and freedom of expression.
"In a sophisticated liberal democracy, there should be certain standards and the public should have an independent body to which they can make their complaints. Our current job is to get the balance right."
Dubs argues for similar standards across the board, expresses regret that the BBC will not be fully part of the planned new OFCOM regulator, and defends the principle that a complaints mechanism should be part of the law of the land, commenting, "I don't think self-regulation works very well when it's the culprits."
On actual complaints dealt with during the year, the Commission says that those about advertising rose from 11% to 14% of the total, putting some of this down to advertisements that take viewers and listeners by surprise and can often be out of line with their expectations.
Concerning fairness the report said,"the dominant theme was fair reporting. Particular issues concerned patient confidentiality and secret filming."
Commenting on the Human Rights Act, which came into force in UK law last year and which emphasizes the awkward balance between freedom and responsibility, the report says that its most recent research, "indicated that the reflection of Britain's modern community values - and respect for viewers' intelligence, privacy and the protection of children and vulnerable groups - are the main areas of public concern."
It also highlights sensitivity about "racist abuse" from its own research and a report commissioned in conjunction with the Radio Authority on attitudes to commercial radio which showed, " … one of the main causes of offence was racial abuse and swearing/offensive language."
On standards issues it comments on the tight rope it has to tread and particular notes problems with "humour" and "at what point should the issue raised by the sensitivity of a minority have a bearing on the power of the majority?"
It has noted, it says, an increasing number of complaints concerning humorous comments about the Scots, the Welsh, the Irish and the English and when "they become offensive and stereotypical?"
Commenting specifically on radio, the report notes an increase in complaints about local radio and similar decline in those associated with national radio and in particular says the "over enthusiasm of some breakfast radio presenters continues to draw complaint, particularly with regard to the discussion of sexual matters."
Listening research, it says showed that restrictions were felt to be needed "at breakfast time, in the late afternoon and early evening or during the 'school run'."
"Radio stations themselves," it said, "appear increasingly ready to recognize and correct such excesses."
The report also comments on "shock-jocks" in whose case it says most complaints "are about content that most listeners would accept in the context of the established style of this format."
It goes on to say that from time to time the boundary is crossed and in one case," noted the descent from debate into sustained personal abuse that it believed to be unnecessary, gratuitous and an abuse of the presenter's position."
BSC web site (Note:This is a Flash 5 site):
Link to report in PDF format-564 kb)
2001-07-10: XM Satellite Radio has now opened its New York offices and studios, which will act as a Manhattan base for the production of specific shows.
These will include a series of hour-long musical specials for XM's Jazz channel hosted by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and a daily show hosted by Jonathan Schwartz, who will direct programming for XM's American Standards channel.
The New York complex in the former Steinway Building (now The Economist Building)in midtown Manhattan includes talk and production studios.
Like its sister complex in Nashville at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it will be linked to XM's main 80-plus-studio broadcast centre in Washington, DC.
XM has also announced that holders of its 8.25% series B convertible redeemable preferred stock to receive on August 1 a dividend payable in shares of the company's class A common stock at a rate of $1.0313 per series B preferred share.
XM web site:
2001-07-09: For this week's look at the radio columns, we have concentrated on articles from Canada and the UK concerning DJs with a little US speculation regarding satellite radio thrown in for good measure.
First Canada and a Toronto Globe and Mail column by William Thorsell devoted largely to the praise of Robert Harris and his "I Hear Music" on CBC Radio.
After an introduction looking at the content of various of the shows, Thorsell goes on," Once in a while, public broadcasters regain their faith in their listeners and relieve us of the Fabian socialist impulses that so often turn their programs into moralistic bores."
"I Hear Music draws deeply from knowledge and uses contrast and parallels to teach a good deal about art. It proves the importance of context in extracting meaning from creativity, the power of the narrative and the significance of the personal in bringing art alive." "By comparison," he writes later, "nothing makes much sense on commercial pop radio, though it could……….. Commercial pop radio never shows any evidence of context, and therefore never leaves any trace of meaning."
"Fabulous scope for Robert Harris-type linkages exists in popular music, which would generate enormous electricity among sentient pop-music fans."
"But the culture, incentives and habits of commercial pop radio fail utterly to escape the stultifying pretence of choice that passes for capitalism in that field."
"Instead, we get predictable; narrow play lists and formats sent down by marketers in the United States to be acted out by hapless, aging DJs on all those indistinguishable "more music" stations that clutter the dial."
"Worse, they have now regressed to syndicated American love-hostesses for those gooey evening romantic call-in shows where broken hearts and addled minds are salved by juvenile poetry set to the mush of electric pianos."
"A number has meaning only in relationship to another number. That makes math."
"Our intellectual and cultural life derives meaning only from the relationship of one phenomenon to another. That makes society."
"Robert Harris makes a bit a society each week by connecting the dots that constitute music, and is among the few publicly accessible people who do."
This somewhat jaundiced or accurate - take your pick - view of US culture in the pop music field, which was reflected in the tone of a Clea Simon article in the Boston Globe.
In an article looking at the potential for satellite radio, she starts by writing of, "Commercials that outnumber songs. Stations that fade as soon as you hit the 'burbs or the tunnel. Sound quality that makes the millions spent on a record's production a joke. A paucity of formats that means the same songs and the same talk show up all around the dial."
This, she then says, could all change this summer but also adds that the potential agent of change, satellite radio, may be "the most expensive technological misfire since Beta-format video."
The new services promise superior technical quality with far fewer or no adverts and Simon quotes executives from both XM and Sirius Satellite Radios.
Joe Capobianco, the senior vice president of content, told her, "''We don't think people will pay for what they can get for free.
''By focusing on the subscriber, like HBO does in television, we can create content that pushes the envelope in ways that conventional radio can't do even in the largest market.''
Capobianco was involved in the creation of Internet subscriber service MusicChoice, a service cited by Sean Ross, editor for the trade magazine Airplay Monitor, as converting him to the view that, "there might be something to subscription audio.''
Content, concludes Simon will be the make or break factor that will distinguish satellite from terrestrial radio and she draws an analogy with the success of cable TV. In particular the feature notes the absence of various formats in US markets, even the major ones, whereas satellite will offer a whole host of dedicated channels.
Lee Abrams, chief programming officer for XM, commented, "''You take any mainstream format that exists in any market, and we can really split it up to superserve."
