October 2009 Archive
2009-10-31: In a sign that the Indian economy may be improving, ENIL (Entertainment Network (India) Ltd., India's leading Private FM Radio operator that runs the Radio Mirchi stations, has reported revenues from the radio operations for its third quarter to the end of September of INR 55.9 cores ( USD 11.5 million - A crore is 10 million) - up by 11.4% on the second quarter although down by 9.2% on the third quarter of 2008: ENIL, which is a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, noted that usually the results for the quarter are worse than in the second quarter.
EBITDA for the quarter was up 70.8% on the second quarter at INR 14.5 crores (USD 2.98 million) with EBITDA margin of 25.9% compared to 13.8% in the second quarter and a net loss of INR 3.3 crores (USD 679,000) in the second quarter became an after tax profit of INR 3.8 crores (USD 782,000).
On a consolidated basis ENIL reported revenues of INR 98.4 crores (USD 20.24 million) for the quarter, down from INR 109.9 crores (USD 22.6 million) in the second quarter with EBITDA loss down from INR 598.6 lakhs (USD 12.3 million - a lakh is 100,000) to INR 82.4 Lakhs - USD 1.7 million)
Commenting on the results Radio Mirchi CEO Prashant Panday said, "In spite of declining revenues, we are happy to report a much improved EBITDA and PAT margins. This has been made possible by aggressive cost management. Also, while revenues are down from last year, our market share has risen to 42%, largely on account of better listenership performance."
"From this point on," he continued "we expect an upturn in revenues, which should give us substantially better margins!"
He also noted that during the quarter Radio Mirchi was named as one of the Game Changers of the Decade by the magazine Brand Reporter for changing the economics of the Indian FM radio industry and its cumulative revenues since it was founded in 1999 and launched its first station in Indore in October 2001 has now gone above INR 1000 crores (USD 205 million).
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2009-10-30: Emmis Communications has revealed a mix of good and bad news in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that says the NASDAQ has now confirmed that its stock is back in compliance with the US 1 minimum per share requirement but also that it has problems in Hungary where licence awards just made have led to the resignation of the chairman of the Hungarian National Radio and Television Board (the "ORTT") which has awarded to new bidders the national radio licenses currently held by Danubius Radio, originally majority-owned by the UK's GWR group whose interest was bought out by Venture capital group Advent International, and by Emmis's majority-owned (59.5%) subsidiary, Sláger Radio.
Emmis adds of this award that it believes the award violates various rules and laws including the ORTT's own national radio license tender rules and the Hungarian Media Law and European Commission Treaty to which Hungary became a party in 2004.
Emmis adds that it is "vigorously exploring avenues for having the award set aside" but adds that if it should fail the station will have to go off air on November 19.
The filing also includes details of Sláger results that show the station's net annual revenues rising from USD 18.6 million in the year to the end of February 2007 to USD 20.6 million the following year and USD 23.9 million this year with revenues in the six months to the end of August this year of USD 6.39 million.
For the same periods net income to Emmis went from USD 3.63 million to USD 3.34 million and then USD 2.38 million with the figure for the six months to the end of August of this year of USD 397,000.
Sláger it adds had assets of USD 11.5 million at the end of August with liabilities of USD 5 million.
According to the Budapest Business Journal ORTT chairman László Majtényi, has resigned with effect from the end of November over the award of the Danubius and Sláger licences to Advenio and FM1, a consortium led by Est Media Group (EMG): The Journal adds that the decision was unanimous, but the delegate of the liberal opposition Free Democrats did not take part.
Majtényi, who belongs to the ruling Socialist party, said he did not support Advenio and FM1's bids and would have favoured their rejection on formal grounds as well as for what he insisted were weak business and financial plans.
The ORTT announced on Thursday that the Est Media Group-led FM1 consortium had been awarded 94 points in the evaluation while Advenio took 98 points. Sláger Rádió received 69 points and Danubius Rádió 75 points.
The winning bids are from groups close to the two main political parties in Hungary, the Socialists and the conservative and centre-right Fidesz (Magyar Polgári Szövetség).
Advenio, which has been awarded the Danubius frequency and is to broadcast as Klassz Rádió, was founded last month and is two-thirds owned by lawyer Zsolt Nyerges, and one-third by Lánchíd Asset Manager, founded by the right-wing Lánchíd Rádi..
Sláger's frequency goes to the FM1 consortium of the Est Média Group (which operates talk station Est FM) and its subsidiary Rádiocafé 98.6 and will be used to air Neo FM.
Both of the new licensees are offering different formats to the incumbents - Klassz Rádió says it will air music of the 1970s and 1980s - with at least 35% of the content being Hungarian music - plus cultural shows and magazine programmes whilst Neo Rádió will offer high standard cultural programs, also with at least 35% of the music being Hungarian according to Est Média chief executive Tamás Kádár.
Budapest Business Journal report:
2009-10-30: Beasley Broadcast Group has announced third quarter revenues down 20.1% on a year ago at USD 24.4 million with station operating income down 23.3% to USD 6.9 million; operating income down 3.3% to USD 5.8 million and net income down 39.1% to USD 1.4 million( from ten cents to six cents per diluted share).
For the first nine months of the year revenues are down 21.6% at USD 70.6 million; station operating income is down 28.0% to USD 19.0 million; operating income is down 28.1% to USD 12.3 million and net income was down 64.4% to USD 2.1 million (from 25 cents to nine cents per diluted share).
The company noted that on a same station basis - excluding a gain of USD 1.7 million from the sale of KBET-AM and some assets of KCYE-FM and KFRH-FM in Las Vegas (Announced in May - See RNW May 29)- net revenue was down 23.5% at USD 24.3 million.
Commenting on the results Chairman and CEO George G Beasley said, "As anticipated, the radio industry continued to be challenged during the third quarter of 2009 as a result of the economic recession and its ongoing impact on advertising spending. Notwithstanding the current environment, Beasley's revenue comparisons improved in the third quarter relative to the 2009 first and second quarters, partially reflecting progress in key Beasley markets such as Philadelphia and Fort Myers. The Company also continued to drive significant high margin revenue growth from our interactive initiatives with third quarter revenue from these sources rising approximately 12% from 2008 third quarter levels."
On a more positive note he added, While it is difficult to gauge the pace of an economic recovery, we were pleased to see initial improvements in advertiser activity in the third quarter and are confident that Beasley is well positioned to benefit from healthier levels of overall advertiser spending as it occurs as well as political revenue in 2010. Looking forward, with Beasley's streamlined cost and operating structure and slight improvements already visible in certain distressed markets, we firmly believe that even modest increases in radio advertising spending can result in an overall gain in our operating results."
Previous George Beasley:
2009-10-30: New York dance station WNYZ-FM (Pulse-87), which was launched in February last year using the frequency of Long Island Channel 6's low-power TV signal, has now closed down. The signal had to be broadcast as TV under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, which meant some video was aired in additon to which the station carried a slate directing viewers to listen to the audio on 87.7, to which most radio receivers can be tuned.
Operator Mega Media Communications leased the signal from Island Broadcasting under an agreement that ran out today unless Mega paid it some USD 500,000 that was owed.
The station was originally Russian Top 40 outlet Radio Vyso but built a loyal audience - an Arbitron PPM report last month showed it as having 831,000 listeners - in its new incarnation under veteran Joel Salkowitz as its Program Director despite reception problems for its signal: However, as the New York Daily News noted in its report on the closure, its plans were compounded by the US economic downturn and in August Mega Media filed for bankruptcy (See RNW Aug 12). .
An announcement of the impending closure was made by Mega's chief executive Alex Shvarts at 12:15 together with a message thanking listeners and staff.
The News added that listeners and supporters have announced that tomorrow night's regular Pulse party in Brooklyn will now become a "thank-you" night for the station.
The station's web site was still up when we checked but it carried no details of the closure and still listed a link for its audio stream, which is not there.
New York Daily News report:
2009-10-30: The BBC Trust has agreed to proposals from the BBC Executive to cut the amount spent on paying the corporation's senior managers by a quarter over the next three and a half years and also cut their numbers by around 100. It has also endorsed a new pay strategy for them and to freeze the pay of Executive Board directors for a further three years.
The action follows a challenge the Trust set the executive in February to review the review the BBC's approach to remuneration, recognising the wider economic climate, the expectations of licence fee payers, and the BBC's own efficiency targets.
The Executive proposals that resulted include reducing the total number of senior managers by 18% over the same period that it reduces the total spent on them, the additional pay freeze of Executive Directors and members of the BBC Direction Group for a further three years (making four years of freeze in all); To confirm the indefinite suspension of bonuses for all Executive Directors and members of the BBC Direction Group; To suspend bonuses for other directors and senior managers for a further two years and to freeze senior management salaries for a further year beyond the freeze for the current year (i.e. to at least August 2011).
In other BBC Trust actions it has set up a consultation concerning BBC Alpha, the Gaelic language service in Scotland that normally broadcasts between the hours of 17:00 and 23:30 each weekday and after 4pm at the weekend, and proposals that to keep this channel on the Freeview digital TV platform it should cut BBC Radio services from the platform in areas of central and northern Scotland.
The BBC Radio services affected are BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 live, 5 live Sports Extra, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 7, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC World Service. They would continue to be available through a combination of FM/AM/LW, DAB and online platforms.
The consultation will last from October 26 to January 18 next year.
2009-10-29: A Sacramento jury has awarded just under USD 16.6 million in damages to the family of Jennifer Lea Strange, the woman who died following her participation in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" water drinking contest staged by Entercom's KDND-FM in January 2007. Lawyers for the family had been asking for damages in the range of USAD 34 million to USD 44.3 million (See RNW Oct 14).
Early indications of a likely large award had come last week when the jury asked for a ten-digit adding machine after they had been refused access to a computer and spreadsheet: Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd A. Philips had denied that request but allowed them a pad of paper and a calculator following which the jurors asked for the calculating machine, which they were allowed.
The jury concluded that Entercom Sacramento had been negligent through ignoring several warnings that the contest could have fatal results.
The award was only against Entercom Sacramento which in a unanimous vote the jury found negligent: It also unanimously and exonerated parent Entercom Communications Corporation whose guidelines had not been followed. Strange herself was found not to have been negligent by a majority vote.
There was dissent when it came to the amounts awarded: In one 10-2 vote the jury awarded USD 1,477,118 in economic damages to Strange's husband Billy Strange as an individual and guardian for the couple's children Ryland (6), and Jorie (3) and to Ronald Sims, father and guardian of Jennifer Strange's other son, 's 13-year-old son, Keegan.
In another 9-3 vote it awarded USD 15.1 million for the loss of Jennifer Strange's love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, training and guidance.
The Sacramento Bee quoted juror La Teshia Paggett - one of five women on the jury- as saying, "I think the message of the verdict is these stations need to be more cognizant of what they're doing and they need to take the time to do the research to make sure no one's harmed." and
Aanother juror Tammy Elliott noted that Entercom Sacramento did not follow parent Entercom Communications Corporation guidelines and added, " if it had been done, I don't think this contest would have gone on, or if it did, it would have went on with medical personnel and it would have been put on in a safe way."
She added that some of the jurors wanted a finding that Jennifer Strange "as a human person had personal responsibility for things that you do " But the majority held firm that Strange was not negligent and that "there was nothing she needed to research" to ensure her safety.
Regarding the economic damages award, she said discussions became very heated and added, "We were all over the board on the numbers. We had to come to the fact that we had to take an average. That way, every juror's number, or their opinion, was weighted evenly and equally."
Billy Strange commented that he was "very thankful and appreciative that the jurors took their time and that they held the appropriate people accountable."
Lawyer Roger A. Dreyer, who represented the Stranges commented of the verdict that it had all been about accountability and added that they "never thought Jennifer did anything that would legally rise to a level of responsibility " and added, "This is a very powerful verdict that's going to resonate across the country to the media. Every single radio station is going to understand what happened today."
He said he did not expect Entercom, which in a statement termed the death a "tragedy", would appeal.
RNW note: Following the report in the Sacramento Bee (See link below) which has been covering the case comprehensively, are nearly 140 comments (when we last checked), many of which are critical of the award on the basis that Strange should bear responsibility for her actions- one bluntly commented that the nub of the case was that "a person drank themselves to death with water - an act of extreme stupidity - and her family was given an obscene amount of money to make them feel better."
Another comment regarding the award said it is usual in the US for insurance policies to exclude punitive damages, this meaning that Entercom Sacramento will be responsible for most of the award, suggesting some USD 14 million of the USD 15.1 million was punitive. It will be interesting to see if any Entercom results figures or SEC filings show up provisions in relation to this.
Sacramento Bee report:
2009-10-29: Norman Painting, who has played Philip Archer in the BBC Radio 4 programme, "The Archers", since it began in 1950 has died aged 85. The programme is the world's longest-running radio "soap" and is approaching 16,000 episodes. It is also the most listened to Radio 4 non-news programme and is also the BBC radio programme most listened to on the internet on which it has more than one million listeners. Painting had recorded his last episode of the programme earlier this week and it is scheduled for broadcast on Sunday, November 22.
Painting, who was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in 1924, was also a script-writer on the programme from 1966 to 1982. He joined it after graduating from Birmingham University with -class honours in English and then a spell at Christ Church, Oxford, where he researched and taught.
