August 2007 Archive
- July 2007 - Sep 2007 -
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 previous relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.
RNW August comment - Could technological development kill off broadcast media as we know them? Recent surveys on demographic and listening changes make us gloomier than 18 months ago.
RNW July comment -Looks at regulation in other countries in the light of attacks on the idea of reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine in the US and concludes that other factors are much more important in affecting effective freedom of speech.
RNW June comment - Boycotts and pork or a business approach. We suggest that a single royalty rate for digital - or analogue - audio is nonsense and that the system should be changed to provide tiered charges and a choice of collection agencies.
2007-08-31: US Internet advertising expenditure is expected to surpass that of radio for the first time this year according to a report in Forbes: This has already happened in some other countries including Australia (See RNW Jul 30) and the UK (See RNW Jan 23, 2006) and had been forecast for some time for the US.
The report says US radio ad spending is expected to inch up 1.5% in 2007, to USD 20.4 billion compared to online advertising expenditures up 22% year-on-year to USD 21.7 billion according to eMarketer senior analyst Ben Macklin.
Macklin adds that he expects radio station Web sites and online audio advertising to be " the principal drivers for radio advertising growth'' over the next few years although he doesn't expect much growth in radio - he estimates it as likely to rise to USD 22.6 billion in 2011 by which time online advertising will have risen to USD 44 billion.
Macklin noted that studies had shown that a combination of online and terrestrial radio advertisers can be far more effective than online ads alone and said, "There are many synergies between radio and the Internet and, for the most part, they complement rather than compete with each other. Advertisers should not abandon radio in favour of the Web but combine the two media to take advantage of the unique attributes of each."
2007-08-31: UTV has reported turnover in the six months to the end of June broadly flat at GBP 57.2 million (USD 115.1 million) - up just GBP 100,000 (USD 201,000) on a year earlier - as was TV operating profit of GBP 5.6 million (USD 11.3 million) but its radio operating profit - after deduction of start-up losses of GBP 1.3 million (USD 2.6 million) for Talk 107 in Edinburgh and U105 in Belfast, which in the previous year had loses of GBP 1.4 million ( USD 2.8 million) - was a bright spot as it increased 7% to GBP 6.8 million (USD 13.7 million), along with a new media operating profit up 25% to GBP 600,000 (USD 1.2 million), and helped push overall operating profit before exceptional items up 4% to GBP 13.0 million ( USD 26.1 million).
UTV noted that on a like-for-like basis radio advertising in Ireland and Great Britain was flat whilst TV advertising revenue was down 1% and Group Chief Executive John McCann said that the company had "again performed strongly in a challenging period for the media industry."
"I am particularly pleased," he added, "with the performance of the television and UK radio divisions which have once again outpaced their peers. While the performance of Irish radio in Q2 was disappointing, we have taken steps to address this and are confident of an improvement in the second half of this year Radio is becoming increasingly important to the group, and now contributes 55% of group revenues. We are pleased with the progress being made by talkSPORT, and delighted to have been part of the C4 consortium which won the licence to operate the UK's second national commercial DAB multiplex."
McCann said the third quarter outlook was positive and while the company expected market conditions to remain "challenging" UTV anticipated "growth in UK and Irish radio advertising markets" whilst TV "should start to benefit from better programming."
Chairman John B McGuckian said of the radio performance, "Our radio division in G.B. performed particularly well in the first half of 2007. In a U.K. radio advertising market down by 1%, talkSPORT was marginally up and our local radio stations were flat giving rise to an overall flat position on a like for like basis. The modest increase in talkSPORT was against a comparative which included significant revenue in respect of the 2006 football World Cup. With the additional costs associated with our coverage of the World Cup also dropping out, our radio operating profit in G.B. increased by 16% to GBP 4.7 million (USD 9.5 million) after accounting for start-up losses of GBP 900,000 (USD 1.81 million) at our Edinburgh station talk 107.
In Ireland, he added, "Our Irish radio stations got off to a good start in 2007 but short term weakness in local advertising revenue in Q2 undermined this promise. The economic fundamentals remained positive, as evidenced by the 9% increase in our national advertising revenue, but an 11% decrease in local advertising revenue resulted in an overall increase of 1.5% in local currency, giving a flat revenue performance in the first half due to currency fluctuation. After accounting for start-up losses of GBP 400,000 (USD 805,000) at our Belfast station, U105, Irish radio operating profits were down at GBP 2.2 million (USD 4.4 million). UTV shares ended the day up 2.6% at 417 pence.
Also ending up on the day was Emap, up 5.8% to 885 pence: It had announced that following the announcement last month of a review of its structure and assets (See RNW Jul 28), it had received further interest for all parts of the Group and would providing information to interested parties on a confidential basis over the next few weeks.
In a statement Emap said, "The Board is encouraged with the progress of the review to date and will provide an update at the time of the announcement of the interim results, scheduled for 13 November. The search for a new chief executive continues to run in parallel with the review process" and added, "Trading since the last update has been encouraging. The B2B division continues to deliver strong underlying revenue growth; Radio is performing well in what appears to be a more positive market; and, while revenue growth remains challenging in our consumer magazine markets, there is increasing confidence that the operational efficiency initiatives commenced last year will deliver benefits earlier than anticipated."
2007-08-31: Pacifica KPFK-FM general manager Eva Georgia, who is facing two lawsuits for sexual harassment and racial discrimination and who was the subject of a recent petition signed by 18 current program hosts and staff members is to leave the station from the end of October according to a statement from Greg Guma, executive director of the Berkeley-based Pacifica Foundation.
The station has already posted a note on its website saying that it is "seeking an Interim General Manager, effective November 1, 2007, to serve for approximately three months, or until the permanent position is filled" and giving a deadline for applications of September 14 and the first posting on the station's listener's forum welcomes the departure with a sarcastic posting," Its been a real treat. The past few years have seen some of the most bizarre and discriminating (not in the good sense) programming changes ever visited upon this station -- which I've been a listener of for 35 years.
Guma's memo re-affirmed earlier statements of support for Georgia by the Pacifica national board and the Los Angeles Times notes that it gave no reason for Georgia to step down.
The paper describes South African-born Georgia, who was appointed in June 2002 (See RNW Jun 10, 2002) following an acrimonious dispute that put the network under severe financial pressure (See RNW Feb 17, 2002) as a self-described "out-gay black woman and adds that her tenure was marked from the beginning by charges of a heavy-handed management style and abusive behaviour, along with questions about inappropriate personal spending.
"Critics, it reports, "decried her use of limousines to travel on business for a station dependent on listener contributions and the fact that she took a five-month paid vacation last year to return to South Africa."
It notes that when the Pacifica national board met in Los Angeles at the end of July, a group of 18 program hosts and staff, including Ian Masters, Roy Tuckman, Lila Garrett and Don Bustany, calling themselves the Committee to Strengthen KPFK, read aloud a petition asking for a "change in management," citing, among other issues, declining audience numbers, lack of maintenance of the KPFK signal and "mismanagement and unaccountability."
Georgia's supporters, says the paper, disputed the suggestion that audiences were declining and backed Georgia with Pacifica National Board Chairman Dave Adelson referring in an interview with the paper to Georgia as "far and away the strongest manager in the network."
Lydia Brazon, a director of the local KPFK board, said, "All the directors were hoping she would stay, but she needs to be free to clear her name. She has long preferred that we go to court in the lawsuits "and not settle."
Scepticism about the official Pacifica line backing Georgia was expressed by Garrett, who hosts KPFK's "Connect the Dots," and who commented, "When Greg Guma rhapsodizes about the GM's accomplishment, we are impressed by his imagination but bewildered by his lack of information. And if she's so great, why are they letting her leave?"
Los Angeles Times report:
Pacifica KPFK-FM website:
2007-08-30: Macquarie Media Group (MMG)has reported net profit for the 2006-07 financial year of AUD 37.8 million ( USD 31.1 million), boosted by the inclusion of a year's results from its 60% stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications and five months results from US newspaper business, American Consolidated Media.
The figures compares to AUD 2.8 million (USD 2.3 million) a year earlier: Excluding minority interests profits were up 58% to AUD 22.1 million (USD 18.1 million) and like-for-like earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 6.7% on revenues up 4.6%.
Managing director Alex Harvey singled out a strong start to the current financial year for the fund's radio division, saying the first half looked "very good" although he noted that this included some election spending and that he would expect the second half to be softer.
Macquarie Regional Radioworks revenues were up 7.2% in the year to AUD 160.1 million (USD 131.7 million) with EBITDA up 8.7% to AUD 60.1 million (USD 49.4 million) and it noted a 6.3% growth in national advertising revenue compared to an Australian average of 3.7%.
MMG, is currently involved with Fairfax Media in an AUD 1.35 billion (USD 1.11 billion) takeover of Southern Cross Broadcasting in which it already holds 13.8% (See RNW Jul 4) and that would add regional TV to its offerings - Fairfax would purchase the Southern Cross radio operations - and Chief executive Mark Dorney said this would allow MMG to boost revenues by offering combined television and radio advertising deals.
Previous Macquarie Media Group:
2007-08-30: Hungarian radio station Lanchid Radio has fired two staff after a doctored picture showing a gay senior government official with a pink triangle on his suit in front of the gates of Auschwitz was put on its Web site: It also removed the picture.
In a statement on its website the right-wing station said it had fired the two including the editor in chief of its site for the "impermissible and offensive" picture and added that its owners and managers "condemn what happened and apologize to State Secretary Gabor Szetey and to everyone who was offended by the picture in question."
Szetey came out as gay last month and the incident is seen by many in Hungary, including Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and other ministers who also condemned the photograph, as another example of the rise of the far right in various formerly communist-ruled countries.
Szetey himself was quoted in an Associated Press report as saying, "I have one message for those who did this and those who agree with it - I cannot be intimidated."
During the Second World War Hungary was occupied by the Nazis who rounded up homosexuals under Paragraph 175 of the German penal code, which banned sexual intimacy between members of the same sex: They were sent to concentration camps where they were forced to wear pink triangles to identify them and many were subjected to medical experiments or sent to the gas chambers.
International Herald Tribune/AP report:
Lanchid Radio website:
2007-08-30: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has welcomed an announcement by the country's Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan that the government is to allocate AUD 1.32 (USD 1.1 million to the ABC for it to purchase portable transmitters and Scott commented, install satellite downlink equipment in some remote West Australian and Queensland communities.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said in a news release that the decision meant the corporation would be able to provide a backup of ABC local radio programming to transmission sites in Carnarvon, Derby, Geraldton, Karratha, Kununurra and Thursday Island.
"ABC Local Radio in particular, is a lifeline for many regional communities," he added, noting that the "ABC has continued to play a strong part in the regions, employing additional staff and opening more regional stations."
The funding will also provide two portable transmitters for Queensland and Western Australia, to act as back up in the event of local equipment being down as a result of bad weather or other circumstance and Scott commented of this provision, "No other media outlet is trusted more by local communities in times of severe crises and these transmitters will ensure local radio can be re-established as that important lifeline in times of emergency."
Previous ABC, Australia:
2007-08-29: Washington Post Radio - call letters "WTWP" -is to go off the air and will be replaced on September 20 by "Talk Radio 3WT - WWWT" that according to a news release from Bonneville International, which owns the frequencies, "will feature a line-up of personalities currently heard on the station - David Burd, Jessica Doyle, "The Tony Kornheiser Show," and Pat Goss - along with established, nationally-recognized personalities Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Stephanie Miller, as well as play-by-play sports."
Bonneville D.C. Sr. VP Joel Oxley comments in the release, "Washington Post Radio was a tremendous experiment in broadcasting, and it was wonderful working with The Washington Post, a world-class newspaper."
He continued, "While many advertisers were satisfied with the results the station generated, we just did not garner the Arbitron ratings we had hoped for. When we launched the 'Tony Kornheiser Show,' it was met with such success that we realized we needed to take the station in the direction of personality-driven talk with more opinion and less hard news. Since this did not meet the original vision of Washington Post Radio, The Washington Post and Bonneville mutually agreed to end the broadcast alliance."
"We'll continue to work together as media professionals as we always have," Oxley added. "The Washington Post has a huge array of talented people that we've featured for years on our radio stations in many capacities, and we will continue to do so. We're fortunate to have a great relationship with, and access to, one of the finest organizations with some of the best professionals in the world."
WTWP was launched in March last year following a January decision by Bonneville International to re-jig its frequencies in the area (See RNW Jan 5, 2006) but has failed to attract enough listeners to make it commercially viable according to a report in the newspaper.
It notes that in its first year the service didn't even attract 1% of listeners in the region and, although ratings have improved in recent months, the gains were insufficient to convince Bonneville that it could become profitable in the foreseeable future.
The Post report says losses had been around USD 2 million a year but there was tension between the paper and Bonneville over the use of syndicated programming that was much cheaper but aroused concern by the Post about being "associated with the kind of one-sided and inflammatory rhetoric that often distinguishes successful syndicated talk hosts."
Leonard Downie, The Post's executive editor, declined comment on the demise of WTWP but said it had been "a good experiment during which we learned about radio as one of the platforms on which we can put Washington Post journalists and journalism."
A blog about why the service died posted by the paper quoted Caryn Mathes, general manager of public broadcaster WAMU-FM as saying that despite the slogan "There's always more to the story" that was used to launch the service there just wasn't more, adding, "People felt the station didn't deliver on deeper, more insider kind of stuff from the reporters who were on the air."
It also says there was a clash between print editors who wanted a more serious news menu and radio producers who argued for a "more populist and lowbrow selection of stories."
Competitors were said to consider the basic concept flawed and the program director of an FM music station who asked not to be named because he might work with people at Bonneville in the future, was quoted as saying "It sounded like a bad college seminar where neither the professors nor the students knew how to keep anyone listening."
Washington Post report:
Washington Post blog:
2007-08-29: GMG Radio, whose operations include the Century FM, Real Radio, and Smooth networks, is reviewing its annual multi-million pound media planning and buying business ahead of the launch of two new stations - Smooth-branded station for the north-east and a Rock Radio station for Manchester - according to the UK Guardian, which is owned by the same parent.
The paper says GMG radio is to draw up a shortlist of media agencies to pitch alongside primary incumbent Brilliant Media, which has handled the bulk of GMG Radio's business for the last four years, although Feather Brooksbank has been responsible for the media account for Scotland.
The review, it reports, will be led by John Myers, the chief executive of GMG Radio, and the group marketing manager, Helen Dickinson, and is expected to be concluded by the autumn.
Myers commented, "We've been very happy with the service that Brilliant, and a number of other agencies have provided for us but after four successful years, its time to review our options to ensure we have the right agency for our future plans. This is normal procedure within our division."
UK Guardian report:
2007-08-29: In reply comments filed to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning the applications by Sirius and XM to be allowed to merge, the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) again challenges the contention by the satellite companies that the prohibition of their merger in the original grant of their licences is not binging but a "policy statement reflecting the
[Commission's] understanding of competition in 1997."
The NAB says no substantive comments were filed by others in support of this view but to the contrary the overwhelming view was that the prohibition was a "binding rule that should not be waived, modified or repealed."
The NAB also reiterates its arguments about the public interest being better served by competing services and noted that the applicants have stressed their financial viability, even if the merger is prohibited.
And in yet another dig at the behaviour of the satellite companies NAB refers to their "history of pervasive violations of Commission rules and authorizations," that it says means the applicants "simply cannot be relied on to keep their promises and comply with any regulatory conditions that might be imposed Indeed, it appears that Applicants cannot even be relied upon to describe accurately their proposed new offerings."
2007-08-28: Premiere Radio Networks and GCap Media have announced that starting on September 15 GCap's One Network and Capital Radio are to air a syndicated show by Ryan Seacrest.
The show, "The Entertainment Edge with Ryan Seacrest", will air on Capital Radio on Saturdays from 11:00 to 13:00 and on the regional One Network on Sundays from 10:00 to noon and will feature interviews with celebrities together with chart topping songs. It will also include two E! News updates of celebrity news sponsored by Los Angeles -based E! Entertainment Television
Seacrest commented in a release, "Launching in the U.K. is a major milestone and, as GCap is an industry leader, they are the perfect partner for this venture. I am looking forward to connecting the audience with the most popular hits and talked about stars each week."
Previous GCap Media:
Previous Premiere Networks:
2007-08-28: Despite earlier statements from WABC-AM general manager that nobody at WABC, Citadel or ABC has been talking to fired former CBS host Don Imus (See RNW Aug 15), the New York Daily Post is reporting that Citadel Communications' CEO Farid Suleman is the "front-runner to land the radio raconteur."
The paper says that Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin - who was previously Viacom President and COO and former Chairman and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting. had taught Suleman well in terms of handling controversial talent and quoted an unnamed "radio industry analysts" as saying, "Mel always understood the plusses and minuses of working with people like Howard Stern and Imus, and Farid does as well."
It adds that in an interview with the Post, Suleman said only that he thinks Imus' availability represents an opportunity and that he would consider hiring him only if he could make the numbers work but then adds that it would be a "can't lose" deal for Suleman to hire Imus.
"If the shock jock flames out in his return," it comments, "Suleman can point to Imus' comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team as having tarnished him forever. If the public embraces Imus' second act, Suleman will earn kudos for giving him another chance."
It concludes by saying that both Suleman and Imus would love to have a deal in place in time to make a big splash at the National Association of Broadcasters' Radio Show in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 26.
NY Daily Post report:
2007-08-28: Austereo has announced full-year profits up 11.7% to AUD 46.5 million (USD 38.6 million) on revenues up 7.9% to AUD 255.1 million (USD 211.9 million) with EBITDA up 14.6 % to AUD 88.3 million (USD 73.4 million): It put the increase down to ratings success and says it expects advertising revenues to grow by 5% - in line with revenue growth for Australian commercial radio - in the first half of this year and says it is "currently well-placed to deliver improved earnings for the half."
Chairman Peter Harvie said of the results, "The group completed a strong year, with number one FM stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, number two in Brisbane and three in Adelaide.
Further, the joint venture stations in Canberra and Newcastle also held number one positions. The ratings results were characterised by consistency throughout the period and major new programmes were launched, providing a strong basis for continued growth. "
He added that the launch of major new programmes provided a "strong basis for continued growth" and added, "There are opportunities to achieve even greater growth from the core radio business and there is new growth potential from the range of emerging digital and online platforms. Radio and new digital sectors are perfectly aligned "Looking to the first half `08, we believe that the current strengthening of the media market should drive improvement in capital city radio sales."
Regarding ratings, he added, "Already a strong result in the first survey of the new financial year has ensured a positive commencement to the year, coupled with over-budget sales outcomes for both July and August."
Harvie also said offshore operations generally performed well, with the company's Malaysian venture the leader in the country with 48.1 per cent of all audiences.
CEO Michael Anderson said the company had "increased investment in people skills, in programming and in sales training" with the result that the company "has become an employer of preference, partly because of our focus on personal development."
He also noted an increase in EBITDA margin from 34.6% from 32.6% because of a focus on cost management and the importance of online activities, saying upgrading of Austereo's online operations had lifter it to sixth place overall in the Australian online entertainment category - it is first in the online radio category measured by unique browsers.
Anderson said the company believes streaming of its stations was "emerging as an important audience source" and noted that the company was "well advanced in our planning for the launch of Digital Radio in January 2009"
In contrast to Austereo and also to Southern Cross Broadcasting, which operates its Sydney commercial talk rival 2UE and reported increased revenues and profits last week (See RNW Aug 25), Macquarie Radio Network (MRN), whose flagship is Sydney 2GB, has reported after-tax profits down 6.1% to AUD 5.4 million (USD 4.5 million) for the year although revenues were up 3.3% to AUD 43.2 million (USD 35.9 million).
It noted that during the year it had invested AUD 2 million (USD 1.66 million) in new media activities with a net loss after tax of AUD 500,000 (USD 415,000) and had also reduced its borrowings by AUD 2.6 million (USD 2.16 million).
MRN gave no specifics concerning its profit fall although chairman Max Donnelly did refer in a statement to a "tough Sydney radio advertising market" in which revenues were down 0.34% for the year, adding that despite this, "2GB performed strongly, enabling MRN to increase both market share and revenue."
Regarding online investment he said, "The Board is confident that our investment in new media will position the company for growth. This is a significant, long-term commitment. The company has adopted an integrated sales strategy, leveraging the existing sales team and complemented by dedicated digital sales resources. This investment has already begun to generate incremental revenue."
CEO Angela Clark also referred to MRN's online investments and the launch just announced of its national news site, www.LIVENEWS.com.au, saying they were "extremely pleased with initial feedback and expect this asset to deliver national audience and advertising reach for MRN."
She added, "Earlier this year MRN re-launched www.2GB.com and four more content sites are scheduled for release this financial year MRN has also built on the ratings success of MRN's exclusive rugby league coverage and the Continuous Call Team, with the launch of www.rugbyleaguelive.com and following the success of this experiment will invest in an expanded rugby league offering for the 2008 season."
Regarding LiveNews, she said this took the company "into new territory, taking its breaking news expertise and in community feedback format, into the digital age. We have been working on this project for over 12 months and in this time have developed considerable depth in audio and video content that will enable us to enliven breaking news stories with rich media. Over the past two weeks we have already broken a number of stories on-line and we hope to continue to offer Australians an alternative and independent news perspective."
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2007-08-27: In a number of changes announced by the BBC, Six Music hosts George Lamb and Gideon Coe switch over with the former moving from his evening slot to the mid-morning (10:00-13:00 slot) presents late evenings and Coe switching to evenings (Monday to Thursday, 10pm-1am).
Lamb, who said he had "really enjoyed" his spell at 6-Music, which he joined in April this year, is moving because the morning slot clashes with his TV "Homes under the Hammer" commitments.
Coe said of his move, "I'm looking forward to doing basically the same things - playing good records, keeping it brief and side-splittingly hilarious in-between and, most importantly, interacting with listeners. I'm looking forward to doing all that but 12 hours later than I'm used to. By my reckoning that's 12 more hours in bed though that might be a false economy."
Radio 2 and Six Music Controller Lesley Douglas praised Lamb as having a "rare combination of wit, warmth and passion for music" and said of Coe that he had "been one of the pioneers of digital radio presentation, and remains one of the most influential on-air talents on 6 Music . There is a big potential to attract audience to digital radio at that time of night, and I believe that giving Gideon this new opportunity to put music into context will provide a compelling listen for the audience."
On the local radio front, BBC Merseyside is changing its programming as Liverpool's Capital of Culture year approaches whilst in a more national frame the corporation last Thursday launched a new weekly podcast "UK Black", 20 minutes of talk show highlights from African and Caribbean programmes on BBC Local Radio.
Commenting on the podcast, Herdle White, whose reggae, Caribbean and African-Caribbean music show on BBC Radio Leicester has been running for almost 40 years, said, "You don't hear many older black voices on the radio and television. But we've got experiences to share and wisdom to pass on. The BBC UK Black podcast will mean more people get to hear about who's who, and what's happening, and not just in London."
Another contributor Karen Gabay, whose show, The People, on BBC Radio Manchester, features celebrity interviews as well as local African-Caribbean news, music and entertainment said the programmed offered "a platform for African and Caribbean achievers and future leaders and now BBC UK Black will bring a sample of that to a wider audience."
In Liverpool, Radio Merseyside is to give more prominence to celebrating the diverse cultural activities that will be taking place throughout the city next year and Claire Hamilton, who currently hosts a Sunday arts and culture show, will get a new daily 2-hour drive time show from 17:00 to 19:00 that will highlight events taking place across the region as well as bringing all the latest stories from the world of art and culture.
Current drive time presenter Linda McDermott will launch a new late night lifestyle and entertainment programme from 10pm to 1am each week night from Monday 1 October 2007 and amongst other changes the station's News Editor, Andy Ball, takes over as the permanent host of the Saturday morning breakfast programme from 1 September and Tony Snell and Sean Styles kick off their respective breakfast show and mid-morning show from 28 August.
Also announcing a new schedule has been BBC Radio 3 whose "Drama on 3" autumn line-up has now been posted.
It includes a new play by Mike Walker, "Babel's Tower", inspired by the writings of Russian journalist and playwright Isaac Babel and recently released KGB files detailing his imprisonment, plus a new production of Christopher Marlowe's "Dr Faustus."
Babel's Tower tells of the last days of Isaac Babel, the Russian war correspondent and screenwriter who fell foul of the KGB and Walker's play imagines Babel being interrogated after his arrest in 1939. It features Sir Antony Sher, Robert Glenister and Stephen Noonan.
The new Dr Faustus production has been made in association with the Open University and features Toby Jones, Paterson Joseph and Ray Fearon.
Other productions include "After The Quake", a Simon McBurney adaptation of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami's poetic stories -inspired by the Kobe earthquake - about people caught up in the aftershock of a natural disaster and "Seven Wonders Of The Divided World" in which seven international writers living near political barriers - such as Cyprus and Korea contribute short plays to create a global picture of life around the world's borders.
UK Black web site:
2007-08-28: Supporters of the progressive talk radio format currently being aired by Clear Channel's KLSD-AM, San Diego, which airs Air America programming, held a protest outside the company's San Diego Headquarters on Monday to voice their opposition to it being switched to a sports format.
Some supporters of the current format fear that the format is to be changed for political motives but local KLSD talk show host Stacy Taylor told listeners to his morning program that he does not believe this.
"They could have shut us off before the 2006 election," he said, suggesting that weak advertising revenues were the most likely reason and mentioning that one advertiser had pulled out because of fears that advertising on a progressive station could hurt his business.
Taylor noted that KLSD listeners in fact earn more money than listeners of other Clear Channel stations locally and some of those opposed to the closure are arguing that the most promising action they could take would by to support Stacey's sponsors allied with a boycott of advertisers who sponsor a replacement format.
Previous Air America Radio:
Previous Clear Channel:
Bradblog re KLSD:
2007-08-27: This week in our look at print comment on radio, we focus on US articles about the future of the medium and also reports from the US and Poland concerning bigotry by hosts.
Regarding the first we lead off with a Baltimore Sun report by Nick Madigan headed "Radio may survive this, too" but with the rather less confident sub-heading "Broadcasters hope MP3s and satellite radio won't kill terrestrial market."
In it Madigan notes that some theorise that the affluent are moving to new audio sources leaving terrestrial radio for those who can't afford such goods as MP3 players and satellite radio, a theory that gets limited support from Bob Pettit, general manager of Baltimore talk station WCBM-AM.
Pettit commented: "Because of satellite radio, more affluent people are going to use that service, so we have a smaller piece of the pie to slice up with the people remaining, who are not so affluent. The younger people are going to the new technologies. Radio used to be a very effective way to reach people aged 18 to 34. Now, not so much" and added that this meant national advertisers were using radio less leaving the field for local adverts an also meaning stations could not charge as much because their demographic was worse for the advertisers.
Madigan also cites a Bridge Ratings study that found satellite radio listeners - who have chosen to pay for their listening - to be 10 times more passionate about their experience than their terrestrial radio counterparts.
He also quoted radio consultant Fred Jacobs, who is sceptical about the findings, as saying, "It's not about affluence; it's about choice" and noting that radio is "fighting back in a number of ways -- beefing up and improving Web sites, moving to podcasts to better leverage the strength of their personality shows and, of course, the fledgling HD radio."
He also cited Arbitron figures that show the number of people tuning into radio as remaining "rock solid" but the hours they listen down from 23-4 hours a week a decade ago to around 19 hours.
Less optimistic about terrestrial radio was Holland Cooke, a news and talk-radio specialist at radio management and consulting firm McVay Media, who in a recent interview posted on MarketWatch.com commented that terrestrial radio companies had damaged themselves by "deregulating, consolidating, automating, and in the view of many, dumbing down their programming" and added, "It's an indictment of AM-FM radio that people will pay 13 dollars a month not to listen to it."
Cooke suggested that terrestrial radio, which cannot provide as many channels as satellite, "should be doing what only it can do, that which non-local media cannot: local content, the silver bullet against iPod and satellite."
In this he was backed by Edward C. Kiernan, general manager of Baltimore's top-rated talk-radio station WBAL-AM, and WIYY-FM, who commented, "Our feeling is that satellite radio can never be as local as WBAL radio can be."
"I've been in the radio biz for over 35 years -- radio was supposed to be dead by now," he continued, ascribing its supposed demise to the advent of television, to the fact that cigarette advertising was removed from the airwaves, to record players, cassette tape recorders, eight-track tapes and, more recently, compact discs. If none of these things killed radio, he suggested, then iPods and satellite radio won't either.
The article did not take up the issues that the idea of localness raises for music radio - if you can get either more niche channels targeted at your tastes on satellite or make up your own play lists on a portable player the value placed on advertising-funded radio as a source will be less - nor indeed the issue of adverts - one of the main reasons for subscribing to satellite is the absence of commercial breaks.
A far more positive note for the medium as such, if not the financial future for today's companies, came from an article by Linda Rush in the Southern Illinoisan on Carbondale community station WDBX-FM, a station not subject to the same number-cruncher pressures as are commercial stations.
She says that for Brian R. Powell, the only paid employee of the station "playlist" is a dirty word adding that rules are pretty simple: If it doesn't violate FCC regulations, it's OK.
"If people are working for free, you can tell them what they can't do, but don't tell them what to do," Powell reasoned. Once he picks DJs, he'll leave them alone. "That way, they have a stake in the organization," he said.
The stations was founded by Carbondale businessman Tom Egert who with attorney Gene Turk and accountant Ron Manis in 1993 created the Heterodyne Broadcasting Co., and applied to the FCC to operate a 700-watt, community-based, non-profit educational radio station.
The station went on air in 1996 and initially broadcast only from 16:00 to 22:00 but as the number of volunteers has grown the broadcasts hours have increased - it now and usually goes on air around 04:00 and runs to between 02:00 and 04:00
The station, of course, falls very squarely into the "local" category as do low-power FMs, stations that are perceived as a threat by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which has lobbied hard - and so far successfully - to keep in place third-adjacent channel restrictions that severely limit the number of LPFM stations that can be licensed.
On that issue, we note in passing, an article in the Tennessean by Bud Walters, founder and president of the 22-radio-station Cromwell Group - it operates in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee - concerning LPFM.