"Every market has an oldies station, but we'll have the luxury of a dedicated '40s channel, and one for the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. You'll hear careers, and not just the big hits.''
The other factor that will separate the satellite services from terrestrial radio and maybe even differentiate between them is the presence of adverts.
Neither is now promising to eschew them completely but Sirius seems to be going further along the advert-free path. XM will have limited advertising on most channels, maybe some with just sponsors announcements, but Sirius is promising no adverts on is music channels and only limited commercials on its talk channels which are scheduled to include to National Public Radio Channels and BBC World Service in English and Spanish.
Sample programming, as we have already noted, is available on both companies web sites, and even on the music channels there are presenters or DJs and their personalities will also play a role in the success or otherwise of channels as with that of CBC where we started.
To end though, to the UK, and Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times: His column this week, looks at UK Breakfast Radio in the wake of the firing by Virgin Radio of Chris Evans.
Donovan starts by looking at how Steve Penk has performed filling in the Chris Evans slot, writing that, "On the basis of last week, his successor has a long way to go."
"He has one of those urgent, aggressive, rather stereotyped commercial-radio personas, and will probably have to abandon that completely if he wants to find his own voice."
After a section on the competitiveness of breakfast radio, Donovan looks at the qualities needed for the breakfast host. "Breakfast-radio hosts," he writes, "need a remarkable range of gifts, quite apart from a willingness to get up at 4am."
"You need to be cheerful but not manic, something Henry Kelly manages but Evans does not."
"You can sound tart, but not tarty, a distinction that eludes Sara Cox on Radio 1."
"You can be informal, but not casual: anyone who does not appreciate that subtle difference has never heard Radio 5 Live's excellent Peter Allen, who returns to his old breakfast slot next week for the first day of the 2001 Open Golf Championship."
"You need to sense the fine line between saucy and smutty, given the hordes of children being taken to school by car; two people with an unerring touch in this regard are Terry Wogan on Radio 2 and the charismatic Erika North on Heart 106.2 in London (her co-star, Jonathan Coleman, is slightly less reliable, though between them they present a show whose wit and flair make Capital's Chris Tarrant look tired indeed). "
"The breakfast show with the most influence (by far) and the biggest audience (just) continues to be Today on Radio 4."
"With its vast experience and resources, it should be good, and mostly still is, although it is hard to avoid the observation now that in their interviewing it is James Naughtie who leads the witness, John Humphrys who berates the witness and Sue MacGregor who often appears to have some difficulty understanding what the witness is saying."
Boston Globe - Simon:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Thorsell:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2001-07-09: The UK Virgin Group, which has already sold UK Virgin Radio (See RNW June 27), has confirmed that it has received approaches to purchase Oui FM, its Paris rock station.
The station was bought by Virgin in conjunction with the Lynx venture capital company in 1999 and has a 4.4% audience share according to French ratings organisation Mediametrie.
According to the UK Sunday Times, those interested in Oui are thought to be US giant Clear Channel and French Radio operator NJR; it estimates the station's value at between £13 million and £15 million.
Previous Clear Channel:
UK Sunday Times report:
2001-07-08: Although the main activity elsewhere was licence awards, in the US, there has been a sudden rush of fines for various regulation breaches, one of which, involves the Federal Communications commission is in an appeal against a fine which may have wide repercussions.
This was a $7000 penalty levied on Citadel for playing an edited version of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady."
In Australia, there were two radio related decisions from the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
In addition the Authority has announced that public hearings concerning the allocation of three new Melbourne-wide community radio licences and one new community radio licence for Melbourne City, originally scheduled for May, are now to be held between August 13 and 24.
The delay was caused by uncertainty about the availability for an AM community licence.
The ABA has now announced that it has changed the Melbourne radio licence area plan by allocating a new permanent frequency to commercial radio service 3AK.
3AK is to cease operations on its current frequency by July 24 and its former frequency is now to be allocated for the new community radio service in the city.
There are 20 applications in all for community licences, with some organisations applying for more than one licence.
In all there are 17 applications for each of the two Melbourne-wide FM community broadcasting licences, 12 applications for the Melbourne-wide AM licence, and eight applications for the smaller Melbourne City licence.
The ABA is also to allocate a new community radio licence for Hornsby, New South Wales, to 2HHH FM Ltd, which will have until July 22, 2002 to go on air.
There were four applications for the licence; the winning 2HHH FM application and that of Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Community Radio Inc. (North FM) both proposed to serve the general Hornsby community; Hellenic Australian Radio Inc. proposed to serve the Greek community and Chinese Community Service Broadcasting Inc. proposed to serve the Chinese community.
The ABA says it chose 2HHH FM because of "considerable local programming and significant membership."
Canada was very quiet, with the main radio-related activity from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) being the extension of deadlines.
These concerned the time limit to implement Aboriginal Voices Radio FM programming in Toronto June 16, 2002 and the extension of the time limit to implement the low-power FM transmitter at Red Deer, Alberta until 7 October 2001.
The commission also approved a change to the contours and effective radiated power from 9 watts to 200 watts of CHRK-FM-1 Banff, a transmitter of the radio programming undertaking CHRK-FM-1 Calgary.
Nothing from Ireland but in the UK there were two analogue FM licence awards, two digital multiplex awards and the announcement of applications for another local FM licence.
The main analogue award was that of the new regional and West Yorkshire licence to Variety FM, owned by the Guardian Media Group, GMG.
The coverage area has around 2.5 million potential listeners and includes the cities of Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford.
The Authority has yet to publish its assessment against the award against competition from fifteen other applicants.
Variety FM will become the third regional station for GMG, which won the South Wales licence (See RNW April 8, 2000) and recently acquired Scot FM from the Wireless Group. (See RNW June 12).
John Myers, Managing Director of GMG Radio, said, "This transforms GMG Radio into a major radio force."
"It rewards GMG for its commitment to radio and we look forward to entertaining Yorkshire."
The other FM licence award was that of the new FM licence for Omagh and Enniskillen and the surrounding area of Northern Ireland to Radio West FM, which was competing against three other applicants (see RNW March 14).
On the digital side, multiplex awards were those for Ayr in Scotland, which went to SCORE Digital Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings plc.(SRH) and that for Bournemouth in Southern England which went to Now Digital Ltd., wholly owned subsidiary of the GWR Group plc.
In Ayr, SCORE Digital was competing against Switchdigital with an offering of seven commercial services in addition to the BBC services it has to carry (See RNW April 29); In Bournemouth, Now Digital was the only bidder, offering seven commercial services in addition to carrying BBC Radio Solent (See RNW May 20).