As well as his work on the Archers painting according to the programme's web site Painting was co-founder of Opera da Camera, has directed full-length opera for the Arts Council, written and adapted many non-Archers drama and documentary scripts for radio, presented TV programmes, and appeared in many stage productions. In 1975 he published his own account of the history of The Archers, "Forever Ambridge", which became an instant best-seller: It was updated in 1980 to mark 30 years of the programme. His autobiography "Reluctant Archer" was published in 1982.
Paying tribute to Painting, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said, "I am deeply saddened to hear of Norman's death. Norman chose to leave behind a promising career in academia at Oxford to devote 60 years in the service of BBC audiences. He rightly became renowned for his portrayal of Phil Archer, a role he created in the pilot episode in 1950, but he was also a gifted writer and talented versatile broadcaster.
"He was a pillar of The Archers family, but to millions of listeners he became a friend and latterly a wonderful father figure. His death leaves us with a great sense of loss but an even deeper feeling of gratitude for such a huge contribution to the BBC and its audiences over six decades."
Archers' editor Vanessa Whitburn added, "Norman was simply the consummate professional. He has played Phil since The Archers trial run at Whitsun in 1950."
She noted that since he began the role had had "seamlessly from young romantic hero, to serious farmer and father" and then become "delighted grandfather; enjoying astronomy with Daniel, music with Pip, and finally always there when needed, to give advice about farming methods of the past to son David."
"Norman always wanted to remain working on The Archers until he died - and I am delighted and proud of him that he achieved his wish," she concluded.
Norman Painting page on Archers' web site:
2009-10-29: Radio One Inc. has reported third quarter revenues down 12% on a year ago at USD 75.5 million with station operating income down 6% to USD 32.7 million and net income of USDD 14.2 million (25 cents per diluted share) compared to a loss of USD 266.1 million (USD 2.81 per share) in the third quarter of last year when the figures were hit by impairment charged of USD 337.9 million.
For the first nine months of the year, revenues were down 14.8% at USD 206.3 million with an operating loss of USD 2.47 million compared to a 2008 operating loss for the period of USD 285.3 million and net loss of USD 34.3 million compared to a 2008 loss for the period of USD 287.9 million. Net income attributable to common shareholders went from a loss of USD 296.6 million to a net loss of USD 38.0 million (from a loss of USD 3.05 to a loss of 61 cents per diluted share).
Commenting on the figures, CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III, said, "Our third quarter results contain mixed signals. The sequential improvement in radio revenue that we have been seeing since Q1 continued, but not as strongly as I would have liked. While certain of our larger categories are showing signs of recovery (food and beverage -1.6% year-to-year, retail -2.5%, healthcare -4.4%, government/public was flat), others continue to display significant weakness (automotive -37.6% year-to-year, financial -22.9%, telecoms -10.2%, entertainment -10.0%)."
"The efforts we have made to cut costs and streamline the business," he added, "have positively impacted the income statement, and I believe position us well for the future. I was pleased that our radio division outperformed their markets once again, this time by 390 basis points."
Previous Radio One Inc:
2009-10-29: Latest UK radio ratings just released show listening remaining high, albeit down 600,000 from the record 46.3 million adults a week of the previous ratings to 45.7 million and up by the same number on the 45.1 million in the third quarter 2008 ratings.
Listening via digital platforms was up significantly -14% year-on-year (to just above a fifth of listening) as is ownership of digital radio receivers. Listening via mobile phones also increased - up 8% year on year.
Within the listening the BBC share rose from 54.6% in the second quarter to 55% - it was 54.9% a year ago whilst that of commercial radio fell from 42.7% to 42.4% - it was 43.1% a year ago. The BBC increase came from network radio - share up from 45.9% to 46.8% quarter-on-quarter whilst local and regional BBC share was down from 8.7% to 8.2% whilst for commercial radio national commercial radio took its share up from 10.8% to 10.9% but that for local commercial radio was down from 31.9% to 31.6%.
In terms of reach the BBC overall took its audience up from 34.098 million in the second quarter to 33.577 million (32.981 million a year ago) whilst commercial radio's audience was down from 31.968 million to 31.225 million (31.180 million a year ago).
In terms of platform the BBC share of analogue listening was down from 67.0% to 66.5% (68.8% a year ago) whilst commercial radio took its share up from 65.8% to 66.3% (68.4% a year ago) whilst for digital the BBC share was up from 20.8% to 21.6% (18.3% a year ago) and commercial radio's share was down from 21.1% to 20.2% (18.9% a year ago).
In terms of reach in the London commercial battle Bauer's Magic held on to top place with an audience of 2.009 million - slightly down from its 2.054 million listeners a week in the previous ratings ahead of Global's Heart, which moved up a rank as its audience increased from 1.897 million to 1.893 million and pushed Global Radio flagship Capital FM into third place with 1.818 million, down from 1.952 million. Overall BBC Radio held the top two ranks in London as Radio 4 retained the lead in London with 2.770 million listeners a week, up from 2.543 million followed by BBC Radio 2 with 2.398 million, up from 2.061 million.
As regards share, however, Capital fared better despite losing share - it was in top commercial rank with 5.6%, down from 6.2% and had overtaken Magic which was second with 5.5, having topped the ranking in the previous quarter with 6.5%: Here again the BBC held on to the top two slots as Radio 4 increased its leading share from 14.2% to 16.2% and BBC Radio 2 took its share up from 10.4 to 11.7%
In the breakfast slot nationally Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 increased his lead over BBC Radio One rival Chris Moyles despite losing 174,000 listeners compared to the second quarter. Wogan had 7.75 million listeners a week whilst Moyles lost 679,000 listeners to end up with 7.04 million.
In the London commercial breakfast honours Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon at Capital held on to their lead but their audience was down from 1.155 million to 1.033 million whilst at Heart Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott fell only slightly - from 818,000 to 816,000, taking them ahead of Magic's Neil Fox whose audience was down from 858,00 to 780,000, putting him into third place.
Of the main BBC stations, Radios 3 and 4 fared best with Radio 3 takings its weekly audience up 8.5% on the previous quarter from 2.021 million to 2.192 million and Radio4 up 2.2% from 9.999 million to 10.218 million, its highest figures since 1999 in this slot.
In its comments on the results the BBC singled out the Radio 4 performance, noting that the station has added more than 750,000 listeners to achieve its biggest audience under current methodology and specifically noted that its breakfast "Today Show" has 6.60 million listeners - up nearly half a million on a year ago when it had 6.11 million and up 90,000 on the second quarter.
Tim Davie, Director, BBC Audio & Music, commented, "BBC Radio remains at the heart of millions of people's lives, with two-thirds of the UK population listening to our networks every week" and added, "Radio 4 goes from strength to strength. In offering radio of the highest quality, it is both delighting loyal listeners and attracting inquisitive new audiences."
For the commercial industry RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison commented that the results showed "commercial radio continues to play a role in the busy lives of consumers with over 31 million listeners tuning into a commercial service each week."
He added, "It is encouraging for radio's future to see DAB set ownership now in one third of all homes and listening via mobile phone also remains strong. As radio prepares to play a full role in consumers lives in a Digital Britain, our presence in these devices is great news.
Within the figures compared to the second quarter and a year ago:
*BBC Radio 1 lost 230,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 11.112 million with listening share down from 10.3% to 9.9% (9.8% a year ago when it had 10.871 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 gained 198,000 listeners and had a weekly audience of 13.622 million and listening share was up from 15.5% to 15.9% (16.0% a year ago, when it had 13.061 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 gained 171,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 2.192 million and listening share was up from 1.2% to 1.4% (1.2% a year ago, when it had 1.947 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 gained 219,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.218 million and listening share was up from 12.10% to 12.4% (11.5% a year ago when it had 9.448 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, lost 25,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6.390 million, but listening share was up from 4.5% to 4.9% (4.6% a year ago when it had 5.830 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it gained 202,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.535 million and a listening share up from 4.7% to 5.3% (4.8% a year ago when it had 5.939 million listeners).
*BBC World Service lost 181,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.257 million and listening share down from 0.7% to 0.6% (0.7% a year ago when it had 1.362 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network lost 64,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 357,000 and an unchanged listening share of 0.2% (0.3% a year ago when it had 419,000 listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd's (Times of India parent) Absolute Radio - the former Virgin Radio - (total including all AM and FM) - lost 104,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.587 million and listening share unchanged at 1.1% (1.5% a year ago when it had an audience of 2.348 million listeners as Virgin).
(RNW Note: SMG in 2008 sold Virgin to Times of India subsidiary TIML Golden Square Ltd and the stations were re-branded, losing the Virgin name.)
*Global Radio's Classic FM lost 272,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.445 million and listening share down from 3.9% to 3.7% (3.8% a year ago when it had 5.542 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 69,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.474 million and listening share up from 1.8% to 1.9% (1.9% a year ago when it had 2.313 million listeners.).
Among digital stations - excluding Bauer's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and a total weekly reach of 1.277 million including its analogue stations (down from 1.316 million quarter on quarter and down from 1.398 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 (Bauer) -1.151 million (up from 1.243 million but down from 1.5977 million a year ago).
2 Smash Hits Radio (Bauer) - 961,000 (down from 1.155 million and from 1.003 million a year ago).
3 BBC Five Live Sports Extra - 963,000 (up from 676,000 and from 776,000 a year ago). Up from fifth.
4 BBC 7 - 884,000(Up from 834,000 but down from 887,000 a year ago). Down from third
5 Planet Rock (Now independent, having been sold by GCap) - 708,000 (down from 709,000 but up from 633,000 a year ago). Down from fourth.
6. BBC 6 Music -624,000 (Up from 595,000 and up from 552,000 a year ago.). Up from seventh.
7 Heat (Bauer) -623,000 (Up from 572,000 and 458,000 a year ago). Up from eighth.
8. BBC 1Xtra -547,000 (down from 634,000 and from 600,000 a year ago). Down from sixth.
9 BBC Asian Network -357,000 (down from 421,000 but down from 419,000 a year ago).
10 NME Radio up from 215,000 to 218,000
Previous RAJAR (Q2 ratings):
2009-10-28: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the appointment of Internet entrepreneur and journalist Steven Waldman "to lead an agency-wide initiative to assess the state of media in these challenging economic times and make recommendations designed to ensure a vibrant media landscape."
In announcing the appointment Genachowski noted that earlier this month, the bipartisan Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy called for "new thinking" to "ensure the information opportunities of America's people and the information vitality of our democracy" and proposed FCC action. H also noted the problems facing media as highlighted by studies from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Waldman is the Co-Founder, President, and Editor-in-Chief of Beliefnet.com, the largest multi-faith Web site for religion and inspiration, and served as its CEO from 2002 until 2007, when it was acquired by News Corporation.
He will join the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and serve as Senior Advisor to Chairman Genachowski who commented in a news release, "Steve Waldman is uniquely qualified to look at this shifting terrain and make sure we meet this moment wisely. He was an award-winning journalist in traditional media and then became an Internet pioneer -- launching, running, and bringing to profitability one of the great content success stories. He's also known for his even-handedness and has garnered respect from people of widely different ideologies and approaches."
Waldman commented, "I'm excited by many of the new media's innovations and, at the same time, concerned about the challenges facing American journalism, which potentially harm citizens' ability to get information they need and hold leaders accountable."
"Most solutions," he added "will come from the private and non-profit sectors. But government rules already affect the media landscape in profound ways so it's imperative that we both vigorously protect the First Amendment and determine which media policies make sense, which don't. Unwise government policies can undermine business models and hinder innovation. Smart policy can help businesses, facilitate innovation, and ensure that a thriving media marketplace."
2009-10-28: Alpha Broadcasting's KUFO-FM, Portland, Oregon, which dumped its regular shows and went to stunting on Friday has now unveiled its new line-up with Kidd Chris (Chris Foley) taking over the morning slot previously occupied by Rick Emerson.
Others in the line-up include Ditch from 10:00 to 15:00; Ricker from 15:00 to 19:00 followed by Marconi then Art Webb takes over at midnight for the overnights.
Foley, a regular contributor to the Howard Stern Show, was most recently on air in Philadelphia where CBS Radio fired him from WYSP in May last year following the airing of a racist song "Schwoogies" that was sung by a studio guest to the tune of Blondie's "Call Me,": It included such gems as "Coloreds steal your wallets and coloreds have pink feet. Coloreds are loud and obnoxious, when they watch movies. Sticky fingers, what they are, Always try to jack my car (See RNW May 17, 2008). He subsequently produced an online show from May this year at Kiddshow.com but pulled out of this venture earlier this month although the site is still up.
Ditch, who had been afternoon host at KGB-FM, was amongst the victims of Clear Channel cuts at its San Diego cluster at the end of January this year: As well as hosting mid-days he is PD at KUFO.
Ricker was formerly in Seattle where he was midday host at Entercom's KISW-FM until earlier this month whilst Marconi was in drive at KUFO until December last year when the slot was taken over by Cort and Fatboy, who were amongst thos dropped last Friday..
Commenting on the new line-up Alpha Broadcasting's Director of Music Programming, Scott Mahalick said in a station news release, "This incredible roster of on air talent for KUFO marks the beginning of a new era for the station. We've decidedly raised the bar very high and think that each of these shows will infuse KUFO with a distinct flavour and energy unmatched anywhere on the radio dial in Portland."
RNW Note: Oregon Media Central has as good a report on the new line-up as any we have seen including lyrics not only from the song that got Foley fired by CBS but also of another fairly crude one he san on Stern's show in July this year. It also links to various You Tube crudities from Foley.