Walters in our view can be either ignorant or a liar but not knowledgeable and honest in the way he puts forward propaganda against LPFM in terms of opposition to moves to ease third adjacent channel protection.
"Full-power broadcasters do not oppose licensing low-power stations," he writes. "In fact, I fully support the idea. Our BUZZ 102.9 and V-102.5 recently assisted St. Andrew-Sewanee School in getting a low-power FM station. It is a great opportunity for students to learn more about radio broadcasting. But what we, and many listeners, do oppose is stripping away the safety net that prevents interference on stations currently broadcasting at full power. Instead of risking interference to the 232 million weekly listeners of local radio, the FCC should more aggressively process the hundreds of pending license applications of low-power stations that will comply with the interference protections."
The case he makes is very much that made by NAB and it completely ignores the fact that the FCC proposals as originally made - on the basis of tests that showed fears of interference to be greatly overblown - included provisions that would close down an LPFM if it were in fact found to be causing interference.
As one of the responders commented, "It is a shame to see this multiple radio station owner bash Low Power FM stations. He either is ignorant about LPFM, or more likely is deliberately misleading the readers of his article. His radio stations also have the ability to own and operate Low Power FM's known as translators. They repeat the programming of an FM station somewhere else but operate with far different rules than those true LPFMs have the possibility of providing great local content and niche programming. Translator rules allow higher power, closer frequency spacing. So, obviously this person does not want small local station."
On however to issues of bias and bigotry and first two articles concerning shrinking giant Clear Channel, albeit its attempts to shrink by selling of stations has run into a legal dispute with the potential purchaser of 187 of those stations who now wants to pay around USD 350 million rather than the USD 452 million agreed (RNW question: Could this be a result of the tightening of credit as a result of US sub-prime mortgage market problems?).
In one case it is being attacked by a lobby group and in another for actions it has taken getting some tepid welcome from a different group: We chose the two instances because we suspect the two groups concerned might well be at loggerheads over what should and should not be aired.
The positive comment for Clear Channel came from the US Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which had called on Clear Channel to withdraw its sponsorship of Reggae Carifest, in light of the fact that two of its featured performers Buju Banton and Bounty Killer publicly advocate and promote anti-gay violence in their songs.
Clear Channel subsequently dropped its sponsorship and GLAAD in a statement commented, "Following publication of that alert, Clear Channel quietly but quickly dropped its sponsorship of the event. The decision, reported today by Newsday, means that Clear Channel joins other companies and venues worldwide that refuse to support these performers' dangerous messages of violence and hatred. GLAAD hopes that in the future, Clear Channel will be more forthright in condemning violence and hatred in the music and performers they sponsor."
Negative for Clear Channel was a report by Will Youmans in The Arab American News concerning anti-Muslim rhetoric aired in the US and the identification by "Colorado Media Matters, and others around the nation" of the company as a significant "source for hate speech on the radio."
The report singled out a broadcast of "The Peter Boyles Show" in which guest host Lou Pate was said to have joined a caller in denigrating Muslims and the Islamic faith, commenting that Muslims "don't respect women at all" and adding sarcastically, "they're a peaceful, benevolent, kind people, the Muslims are ... [I]f they like you, they'll cut your head off with one swing instead of a jagged edge that takes seven or eight."
The report also says that when a caller referred to the Muslim people as a "sick race," Pate agreed and called them "a violent community." He also railed on about the "honour killings ... that they condone. They will kill ... their own wives; they will kill their own daughters."
RNW comment: The broadening of specifics into all-encompassing generalities by Pate is inaccurate and obviously unfair but unfortunately there is far too much truth behind the comments for complacency by Muslims about treatment of women in Muslim countries as a quick glance at many wire stories will reveal. The latest we noted -early found through any major search engine concerned the family of a 7-year-old Afghan girl raped by two men who are defying social customs to demand justice whereas the normal practice is apparently to view such attacks as a stain on the victim's honour. The case does not justify attacks on Islam but it and too many like it seem to pass without widespread condemnation in the Moslem world - as did the recent brutal attack that killed hundreds of members of the Yazdi sect in Iraq (a sect also hardly to be defended for its actions in stoning to death a girl who had married a Moslem) - in marked contrast to the justified outrage over Abu Ghraib.
Finally before moving on the listening suggestions another story of aired bigotry this time from a "Catholic" station in Poland where prosecutors have refused to take action against Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, boss of the Radio Maryja media empire, that has gained a reputation for anti-Semitism for his comments attacking the Polish President Lech Kaczynski for giving in to Jewish demands for compensation for property lost after the Holocaust and for suggesting Jews wanted to strip Poland of billions of dollars; Rydzyk also attacked Maria Kaczynska, Poland's first lady, calling her a "witch" for opposing a failed attempt by hard-line Catholic lawmakers to ban abortion, which is already highly restricted in Poland, and suggesting she should kill herself rather than unborn children.
These comments were published by the weekly magazine Wprost leading to complaints but no widespread public reaction: Rydzyk did not deny making the comments but accused Wprost of "provocation".
Last year the Pope reprimanded Rydzyk about broadcasts by Radio Maryja and told Poland's bishops to set up a watchdog body for the station (See RNW Apr 10, 2006) but according to a report in the European Jewish Press this has had little effect. The report also notes that three weeks ago, Rydzyk was among a group of Polish pilgrims granted an audience by Pope Benedict XVI at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, which sparked anger among Jewish groups and led the Vatican to issue an uncommon explanatory note saying the meeting "implies no change in the well-known position of the Holy See on relations between Catholics and Jews".
RNW comment: This, of course, as there is a supreme voice for the Catholic Church, unlike the situation for Islam, and it seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Vatican's competence in checking groups of pilgrims is poor or the Papal commitment to action over the station is lukewarm (or both). Of course it all, like so many things, isn't so different from the "my gang" v "your gang" attitude that has existed in societies over the centuries, but that doesn't say much for the various religious leaders and religions involved.
And after that our first listening suggestion has to be today's "Flatlanders" on Radio Netherlands. This looks at how when one problem is solved, another - and far too often larger one - is frequently created. The programme suggests that the answer may well be stupidity and features as its guest Dutch philosopher and writer Matthijs van Boxsel who is devoting scholarly research to the study of stupidity and publishing his findings in 'The Encyclopaedia of Stupidity'. Perhaps this should be a birthday present for most world leaders, never mind talk-hosts.
We then suggest one of our regulars, "On the Media" from WNYC: Last week's edition began with "Word Watch: Sanctuary City", a look at the latest perversion of language by American politicians in search of ways to attack opponents to their advantage.
Also worthy of a listen in this context is the August 19 issue of "Media Matters with Bob McChesney" on WILL-AM: This featured as its guest John Stauber, founder of founded the non-profit, non-partisan [???] Center for Media & Democracy
Then to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the two latest editions of "Street Stories" - on "Being Deaf": The first dealt with issues when a deaf baby is born to hearing parents and the second with people who have grown up in the "deaf community", many of whom do not want their condition "fixed."
After this a complete change with a suggestion for those who have a few hours to spare of a run of programming from BBC Radio 2 today: It starts - albeit for those in the UK only as copyright means that the programme is not transmitted live on the Internet and the Listen-Again version is only available to UK listens - at 15:00 GMT with "Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour" from XM Satellite Radio - an edition on "Sleep."
Following that the station has two one-hour programmes on "Sgt Peppers 40th Anniversary" followed by "The Record Producers", one of a series exploring the work of legendary record producers. Today's programme is about the legendary song writing and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland- Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Edward Holland, who pioneered the use of multi-track recording techniques.
Later in the evening, at 21:00 GMT, in "Earth, Wind for Hire" comedian and musician Bill Bailey presents the second in a 4-series tribute to tribute bands: Tonight's programme features "The Bootleg Beatles."
Also from Radio 2, next Saturday we suggest the lunchtime comedy hour (12:00 GMT ) that features the second in a six-part series "Alexei Sayle's Alternative Take" followed by "Alan Carr and Friends", the second and last of a two programmes. In the evening (19:00 GMT) in "Blood and Fire: Roots, Reggae and Rastafari", Don Letts looks at the Rastafari religious movement.
After that drama and BBC Radio 3 with "The Wire" from last Saturday: This was "Quarantine" by Jeff Young - the story of leafleter Milton who lives in fear, but while everyone else is scared of terrorists and bird flu, Milton is terrified of envelopes, of germs in mayonnaise, of letterboxes and pizza delivery bikes.
Also with drama we suggest last week's "World Drama" from BBC World Service - "Sad Girl" by Sue Teddern, the story about the search for a painting "Sad Girl" that was taken along with family members from a Jewish home in Berlin by the Nazis. Next week the slot (19:45 GMT) has a black comedy, "Kitty Elizabeth Must Die "by Louise Ironside.
Also from Radio 3 last Saturday we suggest "Hear and Now, a report from the EMS Network conference of electro acoustic music in Leicester. We'd also note that this year's "Proms" continue on the station.
Finally a few suggestions from BBC Radio 4 starting with "Grasping the Nettle" from Sunday, a programme in which Tanzanian journalist Adam Lusekelo tries to get to grips with the attraction of the World Nettle Eating Championships at the Bottle Inn in Dorset; Thursday's (08:00 GMT) "The Clinton Years" in which Gavin Esler tells the story of Bill Clinton (Also the BBC World Service "Monday Documentary"), and last Saturday's "For One Night Only" - part of a series in which Paul Gambaccini recalls classic concerts. This programme was about the 1972 performances by Neil Diamond at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles: Next Saturday's programme (09:30 GMT) is "The Prom of Peace", the 1968 Proms debut by the Soviet State Symphony Orchestra with a programme featuring Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto - a concert on the same day - August 21 - that Russian tanks went into Czechoslovakia to put an end to Alexander Dubcek's Prague Spring.
And throughout this week in the "Women's Hour" drama slot (09:45 GMT with an evening repeat) we suggest "Ladies of Letters Say No" by Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman.
Arab American News- Youmans:
Baltimore Sun - Madigan:
European Jewish Press re Radio Maryja:
GLAAD re Clear Channel:
Southern Illinoisan -Rush:
The Tennessean - Walters:
2007-08-26: Last week was in general a routine one for the regulators although in the UK Ofcom published its latest annual Communications Market Report, a 330-page report on the current market in the UK, that notes radio listening increasing amongst the 55 plus demographic but down amongst younger listeners: There were no radio postings from Australia and elsewhere only a steady flow of radio-related postings.
In Canada radio-related announcements posted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following (In order of province):
* Administrative renewal of the 30 November 2007 of the licences of CKUA Radio Foundation's CKUA-FM, Edmonton and its transmitters CKUA, Edmonton; CKUA-FM-1. Calgary; CKUA-FM-2. Lethbridge; CKUA-FM-3. Medicine Hat; CKUA-FM-4, Grande Prairie; CKUA-FM-5, Peace River; CKUA-FM-6, Red Deer; CKUA-FM-7, Hinton; CKUA-FM-8, Edson; CKUA-FM-9, Whitecourt; CKUA-FM-10, Athabasca; CKUA-FM-11, Fort McMurray; CKUA-FM-12, Spirit River; CKUA-FM-13, Drumheller; CKUA-FM-14. Banff; and CKUA-FM-15, Lloydminster.
The CRTC noted that it would not be able to rule on the renewal application before the current licence expires.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2011 of licence of CHBW-FM, Rocky Mountain House, and CHBW-FM-1, Nordegg: The CRTC noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with the requirements regarding the contributions to Canadian talent development for the years 2001 and 2002 and that it had said it would make up the shortfall.
*Approval of application by Standard Radio Inc. to revoke the licence of CKTK-AM, Kitimat, following approval of its conversion to FM and the bringing into operation of the new FM.
*Approval of application by Northern Native Broadcasting (Terrace, B.C.) to delete FM transmitter VF2119, Metlakatla, and to operate an FM transmitter at Prince Rupert (Mount Hays) for Type B Native station CFNR-FM, Terrace. Northern Native said the equipment at Metlakatla is failing regularly and that the Prince Rupert transmitter will be accessible at all times of the year and will provide better coverage of the area.
*Approval of frequency change, increase in antenna height and power increase from 50 watts to 880 watts for International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc.'s CITA-FM, Moncton.
The CRTC noted that it had approved an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to convert CBA-AM, Moncton, from the AM to the FM band that was technically mutually exclusive with CITA-FM's current frequency and that as a low-power unprotected station CITA had to give up the frequency.
The power increase will change CITA-FM's status from a low-power unprotected service to a regular Class A FM service but in approving the change the CRTC noted that the application was made because the previous frequency had to be relinquished; that the change will have minimal, if any, impact on mainstream commercial radio licensees serving the Moncton market; and that there are several other protected frequencies still available in the Moncton area to accommodate future applicants.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Radio Society's community-based campus station CHMR-FM, St. John's.
The CRTC noted receipt of 11 interventions, two in support and nine general comments, mainly from former CHMR-FM volunteer personnel who expressed concerns with the governance and managerial practices at CHMR-FM. It noted that some of the concerns expressed were legal matters outside of the Commission's jurisdiction and that in response to the licensee indicated that CHMR-FM operates in compliance with its licence, the Broadcasting Act and all requirements with respect to its Board of Directors.
The CRTC in renewing the licence said it expects the licensee to take all the necessary steps to ensure that its Board of Directors includes balanced representation from among the student body, the associated college or university (for example, faculty or administration), station volunteers, and the community at large.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2011of licence of Northwest Broadcasting Inc.'s English-language, low-power commercial station CFQK-FM, Kaministiquia, and its transmitter CKED-FM, Shuniah Township.
The CRTC noted that the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian content development: The CRTC noted the licensee's apparent non-compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions for the year 2002 albeit subsequently the licensee provided a copy of a cheque to the Ontario Country Performer and Fan Association dated 15 January 2003 in excess of the required amount relating to 2002.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2011 of licence of Toronto commercial ethnic radio stations CHIN-FM and CHIN-AM and its transmitter CHIN-1-FM.
The CRTC noted that the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian content development and the licensee's apparent non-compliance with each station's condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions for the years 2001 and 2003. In this case the licensee said much of the contributions for 2001 were, in fact, deferred to the 2002 fiscal year and indicated that its 2003 broadcast year shortfall would be paid in full by the end of the 2007 fiscal year.
*Approval of application by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter in Elliot Lake to the licence of English-language CKNR-FM, Elliot Lake, to improve the station's coverage in the northern part of Elliot Lake.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2011 of licence of French-language Type B community station CIMI-FM, Charlesbourg.
The CRTC noted that the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian content development: It also noted that some 19 hours were missing from logger tapes for the week of 7 to 13 January 2007 thus preventing it from reviewing the programming of the station.
It added that given that this represents Radio Charlesbourg's first instance of non-compliance and that Radio Charlesbourg has indicated that it has put in place measures to solve the problem brought about by its non-compliance, the Commission determines that it is appropriate to renew this licence for a short-term period of four years
*Approval of application by Communication du Versant Nord (CISM FM), licensee of French-language community-based campus station CISM-FM, Montréal, to broadcast 9% of category 3 Canadian selections rather than 12% as required under its Campus Radio Policy. The CRTC noted the preponderance of world beat music in CISM-FM's programming and the difficulty in obtaining Canadian content within this music subcategory. It also said that in any week when the majority of category 3 musical selections broadcast are not from the world beat sub-category, the 12% minimum would apply.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2011 of licence of French-language, low-power commercial station CJDS-FM, Saint-Pamphile.
The CRTC noted that the short-term renewal will permit the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian content development: It also noted a failure to provide logger tapes when asked for the week of 3 to 9 April 2005 when asked for them, a failure the licensee put down to its data storage programme, although it said it had made changes to rectify the situation: It also noted a shortfall in Canadian talent development payments for 2002 and 2003 that the licensee had said would be made up during the current fiscal year.
There were no radio decisions from Ireland although there the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is involved in the release of radio ratings (See RNW Aug 25) and in the UK as noted Ofcom has posted its latest annual Communications Market Report (See below)
Ofcom also posted details of a request by Now Digital (North Wales, Wirral & Cheshire) Ltd to remove from its application the 'religious' format from its proposed line-up of services in its bid for a digital multiplex for Northeast Wales and West Cheshire. The request followed a decision by United Christian Broadcasters that it no longer required capacity on the North East Wales and West Cheshire local multiplex licence. (See RNW Aug 23).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed penalties of USD 12,000 and USD 7,000 for public file and tower offences respectively.
The larger penalty went to Wilson Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WJJN-FM, Columbia; and WAGF-AM and FM, Dothan, all in Alabama for failure to maintain complete public inspection files for the three stations, which are co-located on one site.
Three USD 4,000 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALs) were issued in February this year following a January inspection during which the station's owner admitted that he had not compiled the Issues/Programs lists since March 2003, and no material for any of the lists was readily available at the co-located main studio.
Wilson had requested reduction or cancellation on the basis that the lists were prepared, but not placed in the public inspection files and the owner did not know the agent wanted to see the stations' issues/programs lists because she referred to "issues lists."
The agent said she had requested to inspect the Three Stations' public inspection files and mentioned the Broadcast Self-Inspection Checklist to Wilson's owner, for more information. Wilson's owner then produced the public inspection files that contained a folder with one issues/programs list dated March 2003 but when asked for additional lists admitted that the more recent lists had not been compiled.
The FCC commented that despite Wilson's statement that recent issues/programs lists were maintained elsewhere at the station during the inspection, it found no reason to reduce or cancel the forfeiture.
In the second case an NAL for USD 7,000 was issued to M.R.S. Ventures, Inc., licensee of WDSK-AM, in Cleveland, Mississippi, following an inspection that found that the hasp on the gate of the fence enclosing the antenna structure, which has RF potential at the base, was broken, allowing easy access. It also noted that there was no perimeter fence around the property.
MRS had requested reduction or cancellation on the basis that its violation was not wilful, because it had recently inspected the fence and that the antenna structure is located on a dead end road that is often closed. MRS also implied that the penalty would cause financial hardship, because the station is currently silent and not generating revenue but the FCC noted that it failed to attach any financial documentation of its finances and therefore confirmed the full penalty.
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2007-08-26: In its fourth annual Communications Market Report just released, UK media regulator Ofcom estimates that the combination of broadcasting and telecoms networks and services generated revenues of more than GBP 50 billion ( USD 100 billion) in 2006. It also included the results from new research that it commissioned into the impact of the mobile phone and the digital video recorder on traditional media and of research into the use of communications by UK
Children - three quarters of 11-year-olds it says have a TV set(s), games console(s), and mobile phone (s).
Overall it says people in the UK "consume" more than seven hours of media and communications services cumulatively per day although the tendency to "consume some media simultaneously means that the actual time spent on media is likely to be less than this."
Regarding radio it says total funding for UK radio in 2006 was down 0.6% on 2005 at GBP 1.15 billion (USD 2.31 billion) and that it estimates the BBC share of this as 55%, some GBP 637 million (USD 1.28 billion).
Within the commercial sector it says national commercial radio earned some GBP 270 million (USD 543 million) from advertising; local commercial radio some GBP 153 million (USD 308 million) and sponsorship made up the final GBP 91 million (USD 183 million).
Radio reach it notes has been stable at around 90% for the past five years but total listening hours have fallen - by 1.4% in the year to the first quarter of 2007 and by 4% on five years ago.
In demographic terms the fall is down to younger people - listening by the over-55s was up 5.5% over five years but among children it was down 8.7% and amongst 25-34 year-olds it was down 17.3%.
The fall mainly affected local stations - BBC local radio listening is down 6.7% over the year and local commercial radio by 4.1% over the year whilst national stations have reported increased listening - national commercial radio was up 1% over the year and BBC network stations by 0.5%.
In terms of the BBC-commercial divide, the BBC share of 56% in the first quarter of this year was up three percentage points on 2002 and that of commercial radio at 42% was down by four points. BBC network stations' 45.4% share of listening was above that for all commercial radio but national commercial share at 10.7% for the quarter overtook BBC local and nations listening share of 10.6% for the first time.
In commercial group terms, three main groups accounted for 67% of commercial listening by the first quarter of this year - 31% for GCap (down from 34% a year earlier); 24% for Emap |(up 1%) and 12% for Chrysalis - now Global Radio (up 0.,4%).
Ofcom notes that DAB digital radio will be expanded next year with the launch of a second national digital multiplex - to carry ten national digital radio services as well as text and data services - that was awarded to the 4Digital Group Limited.
It also noted that this year it is licensing more local DAB multiplexes - seven had been advertised and two awarded by July and that cumulative DAB digital radio sales passed five million during the first quarter of this year with an estimated 19.5% of UK adults now owning a DAB receiver according to RAJAR, up eight points on a year ago.
Some 58% of listeners, it adds, say they have accessed radio through one of the digital platforms (up seven percentage points on last year); 41% have listened via DTV, 24% over the internet, and 8% via mobile phone. Twenty seven per cent of UK adults now own an MP3 player, with 5% using them to listen to radio podcasts.
Regarding analogue radio it notes that FM licensing has now come to a close with the latest round of awards - 15 new commercial FMs were awarded last year and four more by May this year with 140 community radio licences awarded by July this year.
Ofcom Communications Market summary (Carries links to three PDFs totalling 330 pages and 5.53MB):
2007-08-25: Despite its problems with getting people to wear its Portable People Meter (PPM), particularly in the 18-34 demographic in Philadelphia but with overall shortfalls there and in Houston, Arbitron CEO Steve Morris insists that the data is both accurate and reliable, adding that apart from at major holiday times there is only a small correlation between sample size and listening recorded.
Arbitron on Thursday re-issued its PPM ratings for the first week of the Houston August survey including some records from around 200 people that were left out from the original ratings report issued on Monday because of an error.
The original ratings had listed 683 people aged 6+ and 620 for 12+ compared to 910 and 811 respectively for the previous period and the revision took the 6+ total to 880 but Arbitron showed that the results produced for both ratings was not significantly changed although it admitted that the error should have been picked up by its quality control process.
2007-08-25: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/TNSmrbi survey covering July 2006-June 2007 again show an unchanged 85% of the adult population as listening daily to a mix of national, regional and local radio throughout the country.
Nationally compared to figures for April 2006 to March 2007, listenership to any regional or local station was down 2% to 53% and of national stations RTÉ Radio 1's reach was unchanged at 23% as was RTÉ 2FM with 18% ; Today FM with 16%; Newstalk with 5%; and Lyric FM with 3%.
Market share figures showed RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2FM's each up 0.4% to 20.9% and 13% respectively; Today FM unchanged at 12.4%; and Lyric FM down 0.2% to 1.7%: Newstalk had a market share figure of 3.2% for the nine months from October 06 to June 07.
South-East regional station Beat 102-103 FM, increased its reach by 1% to 18% and share by 1.3% to 12.3%.
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five stations in terms of weekday reach were Highland Radio with an unchanged 64% reach; Limerick's Live 95FM with an unchanged 59%; Shannonside/Northern Sound with 54% (-1); Mid West Radio with 51% (-2); and WLR FM with 49% (-1).
In terms of market share the top five local stations in the period were Highland Radio with 64.2% (-0.2); Mid West Radio with 56% (-1.8); Radio Kerry with 51.4% (-2.8); Tipp FM with 46.6% (+1.9) and WLR FM with 46.4% (-3.0).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekly reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 40% (+1); FM104 with 32% (-1); 98FM with 28% (-1); RTÉ 2FM with 25% (+2) and Newstalk with an unchanged 19% whilst in Cork the leaders in reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 65% (-2); RTÉ Radio 1 with an unchanged 34%; Cork's Red FM with 29% (-1); Today FM with an unchanged 25%; and RTÉ 2FM with an unchanged 20%
Previous Irish Ratings:
2007-08-25: Southern Cross Broadcasting, which is the subject of a bid by Macquarie Media Group (See RNW Jul 4) has reported full year revenues to the end of June up 11.5% at AUD 514.8 million (USD 425.9 million) with EBITDA up 8% to AUD 116.6 million (USD 96.5 million) , pre-tax profit up 10.4% to AUD 88 million (USD 72.8 million) and Net profit up on continuing operations - thus excluding the Channel 9 TV station in Adelaide that it has sold and also deducting non-recurring items of AUD 4.1 million (USD 3.4 million) that included staff redundancy payments - up 9.7% to AUD 62.1 million (USD 51.4 million).
Southern Cross said the result reflected an improved broadcasting advertising market with regional TV up 5.2% and metropolitan radio up 3.6% and notes that its radio division "performed strongly and delivered robust earnings growth."
In divisional terms TV revenues were up 3.6% to AUD 237.4 million (USD 196.4 million); radio was up 3.6% to AUD 107.6 million (USD 89 million); Southern Star was up 33.9% to AUD 162.5 million (USD 134.4 million) and other revenues were up 1.4% to AUD 7.3 million (USD 6 million).
Earnings were up 3.9% to AUD 64.8 million (USD 53.6 million) for TV; up 26.3% to AUD 23.1 million (USD 19.1 million) for radio ; and up 32.3% to AUD 16.1 million (USD 13.3 million) for Southern Star whilst other operations went from an AUD 1 million (USD 830,000) loss to an AUD 3.3 million ( USD 2.7 million) loss.
Within radio the company commented on a "standout performance from 96FM and 6PR in Perth" which achieved combined double digit revenue growth and combined profit growth of more than 40% as well a market out performance from 4BC and 4BH in Brisbane; continuing strong performance from Melbourne ratings leader 3AW; and an improvement in profitability for Sydney 2UE.
Chairman John Dahlsen said of the results, "In a year of improved national advertising market conditions, we are pleased that all of our core businesses in regional television, radio and Southern Star have delivered quality earnings growth.
Managing Director Tony Bell added, "Southern Cross Broadcasting's management team has achieved high levels of success in managing a diverse range of media assets. Our controllable expenses were well contained and considering the national trends on ratings performances by our television program providers, we achieved satisfactory revenue shares. Southern Star and our radio division delivered earnings well above the previous year levels."
Southern Cross declared a final dividend of 37 cents per share, taking the full year dividend to 74 cents, an 8.8% year-on-year increase.
Regarding the Macquarie bid, which is being recommended by the Southern Cross Board "in the absence of a superior proposal and pending confirmation from an Independent Expert that the transaction is in the best interests of SCB shareholders", Southern Cross says it expects to hold a shareholders' meeting in October to vote on the offer. In all Macquarie is offering AUD 17.41 per share - AUD 17.05 in cash plus a special fully franked dividend of 36 cents.
Previous Southern Cross:
2007-08-24: Veteran US radio host Bob Grant, now 78, who began his radio career in the 1940s at WBBM in Chicago, but has been mainly New York based since 1970 has returned to WABC, now owned by Citadel, to take over the 20:00-22:00 evening slot that is being vacated by Jerry Agar, who is to concentrate on his midday show in Chicago (See RNW Aug 23).
Grant began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM in Chicago and also worked in various other cities including Los Angeles and a spell in Philadelphia before he first joined WABC in 1984.
He was known for on-air attacks on public officials, creating offensive nicknames for those he disliked.
He was fired from WABC -then owned by ABC - after comments he made, when early reports suggested there had been one survivor, about the 1996 plane crash in which Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 32 others were killed: He had remarked to one of his regular callers Carl Limbacher "My hunch is [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it's because at heart I'm a pessimist", remarks that in the event were found insensitive by many.
Grant then moved to WOR-AM where he hosted a similar afternoon show - going up against Sean Hannity who took over on WABC and bested him in the ratings -until he was dropped in January last year although he returned to the station the following month with twice-daily "Straight Ahead" commentaries that aired until September.
He announced his impending return on Wednesday on Hannity's show and the New York Daily News said the return was then confirmed by WABC program director Phil Boyce who said, "We're delighted to have him back. He's done some fill-ins for us and he's the old Bob, full of fire and passion."
Grant commented that he had never thought he'd miss radio as much as he did following WOR's decision to end his show, adding, "I thought I'd retire and just do what I wanted. But it turned out what I wanted to do is what I'm going to be doing now."
Concerning the Brown controversy, Grant said, "It's in the past for me. But if some sickie wants to dredge it up, I'll deal with it."
Boyce said he thinks the issue is "yesterday's news" and won't create problems, adding, "We're actually even more careful now about what's said on the air. So we'll watch Bob, like we watch everybody. I'm not worried about him at all."
New York Daily News report:
2007-08-24: GMG Radio has announced that it is to air Mark Goodier's morning show on London "Smooth FM" to three of its other Smooth stations - in the east Midlands, west Midlands and Glasgow from next month - although he will not be carried on the north-west Smooth station.
Goodier hosted BBC Radio 1's Top 40 chart for a decade until 2002, and since then has been a regular on GCap Media's Classic FM and BBC Radio 2.
The UK Guardian, owned by the same parent, quoted John Simons, group programming director of GMG Radio, as saying of the decision, "Mark is a giant in the world of broadcasting and Smooth Radio is delighted to be able to reunite him with audiences across the country that grew up listening to him."
Previous GMG :
UK Guardian report:
2007-08-23: Clear Channel is reported to be at legal loggerheads with the largest buyer of stations it is selling off, the USD 453 million deal with Frequency Licence LLC (aka Good Radio) for 187 stations: Frequency was headed by Dean Goodman who has been pushed out and had been attempting to renegotiate the deal with both sides reported to have filed lawsuits over the matter.
Clear Channel had put 448 radio stations up for sale and last months said it had by the end of June agreed sales of 389 in 77 markets for USD 871.5 million and had completed the sale of 29 of these for USD 75.8 million (See RNW Jul 28).
Previous Clear Channel:
2007-08-23: United Christian Broadcasters Limited has signed a deal with MXR Limited to put services on MXR's digital radio multiplexes covering the North East, North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands and Severn Estuary.
It was invited to apply for access to the multiplexes by MXR in March and MXR Limited's Managing Director Diane Wray said in a release, "We are really pleased to see UCB become a content provider on our multiplexes. UCB is a quality broadcaster and they are bringing something new and exciting to these regions."
UCB already has services on London and Stoke multiplexes and is launching two stations over the five regions it is adding - UCB UK, its flagship station that is on the two multiplexes it uses already and UCB Inspirational.
Its chief executive Ian Mackie said, "'We set our sights on providing national Christian broadcasting back in 1986 and more recently determined we needed two very different radio formats to ensure we were able to meet the needs of all our supporters, regardless of their age. This breakthrough takes us a long way to achieving both objectives."