The Authority also announced that three companies have applied for the new local radio FM licence for Pembrokeshire in West Wales.
They are Haven Fm (Pembrokeshire) Ltd., which offers a full-service community focused station; More 102 (Radio Pendragon Ltd.), which offers a music-based service supplemented with local news and information; and Real Radio (Pembrokeshire) Ltd., which offers a full service station providing local news, information, music and entertainment.
In the US, the last of the three Bush nominations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Kevin Martin, has been sworn in by the Federal Communications Commission (see RNW July 5).
Other radio-related activity beyond routine business focussed on various penalties imposed or not imposed, concerning technical and "indecency" offences.
Of these, the most significant is the fine on Citadel for playing an edited Eminem track (See RNW July 6 )
Other fines included
*a $10,000 fine on Joshie Yasin Nakamura, Sr., aka Marvin Eugene Barnes, of Palo Alto, California, for operating an unlicensed amateur radio station:,
*a denial of an appeal by Alan-Leonard Brockway of Kalispell, Montana, against a $17,000 fine for similar offences.
*a fine of $3000 against Mitchell Communications, licensee of WDVA-AM, for failure to register its four- tower array antenna structure in Danville, Virginia;
*a reduction to $8000 from $10000 in the fine against USA Tower Inc. for failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting on its Elizabeth City, North Carolina antenna structure;
* a $24,000 fine against Zachery Broadcasting Company, Licensee of WDWZ-AM,West Point, Georgia, for failure to have Emergency Alert System equipment installed, failure to follow the Rules pertaining to antenna structures and its failure to maintain a public inspection file.
Previous Aboriginal Voices Radio:
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
(Melbourne Community licence applications):
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-07-08: Gunmen have shot and killed the news director of Voice of the Jungle Radio in Florencia, southern Colombia.
Jose Dubiel Vasquez, aged 55, was walking out of the station after the morning news programme when two men passing by on a motorcycle opened fire on him.
An AP report in the New York Times notes that the station is partially owned by the family of a Colombian congressmen shot and killed by suspected guerrillas in December of last year.
Motorcycle gunmen also killed Vasquez 's predecessor as Voice of the Jungle's news director, Alfredo Abad, that month.
New York Times/AP report:
2001-07-07: The BBC World Service in its annual report says that its radio audiences reached a record weekly audience of 153 million in 2001, FM expansion is ahead of target and Internet investment is paying strong dividends.
It made no mention of ending its short-wave transmissions to North America and Australasia at the beginning of this month (Radio Netherlands jumped in and announced it was taking over the frequencies See RNW June 29) although it does say," High quality reception of World Service programmes is available via satellite in Europe and North America."
RNW note: If they mean via Sirius or FM this isn't so yet; if they mean to stations for re-broadcast, this is not that much use to a general audience.
The report says that audiences to its services in 43 languages grew steadily from 120 million a week in 1992 to 143 million aweek in 1997, then suffered a fall back to 138 million in 1998 before picking up again and growing steadily to the record 153 million.
It says that its audience is now more than that of its second and third placed competitors combined 91 milllion and Radio France International 45 million) (Voice of America has a weekly reach of but Mark Byford Director, BBC World Service, commented that it must sustain its "pace of development if it is to continue competing as successfully in fast-changing markets across the world."
BBC chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, commented, "What this year's record radio audience figure does not reveal is the World Service's achievement in preparing itself for the digital age."
"Listeners in all 43 languages, with access to the web, can now hear World Service programmes online anywhere in the world."
"Online traffic has gone up by 62%. A whole new audience has opened up, taking the World Service into a new era as a multimedia broadcaster."
Byford said that the global audience increase had followed a comprehensive programme of independent audience research surveys carried out in 29 countries.
He noted particular gains in Nigeria, Kenya and Saudi Arabia but a fall in audiences in Russia and Pakistan.
He added that the service had achieved its target of being on FM in 120 capital cities in the world, 62% of the total, and said the aim was to increase this to 70% by the end of 2003/04.
All World Service language services now provide online audio and, said Byford, Internet growth was surpassing expectations.
Traffic to "to the World Service and World News sites grew 62% to 39.3 million monthly page impressions by March 2001"
In regional terms, audiences in Africa and the Middle East were above target, those in the Americas on target, and those in Asia and the Pacific, EurAsia and Europe were below target.
In terms of actual audiences, these increased over the past four years in two areas - Africa and the Middle East; and Asia and the Pacific; they were steady in the Americas, and went down in Europe and EurAsia.
The short-wave audibility section of the report still lists the areas where short wave has now been dropped in all or part - the Americas plus Asia and the Pacific; audibility on average was rated as "good" or above in all areas except the Americas.
Staff numbers at the service are now 1237 worldwide, a little above the Service's target but output per staff member per week was on target at 0.86 hours.
1999-2000 World Service Annual Report:
World Service Annual Report news release (links to actual report -in segments or the whole as a 3.4Mb PDF)
2001-07-07: Following up on the fine imposed on Citadel (now owned by Forstmann Little), for playing an edited Eminem track (now being appealed - see RNW July 6) and an earlier fine, also of $7000, on public radio station KBOO-FM in Portland Oregon (See RNW May 22) for broadcasting "feminist" rap song "Your Revolution" by Sarah Jones, the Los Angeles Times reports that the city's radio executives think they are taking "enough precautions to avoid trouble."
Robert Scorpio, program director of the L.A.-based KKBT-FM told the paper, "You can't really stop the radio stations from being aggressive on music."
"But if you follow the rules of the FCC and do your own screening, you shouldn't run into trouble."
"If it's something that really doesn't sound right, we don't have a problem with taking it off."
"We're not trying to put bad messages out there. For the most part, it turns people away."
Scorpio added, however, that the fine for the Eminem "Slim Shady" radio version surprised him.
"This is a song that was played thousands and thousands of times. I didn't think there was a problem with it, " he said.
Nic Harcourt, music director of KCRW-FM in Santa Monica commented, "There are some people who want to push the envelope a little bit."
"If the wrong person is listening, they're going to get into trouble. Get ready to be called on it."
A harder line was taken by Hilary Rosen, President and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who noted that in the past the Federal Communications Commission seemed to target racy comments by on-air staff more than they did song lyrics and added that the latest two cases "almost appear to be value judgments on the music."