2009-10-28: Clear Channel President and CFO Randall Mays is to step down from the post but will retain a seat on the company's board and become vice-chairman when a successor is found according to a memo from the company's CEO Mark Mays, who will resume the role of President. His contract term, which runs to 2013, is unchanged.
In his memo, Mark Mays says, "During Randall's tenure, he has been widely recognized as one of the nation's top CFOs. While he will be a tough act to follow, we have an active search for a new CFO underway, and we have been impressed with the calibre and number of candidates that have been identified."
He adds that his brother has "decided to scale back his time commitment to Clear Channel" and adds that he will "continue to be invaluable in helping us steer the strategic direction."
The New York Times reporting on the decision notes that the move is the latest change at Clear Channel since it was taken over by private equity groups led by Bain Capital and THL Partners and comments, that upon acquiring a company, private equity firms often take a more direct role in managing the company, especially in the company's finances and operations.
It does not go so far as to say Randall Mays has been eased out of his post and says a Clear Channel spokeswoman declined comment.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Randall Mays:
New York Times report:
2009-10-28: Montréal-headquartered Astral Media has followed Corus Entertainment (See RNW Oct 22) in reporting a loss because of impairment charges on its radio licences despite increasing revenues but unlike Corus its radio revenues rose for the full year although like those of Corus they were down in the final quarter: Astral put part of the increase for the year down to an additional two-month contribution in Fiscal 2009 of the assets acquired from Standard Radio.
For the final quarter Astral reported consolidated revenues down 5% to CAD 219.4 million (USD 206 million) within which radio was down 14.1% to CAD 76.2 million (USD 71.6 million); TV was up 4.3% to CAD 124.9 million (USD 117.3 million) and Outdoor was down 14.1% to CAD 18.4 million (USD 17.3 million).
EBITDA for the quarter fell 5% to CAD 76.7 million (USD 72.0 million) within which TV was up 2.3% to CAD 42.8 million (USD 40.2 million); radio was down 30% to CAD 28.6 million (USD26.9 million; and Outdoor was up 22.6% % to CAD 10.3 million (USD 9.7 million). Impairment charges of CAD 399.5 million (USD 375.2 million - CAD 317.5 million - USD 298.2 million net of future income tax recovery of CAD 82.0 million - USD 77 million) took Astral from net income of CAD 40.8 million (USD 38.3 million) in the final quarter of 2008 to a net loss in 2009 of CAD 273.6 million (USD 256.9 million - from net income of CAD 0.72 per share to a loss of CAD 4.87 per share: Without the impairment charge earnings were up 6% to CAD 159.5 million (USD 149.8 million and up from CAD 0.72 to CAD 0.78 per share).
For the full year Astral reported consolidated revenues up 5% to CAD 905.7 million (USD 850.6 million) within which TV was up 3% to CAD 513.3 million (USD 482.1 million - specialty TV was up 7% and Pay TV was up 6% but TV advertising revenue was down 4% explained in part by one less week in Fiscal 2009 compared to the Fiscal 2008 broadcasting calendar ); radio was up 9% to CAD 323.0 million (USD 303.3 million ), partly because of contributions from assets acquired from Standard Radio ; and Outdoor was down 4% to CAD 69.5 million (USD 65.3 million - again explained in part by one less week in Fiscal 2009 compared to the Fiscal 2008 broadcasting calendar).
EBITDA For the full year rose 4% to CAD 300.4 million (USD 282.1 million) within which TV was up 5% to CAD 188.5 million (USD 177 million); radio was up a 0.7% to CAD 110.4 million (USD 103.7 million) and Outdoor rose 10.7% to CAD 26.2 million (USD 24.6 million). Impairment charges recorded in the final quarter took Astral from net income in 2008 of CAD 178.7 million (USD 167.8 million - CAD 3.18 per share) to a net loss of CAD 158.0 million (USD 148.4 million - a loss of CAD 2.82 per share).
Commenting on the performance President and CEO Ian Greenberg said in a release, "I am delighted by Astral's effective response to the effects of the current economic downturn which has adversely affected advertising markets across the country. I am particularly pleased with the performance and continued contribution of each of our business units, that enabled Astral to grow despite these challenging times, and to reach new milestones with record revenues, EBITDA, and cash flows in Fiscal 2009.''
He added, "Our operational discipline during this downturn allowed us to gain efficiencies and to further deleverage our balance sheet by reducing debt by CAD 120 million (USD ) . We also continued to invest strategically in new programming and branding initiatives such as the launches of HBO Canada, Virgin Radio and NRJ, as well as the deployment of our national Digital outdoor advertising network in Canada's top three advertising markets of Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. Our continued focus on product development combined with our visual rigor are key factors which position us to fully benefit from an economic recovery.''
2009-10-27: Around 30 commercial radio stations in the Australian state of Victoria, whose bushfire season officially starts tomorrow, have joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Sky Television as official broadcasters for emergency warnings, including those of bushfires, in the state.
The stations through industry body Commercial Radio Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) townships on the fringes of the densely-forested Otways with the state government and Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner commented that the memorandum "represents a useful complement to the Commercial Radio Code of Practice 8 which contains commercial broadcasters' obligations in relation to the broadcasting of emergency services information."
The agreement covers stations in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria including Albury/Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Colac, Geelong, Hamilton, Horsham, Mildura,Sale, Swan Hill, WangarattaWarragul, and Warrnambool . Its signing follows recommendations made in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission interim report and will include procedures for stations to interrupt programming with warnings and go to continuous coverage if thought necessary.
"The commercial radio industry," said Warner "welcomes the MoU with the Victorian Government which now means commercial radio stations will act as official emergency broadcasters in times of emergency and crisis and will also now have direct access to vital information from emergency services agencies. This is a sensible decision given commercial radio reaches around 80 per cent of Australians and plays a crucial role in helping disseminate information to local communities in times of emergency."
The commercial industry, which is already bound by it s code of practice to broadcast emergency information, has argued for inclusion in the emergency warnings system and the memorandum sets out procedures to be followed by both emergency services agencies and broadcasters to ensure that warnings reach as many people as possible.
Australia has suffered severely from bushfires in the past year and a "catastrophic" warning has been added to a new six-stage national fire code to be used Australia-wide: It starts with a low to moderate warning stage and then goes up to "Extreme" and finally "catastrophic."
Amongst the areas considered most at risk are townships near the densely-forested Otways which on Ash Wednesday in February 1963 were hit by fires that killed a total of 75 people in the region and neighbouring South Australia.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2009-10-27: Mexican Radio company Grupo Radio Centro has reported third quarter revenues to the end of September down 5.3% on a year earlier to MXN 191 million ( USD 14.45 million) , a fall it put down mainly to reduced advertising in Mexico as the economy weakened. This fall was partly offset by revenues from KXOS-FM, Los Angeles, which it has been operating under a local marketing agreement with Emmis (See RNW Apr 3).
Broadcasting expenses were up 55.5% to MXN 178 million ( USD 13.47 million), primarily to expenses incurred in relation to KXOS and also the re-classification as broadcasting expenses of sums put down as other expenses in its second quarter report.
As a result of the combination broadcasting income was 85.4% down on a year ago at MXN 12.9 million ( USD 978,000) and operating income was down 95.1% at MXN 3.7 million ( USD 282,000) with an overall net loss of MXN 7.2 million ( USD 546,000) compared to net income of MXN 42.8 million (currently USD 3.24 million) a year earlier.
For the first nine months of the year revenues are up 4.2% at MXN 525 million (USD 39.7 million) with broadcasting expenses up 28.9% to MXN 422 million ( USD 31.9 million); broadcasting income down 41.6% at MXN 103 million ( USD 7.8 million); operating income down 48.8% at MXN 72.9 million (USD 5.5 million).
Overall net income a year earlier of MXN 69 million (currently USD 5.2 million) has become a net loss for the first nine months of this year of MXN 20.8 million (USD 1.6 million);
Previous Grupo Radio Centro:
2009-10-27: UK Media regulator Ofcom has upheld just one Standards complaint and one Fairness and Privacy complaint against radio in its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it also upheld standards complaints against six TV broadcasters and gave details of a TV fairness and privacy complaint not upheld.
The radio standards complaint upheld was against Radio Hampshire Limited, which held licences for the Southampton and Winchester areas but went into administration and then off the air at the end of May this year (See RNW May 28).
Ofcom contacted the company after the stations ceased broadcasting and it confirmed that they had gone off air, thus failing to deliver the service listed in their formats: The administrators told Ofcom that Play Radio Ltd had subsequently purchased the stations but Ofcom noted that it could not approve the licence transfer to allow the stations to be re-launched as no licensed service was being provided and thus were they transferred Play Radio would immediately be in breach of licence conditions.
The regulator accordingly told Play Radio that it would have to provide a specific date by which both stations would return to the air and compliance with their formats together with additional information, such as ability to maintain the service, that it required to be able to grant the transfer: Subsequently it agreed to approve the transfer with effect from July 4 on the basis that the stations re-launched at 10:00 on that day "with full adherence to the terms of the licences".
It subsequently requested recording of the stations' output or the period from July 24 through 27 and found the stations to be in compliance with licence requirements.
Ofcom has therefore recorded breach of licence conditions by Radio Hampshire because it had ceased to broadcast but is to take no further action. It also noted that Play Radio is complying with its licence conditions and is not liable for its predecessor's breaches.
The radio fairness and privacy complaint upheld involved community station Vibe FM, which broadcasts to the Enniskillen and Fermanagh areas of Northern Ireland, and dedications by presenter Michael Byrne of two songs broadcast on its Breakfast Show on June 15 last year and Lights Out Show two days later.
In each broadcast Byrne, who was a volunteer presenter and producer for the station at the time, gave the initials of the first and last name of the person to whom he was making the dedications and also referred to the first name with the songs involved being "'I Don't Care Any More" and "Death On Two Legs".
In the first broadcast he added " get a life" to the dedication and in the second one said the "words are so, so...apt let's say" and after the title added, "and well, the words say it all. [Initials of first and last names], you know who you are."
The woman involved, termeds Ms K by Ofcom, complained that her privacy had been "unwarrantably infringed" and that she had been recognised in her community as a result of the remarks.
Ofcom found that the inclusion of the comments was "not warranted by the context and content of the programmes"; did not involve any "issue of public interest" and that "there was no justification to warrant the inclusion of the presenter's remarks about Ms K in the programmes.
Vibe FM had responded to a complaint by Ms K's legal representatives by suspending Byrne, whom it said was an ex-partner of Ms K, adding that bad feelings existed between them. It said he had held a senior role at the station and had an exemplary record and that following the investigation he received full training on Ofcom's rules and procedures but had then decided to resign as a volunteer.
Vibe said it felt that the details broadcast did not identify the complainant and added that it had taken all appropriate action in regard to the complaint and had tried to defuse the situation and that Byrne had sacrificed his position with the station (in which he was held in the highest regard) in an effort to end the matter.
Ofcom in making its ruling said it was satisfied that some listeners were likely to have understood that the references referred to Ms K and it upheld the complaint.
In addition to the above, Ofcom also listed without details 78 TV complaints against 40 items and five radio complaints against five items that it did not uphold: This compared to 174 TV complaints against 120 items and 17 radio complaints against 15 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2009-10-27: US public broadcasters National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Boston-based broadcaster and production company WGBH have named Stephen Moss, former Vice President of Business Development at web technology company, Evri, and Vice President of Sales for Microsoft, Inc., as President and Chief Executive Officer of National Public Media (NPM), the national corporate sponsorship firm for public radio and public television.
He has already taken up the post in which he succeeds Robert Williams, who founded NPM's predecessor company National Public Broadcasting, and then served as NPM's CEO from 2007.
NPM is a subsidiary of NPR, which owns it in partnership with PBS and WGBH and it represents NPR and PBS to corporate sponsors.
Commenting on the appointment in a news release, NPR President and CEO and NPM Board Chair Vivian Schiller said, "Steve's broad experience and strong understanding of sales and advertising across multiple platforms will be hugely beneficial both to our sponsors who underwrite public media and the pubic broadcasting stations across the country that are expanding their services to meet the information needs of their communities. Steve is a collaborative and proven leader with superb talents in a highly desired space -- at the intersection of media and technology -- a critical ingredient to our long-term success. We're thrilled to have him on board."
2009-10-26: In what the St Louis Business Journal says is a move aimed at both saving money and boosting ratings, Emmis has dropped three of long-time personalities at its St Louis classic rock K-HITS including morning talk show host J.C. Corcoran, whose The Showgram has been cancelled although the host remains under contract until December next year. Out are Katy Kruze and Carl "the Intern" Middleman, who have been axed.
The Showgram will be replaced by an all-music format co-hosted by St. Louis radio veteran Rick Sanborn together with personalities John Ulett and Laurie Mac
The Journal quotes John Beck, general manager and Emmis senior vice president as saying that the changes were a response to ratings and noted that Corcoran has not fared as well in Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings as he did under the diary system - the move to the PPM pushed long-time market leader news radio KMOX 1120 AM out from the top spot in the market and gave top rank to adult hits station WARH-FM.
Commenting on the effect of introduction of the PPM, Beck told the Journal, "J.C. has worked very hard to make this work. Unfortunately, ours is a business driven by ratings, and those ratings indicate that we need to change in order to compete successfully in this environment. Playing more music in the morning than any other station in the market is one way we feel we can differentiate ourselves and attract even more listeners."