UCB has also pulled out of a deal to provide a service on the NOWDigital bid for a new multiplex covering North East Wales and West Cheshire. This leaves the GCap Media-owned company short of a service and it has amended its application to replace the proffered religious service with an unspecified local digital sound programme service.
MuxCo, the rival bidder for the licence - it is also bidding against NOW Digital for multiplexes covering Oxford and Hereford and Worcestershire and in March lost to NOW Digital in its bid for the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire licence (See RNW Mar 30), comments on its site about the change that "It seems quite a late change, especially as we think the licence will be awarded on September 6th! It's also not the only change, since submitting the application we've seen them change their transmitter configurations and which versions of services they'll be launching in the area. We're obviously sure that this has nothing to do with a better bid from MuxCo!"
Previous GCap Media:
2007-08-23: According to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times, WLS-AM midday host Jerry Agar, who has also been doubling as evening host on Citadel-owned sister station WABC-AM, New York, is to give up the New York gig and concentrate on Chicago.
Feder reports that Agar's dual role left him little time for his wife and three children and quoted Agar, who had been hosting the New York show from Chicago, as saying he's eager to get home at a decent hour.
He also quoted, WABC program director Phil Boyce as saying Agar did a great job of hosting his evening show from Chicago but making it sound as local as any from New York.
Chicago Sun-Times -Feder:
2007-08-22: Recovery is under way for UK commercial radio according to industry body The RadioCentre which reports a 3.4% year-on-year rise in national revenues to more than GBP 85 million ( USD 170 million) for the second quarter of the year.
Local revenues also grew - by 1.2% to more than GBP 40 million (USD 80 million) but Sponsorship and Promotional revenues were down by 7.8% to GBP 24 million (USD 48 million), a figure that was boosted a year ago by World Cup soccer sponsorship.
The RadioCentre also noted what it termed "an impressive set" of ratings for the quarter and also said it expected further momentum for the UK commercial radio industry from the entry of Global Radio - which recently bought Chrysalis's radio operations (See RNW Aug 1) and Channel 4 - which won the bidding for the second national commercial digital licence (See RNW Jul 6) into the market.
Simon Redican, managing director of the Radio Advertising Bureau - one of the bodies making up the RadioCentre, commented, "The results are extremely encouraging: We have already stated our optimism publicly but it is always good to get confirmation. Radio is the multiplier of the digital age and advertisers are recognising the important role it is playing as part of the media mix."
The RAB has also announced that in the coming months they will be rolling out the Advertising Effectiveness Tracker designed to demonstrate to advertisers the value of their investment in the medium, a move Redican said would "provide major advertisers with confidence in the medium's ability to build value for their brands."
2007-08-22: Commenting on attempts by the recording industry to play down the amount that proposed performance royalty charges would cost US terrestrial radio, David Oxenford in his broadcastlawblog.com takes issue with industry.
He notes that a post on the Wired Listening Post blog quoted a spokesman for the Music First Coalition -the music industry coalition seeking the performance royalty- as saying the charges holders would be similar to those paid in Europe for the use of sound recordings, and similar to the amounts currently paid to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for the use of the musical compositions, in the range of 3-5% of revenues.
Oxenford then looks at SoundExchange's claims - SoundExchange is the body charged with collecting such fees - and says that it has consistently argued in connection with all of the other on-going royalty proceedings that the sound recording royalty is far more valuable than the composition royalty - asking for a royalty over 6 times the amount of the composition royalty that would amount to 30% of gross revenues.
He also notes that in making a special offer to Small Commercial Webcasters on May 23, with royalties between 10 and 12% of gross revenue SoundExchange specifically stated that it thought that the 10-12% rate was "a below-market rate to subsidize small webcasters and that for satellite radio it wanted SoundExchange specifically stated that it thought that the 10-12% rate was "a below-market rate to subsidize small webcasters whilst for cable radio, SoundExchange proposes a royalty beginning at 15% of revenue for 2008 and increasing to 30% of cable radio's gross revenue for 2013, the last year of the royalty period for those services.
RNW comment: For once NAB seems to have it about right. Our view of the recording companies is that they are, like NAB, capable o talking out of four sides of their mouth simultaneously and a just settlement in this case would be for Congress, if it allows the charges (which logically it should to level the playing filed for all comers) to accept Music First's contentions about its proposed charge - and cap it at say 4% for all comers for all time!.
2007-08-22: Radio One, Inc. has announced a USD 3.1 million sale of its radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia, to Perry Broadcasting Company, Inc. for USD 3.1 million.
Radio One says the transaction represents a purchase price multiple of approximately 17x based on station operating income for the last twelve months' period ended June 30, 2007 and transaction is expected to close during the final quarter of this year.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2007-08-22: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation says its digital downloads are booming with the total number of downloads of its vodcasts and podcasts nearing 5 million in July.
Within the total there were more than 3.5 million downloads of its podcasts - the monthly average for the first six months of the year was two million - and more than 1.4 million vodcast downloads -the vodcast monthly average for the first half year was 769.000.
Radio Australia downloads, which averaged 202.000 a month for the half-year, were 1.2 million in July; Radio National podcasts , which averaged just under 914,000 a month for the first half year, reached just under 1.15 million in July with the top five downloads being for All in the Mind, Late Night Live, Saturday Extra, Australia Talks and The Science Show; and downloads from triple j's Hack program jumped from 84,000 average monthly downloads in the first half of the year to 219,000 in July.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2007-08-22: UK media regulator Ofcom rapped UTV's talkSPORT on the knuckles twice in its latest Broadcast Bulletin, upholding complaints against two programmes for in one case linking homosexuality to paedophilia and in the other for referring to it as a perversion.
In the first case presenter Mike Mendoza during a live phone-in in May this year managed to link soccer fans, paedophiles and - indirectly - homosexuals in introductory remarks in which he said, "The other thing that has really got up my nose over the last couple of days and again you might like to comment on this are the footballers and I'm including David Beckham on this one 'cause he's jumped on the bandwagon today, and that's exactly what they've done. Footballers yesterday jumping on the bandwagon to beg whoever it is that has taken Madeleine McCann away, whoever has grabbed her, to give her back now you tell me, paedophiles in general are the type of people that surely would not follow football not many gay people to the best of my knowledge are great football fans."
TalkSPORT responded to the complaint by saying that the comments had been indefensible and after speaking to Mendoza, who accepted that he had been wrong to make them, had suspended him for a week to underline the seriousness of his mistake.
Ofcom noted the "broadcaster's immediate and appropriate action" but said that to "connect homosexuality to paedophilia is highly offensive" and upheld the complaint.
In the second talkSPORT case an exchange between presenters a reference was made to a homosexuality as a perversion.
Bushell had commented in reference to an attack in Moscow on Peter Tatchell, the well known gay rights activist who was attending a demonstration, "I would not go to another country and try and impose my views on them, it's up to them what they do. I think there are a lot of things to put right in this country before you go around preaching the gospel of perversion".
In this case talkSPORT acknowledged that the presenter, Garry Bushell, was wrong to use the words that he did and had been spoken to about his remarks, which he regretted but said his remarks were off the cuff.
Ofcom commented that it did not think the "claim that the comments were made "off the cuff" mitigated the fact that this was a live broadcast in which a presenter made an inflammatory remark about homosexuality that would generally be regarded as a derogatory and offensive comment."
In a third radio ruling, Ofcom had asked of Africa Radio (VOAR) to provide a copy of a recording relating to an investigation of a fairness and privacy complaint but the station said it was unable to do so because its recording system had broken down during the week prior to the broadcast in question, adding that efforts were being made to restore the system before the incident occurred.
Ofcom held the failure to supply the recording to be a "serious and significant breach of VOAR's licence" that it will keep on record.
In addition to the above complaints upheld Ofcom also upheld one TV standards complaint; considered another resolved through action already taken by the broadcaster; partly upheld a TV fairness and privacy complaint and gave details of another TV fairness and privacy complaint that was not upheld.
The numbers compare with two TV standards and two radio complaints upheld in the last bulletin, one of which related to the inability of the broadcaster to provide a recording: In addition in the previous bulletin details were given of a TV fairness and privacy complaint that was not upheld.
Ofcom also listed without details 143 complaints against 118 TV items and 21 radio complaints against 21 items that it did not uphold or were considered out of its remit: This compares with 197 TV complaints involving 164 items and 34 radio complaints involving 24 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld in the previous bulletin:
Previous Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin:
2007-08-22: China has closed down more than a hundred radio stations ahead of the 17th Communist Party Congress according to human rights watchdog The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.
According to Japan Today the Center said the stations were taken off the air because they let members of the public talk about sex and supernatural issues during phone-in programs after midnight. It added that 12 of Nanjing's 17 stations have been closed for the past ten days to a fortnight and a staffer at one of the stations told Kyodo News it had been off air since August 12 and she had no idea when they would be allowed to start broadcasting again.
Japan Today report:
The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy website (Mandarin):
2007-08-21: Fired US DJ Star (Troi Torain), whose lawsuit against New York City Councilman John Liu was thrown out last week says he is to appeal against the decision and alsocontinue his lawsuit against Clear Channel for wrongful dismissal.
He was fired by the company following threats he made on air last year whilst working for WWPR-FM (Power FM) to sexually molest the 4-years-old daughter of a rival DJ. He also said he wanted to urinate and ejaculate on the girl and offered USD 500 to anyone who could tell him where the girl attended school. (See RNW May 12, 2006).
The New York Daily News quotes Torain as saying his remarks were part of a purely verbal radio insult war and adding, following the dismissal of the Liu lawsuit that he would appeal against this ruling and adding, "More importantly, I'm focused on the lawsuit I commenced against Clear Channel through which we'll prove support and encouragement from CEO John Hogan down to local programming staff for my actions on the air. Hogan personally told me, 'Keep doing what you're doing.'"
"With that powerful endorsement and the encouragement from other high-ranking Clear Channel employees for 'more hate,'" he continued, "I did my job, ultimately to benefit their ratings and revenue. Clear Channel's complicity is a fact, insufficiently camouflaged by my termination. How else could I have continued in that direction for so long?"
In the ruling concerning remarks by Councilman Liu, who had called Torain a "sick paedophile loser" and had demanded his dismissal for his on-air comments, the New York Post reported that Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Torain could not be sued for "statements of opinion made in direct response to what he considered to be [Torain's] outrageous and offensive on-air comments."
RNW comment: There seem to us to be a number of issues involved in these lawsuits and we are far from certain that the US legal system is capable of delivering anything like justice in relation to any of them.
In the case of Liu's remarks, they appear to us to go over the top and, whilst he had every right to criticize Torain and push for his dismissal (and indeed for a trial on charges on aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child that were dropped against Torain under a deal to perform community service), the accusation that Torain was a child molester needed substantiation before it was made. A reasonable judgement in this case could in our view have been to have upheld the lawsuit in relation to this one comment, fined Liu a hundred dollars, and ordered costs against Torain. Thus it would be made clear that such serious accusations should not be made lightly but also that the damage done to Torain was negligible. It would also have been harder to appeal such a ruling.
Regarding the Clear Channel dismissal it seems to us there are two issues -whether the dismissal was justified and how far Clear Channel had encouraged comments that should rather have been discouraged (Another reason for pursuing the aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child charges in that Clear Channel would then have encouraged illegal actions).
In the case of Torain, we note that his autobiography "Objective Hate", the term he has given to what he terms his "philosophy", published earlier this year not only contained attacks on civil rights workers Martin Luther King Jr and Jesse Jackson but also ratings of the sexual attributes of various female performers. This together with his history of racist and misogynistic comments including the abuse of a woman at an Indian call centre - whilst working for Clear Channel in Philadelphia and that were posted on the station web site (See RNW Jan 12, 2005) makes us conclude that it would be an injustice were he to get any substantial damages but equally that Clear Channel was complicit. Something like USD 1,000 and costs against Clear Channel would seem reasonable in this case.
In the case of Clear Channel, there are two issues: One is of the standards a broadcaster should be held to by the law (virtually none in the US it seems unless it's a matter of indecency/obscenity - a matter within the FCC's ambit - or the encouragement of clearly illegal actions - the law in general) and the other those that public pressure put on the broadcaster.
In the first case, although we consider that a more thorough debate of the proper balance of freedom of speech and use of public airwaves in a context of a mandatory rewriting (to force a decision rather than continued skirting of issues) would benefit the US, we do not see that there is any reasonable chance of any action against Clear Channel although the FCC would appear to have it within its powers to consider whether WWPR's licence should be renewed when it next comes up and in our view it would be valuable were it to hold formal hearings on the matter to cause some corporate concern.
The issue of public standards, is however a different matter, and it would seem to us that were a pressure group to put together a well-thought out list of the most egregious examples of Clear Channel supporting or allowing clearly objectionable comments and then campaign for a one week advertiser boycott -or public boycott of the advertisers concerned for those who do not take part - might be well worth consideration and if nothing else would show how much the American public really care about abusive hosts.
Previous Clear Channel:
New York Daily News report:
New York Post report:
2007-08-21: SMG has announced two appointment to the board of Virgin Radio Holdings Limited, the body that would control Virgin Radio that SMG plans to float off as an independent entity rather than sell.
They are of former Chrysalis chief executive Richard Huntingford -as non-executive chairman -and former Ladbrokes group financial director Rosemary Thorne as senior independent director. Both are due to take up their roles on September 1
It also confirmed the appointment as Chief Financial Officer of David Palmer, who joined SMG last month.
Announcing the appointments Virgin Radio chief executive, Paul Jackson, who said Virgin Radio was on track for a flotation in autumn (fall), said in a release, "I am delighted to welcome Richard, Rosemary and David to guide us through the flotation and beyond. Virgin Radio is one of the great brand names in media with an attractive national audience, strong relationships with advertisers and a clear growth strategy. We look forward to their wise counsel and support."
He noted that outside London around a third of the listening to Virgin was on digital platforms and added of Huntingford's appointment, "This is a key and pivotal appointment for us and we want to tap Richard's wealth of knowledge. We've just had the best Rajar figures in three years and that is partially digitally driven. Innovation is at the core of what we do and we have to be cutting edge."
2007-08-21: India's Information and Broadcasting Minister, P R Dasmunsi has told the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) that an additional 175 radio stations will go into operation by the end of this year, 11 of them All India Radio stations and 164 private FMs.
The Hindu in a Press Trust of India report says that of the new channels the minister said 27 would be in Maharashtra, 17 in Kerala, 14 in Tamil Nadu, 12 in Rajasthan and 10 each in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
In July 2005 the Indian government announced an expansion for private FM in the country and put 337 licences up for auction: It has subsequently signed agreements with successful bidders for 139 channels in 57 cities and in addition in June this year invited pre-qualification bids from private players for rest of the channels on offer.
Previous Indian Radio:
The Hindu/PTI report:
2007-08-20: This week we start our print comment on media with Don Imus and the lawsuit against him by Kia Vaughn of the Rutgers women's basketball team, a lawsuit supposedly was aimed at restoring her reputation and that we commented when we reported on the matter was misplaced in that comments at the time indicated no damage at all to the reputation of members of the team but significant damage to that of Imus and those associated with him.
Commenting on the matter in the Boston Herald, Jay Ambrose under the heading "Imus foul unworthy of slander lawsuit" says that it's not the comments that affected her reputation but "something else entirely that stands to hurt her name: a lawsuit she's filed seeking money from the shock jock."
Ambrose goes on to note that there has been no word as to how much is sought in monetary damages although it could be a "high stack of dollars "- our view was that a cent would suffice with costs to be borne by her .
Ambrose then continues, "For just a moment in these unhinged times in which we live, let's get rational enough to say what should be obvious to any and every adult who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the Imus saga, namely that there was no way in the world he meant his remark about that team to be taken literally. It was intended as a joke. To be sure, it was a tasteless, stupid, insulting joke, but exactly the sort of way-out, scandalous joke on which Imus has built a long career."
He then comments, "No one with a lick of sense could conceivably have thought Imus was suggesting anything factual about members of that team, and it is utterly absurd to think their reputations were diminished. Imus himself apologized and guess what the players did? They accepted the apology Vaughn's good name was not put in jeopardy by Imus, and if she wants this whole thing to go away, the last thing she should do is file a suit that earns fresh headlines and makes people wonder whether this is yet one more instance of someone using the courts for undeserved enrichment. Those who advised this course of action have done her a disfavour while simultaneously abetting the further diminishment of respect for law."
He also suggests that in a wider context that should Imus be tempted to settle to end the matter but if he did others may "then line up to get their share" and says his concern is "with a society that is forever damaging itself through the abuse of a magnificent mechanism, the law, which is meant to set things right."
After comment on a society where the monetary too often seems to outweigh the moral, we turn to a report on the UK Independent on the use of radio for the positive.
Under the heading, "Can digital radio help fight gang violence in Brazil's favelas?" Sophie Morris writes about the work of Briton Max Graef, son of British documentary maker Roger Graef, who is building an Internet radio station called AfroReggaeDigital that he hopes will keep some youngsters out of the drug gangs by giving them different goals.
Graef and BBC 1Xtra producer Izzy Fairbairn both approached the AfroReggae Cultural Group (ARCG), which was formed in 1993 with a newspaper that aimed to spread information about black culture and now operates over 70 projects in four favelas, about a radio project after its music group AfroReggae had performed at the Barbican Centre in London in March last year.
Graef had then already spent four years setting up community radio stations in difficult areas, from Palestine to Cameroon - his company Radioactive has built stations in Mexico, Madagascar, Honduras, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda and Palestine and he has also worked for the UN in a refugee camp on the Darfur-Chad border, where the station was used to communicate with the 400,000 refugees living in the camp.
With the help of a BBC grant and money from two fundraising events the he and Fairburn were able to launch the station this month. It will air samba, reggae, funk and baile funk 24 hours a day, and will launch internationally in early October and Graef and Fairbairn have already led workshops on creating music shows and documentaries, and setting up and maintaining a radio studio and built websites for keen radio fans. Graef says of the project that taking part in it is a life choice, adding, "The main goal is to get kids out of drug gangs," says Graef. "You can't be a gang member if you're part of AfroReggae. You have to make that choice."
Then to the UK and digital in terms of the ability to time shift radio listening through the BBC's Listen-again facility and podcasts, the topic of a report by Nicole Martin that headlines the success online of BBC Radio 4's "The Archers".
This is the BBC programme most listened to via the Internet with more than a million listens in June: Martin refers to it as "the driving force behind the corporation's bid to encourage listeners online and no other show comes even close to beating it" noting that the nearest was Chris Moyles's Radio 1 breakfast show, which attracted 442,020 "radio player on-demands".
A BBC spokesman said, "Listening to the radio via the internet or via podcasts gives people much more control over where and when they can listen to their favourite radio show We are also getting the impression that listening to the radio via the internet or podcast is moving from being a niche activity to a more mainstream one."
Last week's RAJAR ratings showed that in Britain the number of people surfing the Internet has overtaken those watching TV and that downloads of podcasts were up from 1.9 million a year ago to 2.7 million with listening also growing via mobile phones.
Which is a reasonable cue for listening suggestions starting with a note that "afroreggaedigital" can be listened to live online and "The Archers" is available on demand for a week after first airing on the BBC Radio 4 website as is Moyles' Show on the BBC Radio One website.
Then switching BBC stations a note that this year's Proms continue on BBC Radio 3 again this week, taking up regular afternoon and evening slots. Also from BBC Radio 3 we suggest "The Essay" (22:00 GMT Monday to Thursday) )that this week is comprised of four poets saluting the centenary of WH Auden's birth - American poet Dana Gioia tonight; Kate Clanchy on Tuesday; Glyn Maxwell on Wednesday; and Peter Porter on Thursday.
Going back to BBC Radio 4, we suggest last Sunday's "Something Understood" in which Mark Tully, the BBC's former Delhi correspondent, celebrates 60 years of Indian independence with an exploration of the special character of Indian democracy and also from Sunday "Analysis" - "The Roof Over Your Head" -that was on a topic of interest both sides of the Atlantic and indeed wider - the issue of affordable housing and how far the government should get involved.
Also from Radio 4 throughout the week we suggest "Book of the Week" ( 08:45 GMT weekdays with an evening repeat), which this week features readings by Miriam Margolyes from "Singled Out", Virginia Nicholson's true story of the generation of women who were left without husbands after the carnage of the First World War - some two million "surplus" women as they were often referred to.
Also from Monday through Thursday we suggest Michael Rosen's "On Being Inferior" (14:45 GMT), an exploration of what being inferior actually means and how feelings of inferiority are created. On Friday the slot is taken up by "The Most Valuable Notes in History" , a look at mini-melodies such as the Windows Start-up notes, the Intel Inside chimes and UK Channel 4's original four-note fanfare.
Then from Tuesday (08:00GMT) we suggest "A Royal Recovery", Matthew d'Ancona's look at how the monarchy recovered from the rumblings of republicanism after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Finally from BBC Radio 4 we suggest tomorrow's "The GI Blues of Elvis Presley" in which Paul Gambaccini explores Elvis's military career. It includes an interview with former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who says in an exclusive interview that he saw Elvis, whom he met twice on active service, as a soldier not a celebrity.
One of his comments was "We were in this wooded area north of Frankfurt and I was driving along in my Jeep and somebody noted that, there he was. When I got out of my Jeep and walked over to him he saluted and was very proper and what struck me was that he looked just like another GI. He was shorter than I expected other than the fact that he was really Elvis Presley, he acted, and I saw him, as just another soldier, in the woods, kind of dirty, doing a job."
We leave up to those who listen to the whole interview to decide whether Powell would have gone to this trouble for an unknown soldier rather than a celebrity!
Then BBC Radio 2 and music with a difference or not according to your point of view: It comes from "Earth Wind for Hire" (Wednesday 22:00 GMT) in which Comedian and musician Bill Bailey presents an affectionate tribute to tribute bands, the first programme in a four-part series.
And finally from the BBC we opt for comedy from Radio 4 - Friday's "Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive" (17:30 GMT - last week's programme is on the site until then - and the Radio 2 noon GMT comedy hour that this coming Saturday features two new series - the first of a six-part "Alexei Sayle's Alternative Take" in which Sayle looks at the impact of alternative comedy on comedy in general - followed by "Alan Carr and Friends", the first of two programmes from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
RNW note:We regret that other pressures last week curtailed our listening to some other regular sources such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Netherlands podcasts.
Should we manage to catch up within the next day or so we will add recommendations of these should we find them worthy.
Boston Herald - Ambrose.
UK Independent: Morris
UK Telegraph - Martin:
2007-08-20: According to the UK Sunday Times UK-headquartered media group Emap is to offer investors "B" shares to as a tax-efficient way of distributing the proceeds of a break-up of the group, currently valued at around GBP 1.8 billion (USD 3.6 billion) company although a break-up is expected to add around a fifth to this.
The paper adds that chairman Alan Cathcart has reserved the right to abandon the break-up if sales of a division run into problems and says investors would be given the option of taking cash or B shares, thus allowing them to roll over any capital gains to the next tax year and the auction of Emap's three divisions - consumer magazines, business-to-business publishing and radio - will start in two weeks.
It adds that Cathcart is confident of a sale of all the divisions but does not want a long period of uncertainty and has set a new-year deadline for deals to be done and also says that the company is confident the proceeds of a break-up will be tax-free, as the group is sitting on some large tax losses that have yet to be utilised.
The Sunday Times also reports that SMG is expected later this week to unveil the board of Virgin Radio adding that the board will only become effective if SMG's radio business is spun-off into a separate listed company, something analysts now believe to be more likely than a sale.
UK Sunday Times report:
2007-08-19: The main regulatory news of the past week came from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice Of Proposed Rule Making about proposals that would allow AM stations to use FM translators to boost their signals: Otherwise and elsewhere it was more a matter of routines.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced only one radio decision, a variation to services in the Hobart area that would allow the ABC's news radio service 7PB to use day/night switching, using a directional signal radiation pattern which will enable the service to improve its coverage in the Hobart area during daylight hours without causing interference to other co-channelled AM services at night and also allow community radio service 7THE to change its use of FM frequencies.
Under the new arrangement 7THE, which has to leave is existing site at Mount Nelson will be allowed to swap the FM frequencies it currently uses as its main (92.1 MHz) and translator (96.1 MHz) services and operate from new sites at Mt Faulkner and Droughty Hill.
ACMA General Manager, Inputs to Industry Division Giles Tanner said the ACME believed the changes would allow both stations to provide better services to their listeners.
In Canada, radio-related announcements posted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following (In order of province):
*Approval of applications by CAB-K Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of CKLJ-FM, Olds, and Rawlco Radio Ltd. under which the former will change frequencies, increase its antenna height and increase its power from 13,000 watts to 35,000 watts whilst Rawlco will take over the vacated frequency for use by a specialty Folk/Acoustic music FM in Calgary that was approved last year and will also relocate its transmitter, increase the antenna height, and increase the power from 19,000 watts to 100,000 watts.
The CRTC in approving the applications accepted that CKLJ-FM's existing signal could not provide a quality signal to a number of communities within its authorized service area, including Sundre, Torrington, Bowden and Innisfail and said it was persuaded that the approval of both applications would represent optimum use of frequency spectrum and would be in the public interest.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of ethnic commercial station CJMR-AM, Mississauga,
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community-based campus station CHLY-FM, Nanaimo.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of ethnic commercial station CJVB-AM, Richmond.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of ethnic commercial station CHKT-AM, Richmond Hill.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of ethnic commercial station CHMB-AM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language, commercial station CFFM-FM, Williams Lake.
*Approval of acquisition by Newcap Radio Manitoba Inc. of the assets of CKJS-AM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, from CKJS Limited.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of CFAI-FM, Edmunston, and its transmitter in Grand Falls.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community radio station CIFA-FM, Commeauville/Yarmouth.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community radio station CHOD-FM, Cornwall.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of CFMU Radio Incorporated's CFMU-FM, Hamilton.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community-based campus station CHRW-FM, London.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community-based campus station CHUO-FM, Ottawa.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language, commercial station CHCD-FM, Simcoe.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community-based campus station CKLU-FM, Sudbury.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of CKLN Radio Incorporated's CKLN-FM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of CHIM-FM, Timmins, and its transmitters in North Bay, Iroquois Falls, Kirkland Lake, New Liskeard, Red Deer, Sault Ste Marie, Elliot Lake, Wawa, Chapleau and Kapuskasing.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community radio station CHIP-FM, Fort-Coulonge.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of community radio station CILE-FM, Havre-St-Pierre, and its transmitters in Lac Allard and Rivière-au-Tonnerre.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language, commercial station CHSN-AM, Estevan.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language, commercial station CJWW-AM, Saskatoon.
The CRTC also renewed until 31 August 2008 the licences of the following transitional digital radio programming undertakings (In order of Province):
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBUX-DR-1, CBU-DR-1, and CBU-DR-2, Vancouver.
CHUM Limited's CFUN-DR-2 and CHQM-DR-1, Vancouver.
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CKNW-DR-2 and CFMI-DR-1, New Westminster.
Corus Radio Company's CFOX-DR-1 and CHMJ-DR-2, Vancouver.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CKKS-DR-1, Sechelt, and CKCL-DR-1 and CKWX-DR-2, Vancouver.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBO-DR-1, CBOF-DR-1, CBOQ-DR-1, and CBOX-DR-1 all in Ottawa.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBL-DR-1 and CBLA-DR-1 and CJBC-DR-1 and CJBC-DR-2, all in Toronto
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBE-DR-1 and CBE-DR-2, Windsor.
CHUM Limited's CHUM-DR-1 and CHUM-DR-2, Toronto.
CHUM Limited's CIDR-DR-1, CIMX-DR-1, CKLW-DR-2, and CKWW-DR-2, Windsor.
CIRC Radio Inc.'s CIRV-DR-1, Toronto.
CJRT-FM Inc.'s CJRT-DR-1, Toronto.
CKMW Radio Ltd.'s CIAO-DR-2, Brampton.
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CILQ-DR-1, North York and CFMJ-DR-2, Toronto.
Corus Radio Company's CFNY-DR-1, Brampton.
MZ Media Inc.'s CFMZ-DR-1, Toronto.
Radio 1540 Limited's CHIN-DR-1 and CHIN-DR-2, Toronto.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CFTR-DR-2, CHFI-DR-1, CJAQ-DR-1, and CJCL-DR-2, Toronto.
Standard Radio Inc.'s CJEZ-DR-1. CFMX-DR-1, and CFRB-DR-2, Toronto.
Trafalgar Broadcasting Limited's CJMR-DR-2, Mississauga, and CJYE-DR-2, Oakville.
Astral Media Radio Inc.'s CITE-DR-1 and CKMF-DR-1, Montréal.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 's CBF-DR-1, CBFX-DR-1, CBM-DR-1, and CBME-DR-1, all in Montréal.
CHUM Limited's CKGM-DR-2, Montréal.
Standard Radio Inc.'s CHOM-DR-1, Montréal.
There were no radio postings from Ireland nor from the UK although Ofcom did announce the appointment of a new non-Executive member to its board - for a three year term from the start of September of Mike McTighe, currently non-executive Chairman of Pace Micro Technology plc, a director of London Metal Exchange Holdings Ltd and the Alliance & Leicester plc and Chairman of a number of private equity backed technology firms - as well as the re-appointment until 31 December 2009 of existing non-Executive member Millie Banerjee, most of whose previous career was with BT.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted is proposing to allow AM stations to use FM translators (See below) - a practice already allowed in a number of other countries including Canada. It has also been asked by consumer advocate Ralph Nader to investigate reports that General Motors has gained favourable publicity from various hosts, who have not declared that they gained benefits from the company, by providing them with vehicles and hospitality (also below)
It has also been involved in a number of enforcement actions including (In descending order of amount involved):
*USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability of Forfeiture (NAL) issued (along with licence renewal) to New York License Company LLC, licensee of WWRL-AM, New York, New York, for falsely certifying in its license renewal application that the station's public inspection file was complete throughout the license term.
WWRL had previously paid a forfeiture for public file offences but then in the renewal application had certified that the required documentation had been placed in the station's public information file at the appropriate times. When the discrepancy was noted it changed its application, saying it had misunderstood the Commission's rules. The FCC noted that the base forfeiture for misrepresentation/lack of candour was USD 32,5000 but in this case proposed a reduced penalty of USD 10,000.