Rosen said they were not asking artists to change their lyrics but were "trying to alert artists to the real threat to their freedom of speech."
At KBOO, station manager Chris Merrick, said of the track they played, "It's not a party song, it's not pandering, it's not gratuitous."
"The words themselves, we thought they were safe. It condemns sexuality and condemns sexism, and that's indecent?"
" Where's the uniform enforcement of indecency?"
The paper reports that Merrick said standards have stiffened since George W. Bush became president and named Michael K. Powell as FCC chairman an official with the FCC's enforcement division said that nothing has changed and that the agency couldn't initiate a crackdown even if it wanted to.
He said the FCC doesn't have the staff or resources to monitor stations for indecency and acts only on listener complaints.
Previous Citadel (Forstmann Little):
Los Angeles Times report:
2001-07-06: Five of the top journalists at Moscow Radio Echo quit on Thursday in protest over a court decision to hand control of the station to the government-controlled state energy monopoly Gazprom.
Editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov, who was still seeking assurances that Gazprom would allow station employees to buy enough shares to remain independent, said, "The forced nationalization of Echo Moskvy has begun. We are now a state-controlled company."
Venediktov said he was also prepared to resign if Gazprom did not confirm in writing a tentative deal reached on Wednesday to sell 9.5% of its shares to the employees.
Moscow Echo was part of the Media Most empire of tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky, who is now in exile in Spain.
The Russian authorities have charged him with fraud and money laundering. Gusinsky had agreed to give his 14% stake in Radio Echo to the station's employees but earlier this week officials of the Russian Federal Security Service went to the station and seized the stake. (See RNW July 3).
On Wednesday a Moscow arbitration court upheld a previous ruling, which gives Gazprom full control over the Gusinsky empire including Moscow Echo; Gazprom took charge of the Media Most TV station NTV in April along with the daily newspaper Sevodnya, which it closed, and the weekly newsmagazine Itogi, where it fired the entire journalistic staff.
Critics have alleged that the Russian government's motives for backing the Gazprom take-over were to stifle independent media in the country.
Previous Moscow Echo:
Washington Post report:
2001-07-06: Forstmann Little -owned Citadel Communications has now officially filed its appeal against a $7000 fine for broadcasting an edited version of the Eminem track The Real Slim Shady. (See RNW June 10 ).
Citadel is being represented by Wiley Rein & Fielding, who argue in their 12-page submission that the fine will have major "societal ramifications" if it is allowed to stand.
It also argues that the song#s widespread airing and the award of a Grammy shows that that it has been accepted by US society.
The submission says the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau , "has not adequately considered contemporary community standards, has applied the definition of indecent material for too broadly, and has violated the precept that the government must tread lightly where it ventures into the area of broadcast censorship."
It also says that," The words that the Bureau apparently finds unpalatable in The Real Slim Shady are the stuff of everyday conversations in many parts of this country."
"The Bureau's decision will have a staggering impact on broadcasters desiring to reach, and listening audiences composed of, persons who do not share the Bureau's view as to which words or expressions are acceptable."
"In very real terms, the consequence may well be to drive rap and hip hop artists from the airwaves altogether as broadcasters feel pressured to censor themselves broadly in order to protect their licenses."
Such a chilling result, particularly given the tenuous nature of the constitutional basis on which the FCC regulates broadcast content, raises the spectre of a dominant culture exerting its power to bar those groups who do not share its mores from the public forum." Along with the submission are two attachments, one of which potentially raises the stakes considerably.
The attorneys say Citadel played the cleaned-up version of the song more than 3,500 times and that in all Mediabase records show that it was played 125,089 times in the summer of 2000, some 35,000 times by Clear Channel and 14,000 times by Infinity.
The submission concludes that the FCC is disingenuous as to reality and wrong as a matter of law.
In another FCC case, the Commission has in part backed off in the case of action taken against KNEC-FM, Sterling, Colorado, for failing to maintain an operable Emergency Alert System, failure to keep a station log of EAS tests and failure to designate and post the designation of a chief operator for the station.
The original 1999 fine imposed had been $16,000 and this was reduced in January of this year to $14,000 in recognition of owner Arnold Broadcasting Company's ordering of EAS equipment.
The Commission has now reduced the fine to $10,000, $2000 of this by eliminating an original $2000 increase on the base penalty for EAS violations, another $1000 by removing a similar additional forfeiture above the base level for not having a proper transmitter control system, and removal of a $1000 fine for not logging EAS tests, which it accepts could not have been logged because they were not carried out, there being no suitable equipment to do so installed.
Finally developments following yet another FCC action:
In this case it is the auction, due in the Fall, of the five stations and two FM Construction Permits of the Contemporary Group.
The group's owner Michael Rice was imprisoned for charges involving sex with minors and thus deemed unfit to remain a licensee (RNW note: Maybe Erich "Mancow" Muller who was alleged to have said on air he had sex with a nine-years-old girl (See RNW July 4) should read up on this case!).
Stations involved are three in Terre Haute, Indiana (WBOW-AM, WBUZ-AM and WZZQ-FM), and two in Missouri, KFMZ-FM in Columbia and KBMX-FM Eldon; the CPs are for Missouri operations KROW-FM, Huntsville and KFXE-FM Cuba.
The company was ordered to close its operations on July 13 but has now been given special permission to continue broadcastings for a further 90 days.
Previous Citadel (Forstmann Little):
Previous "Mancow" Muller:
2001-07-06: Corus Entertainment of Canada has announced that it is to buy Tri-Co Broadcasting's three stations in Cornwall, Ontario; They are CFLG-FM (Variety) 104.5 FM, a mainstream adult contemporary station ranked number one in the market, Country station Blaze 101.9 FM, which is second in the market, and music-based nostalgia format Jewel 1220 AM, launched in November 2000.
No price was announced for the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval.
Corus web site:
2001-07-06: XM Satellite Radio has launched a new web site, which includes sample a wide range of programming and provides information on receivers in preparation for its commercial launch this summer.
The radio receiver information lists portable radios (two by Sony), home receivers (the same two Sony models) and a rather larger selection of automobile receivers.
The one home/portable receiver priced costs $299, whilst automobile versions range from $225 to $11000 but these need an additional antenna and receiver, details of which are not yet posted.
XM web site:
2001-07-05: The US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC has overturned Federal Communications Commission rules that say non-commercial broadcasters such as National Public Radio and religious bodies must bid for licences at auction alongside wealthier commercial broadcasters.