St Louis Business Journal report:
2009-10-26: Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks has announced that it is to replace its Gem networks by what it terms newly created alignments of Clear Channel owned and operated stations providing material that is says will be "day-part specific, demographically targeted and reconfigured to reflect product usage and socio-economic trends matched to the lifestyle profiles of specific audio listeners."
The changes will come into effect with the RADAR 104 survey in March next year and Premiere's EVP of Sales, Carol Terakawa commented, "As a leader in the network audio business, it's important to continuously re-evaluate and develop the way we serve our national advertisers. This reconfiguration and alignment of our RADAR networks is based on feedback we've received from clients, and will provide more highly-targeted and effective profiles that are in line with the current marketplace."
The company also says that each network will include 28 30-second commercials a week and
four of five the new networks - the exception is Prime Time (see below) will have a companion network 21 15-second units per week.
In all Premiere will offer nine Clear Channel station-based networks and nine other networks including little-changed Evening Adult, Evening Youth, Female Focus, Fox News, Modern Women, Today's Men and Urban although Premiere adds that these networks' affiliates have undergone new qualitative diagnostics to ensure that they remain as targeted and demographically appropriate as before. Premiere will also offer Informed, a News/Talk-based network, and Everyday Women, formerly Mediabase Female, targeting "the active female listener" on music formats.
The new Clear Channel networks are:
Money & Smarts- offering a variety of formats that are "predominant with listeners of higher education, upper income and social prominence"
Prime Time - which focuses on heavy primetime TV viewers
Super Moms - which targets women who have children and careers
Top Market- concentrating on listeners to highly rated stations in top 10 and top 25 markets
Young Influencers - which targets "today's dynamic youth; the tech-savvy social networker and frequent moviegoer"
RNW comment: Can anyone out there let us know if Clear Channel has outsourced the writing of their comments to some kind of automaton or the cheapest semi-literate writers they can find or is this announcement yet another example of jargon meant to demonstrate familiarity with slogans whilst almost completely disguising any meaning or specifics.
Either way, we can only hope that if the company does go bankrupt it will be split up and taken over by some organization with a little respect for language or should that be "hope that it goes bankrupt and is taken over by "
As for attracting "listeners of higher education, upper income and social prominence" either the US is really dumbed-down or this is more suited to the rear end of a bull.
Previous Clear Channel:
2009-10-26: Portland, Oregon, KUFO-FM - bought by Alpha Broadcasting from CBS Radio in August and which last Friday cancelled shows including its morning (Rick Emerson Show), afternoon (Cort and Fatboy - Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts), and the Crystal Kash's midnight - 5am overnight shows, is currently stunting with no word as to what is planned for the station, although there are rumours of .
The only comment we have seen so far was from KUFO's Director of Marketing & Promotion Susan Reynolds who was quoted on Williamette Week Online as saying, "What I can tell you is that the station is a rock station and will continue to be a rock station. Anytime there is a change in management you can expect this kind of thing-almost always. The real unfortunate part is that the station has suffered in the ratings. At some point [Alpha Broadcasting] has to take a look at everything as say 'how are we gonna turn this around.' They paid a bundle of money for these radio stations and they have to do what they think is right."
Williamette Weekly also noted, "Cort & Fatboy went down laughing kind of. The pair posted a five minute podcast around 3:15 pm today that they taped earlier in the afternoon explaining that they were heading to a meeting where they guessed they were about to be fired" and then adds that KUFO took down the audio around 16:40 on Friday.
Emerson on his web site said after confirming the death of the show, "There will be lots to say and much to address in the coming days. For now, we will simply note that it has been, as always, our pleasure to serve and entertain you."
The station web site has a looped a video of various ground scenes including a hospital plus the "Radio 101FM mothership" above the city together with rock audio and comments that run:
Announcer: It's going to be quick. It's going to be clean. Most of all, it's going to be loud.
Computer: It is not our intention to harm you. We come in peace.
Announcer: Everyone must prepare for it.
Reporter: The world as we know it is about to change.
Announcer: You are the only ones who can help us.
Computer: Hello, people of Portland. This is the mothership. It is not our intention to harm you. We come in peace.
Announcer: The mothership must refuel.
Computer: Adjust your frequency to 101 for refuelling updates.
Announcer: Deployment is mandatory.
Computer: Hello, people of Portland. This is the mothership. The beast must be fed.
The video does not use the KUFO call sign but does have a countdown that ends on Wednesday at 07:00.
Rick Emerson Web site:
KUFO web site:
Williamette Week Online report:
2009-10-25: Last week was very quiet for the regulators as regards radio with no radio announcements made in Ireland and the UK and only indirect mention in Australia where the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) published its annual report whilst in Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted to radio decisions although it did release its Radio Market Analysis Financial Summaries covering the years 2004 to 2008.
RNW note: We regret we have not completed going through the ACMA report (a total of ten PDFs totalling 26.2 MB) but hope to post brief summary on Monday.
The CRTC figures are broken down into sections for major, large, medium and small markets but not aggregated. In all they have figures for three major markets - Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver; six large markets (with a population of more than 500,000) - Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa-Gatineau, Québec City (FM), and Winnipeg; Five Medium markets (population 250,000 to 500,000) in detail - Halifax, Kitchener/Waterloo, London, Ste Catherines/Niagara, and Victoria plus aggregate figures for other medium markets; and 29 files on small markets.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) focussed its main attention on broadband and the Internet and had a fairly quiet week as regards radio.
In other actions it again extended the deadline for 4% of the audio channels on Sirius and XM satellites to be made available to qualified entities (See RNW Oct 22) and gave details of the first three of its planned Media Ownership Workshops to be held in connection with its 2010 Media Ownership Quadrennial Review (See RNW Oct 21): It was also involved in a number of enforcement actions including issuing a USD 10,000 penalty for operation of a pirate FM in Brooklyn (See RNW Oct 21).
In contested licensing decisions it rescinded its tentative selection of South Central Oklahoma Christian Broadcasting, Inc. ("SCOCBI") for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) - FM - in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
The selection was opposed by Norman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship which in a petition challenged the selection of SCOCBI on the basis that that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference, saying that SCOCBI's analysis on which the decision was made failed to analyze the overlapping contour of KFXU-FM, an unbuilt NCE.
The FCC said its engineering staff analysis supported this objection and meant that the new station would provide a second service to only 55 people (0.3% of the population within the station's 60 dBu service contour) rather than the 2,000 people or 10% required for a fair distribution preference.
The matter is now to be referred to the full Commission for a point determination of preference in the group of mutually exclusive applications involved.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
ACMA web site - Annual report page - links to PDFs:
CRTC web site:
CRTC web site - Financial summaries page - links to all files:
FCC web site:
2009-10-25: BBC Radio 4 today airs the second of two "Open Book" programmes in which ten authors nominate "forgotten treasures of the literary world - books that have been overlooked or become inexplicably out of vogue" that they feel are most worthy of being re-read and re-instated on bookshelves.
The "Neglected Classics" put forward by the authors are on the programme's web site and following today's programme listeners will be asked to vote for the title that most appeals with the winning title to be dramatised on the station next year.
The books on the lists are five discussed on last Sunday's first programme, which is on the web site (as a stream and also until this afternoon's broadcast as a podcast/MP3):
The Polyglots by William Gerhardie - nominated by William Boyd;
The Rector's Daughter by F M Mayor - nominated by Susan Hill;
A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov - nominated by Hari Kunzru;
Many Dimensions by Charles Williams - nominated by Ruth Rendell;
Esther Waters by George Moore - nominated by Colm Toibin;
To be discussed today are:
The Quest for Corvo by A J A Symons - nominated by Beryl Bainbridge;
Rasselas by Samuel Johnson - nominated by Howard Jacobson;
Carol by Patricia Highsmith - nominated by Val McDermid;
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico - nominated by Michael Morpurgo;
And Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope - nominated by Joanna Trollope;
The list has attracted reports from a number of UK newspapers, with some questioning how neglected some of the titles chosen really area and with readers being invited to make their own suggestions in their comments.
RNW comment: Dipping our own feet into this particular water, we rather regret that the suggestions include no out-of-print books although maybe this is a positive sign of the health of publishing when it comes to the availability of classics. Our suggestion would have been Melincourt by Thomas Love Peacock - a new paperback of which came out in February this year and which is also available online from Google books, albeit in a hard-to-read scanned form.
Open Book neglected classics web site:
2009-10-24: The UK Independent has today posted a radio drama on its web site in what it says is the first collaboration of its kind between a British national newspaper and an independent production company.
The 31-minute drama, "Turing's Test", was produced by production company Made in Manchester and dramatizes the thoughts of Alan Turing, the computer science pioneer, and breaker of Nazi Germany's Enigma code during the Second World War, before he died in 1954 after what was considered by many to be suicide from cyanide poisoning although others including his mother contended that the death was accidental.
Turing, who was named by Time Magazine in 1999 as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century for his role in the creation of the modern computer was prosecuted for being homosexual in 1952 ( a crime in Britain from the tme of the Buggery Act of 1533 - when it was punishable by death, a penalty that remained on the statute book up to 1861- until 1967 in England and Wales, 1980 in Scotland, and 1982 in Northern Ireland, where church influence was stronger: It was not until 2003 that the US Supreme Court struck down remaining sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas, 70 years after Denmark had become the first European country to fully legalize homosexuality) and rather than a prison sentence accepted treatment with female hormones. In September this year, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official apology on behalf of the British Government for the way Turing had been treated after the Second World War.
After the war Turing had worked at the UK National Physics Laboratory where in 1945 he created a design for the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), a stored programme compute whose engine title was a tribute to Charles Babbage's work on mechanical comupting machines. Turing's work did not get publicized at the time because of Official Secrets Act restrictions that prohibited him from explaining that the ideas could be used in an electronic device.
The drama in which Turing is played by Samuel Barnett examines his legacy through a deathbed dialogue with a "machine" played by actor Paul Kendrick.
Ashley Byrne, creative director of Made in Manchester, commented of the decision to make the drama available via a newspaper site, "Writers, actors and directors are frustrated by the conventional commissioning processes in TV and radio and want the chance to take risks on new work.
Made in Manchester web site:
UK Independent "Turing's Test" page - links to stream or downloadable 72Mb 320Kbps MP3:
2009-10-23: Absolute Radio, which has kept up the online emphasis of its predecessor Virgin Radio, has become the first British commercial broadcaster to start to post online listening statistics, something the BBC has been doing for nearly two years.
The statistics posted currently show monthly listening across the Absolute Radio Network of stations including Absolute Radio; Absolute Radio Classic Rock and Absolute Radio Xtreme but the company says it hopes to provide additional detail in future and is hoping that other commercial stations will start to release online data.
Absolute adds in a note on its OneGoldenSquare blog that it "worked closely with the BBC to try to produce our numbers in manner that's consistent with those that the BBC has been releasing" and adds, "This hasn't been easy to achieve, and we hope to in time that across the radio industry we'll all be able to release directly comparable figures between different stations and groups."
The first figures released do not include podcast or listen-again figures and show a total of 6.3 million hours of listening to live streams in September this year: The latest BBC figures run to August and show live listening hours for the whole of BBC radio at 18.47 million hours with Radio 1 accounting for 5.03 million hours and BBC Radio 2 an additional 4.06 million hours.
Other music services' listening is under a million hours with Radio 3 attracting just above 513,000 hours of listening, digital service BBC 6 Music just under 712,000 hours and BBC 1Xtra just under 290,000 hours.
Absolute has just launched a new digital service Dabbl (See RNW Oct 1) but listening to this is not included in the figures; It also noted this month that it delivered more than 4 million podcasts to listeners in 12 months and had its "best week ever last week, delivering more than 170 thousand downloads" and that its podcast with Dave Gorman made the Number 1 slot on iTunes for the first time.
It has been working with iTunes to improve the display of its podcast offerings and the Absolute Radio link in iTunes allows users to search and see podcasts within Absolute's own categories and link to its applications and related websites.
Another launch this month was of its beta service CompareMyRadio.com that tracks what UK radio stations are playing - it currently has around 20 major UK stations but is planning to expand the list of stations included, how often songs get repeated and what their most played artists are.
The current version is commercial free but Absolute is planning to allow sponsorship and other commercial links on this and the Dabbl service.
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (Absolute Radio ultimate parent):
Absolute Radio online listening page:
BBC Radio online listening statistics:
2009-10-23: US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Jeff Haley in an e-mail to radio CEOs is urging then to develop direct purchase of music using facilities available on HD Radio Services.
In the message to points to the recent launch by Apple and Microsoft of the iPod nano and HD Zune that include HD Receive capabilities and says their introduction was a "testament to our success and the enduring strength of radio."
"The broader distribution of the FM signal on mobile devices," he adds, "will change radio misperceptions and drive more listeners. Our next opportunity will be to drive greater listener satisfaction through the direct purchase of music from our programming."
He also foresees other potential income from advertising and sponsorship, commenting, "As consumer adoption of this evolves, there are many other opportunities including incremental revenue streams and interactive advertising" and adds of song tagging and other features available on digital services, "It is my hope that we rapidly adopt this platform and tie listenership and digital music purchasing more closely together."
2009-10-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended further - this time until February 24 next year, the deadline for Sirius and XM Satellite Radios to enter into agreements for making 4% of their audio channels available on long-term leases to qualified entities.