*USD 10,000 forfeiture to Marcel Emile of East Orange, New Jersey, for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequencies 96.7 MHz and 104.7 MHz. Emile had not responded to an NAL for this amount.
*USD 8,000 NAL to Hmong American Community Inc. of Fresno, California, former licensee of Low Power FM station KFCA-LP, Fresno, for operating a LPFM station without Commission authority and failing to file a timely renewal application for the station.
The FCC had received a complaint that Hmong had failed to renew its licence, which expired on December 1, 005, but continued to operate the station after the licence expired. Hmong had said it its new executive director was unaware of the need to renew station KFCA-LP's license until informed by an inspector that the license had expired.
It further said that after learning that its license had expired, and upon inquiry with the FCC about the status of its LPFM station license, it decided to undertake efforts to transfer ownership of the LPFM station to a non-profit organization rather than discontinue operation or return the license but admitted that although no assignment or renewal applications were filed with the Commission, it continued to operate the station until February 1, 2007, when the system failed and the station was completely shut down.
The FCC noted that the usual base penalties are USD 3,000 for failure to file required forms or information and USD 10,000 for operation of a station without Commission authority but in this case opted to reduce the latter penalty to USD 5,000 making a total of USD 8,000.
*USD 3,000 NAL to BKM Enterprises for failing to file a Form 301 long-form application by the requisite deadline after winning the bidding for an FM construction permit in Perry, Florida, it its auction 68. The FCC also granted BKM's waiver request and accepted its application for filing.
*USD 3,000 NAL to E-String Wireless, Ltd. for failing to file a Form 301 long-form application by the requisite deadline after winning the bidding for an FM construction permit in Munday, Texas, it its auction 70. The FCC also granted BKM's waiver request and accepted its application for filing.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2007-08-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted a Notice Of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) about rules to allow AM broadcast stations to operate FM translator stations. The NPRM followed the filing in July last year of a petition from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that proposed that AM stations be permitted to license and/or use FM translator stations to retransmit their AM service as a fill-in service.
The FCC is asking for comment on its proposals to allow such use, in particular on such matters as to how the service should be phased in and what factors should limit translator use such as ownership by an AM station owner of FMs in the same market, and the appropriate limits on the number of translators that should be allowed and how far this should relate to the class of the AM station.
Previously the FCC had barred the use of FM translators by AM stations, saying that "because the groundwave propagation characteristics of AM signals normally do not leave service voids or "shadowing" similar to those in the FM band, the Commission found no reason for AM licensees to establish FM translators to provide the service proposed" but it now considers that conditions have changed.
It notes that it received more than 500 comments on the proposal, the overwhelming majority of them in favour, and it is now proposing rules to allow such use including the use of FM translators at night by AM daytime-only stations.
The FCC comments that "the AM band's viability has been threatened by a well-documented shift of AM listeners to newer mass media services that offer higher technical quality and superior audio fidelity" and notes the various technical limitations of AM, particularly at night, a situation that became worse when Congress extended Daylight Savings Time, thus meaning that many AM stations may effectively "lose an hour of early morning drive-time programming or be forced to operate at very low power during that important period of the broadcast day."
It also notes that there has been increasing interference to AM from other electrical and electronic equipment and that some have argued that the introduction of in-band, on-channel ("IBOC") digital radio broadcast transmissions will "create a new factor of interference to AM listeners, particularly to those tuned to low power AM stations that operate on channels adjacent to those of 50 kW stations which have initiated IBOC operations."
It further notes the importance of AM, which "often offers the only radio service to listeners in a variety of circumstances, particularly those living in and travelling through rural areas" and adds: "In view of the undisputed importance of the AM service within the media landscape, we have decided to pursue the rule revisions proposed in the NAB Petition as a means to help ensure the continued viability and survival of stations in the service."
The FCC notes comments in favour of the changes by The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters ("NABOB") and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), in joint reply comments. They argue that adopting the proposal would help reverse the sharp downward trend in minority ownership by improving the viability and value of AM stations and endorsed a following statement by the Radio Broadcasters Association of Puerto Rico and Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association in support of the NAB petition.
There was opposition, however, in particular from the Prometheus Radio Project, which asserts that the proposal would have a devastating impact on the development of the Low Power FM (LPFM) radio service and says that ongoing proceedings concerning access to the FM band should be resolved before consideration is given to opening the FM band to AM licensees. Prometheus further argued that although AM licensees may face interference issues, they at least have a current outlet, whereas many potential LPFM licensees are waiting for authorizations to provide service and should not be pushed aside by AM licensees.
Others argued that the NAB's proposal would not remedy the problems in the AM band, but would clutter up the FM band and perhaps ultimately undermine the AM service by shifting more listeners from the AM band to the FM band.
National Public Radio, Inc., while not opposing the NAB Petition, argues that the Commission should first address the potential for interference to full-power FM stations by FM translators whilst yet others argued that daytime-only AM stations should be provided first priority to use FM translators, presumably to originate programming at night..
2007-08-19: Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader has now taken up the issue of US hosts promoting companies without revealing a financial interest in relation to reports that General Motors has been successful in gaining favourable publicity through providing goods and services to various hosts (See RNW Columnists Aug. 13).
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Nader calls for an investigation into the activities of various hosts and comments that it appears that various broadcasts may have violated sponsorship identification rules that require broadcasters to "disclose to their listeners or viewers if matter has been aired in exchange for money, services or other valuable consideration" and that "when anyone provides or promises to provide money, services or other consideration to someone to include program matter in a broadcast, that fact must be disclosed in advance of the broadcast, ultimately to the station over which the matter is to be aired."
RNW comment: This is very much a similar matter to the "Cash for comment" enquiry in Australia and it does seem to us that on the basis of the rules as cited various prominent hosts may have breached them. If they have we would not favour fines as an initial response to what has happened but rather a requirement for public acknowledgement of the practice in the past and declaration of such interests in the future when in our view there should be severe financial penalties of at least 100 times the estimated financial benefit to the host - or station/syndication service when there is clear evidence that the benefit has come in terms of placement of additional advertising in connection with such promotional activities by companies.
2007-08-18: BBC World Service has lost its last FM outlet in Russia in what appears to be a clampdown on foreign media: Its other two FM partner stations had dropped BBC programming over the last nine month and on Friday the financial group Finam that owns Bolshoye Radio told representatives of the BBC Russian Service that they had been required to remove BBC programming at the request of Russian licensing authorities, or risk the station being taken off-air. Finam had been warned that all its programming had to be produced by the station itself.
The BBC says it intends to appeal to Russia's Federal Service for the Supervision of Mass Media, Communication and Protection of Cultural Heritage and ask for the decision to be reversed: It says that the detailed concept documents - the basis on which the licence was awarded in February 2006 - clearly state that only "60 per cent of the station's total output will be original material produced by Bolshoye Radio" and also said it would have up to 18% foreign produced content, including programming from the BBC and Voice of Russia - specifically in order to enable the station "to reflect many and often contradictory views on current affairs".
Richard Sambrook, Director of BBC Global News, said: "We are extremely disappointed that listeners to Bolshoye Radio in Moscow will be unable to listen to our impartial and independent news and information programming in the high quality audibility of FM. The BBC has invested a great deal of energy and resources into developing high quality programming for the station. The BBC has similar broadcasting arrangements with partner stations around the world. Our services are available on FM in over 150 capital cities - some 75 per cent of the global total."
He then added, "The BBC entered into the relationship with Bolshoye Radio in good faith, and the licence was won in a competitive tender in February 2006. We cannot understand how the licence is now interpreted in a way that does not reflect the original and thorough concept documents. We are appealing to Russia's Federal Service for the Supervision of Mass Media, Communication and Protection of Cultural Heritage. We will ask for the decision to be reviewed and for the original concept of the station to be respected."
Bolshoye Radio has been airing a test signal including BBC and VOA programmes - BBC programmes aired were Utro na BBC, London View, BBSeva (hosted by Seva Novgordosev) and a new interactive programme Vam Slovo - since May with an official launch planned for the autumn (fall) and was sold to Dinam in July.
The BBC's previous FM partners in Russia were Moscow Station Radio Arsenal, which dropped BBC programming at the end of last year and St Petersburg station Radio Leningrad which dropped it early last year. BBC Russian programming is still available via the Internet and on shortwave plus medium wave in Moscow, St Peterburg and Ekaterinburg as well as on two satellite TV platforms - the NTV+ and Hotbird 2 satellite.
2007-08-18: The US National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), which in May expressed concern over the first Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) data from Philadelphia, has now called on Arbitron to postpone Arbitron to postpone the PPM's rollout in new markets until what it terms "significant flaws" with the methodology have been corrected.
In May it had noted that although the PPM data reinforced the value of African American targeted radio as the best way to reach the African American consumer, it had produced questionable results regarding total African American average quarter hour (AQH) listening. NABOB said the PPM showed lower AQH listening for most African American stations and that, although Arbitron had said advertisers and agencies would have to change the way they interpreted the data when buying airtime, its members had reported that media buyers, who often only looked at AQH rankings, had not changed the way they bought radio airtime.
NABOB at the time put down the lower AQH rankings down to deficiencies in the PPM methodology, including the recruitment, composition and administration of the sample panel, the attribution of sporadic exposure, and the absence of a metric that reflects listener engagement.
NABOB on Thursday said the PPM under-represents the 18-24 and 25-54 African-American sample size and also says there are software problems and "confusing and flawed" data that has led to a significant fall in national revenues in the two markets, - Houston and Philadelphia - where the PPM is now used for ratings.
NABOB executive director Jim Winston commented, "Arbitron has issued several months of PPM data, and it is clear, not just to our members but to the radio industry as a whole, that this new technology is flawed. We have seen all radio audiences decline, and urban radio station audiences decline significantly, under PPM. Early on we expressed to Arbitron the problems of reliability of their data caused by the low sample size used, particularly among African-Americans in the 18-24 demo. The samples in both Philadelphia and Houston for this demo have been consistently and substantially below the proportion of the population represented by this demo, and substantially below the sample size Arbitron set for itself to reach."
NABOB added that the lack of African American representation in the sample had resulted in a significant fall in the audience reported for stations that target young African-American listeners and said a study commissioned from Norman Hecht Research by itself and Arbitron had demonstrated that the low sample size was resulting in lower ratings for these stations.
Arbitron denies that the PPM ratings are flawed and points to long-term contracts signed by major broadcasters as a sign of their confidence in the system but it said it would continue to work with BABOB on the issues raised.
2007-08-18: Entercom Communications and Nassau Broadcasting have announced the signing of letters of intent for a deal under which eleven of Nassau's stations will carry programming from Entercom Boston's WEEI -AM Sports Radio and also of a separate deal under which the two companies will form a joint venture to own and operate Nassau's WCRB-FM in Boston. Entercom will put in cash and end up owning around half of the station but it will be managed and operated by Nassau and the two say they will maintain the station's 60-year heritage Classical Music format
Entercom notes that WEEI programming is already aired on three of its own stations WEEI-FM in Providence, plus Massachusetts stations WVEI-FM in Springfield, WVEI-AM in Worcester, and that the new deal will extend it to Portland, Maine; Cap Cod, Massachusetts; Concord (Lakes Regions), New Hampshire; Lebanon-Rutland-White River Junction, New Hampshire-Vermont; and Montpelier-Barre-St. Johnsbury, Vermont
For Entercom, President and CEO David Field said in a statement, "We could not be more pleased with our new partnership with Nassau Broadcasting, but the big winners today are millions of listeners across New England. Together, Nassau and Entercom have come together to preserve WCRB and its' cherished Classical format that has provided a home for the arts for hundreds of thousands of listeners in the greater Boston area. In addition, we will be bringing America's Number 1 sports radio station to millions of listeners throughout New England for the first time."
Nassau Chairman and President Lou Mercatanti added that they were "delighted to have Entercom as a partner in our heritage radio station WCRB in Boston."
Nassau took over the WCRB classical music format and heritage WCRB call letters in another deal with Greater Media and Charles River Broadcasting Company last year (See RNW Aug 1, 2006) and Mercatanti said that after the acquisition of the station they had been "overwhelmed by the positive response from our listeners with regards to both our preservation of the Classical format in Boston and the improvements we have made to enhance the station and its programming" adding "Now, as partners with Entercom, the premier broadcaster in Boston, we believe that both our listeners and advertisers will benefit greatly from the partnership."
2007-08-17: Arbitron and Citadel have signed a seven-year deal for use of the former's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings for Citadel's 41 stations, including the 22 ABC Radio stations Citadel recently acquired, in 14 PPM markets when the service is commercialized in the markets - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Providence, Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis. .
Citadel CEO Farid Suleman said that his company believed that the PPM would "significantly enhance radio's accountability and reach, ultimately resulting in increased commitments to radio by advertisers."
2007-08-17: UTV's board has announced plans for a corporate reorganisation under which a new listed company, UTV Media plc, will become the ultimate holding company of the Group.
It is to be introduced via a scheme of arrangement under which UTV Media plc will own the entire issued share capital of UTV and be listed on the Official Lists of the London Stock Exchange and Irish Stock Exchange.
UTV shareholders will receive one new share in UTV Media plc for every share they own in UTV, following which UTV shares will be de-listed.
UTV says the effect of the scheme will be to more closely align its corporate structure to internal management and reporting functions and to make its radio, television and new media businesses subsidiaries of UTV Media plc. It says the plan is subject to shareholder approval at a Court meeting and an extraordinary general meeting, both of which will be held in September and on the sanction of the High Court and adds that it expects dealings in the shares in UTV Media plc to start in October.
2007-08-17: Like "liberal talk", talk radio for women in the US seems to be less popular on the air than its backers have predicted: GreenStone Media, which was launched last year with ambitious plans to tap the market - and backing from various prominent women including Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem - is to be folded today barring a last minute financial rescue.
It has only attracted 11 affiliates and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quotes one of its organizers- long-time Seattle radio executive Jim LaMarca - as saying they "didn't get penetration into the bigger markets" and adding that 11 affiliates were "not enough to prove the concept for a lot of broadcasters."
He said he still thought the concept of talk radio oriented toward women could work but said it was likely to be driven more by a specific personality hosting a specific show as with Oprah Winfrey's satellite radio show rather than a slate of programmes.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer report:
2007-08-16: Latest UK radio ratings figures for the second quarter of the year - covering the period 26 March to 24 June- from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) show listening up by almost 600,000 quarter-on-quarter to 45.6 million, some 91% of the UK population.
The ratings for the first time give listening by platform and show that 12.8% of listening is now via various digital platforms - Digital Audio Broadcasts (DAB), the Internet and Digital TV.
Digital listening for the quarter totalled 136 million hours and RAJAR reports that listening to digital-only services had frown from 905,000 listeners in the second quarter of 2003 to 6.09 million this year with 26.5% of the adult (15 plus) population reporting that they listen to radio via a digital platform.
Listening using mobile phones is also growing rapidly with the percentage of (15 plus) mobile phone owners who say they have listened to radio through their phones up from 7% a year earlier to 8.9% this year. More than a quarter of 15-24 years old mobile phone owners - a total of some 1.8 million - say they have listened to radio on their phones - up from 21.7% a year ago to 27.2%.
Within the total UK Commercial radio pulled back listeners from the BBC and took its share up from 42.1% in the previous quarter to 43.5% whilst the BBC slipped back from a record 56% to 54.3% over the same period.
BBC Radio 1 was a notable success and has added 450,000 listeners year on year and to reach 10.87 million - up from 10.42 million and 10.55 million respectively helped by a record reach for Chris Moyles' breakfast show.
The BBC also had a notable audience fall for Radio 3 whose schedule was revamped in February with its listening down to a new low since RAJAR ratings were introduced of 1.78 million.
In the commercial sector the main headline was a further fall for Capital Radio, GCap's London flagship and one-time dominant London station that dropped to fourth rank in terms of audience share: It had 4.1% compared to 6.2% each for Heart, now owned by Global Radio following its purchase of Chrysalis Radio, and Emap's Magic; and 4.5% for Emap's Kiss.
GCap's national classical music station Classic FM also had a bad ratings result with its share down to 4%, its lowest since 2001 and its Birmingham station BRMB also hit a low with its share down to 5.5% from 7.5% in the first quarter.
The markets reacted by marking GCap down and its shares ended the day at 225 pence, 5.3% down, having at one point fallen by nearly 11% to 212 pence.
GCap also fared badly at breakfast time with its host Johnny Vaughan with 836,000 listeners falling behind Heart's team of Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott with 874,000 and only 13,000 ahead of Magic's breakfast host Neil Fox with 823,000. Kiss, which has a new breakfast duo of Rickie and Melvin (Rickie Haywood and Melvin Odoom), had a strong performance with its breakfast show.
The two, who were given a trial run in the slot in succession to Robin Banks, had 688,000 listeners, an increase of 105,000 over Banks' figures.
The top breakfast shows for London were still from the BBC - Terry Wogan for BBC Radio 2 had 1.129 million followed by Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 with 999,000.
For the BBC its Director of Audio & Music Jenny Abramsky singled out the growth of digital and Radio One performance, saying, "I'm pleased to see that the increased choice offered by digital radio is fuelling radio listening and strengthening its place in the digital age. These figures also show a remarkable quarter for Radio 1; the network's distinctive music programming, combined with an innovative use of digital technology have ensured it remains as relevant as ever to young listeners."
On the commercial side the RadioCentre noted that commercial stations had their highest reach for more than four years, having risen by 1.3 million year-on-year to just more than 32 million adults and also its success in local terms with commercial local stations attracting almost 25.8 million a week, a 77% of all local listening in the UK. In London, it said, 73% tuned into a commercial service weekly compared to 57% for the BBC whilst in demographic terms commercial radio takes a 53.7% share of listening by the key 15 to 44 demographic.
RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison said the results "results show how radio remains at the heart of consumers' lives in Britain with reach and hours touching all time highs despite all the attractions of digital and mobile alternatives."
"In particular, "he added, "it is fantastic to see increases, across the board for Commercial Radio. We have consolidated already strong positions among our core and younger audiences this quarter, while also reporting gains among the older demographics. The national picture has never been in better health while, locally too, the fight back is well underway. As new platforms and new players establish themselves within the sector, Commercial Radio is well placed to build on its growing and loyal audience."
Emap professed satisfaction at its London performance with Radio group managing director Dee Ford commenting, "It is fantastic that in the UK's most competitive radio market, Emap is both number one and number three. We're delighted to see Kiss joining Magic among the dominant radio players."
She also commented on the success of Emap's digital offerings, saying, "Emap continues to dominate the digital-only platforms supporting Emap Radio's strategy of offering our audiences compelling content available whenever, wherever and however our listeners want it. We continue to innovate in radio and are looking forward to September's launch of the all new Heat Radio with its revolutionary new commercial model and innovative approach to programming - which will create the UK's first celebrity radio station - and also to the launch of Closer Radio next year."
Within the figures, compared to the previous quarter (and year):
*BBC Radio 1 gained 324,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 10.873 million with listening share up from 10.1% to 10.3% (9.1% a year ago when it had 10.423 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 lost -135,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 13.117 million and listening share down from 15.8% to 15.6 (15.7% a year ago, when it had 13.288 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 lost 119,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 1.783 million and a listening share down from 1.2% to 1.1% (1.3% a year ago, when it had 1.834 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 lost 155,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 9.482 million and listening share down from 12.2% to 11.2% (10.7% a year ago when it had 9.187 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, gained 17000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.890 million, and an unchanged 4.2% listening share (4.5% a year ago when it had 6.033 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it gained 131,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.104 million and a listening share up from 4.3% to 4.5% (4.7% a year ago when it had 6.140 million listeners).
*BBC World Service lost 84,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.305 million and an unchanged listening share of 0.7%, (0.7% a year ago when it had 1.257 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network gained 3,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 455,000 and an unchanged 0/.2% listening share (0.2% a year ago when it had 427,000 listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*G-Cap's Classic FM lost 327,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.704 million and listening share down from 4.2% to 4.0% (4.2% a year ago when it had 5.832 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 31,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.372 million and a listening share down from 2.0% to 1.8% (1.7% a year ago when it had 2.219 million listeners).
*SMG-owned Virgin (total including all AM and FM) gained 85,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.534 million and a listening share up from 1.4% to 1.5% (1.5% a year ago when it had 2.338 million listeners).
Among digital stations - excluding Emap's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and a total weekly reach of 1.478 million including its analogue stations (up from 1.324 million quarter on quarter and up from 1.240 million a year ago) but including BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network - the top ten stations in the survey had a weekly audience as below (previous quarter in brackets):
1 The Hits (Emap) -1.345 million (up from 1,168 million and up from 1.102 million a year ago).
2 Smash Hits Radio (Emap) - 906,000 (up from 759,000 and 776, 000 a year ago) and moving up a rank.
3 BBC Five Live Sports Extra - 866,000 (up from 682,000 and from 658,000 a year ago) and up from fourth.
4 BBC 7 -783,000 (down from 808,000 and from 668,000 a year ago) and down from third.
5 Planet Rock (GCap) - 530,000 (up from 498,000 and 417,000 a year ago).
6 BBC 1Xtra - 473,000 (up from 465,000 and 284,000 a year ago).
7 BBC 6 Music - 471,000 (down from 477,000 and up from 354,000 a year ago.) and down from sixth.
8 BBC Asian Network - 455,000 (up from 452,000 and up from 444,000 a year ago).
. Heat (Emap) - 435,000 (up from 224,000 and up from 300,000 a year ago).
10 Q (Emap) - 379,000 (up from 317,000 and from 360,000 a year ago).
Two new digital stations GCap's The Jazz and SMG's Virgin Classic Rock made their first appearance in the ratings, taking 11th rank with 334,000 and 12th rank with 234,000 listeners respectively and pushing Emap's Mojo down to 13th with 227,000.
Previous RAJAR and RAJAR ratings (First quarter 2007):
2007-08-16: Bridge Ratings in its latest study of the loss of audience by terrestrial radio to new digital media reports Internet radio as booming , satellite radio on track to hit Bridge's 2007 target, significant growth in listening via cell phones, and yet another downward revision to its estimates for the growth of HD radio.
Bridge says that Internet radio continues to show the most significant growth with the latest survey indicating that 24% of the US population had listened to online radio in the previous 30 days, a total of 80 million listeners compared to a year-ago figures of 24% or 72 million listeners. Bridge says it estimates that by the end of the year the figure will have grown to a third of the US population and that by the end of 2008 this will rise to 40%.
Regarding in-vehicle listening Bridge says 93% of the US population listen to AM or FM in their vehicle: Other popular firms of listening are audio cassettes, CD players and cell phones: The percentages who say they listen via AM or FM has fallen from 96% in 2004 whilst those who say they listen via an MP3 player has risen from 4% to 19% over the same period; listening via a cassette player has fallen from 45% to 36% over the same period and via a CD player has fallen from 58% to 55% whilst listening via a DVD player has risen from 5% to 11% and via a call phone has risen from 52% to 60%.
Bridge notes that automotive companies are seeing demand for Internet-capable in-vehicle systems and are moving forward to install Internet-capable systems in models sold this year.
Regarding technology that consumers say they want Bridge reports that the capability to store audio for later listening ranks very highly - a third of those asked about cell phone listening regarded this as of interest compared to 21% who wanted on demand content.
Regarding satellite radio, Bridge estimates that subscriber numbers should hit 23 million by 2010 and 35 million by 2020 - down from a year earlier estimate of 50 million. The estimates do not take into account any Sirius-XM merger.
HD Radio fares worse with Bridge lowering its estimates of units purchased by the end of this year to around 400,000 and adding that unless the situation improves the total will only reach 2.4 million by 2010.
Bridge concludes that the new options "continue to represent the biggest challenge to traditional radio" and sees cell-phone listening as potentially surpass Internet radio for time spent listening and adds that it does not see "HD radio as a significant contributor to boosting listening to terrestrial radio."
Previous Bridge Ratings:
2007-08-16: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has revealed in a ten-page report lodged with the US Senate's Office of Public Records that in the first half of this year it spent USD 4.28 million in lobbying although it was vague about how the spending was broken down .
Amongst the issues it pushed were the proposed Sirius-XM merger (against); legislation that would allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to levy indecency penalties for a fleeting breach of the rules (against) - a single word or image could lead to a penalty; media ownership regulations (for eased regulation) ; breaches by the satellite radio companies of the rules governing their terrestrial repeater systems (it wants severe penalties); and legislation to reverse the Copyright Royalty Board's new charges for streamed music and to prevent any resurrection of the former FCC Fairness Doctrine.
The NAB has also re-iterated its opposition to allowing high tech companies to use the "white space" that will be freed when US TV goes digital following a filing by Microsoft that argued that interference to existing signals from a prototype device had now been overcome.
In a letter to Jack Krumholtz of Microsoft, Douglas S. Wiley, NAB's Executive Vice President, Administration and Agencies - one of the lobbyists named in the above filing along with Laurie Knight, NAB's executive VP of government relations and President and CEO David Rehr - referred to an FCC study that found the device capable of causing interference and then said that the "bottom lien" was that use of the devices "now or in the future posed an unacceptable risk of harmful interference that would permanently undermine over=the-air televisions in the United States."
Wiley notes that "Once millions of unlicensed devices are in consumers' hands, they cannot be traced or recalled" and that interference could come from an adjoining apartment or a "neighbour down the street."
RNW comment: Yet again NAB- which in this case with the current state of the technology seems to us to have a virtually unassailable case - has to over-egg the cake. We certainly do not know whether future technical development would reduce the risk of interference in the future and we doubt that Wiley has enough technical knowledge to make any sound assessment of potential development. Maybe that's why the organization has to spend millions on propaganda rather than making a sound case without hyperbole.
2007-08-16: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ on Wednesday concluded a week of trials of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) listening on its 252kHz Long Wave signal. The tests ran from midnight to 06:00 plus some evening times and the digital signal was broadcast at full power with the broadcaster turning off its analogue signal during the period the digital broadcasters were on air.
RTÉ will use the tests to gauge public reaction but so far says it has no definite plans to broadcast via DRM.
DRM itself is to showcase its latest products at the Berlin IFA consumer electronics trade show that runs from August 31 to September 5: Products on display will include Russia's first DRM prototype radio from Sarapulsky Radiozavod plus DRM/DAB receivers from Morphy Richards that are already on sale; Himalaya's DRM 2009, which is also currently available and allows reception of DAB, DRM, AM and FM and with an SD card can also be used as an MP3 player; TechniSat's MultiRadio 1 that can receive analogue FM, long, medium and shortwave plus DAB and DRM; and Bosch/Blaupunkt's prototype Advanced Digital Receiver, an automobile receiver that can handle AM and FM plus digital signals
2007-08-16: Regent Communications has reacted to the filing by Los Angeles-based investment fund Riley Investment Partners Master Fund, L.P. of a lawsuit against it relating to Riley's allegation that it refused to call a special meeting despite a request backed by holders of a fifth of Regent's shares and also for refusing to provide all of the stockholder list materials to which shareholders are entitled to receive under Delaware law (See RNW Aug 14) by launching a counter-suit of its own against Riley and SMH Capital Inc..
Regent is alleging amongst other things that Riley breached Section 13 and 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with its solicitation of requests from various Regent shareholders to call a special meeting to amend Regent's bylaws, and to add four new directors to Regent's Board of Directors nominated by Riley.
It also alleges that Riley and SMH Capital Inc. are engaged in continuing violations of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act as a result of SMH Capital, failing to disclose its significant beneficial ownership interests in Regent shares, and of Riley and SMH Capital, failing to disclose in a Schedule 13D the intentions, arrangements and agreements between Riley, SMH Capital and other shareholders with respect to Regent and its shares.
Regent says in a release that it takes these actions very seriously and intends to pursue vigorously all available remedies and adds that it stands ready to respect its obligations to all Regent shareholders, to hold meetings which have been properly demanded by its shareholders, and to respond to shareholder concerns and initiatives.
"As a seven percent shareholder," says Regent, "Riley is demanding hasty action to elect four of its own nominees to the board, stands poised to appoint others and obtain a majority position as vacancies occur, and has stated that it will try to sell the Company despite the poor performance of radio broadcast stocks in recent months and the turmoil in securities markets generally. Regent is concerned that Riley and the other shareholders in its group, including SMH Capital, are taking these actions without providing required information to Regent's other shareholders. It is these very shortcomings that the federal securities laws are designed to prevent, and Regent will insist that all shareholders proceed in a manner consistent with law.
2007-08-16: Clear Channel on Wednesday filed revised 2002 to 2006 earnings figures to bring it into line with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations in relation to the classification of the assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses of the radio and TV stations it has sold.
The revision does not affect the bottom line but because some of the stations are now counted as "discontinued operations" it has cut revenues: These were down 9% - from USD 5.91 billion to USD 5.41 billion in 2002; from USD 6.22 billion to USD 5.69 billion in 2003; from USD 6.6 billion to USD 6.03 billion in 2004; from USD 6.58 billion to USD 6.03 billion in 2005; and from USD 7.07 billion to USD 6.47 billion in 2006.
Previous Clear Channel:
2007-08-15: CBS Radio has now closed its books on Don Imus, announcing both a settlement of its dispute with the host over his firing in April and a replacement morning show on WFAN-AM in New York, Imus's former home station.
No financial details of the settlement were released and CBS Radio spokeswoman Karen Mateo said in a statement, "Don Imus and CBS Radio have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS. The terms of the settlement are confidential and will not be disclosed."
The Drudge Report carried a headline saying Imus had settled for USD 20 million - with a link to a Reuters' report that cited The Drudge Report as saying the settlement was for this amount - although the New York Times said that CBS Radio spokeswoman Karen Mateo characterized that figure as too high. Drudge also carried a headline with a link to an ABC report saying that Imus is being sued for damages by a Rutgers basketball player.
Imus, who signed a five-year USD 40 million contract with CBS Radio shortly before his dismissal, had threatened a USD 120 million lawsuit for breach of contract (See RNW May 5): He is now looking for a new home but the Times, which says the agreement precludes both the host and CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves from making disparaging remarks about each other, points out that there are few potential employers who could offer a New York flagship plus syndication.