The court decision applies only for licences relating to the commercial television and radio frequencies; it does not affect applications for licences in the portion of the 88.1 to 91.9MHz FM frequencies reserved for non-commercial radio operators nor the TV spectrum reserved for non-commercial use.
The ruling was made into a case brought by National Public Radio (NPR) over FCC policy of only allowing non-commercial organisations to escape the auction process when applying for spectrum reserved for non-commercial use.
This policy was brought in after the passage of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act in order to lessen reliance on time-consuming hearing about the qualities of the services proposed by the non-commercial applicants.
The NPR submission argued that Balanced Budget Act of 1997 requires the Commission to exempt non-commercial educational broadcasters (NCEs) from participating in auctions for any channel, reserved or unreserved, and that the Commission's adoption of this policy of requiring hearings for reserved channels and auction participation for commercial spectrum. Was arbitrary and capricious.
The FCC in its submissions said that if it could not require NCE's to participate in auctions for commercial licences options included a special track system for NCE applications, a hybrid approach of an initial filter of evaluation and then going to an auction if the NCE was eliminated, or making NCEs ineligible to apply for commercial licences.
The court held that the language of the act was unambiguous in exempting NCEs from licence auctions.
It rejected FCC arguments that their procedures were more in line with the intent of Congress in terms of recovering part of the value of licences through commercial auctions.
The ruling throws doubt on a planned FCC December auction of 350 FM licences and could also mean a recalculation is needed of federal budget estimates of the revenue expected to be raised from auctions.
It means the FCC will have to modify its rules to accommodate NCEs and this is likely to lead to more legal challenges - from the commercial broadcasters if they see spectrum being reserved for NCEs and from NCEs if they were to be excluded from applying for licences in commercial spectrum when the spectrum reserved for non-commercial use is almost fully utilised already.
Court ruling link:
2001-07-05: UK Virgin Radio has appointed Nick Jackson as Drivetime DJ; he is taking up the position earmarked for Steve Penk who has now moved to the Breakfast slot left vacant when Chris Evans was fired (See RNW June 29).
Nick Jackson has been mid-morning host at Century FM in Manchester for the past year before which he was with BRMB in Birmingham for two years.
His early days were on the pirate radio ship, Radio Caroline, where he was its youngest-ever DJ. He called his appointment, "a dream gig."
Virgin Programme director Paul Jackson (no relative) commented, "It's tremendous to have Nick on air at Virgin. He brings with him a great appreciation of many types of music and understanding of what Virgin Radio listeners want."
Paul Jackson has also been commenting about the Evans departure to the London Evening Standard, saying the station can survive without him.
He added in response to Evans' criticism of music policy changes, "If anything, in the four years that Evans was at the station, it was becoming stale: the same line-up playing the same songs."
"All that happened during his time was the experiment a year ago with 'poppier' sounds, such as Craig David, and a few dance records."
"They were played alongside our adult rock agenda. It lasted two or three months, but it was decided it didn't work."
His point was backed up by Henk Potts, head of communication investment at Barclays Stockbrokers.
Potts said the station need not mourn the loss of its star presenter, adding,"Chris Evans as a brand has been diminishing for a while …… Virgin is much stabler without him."
London Evening Standard site:
Virgin news release:
2001-07-05: Republican Kevin J Martin has finally been sworn in as a member of the Federal Communications Commission after delays due to a paperwork error.
Martin, who is 34, is the last of the three Bush nominees to the commission to be sworn in; the others were sworn in a month ago (RNW June1).
He worked on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was Deputy General Counsel for the Bush campaign.
Prior to joining the campaign Martin was an advisor to then FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth.
2001-07-04: The rejection by the US Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau of more indecency complaints has led to protests from Democrat Commissioners Michael J Copps and Gloria Tristani.
Copps, in one of his first statements since becoming a Commissioner, suggests that the FCC should be doing more than it is to investigate complaints.
He writes,"As a newly-confirmed Commissioner, I am interested in looking at how the Commission could encourage universal retention of recordings of broadcast programming to aid in its indecency enforcement."
Copps refers in particular to the dismissal of three complaints against Erich " Mancow" Muller, one of which alleged that, during his morning radio program "Mancow's Morning Madhouse", "the twenty-seven-year-old host discussed - perhaps even joked about - having had sexual relations with a nine-year-old child."
The complaint was amongst three indecency complaints that were dismissed because the complainant had not provided a tape or transcript; WKQX-FM had replied that "it had neither a tape nor transcript and cannot determine whether the alleged comments were made; " and thus the FCC had insufficient information to show that "indecent material was broadcast."
Copps makes the point that, "The process by which the FCC has enforced these laws places an inordinate responsibility on the complaining citizen."
"It seems to me that when enforcing the indecency laws of the United States it is the Commission's responsibility to investigate complaints that the law has been violated, not the citizen's responsibility to prove the violations."
He continues, "Lack of information about what was said and when it was broadcast should not be allowed to derail our enforcement of the laws."
"If something is said on the public airwaves, a strong argument can be made that it should be part of the public record."
"I believe that most broadcasters already retain recordings of their broadcasts, for a variety of reasons."
"That strikes me as good management. Our indecency enforcement should not create a disincentive for broadcasters to do so.
He then goes on to comment on encouraging "universal retention."
Outgoing commissioner, Gloria Tristani, cites complaints against Mancow and also against the hosts of the "Bob and Madison Showgram" on WDCG-FM, Durham, North Carolina, who were alleged at 8 am to have aired a discussion on masturbation.
This complaint was dismissed on the basis that "the material as you describe it is not sufficiently explicit to conclude that it is patently explicit so as to constitute indecency."
The complaint alleged that the programme used a slang term ("shaking hands with the queen") for masturbation and also offered prizes to a caller who would masturbate during the program.
Tristani comments, "These two facts suggest that this discussion about masturbation was not a bona fide news cast but a conversation intended to titillate and pander."
Concerning the "Mancow" complaint she writes," The Bureau took the correct first step when it sent a Letter of Inquiry to the station."
"The problem is that the investigation ended when the station failed to provide any evidence implicating itself."
"At that point, the Bureau easily could have contacted Mr. Smith to inquire whether he could provide any additional information regarding his complaint."
"Instead, the Bureau dismissed his complaint due to lack of 'context.'" RNW comment: Both the Commissioners make a compelling logical case under current US legislation for changes in FCC practices, assuming the intention is to enforce the law.