The condition was imposed as part of the approval of the merger of the two companies in July 2008 and has been extended by the agency after it asked in February this year for comment on implementation details.
The FCC says that it anticipates Commission action on the implementation guidelines in the near future, and thus this brief extension is appropriate. "
2009-10-22: Corus Entertainment has announced final quarter and full financial year revenues and operating profits both up on a year ago within which TV was up but radio was down and for the full year a CAD 175 million (USD 167 million) impairment charge recorded on its radio licences in the third quarter took the company into a net loss.
For the final quarter overall revenues were up 5.1% to CAD 195.2 million ( USD 186.4 million) within which TV revenues rose 15.5% to CAD 135.5 million (USD 129.4 million) whilst radio revenues were down 12.5% to CAD 59.9 million (USD 57.2) million. Ooverall net income rose 7.6% to CAD 18.7 million ( USD 17.9 million- from CAD 0.21 to 0.23 per share) with radio profit virtually flat at CAD 15.1 million (USD 14.4 million) and TV profit up 21.7% to CAD 46.7 million ( USD 44.6 million).
For the full year overall revenues were up 0.2% to CAD 788.7 million (USD 753.1 million) within which radio revenues fell by 9.6% to CAD 258.9 million (USD 247.2 million) and TV was up 5.8% to CAD 530 million (USD 506.1 million).
Corus noted that radio local airtime revenues were down 12% whilst for the full year they were down 10% whilst national radio airtime revenues fell 23% in the fourth quarter and 17% for the year. The declines affected all regions.
It also noted the CAD 175 million impairment charge and restructuring provisions recorded of CAD 5.4 million ( USD 5.2 million ) for the fourth quarter and CAD 8.6 million (USD 8.2 million) for the year
Net income went from a positive CAD 129.8 million (USD 124.0 million) in 2008 to a loss of CAD 56.6 million (USD 54.1 million) after the impairment charge already noted (From a positive CAD 1.57 to a negative CAD 0.71 per basic share and from a positive CAD 1.54 to a negative 0.71 per diluted share). Within the figures radio profit was down 20.1% to CAD 60.3 million (USD 57.6 million) and TV was up 4.8% to CAD 209.1 million (USD 199.7 million).
President and CEO John Cassaday said of the performance, "In a very tough economy Corus was able to match last year's record revenues and segment profit through the launch of strategic new services and cost reduction initiatives
"We are confident," he added, "that this combined focus on innovation and cost constraint positions us well for an expected improvement in the Canadian economy."
Last month Cassaday in an update to investors forcast a return to advertising growth in 2010 and forcast 2010 profits of between CAD 2550 and 270 million (USD 243.5-257 million).
2009-10-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now given details of the initial media ownership workshops it is to hold as part of its work on its 2010 quadrennial media ownership review.
The workshops are to be held on November 2, 3, and 4 at the FCC's Washington DC headquarters and panellists include a mixture of media figures, academics, and members of pressure groups.
The first panel will be a "Policy Scholars' Panel" to include academics and former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, President, Furchtgott-Roth Economic Enterprises, and former FCC Chief Economist Simon Wilkie, currently Professor of Economics, University of Southern California.
The second day's proceedings will feature a "Public Interest Group Panel" including former FCC Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree, who is currently Senior Fellow at The Progress and Freedom Foundation; Andy Schwartzman, President and CEO, Media Access Project; and Kristin Thomson, Education Director, Future of Music Coalition.
On the third day the "Broadcasters and Industry Panel" will include National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jane Mago and National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) Executive Director and General Counsel James L. Winston.
The proceedings are open to the public but do not provide for audience participation and audio and video of the proceedings will be available online and the agency notes that discussions will include matters of its Competition, Diversity, and Localism Goals; Competition issues; Diversity of ownership; and Localism.
2009-10-21: Senators Blanche Lincoln (Arizona Democrat) and John Barrasso (Wyoming Republican) have released a letter written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada Democrat) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky Republican) asking it to block the Performance Royalties Act that would introduce performance royalties for music aired on terrestrial US radio stations, claiming that it would have a "devastating impact" on US local radio stations.
The duo, who were the original sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act that calls on Congress to oppose the introduction say that "By many estimations, passage of this legislation would result in potentially billions of dollars flowing from local broadcasters to the recording industry and it would have a devastating impact on the local radio broadcasting system as we know it."
They also promote the broadcasters line that the promotional benefits of airtime are an adequate recompense to the recording industry, commenting, "We believe that artists and their labels are currently more than fairly compensated by local radio stations in the form of free and unparalleled promotion."
The add that the "system currently in place works to the benefit of both the recording industry and local radio stations" with the stations gaining free use of the music and the recording industry gaining "free 'advertising" of its music on a level that cannot be matched by any other platform."
The letter was written after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favour of the Performance Rights Act and the pair note that local over-the-air stations have been particularly affected by the current economic conditions and have been "hit by both long-term system declines in revenue and an even more dramatic pull back in advertising dollars" with "chilling" results that have seen more than 265 stations go off the air in just over a year, the loss of thousands of jobs, and put many broadcasters on the verge of bankruptcy.
Introducing the fees they say would fundamentally change "free radio", forcing many out of business whilst others switched to cheaper talk radio formats."
The legislation they say "is not in the interest of local radio stations, local listeners, local communities, and ironically it's not in the interest of most artists who would lose their best opportunity to get their music over to the public."
They also throw in other comments relating to the role of radio in emergencies and they comment that without the fee the US "remains the music capital of the world and Americans enjoy a radio broadcasting system that is second to none."
RNW comment: The last comments we have included sum up much of the complacency in the US which has, as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in its opposition to the royalties points out by referring to "mainly foreign-owned" recording companies, seen ownership of much of the industry sold by American owners.
Equally the "second to none" comment depends very much on what the definition is - if it includes current affairs reporting, radio drama, radio comedy, arts programming an so on, the US is certainly second to quite a few other countries.
In most of the world radio does pay royalties and the logic of the argument against them - as opposed to arguments over details of copyright and patent law and charges - is that the politicians are going to negate the free market in favour of one set of owners to benefit another set.
There are many arguments in favour of societies using regulation, taxes, and charges to promote or reduce particular behaviour but they don't seem to fit well within the market approach of the US, albeit its politics seen from the outside seem to far too often come down to who has bought the politician.
2009-10-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 penalty for operation of a pirate FM station in Brooklyn to Jean Clerveau and Jocelyn Edwards, both of Brooklyn.
The pair had claimed that the station, which was found to be operating from an apartment building, was operated from a building across the road from them and not from their building but the FCC noted that its agent had seen an antenna on the roof of the apartment building and a coaxial cable going from the antenna into a second floor window and the building superintendent said the apartment involved was leased to them.
A USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) was issued to which they had responded with the claim but the FCC did not accept this claim and confirmed the penalty.
2009-10-20: Arbitron has reported third quarter revenues and net income both down on a year earlier - by
4.3% to USD 98.1 million and by 19.4% to USD 13.7 million (From 63 cents per diluted share to 51 cents) respectively.
Earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) were down 19.5% to USD 22.7 million and Arbitron also noted that share-based compensation in the quarter was up 38.1% to USD 2.9 million.
In the first nine months of the year, revenues were up 3.0% to USD 283.4 million whilst EBIT was down 12.6% to USD 49.3 million - a fall put down primarily to USD 10.1 million of reorganization and restructuring expenses and net income was down 12.4% (from USD 1.23 to USD 1.11 per diluted share).
Arbitron put the revenue fall in the third quarter down to factors already known about - the impact of the decision by Clear Channel and Cumulus to subscribe to Nielsen's dairy-based radio ratings in some smaller and mid-sized markets; Univision's decision not to subscribe to Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings in some markets; ; the continuing effect of the US advertising recession and the impact of the move to PPM ratings from the company's previous diary service, an effect that was particularly pronounced in the quarter when the PPM service was commercialized in eight more markets.
Arbitron added that the additional costs of the commercialization of its PPM ratings and introduction of cell-phone-only households in diary market samples were offset by savings from Arbitron's reorganization and restructuring.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Michael Skarzynski highlighted commercialization of the PPM and plans for further commercialization, adding, "We continue to receive positive feedback from the market that electronic measurement is improving broadcasters' programming and sales strategies. Our goal is to help the radio industry leverage the advantages that PPM can offer to increase the value and utility of radio for local and national advertisers in all markets."
Skarzynski also noted that with the start of the Fall 2009 survey in September, Arbitron is now sampling cell-phone-only households in all our diary-based syndicated radio markets in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii and also the launch in Canada of the world's largest combined panel for television and radio audience measurement using PPM technology.
Looking ahead, Arbitron says it is reiteration previous guidance and expects revenues to increase between 2% and 6% above the 2008 revenue of USD 368.8 million with earnings per diluted share to increase between 3% and 14% to between UD 1.40 and USD 1.55.
2009-10-20: BBC Radio 5 Live has announced a schedule re-vamp to start in the New Year (January 11) that will include two new two-hour weekday daytime shows, one running from noon to 14:00 for Gabby Logan, whose show on Wednesdays will include Prime Minister's Questions with analysis from 5 Live's chief political correspondent John Pienaar: Logan currently hosts an 09:30 to 11:00 Sunday morning show on the station.
It will be followed by a new Monday to Thursday show running from 14:00 to 16:00 hosted by Richard Bacon who moves from his current late evening slot and preceded by Victoria Derbyshire whose slot will be shortened from its current 10:00 to 13:00 Monday to Thursday slot to run from 10:00 to noon from Monday to Friday after the 06:00 to 10:00 breakfast show, which will continue to be hosted by Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty. Bacon takes over from Simon Mayo who is to move to BCB Radio 2 to take over the drivetime show from Chris Evans when Evans takes over the breakfast show from (Sir) Terry Wogan.
Bacon will be replaced by Tony Livesey, who currently hosts the early morning sports show Weekend Breakfast.
Mayo remains with Radio Five Live on Fridays when "Kermode and Mayo's Film Review" which he co-hosts with Mark Kermode, will be extended an hour forward from its current 15:00 to 16:00 slot to start at 14:00 and on Sundays Kate Silverton will take over the 09:30 to 11:00 slot.
The announcement does not mention the Drivetime slot, currently hosted by Peter Allen and Anita Anand and which may be affected by the station's move to new headquarters in Salford in 2011. Allen has agreed to the move but it is not clear about the future of Anand, who co-hosts BBC2 TVs Daily Politics show when Parliament is in session.
Radio 5 Live Controller Adrian Van Klaveren in a release said "I'm delighted with this quality line-up of hugely talented broadcasters and I'm really excited about the new schedule, which sets us up brilliantly for the move to Salford in 2011"
In his 5 Live blog he added of the changes that the "overall aim is to build 5 Live's daytime audience and to make sure we are in the strongest possible shape for the move to Salford" and continued, "I've always strongly believed it would be wrong to move the station and simultaneously make major programme changes; I'm delighted we now have in place long-term commitments to 5 live which should be very important in ensuring the success of the move Overall I think we will have a schedule which is exciting and significantly different from what we've offered before. "
Previous Van Klaveren:
2009-10-19: Radio One has announced that its Class D shares have regained compliance wit NASDAQ's minimum price requirements, having traded at USD 1 or more for 30 consecutive days up to the close of business on Oct 14: The company also noted that the company's Class A shares are also in compliance - at the end of last week they closed at USD 1.85 whilst the D-Shares closed at USD 1.66.
Earlier Entravision, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had also announced that it had regained compliance (See RNW Oct 1) but a number of major companies including Emmis (See RNW Sep 21) remain at risk of delisting whilst Citadel and Westwood One have been delisted by the NYSE (See RNW Feb 27 and RNW Nov 11, 2008).
Citadel has continued to fare badly and has just seen a number of executives depart in what may presage a further round of cost-cutting: They include Ken Johnson, who has resigned as Director of urban programming although he will remain at the company until the end of this month); VP/Affiliate Relations Dave Van Dyke, a former Bridge Ratings President, who joined the company in October 2007 and was ousted at the end of last week along with SVP Kevin Miller, who joined the company in 1998 and was oversaw the network's Internet Sales and Content.
Sirius-XM, which announced last month that it had received a de-listing notification from the NASDAQ (See RNW Sep 17), has said that it intends to regain compliance but CEO Mel Karmazin has told an investor conference that at the moment there are no immediate plans for a reverse stock-split, one of the options that would take the shares - they closed at 61.8 cents today having dropped to as low as five cents in February - back above the required one dollar mark.
Sirius has felt confident enough to sign a new contract with James E. Meyer, its President, Operations and Sales, running until 2013.
Under details given in an EC filing Meyer will receive an initial base salary of USD 950,000 with increases to USD 1.1 million on May 1 next year, to USD 1.2 million the following May should he remain with the company - he has the option to retire in April 2011 with a pay-off of at least USD 3.52 million - and then to USD 1.3 million the following May. On top of this he will be granted stock options to purchase some 25 million shares at 57.5 cents and up to USD 60,000 a year for an apartment in the New York areas as well as travel to and from his Indianapolis home.
Previous Radio One Inc:
Previous van Dyke:
2009-10-19: Clear Channel has flipped its Spanish Contemporary "Viva FM" in Atlanta to a rhythmic format as "Groove 105.7" and is currently airing a run of 10,000 songs commercial free.