It says that Citadel, which owns WABC-AM in New York, would have to drop its own "Curtis and Kuby" (Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby) show - Reuters quoted WABC general manager Steve Borneman as saying nobody at WABC, Citadel or ABC has been talking to Imus and WABC was "happy" with its morning show; Clear Channel already had a number of popular morning shows and Buckley Broadcasting's WOR-AM would need to ensure sufficient advertising to "support the salary that Mr. Imus is seeking, which is believed to be in the range of USD 8 million or more a year. "
The Times added that Imus "is not expected to rehire Bernard McGuirk, the outspoken producer whose initial on-air comment about the Rutgers women's team - he called them 'some hard-core hos' - served as the kindling that Mr. Imus then set afire with his follow-up remark, in which he called the women 'nappy-headed hos.'".
The ABC report concerning a lawsuit against Imus says that Kia Vaughn, star centre for the Rutgers Women's Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus, MSNBC, NBC Universal, CBS Radio, CBS Corporation, Viacom Inc, Westwood One Radio and Imus producer Bernard McGuirk for libel, slander, and defamation -- the first civil suit to be filed against the former radio host.
It adds that she is asking for monetary damages of an unspecified amount and quotes her attorney Richard Ancowitz as saying "This is a lawsuit in order to restore the good name and reputation of my client, Kia Vaughn."
He added, "There's no way these bigoted remarks should have seen the light of day. Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman. That was and is a lie."
ABC says the lawsuit alleges that use of the slanderous terms was intentional and motivated by greed and financial gain: in using insults against otherwise innocent people Imus would get higher ratings, making more money for him and his employers. Among other infractions, the suit alleges that Imus violated the players' civil rights.
RNW comment: Nobody it seems to us is coming out of this particular saga at all well. As regards Vaughn it seems to us that she had not lost any good name or reputation since all the comment about the affair at the time was to praise the team and condemn Imus and McGuirk leading us to conclude that the just award in this case would be a cent to restore the name together with costs against her to ensure that the ruling only restores good name but does not offer financial rewards.
As for Imus, he would appear to have done well financially in the short term but in the longer one may find it difficult to match the money he was previously paid and his value is likely to decrease as time goes on. In a fair world a tenth of what he was previously getting would seem overcompensation to us in any other terms but ability to pull in advertisers.
WFAN's replacement for Imus will be a team of former NFL quarterback and veteran CBS Sports broadcaster Boomer Eliason plus Craig Carton, who moves over from Millennium Radio's New Jersey 101.5 where he was one of the afternoon "Jersey Guys", who claimed to be the most listened to FM Talk Show in the country.
Carton has also been in hot water in the past for crass remarks including from 2005 derogatory comments about the wife of acting New Jersey governor Richard J. Codey who had suffered from postpartum depression and later comments belittling Asian-Americans [See RNW Columnists May 2, 2005] leading to a question to CBS Radio president and chief executive Dan Mason as to whether his record could be considered as offensive as that of Imus: The Times says Mason responded by pointing out that the Imus show had been mainly political but the new show would be sports-centred and adding, "It was on a different radio show. It wasn't on our air. We have our own standards and our own policies. We expect those to be adhered to."
In a CBS release, Carton commented of his move, "Returning to my sports roots is something I'm very much looking forward to and it's an honour and a privilege to be joining WFAN working alongside someone of Boomer's stature. There's no denying the straightforward, no nonsense approach to the format is what sets it apart from all others and what listeners demand from the station's personalities. In this town you better respect the audience's credibility if you're going to have any chance of succeeding. Boomer and I will absolutely keep that top of mind as we move forward."
Millennium meanwhile has posted on the NJ101.5 website a new "Jersey Guys" pairing of Casey & Rossi - Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi, formerly Carton's co-host. Bartholomew had previously worked as a host on the station and has been filling in recently for Carton who was said to be on vacation.
ABC report re lawsuit:
New York Times report:
2007-08-15: Radio One Inc. has re-stated its second quarter results released earlier this month, reducing its net loss for the quarter by USD 1.3 million.
In its original release (See RNW Aug 3) the company reported a loss of USD 7.6 million, now cut to USD 6.3 million - from a loss of eight cents to a loss of six cents per diluted share -because of a correction in the amounts of Equity in Loss of Affiliated Company and Benefit for Income Taxes in Results of Operations and Total Assets, Total Liabilities and Total Stockholders' Equity in its Selected Balance Sheet Data.
For the half-year the loss is down USD 1.4 million to USD 5.5 million- from a loss of seven cents to a loss of six cents per diluted share.
The change does not affect figures for revenues, cash, operating cash flow or station operating income.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2007-08-15: BBC Radio 2 host Sarah Kennedy, who last week was reprimanded for an outburst directed at a couple who were buying her house, is again been in the news for comments made on her 06:00 local "Dawn Patrollers" show on Monday, this time for mispronunciations and unfinished sentences that she has put down to a "sore throat".
Kennedy, who is 57, reports the UK Times, spoke of "Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a "pink polka blot" dress and described the victim in the Phil Spector murder trial as having a "gunshot to her month". She offered to send some "panties" to soldiers in Afghanistan and also appeared to have difficulty reading the newspaper review. "
The paper adds that after garbling one phrase she said, "I'm sorry, I have got a bit of a breathing problem today but I will get that sorted out by going to see the docs."
Kennedy has a history of making untoward comments as in 1999 when she called a clergyman an "old prune", described her fellow DJ Ken Bruce as an "old fool" and accused a newsreader of soiling her underwear. On that occasion she took a week off work for "exhaustion" after making the comments whilst standing in for Terry Wogan
Last week she rambled about the buyers of her house whom she alleged refused to pay GBP 250 (USD 500) to cover the cost of filling up an oil tank for the winter, saying she thought they were "really nice people but they're not, they're thieves."
In response to complaints posted on the BBC website, Phil Hughes, editor of mainstream programmes on Radio 2, reprimanded her, commenting, "We all agree, Sarah included, that the subject was inappropriate and that the language was not well chosen," he says in a letter to complainants posted on the BBC website this morning. "On behalf of us all, may I apologise for any offence caused."
Her latest problems also led to a number of postings and the Times reports that the BBC responded by denying that alcohol was a factor and adds that a spokeswoman said, "Sarah had a very sore throat on Sunday night and unfortunately her voice was beginning to close down just as she was getting up at 3.30am this morning."
UK Times report:
2007-08-15: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has ramped up its attacks on attempts by the recording companies to gain a performance royalty from terrestrial US radio stations through a "mock invoice" that it has sent to some 13,000 radio stations.
The "invoice" demonstrates what NAB terms the "devastating impact of a performance tax "[ RNW comment: NAB's PR denigration of the language for effect by tagging this a tax rather than a charge] and presents the station with a bill for "the privilege of promoting the record labels music free of charge and lining recording industry executives' pockets."
It encourages stations to lobby their members of Congress against the charge, reading: "Invite your member of Congress to visit your station, and show first hand how the performance tax will hurt your efforts to serve your local community."
The introduction of the charge claims NAB, which is arguing for continuation of the policy under which no performance royalty is charges on the basis of promotion of record sales through airplay would "radically alter the balanced, fair system that has worked well for broadcasters, artists, composers and the recording labels for many years."
It goes on to say that it has been reported that the "the recording industry is seeking fees upwards of 10-35% of industry revenue" and says the move would also affect "restaurants, sports stadiums, hotels and other venues that air pre-recorded music for their patrons" and also says that "The big record labels like to hide behind their artists, but at least half of all fees end up in the pockets of foreign record label conglomerates, while the rest is divided up among the stakeholders. Often, the artists only receive a few pennies out of every dollar."
RNW comment: What a chauvinistic petty and mean minded outfit NAB is. There are legitimate arguments to be made, albeit much of the rest of the world seems to have managed to keep radio on air despite paying performance royalties but what point is NAB making by pointing out that "While three of the four major record labels are located outside the U.S., free, local radio stations are the lifeblood of towns and communities right here in our country - delivering vital local news, weather and emergency information to your constituents."
Nobody that we can recall instituted laws forcing US recording companies to sell out to overseas owners and indeed there is an imbalance in that much of the world allows foreign ownership of broadcasting stations whilst the US does not. A far better case could be made to give the US six months to change its laws and allow foreign ownership of broadcasters or for the rest of the world to get together and give all US companies a month to divest themselves of their holdings of broadcasters elsewhere. The latter we wouldn't argue for- nor would NAB as it would cost their members a lot of money - but the former is certainly justified to allow a free market.
2007-08-15: DJs on board the light ship LV28, who this week had been broadcasting from off Harwich as BBC "Pirate Radio Essex" to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act that led to the closing of pirate radio ships off the UK (See RNW Aug 10) were treated to a bumpy day on Tuesday with heavy rain and strong winds.
The broadcasts ended mid afternoon and had involved various DJs who worked on the original pirate ships including Johnnie Walker, Keith Skues, Dave Cash, Graham Webb, Keith Hampshire and Tom Edwards.
Around 500 people waited in rain the welcome the team back to Harwich after broadcasts had ended after which they attended a photo session at the town's Ha'penny Pier that was also attended by the Harwich Mayor and his daughter.
2007-08-15: Pacifica Radio's KPFT-FM in Houston came under attack around 01:00 on Monday when a bullet was fired into the building, missing a woman's head by round 18 inches (0.5 metre) according to the Houston Chronicle which quoted general manager Duane Bradley as saying the bullet was fired through a window while another staff member was talking to three people at the station's front door, about 12 feet from the smashed window.
Bradley said that at the time of the shooting, the station was airing a Zydeco music show and had not been broadcasting on controversial topics during the preceding hours although he added, "I think it was purposeful. It's highly likely that, at some point, someone may have heard something that offended them and they decided to do something about it."
The paper notes that the station went on air in March 1970 and that in 1970 and 1971 its transmitter that at the time was in rural Houston was dynamited in bombings thought to be racially motivated.
Houston Chronicle report:
2007-08-14: A Los Angeles-based Investment Fund is suing Regent Communications for refusal to call a special meeting despite a request backed by holders of a fifth of Regent's shares and also for refusing to provide all of the stockholder list materials to which shareholders are entitled to receive under Delaware law.
Riley Investment Partners Master Fund, L.P., which holds 7.4% of Regent's shares, had previously written to Regent saying it had provided documentation showing a valid demand from the shareholders for a special meeting and says it believes Regent delayed calling a meeting and providing it with stockholder details because it wants to "impede improperly our right to contact other shareholders to solicit their proxies to elect new directors to the board."
Riley said in the letter that Regent chairman had pointed out that it had only been shareholders since early 2007, a point that is irrelevant, and adds "given that with a handful of telephone calls, we were able to garner more than 20% of the shareholders to call a special meeting, the Board should realize that its chances of winning a proxy contest are virtually non-existent."
"Continuing to stall or ignore us will only result in further wasting the company's money, enriching company counsel, and end with the same result -- losing a shareholder vote," it concluded.
Regent had not responded when we published.
2007-08-14: The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) has condemned a competition by UTV's Juice FM in Liverpool that offered breast enhancement surgery as a prize with former Baaps president Adam Searle saying the "giving of a surgical procedure as a prize is an unbelievable, dangerous and highly unethical practice."
Searle added that "The decision to perform any surgical procedure must be based on common sense, case selection, good surgical decision making and patient safety. The offer of a cosmetic surgery procedure as a prize is an awful manifestation of the trivialisation of medical care in general and aesthetic surgery in particular.
27-years-old Nadine Pude said she planned to buy "loads of new underwear and a bikini that really shows off my assets" after she won the Bra Wars competition for surgically enhanced "fun bags" gaining 22% of the votes made on the radio's online Juice Tube site.
She was quoted as saying, "I've always been unhappy with what nature gave me and I never thought I would be able pay for a boob job. I'm happy with my height, my waist, and my weight. But I always thought I was lacking a 'bit up top'."
A station spokeswoman said they took the interests of listeners seriously and added that when the station had whittled the entrants down to a final five "they went to the clinic for a psychological evaluation to make sure they were all suitable and the clinic gave the go ahead for all of them."
2007-08-14: Clear Channel has now set September 25th as the date for a special meeting of its shareholders to vote on its proposed purchase by an investment group led by Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
The group is offering USD 39.20 per share in the buyout that has already been recommended by the Clear Channel board and shareholders on record on August 20 will be entitled to vote. The vote has been rescheduled twice amid negotiations to increase the price being paid.
Previous Clear Channel:
2007-08-14: International satellite radio operator WorldSpace has extended its offerings to the Internet through a deal with MSN India under which five music genres of its programming - Farishta (Hindi film classics), Sparsha (Kannada), Spandana (Telugu), Gandharv (Hindustani classical) and Shruti (Carnatic music) - are available for USD 9.99 a month.
WorldSpace says its offering it targeted at Indian expatriates and its vice president, global programming Billy Sabatini commented in a release, "There is such a large Indian population living in places like the US, the UK and the Middle East, we believe this provides them with a unique voice from home."
A. R. Rahman, brand ambassador for WorldSpace and one of the leading music composers in India added, "Technology is breaking barriers and going beyond geographical boundaries helping musicians gain recognition outside India, and at the same time making their music available worldwide. This breakthrough will enable millions of music lovers to stay tuned at all times".
2007-08-14: According to ABC News former CBS Radio syndicated host Don Imus, fired by CBS and MSNBC following his description of members of Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's" (See RNW Apr 13) is on the verge of a comeback deal.
The report does not say what Imus has on the cards but says his attorney confirmed that he is being courted by major media outlets and speculated that the host could be headed for Sirius Satellite Radio: Sirius CEO and former Infinity/CBS Radio CEO Mel Karmazin recently told Fox news, "The fact that he had been fired wouldn't stop me from having Don work for me again. He makes you a lot of money."
The Rev Al Sharpton, who had been one of those leading calls for Imus's dismissal said he would be playing close attention to Imus's moves, adding, "He could become the poster boy of redemption and of turning around from this error of degradation. We've never said he should never work again, but we would certainly monitor under what circumstance and safeguards they would have."
ABC also reported that according to Imus's close friend Kinky Friedman the hosts return could come as early as January and says he didn't believe Imus would take a job that would censor him heavily, commenting, "I don't think Imus will go on a show where he can't say what he wants. He will ride and shoot straight and tell the truth wherever he winds up."
ABC news report:
2007-08-13: We start this week's look at print comment on radio with issues of openness cum honesty, spurred in part by a call this month from the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end its inquiry into the undisclosed use by TV stations of video news releases and in part by an Automotive News article "Puff Piece. Rush Limbaugh is one of the radio personalities GM is working with to talk up its vehicles."
The two together bring up additional issues of standards and practicality - RTNDA, for example in our view is quite entitled to query whether obeying standards relating to disclosure of the origin of information should be enforced - in line, incidentally, with those it sets in its own codes - is a matter for FCC enforcement, whether the incidents cited do in fact breach FCC rules - clearly available to licensees when they opt to take up or renew a licence - and whether the scale of breaches is such as to justify an inquiry and whether the rules as set down need amendment but steps over the line if it calls for an inquiry into whether rules were breached to be ended.
In the case of print - where it is simple to add a line indicating a publication's financial interest in an issue or that material comes from a news release - and TV, where a caption can do the same job without interrupting the report, it is not difficult to advise readers and viewers but for radio it would be necessary to use valuable time to air the same information.
The matter is thus different in practical terms but, as the cash-for-comment inquiry in Australia determined, it is not impossible to institute reasonable rules requiring disclosure of a host's financial interest in statements made about issues where there is sponsorship.
Which takes us onto Limbaugh and Automotive News: The original article requires a subscription but the essentials are given in a report on the matter on mwcnews.net which says of the original: "Reporter Mary Connelly writes that 'GM says it doesn't pay the stars directly for their endorsements, although it advertises on their shows. It gives them new GM cars and trucks to drive for two weeks each month. The company also invites the celebrities to Detroit for private meetings with top executives and VIP tours of GM facilities. The attention is paying off.'"
Sam Mancuso, GM's director of brand marketing alliances, told Connelly that his company made contact with 17 national radio hosts along with numerous local talk show personalities in cities such as Dallas and Los Angeles and said he was pleased with the results.
"The talkers," comments mwcnews, "are talking up GM vehicles on their programs-no doubt encouraged by GM's ample advertising budget on those same stations" and it adds of the comments that get aired that GM does not provide scripts but Mancuso was quoted as saying this allowed for impromptu creativity that reflects a "real emotional connection" with an audience that "knows they are being genuine."
Limbaugh, it would appear told his audience, "GM has a ton of momentum. GM cars and trucks have never been better. They [GM] are working hard and they are thinking smart. Believe in General Motors, folks."
Other hosts - Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Press and Ed Schultz are named - made similarly or more effusive comments and one Dallas DJ commented, "Have you seen all the cool things that's going on at GM? I have. If you're thinking about a new car, you got to look at GM."
In addition mwcnews points out that auto dealers use the stick as well as the carrot noting that car dealer ads were dropped from Phil Donahue's show after he aired a programme on car dealer deception and in DC the Washington Star some years ago was able to start an "auto puff section" with ads put in by car dealers who had moved away from the Washington Post after a columnist attacked car dealer fraud.
A "chilling effect", it would seem on freedom of speech and even more on providing accurate information to the detriment of business
"In the radio music disc jockey world, "mwcnews, which feels the FCC should investigate this as well, comments, "taking such freebies would be considered payola to push songs So, what about the talk radio arena? Good question. If the freebies are fully and regularly disclosed, then maybe there is a distinction between what is unlawful and what is unethical."
Limbaugh, of course, ranges wider than just GM in his endorsements and was recently puffing the US stock markets in general commenting of the current market, "The fundamentals here are fine" and going on to promote market investment in the long term, commenting at one stage, "The point is in 50 years, if you start investing in things and leave it alone and be patient, in 50 years a thousand dollars with Warren Buffett today would be worth USD 27 million "
He then went on to say that the point was not Buffet's success but to promote personal investment, saying "That's just an example. Try a thousand dollars a year that you invest or try a USD 1,000 a month, whatever you have, and then add it up over 50 years. This takes us to lesson four -- and this is the real point about all this. Just think if your Social Security withholdings were invested for those 50 years, not just the thousand dollars. Even half of your quote-unquote "contributions," the FICA on your pay stub, imagine that's invested and you leave it alone from the minute you start working until the day you retire. "
Those with any knowledge of US politics can guess where this one is going - a shill for Bush proposals to change the US Social Security system - a matter which those much more knowledgeable about investing and economics seem to think is rather more complicated than he makes out. But hey! Why take investment and economic advice from the knowledgeable when it's much easier to go with simplistic answers from a skilled partisan propagandist?
On however to other matters, in this case courtesy of Hear2.com and comments from Mark Ramsey about the difference between "listening" and hearing." It referred back to a comment to the blog referring to the Portable People Meter that Jeff Schmidt commented "measures exposure, not 'listening.' The device 'receives' - and we use that as a proxy for the actual person holding the device."
Ramsey draws on this to say that the "distinction between 'listening' and 'exposure' is most practically one between 'listening' and 'hearing.' And the consequences for this difference are profound."
Amongst those he enumerates are "'Listening' is active. 'Hearing' is passive. 'Listening,' therefore, is an act of will. 'Hearing' can simply happen without desire or intention or interest or preference."
"'Listening'" comments Ramsey, "means your station will develop fans. 'Hearing' means you will attract aisle-browsers. One of the things radio critics regularly ignore is that radio is only partially designed for 'listeners.' It's also designed for 'hearers.' And anyone who cares enough to criticize what they hear on the radio is not a 'hearer.' (To see this play out in the marketplace, one needs to look only as far as satellite radio and its stubborn propensity to target fans of music rather than hearers of it)."
He then draws mixed conclusions from the above - that "only by a technological stroke of luck and timing that we have been able to substitute [radio] for iPods this long" and "That for many listeners radio isn't about high-testing songs and engaging personalities; radio is about comfort. Indeed radio is as much a part of the ambient soundscape as the whistle of the wind, the chirping of the birds, and the songs of the crickets. Something to be heard rather than listened to."
Which rather rules out additional comment and pushes us straight into listening suggestions - and we do mean listening rather than hearing. The latter is actually at times a good way of moving to the former - the radio in the background comes up with something that impels listening, which is what happened as far as we were concerned last week when doing other things with BBC Radio 4 on in the background.
In that background on Thursday evening was "Science Friction" and we weren't anticipating listening particularly carefully but in the event did. The programme, presented by Sue Nelson, is one of a series of debates looking at controversies within science and this one, the first, looked at "Women in Science" and in particular why there so few women at the top in certain fields of science and engineering.
We expected to find the arguments more finely balances but ended up being far more convinced by Helena Cronin, a scientist and Co-Director of the London School of Economics Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science - arguing in terms of innate differences between the sexes - than by psychology professor Helen Haste who was arguing the case for the effects of nurture rather than nature and convinced us she is not a very good scientist, arguing more from what she thinks should be the case than making a case from the evidence. The next in the series, on Thursday at 20:00 GMT is about the quest to understand the fundamental laws governing the universe.
After consideration of bias in one area over to WNYC and "On the Media", which last week included two items in particular that commanded listening: One was the idea of keeping the option "on the table" in relation to the use of nuclear weapons, an idea that MIT research associate James Walsh argued convincingly was one of appearing tough without necessarily intending action but that nevertheless had costs that were not necessarily obvious.
The second was the story of then New York Times reporter William L. Laurence's role as a propagandist for the US military in relation to the development of the atomic bomb - playing down effects of radiation for example.
Next four programmes, two from the BBC World Service and two from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (All currently available as MP3 downloads) concerning homosexuality. The World Service programmes are in its Documentary archive - a two-part series "Coming Out" that looked at the taboos surrounding homosexuality, starting in Jamaica, a very homophobic country where gay rights aren't even on the horizon and then for the second programme moving to South Africa, central top whose constitution is the idea equality - on the basis of race, language, culture, and sexual orientation but where prejudices still exist. The very idea of a "gay imam" is startling - the one heard seems a rather civilized human in contrast to those who cannot accept the idea that nature (or their god) created people with a different sexual orientation.
Then from the ABC, the last two weeks of "All in the Mind," taken from Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life", which looked at the story of psychiatry and homosexuality and how perceptions of it as a mental disorder were changed.
On a totally different note, the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death (Aug. 16, 1977) has prompted a number of programmes of which we nominate "Elvis and Me" from BBC Radio 2 last Saturday, a programme in which Suzi Quatro presented stories and reflections from Elvis admirers and people who worked with him, tomorrow's documentary "Elvis - The '68 Comeback Special" (21:30 GMT) that looks at the impact of the 1968 NBC TV special Elvis; Thursday's "Don't Start Me Talking...about Elvis" (21:00GMT) that features UK Elvis fans talking about him and, also from Thursday BBC Radio 4's "Afternoon Play" (13:15 GMT) - "Red Elvis", concerning the singer's involvement in the Cold War.
Away from Elvis but sticking with music a final suggestion from BBC Radio 2 at 18:00 GMT on Friday with the second of a three-part series "What is Melody?" - the first programme is on the website until then - and from BBC Radio 4 a kind of musical oddment with "The Page Turners" at 08:30 GMT on Tuesday - a look at what on the surface is a simple job, that of turning the pages of the score during a live performance: It's not quite that simple!
Also from BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday (at 12:30 GMT), "The Music Feature" has Hugh Dennis looking at "The Magnificat", one of the most covered liturgical texts of all time.
Then BBC Radio 3 and a note that this year's Proms still continue this week and also a suggestion of "The Essay" tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday (22:00 GMT) that is on "The Proms at 80" and also "Late Junction" (22:15 GMT) which on Tuesday takes a music-oriented look at Pakistan's Independence Day and on Wednesday that of India. Both are part of the BBC's India & Pakistan '07 season as is "Drama on 3" next Sunday, whish is "Bora Bistrah" - stories from five writers about members of one family, descended from the same maternal grandmother, who crossed the border from India into Pakistan in 1947and now live across the globe.
Sticking with stories the "Afternoon Reading" (14:30 GMT) on Radio 4 this week is a series of short stories by and about women that were written during the Second World War
Then documentaries and from Radio 4 on Tuesday "Shadow of the Dragon" (19:00 GMT), a look at China's modernized military that is beginning to ring alarm bells in Washington and from Wednesday "Calls Across the Wall" (10:00 GMT) , the story of "Hello Peace", a phone line which has facilitated nearly a million conversations between Israelis and Palestinians, and of "Parents' Circle", a forum of bereaved families from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who have rejected the path of hatred and revenge to reach out to each other.
And to end with an issue, the topic of last Friday's "Sports Factor" on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National, that is affecting many countries now as sporting authorities try to exert more and more control over media coverage of sports and sporting events, reducing access, insisting on conditions over what photographs may be taken - also in some cases insisting that photographers wear sponsors clothing - and what questions may be asked.
Oh for a media courageous enough to tell the whole greedy bunch where to get off but then sports fans are part of their customer base as well and that's unlikely to happen.
Hear 2.0 - Ramsey:
Rush Limbaugh - markets:
mwcnews - GM radio:
2007-08-12: Last week was again fairly quiet for the regulators with the same issues of satellite radio, media ownership, and broadcast indecency bubbling in the background in the US but no major developments: Elsewhere it was fairly quiet with no radio-related releases from Australia and only routine ones from elsewhere.
In Canada, radio-related announcements posted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following (In order of province):
*Revocation at the request of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), on its own behalf and on behalf of Environment Canada, Parks Canada and The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways of the following licences. In relation to these The CBC has confirmed its eligibility for exemption in accordance with Exemption orders respecting certain classes of low-power and very low-power programming undertakings.
CBPA-2 and CBPB-2, Jasper (Athabasca Falls).
CBPB, CBPA-1, and CBPB-1 Jasper (Maligne Canyon).
CBPI-FM and CBPJ-FM, Waterton Park.
CBPI-FM-1 and CBPJ-FM-1, Waterton Lakes National Park (Red Rock).
CBPQ-FM, Coquihalla Toll Plaza.
CBPD-1 and CBPC-1, Glacier National Park (Rogers Pass).
CBPN and CBPN-FM, Golden.
CBPR and CBPR-FM, Revelstoke.
CBPS-FM, Bruce Peninsula National Park.
CBPO-FM, Parry Sound.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language community-based campus station CJUM-FM, Winnipeg, subject to the conditions that the board of directors of CJUM-FM include balanced representation from among the student body, the associated university (for example, faculty or administration), station volunteers, and the community at large and that by the end of this year the licensee provide to the commission a report setting out the composition of the station's board of directors and their associated balanced representation from the student body, the university, station volunteers and the community at large, and the term of each board member.
To ensure continuity of direction, the Commission also requires CJUM-FM to establish positions on their boards of directors with terms of at least two years during this next licensing term.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of licence of English-language community-based campus station CKMS-FM, Waterloo. This renewal is subject to similar conditions to those required of CJUM-FM, Winnipeg (See above).
*Approval of application by Points Eagle Radio Inc. for a licence to operate a 3,400 watts Type B Native FM in Sarnia: The commission notes that Points Eagle currently operates the radio programming undertaking CKTI-FM, Kettle Point, and wishes to increase its reach into Sarnia so as to serve the Aboriginal population and help build positive relations between native and non-native communities in the listening area.
There were a number of interventions including one in opposition from Christopher Plain, Chief of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, who expressed concern about the small amount of local programming proposed from Sarnia to which Points Eagle responded that the new station would provide an opportunity to broadcast cultural programming common to both the Chippewa and Aamjiwnaang First Nations, and would provide another source of cultural interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced details of the award of Euros 954,000 (USD 1.3 million) in funding for radio programming in the fourth round of its Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme that including this award has now invested just above Euros 3 million (USD 4.1 million). In addition it also announced details of the fifth funding round of the scheme, applications related to which have to be submitted by noon on September 25.
In all the scheme has so far supported 231 new radio programmes and in the fourth round 116 applications were received with awards being made to 70 of these. The majority of proposals funded (74%) went to documentaries with other genres receiving awards including factual, children's/education, drama, sport and adult literacy.
In terms of broadcast 44% of the programmes funded will be broadcast on community radio, 36% on commercial stations, 12% by public service broadcasters and 8% on special interest radio.
Commenting on the announcement, BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said, "This investment of almost Euros1 million (USD 1.37 million) in radio programming emphasises the positive impact the Sound & Vision Scheme is having on the production of high quality radio programmes for Irish audiences. It is clear from the quality of the submissions received in this round that applicants are developing a better understanding of the aims of the scheme and are submitting better developed applications. We expect this trend to continue in round five which was launched earlier this week."
In the UK Ofcom has announced receipts of two applications for a new Oxfordshire digital multiplex and has also updated its guidance notes for those applying for Restricted Service Licences, posting these together with forms for applications for long and short term RSLs and Audio Distribution System RSLs plus forms to change or add services to the latter.
The two Oxfordshire multiplex applications came from MuxCo Oxfordshire Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MuxCo Limited, and Now Digital (Oxford) Ltd., owned by Now Digital Limited (75%) and Passion Radio (Oxford) Ltd. (25%) and from
Both services will carry BBC Radio Oxford in addition to which Muxco is proposing ten services and Now Digital eight.
Fox FM -Contemporary Hit Radio from GCap Media plc.
Oxford's FM 107.9 -New music, chart and dance from Absolute Radio International Ltd.
Touch FM - Local Full Service from CN Group Ltd.
Jack FM -Variety Pop & Rock from Absolute Radio International Ltd.
Easy Radio- Easy Listening from Easy Radio Limited.
Castle Digital - Classic Hits from Laser Broadcasting Ltd.
UCB UK - Religious service from United Christian Broadcasters Ltd.
Traffic Radio- Traffic and Travel from the Highways Agency.
Also offered are Adult Contemporary and Modern Rock services the names and providers of which are currently confidential.
FOX - Contemporary and Chart Music from GCap Media plc.
Xfm - Modern Rock from GCap Media plc.
Jack FM - Variety pop and rock from Absolute Radio International Ltd.
Oxford's FM 107.9 -Hit Music, Dance and R&B from Absolute Radio International Ltd.
MY FM Oxfordshire - Soft adult alternative from Absolute Radio International Ltd.