Noting FCC chairman Michael K Powell's past comments indicating that he would like to see tougher enforcement but only institute intervention when it can be justified (See RNW June 25 and our April Comment ) allied with his comments on content that "It's better to tolerate the abuses on the margins than to invite the government to interfere with the cherished First Amendment," we would be interested to hear his response to the above.
In the Durham case, the first amendment position is debatable but in the case of "Mancow"- assuming he made the remarks -see note below in bold - he committed an illegal act for which a jail sentence would be applied or was lying and trying to shock.
We would note here that there is some lack of clarity in that the Chicago Sun Times refers to the broadcast of ''Mancow's Morning Madhouse'' on Feb. 23, 2000, which included a discussion of sexual intercourse between a 27-year-old man and a 9-year-old child."
The letter from the FCC to the complainant says, "..that Mr Muller claimed that at age 27 he had sexual intercourse with a nine year old."
It would be valuable to know what was said and a requirement to keep tapes (as is done in other countries) would immediately provide that information.
With modern technology, the burden of keeping air tapes is not great (they do not have to be of broadcast quality to obtain transcripts) and Copps point is well made.
To our simplistic non-US minds all that is needed is a condition on all licences that such tapes be kept or the licence forfeited (in the case of a group all licences maybe to be at risk after being found to have failed to keep tapes on three occasions).
Broadcasters elsewhere can do it: And maybe if tapes were kept the FCC could put the audio online along with their judgements which would allow anyone the chance to listen and make up their own minds about context.
We would also note the career slump of Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht following his infamous comments after the Texas "dragging death"(See RNW March 7).
Maybe "Mancow" ought to be worrying a bit about other things than whether he renews his $3million a year contract with Emmis when it expires soon.
Previous "Mancow" Muller:
FCC web site: -- links to Copps and Tristania news releases and PDF's of complaints and rulings (Circa 860 kb in all).
2001-07-04: Internet listening in the week to July 1 fell back from the previous week's record according to Measurecast; its Internet Radio Index, which is based on a 100 at the start of this year, was 177, 3% down from the record 184.
Measurecast is now issuing rankings for networks as well as individual stations and says that for the week the top five streaming music networks had a combined TTSL of 1,081,080 hours (RNW note: the arithmetic makes this an AQH of 6435!).
The top five networks/stations ranked by TTSL were:
1: WarpRadio.com group 312,402;
2: SurferNETWORK - 235,895;
3: CableMusic.com - 226,279
4: Internet Radio, Inc. - 168,701
5: MEDIAmazing.com - 137,803
MEDIAmazing remained at the top amongst the individual stations and Measurecast notes that 18 of the top 25 were Internet-only operations.
At the top amongst individual stations there was no movement; the top 5 ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) were (with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets):
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 137,803 (176,756); CP 39,920 (45,684) - Position unchanged but listening fell back.
2): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 91,903 (81,979); CP 15,988 (14,084) - Position unchanged but listening up.
3): Internet only Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville TTSL 72,423 (78,500); 11,474 CP (12,580) - Position unchanged but listening fell back.
4): Internet only Hot 100 TTSL 69,575 (63,927); CP 24,813 (23,983) - - Position unchanged but listening up.
5): Internet only Alternative Rock 3WKUndergroundradio TTSL 58,500 (63,490) CP 25,680 (24,607) - Position unchanged but listening fell back.
Just as the rankings have been significantly affected by the advert streaming dispute which led major US radio stations to discontinue streaming their signals for a while (See RNW April 17), the current situation could be affected by yet another dispute.
This time the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wants extra payments from Internet audio services that let listeners have a say in what they hear.
A feature on the subject in USA Today notes that this time, unlike the lawsuit against Napster, musicians are siding with the webcasters.
The Webcasters and trade group the Digital Media Association are fighting the RIAA, arguing that they are complying with the law and are paying artists copyright fees.
Many webcasters obey conditions written into the 1998 US Digital Millennium Copyright Act such as not giving the title of the next song, although they may name the artist; playing no more then three songs from an album and no more than two consecutively within three hours; and playing no more than four songs by an artist within three hours.
The recording industry is concerned that what is an almost on-demand request service could hit CD sales and could also hit the industry's own paid subscription services which are due soon.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
USA Today article:
2001-07-03: US international marketing and media research company Arbitron is buying RADAR (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research), a US national radio ratings service that measures audiences to radio commercials aired on 29 radio networks operated by ABC, American Urban Radio Networks, Premiere, and Westwood One.
It's paying $25 milion over two years for RADAR to Statistical Research Inc. of New Jersey and says that it will make no changes to begin with.
David Lapovsky, Arbitron's executive vice president, Worldwide Research, commented in a company news release that, "RADAR has established itself as the 'gold standard' for network radio audience measurement services………….Initially, we will maintain the RADAR service as it is today. At the same time, we will work with the networks, agencies and advertisers to enhance the RADAR service by taking advantage of Arbitron's enormous diary database."
RADAR produces its estimates using a 12-month, 12,000 person, telephone survey in combination with the industry-standard commercial clearance system whilst Arbitron surveys more than 1.3 million radio listeners in more than 3500 counties across the United States in the course of its local market radio ratings surveys in 286 markets.
"We plan to use a subset of our local market diaries to increase dramatically the sample size for the RADAR network survey," Lapovsky continued.
"By combining our two services, Arbitron can provide the industry what would have been economically impractical for RADAR to provide on its own - network audience estimates of greater utility and flexibility."
Arbitron also says that it intends to maintain the Media Rating Council accreditation for its service and that of RADAR during the transition from a telephone-based to a diary-based RADR service.
In the short-term SRI will conduct telephone interviews for RADAR under contract to Arbitron and will also work with Arbitron to adapt the RADAR processing software to the Arbitron diary method.
Arbitron web site: (links to news release):
2001-07-03: The $4 million deal aimed at protecting the independence of Moscow "Echo" radio (see RNW May 11 2001-05.html#Echo1) has been halted by Russian prosecutors according to the station's employees.
They said in a statement that the transfer of the 14% stake in the station held by Media-Most's founder, Vladimir Gusinsky, had been frozen by the office of the prosecutor-general and the Federal Security Service.
According to an AP report in the New York Times, no explanation was given and the prosecutor-general's office refused to comment.
The paper says that the agreement with Gusinsky to transfer the stake was signed last month but formally they are still held by Media-Most whose liquidation has been ordered because of its debts.