The new station launched at 5p.m. with Madonna's "Get Into The Groove," followed by Peaches and Herb's "Shake Your Groove Thing " and the Viva web site is now Groove but has a link to the company's Regional Mexican WBZY-FM (El Patron) site that carries a message saying that Viva has been combined with WBYZ.
Previous Clear Channel:
Viva cum Groove web site:
WBYZ web site:
2009-10-19: BBC Radio 2 has announced that Sir Terry Wogan's new show will launch on Sunday February 7 next year in blocks alternating with Michael Ball's current Sunday show.
Wogan, who steps down from the breakfast show at the end of this year after a total of 27 years in the post to be replaced by current drivetime host Chris Evans (See RNW Sep 7) will be on air for three blocks of 12 shows whilst Ball will be on air in four blocks of four programmes.
The BCB said the change would give ball the opportunity to lead a UK tour of the sell-out musical Hairspray, for which he won the 2008 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing the role of Edna Turnblad and quoted him as saying, "To combine my two biggest loves next year - going on a national tour with Hairspray, which has turned into one of the most important and enjoyable roles of my career, and to continue to present on Radio 2, will be a pleasure. I wish Terry the best of luck with his new show and look forward to listening in."
Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music, added. "Michael's Sunday morning show is popular with the Radio 2 audience so I'm delighted that he will continue to present on the network. We'll also be exploring other opportunities for Michael that fit in with his busy schedule."
2009-10-18: In another fairly quiet week for the regulators, the main developments again came from the US and were political with further moves along the path to remove third-adjacent channel protections that have severely limited the number of low-power FMs that can be licensed.
Elsewhere there was only one radio posting from Australia where the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is to make new FM frequencies available to commercial stations 7LA-FM and 7EX-FM in Launceston, Tasmania, to improve reception in the central business district.
It is also proposing to make a new high power open narrowcasting radio service available in Launceston, to operate on 1008 kHz on the AM band, the first such service for the area and says it considered making available another frequency for community radio broadcasting but was not convinced this would add substantially to the diversity of programs available in the region.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has only made a few radio postings including a consultation, for which interventions or comments have to be submitted by November 17, concerning applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to increase the effective transmitter height for CBF-FM to improve reception in the greater Montréal area and by Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership to use 90.5 MHz for its new English language commercial FM in Red Deer, Alberta, that was approved subject to it finding an alternative frequency to the one it had proposed.
In another consultation, this time with a November 18 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, the CRTC is seeking comment on an application to increase the power of English-language commercial specialty FM radio programming undertaking CJMB-FM Peterborough (formerly CKKK-FM Peterborough), Ontario, from 50 watts to 206 watts, relocate the antenna and increase its height. The CRTC notes that the change is required because the broadcaster, which had been allowed a previous change, had been unable to use the tower it had intended following sale of the property concerned and refusal of the new owner to honour the agreement, thus forcing the station off air.
Also in Ontario, the CRTC also approved an application by Astral Media Radio G.P. to change the frequency of its transmitter CKQB-FM-1, Pembroke, and decrease its power from 45,200 to 7,500 watts.
There were no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom issued its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld on radio standards complaint (See RNW Oct 13) and also announced that it is planning to make radio licensees directly responsible as a condition of licence for communications with the public when they are publicised in programming (See RNW Oct 16).
Ofcom has also posted its September Broadcast Update in which it noted the ending of two satellite radio services - those provided by Big L and Zee Radio; the posting of an invitation to declare intent to apply for the Caernarfon FM licence currently held by Marcher Radio Group Ltd. - declarations have to be made by Nov 3; that it has invited the current holders of three local commercial FM licences to re-apply under its fast-track procedure after they made the sole applications for their licences - the Arbroath area licence held by Radio North Angus Ltd.; the Bassetlaw licence held by Trax FM Ltd., and the Hinckley & Nuneaton licence held by Oak FM (Hinckley and Nuneaton) Ltd.
The update also noted the re-award of the Chesterfield licence to Grand Central Broadcasting Ltd. under its fast-track procedures; the granting of a four-year extension until the end of 2014 of the licence of Stockport-based Imagine FM and a number of digital multiplex changes.
These were the:
*Removal of Our Kind of Music from the Bristol and Bath, Swindon, Reading and Basingstoke, and Southend and Chelmsford multiplexes.
*Replacement of generic Galaxy service with Galaxy South Coast on the Bournemouth, Exeter and Torbay, Kent, Plymouth and Cornwall, and Sussex Coast multiplexes.
*Replacement of Gold with Heart, XFM with Galaxy, and Choice with Chill on the London I multiplex.
*Replacement of Heart with Gold and Galaxy with XFM on the London II multiplex;
*Replacement of Chill with Choice on the London III multiplex.
Regarding change of control reviews the update listed changes related to Stray FM, Harrogate; 2BR, Burnley; Alpha FM, Darlington; Durham FM; Isle of Wight FM; Minster FM, Northallerton; Minster FM, York; Mix 96, Aylesbury; Spire FM, Salisbury; Sun FM, Sunderland; The Quay, Somerset; Wessex FM, Dorset; YCR-FM, Bridlington; and YCR-FM, Scarborough.
Regarding Community radio the update noted that the first round for funding applications to the Community Radio Fund in 2009/10 runs from October 13 to November 10; that it issued three licences - to Alive Christian Media Limited's Alive Radio, Dumfries; Radio JCom Limited's Radio JCom, Leeds; and Higher Rhythm Limited's Sine FM, Doncaster; and that it posted the reasons for the award of five licences.
These were those of Marlow FM - Marlow, Bucks; Radio BGWS - Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley and Fleet; Seahaven FM - Newhaven, Seaford and Peacehaven, East Sussex; The Park - Brockenhurst, Hampshire; and Voice FM, Southampton.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again as already noted seen further political movement towards easing restrictions that limit the number of low-power FMs it can licence with the passing by a House Committee of the Local Radio Community Act (See RNW Oct 16).
It has also set October 27 as the date on which applicants for non-commercial educational (NCE) FM licences will no longer have to demonstrate with FCC rules regarding interference to TV Channel 6 stations that have ended analogue transmissions and move to a new digital TV channel. Applications filed prior to this date will either have to satisfy the existing FCC requirements or include an unconditional consent letter from the "affected" TV Channel 6 station, and without one of these they will be dismissed. NCE FMs will still have to provide protection to "affected" digital TV Channel 6 stations.
It also announced a filing window to run from December 11 to December 18 for 70 new non-commercial educational ("NCE") FM construction permits. The permits are for stations in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts; Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The agency has also announced that is has upgraded its Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), which has been in operation since 1998, and will be presenting details of the changes in a public forum on Friday.
It also granted in part an application from the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to reconsider a Report and Order to improve collection of data on minority and female broadcast ownership together with a similar request from David Wilson, licensee of WHDX-FM and WHDZ-FM, Buxton, North Carolina.
The main requests from the NAB were that the FCC reconsider the requirement for sole proprietors file ownership reports biennially and biennially review or update ownership reports, after the initial filing of the new Form 323 on the basis of the requirement placing a significant financial burden on such owners.
The FCC rejected the NAB's arguments on these matters but it did grant a request that it reconsider the requirement that licensees report certain non-attributable interests and, as a result, adopted a Fifth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on which it is inviting comment.
In relation to this the FCC notes that, although in determining whether licensees are in compliance with media ownership rules it only considers attributable interests, it also considers it important to obtain information on holders of certain non-attributable interests but had not received comments on this before issuing its Order. In particular it is asking from comment on details of information it should collect from holders of equity interests in a licensee that would be attributable but for the single majority shareholder exemption and from holders of interests that would be attributable but for the higher EDP thresholds adopted in the Diversity Order for purposes of determining attribution of certain interests in eligible entities.
The agency was also involved in a number of enforcement actions including
*USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Elmira College, licensee of educational Station WECW-FM, Elmira, New York, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
*USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Corning Community College, licensee of educational Station WCEB-FM, Corning, New York, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
*USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Universal Broadcasting, Inc. licensee of KQLO-AM, Sun Valley, Nevada, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
*USD 1,500 forfeiture to The King's Musician Educational Foundation, Inc., which was set up to support local Christian radio, for failure to display the Antenna Structure Registration of its tower at Fannett, Texas, as required and to exhibit all medium intensity obstruction lighting as specified.
The agency had initially issued an NAL for USD 12,000 to which the Foundation responded by requesting a reduction or cancellation based on corrective actions it had taken before the FCC inspection that found the breaches, inability to pay, and history of compliance.
The FCC rejected the first argument but reduced the penalty to USD 1,500 on the basis of the final two arguments.
*USD 750 NAL to North Custer Radio, Inc., licensee of FM Translator Station K232CL, Challis, Idaho, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
*USD 500 NAL to Connecticut River Educational Radio, Inc., licensee of low power FM WWBW-LP, Higganum, Connecticut, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
*USD 500 NAL to Kath Broadcasting Inc, licensee of FM Translator Station K244AR, Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, for late filing of renewal application and operation after expiry of its authorization. The licence was renewed.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2009-10-17: Conservative US talk host Rush Limbaugh, who was dumped by a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams has followed comments about the matter on his show with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal headed "The Race Card, Football and Me" and with a sub-heading "My critics would have you believe no conservative meets NFL 'standards.'."
Inhis comments the host says, as he said on his show (See RNW Oct 16) that he was approached by David Checketts, who was leading a bid, about joining his group and after he had warned Checketts that "some people might try to make an issue of my participation" he joined the bid on the basis that Checketts has said he didn't much care about them doing so.
He then goes on to say that his name was "selectively leaked to the media" and "Shortly thereafter, the media elicited comments from the likes of Al Sharpton."
Limbaugh then attacks Sharpton over various matters including a case when Sharpton was found guilty of defamation and ordered to pay USD 65,000 for falsely accusing a New York prosecutor of rape" and also the Rev Jesse Jackson, who he attacks for anti-Jewish comments made in 1984 and others including sports writers and "a handful of players, none of whom I can recall ever meeting."
After these Limbaugh says NFL players union boss, DeMaurice Smith - a Democratic Party supporter and Barack Obama donor - had "sent a much publicized email to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that it was important for the league to reject discrimination and hatred" and Goodell had suggested that the host's 2003 comment concerning Donovan McNabb - he said media was cheerleading Mr. McNabb because they wanted a successful black quarterback" - fell short of the NFL's "high standard."
The host then concludes by referring to the matter in political terms - "There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives that reflects the blind hatred espoused by Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson" and speaks of "Racism" being "too often their sledgehammer - And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don't share the left's agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us" ending by writing, "These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society."
RNW Comment: Much of the criticism Limbaugh makes of others seems quite reasonable but this does not substantiate Limbaugh's argument that the attacks on his participation of the bid was because he is a conservative and that the objection would apply to all potential owners with conservative views.
Indeed if many NFL owners are in fact conservatives Limbaugh's argument falls and according to the Wall Street Journal that is indeed the case. It reports that in the 2008 election cycle NFL team owners gave almost twice as much to Republican candidates as they did to democrats and also notes that Goodell is the son of the late Republican U.S. Senator Charles Goodell and was himself a donor to the McCain campaign. - which seems to make Limbaugh blinkered, a dishonest propagandist, or just a bum.
Limbaugh Wall Street Journal article:
Wall Street Journal re NFL owners' political contributions:
2009-10-17: Former BBC DJ Andy Kershaw, whose show was dropped by BBC Radio 3 in spring 2007 and who was subsequently jailed for breaking a restraining order that him from approaching his former partner (See RNW Jan 16, 2008) is planning a series of music documentaries for the station according to the UK Independent.
Kershaw says the paper "has had a rapprochement with the BBC Radio 3 controller Roger Wright, over an Indian meal in London" and confirmed that he is to return, saying he is hoping to visit countries that he has not yet been to for the BBC.
The paper quotes him as saying, "I am absolutely thrilled to be back. I feel reborn, firing on cylinders that I didn't know I had I will be travelling to just about every continent on the planet - only the Americas will be untroubled by my attentions," he said. "I am going to some places that even I have not been to before."
A BBC spokeswoman it said confirmed that talks had been held but added "there is nothing to announce at the moment."
UK Independent report:
2009-10-16: Westwood One has revealed in an 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has renegotiated its debt arrangements and has agreed to pay down its Senior Notes between USD 15-20 million, depending on a stock offering and the sale or leasing off of its buildings in Culver City, California.
The company says that it has entered into separate agreements with the holders of its Senior Notes and Wells Fargo Foothill to amend the terms of the Securities Purchase Agreement (governing the Senior Notes) and Senior Credit Facility (USD 20.0 million term loan and USD 15.0 million revolver), respectively, to waive compliance with the Company's debt leverage covenants Westwood One has agreed that if its stock offering yields less than USD 40 million gross it will pay down USD 15 million of debt and should the yield exceed this amount it will pay down the debt by USD 20 million.
However should neither the stock offering or proposed sale-leaseback of the Company's Culver City properties take place by the end of March next year, Westwood One will pay down USD 3.5 million of the Senior Notes.
In addition the filing revealed that Westwood One has reduced its financial forecasts for the rest of this year and the whole of next year because of "weaker than expected economic conditions."
The reduction, it adds, is likely to "reduce the fair value of one or more of the Company's reporting units below its carrying value" and as a result it is currently performing a more detailed Step 2 analysis to compare the implied fair value of goodwill for its Metro Traffic division with the carrying value of its goodwill and expects to record goodwill impairment to be in the range of USD 40.0 million to USD 60.0 million.