UCB UK - Religious service from UCB Limited.
Traffic Radio and Local Traffic and Travel from the Highways Agency.
In addition Now is offering an Adult Contemporary service, the name and provider of which are currently confidential.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a fairly quiet week although it did post a revised 2007 Schedule of Regulatory Fees so that the Commission can collect its mandated regulatory fees and also extended to September 7 the deadline for comment on its proposed rules permitting antenna modelling to verify AM directional antenna performance.
It also posted notice of an interim default payment obligation for College Creek Broadcasting relating to its Auction 37 of FM permits in which College Creek was the winning bidder for 38 Construction Permits but defaulted on its final payment obligation for its winning bid for FM269 (Murdo, South Dakota).
In June last year the FCC announced that it was prepared to grant College's applications for permits FM269 and FM030 from Auction No. 37 for which a total of USD 2,736,000 had to be paid by June 21, 2006, or, with a 5% additional late fee amount by July 6, 2006. College Creek mad a payment of USD 1,900,800 plus a late fee of USD 95,040 on July 6, 2006, for FM broadcast construction permit FM030 but did not make a payment on the remaining balance for FM broadcast construction permit FM269.
The FCC has according said College Creek is in default in relation to this bid and under its rules owes an interim default payment of USD 10,800, which is three-percent (3%) of its net winning bid of USD360,000. An additional final settlement will be due after the spectrum is re-auctioned.
The FCC also cancelled three USD 4,000 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued to Georgia Eagle Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of stations WCEH-AM and WRPG-FM, Hawkinsville, Georgia and WQXZ-FM in Pinehurst, Georgia, for failure to maintain public inspection files.
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2007-08-12: Australian metropolitan commercial radio advertising in July was up 14.6% over a year earlier to AUD 53.1 million ( USD 44.7 million) according to figures released by Commercial Radio Australia.
All markets had double-digit growth with Perth leading the way with a 24.8% increase followed by Adelaide (up 17%), Brisbane (14.1%), Melbourne (13.4%) and Sydney (12.1%).
For January to July revenues are now up 8.2% over the first seven months of 2006 to AUD 354 million (USD 298 million) and the PricewaterhouseCoopers' Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook report released last week forecast radio revenue would increase by 1.7 per cent in 2007 and grow by an average 3.4 percent annually to reach AUD 1.09 billion (USD 920 million) by 2011.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief Executive Officer Joan Warner commented, "This is a very strong start to the financial year and demonstrates that commercial radio remains a powerful force and continues to adapt successfully to a dynamic media environment."
Radio and the internet are both instant, conversational media that appeal to the connected generation, so there are clear benefits in using radio and online advertising in combination," she added. "The launch of digital radio in a little over a year's time will also give radio a new lease of life."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2007-08-11: Canada's radio industry continued to prosper last year although listening fell according to figures just released by Statistics Canada that show private radio industry revenues for 2006 up 5.3% on 2005 - which itself had been up 8.7% on a year earlier - to CAD 1.3 billion (USD 1.23 billion) with profits before interest and taxes up 0.4% to CAD 284 million (USD 269.7 million) and net profit up 20% to CAD 247.7 million (USD 235.2 million). Listening by comparison was down 2.6% to an average of 18.6 hours and down 9.3% compared to the peak of 20.5 hours in 1999
As in all recent years FM was much more profitable but AM did proportionately better year-on-year with its profit before interest and taxes up 29.7% to CAD 17.6 million (USD 16.7 million) and net profit more than quadrupling from CAD 5,45 Million (USD 5.18 million) to CAD 23.27 million ( USD 22.1 million) on operating revenues up 4.2% to CAD 319.9 million ( USD 303.8 million): FM stations profits before interest and taxes fell 1.1% to CAD 266.4 million ( USD 252.9 million) and net profits were up 11.7% to CAD 224.4 million ( USD 213,1 million) on operating revenues up 5.9% to CAD 1.1 billion ( USD 1.04 billion).
For AM it was the fourth consecutive year of profit after making losses from 1990 to 2002 but statistics Canada notes that despite this nearly half of the country's AM stations did not break even and that the profit margin before interest and taxes for AM was only 5.5% compared to 24.2% for FM.
English-language stations again outperformed French-language ones with an overall profit margin of 22% compared to 11.5% for French-language ones and 8.3% for ethnic stations and large markets outperformed smaller ones - in the five larges census metropolitan areas their profit margin was 26.9% overall compared to 13.4% for stations in other metropolitan areas and 13.9% for stations in non-metropolitan areas.
The leading market in profitability was Calgary with earnings of 32.5 cents per dollar 0f revenue before interest and taxes followed by Toronto (30.4); Ottawa-Gatineau (28.1); Vancouver (24.5) and Montreal (18.7).
Statistics Canada also noted that seven our of ten FM stations made a profit in 2006, slightly lower proportionately than for 2005, a decline it put down to an influx of new stations that had not yet turned into profit: It says stations that began broadcasting in 2006 lost a total of CAD 4.9 million (USD 4.7 million) before interest and taxes, some 28.3 cents per dollar of revenue.
Compared to other advertising media radio's 5.3% increase was way behind internet growth of 94.6% and behind that of TV and Outdoor (7.6% each) and overall the medium's share of the overall Canadian advertising market went down from 10.4% in 2005 to 10.1% in 2006.
Statistics Canada puts most of the health of the industry down to regulatory changes that allowed restructuring and the operation of more stations in a market together with a move from AM to FM - the number of companies operating radio stations has remained stable although the total number of stations has increased.
It notes that in 1999 the five largest companies operated one out of five stations and took 43.6% of industry revenues but by 2006 they controlled more than one out of three stations and took 62% of industry revenues.
Previous Statistics Canada (2005 Canadian radio figures):
2007-08-11: US radio revenues were down for the second month running in June according to latest figures just released by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) that showed overall revenues down 3% on a year earlier compared to a 1% year-on-year decline in May.
Within the overall figures local revenues were down 3%; national was down 8% and the combined local and national figure was down 4%. The only bright spot was non-spot where revenues rose 14% reducing the overall decline to 3%.
Previous RAB and figures (May):
2007-08-10: In latest US radio results, the first since it completed its merger with ABC Radio, Citadel Broadcasting has reported second quarter revenues of USD 141.2 million including the ABC stations' contribution without which it says they would have been down 2.3% to USD 109.9 million, a fall it puts down to lower revenues associated with format changes in Birmingham, Alabama. as well as lower revenue in the Providence, Rhode Island, Tucson, Arizona, and Modesto, California, markets.
It also reported turning an operating loss of USD 109.9 million a year earlier into operating income of USD 29.9 million including a non-cash impairment charge of USD 13.6 million to write-down the carrying value of certain assets to their estimated fair value related to eleven stations required to be transferred into a divestiture trust upon the closing of the merger with ABC Radio and one market for which the Company entered into a definitive sales agreement: In the same quarter of 2006, results were hit by a USD 149.8 million non-cash impairment charge to reduce the carrying amount of goodwill and the carrying amount of its indefinite lived intangible assets for certain of its markets to their respective estimated fair values..
Overall it turned a loss of USD 74.8 million ( 67 cents per basic share) in the second quarter of 2006 into a USD 3.8 million profit ( three cents per basic share) this year including approximately USD 8.3 million related to a non-cash write-down of the carrying value of certain assets to be disposed; USD 4.9 million of stock-based compensation expense, net of tax; and additional state income tax expense associated with an increase in the Company's effective state tax rate of approximately USD 2.3 million. A year earlier the quarter had included a non-cash asset impairment of approximately USD 92.0 million and USD 3.9 million of stock-based compensation expense.
Chairman and CEO Farid Suleman in his comment emphasised the ABC deal, saying, "The completion of the merger with ABC Radio was a major accomplishment for the quarter and the Company is excited about the addition of these large market radio stations, the ABC Radio Network and the significant on-air talent and management experience that is part of the ABC Radio business. For the balance of 2007, the Company is focused on the integration of the ABC Radio and Network business with our existing operations and the sale of certain radio stations which is expected to reduce the Company's outstanding indebtedness."
Saga Communications reported second quarter revenues up 1.8% on a year earlier at USD 38.4 million; operating income flat at USD 8.8 million and net income down 4.5% to USD 3.81 million (an unchanged 19 cents per diluted share): For the half- year revenues were up 2% to USD 70.3 million; operating income was down 7.6% to USD 12.37 million and net income fell 17.5% to USD 4.55 million (from 27 to 23 cents per diluted share)
Same station revenues for the quarter were up 1.5% to USD 38.3 million and for the half-year were up 1.7%.
Westwood One reported revenues for the quarter down 17.4%to USD 111.1 million, put down primarily to lower demand, increased competition and reduced audience with national advert revenue down 23.8% and local/regional advert revenues down 11.9%. Net income for the quarter was down 43.4% to USD 6.9 million (from 14 cents to eight cents per share).
For the half year Westwood One revenues are down 13.2% to USD 225.2 million - national revenue was down 16.5% but would, says Westwood, have only been down 12.6% excluding revenue from the 2006 Winter Olympics - and local/regional revenue was down 10.1%. Net income for the half year fell 11.6% to USD 7.6 million (from 10centd to nine cents per share).
Westwood One adds that it expects its full-year revenue to decrease high-single digits to low-double digits and operating costs to decrease low to mid-single digits compared with 2006. Revenue for the third quarter is expected to decrease low-double digits and operating costs to increase low-single digits. This is says could mean that it may violate a loan covenant and it is evaluating its options to avoid this.
President and CEO Peter Kosann said that "during the first half of 2007, our team worked hard to control costs during a period of revenue decline. Although the marketplace continues to be challenging, there are recent signs that demand for our programs and services will improve by the fourth quarter. We are beginning to see modest improvement in revenue pacing and are making selective investments in programming and infrastructure to best position the Company for future growth."
He also noted that Westwood One was continuing to work towards finalizing a new multi-year agreement with CBS Radio.
International satellite radio operator WorldSpace reported a net loss of USD 51.2 million for the quarter compared to a loss of USD 36.7 million a year earlier ( USD 1.30 per share up from 98 cents) and for the half year of USD 86.78 million, up from USD 65.9 million ( Up from USD .178 to USD 2.21 per share).
Revenues for the quarter were down from USD 3.8 million a year earlier to USD 3.6 million whilst Subscriber Acquisition Costs (SAC) were USD 21 in the second quarter of 2007 on a blended basis (India and the rest of the world) and USD 22 in India, compared to USD 33 both on a blended basis and in India for the first quarter of 2007. In India, the CPGA increased to USD 108 for the second quarter of 2007 from USD 68 in the first quarter of 2007.
It said it ended the quarter with 190,333 subscribers worldwide, a loss of 1,313 from the close of the prior quarter, reflecting low net additions in India and a net loss of subscribers in the rest of the world.
In India, despite pulling back on marketing and other subscription generation spending, it added 3,261 net subscribers to end with 173,615 subscribers in India, 45% higher than at the end of the second quarter of 2006 whilst it lost 4,574 subscribers primarily in South Africa and in Europe where the Company has stopped selling subscriptions to European and other customers within the Northwest beam coverage area of its AfriStar(TM) satellite in preparation for the testing and subsequent launch of its service in Italy.
Chairman and CEO Noah A. Samara said WorldSpace had "worked diligently to reach an agreement with Fiat Group Automobiles which now provides us with the means to reach Italian consumers in their automobiles. With this achievement, we have most of the significant pieces in place as we continue to prepare for our business launch in Europe. We have secured authorization to launch our service in Italy, developed EU-compliant terrestrial repeater technology and a receiver reference design with Fraunhofer IIS; and contracted with Telecom Italia for the design and installation of the repeater network."
Regarding India he commented that "with the reduction of resources allocated to the Indian market pending greater clarity on the satellite radio policy and our focus on re-mediating operational issues, it is not surprising that subscriber additions for the quarter are down. We do expect sales to pick up leading to the festival season and after. Moreover, we have seen movement on the satellite radio policy and we are encouraged by the expressed resolve of the relevant agencies to finalize the policy expeditiously."
In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) WorldSpace, which so far has incurred a total deficit of some USD 2.4 billion, warns that it will beed to raise "Substantial additional capital" this year to continue to pursue its business plan and that if it is unable to do so it could have to curtail operations and might go out of business.
In a falling market, Citadel shares were down 2.16% to USD 4.53 at the close of Thursday's
Market; Saga was down 1.5% to USD 6.55; Westwood One was down 13.9% at UD 3.4; and WorldSpace stock was up 3.76% at USD 4.42.
Previous Westwood One:
2007-08-10: GCap Media has announced that it has instituted a "robust system" for running premium rate phone-in competitions following a GBP 17, 5000 (USD 35,000) fine and reprimand from premium rate telephone and SMS text services regulator ISCTIS and adds that it will no longer run such services for profit.
In the competition involved listeners were asked to call or text to enter the competition identify a sound on air and told they would be randomly selected to be asked what the sound was: Those who sent texts were not required to put down their answer but some did and entrants with an incorrect answer were then deliberately selected, a breach of the regulator's codes.
In a statement GCap calls the breach "an isolated incident" and adds that "as soon as the system error was discovered, management took swift and decisive action to tighten up GCap's procedures to prevent any similar breaches occurring in the future."
It says that it has since carried out a "very thorough" analysis of its processes and believes it has a "robust" system in place and stresses that the relationship with listeners is of "paramount importance" to it.
"As radio industry leaders, we have also reviewed the future role of premium rate services at our stations," it says, adding, "Such services allow for robust management of high call volumes and while we will continue to use them, we will ensure that any charges are commensurate with the cost to the business. As such, we will not profit from any future premium rate contesting."
Previous GCap Media:
2007-08-10: More than a dozen 60's pirate DJ's are now back at sea off the English Coast for a six-day recreation of the days of pirate radio off the UK. "Pirate BBC Essex" is being organized by BBC Radio Essex to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act that closed down the original stations by making them criminal enterprises if they were operated or assisted in any way by persons who were subject to UK law and thus closing down funding.
The station ran a similar event in 2004 to mark the start of the ships' operation and this year's broadcasts, which are being made from the LV18, a former lightship moored half-a-mile off Harwich, will feature music and chat with the emphasis firmly on Sixties music. They are being streamed on the station website as well as broadcast on FM and AM by Radio Essex.
DJs taking part include Johnnie Walker of BBC Radio 2; Emperor Rosko - who is flying over from Los Angeles to take part; and Norman St John and John Kerr, both coming over from Australia: The broadcasts began at 05:00 GMT on Thursday and continue until 14:00 GMT on August 14 - the day in 1967 when the Act came into effect.
BBC Essex programmes editor Tim Gillett said the previous event was "phenomenally popular, with thousands of emails and hits to the website from all over the world" and continued, "Johnnie Walker sent us a recorded message of support then - now he's here in person, taking up the 9pm-midnight slot he broadcast in way back in the 1960s. He is also looking forward to a 'flashing' session when people in their cars on shore communicate with him by flashing their car headlights."
In addition to the broadcasts an exhibition, for which admission is free, to mark the occasion is being held at the Ha'penny Pier in Harwich.
2007-08-09: Cumulus Media has reported second quarter revenues flat at USD 87.3 million but operating expenses were down 2.9% on a year earlier at USD 53.6 million; station operating income was up 4.9% to USD 33.8 million. Net income was down from USD 6.7 million to USD 2.5 million (from 11 cents to six cents a chare).
For the half year revenues are down 1.8% - from USD 162.6 million to USD 159.7 million - as were operating expenses - from USD 108.7 million to USD 105.2 million - and net income plummeted from USD 7.59 million to USD 725,000 ( from 13 cents to two cents per share).
Cumulus says its third quarter is currently pacing downward 1.0% compared to a year earlier and adds that it expects station operating expense will be flat to down slightly when compared to the same three month period in 2006.
Cumulus, which is going private (See RNW July 24), did not hold a teleconference and did not provide comments from Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis W. Dickey, Jr. on the performance.
2007-08-09: According to the UK Daily Telegraph, Guardian Media Group and private equity firm Apax Partners are in discussions about a joint GBP 2 billion ( USD 4 billion) bid for Emap, which has indicated that it could be up for sale as part of a review of its operations.
The paper says talks between GMF and Apax are at an early stage and no formal agreement has been reached but adds that the two companies already have a close relationship and notes that Apax paid GBP 650 million (USD 1.3 billion) for a 49% stake in Trader Media Group, the arm of GMG that includes the classified advertising magazine Auto Trader.
GMG chief executive Carolyn McCall had described parts of Emap as attractive and worthy of further examination at its annual meeting and the paper says a combined offer would "make sense given Apax's presence in the B2B publishing sector through its investment in Incisive Media, the owner of titles such as Accountancy Age and Legal Week" whilst GMG has a significant radio operation.
It adds that the two are thought to be planning to draw up a list of potential buyers for Emap's consumer publishing business, which includes magazines such as Heat and FHM.
UK Telegraph report:
2007-08-09: Radio One Inc. has announced that three-decade industry veteran and former Emmis New York president and market manager Barry Mayo has been appointed as president of its radio division with immediate effect. He will report to CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III.
Mayo had been working for Radio One as a consultant since July last year and said in a news release, "I have known Alfred Liggins and Cathy Hughes [Radio One founder and Hughes' mother] for over 30 years and have watched with admiration as they built a media powerhouse in the African American and urban space. We are no longer in the radio business, we are in the 'audio entertainment business' and we need to leverage our products well beyond the terrestrial signals we are licensed to operate. I consider this an opportunity of a lifetime and look forward to working with Radio One's employees, listeners and advertisers to further solidify our position as the destination for compelling and entertaining content."
Liggins commented, "I am thrilled to announce that Barry Mayo has joined our team fulltime. He has been a consultant to the company for the past year bringing his knowledge and passion about everything in radio to the company. Barry is a legend in urban media."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2007-08-09: Eastlan has added the Utica/Rome market in New York State to its markets with Galaxy Communications as its inaugural subscriber, a second move to Eastlan by Galaxy and one that it says is better value for money than Arbitron's service.
Galaxy in January switched to Eastlan's ratings in Syracuse and dropped Arbitron and its President and CEO Ed Levine commented that its first half results there showed "Galaxy blowing away its revenue budget and beating the market overall by 8.5 points. In fact in national sales, the most data oriented type of sale, Galaxy is beating the market by over 14 points and has seen its share grow from 14.5-16.6."
"The results are so strong that we have brought Eastlan Ratings in to Utica/Rome for this Fall," he added. "Simply put, dumping Arbitron had ZERO negative impact on revenue and a significantly POSITIVE impact on our BCF!"
Eastlan Ratings President and CEO Mike Gould said in a release, "How broadcasters choose to invest in radio audience measurement is changing overnight."What we are hearing is that, in many cases, Arbitron's price increases seem almost predatory and their new rolling average reporting leaves broadcasters with older data that costs more. We think that's exactly the opposite of what small & medium market broadcasters need to protect and grow their revenue. Utica/Rome is the latest evidence Eastlan Ratings' influence will continue to expand rapidly and could potentially impact all markets not measured by passive electronic means."
2007-08-08: Latest Australian radio ratings show that in Sydney Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB held on to top rank with a 13.7 share, up from 13.6, but there was a surprise fall for ABC 702, which fell from second to fifth rank as its share went down from 9.3 to 7.6, some of it apparently lost to Southern Cross Broadcasting's talk station 2UE, which took its share up from 8.1 to 8.6.
In the Sydney breakfast slot, Alan Jones at 2GB increased his lead over rivals with a share of 17.0 (16.8) whilst second-ranked ABC 702 fell back from 11.0 to 10.1: 2GB commercial talk rival 2UE also increased its share a little - up from 8.5 to 8.9.
In the Sydney FM market, Austereo's 2-Day was top - second overall - with a 9.2 share, up from 8.7 whilst DMG's Nova caught up marginally as it took its share up from 8.1 to 8.7 to end up third overall.
In Melbourne, Southern Cross's talk format 3AW increased its lead at the top as it took its share up from 13.4 to 14.7 followed by Austereo's FOX FM - 10.2 down from 10.6 - and ABC 774 - an unchanged 10.2.
Austereo CEO Michael Anderson singled out the performance of Brisbane's B105 and Perth's 92.9FM in his reaction to the results, saying they had both "shown impressive momentum in the past two surveys, with excellent results in the latest survey confirming this."
"These results validate the confidence we have shown in the Today Network format, and the commitment to our strategy for returning both stations to strong ratings," he said. "That strategy has seen B105 and 92.9 in the past year go from having major line-up changes to both within one percentage point of the number two station overall in their markets. The result is also a reflection of the strength of the Today Network across the country, with Sydney's 2Day FM and Melbourne's Fox FM remaining the number one FM stations in their markets."
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
Adelaide: Mix with 17.0 (16.8) - Up from second; 5AA with 15.9 (18.2) - Down from first; Nova with 11.6 (11.3) - Same rank.
ABC 891 moved up from fifth to fourth with 10.9 (10.4), swapping places with SAFM, which had 10.7 (11.0).
Brisbane - Nova with 14.3 (15.1) - Same rank; Triple M with 11.6 (11.8) - same rank; 97.3 FM with 10.7 (11.1) - same rank.
*B105 remained fourth but increased its share from 9.2 to 10.6 and 4BC with 9.1 (8.6) moved up a rank to fifth, swapping ranks with ABC 612 whose share went from 8.9 to 8.8.
Melbourne - 3AW with 14.7 (13.4) - same rank; Fox FM with 10.2 (10.6) -same rank; and ABC 774, also with 10.2 (10.2) - same rank;
*Nova with an unchanged 9.7 moved up to fourth, swapping ranks with Gold, which had 8.7 (10.1).
Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.8 (17.8) - same rank; 96FM with 12.5 (11.5) - Up from fourth; ABC 720 with 11.9 (12.1) -down from second;
*Nova with 11.2 (11.6) was down to fifth from third; behind 92.9, which with 11.5 (10.7) remained in fourth.
Sydney: 2GB 13.7 (13.6) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.2 (8.7) - up from third; Nova with 8.7 (8.1) - up from fourth.
*2UE with 8.6 (8.1) remained fourth and WSFM with 7.6 (7.2) was up from sixth to fifth whilst ABC 702 with 7.6 (9.3) fell from second to sixth.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Previous Southern Cross:
2007-08-08: In more US radio results, Regent's revenues have sparkled with a 25.3% year-on-year increase for the second quarter to USD 26.4 million and a 26.8% increase for the half year to USD 48.4 million.
Station operating expenses were up 19.5% for the quarter to USD 16.8 million and 20.3% for the half year to USD 32.5 million.
Net income rose by 50% to USD 3.1 million (from five cents to eight cents per share) for the quarter but for the half year net income was down from USD 2.08 million a year ago to USD 1.84 million (An unchanged five cents per share).
Same station revenues for the quarter were up 1.4% to USD 20.5 million with same station operating income flat.
President and CEO Bill Stakelin said of the results, "We executed against our strategy on all fronts during the second quarter. Our revenues once again outperformed the industry and the majority of our peers, as we focused on monetizing our leading audience shares and driving local ad sales. We also made significant progress in implementing our online strategy, as we move forward in launching a fully integrated web platform across our station group. Overall, we believe the concerted investments we are making in our content, promotion and digital infrastructure will further increase the value of our assets and enhance our ability to drive revenue and cash flow. We are well on track to exceed USD 100 million in revenues in 2007."
Looking ahead, Regent is projecting third quarter 2007 reported consolidated net broadcast revenues and station operating income of approximately USD 26.2 to USD 26.8 million and USD 9.3 to USD 9.7 million, respectively. Regent expects earnings per share of approximately four cents per share.
Salem Communications reported revenues up 3.4% for the quarter to USD 60.0 million but operating income was down 58.2% to USD 10.9 million and net income was down 74.7% to USD 2.9 million (From 47 cents to 12 cents per diluted share).The figures include a USD 600,000 gain ( USD 400,000 net of tax) on the disposal of assets; a USD 900,000 non-cash compensation charge USD 500,000 net of tax), related to the expensing of stock options: The year earlier figures had included a USD 15.5 million gain (USD9.4 million net of tax) on the disposal of assets and a USD 1.3 million non-cash compensation charge (USD 800,000 net of tax) related to the expensing of stock options.
In divisional terms, broadcasting revenues were up 0.5% to USD 53.7 million - same station broadcasting revenues were up 1.5% to USD 52.9 million - with station operating income up 0.7% to USD 20 million and same station operating income up 0.8% to USD 20.2 million. Non broadcast revenues rose 36.4% to USD 6.4 million but non broadcast operating income was down from USD 900,000 to USD 700,000.
For the half year revenues were up 5.5% to USD 116.1 million and net income was down 58.8% to USD 5.9 million (from 58 cents to 25 cents per diluted share) within which broadcasting revenue rose 1.9% to USD 104.1 million and same station broadcasting revenue increased 2.5% to USD 102.3 million whilst non broadcast revenues were up 51.7% to USD 12 million.
CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said of the performance, "Our results for the quarter underscore the stability and resiliency of our business model. While local spot advertising experienced some challenges this quarter and declined 5.1% on a same station basis, we achieved total revenue growth of 3.4% in the second quarter of 2007. Our programming revenue increased 4.8% and our Internet and publishing businesses grew revenue 36.4% to USD 6.4 million. We continue to see solid growth in our non-broadcast media as we invest in new media businesses that take advantage of the content and promotional abilities of our radio stations."
Spanish Broadcasting System reported net revenue for the quarter down 2% to USD 47.9 million, a fall put down mainly to its radio division whose revenues were down 5% compared to TV revenues up 87%: SBS said radio had been affected by lower national, local and barter sales. National sales were up in New York but down in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami whilst local sales were up in Chicago and Francisco but down in Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico and barter sales were down in most of its markets.
For the half year revenues were marginally up - from USD 86.6 to USD 86.8 million with radio revenues again down offset by a USD 2.9 million (158%) increase in TV revenues.
Net income for the quarter was marginally down - from USD 2.43 to USD 2.39 million ( AN unchanged nil per common share) and for the half year moved from net income of USD 51.1 million to a loss of USD 1.4 million (From a net 71 cents per share to a negative two cents per share).
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. said of the performance, "While our radio stations continued to post strong audience shares, our radio revenues fell short of our expectations during the second quarter."
He continued, "The radio advertising environment remained under pressure in several of our markets and we experienced considerable volatility in our pacings. However, given our strong ratings in reaching key Hispanic demographics, as well as the recent launch of several programs that have demonstrated early audience traction, we remain optimistic that we can return to top-line growth."
Regarding TV Alarcón said Mega TV was continuing to post robust growth as we continue to convert our audience gains into revenues. Mega TV posted an impressive 87% increase in revenues during the period, while our operating loss continued to decrease. In the 16 months since its launch, we have consistently strengthened Mega TV's programming and solidified its presence in the South Florida market."
He also said SBS's Internet properties had "also continued to expand their reach, as we capitalize on our strong brands to drive online audience growth. Looking ahead, we will continue to strengthen our radio, TV and online assets, with the goal of further positioning our company to benefit from the growth of the nation's Hispanic population."
For the third quarter SBS says it expects consolidated net revenue to decrease in the low-single digit range but says its television segment operating loss before depreciation and amortization will continue to decrease compared to the prior year period.
Regent shares ended Tuesday down 2.1% at USD 3.22 whilst SBS shares were up 0.34% at USD 2.97. Salem released its results after the markets had closed.
2007-08-08: Arbitron, which earlier this month announced that it had gained Media Rating Council Accreditation for use of its Portable People Meter (PPM) AQH Television Ratings Data in Houston, has now releases results of a second test of the PPM with Mall Radio Network.
The test showed, it says, that Arbitron PPM system could be used to track the amount of time shoppers are exposed to Mall Radio Network content and commercials while visiting a mall.
Bill Rose, senior vice president, Marketing, Arbitron Inc., commented of the test, "This pilot study is another step toward providing PPM measurement to Mall Radio Network as a part of the top 50 market rollout of the Portable People Meter. The audience data that would be generated by the Portable People Meter system would complement other data that Mall Radio Network is currently using to demonstrate the role of 'malls as media' to prospective advertisers such as mall shopper metrics from Scarborough Research. And when Mall Radio Network is fully integrated into the PPM system, their audience metrics would be designed to be comparable with the radio audience measures used by national and local advertisers."
Previous Media Rating Council:
2007-08-08: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has accused the satellite radio companies of perpetrating a "sham" in their offer of "a la carte" packages following a merger.
In an analysis of the proposal (posted in PDF format on the NAB web site) the NAB says its analysis shows that under every a la carte package, consumers will pay a higher price per channel than they currently pay, increases they say in a news release range from 40% to 188%: The table actually has a minimum increase of 50% for a 65-channel "Mostly Music Sirius" package for USD 9.99 a month which they compare with the current 130-channel Sirius offering for USD 12.95 a month and 188% for a USD 9.99 a month package of Oprah & Friends one talk channel in addition to 50 initial channels, compared to USD 12.95 for 170 channels currently offered by XM.
NAB adds that "both a la carte packages offered under a merged entity would include onerous restrictions and limitations preventing consumers from enjoying true a la carte choice. Plus, consumers would be required to buy a new radio to enjoy additional pre-selected channels from both XM and Sirius" and Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton commented, "'a la carte' is intended to mean more choice and lower prices, XM and Sirius fail the test. Only in a monopolist's world are 50-channel minimums, higher prices, interoperability restrictions and a required hardware upgrade considered a consumer benefit. This analysis demonstrates that XM and Sirius are engaged in nothing more than a desperate PR stunt at the expense of consumers."
NAB says its staff presented the analysis to a meeting with FCC Commissioners and FCC staff on Tuesday afternoon and will also forward it to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, which is also reviewing the merger.
RNW comment: As usual we find NAB's comments over the top - has Wharton never paid the bill at a restaurant where it is quite normal for a la carte to be more than house specials. At the same time stripped of the unnecessary verbiage the table does provide a useful summary, if accurate (a proviso almost always to be added with NAB releases) of what is on offer.
NAB analysis (2-page PDF):
2007-08-07: As the fight by the satellite radio companies for regulatory approval of their merger continues, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has again been lauding the virtues of the a la carte subscription plan the satellite companies have put forward whilst another senior political figure has come out publicly against the merger.