It suggests the hold up could be because of this or linked to a criminal case against Gusinsky, who is accused of fraud and money laundering.
If the journalists manage to complete the deal, Echo will be the only major independent news organisation to emerge from the Media-Most empire; its main TV company has been taken over along with other assets by the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom which is linked to the Putin government.
Previous Moscow Echo:
New York Times/AP article:
2001-07-03: Britain's Broadcasting Watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, upheld only one complaint against the country's radio stations in its latest bulletin compared to four in its previous bulletin; only two complaints against TV wee upheld with a third against TV partly upheld.
Another radio complaint was resolved.
The complaint upheld was on relating to standards. It concerned an edition of Jezza's Confessions broadcast on Century FM, on 5 November last year (RNW note: The BSC PDF lists it as November 2001 in error).
A listener complained about "inappropriate sexual content" of an item concerning a woman's cyber-sex fantasies.
The station argued that the programme, which airs from 2000-0200, dealt with adult themes and said that content in the first part of the programme, was carefully vetted for subject matter and edited for language.
"Any sexual theme," it said, "was sensitively handled and was not for titillation."
The Commission held that "nature of the programme, the explicit sexual references to anal and simultaneous sexual intercourse with multiple partners had exceeded acceptable boundaries for the time of transmission."
The complaint resolved concerned a complaint about swearing on the Rock FM breakfast show, the Brian Moore Show, on January 18 this year.
Rock FM said that the joke, a "risky" play on words, had not been in good taste and would not be repeated.
In all the Commission received only three complaints concerning fairness during the relevant period, all against TV; Complaints concerning standards totaled 80, of which 17 were against radio.
In its previous Bulletin, the BSC reported on some 90 complaints of which it upheld seven concerning standards including four against radio station. (See RNW June 2) .
BSC web site (Note:This is a Flash 5 site:It links to the report in PDF format-98 kb).
2001-07-02: The first item we note this week was one headed "Trash Talk" by Clea Simon in the New York Times.
It seemed apropriate following the publicity over the firing of UK host and former station owner Chris Evans (see below).
His history is not that dissimilar to some US hosts; we note for instance that his first walk-out from radio came after a reprimand for following an item about cruelty to animals by "tips for roasting cats" and one of his items on GLR in London was called London's Loudest Humming Thing, and involved women calling in and playing their vibrators down the phone. The Simon's article is pegged on the syndication deal for Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia - See RNW June 7).
It refers to "the sex jokes, profanity or insulting of public figures that make up their show's regular fare."
The new generation of talkers, writes Simon, base their shows in large part on Howard Stern but "take the lack of inhibitions further."
It goes on to say that, with no sign of an audience backlash, they are likely to be succeeded by a generation who'll also rely on being outrageous.
Maybe no backlash, but certainly there is an audience, even if not one to top the ratings, for more varied and thoughtful fare as evinced by the campaign to save BBC short wave broadcasts to North America and Australasia (See RNW July 1) and also that to save WEVD-AM in New York which radio analysts expect to be sold to ABC Radio and turned into an ESPN outlet.
The question is, of course, how much of an audience?
In the case of WEVD, talks have bogged down since reports that a deal was close (See RNW Feb. 14) according to the New York Times but the financial pressures on The Jewish Daily Forward, which bought the station in 1931, are mounting and a station sale could keep the newspaper running for forty years.
"Selling WEVD," says the Times report, "would give the Forward Association a profitable escape at a time when Disney is working hard to find ways to get ESPN Radio into New York."
"But the economic realities of the radio industry do little to mollify those who listen to and work at WEVD."
"If the goal is to use WEVD as a way to help the financial underpinnings of The Forward, that can be done without selling the radio station," said Alan Colmes, the liberal co-host of Fox Television's "Hannity and Colmes," who has a weeknight talk show on WEVD. 'To let go of this would be a true shame in a marketplace where there are so few independent voices.'"
Charles Zlatkin, a postal worker in Manhattan who started a web site to save the station, savewevd .com, said, "The thing that has irritated us, the group of listeners all over the area, is that not one person who has called, sent a letter or e-mail has received even a postcard response, which is curious."
Whatever happens it isn't likely to increase diversity in output and that just died a little more in Washington where WAMU-FM killed its weekday music output (See RNW June 26).
Referring to this in his Washington Post column, Frank Ahrens comments more and more radio stations, public and commercial, are feeling the same hunger for cash and are showing "less tolerance for out-of-the-mainstream musical tastes."
In WAMU's case it said it lost nine-tenths of its audience when the afternoon transmissions of bluegrass and country were aired and, although music helped in raising pledge money, the station felt it could do better by airing news.
In the case of Clear Channel, it recently killed its Jam'n Oldies format in Washington DC (See RNW April 8)
RNW note- Clear Channel has being killing Jam'n Oldies elsewhere).
This was killed not because it was doing badly but because Clear Channel felt it could do better with a top 40 station; it also killed its lowly-rated nostalgia station WGAY-AM, turning it into a business station (See RNW April 1),
Ahrens comments that, "Both commercial and public radio stations -- which get about 15 percent of their budgets from federal funds, approximately 50 percent from pledges and the rest from grants and corporate underwriting -- want to create something called "stationality": the idea that, when listeners turn to a station, they know exactly what to expect."
"On commercial music stations, that often means nothing but familiar songs and hits."
"But public radio once was different. Public radio once followed the model of college stations -- jazz this hour, rock the next hour, maybe blues and rap at night."
"The objection to this model is that people tune in for what they want to hear and then turn it off when it's over."
As Ahrens concluded, "It's not that nobody listened to Frank Sinatra or Bill Monroe. But in the end, just not enough to matter."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Opie and Anthony:
New York Times - Simon:
New York Times on WEVD:
Save WEVD site:
Washington Post - Ahrens:
2001-07-02: The story that put radio on the front pages of Britain's newspapers for most of last week, the "illness", boozing and eventual firing of Virgin Radio's former owner and Breakfast DJ, Chris Evans, continued to take up space in Britain's Sunday newspapers.
According to the Independent on Sunday , he has told friends he is planning a radio comeback within months and threatening to sue for up to £ 10 million; this would be made up of the final tranche of 4.9 million Scottish Media Group shares he lost by not being at the company until January plus a claim of up to £1 million for earnings he would have received had he been allowed to work his notice period.
The paper also says that former friends and colleagues have warned Evans that he may now never be trusted again by a broadcaster.