Previous Westwood One:
2009-10-16: UK media regulator Ofcom, which in June published a consultation about the use of premium rate services in radio programming - a move that followed various cases of breach of codes that had come to light from 2006 and that have led to fines on radio operators on nine occasions, has now gone ahead with its proposals to make radio licensees directly responsible for communication with the public when they are publicised in programming.
Ofcom will now prepare variations to licence conditions to being in the new regulation after which licensees will be notified of the changes and given four weeks to respond. Should the changes then be confirmed, Ofcom expects to bring them into effect immediately.
2009-10-16: The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved by a voice vote The Local Radio Community Act that would remove the requirement for third adjacent channel separation and thus allow a significant increase in low-power FMs in the country. The Act was passed by the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet by a 15-1 majority earlier this month (See RNW Oct 8).
The requirement was brought in following lobbying by broadcasters about potential interference with their signals although Federal Communications Commission (FCC) studies had concluded that there was no significant likelihood of substantial interference and the possibility of such interference is being addressed by clauses that would speed up the process to handle complaints should there be interference and also to give extra protection to FM translators following lobbying by National Public Radio.
2009-10-16: After the decision by a group bidding to buy the St Louis Rams team to drop him (See RNW Oct 15) following objections raised by players and various league officials as well as various politicians including the Rev Alan Sharpton, Conservative US host Rush Limbaugh, spent around a quarter of an hour of his show on Thursday giving his version of events.
In it he says that he was approached to become part of the bid by Dave Checketts, who was leading it, and that before he agreed to take part he had warned Checketts of the "firestorm" that was likely to result.
Checketts, he said, told him he was "totally aware" of this and added, "I would not have even come and asked you to be part of the group if I had not cleared your involvement with people at the highest levels of the National Football League."
He also said that under NFL rules any primary owner has to have a 30% holding and that his group had lost their "30% equity guy" and had to scramble to find a new one, suggesting that the new man could be financier George Soros who he said had been named in a Reuters story as a partner of Checketts (RNW Note: Sports Business Journal under the heading "No check mate" subsequently carried a report quoting sources "with knowledge of the situation" as saying Soros is not involved. )
He subsequently today widened his attack with comments that he posted on his site under the headline "Documented: Obama Involvement in Smear Campaign Against Rush", a story referring to both the Rams story and also to other accusations made against the host and falsification on Wikipedia of quotations that the host was alleged to have made.
RNW comment: Judging by his posts on his web site over the past couple of days Limbaugh seems to be somewhat of a master of the slur by innuendo and a genius in gaining publicity for himself. His site does, however, for those interested, carry links to a large number of reports about Checketts' decision to drop Limbaugh from the bid.
In terms of what Checketts told him, we have so far been unable to find any response from Checketts or suggestions that Limbaugh was being inaccurate about this.
Limbaugh web site:
Limbaugh posting re Rams deal:
2009-10-15: The Performance Rights Act that would introduce performance royalties for terrestrial US radio stations has been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee following approval by the House Judiciary Committee by a 21-9 vote last month.
The move still has to get through the full Senate and House and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which has been lobbying against the introduction, is claiming support to date from 26 Senators and 251 members of the house - more than a majority - for the non-binding Local Radio Freedom Act, that opposes the introduction of the charges that the NAB persistently labels a "tax."
The NAB said it expected the Senate vote, which came as it released the result of the latest survey it has commissioned on the matter: The poll, said to be of 1,000 voters chosen at random, was conducted for the NAB by Washington, DC-based Wilson Research Strategies and showed three-quarters of respondents against the introduction.
The NAB says participants were questioned on their knowledge of the proposed legislation, and were given additional information about the issue from a May Wall Street Journal article that said amongst other things that the legislation "would force radio companies to pay royalties [fees] of as much as USD 500 million a year to record labels and artists whose music they play " and went on to say that "any additional expenses could send [radio companies] one step closer to financial restructuring."
NAB said in a release that after seeing the article and asked whether they would favour or oppose the introduction of the fee, results showed that 60 percent "definitely opposed," 12 percent "probably opposed" and 3 percent "leaned opposed."
In addition it said 85% agreed that airplay on the radio helped "drive music sales, generating record sales annually for performers" with 64% strongly agreeing and 21% somewhat agreeing.
NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said of the results, "This survey demonstrates that the more Americans know about a proposed performance tax, the more likely they are to they oppose it. Simply put, a performance tax is bad for free, local radio. It's bad for radio's 235 million weekly listeners. And it's bad for the legions of new and legacy artists whose careers were launched and nurtured by free radio airplay."
The NAB has also publicised the results of the poll in three Capitol Hill publications - the Congressional Quarterly, National Journal's Congress Daily, and POLITICO - with an advert that said, "Americans understand fairness. And the overwhelming majority agree that local radio stations should not be taxed for playing music just to subsidize the failing business model of the foreign-owned record labels."
RNW comment: It would in our view be accurate to say that the NAB is good at propaganda for the ignorant and unthinking but vile when it comes to honest presentation of facts in that the questions in this survey are hardly chosen to generate an unbiased response.
As for the contemptible chauvinism in attacks on the recording companies as being foreign owned, anyone with an IQ greater than that of a somnolent slug (is there anyone in NAB who regards its audience as brighter?) should be able to wonder why an industry once dominated by American companies has- like other industries once American-dominated or led - become foreign owned.
The musicFIRST coalition, which has been lobbying for the royalties, said in its response to the vote, "We are making unprecedented progress. Two congressional committees have now approved a bill to create a fair performance right on radio. We ask broadcasters and the new leadership at the NAB to join with us. Together we can create a performance right on radio that is fair to artists, musicians and rights holders, fair to other radio platforms that pay a performance royalty, and fair to AM and FM music radio.
"Radio and music have a bright future together if the artists, musicians and rights holders who bring music to life and listeners' ears to the radio dial are compensated fairly for their work."
2009-10-15: Conservative US host Rush Limbaugh, whose involvement in a bid to buy the St Louis Rams had come under attack from a number of black players, activists and also NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, has now been dropped from the bid.
Goodell had not ruled Limbaugh out as being involved in the ownership of a team but had referred to his past comments made by the host, criticized as being racially biased, about quarterbacks Donovan McNabb (for making which he was dropped by ESPN in 2003) and Michael Vick.
He also commented in 2007, "The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips, without any weapons. There, I said it."
Goodell said of the involvement of Limbaugh, "I've said many times before we're all held to a high standard here, and I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about. I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL, absolutely not."
The St Louis Post-Dispatch quoted SPC Worldwide Chairman Dave Checketts, who is leading the bid to buy the Rams - on offer as part of a sale being conducted by Goldman Sachs - and keep the team in St Louis, as saying that the host had "become a complication and a distraction" in the bid although he added in a statement, "Rush was to be a limited partner - as such, he would have had no say in the direction of the club or in any decisions regarding personnel or operations This was a role he enthusiastically embraced. However, it has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions, endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis. As such, we have decided to move forward without him."
The paper quoted unnamed NFL sources as telling it that dropping Limbaugh had improved the chances for the bid and adding that a league source familiar with the potential sale of the team said, "Now Checketts can have a restart on this thing and he can clean it up. This makes the Checketts group more competitive it probably puts them in the top three (bidders)."
Before the decision to drop him was made public. Limbaugh had commented of the attacks under the heading, "Smear Campaign Against Rush is Attempt to Discredit Conservatism", that "this is not about the NFL, it's not about the St. Louis Rams, it's not about me. This is about the ongoing effort by the left in this country, wherever you find them, in the media, the Democrat Party, or wherever, to destroy conservatism, to prevent the mainstreaming of anyone who is prominent as a conservative. "
Regarding the comments about the Bloods and the Cripps he posted an exchange on his web site under the heading "NFL Bloods and Crips, Explained: It Was All About Love of the Game" that they were taking the comment out of context and related it to a ref throwing "a flag, 15 yards or something for taunting, unsportsmanlike conduct, some Chargers DB had gotten in the face of some Patriots player, was doing a "you can't diss me" act and so forth, and it lost the game for the Chargers. And I praised the official for throwing the flag. See, I love the game. I love the National Football League."
He later added, "But the NFL wants to keep control of the game. It's the product on the field. And they cannot allow the tendency, the integrity of the game to be blown up by whatever cultural trends are going on. So the Bloods and Crips comment I think I said sometimes the game looks like Bloods and Crips without the weapons... So I was criticizing a mind-set that is destructive, and it was not helpful. It was not racial. Bloods and Crips makes it look racial, the way I chose to describe it. I could have perhaps chosen a different term."
The paper said that a league source had described Limbaugh as being "very unhappy" when told of the decision to drop him but added that he could not be reached for comment.
Limbaugh web site:
St Louis Post-Dispatch report:
2009-10-15: According to the Melbourne Age figures prepared for it by the Mitchell Communication Group suggest radio is losing touch with valuable younger listeners at an alarming rate.
The paper says an analysis of ratings over the five years from 2003-2008 shows that the ''impact'' of FM radio ads on both the 10-17 and 18-24 demographics fell 32 per cent, and by 15 per cent for 25-39-year-olds: It adds that the slide on AM radio was smaller, though, surprisingly, its performance among listeners aged 55 plus fell 8 per cent.
The paper says that radio along with other traditional media is losing ground to new technologies - in the case of radio to mobile devices - and it says the Group's executive chairman Harold Mitchell told it, "''Key audiences under 40 are falling away. The audience is voting them [FM stations] out of the picture.''
Despite this prognostications, it adds, Mitchell told the audience at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards last weekend that radio was ''the greatest survivor'' among traditional media although he also said advertising revenues would be down 12% in 2009, excluding online media, and would fall again in 2010.
Melbourne Age report:
2009-10-14: The lawyer for three of the relatives of the Sacramento woman who died after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" water-drinking contest on Entercom's KDND-FM has asked the jury to award them damages totalling between USD 24.6 million.and USD 33.4 million.
Roger A. Dreyer says his claim is made up of from USD 1.5 to 2 million each in non-economic damages for the past loss of Jennifer Strange's love, companionship, comfort and care for Jennifer Lea Strange's widower, Billy Strange and her two children -six years old Ryland and three-years old Jorie. In addition the attorney called for future damages on the same basis at between USD 4.7 and USD 7.05 million for Billy Strange and USD 7.7 to USD 10.2 million each for the children. He also asked for an additional USD 1.89 million in past and future economic losses.
In addition to these amounts, Harvey R. Levine, who is representing Jennifer Strange's oldest son, 13-year-old Keegan Sims, asked the jury to him USD 7.5 million to USD 9 million in non-economic damages, which takes the total being asked for up to a possible total of around USD 42 million.
Dreyer told the jury - of seven men and five women - that the case against the defendants was "overwhelming" and in on the first day of closing arguments on Tuesday said they should , "Understand and appreciate the value of a mother, a lover, a companion and a best friend."
Strange, who was 28, had entered the competition in January 2007 to win the Wii video game console for her son and Dreyer appealed to the jury to hold Entercom Sacramento and its parent Entercom Communications Corp. liable for the death, commenting they needed to ensure "people don't do dangerous contests."
Evidence has been given that the morning team involved, who were fired after the incident, were aware of a 2005 water intoxication hazing death at California State University, Chico, and were warned by callers during the show the day Strange died that of potential danger and Dreyer said the station had changed the rules during the contest to double the water intake and failed to get care for Strange, who had vomited in the station and told them her head hurt.
Dreyer said a failure in training had led to a "a complete breakdown" from the written policies and procedures Entercom had developed to prohibit contests that were illegal, dangerous or in bad taste, commenting, "You get to decide what the standards are in this community, how radio station personnel are going to operate and how a company like Entercom is going to train its personnel."
Entercom attorney Donald W. Carlson had asked Judge Lloyd A. Phillips to declare a mistrial in response to the comments saying that they invited the jury to "send a message" with "a punitive type award" that is barred in this case but the judge denied the request.
Later in his closing he admitted that company officials made "serious, tragic mistakes," but said that Jennifer Lea Strange's death was not foreseeable and that his clients should not be held liable. He suggested that if his clients were held liable USD 4.5 million would be reasonable compensation.
He blamed KDND station manager Steve Weed and promotions director Robin Pechota for allowing the contest to go forward, in violation of what he said were clear and reasonable guidelines laid down by the corporation's legal team in Boston.
He argued that parent Entercom Communications and Entercom Sacramento should be considered as separate by the jury adding that the instructions that will be read to the jury by Judge Phillips following the conclusion of the closing arguments will spell out that the parent company isn't by definition responsible if its Sacramento subsidiary is held liable and saying that the parent was not involved in either the approval or the performance of the contest.
Carlson also noted that that Weed had 40 years in the business and 30 years in management and that Pechota had a 20-year career of her own and that they had failed to obey company rules calling for any contest that was anything other than a simple, low-budget call-in type to be approved by company attorneys, adding, "Both of them had experience, and both of them made serious, tragic mistakes" and saying he did not know why the water drinking contest had not been submitted to the legal team for approval.
He ended his speech by saying, "I know each and every one of you will do the right thing."
Dreyer in a rebuttal argument urged that they should find Entercom responsible and flashed up on the courthouse screen a photograph of Strange with her family and then removed her image to depict the loss her death had caused.