In a letter sent to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin and Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett, Dorgan says he raised concern about the issue in April and had continued to monitor developments but still remains "deeply opposed" to the merger.
Regarding the arguments from the satellite companies that new forms of audio listening such as web casts or portable players amount to competition, he says XM and Sirius "cannot prove these other forms of audio are able to regulate the service or prices of satellite radio" and adds, "There can be no price check similar to that of two companies with national platforms competing against each other. The rue moderator of XM and Sirius products and prices has been the satellite competition, just as the FCC intended."
Dorgan notes that when the licences were up for bids the bidders were limited to companies that had expressed interest years before, possibly shutting out other bidders, and concludes, "I cannot believe that this merger will result in lower prices or increase diversity. And I cannot believe that the public will be better served by this merger. As I said in April and I still believe, this isn't even a close call. I urge you to reject the merger proposal by XM and Sirius."
Karmazin in an article published in The Washington Times says that in four decades in radio he has closely watched the evolution of audio entertainment and then continues, "But nothing I've touched though has come close to changing the consumer experience in the way I expect the recent announcement from Sirius and XM to offer a la carte programming following our merger will."
"We built our industry by providing choice" he says. "Now we're ready to increase choice, raising it to the next level. This a la carte offering represents the first-ever in subscription media. Consumers will have two different a la carte packages to choose from, in addition to six other programming options. Listeners will truly have the ability to match the content they want with the price they want to pay."
He also notes the proposal to also "make choice cheaper" and comments of opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters on the basis that the merger will be anti-competitive: "Think about that for a moment. Have you ever heard of a product or service that hurt competition by lowering prices and increasing choice? I don't think so. In fact, it seems to me the NAB isn't afraid the merger will foster too little competition. It's afraid it will foster too much."
He also says of suggestions that the merger would restrict opportunities for programmers to distribute content, "In the vast U.S. radio market, even our combined company will still be a relative small fry, accounting for only 3.4 percent of radio listeners" and then adds, "However, the efficiencies and cost savings we realize from the merger will allow us to compete more aggressively with terrestrial radio, the 800-pound gorilla that still dominates the industry."
"As for passing the regulatory hurdle of demonstrating that the merger is in the public interest, " he continues, "this transaction is a slam-dunk: Consumers will have lower prices and more choice - the very definition of serving the public interest. What's more, the fact that our competitors offer their content for free over public airwaves is all the incentive we need to keep our quality high and our prices as low as possible."
Washington Times - Karmazin:
2007-08-07: A new Greek media law that has passed the country's parliament but awaits the signature of the Greek President Karolos Papoulias is being opposed by various journalistic and media organizations including the International Press Institute (IPI) and East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) that have termed it a case of "seeking to directly influence the media market through the manipulation of the law" according to Follow the Media.
Amongst the provisions of the law are requirements for broadcasters to post "financial responsibility bonds" -Euros 60,000 (USD 83,000) for music stations and Euros 100,000 (USD 138,000) for speech stations in addition to which it sets minimum employment levels - 20 full-time employees for stations broadcasting news and only three for music radio stations - and limitations on licensees broadcasting in languages other than Greek.
Follow the Media notes that "At least four major privately owned radio stations broadcast mostly or entirely news and information in a competitive and independent media market of dozens of radio stations" but also quotes Greek MP Ilhan Ahmet, who represents the Thrace district, home to most of Greece's small Turkish minority of some 100,000, as telling the Hürriyet newspaper, "The law will not cover the radio stations that have broadcasting licenses. The radios will be able to broadcast in other languages."
It then points out that only around 250 of more than 1000 radio stations in Greece are officially licensed.
Follow the Media report:
2007-08-07: Radio One, Inc. has announced that its CFO Scott R. Royster is to leave the company by the end of the year after more than a decade in the role although it says nothing of the reasons for the move.
In a statement Radio One President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III paid tribute to Royster, saying, "Scott has been an integral and important part of our company's growth and development. When he joined the company we owned seven stations in two markets and had yet to tap into the public market. With his assistance we have grown to 70 stations in 22 markets and successfully executed numerous public offerings of equity and debt. I am grateful for his contributions to the success and development of the company. However, I understand that there comes a time for change and new challenges in a person's career. I am pleased that Scott will continue to work with us through the end of the year to assist with a number of ongoing projects as well as support the transition to a new CFO."
Royster said, "Partnering with Alfred and helping to execute his vision over the past 11 years has been a rewarding experience and I am proud of what we have accomplished. As CFO I have been closely involved in the company's strategy to acquire assets, diversify its portfolio and raise capital. While I look forward to the next phase of my career where I can build upon the knowledge acquired and relationships developed, I am happy to assist the company over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2007-08-07: Austereo's general manager of operations Patrick Joyce has resigned to take up the role of investment director at Marinya Media, the Fairfax family's private investment company, a move that has prompted speculation about an investment spree by Marinya, which gained a substantial sum - reported to have been around AUD 165 million (USD 142 million) from the merger of Fairfax Media with Rural Press.
Joyce played down the suggestion that Marinya might be intending to acquire further media assets, noting that Marinya already had large media investments and it was more likely the investments would be in other sectors.
In a statement Joyce, a long-time friend of the Fairfax family, commented, "My time with Austereo has been both incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, but the opportunity to work for the Fairfax family, for whom I have immense respect, is too good to pass up. My new role will encompass my two great loves of the media industry and transactional work."
Austereo chief executive Michael Anderson said he was sorry to lose Joyce, who had been with the company for five years, and added, "As general manager operations he has played a very important role in the enormous improvements in our business processes and analysis. He has also played a key role in a range of initiatives which have helped establish Austereo as a leader in online media, including the establishment of Austereo Interactive."
The Australian/AAP report:
2007-08-06: Last week our attention was taken by two stories from the US relating to the sensitivity, ignorance or bigotry - we can't be sure how much of each is in the mix since we don't know the individuals concerned.
Most disturbing, if the authors are correctly stating it, is the situation featured in their article "Talk Radio Can't Handle the Truth" by Casey Lartigue Jr. and Eliot Morgan that appeared in Sunday's Washington Post.
The two, former talk hosts on XM Satellite Radio, say that they devoted the June 23 edition pf their weekly political talk programme "The Casey Lartigue Show" to "debunking" various urban myths including "Memorandum 46" - the supposed memorandum "Black Africa and the U.S. Black Movement" said to have been penned by President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser that "outlines a sinister 1970s government strategy to undermine black leadership in the United States and sow discord with Africans abroad."
They continue: "Everywhere we looked, we found evidence that the document was fake: a 1980 news clipping in which the Carter administration denounced it as a forgery; a September 1980 National Security Council memo noting that the "scurrilous document" referred to nonexistent entities such as the "NSC Political Analysis Committee"; 1982 testimony by the deputy director of the CIA presenting Memorandum 46 as part of a dozen suspected forgeries by the Soviet Union; a 2002 article by Paul Lee, a consultant to the Malcolm X movie by Spike Lee, dismissing Memorandum 46 as a fraud; and the real Presidential Review Memorandum 46, a bland call for a bureaucratic review of U.S. policy toward Central American issues, which is available on the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum's web site."
In addition they also consulted Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who supposedly authored the memo and says, "Not only did he say he had nothing to do with it, but the former national security adviser pointed out that in one of the versions circulating on the Internet, 'the idiot-forger could not even spell my name correctly.'"
The duo give other examples - " if you think that was the end of the story, you don't know the world of black talk radio. These are the airwaves in which the first president of the United States was a black man, in which AIDS was cooked up in a government laboratory to decimate the black population and in which major corporations lace their food with chemicals to make black men sterile."
And the result? "Colleagues at the station accused us of performing "counter-intelligence." Stalwart callers cried that the station was being "infiltrated." Harsh words with a station manager were exchanged. And we found ourselves booted out of the talk-radio business."
The two give other examples related to such topics as AIDS - apparently "A 1990 survey by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference found that one-third of black American churchgoers believed that AIDS was a form of genocide. One-third also believed that HIV was produced in a germ-warfare lab, and 40 percent of black college students in Washington, D.C., agreed. An even higher percentage of blacks polled said they thought that crack cocaine was custom-made to be planted in African American communities to keep them crime-ridden and poor and that the government deliberately targeted black elected officials to drive them from office."
They also say that after airing their exchange with Brzezinski on June 2, some links to the Carter library web site were passed on to Joe Madison.
"Joe Madison, XM's lead talk show host and a long-time activist," they write, "spread the idea that Memorandum 46 was genuine" and they responded by passing along links, without effect it would seem, as they continue, "Over the next several days, Madison took to the airwaves to blast those who questioned the veracity of Memorandum 46. Morgan called in to Madison's show to ask him for proof. We heard the response on the air: We were engaging in counter-intelligence, he said."
When they returned to the issue on June 23 they say that they "tried to dispel other urban legends, such as claims that the first U.S. president was black and that fashion designers Liz Claiborne and Tommy Hilfiger didn't want black customers. In the final hour, we made our case that the anti-black Memorandum 46 never existed."
The result according to them as that the station's PD "berated Lartigue in a phone call, threatening to suspend the show or pull it off the air. We agreed that we wouldn't "attack" other hosts again, if that was to be the station's policy. The programming director made it clear that he suspected that every source we cited was part of the cover-up. The tense discussion grew into a heated argument, and the programming director yanked the show off the air."
The second report that caught our eye came from Fox News and calls they reported from Soul singer Sam Moore for the dismissal of Robert Neil, Cox Radio President and CEO, on the basis that comments he made about testimony given to a Congressional committee by Moore and Judy Collins about calls for a performance royalty from terrestrial radio stations, which are exempt from such charges in the US.
Neil commented, "I saw the (congressional) testimony yesterday, and the reality is a lot of those people would be sitting in a shack somewhere in a small town if it wasn't for the fact that radio supported their music when it was coming up" and continued, "The reality is that if radio doesn't play their music, they're not gonna sell their recordings. And if we have to pay tons of money to do that, then what you're going to see is fewer and fewer music stations because nobody is willing to pay it. It would be absolutely deadly to small radio stations. It's just silly. It's absolutely silly. There's no other word to describe it."
Moore responded by saying the term "those people" was pejorative and alleging racism to which Neil responded that there was no racist intent and added, "I didn't even know who testified. I just read about it in the wire reports."
Neil also said of the promotional value to artists of airplay - he says that if the bill passes he will openly charge artists to play their records - "The songwriters [who do get paid royalties in the US] may make a million dollars over a lifetime on their royalties, but the performers made a hundred million dollars up front on record sales and concerts. Now they're coming back and telling us to pay them. We won't."
RNW comment: As we made clear at the start, we don't know the individuals concerned and it may well be that there is a vary partial recounting of the stories involved, but the import of the two cases to us relates to the problems that are caused when people because of other baggage or beliefs are preparing to ignore all evidence and stick with beliefs. Such blind faith in our view, whether it be politically partisan or linked to a religion, should trouble any intelligent human. Even more a nation that proclaims its commitment to free speech would appear in many cases to have a commitment that is less than skin deep amongst a wide range of groups - political, religious, ethnic or plain conspiratorial loony.
In market terms, of course, going along with the loons when there are a lot more of them than people who are prepared to consider the evidence and arguments for and against something makes perfect sense. It doesn't however make it sensible in a wider context.
On however to another view of talk radio, this time from Australia where talkback radio as it is called there recently celebrated its 40th anniversary leading Mark Day in The Australian to express some scepticism about the its future. Under the heading," Grumpy old men no turn-on", Day comments, "Sure, talkback appeals to older audiences, so it's no surprise that the presenters who dish up a diet of conservative drivel mixed with feigned outrage, carefully confected to appeal to the aged demographic, are also old But the lesson to be drawn was unmistakable: talkback is in great need of reinvention. At some point it must seek relevance with a younger audience. That point has to come before the last listener kicks the bucket."
After remarking on various notables who did not turn up - and that the guest of honour John Laws arrived late - Day comments on Australian Prime Minister John Howard's remarks to the anniversary lunch "The PM delivered an off-the-cuff speech in which he nominated radio as his favourite medium. He was honest enough to say why: because no pesky reporter, sub-editor or editor stood between his remarks and the audience. Sure, he acknowledged the questions thrown at him could sometimes be a bit on the difficult side, but the answers - whether they address the question or not - cannot be cut, slanted, or paraphrased. It was the nearest thing, he said, to having a conversation with the Australian people."
Day also commented on the propensity for at least one Australian talk host to delude himself: Laws, says Day, "bobbed up again the same night on ABC television's Media Watch in a recorded interview with Monica Attard, who challenged his view that he could do interviews with newsmakers even if they paid him to promote their companies."
At issue was an interview with a Qantas representative about safety - Qantas is a Laws sponsor - and Laws, reports Day, said the issues had been canvassed in the cash for comment inquiry, which Laws said exonerated him.
"Not so" comments Day. "He was found guilty of more than 80 breaches of broadcasting regulations, but the findings had no impact on his capacity to draw an audience. That Attard sounded surprised by Laws's seamlessly intertwining sponsor material with program material was, to me, the biggest surprise. How naive."
On then to listening suggestions and linked to the above we start with suggestions from the BBC and WNYC's "On the Media". In the latter case, the final report on last week's edition concerned the Weekly World News, which has covering such topics as alien abductions and werewolf sightings for more than two decades but is now opting to go online only as its readership dwindles
From the BBC we suggest the most recent "Archive Hour" on Radio 4: This programme, part of the corporation's India and Pakistan '07 season featured a debate at Southampton University on new ways of understanding the legacy of Partition 60 years on and what came through most clearly was the effect ignorance has on the legacy - Indians get plenty of Gandhi and Pakistanis plenty of Jinnah - and suggestions that rather more common factual information might well help to ease tensions.
Radio 4 tonight (19:00GMT) will air another programme in the series - "Jinnah" in which Sarfraz Manzoor returns to the country of his birth to find out more about the Quaid-i-Azam or Great Leader of Pakistan and on Friday (10:00 GMT) it airs "Gandhi's Dream", a documentary on contemporary society and how Gandhi's dream of an independent India based on the village republic seems virtually dead.
BBC Radio 3 also gets into the act as part of its continuing 2007 Proms season (for details of which see the station website), featuring next Friday (20:00 GMT) a concert by the London Undersound Symphony Orchestra, a specially created 60-piece orchestra of both Eastern and Western classical musicians brought together by Nitin Sawhney for the event.
Also from Radio 3 this week, we suggest "The Essay" that this week airs only on three days - tonight, Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00 GMT - in which under the heading "Stones That Speak" musicologist and folklorist Tim Healey assesses the medieval mind as revealed by the carvings that adorn England's great cathedrals and remote parish churches.
On Tuesday, from Radio 3, we suggest "John Dankworth in South Africa" in which, more than 50 years after the then young bandleader flew into Johannesburg to give a short series of concerts in South Africa and subsequently became involved in protests against apartheid, Dankworth returns to the country for the first time since then to discover how music continued to be made during the years of struggle, and how it's doing in today's rainbow nation.
For music of a different genre we suggest a BBC Radio 2 documentary - "Ray Manzarek's Summer of Love" that aired last Saturday and featured The Doors keyboard player exploring the roots of and influences on the group.
Which is as good a cue as any to three BBC Radio 4 music-linked programmes: "The Elvis Effect" and the music feature "The Song Doctor" and the "Strange Story of Rudolph Dunbar."
The first two aired on Saturday (the Elvis effect continues next Saturday) and featured respectively David Stafford investigating the phenomenon of the Elvis Presley brand thirty years after the singer's death and Stephen Evans talking to record producer Rick Rubin, who resurrected the faltering career of Johnny Cash in the early 1990s.
The third, which airs tomorrow at 10:30 GMT, tells the tale of Rudolph Dunbar, born into poverty in British Guiana but becoming well-known jazz and classical clarinettist as well as having a European career as a classical conductor. Despite being the first black man to conduct at the Royal Albert Hall and conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra just days after the end of the Second World War, Dunbar ended his life in obscurity in Britain.
Also from Radio 4 we suggest this week's "Book of the Week" - "The Death of Sigmund Freud", Mark Edmundson's story of the psychiatrist's final years, abridged by Penny Leicester and read by Anton Lesser.
And as final suggestions from BBC Radio 4, one argument on a serious topic - Wednesday's "The Hecklers" in which Member of Parliament Mark Oaten takes on a sceptical audience and panel of four experts to argue that all prisons should be abolished - and a number of comedy shows: This week we suggest two from Wednesday , the literary spoof "Paperback Hell" at 22:15 GMT followed at 22:30 by "The Consultants" and from Friday in the 17:30 GMT comedy slot "The Now Show."
Then moving to Europe we suggest Sunday's "Amsterdam Forum" from Radio Netherlands, a look at how the Internet is changing and concerns about the changes.
And finally from the ABC, Australia, suggestions of a programme that ties into the point at which we started this week - the degree to which beliefs affect perceptions in last Saturdays "All in the Mind" which was "81 Words: the inside story of psychiatry and homosexuality", the first of a two-part series on the how psychiatrists moved away from labelling homosexuality a mental disease
The Australian - Day:
Fox News report:
Washington Post - Lartigue Jr. and Morgan:
2007-08-05: The main regulatory story again last week was US media ownership with protests being lodged by the two Democrat Commissioners about too short a period being allowed for comment on the ten studies posted by the Commission (See RNW Aug 1 and below): Elsewhere it was more a matter of routines.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) posted only one radio decision, namely not for the moment to allocate a permanent community radio licence that it had advertised for the Young licence area in New South Wales.
There had only been one applicant - Lambing Flat Community Broadcasting Inc., which already provides a temporary community broadcasting service in the area.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said of the decision not to allocate the licence: "The applicant provided insufficient evidence that the proposed service would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community. ACMA was not satisfied that the applicant had undertaken steps to identify and monitor the general community within the licence area to ensure that its service would meet the needs of that community. There is also insufficient evidence that the applicant has the management capacity to provide the proposed service. In particular, ACMA had strong concerns about the openness of the applicant's management and committee structure to involvement by members of the Young community. "
The ACMA also noted that this year it had found that the applicant had breached two of the conditions of its temporary community broadcasting licence, those relating to encouraging members of the community to participate in its operations and in the selection and provision of its programs, and exceeding the five minute per hour limit for broadcasting sponsorship announcements (See RNW Licence News Jun 3).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was rather busier with activities that included the posting of its eighth consecutive Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report that said Canadians had more radio stations to listen to but were listening less than five years ago (See RNW Aug 1)
Specifically radio-related activities including the following (In order of province):
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKRY-FM, Calgary.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CHLB-FM, Lethbridge.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CJBZ-FM, Taber.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKQC-FM, Abbotsford.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKBZ-FM, Kamloops and its transmitters CKBZ-FM-1,Pritchard; CKBZ-FM-2,Chase; CKBZ-FM-3, Merritt; CKBZ-FM-4, Clearwater; and CKBZ-FM-5, Sun Peaks.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CFSR-FM, Hope and Boston Bar.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CFBT-FM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKIZ-FM, Vernon and Enderby.
*Denial of application to increase the antenna height and relocate the transmitter of CKFU-FM, Fort St. John, and increase its power from 23 watts to 20,000 watts. The increase in power would have changed the status of CKFU-FM from that of an unprotected low-power service to that of a regular Class B service.
The application had been opposed by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and from Standard Radio Inc. who expressed concern about "backdoor" entry of such stations into wider commercial broadcasting.
British Columbia, North-west Territories and Yukon Territory:
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKRW-AM, Whitehorse, and its transmitters in Faro; Carcross; Carmacks; Haines Junction; Mayo and Teslin, Yukon Territory; Atlin, British Columbia; and Inuvik, North West Territories
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of English-language, low-power specialty commercial station CIXN-FM, Fredericton.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CKSG-FM, Cobourg.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CIWV-FM, Hamilton/Burlington.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CHYR-FM, Leamington.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CICZ-FM, Midland.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of French-language, religious FM radio programming undertaking VF8013, Ottawa.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of ethnic commercial radio station CFMB-AM, Montréal.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of French-language specialty commercial station CHIC-FM, Rouyn-Noranda.
*Renewal until 31 August 2014 of the licence of CJNB-AM, North Battleford.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2007 to 30 November 2007 of licence of CFQC-FM, Saskatoon. The CRTC notes that the decision does not dispose of any substantive issue that may exist with respect to the renewal of this licence.
There were no radio decisions from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom published its radio update for July including reports on agreed changes of format for three stations; content sampling reports for another three, one of which was issued with a "Yellow " ticket and format changes on various digital multiplexes.
The format changes given the go-ahead were for The Local Radio Company's Stray FM, Harrogate, which requested a reduction in required specialist music programming from 14 hours per week to nine hours per week; Chelmsford/Mid Essex station Dream FM, which requested a reduction in requirements for locally made programming weekdays to 18 hours daily, normally between 06:00 and 19:00, and at weekends to 10 hours per day and to be allowed to replace a daily weekday news/news magazine/interview hour centred on local activity with a weekday locally focussed music and speech programme; and Yorkshire Coast Radio , Bridlington, which requested that its licence conditions on broadcast hours be changed from "24 hours a day (at least 4 hours locally made Monday to Saturday)" to "24 hours a day (at least 4 hours locally made Monday to Friday and 4 hours on Saturday or Sunday)."
The "Yellow card" was issued to High Wycombe and Amersham station Mix 107 that was found in a spot sampling following correspondence about a format change to have dropped the specialist Asian and Afro-Caribbean music programming required by its Format (See RNW Licence News July 20).
The other sampling reports involved 96.3 Rock Radio, Paisley, and 96.2 The Revolution, Oldham, both of which were found to be operating within their format requirements.
The report also notes four agreed digital multiplex changes - the addition of 'Traffic Radio' to the Stoke multiplex; removal of 'Classic Gold Digital' from the third London multiplex; the addition of 'talk107' to the Central Scotland multiplex; and the replacement of 'Capital Disney' with 'XFM' on the South Wales and Severn Estuary multiplex - plus the Change of Control review of GCap Media's acquisition of Classic Gold Digital from UBC (See RNW Apr 26).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted has posted ten research studies on media ownership and has asked for comment on them within 60 days, sparking a joint protest by the two Democrats on the Commission who say the period is far too short for proper evaluation.
Also in relationship to media ownership the Commission posted a Second Further Notice Of Proposed Rule Making following a "Motion for Withdrawal of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and for the Issuance of a Revised Further Notice" filed in August last year by the Diversity and Competition Supporters (MMTC ) which argued that the Commission's Further Notice - which invited comment on the several media ownership rules adopted by the Commission in its 2002 Biennial Review Order and pending petitions for reconsideration of the 2002 Biennial Review Order, and initiated the statutorily mandated 2006 quadrennial review of the Commission's media ownership rules -was flawed and should be withdrawn, revised, and republished.
Specifically the MMTC argued that the commission should identify and describe MMTC's minority ownership proposals remanded by the court in Prometheus Radio Project, et al. v. FCC; refer to or seek comment on a definition of a socially and economically disadvantaged business; and identify Section 257 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a central legal basis for minority ownership relief.
The Commission said that in view of this it took the view that it was not necessary to rescind the order but that it would be beneficial to issue this Second Further Notice to set forth in greater detail the proposals MMTC had put forward. The notice gave details of these and also a joint statement by Democrat Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps in which they said inadequate time was being given for public comment on the matter.
"After mulling this over for almost one year," they wrote, "the Commission is all of a sudden in a hurry and it is the public that gets punished. Giving the American people only 60 days to comment on dozens of proposals is outrageous. Not only is it disturbingly consistent with yesterday's action, it is also eerily reminiscent of former Chairman Michael Powell's rush to judgment four years ago when he rammed through consolidation that would have, had it not been subsequently reversed, inflicted incalculable injury on America's media.
"Now a new agenda seems to be brewing here. And whatever's being cooked up, the public is not being given sufficient time to take a close look. Maybe someone's worried that, once again, the public will spit it out."
In addition the Commission was involved again in using a number of penalties including (In descending order of amount involved):
*Issued Consent decree in relation to the pending applications for the renewal of the licenses for KAXX-AM, Eagle River, and KZND-FM, Houston, both in Alaska, under which Ruth Pollack, Executrix of the Estate of Chester P. Coleman, agreed to pay a total of USD 41,000 relating to three Forfeiture Orders issued to Coleman or to American Radio Brokers, Inc., a company that he solely owned.
The amounts had not been paid and were of USD 4,000 for failing to respond to a written Notice of Violation concerning KAXX; USD 24,000 for failure to maintain main studios and a local or toll free number and to adhere to minimum operating schedules and unauthorized discontinuance of authorized operations; and USD 13,000 for failure to comply with lighting requirements and to notify an office or flight service station of the Federal Aviation Administration regarding light outages at the antenna structure used by the stations.
*Issued USD 20,000 forfeiture order to Rama Communications, Inc., licensee of station WKIQ-AM, Eustis, Florida, for failure to maintain full-time managerial and staff personnel at the main studio during normal business hours; failure to maintain the continuous ability to turn its transmitter off; and failure to maintain a complete public inspection file at its main studio.
A Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in this amount was issued but RAMA failed to respond.
*Issued USD 18,000 forfeiture order to Ora Roberts Smallwood, III, licensee of WCRR-AM, Rural Retreat, Virginia, for failure to maintain operational receiving equipment for required Emergency Alert System ("EAS") monitoring functions and failure to make available a complete public inspection file.
A NAL in this amount had been issued following an inspection of the station that found no notes on any EAS Tests being received in 2006 and Smallwood had requested cancellation on the grounds that he was not present during the inspection, and the new owner to the station pulled the public inspection file the week of the inspection and also stating that the new owner inspected the station's EAS that week. He also requested cancellation on the grounds of inability to pay.
The FCC said it did not find his arguments "persuasive" and noted that at the time of the inspection he was still the licensee and also that he had provided no evidence of his inability to pay. It confirmed the full penalty.
*Issued USD 5,000 forfeiture order to Talknsports, Inc., licensee of WKFL-AM, Bushnell, Florida, for failure to notify the Commission and submit a written request to discontinue operations for more than 30 days. The licensee had failed to respond to an NAL.
In other actions, the Commission dismissed an application for an AM station in Westfield, Massachusetts, from its AM Auction 84. The winner Radio Westfield had it said failed, after repeated requests, to bring the Application into technical compliance with the Commission's Rules.
In Montana it dismissed an objection to the renewal of licence for Sun Mountain, Inc.'s KBSR-AM, Laurel, made on the basis that Sun Mountain's President and sole shareholder, Richard Solberg made a misrepresentation in the Application, specifically that Solberg certified he was not the subject of any adverse findings or adverse final actions regarding his character qualifications, when in fact he had been convicted in June 1986 of a Class B felony for theft, and was further disbarred from the practice of law by the Washington State Supreme Court in September 1985.
Solberg responded by noting that the conviction, subsequently completed the deferred sentence in the Order of Probation in his criminal case, and was permitted to withdraw his plea of guilty to the crime of first degree theft, and that the charge was dismissed with prejudice. He also noted that since the conviction was more than ten years old he was not required to disclose it. The FCC agreed and renewed the licence.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2007-08-04: U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (Kansas Republican) and Ron Wyden (Oregon Democrat), the original sponsors of the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would overturn the increase in Internet music royalty rates introduced by the Copyright Royalty Board, have said that if "great progress toward a fair solution for webcasters" is not made by Congress's return after Labor Day they will push for speedy passage of the act.
In a statement the two said they originally sponsored the act because they of the "Copyright Royalty Board's decision to dramatically increase royalties and apply what we see as unfounded minimum rates threatens to devastate the Internet radio industry."
"The fact is," they added, "that online radio services do not have enough revenue to support what will amount to unprecedented royalties. The USD 500 per channel minimum fee alone will deliver an over USD 1 billion annual windfall to record companies, a windfall that is not justified by any business or equity considerations."
They then went on, "Now we are hearing that the recording industry is attempting to use this aspect of the CRB decision to force webcasters to adopt recording restrictions far in excess of the controls that have governed broadcast content for decades. While we strongly support a negotiated solution, we will not allow the minimum fee issue to be used to force an agreement that mandates DRM technology and fails to respect the established principles of fair use and consumer rights."
The two said that after the July 15 deadline for the new rated came and went they were pleased that SoundExchange was negotiating with webcasters and expected that they would not have to push for the legislation but they are now troubled by the lack of progress.
"Internet radio," they say, "is crucial to many segments of business and culture - to small and large webcasters building sustainable businesses; to independent artists trying to make it in a crowded industry; and to millions of music fans searching for new diverse music that corporate radio generally does not offer. Innovation and creativity are the winners if Internet radio flourishes, and are the losers if Internet radio stagnates."
2007-08-04: UK UBC Media, which has sold its Classic Gold stations to GCap Media for GBP 3.95 million (USD 7.9 million- See RNW Apr 26) has reported what it terms "an encouraging start" to the new financial year with first quarter revenues up 19.8% on a year ago, strong advertising sales and on-schedule development of its Cliq music downloading service.
At its Annual General Meeting Chairman John Hodson said that "Excluding Classic Gold Digital, revenues for the Group in the first quarter were ahead 19.8% year-on-year" and added, "In particular, our radio advertising business traded strongly, with revenues in the period up 30% year-on-year, although the radio advertising market remains volatile. The Company's cash balance at the end of June was GBP 5.9 million (USD 12 million).
Of the Cliq service that allows listeners to buy music directly from radio stations and that is to be launched later this year he said that in addition to the deal with Imagination Technologies announced in June UBC expected that the service will be available on most mobile phones in the UK via a Java software application that is currently undergoing development and testing. "This extension of the technology" he said, "will make Cliq available to the vast majority of UK radio listeners from launch".
UBC's pre-tax loss for the financial year to the end of June was GBP 1.69 million (USD 3.45 million), up from GBP 234,000 (USD 477,000) a year earlier with the increased loss being attributed to a harsh advertising market for the commercial radio industry as a whole.
2007-08-04: Former Clear Channel KHGE-FM, Fresno, morning host Athena Matsikas, who was fired when eight months pregnant, has filed a lawsuit against the station alleging "sex harassment; pregnancy discrimination; failure to maintain an environment free from harassment; negligent supervision, hiring and retention; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; sexual battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and retaliation."