The restaurateur who was with Evans on the night of his first binge said," Chris will definitely be back as a broadcaster, but on radio, not TV, because he finds that too much work."
"He wants to say what he thinks, without being censored, so he is likely to come back with an evening show. This is just the beginning for Chris Evans. He'll come back stronger than ever."
However his former boss, Matthew Bannister, who fired him from BBC Radio 1, said Evans had two moods:" the fresh, different, original mood and the other is the unpredictable, impulsive one." "You put pressure on him to be more disciplined on air," said Bannister, "and he thinks that's an interference with his creativity, when what you are trying to do is to make him as good as possible."
Bannister added, "I would have thought any media business I know would be deeply sceptical about Chris Evans's reliability after this."
Evans' ex-wife, Carol McGiffen, who married him when they were both presenters at the BBC's then-GLR (Greater London Radio) and who has described the time as "the marriage from hell", said, "Chris can't work with other people, because he won't be told what to do by anyone."
"If he doesn't want to take instructions, he shouldn't have sold the company."
She had no sympathy for him nor was there much in the London Observer report which included the extract," Last week a few people behaved like small children, and one of them threw his share options out of the cot."
"This news agenda was shuffled by a 35-year-old entertainer who began to believe that no one loved him any more."
"This was of interest because Chris Evans is a very wealthy and sometimes talented man bent on self-destruction, which has always been an amusing spectacle for a while. And the story lasts longer than expected because he engages the services of a public relations company that prides itself on a thorough job."
"Strangely for such a gifted man, these days we are seldom interested in Evans when he's at work."
It later says," 'Last week, emails sent to The Observer website reflected the tone: they included the comments, "Chris Evans is a whining, self-centred, self-serving, irritating, talentless waste of space... keep up the lack of work, Chris."
The UK Sunday Times also runs a profile, whose tone can reasonably be summed up in two excerpts, "The whole point about Evans is that he looks like a nerd and acts like an oaf………….. On his Virgin Radio show there was also a feeling that Evans's bragging style was past its sell-by date."
Previous Virgin Radio:
Independent on Sunday report:
Sunday Times report:
2001-07-01: XM satellite radio is now successfully transmitting from its second satellite, XM-Roll, which was formally handed over by Boeing on Thursday.
XM has now completed its space infrastructure and with both satellites operating well is on target for a commercial launch in late summer.
Both XM and competitor Sirius Satellite Radio are offering streaming audio of some of their channels on their websites, XM using Windows Media Player format and Sirius using Real Player.
Sirius Web site:
XM web site:
2001-07-01: The past week was fairly quiet for licence decisions but some of the other things bubbling along may yet have deep significance.
There was nothing of significant radio interest in Australia, Canada, or Ireland.
In the UK, as well as actual decisions, the Radio Authority's Chief Executive, Tony Stoller, has announced proposals for a new radio ownership regime for local analogue radio licences.
Following last week's announcement concerning the go ahead for a super regulator (RNW June 21), the proposals give an idea of the UK radio industry's wish list.
They were developed in conjunction with the UK Commercial Radio Companies Association and have been submitted to the relevant UK government departments.
Probably the most significant proposal is for the abolition of the UK-wide ownership points system, no 'cap' on the number of local radio licences an organisation can hold but, where the market is sufficiently developed, local plurality rules to ensure at least three separate owners of radio stations.
In a separate but relevant announcement, the Radio Authority has also issued new guidance as to what it considers constitutes "de-facto" control of a company.
In particular it deals with situations where one company holds a majority interest but another may be considered to have control by virtue of its holdings combined with other pressures it can bring to bear.
In cases where no single shareholder has a majority holding the general rule is to consider a minority shareholder will have de facto control if it holds at least 30% of the issued share capital in a company, is the largest shareholder, and can outvote the next two largest shareholders.
Where the Authority does determine a company to have de facto control it can suggest changes in staffing or shareholdings and so on and has the ultimate sanction of refusing an application for a licence or revoking an existing licence.
On the actual licence front, the Authority confirmed its preliminary public interest determination that the purchase of Scot FM by the Guardian Media Group ( GMG) (see RNW June 12) would not be against the public interest.
It has also published its assessment of the re-award of the Kettering, Corby & Wellingborough local licence to Connect FM (See Licence News June 10).
In making the award it noted in particular that owners, Forward Media, who only acquired the station a year ago, had invested heavily in the station in order to improve its performance and had made a commitment to continue to do so during the new licence term.
In the US, things were also fairly quiet although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revoked the licences of Tampa, Florida, electronics dealer Leslie D Brewer over various offences of illicit transmissions and marketing unauthorised broadcasting equipment (See RNW June 27).
On other fronts, new commissioners have continued with staff appointments and chairman Michael K Powell has testified before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and The Judiciary of The Senate Committee on Appropriations about the FCC's fiscal year 2002 budget.
This calls for an increase of $18.5 million to $248.5 million (See RNW April 12).
Powell had already testified on this before the corresponding House of Representatives sub committee in May (See RNW May 25).
Powell has also proposed a delay in the process of identifying spectrum for third generation mobile applications.
Currently the FCC is tied to a memorandum by President Clinton, which calls for the identification of such spectrum by July for subsequent auction by a statutory deadline of September 30, 2002.
Powell writes, "As July draws near, however, it is apparent that additional time is necessary to allow the Commission and the Executive Branch to complete a careful and complete evaluation of the various possible options for making additional spectrum available for advanced wireless services"
" …… I believe that the public interest would be best served by additional time for informed consideration, even if this results in some delay in reaching allocation decisions."
"In this regard, I am also concerned that the FCC is operating under the constraint of the statutory auction deadline mentioned above, which applies to some, but not all, of the spectrum bands identified for 3G."
"Relief from this deadline would allow all of the governmental entities responsible for U.S. spectrum management to have adequate time to develop a plan to make spectrum available for advanced wireless services in the future.
"The administration's support for flexibility on the auction dates would be appreciated."
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Commercial Radio Companies Association:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-07-01: The BBC has dismissed as a "publicity stunt"the Radio Netherlands move (see RNW June 29 )to take over the frequencies that the BBC World Service is vacating today when it ceases short wave transmissions to Australasia and North America.
It said that it will continue the shutdown as planned.
The move continues to arouse opposition but the Dutch decision could mean the permanent loss of the frequencies.
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem. Regarding external links, we give links where we can but some newspapers and stations only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA). Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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