The Fresno Bee says the suit named Clear Channel and KHGE program director and Matsikas' former co-host Chuck Geiger as defendants. It says that according to Matsikas she was told that the morning show would no longer use on-air talent and offered a three-month severance package and an extension of her insurance if she signed an agreement not to take legal action against the station whilst Geiger - better known as Uncle Buck - moved to hosting afternoons. Matsikas says she didn't sign.
Previous Clear Channel:
Fresno Bee report:
2007-08-04: BBC digital station 1Xtra is dropping ten of its DJs and sidelining two more who will, however, continue to work for the BBC via their independent production company in a re-vamp of the station that sees DJs Trevor Nelson and Tim Westwood join the station.
Out are Ayesha; Blakey; L Double; DJ Flight; Fitz; G Money; Aaron Ross; Silver Star; Rodney P & Skitz ; and Richie Vibe Vee with Jason & Iyare losing their hosting role although their production company "On It Industries" will continue to work with the corporation.
The BBC says the "refreshed schedule reflects an evolution of 1Xtra's music priorities and has been designed to ensure the station continues to champion the most important black music" and Andy Parfitt, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, commented: "This is chapter two for 1Xtra as we continue to grow the station. We have the cream of DJ talent showcasing the best black music around and in Trevor and Tim Westwood, the two biggest players in RnB and hip hop. It is important that UK digital radio grows for all audiences, including the young - this evolution of the station is a critical part of building awareness and audiences to digital. It's key that the schedule is as easy as possible for our audience to navigate so they can find the music they love and I believe we have achieved that."
Lorna Clarke, Head of Programmes, 1Xtra, added, "Over the past five years 1Xtra has demonstrated that there is a huge appetite for UK and international black music. We've continued in our commitment to delivering the best content to our listeners and our refreshed schedule reflects this. We're excited that Trevor Nelson and Tim Westwood, two of the UK's leaders in bringing black music to a mainstream audience, will be joining us appealing to an even wider audience. I'd like to thank the DJs leaving the station for all their hard work and wish them well for the future."
The changes will be introduced in two stages starting on Sept 10 with a new specialist schedule including a new cross genre show hosted five days a week by hip hop specialist MistaJam; House DJ Footloose and hip hop specialist Sarah Love, who join the station with new mix shows; late evening slots for Ronnie Herel, Robbo Ranx, Bailey, Target and Semtex with RnB, Dancehall, Drum & Bass, UKG and hip hop; and an earlier midnight to 02:00 Monday show for Crissy Criss.
There will then be further changes on October 8 including a new breakfast show hosted by Trevor Nelson along with new signing Zena that will move to an 08:00 to 11:00 slot and a new hip hop show from Westwood on Sunday nights from 22:00 to midnight local. Both Westwood and Taylor retain their current shows on BBC Radio 1.
Other changes in October include a move from his current weekend show to an early breakfast slot - from 06:00 to 08:00 local - for Dev, a new 14:00 to 16:00 after noon show for Max; New Saturday and Sunday 06:00 to 09:00 shows for Twin B; and a new weekend shows from 13:00 to 16:00 for Ronnie Herel, whose Saturday programme will be a chart show.
2007-08-03: In more US radio results Beasley Broadcasting, Entravision, Fisher Communications and Radio One Inc. have reported second quarter revenues - up for the first two and down for the other two with Beasley net income down, Fisher net income marginally down, Radio One moving into loss because of a one-off charge and Entravision moving from loss to profit (the year earlier figures include a USD 189.7 million impairment charge).
Beasley's revenues for the quarter were up 8.2% on a year earlier at USD 34.8 million and up 10.7% for the half-year at USD 65.6 million with operating income down 1.5% to USD 7.0 million for the quarter but up 4.8% for the half year to USD 12.2 million.
Net income was down 32.4% for the quarter to USD 2.1 million (From 13cents to nine cents per diluted share) and down 31.1% for the half-year to USD 3.3 million (From 20 cents to 14 cents per diluted share): Beasley noted that both sets of figures include a loss on extinguishment of long-term debt of USD 400,000 ( A cent per diluted share on an after tax basis) and that revenue figures were boosted for the quarter by the inclusion of revenue from two acquisitions - KDWN-AM, Las Vegas and WJBR-FM, Wilmington, as well as improved performance at six of the Company's eleven market clusters and adds that the decrease in operating income in the second quarter reflects increased expenses in eight of its clusters, additional stock-based compensation expense; and, higher depreciation and amortization expense primarily related to the two acquisitions.
Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley said, "Beasley Broadcast Group's second quarter revenue exceeded the guidance provided at the time we reported our first quarter results primarily reflecting better-than-expected performance in our mid-size markets. In addition, 2007 second quarter results benefited from growing contributions from our interactive initiatives. Second quarter interactive revenues surpassed the USD 1.0 million mark, accounted for 3.1% of the Company's total revenue and rose approximately 126% over levels achieved in the same period last year. With these results, we believe we are on track to achieve our goal of deriving 5% of our net revenue from this new source during the next twelve months."
He added, "We are excited that local and national advertisers have embraced the innovative opportunities Beasley is offering and remain confident that our interactive initiatives are gaining momentum in meeting the demands of our advertisers. With programming and on-air changes in place in various clusters, we remain focused on our long term goal of out-performing the markets in which we operate, building our portfolio through select strategic acquisitions and supporting shareholder value."
Beasley also noted that it continued active in regard to its share repurchase programme and during the quarter repurchased approximately 123,000 shares of its common stock for a total of USD 1.1 million, taking the total since beginning the programme in 2004 to some 1,206,000 shares for a total of USD 11.0 million.
Looking ahead, Beasley forecast third quarter revenues to increase 6% compared to a year earlier with same station revenues, excluding the two acquisitions and a new programme rights contract for the Miami Dolphins, to be down 3%.
Entravision reported net revenues down 4% to USD 76 million for the quarter and operating expenses up 2% to USD 434.8 million with net income moving from a loss of USD 168 million a year earlier to net income of USD 8.6 million ( From a USD 1.60 loss applicable to common stockholders to a positive eight cents.)
For the half-year Entravision's revenues were up 1% to USD 140 million, operating expenses up 2% to USD 87.6 million and a net loss of USD 155.9 million becoming net income of USD 5.3 million.
Entravision noted that of the USD 3.3 million revenue fall in the quarter, its TV segment was responsible for USD 3.1 million and that excluding the 2006 net revenue contributed by our radio stations in the Tucson and Dallas markets that it sold in 2006, net revenue would have decreased by only USD 1.1 million.
Pro forma figures excluding the stations sold showed TV revenues for he quarter down 7% to USD 40.3 million; radio revenues up 9% to USD 26.3 million and outdoor down 2% to USD 9.5 million.
For the third quarter Entravision says it expects net revenues to be approximately flat and operating expenses to increase by low single digit percentages as compared to the third quarter of 2006.
It adds that excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, corporate expenses are expected to increase by low single digit percentages as compared to the third quarter of 2006 and says it should be noted that while the majority of World Cup revenues were recorded in the second quarter of 2006, the Company had significant World Cup revenue and revenue from our Los Angeles promotional event in the third quarter of 2006. Both of these events are non-recurring in the third quarter of 2007.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Walter Ulloa commented, "We continue to execute on our business plan and capitalize on the growth of the Hispanic media market. In the second quarter of 2007 we faced difficult World Cup and political comparisons from the prior year period, but we continued to drive both audience and advertising shares. With diversified media assets located in the fastest growing Hispanic markets we are well positioned to serve the growth in consumer and advertiser demand for Spanish-language media. We are making investments in programming and promotion to drive ratings, and in our sales teams to ensure we are effectively monetizing our audience performance. In addition, we continue to explore opportunities to maximize our assets and expand our presence in selected markets with strong growth potential."
Fisher Communications, which has now sold most of its radio holdings - it has five stations left, announced second quarter revenues up 3% on a year ago at USD 41.3 million with half-year revenues up 6% to USD 75.5 million.
Net income was marginally down - from USD 2.268 million to USD 2.256 million and up from USD 567,000 to USD 1.01 million for the half-year (Flat at 26 cents for the quarter and up from seven cents to 12 cents per share for half-year).
Within its divisions, TV revenues were up 4% in the quarter whilst radio was down 5% with TV up 6% and radio up 1% for the half year whilst its Fisher Plaza revenue increased 37 percent in the second quarter and 33 percent in the first half of 2007.
President and CEO Colleen B. Brown said of the results, "The second quarter of 2007 continued our trend of revenue growth. We gained solid revenue results over the first half of the year, driven by Fisher's expanding efforts in Spanish-language television and increased rental income from Fisher Plaza. Over the second half of the year, we will continue to improve our market position by expanding our Internet presence and pursuing important distribution and partnership opportunities."
Radio One Inc. reported net broadcast revenue for the quarter down 6% on a year ago at USD 86.1 million and down 3% for the half-year to USD 163.4 million with operating income down 67% to USD 9.8 million and down 46.6% to USD 29.5 million for the half-year.
Net income from continuing operations of USD 7.1 million a year ago turned into a net loss of USD 8.5 million for the quarter, a figure that includes one-time impairment charges of USD 15.9 million related to intangible assets- the per share figure went from eight cents net income to eight cents net loss. For the half-year net income of USD 9.4 million became a net loss of USD 8.3 million with the per share figure moving from a positive 11 cents to a negative seven cents.
Overall Radio One said it went from net income of USD 8.1 million to a net loss of USD 7.6 million (from a positive eight cents to a negative eight cents per share) for the quarter and for the half-year from USD 10.7 million net income to a net loss of USD 6.9 million (from a postive 11 cents per share to a negative seven cents per share)..
CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III commented, "While this quarter was another difficult one for the radio industry, I am pleased that, excluding our LA operations, we actually outperformed our markets slightly from a local revenue perspective, which continues to be the foundation for our business. Looking into the third quarter, we may be seeing some signs of improvement although the markets are very choppy, business is booking later and later and significant hurdles remain. Our diversification into a broad-based media company consisting of radio, cable, internet and print is beginning to coalesce, as we continue to identify new and myriad ways to satisfy our advertiser client base. This transition from a pure-play radio company to a media company is longer-term in nature, but I am confident that our team is up to the challenges and opportunities we have before us."
Beasley shares ended Thursday up 0.7% at USD 8.65; Fisher was up 0.54 % to USD 46.63; Entravision was down 1.3% at USD 9.15 and Radio One Inc. was down 6.7% to USD 5.42.
Previous Beasley Broadcast:
Previous George Beasley:
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2007-08-03: The Indian Government is reported to be reviewing its plans to split the country's public broadcasting body Prasar Bharati into an Asset Corporation to hold assets and a Programming & Broadcasting Corporation, which will oversee programming and other operations.
According to India's Economic Times, the new plan involves retaining the assets and operations of Doordarshan TV and programming and operation of All India Radio (AIR) with Prasar Bharati, while leaving the assets of AIR with the government.
The paper says the assets of AIR would then be leased out to Prasar Bharati for a fee and adds that the information and broadcasting ministry takes the view that this would make the restructuring less painful, except for the documentation process for leasing out AIR assets to Prasar Bharati.
It adds however that sources say the earlier proposal has not yet been shelved and says a group of ministers will consider both models before making its decision.
Previous All India Radio:
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
Economic Times report:
2007-08-03: Claxson Interactive Group has announced that it has closed the USD 74.6 million sale of IberoAmerican Radio Chile to Grupo Latino de Radiodifusión, an affiliate of Prisa Group.
IberoAmerican Radio Chile runs the Pudahuel FM, Rock & Pop, Corazón, FM Dos, Concierto, Futuro, FM Hit and Imagina radio networks and Claxson chairman and CEO Roberto Vivo said of the sale, "We are very pleased about this transaction with Prisa Group. I believe that the management of IberoAmerican Radio Chile has played a key role in the success of the radio networks and the creation of shareholder value. I am very proud to have worked with them all these years."
2007-08-02: In more US second quarter results Cox Radio and Entercom have reported a rise in revenues but wosrse botton lines with Entercom moving into loss..
Cox revenues were for the quarter were up 0.7% to USD 118 million - for the half-year they are up 1.9% to USD 218.8 million - but station operating income was down 4.3% for the quarter to USD 47.8 million and down 2.8% for the half year to USD 85.6 million and net income was down 21.5 for the quarter to USD 20.25 million (From 27 cents to 21 cents per diluted share) and 14.8% for the half-year to USD 33.79 million (from 41 cents to 35 cents per diluted share).
President and CEO Robert F. Neil said the revenue increases were "in-line with the markets in which we operate, driven primarily by local revenues, which were up 1%, and Internet revenues, which were up 21% for the quarter" and added, "I'm especially pleased with the progress we're making in our largest markets, Atlanta, Miami and Orlando, each of which showed solid revenue growth through the first six months."
Cox also noted that from August 2005, when its board approved a USD 100 million share repurchase scheme, to the end of June is had spent some USD 87.1 million on purchasing some 6.1 million shares and that in May this year the board authorized an additional USD 100 million repurchase programme.
Entercom reported revenues up 7% to USD 125.2 million but station operating expenses were up 12% to USD 74 million (same station revenues fell 1% and operating expenses rose 4%) - with the result that its operating income went from a positive USD 39.49 million to a negative 9.73 million - (This year's figures included a USD 45.35 million loss on impairment (Same station was down 8% to USD 51.2 million).
Overall Entercom went from net income of USD 17.1 million to a loss of USD 12.5 million - for the half year it went from net income of USD 24.9 million to a net loss of USD 13.1 million - with net income per diluted share moving from 43 cents to a loss of 32 cents for the quarter and from 61 cents to a loss of 33 cents for the half-year.
President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Field said the quarter's figures "reflect the sluggish business conditions that continue to affect most traditional advertising media" and added, "We remain highly focused on our company-wide efforts to accelerate revenue growth through a number of core initiatives, including digital, business development, and brands and content. We are achieving growing traction on these core initiatives and expect increasing revenue contributions from these efforts over the next few quarters."
Cox shares ended the day up 3.1% at USD 13.35 whilst Entercom stock fell 6.64% to USD 21.08.
2007-08-02: UK Guardian Media Group has reported what it terms a "solid financial performance" in the year to the end of April in which its revenues from continuing operations were up 2.3% to GBP 716.1 million (USD 1.454 billion) and pre-tax profit from continuing operations was up 47.1% to GBP 97.7 million (USD 198.4 million) whilst statutory profit after taxation and exceptional items increased 39.9% to GBP 64.2 million (USD 130.4 million). Profits in the previous year were affected by heavy investment in the re-launches of the Guardian and Observer in the Berliner format.
The group highlighted the successful sale of its 49.9% of Trader Media Group (TMG) announced in March - valuing TMG at GBP 1.35 billion (USD 2.74 billion )- and said this will enable the Group to pursue acquisition opportunities in the year ahead.
It also noted continued its international expansion of its Guardian Unlimited site and expansion of GMG Radio through the acquisition of the Saga and Century radio networks and QFM in Scotland, as well as winning the new Manchester FM licence: GMG says its expects to achieve its stated objective of becoming the third largest UK radio group by listening hours by the end of 2007.
Conditions in the sector said GMG have been "difficult for many competitors in the sector, but on a like-for-like basis the radio division has significantly out-performed the market, with growth well ahead of the industry."
Radio operating profit excluding amortisation of acquired intangibles was up 29.6% to GBP 3.5 million (USD 7.1 million) but statutory operating profit was down by the same percentage to GBP 1.9 million (GBP 3.86 million), a fall put down to the amortisation of intangible assets acquired during the year. Radio revenues were up 28% to GBP 35.7 million (USD 72.5 million).
Chairman Paul Myners said of the performance, "In a difficult operating environment characterised by increasing evidence of structural change in UK media markets, GMG has been at the forefront in recognising and responding to those changes. The Group has delivered a solid financial performance in line with our expectations for the year. These very sound results demonstrate our resilience as a Group in the face of substantial and complex challenges to many of our businesses. It has been a year of significant growth, investment and development across the portfolio."
Chief Executive Carolyn McCall added that the "stability of GMG's financial performance is testament to the success of our approach" and said "The sale of a minority stake in Trader Media Group has rebalanced our portfolio and delivered a substantial return. We will actively pursue acquisition opportunities in the year ahead as we continue to reshape our business. "
The Group's annual report noted that its executive board was paid GBP 3.2 million (USD 6.5 million) with McCall, who only took up her post in August 2006, getting an increase of GBP 175,000 (USD 355,000) - in all in her first full year with the company she received a GBP 353,000 (USD 717,000) salary plus GBP 317,000 (USD 644 million) in bonuses and benefits and GBP 108,000 (USD 219,000) in pension contributions.
2007-08-02: Emap is planning a September launch of a new lifestyle radio station "heat radio" - with tie-ups with the group's heat entertainment magazine: It is to be followed by Closer Radio, an extension of Emap's woman's weekly Closer magazine that will launch on the UK's second national commercial digital multiplex next year.
The heat station will be available through DAB digital radio and online and the Sky and Freeview digital TV platforms: It will carry no spot adverts but is planned to launch with up to five clients who will be offered a selection of sponsorships, promotions and advertising-funded programme with what Emap says will be an emphasis on building relationships.
Emap Advertising's Director of Interactive and Radio sales Karen Stacey said of the move, "Historically we have not differentiated between our magazine branded radio stations and have sold them collectively as 'digital radio' alongside our analogue heritage stations. This has meant selling by platform rather than creating demand around a brand with multiple touchpoints. As advertisers try to connect with their consumers at a deeper level it will become increasingly more important to innovate in product and content: delivering opportunities for advertisers to build loyalty and trust."
The team developing heat has been led by Magic FM managing director Andre Vidler who said the station was a true media first, commenting, "We began with a new way of looking at our brands and how we could collaborate better across the different parts of Emap. So why not start with one of the biggest - heat?
She added, "Consumers tell us they want more heat and advertisers tell us they want more heat, so we have created a true media first: a radio station that offers total flexibility to create content that listeners want and the flexibility and cut through that advertisers want."
2007-08-02: Red Zebra Broadcasting has announced that it is to extend its Redskins coverage through the purchase of Hampton radio station WLRT 1490 AM from Hampton Radio Inc. and has already started simulcasts of its sport radio format from WXTG-FM (The Game) in Norfolk on the station.
Red Zebra CEO Bruce Gilbert said of the purchase in a news release, "It was vitally important for us to make certain every Redskins fan in Hampton Roads would get clear reception of the Redskins games and all ancillary Redskins programming"
Previous Red Zebra:
2007-08-01: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in its eighth consecutive Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report says that the industry is continuing to expand and that new media are becoming an increasingly important part of Canadians' lives.
In 2006, it says Canadians could listen to 1,252 different radio stations, up from 1,223 stations in 2005. They included 929 English-language services, 286 French-language services, and 37 third-language services and on average Canadians listened to 18.6 hours of radio per week in 2006, down from 19.1 hours in 2005.
Private commercial stations, says the report, took some 80% of total listening; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) took 11.6%; satellite radio 1% and the Internet 0.3%.
Revenues for those private stations were up 5.7% on a year earlier to CAD 1.4 billion (USD 1.31 billion) and during 2006 they paid CAD 23.9 million (USD 22.4 million) towards the development of Canadian talent.
In terms of Internet listening - 70% of Canadian households had internet services in 2006, up from 64% in 2005 - 22% listened to radio using the Internet compared to 6% who watched TV on it and Internet advertising nearly doubles - from CAD 562 million (USD 526.5 million) in 2005 to CAD 1 billion (USD 940 million) in 2006.
Regarding TV, the report says Canadians had access to 662 television services, including 445
English-language services, 104 French-language services, and 113 third-language services and they watched an average 27.6 hours a week, down from 28.1 hours in 2005. Canadian services it adds took 78.7% of viewership in 2006 and revenues for terrestrial TV went up from 2.5 billion (USD 2.34 billion) in 2005 to 2.6 billion (USD 2.44 billion) whilst revenues for specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand services rose from CAD 2.2 billion (USD 2.06 billion) to CAD 2.5 billion (USD 2.34 billion).
Cable services subscription numbers in 2006 were up from 6.8 million in 2005 to 6.8 million in addition to which 2.6 million Canadians subscribed to direct-to-home (DTH) satellite distribution and multipoint distribution systems (MDS), up from 2.5 million in 2005.
The report is to be the last standalone Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report as next year it will be integrated into one annual report along with the CRTC Telecommunications Monitoring Report.
2007-08-01: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted ten research studies on media ownership and has asked for comment on them within 60 days, sparking a joint protest by the two Democrats on the Commission who say the period is far too short for proper evaluation.
Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps say in their comment, "Just when we hoped an open media ownership process was developing here at the FCC, along comes this bucket of ice water. These are ten supposedly serious studies put together by teams of economists and analysts over an eight month period. One study alone contains over 13 million data points. Yet the Commission expects the public to analyze all ten studies, and reams of underlying data, and file comments 60 days from today! This is unfair, unnecessary, and ultimately unwise - inviting public, Congressional, and judicial outrage reminiscent of what happened when the FCC tried to loosen media ownership rules four years ago. "
They also comment that they are told all the studies released will undergo "peer review" but say "many questions are left unanswered" concerning selection of reviewers, the time they will have to conduct their reviews and the time the public will have to examine the reviews and ask "Is this peer review - or just a brief purview? " before concluding, "The Commission's action today does not inspire confidence that this time around we are serious about getting it right.
The studies released are:
Study 1: How People Get News and Information - by Nielsen Media Research, Inc.
Study 2: Ownership Structure and Robustness of Media - by Kiran Duwadi; Scott Roberts; and Andrew Wise, all of the FCC.
Study 3: Television Station Ownership Structure and the Quantity and Quality of TV Programming - by Gregory S. Crawford, Department of Economics, University of Arizona.
Study 4: News Operations - Sections by Daniel Shiman; Kenneth Lynch; Craig Stroup; and Pedro Almoguera, all of the FCC.
Study 5: Station Ownership and Programming in Radio -by Tasneem Chipty, CRA International, Inc.
Study 6: The Effects of Cross-Ownership on the Local Content and Political Slant of Local Television News - by Jeffrey Milyo, Center for Applied Economics, University of Kansas, School of Business; Department of Economics and Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri.
Study 7: Minority and Female Ownership in Media Enterprises - by Arie Beresteanu and Paul B. Ellickson, Duke University.
Study 8: The Impact of the FCC's TV Duopoly Rule Relaxation on Minority and Women Owned Broadcast Stations 1999-2006- by Allen S. Hammond, IV, Santa Clara University.
Study 9: Vertical Integration and the Market for Broadcast and Cable Television Programming- by Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business; American Bar Foundation; and National Bureau of Economic Research.
Study 10: Review of the Radio Industry, 2007 - by George Williams of the FCC. This updates a study "Radio Industry Review 2002: Trends in Ownership, Format, and Finance" that was done during the commission's previous review of media ownership rules.
2007-08-01: Sirius Satellite Radio, like its competitor XM (See RNW Jul 27) has reduced its losses and increased revenues in the second quarter, which it ended with more than 7.1 million subscribers compared to 8.25 million for XM.
Revenues for the quarter were up 51% on a year ago at USD 226.4 million including advertising revenue of USD 9.2 million and Sirius added 561,493 new subscribers - 129,843 net additions from retail and aftermarket channels and 431,650 from the OEM channel - during the quarter to end with 7,142,538. It said it took 62% of satellite radio segment share in what was its seventh consecutive quarter leading subscriber growth.
Sirius reduced its net loss by 44% to USD 134.1 million (from 17 cents a share to nine cents a share) and its adjusted net loss excluding stock-based compensation was down 26.6% to USD 117.1 million (from 11 cents to eight cents per share) and it is projecting full year revenues to approach USD 1 billion and subscribers to top 8 million with an average monthly subscriber churn of 2.2% to 2.4% and Subscriber Acquisition Cost (SAC) of around USD 100.
Its adjusted loss from operations was down 37.2% to USD 79.3 million, driven by the increase in total revenue of USD 76.3 million, which more than offset the USD 29.1 million increase in expenses.
Subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) were down 2.8%, to USD 105.7 million despite a 21% increase in gross subscriber additions year-over-year, a reduction put down primarily to lower aftermarket subsidies, offset by increased OEM hardware subsidies due to higher production volume and
SAC per gross subscriber addition was down 18% to USD 108 primarily due to lower OEM costs per unit offset by a higher mix of OEM gross additions.
CEO Mel Karmazin said the company "once again, posted solid results" and added, "Both revenue and subscriber growth exceeded 50% while operating expenses before stock-based compensation and depreciation grew only 6%. Customer satisfaction remains high, reflected in our low all-in churn rate of 2.1%. We have added over 1.1 million net new subscribers so far this year and second quarter results mark the seventh consecutive quarter for leadership in satellite radio net additions and the third consecutive quarter of leadership in gross subscriber additions."
Regarding the planned merger with XM he commented, "Momentum for the pending merger with XM continues to build. Support from our customers, suppliers and other groups representing a diverse cross-section of Americans, clearly demonstrates the public interest benefits and enhanced competition that will come from the merger. We continue to work with the FCC and the DOJ to make the case that the merger offers more choices, including a la carte offerings, and lower prices for subscribers, and we continue to expect that the merger will be completed by year-end."
EVP and CFO David Frear said of the performance, "Compared to the year ago second quarter, revenue grew by USD 76 million, and with a clear focus on cost efficient growth, adjusted loss from operations improved by USD 47 million and free cash flow improved by USD 53 million. In addition, we are pleased with the 18% improvement in SAC per gross addition in the second quarter, and with continued strong OEM subscriber growth, we now expect SAC per gross addition will approach USD 100 for 2007."
The markets reacted positively to the results, and Sirius ended Tuesday up 1.35% at USD 3.01 having touched USD 3.14 at one stage.
2007-08-01: CBS Corporation has reported a 9% increase to USD 393 million in Net Earnings from Continuing Operations and per share earnings up 15% to 54 cents in its second quarter after adjustments for tax benefits and station divestitures.
Revenues, however did worse with TV revenues down 4% on a year earlier to USD 2.163 billion and radio revenues, including the effects of station sales, down 11% to USD 463.4 million: These were partially offset by a 4% increase in Outdoor revenues to USD 554.2 million and a 14% increase in publishing revenues to USD 200.3 million and total revenues were down 3% to USD 3.375 billion. For the first six months of the year overall revenues are marginally down - from USD 7.059 billion to USD 7.033 billion within which TV revenues were down 1% to USD 4.736 billion, radio was down 10% to USD 861 million, outdoor was up 3% to USD 1.017 billion and publishing was up 20% to USD 429.6 million.
The radio figures were affected by divestitures and same-station revenues fell by only 5%. CBS said radio OIBDA and operating income for the second quarter of 2007 both decreased 18% to USD 187.3 million and USD 179.4 million, respectively, principally resulting from the revenue decline partially offset by the absence of expenses for divested stations. Radio results included stock-based compensation of USD 5.0 million and USD 3.4 million for the second quarter of 2007 and 2006, respectively.
President and CEO Leslie Moonves said of the performance, "We had solid second quarter results with mid-teens EPS growth on an adjusted basis, as well as strong free cash flow which continues to allow us to return value to our shareholders."
He added that he was "pleased with our underlying revenue performance, coupled with the excellent showing by the CBS Television Network in the Upfront marketplace, which underscores the strength of our network television business. At the same time, we continue to adjust our portfolio of assets, moving this quarter to complete the sale of several television and radio stations and investing in new digital properties. Together with a host of other strategic investments, our acquisition of Last.fm during the quarter adds a compelling interactive extension to all of our content properties and is helping us advance our overall strategy of building communities around our industry-leading content."
Executive chairman Sumner Redstone commented, "CBS Corporation has delivered yet again. With smart, strategic acquisitions and selective investments, Leslie and his team are positioning the Company for the future while doing a terrific job managing CBS's world class assets. I am proud of all we have accomplished and confident that we'll continue to capitalize upon the unique set of opportunities that lie ahead."
Looking ahead CBS said that for the full year comparing "2007 to 2006 on an as reported basis, several factors -- including higher expense for stock-based compensation, the sale of 39 radio stations and nine television stations, the shutdown of UPN and the non-renewal of low-margin major urban outdoor transit contracts -- will result in revenue and operating income that will be comparable to that of 2006" but on a more upbeat note added, "For the long-term, the Company is positioned to deliver rates of growth as follows: low single-digit growth in revenues, mid single-digit growth in operating income and high single-digit growth in earnings per share."
2007-08-01: UK Chrysalis has now formally announced completion of the sale of its radio division to Global Radio that was approved at an extraordinary general meeting on Monday (See RNW Jul 31) and also that Phil Riley, the Chief Executive of Chrysalis Radio, has decided not to join Global and will also step down from the Chrysalis Group board: The EGM had approved the payment to him of compensation for loss of office.
In a statement Riley said he had "had a tremendous time at Chrysalis, building from scratch one of the most successful radio businesses in the UK" and continued "Whilst I was offered the opportunity to join Global Radio, following much deliberation I've decided after 13 years with the Chrysalis Radio business to take a short break and then look at a number of new opportunities. There's a very professional team at Chrysalis Radio and I'm delighted to have had the opportunity of working with many of them for over a decade and now wish them continued success under the new ownership of Global Radio."
Chrysalis Group chief executive Richard Huntingford, who is also expected to leave the group, paying tribute to Riley said he had "made an immense contribution to Chrysalis and should be hugely proud of what he has achieved with Chrysalis Radio. He has been an inspiring leader of his team and also a huge support to me over the years" and Global Radio CEO Ashley Tabor added, "We completely understand Phil's decision to pursue other interests at this stage of his career. He has done a fantastic job building the teams at Heart, Galaxy and LBC, as well as the value in the brands, and we had hoped to have found an appropriate role for him at Global. We wish him well."
Previous Global Radio:
2007-08-01: CanWest Global Communications Corporation subsidiary CanWest MediaWorks has announced completion of the sale of its two Canadian radio stations.
CJZZ-FM (Cool FM) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and CKBT-FM (Beat FM) in Kitchener, Ontario, have been bought by Corus Entertainment for CAD 15 million ( USD ) in cash. CanWest has also sold its New Zealand interests but has been building up its business in the UK where it has won licences in Southampton, Bristol and Aberdeen.
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