Sacramento Bee report:
2009-10-14: A group of minority and civil rights organizations are claiming in a letter to Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy, a strong supporter of The Performance Rights Act that would introduce performance royalties for US terrestrial radio, claiming that their introduction could bankrupt a third of minority-owned stations.
Groups involved include the Black College Communication Association; The Hispanic Institute; The International Black Broadcasters Association; Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology; Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Minority Media and Telecommunications Council; National Black Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Spanish Broadcasters Association and UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc.
Amongst those signing the letter are Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) Executive Director David Honig and Amador Bustos of the Spanish Broadcasters Association and in it they note that minorities are already underrepresented in terms of media ownership, holding around 7% of licences and 2% of industry assets by value.
"Most minority-owned stations," they say, "operate with inferior facilities and are handicapped by weak financing" and they add that The Performance Rights Act would "throw at least a third of minority broadcasters into bankruptcy."
They also say remaining stations would be hard hit as the "The surviving stations would find it virtually impossible to raise the capital they need to grow."
The letter ends by saying that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will "have its hands full correcting the historic inequities facing minority broadcasters" and adds, "In the meantime, Congress should not make the FCC's job far more difficult by enacting this legislation."
RNW comment: If the figures given are correct - as opposed to what we have come to regard as the usual misinformation by exaggeration common in the US - minority stations are indeed in deep trouble but in terms of principle what they are asking for is government action to compulsorily take from one industry for the benefit of another, a dangerous path to go down.
It may be that the recording companies, already hit hard by technological change - as is all traditional media, would be foolish enough to levy charges that would indeed put such a large segment of another industry out of business but we rather doubt that they would risk the opprobrium it would attract never mind the financial costs that could ensue.
If the broadcasters are correct, this would hit the recording industry more than they would benefit from the charges but that is part of a market system.
We remain convinced firstly that performance royalties are justified in principle and also that there should be change that would allow market forces to apply - to which end we have already suggested a number of "royalty bands" for copyright holders that would allow those who want the exposure to gain it by charging lower rates and those who are confident of their worth to charge more but risk losing exposure and ultimately income.
The NAB, which is strongly opposed to the royalties, and many of the station owners seem keen to call for government to keep out of business when it suits them but to be unprincipled if they are going to lose out.
2009-10-14: Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenues for the first three months of the 2010 financial year were down 5.67% on a year ago at USD 155.3 million (USD 142 million) according to figures from the Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue as sourced by Deloitte that have been released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The results varied widely from city to city with the best results from Melbourne, where revenues grew by 1.22% to AUD 47.95 million (USD 45.49 million) and worst in Perth, which was down around 11% to AUD 19.47 million (USD 17.81 million). In between were Sydney and Brisbane, which each fell around 9% to AUD 49.10 million (USD 44.90 million) and AUD 23.90 million (USD 21.86 million) respectively and Adelaide which was down 0.41% to AUD 14.89 million (USD 13.62 million).
Figures for September showed a similar but slightly worse pattern with all markets down - the total was a 7% fall to AUD 54.23 million (USD 49.60 million) within which Brisbane fell 12% to AUD 8.40 million (USD 7.68 million); Sydney fell 11% to AUD 17.02 million (USD 15.57 million); Perth fell 10% to AUD 6.74 million (USD 6.16 million); and Adelaide and Melbourne were each down 0.04% to AUD 5.20 million (USD 4.76 million) and AUD 16.85 million (USD 15.41 million).
Commercial Radio Australia Joan Warner said of the figures, "There is no doubt this has been a tough economic climate in which to operate and remains a very tough climate" but added a positive note by commenting, "Radio continues to work hard to promote itself as a great advertising medium in difficult economic times and the industry is weathering the storm better than many other traditional forms of media."
She also noted that the Australian radio industry is "working hard to promote its strengths, particularly in these economic times" and highlighted its latest advertising campaign called "Radio Advertising, Economically Sound" and potential benefits from the switch-on of digital radio in the country's five capitals.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2009-10-13: Global Radio chief executive Stephen Miron has told a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch that the company may be seeing signs of a stabilization in advertising revenues and in particular noted that revenues from its local radio operation - approaching a third of the company's total revenues - would be flat year-on-year in the final quarter of this year.
In contract, he said national radio advertising would be down by "very low single digits" year-on-year for this month and put part of the comparative success of the local operations to the work they had put in and the effects of a number of newspapers leaving local markets and thus meaning the adverts they used to take had to go elsewhere.
Miron also commented that he expected Global to benefit if the Conservative Party wins the UK General Election, which has to be held by June 3 next year - and pushed through a relaxation of cross-media ownership rules, easing restrictions so as to allow mergers of online, print, radio and TV companies into regional groups, a move that he saw as increasing the value of Global's assets.
Miron also criticised UTV Media over its withdrawal from industry body The RadioCentre over what it saw as too much influence on its policies by Global (See RNW Oct 7), expressing concern that it was a "heart and emotional decision as opposed to a pragmatic decision" and defending Global's position in taken a leadership position in the industry.
Previous Global Radio:
2009-10-13: Former CBS D.C. radio host Don Geronimo (real name Michael Sorce) has announced on his blog that he is leaving Delaware Station WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, hinting in the post of other options close to fruition.
Best known as part of the Don and Mike Show with Mike O'Meara, he retired last year from CBS Radio's WJFK-FM, Washington D.C. (See RNW Feb 5, 2008) but only two months later announced that he was to return to the air on independently owned WOCM-FM in Ocean City, Maryland.
He lasted only a month before being fired following complaints about ad-libbing live reads and talking too much and in June this year joined WGMD in the 09:00 to noon slot.
In his posting he says that this was "a trial run for both of us. Me, a once 'shock jock', and them, a 'Christian/Conservative' radio station."
He then speaks warmly of the station commenting, "Somewhere in the middle things started to jell, and I had big time fun, like I hadn't had in years.
"My often quoted CBS Radio Non Compete contract is now less than one year from being worthless paper. Now is the time to decide the next step in my broadcasting career, because next October is closer than I ever imagined.
"I had hoped to cement a full time position at WGMD and eventually offer my show via syndication in a year."
Three weeks ago, he says, he told the station that he'd "either have to make the jump into joining them full time or get ready to move on" but "Upper management at WGMD is still undecided if I'm the right fit, and I am in a position where I can't wait."
The host says he resigned with "great regret" and praised the station of which he says "I was forced to work in a different style and radio format, and learned more than I thought I could" concluding, "I am sad it didn't work out at WGMD, but still think it's a one of a kind gem of a radio station. And I'll always be a fan."
Previous Don Geronimo:
Don Geronimo post:
2009-10-13: Melbourne stations and in particular Fox FM's Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) are the big winners again this year in the Australian Commercial Radio Awards with their show taking Best On-Air Team for the second year running as well as four other awards - Best Networked Program, Best Station Promotion (for the second year running), Best Multimedia Execution and Best Show Producer (Entertainment and Music) for Sam Cavanagh (for the second year running).
Also featuring strongly was Macquarie Radio Networks Ray Hadley who took the Best Sports Presenter for the second year running and added the awards for Best Current Affairs Commentator and Best Sports Event Coverage for 2GB's Olympic Games broadcast.
Other major awards included:
Best Talk Presenter - Derryn Hinch, 3AW Melbourne - last year Neil Mitchell of 3AW took this award for the third consecutive year.
Best News Presenter - Jane Doyle, FiveAA, Adelaide, (AM) and Kristy Warner, Nova, Sydney (FM) - for the third consecutive year.
Best Newcomer On-Air - Dylan Lewis, Nova 100, Melbourne - last year Ryan Shelton also from Nova 100 took the award.
Best Music Personality - Mike Fitzpatrick, Triple M, Melbourne.
Brian White Memorial Award for excellence in journalism - Laura Tunstall, 2GB, Sydney- for the second year running.
The awards are broken down into Country, Provincial, Non-Metropolitan and Metropolitan station categories and including these the winners were:
Best-On Air team:
Metropolitan - Hamish Blake and Andy Lee - Hamish & Andy, Fox FM, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Banksy & Steve Breakfast, Banksy & Steve, Hot FM, Townsville, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - Fishy Friday, Janeen Hosemans & Peter Harrison, 1503 2BS Gold, Bathurst, New South Wales (Bathurst Broadcasters).
Best Talk Presenter:
Metropolitan - Derryn Hinch, 3AW Drive, 3AW, Melbourne, Victoria (Fairfax Radio Network).
Provincial - Mike Welsh, Mike Welsh Drive Show, 2CC, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (Capital Radio).
Country - Janeen Hosemans, The Morning Wireless Program, 1503 2BS Gold, Bathurst, New South Wales (Bathurst Broadcasters).
Best Music Personality:
Metropolitan - Dylan Lewis, Nova 100, Melbourne, Victoria (DMG Radio Australia).
Provincial - Fyona Smith, 92.7 Mix FM, Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - Dave Peters, 8HA, Alice Springs, Northern Territory (Alice Springs Commercial Broadcasters).
Best Current Affairs Commentator:
Ray Hadley, 2GB, Sydney, New South Wales (Macquarie Radio Network).
Brian White Memorial Award:
Laura Tunstall, 2GB, Sydney (Macquarie Radio Network) - Second Year Running.
Best Sports Presenter:
Metropolitan - Ray Hadley, 2GB Sports, 2GB, Sydney (Macquarie Radio Network) - Second year running.
Provincial - Steve Allan, 2GO's Locker Room, 107.7 2GO, Central Coast, New South Wales (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - Geoff Mann, 2DU Sports, 2DU, Dubbo, New South Wales (Super Network) - second year running.
Best News Presenter:
Metropolitan - Kristy Warner, Nova 969, Sydney (DMG Radio Australia) - FM Second year running) - Jane Doyle, FiveAA, Adelaide, South Australia (DMG Radio Australia) - AM.
Provincial - Rod McLeod, 92.5 Gold FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media) - second year running.
Country - Lois Chislett, 3YB, Warrnambool, Victoria (ACE Radio Broadcasters) - second year running.
Best Program Director:
Metropolitan - Dave Cameron, Fox FM, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Mike Duncan, Star 104.5, Central Coast, New South Wales (DMG Radio Australia).
Country - Dayle Richardson, 98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasters).
Best Music Director:
Metropolitan - Kate Casey, Nova 106.9, Brisbane, Queensland (DMG Radio Australia) - second year running.
Provincial - Fyona Smith, 92.7 Mix FM, Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media) - recipient of Music Director of the Year Scholarship.
Country - Katie Jones, 97.7 Snow FM, Cooma, New South Wales, (Capital Radio).
Best Show Producer - Entertainment & Music:
Metropolitan - Sam Cavanagh, The Hamish and Andy Show, Fox FM, Melbourne (Austereo) - second year running.
Non-Metropolitan - Lauren Richardson, Holmsey & Flan, Something Different for Breakfast, 102.9 FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Hot Tomato).
Best Show Producer - Talk & Current Affairs:
Metropolitan - Justin Smith, 3AW Mornings - Neil Mitchell, 3AW, Melbourne (Fairfax Radio Network) - Second year running.
Non Metropolitan - Andrea Moore, 2BS Talk Producer, 1503 2BS Gold, Bathurst, New South Wales (Bathurst Broadcasters).
Metropolitan - Obama Becomes President, Blake Gibson, 2UE, Sydney, New South Wales (Fairfax Radio).
Non Metropolitan - Victorian Bushfire Tribute, Matt Clark, 107.7 2G0/101.3 Sea FM, Central Coast, New South Wales (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Music Special:
Metropolitan - Chris-Mas-Isaak, Marnie Titheradge, Robert Wood and Bruno Bouchet, Mix 106.5, Sydney, New South Wales, Australian Radio Network).
Provincial - Running On Diesel, Fyona Smith, Ross Turner & Ryan Khay, 92.7 Mix FM, Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - 2NM's December All Stars, 98.1 2NM/98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasters).
Best Sports Event Coverage:
Metropolitan - Olympic Games Coverage 2008, 2GB Sport/Ray Hadley, 2GB, Sydney, New South Wales ( Macquarie Radio Network).
Non Metropolitan - Olympians Touching Down, Paddy Gerrard, Ciel Stowe, Ignatius McBride, 101.3 Sea FM, Central Coast, New South Wales (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Station Produced Commercial:
Metropolitan - and Kate Ritchie Breakfast Show, Nova 969, Sydney, New South Wales (DMG Radio Australia).
Provincial - Disclaimer Man, Luke Bradnam, 102.9 FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Hot Tomato).
Country - Selga - Buckle Up, David Sell, 5SE/96.1 Star FM, Mount Gambier, South Australia (Macquarie Southern Cross Media)
Best Promotions Director:
Metropolitan - Tim Dwyer, Nova 969, Sydney, New South Wales (DMG Radio Australia).
Non Metropolitan - Steve White, 90.9 Sea FM /92.5 Gold FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Station Promotion:
Metropolitan - Tall Ship Adventure, Hamish & Andy, Fox FM, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Identity Theft, Tania Kimmins, Rob Sharples, Ryan Gracie and Tia Robins, i98, Wollongong, New South Wales (Win Corporation).
Country - Who Wants to be a Jock On Air, 98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasting).
Best Station Produced Comedy Segment:
Metropolitan - Evil Rosso Prank, Tim Ross, Merrick Watts & Kate Ritchie, The Merrick, Rosso and Kate Ritchie Breakfast Show, Nova 969, Sydney, New South Wales (DMG Radio Australia).
Provincial - Organ Disclaimer Man, Luke Bradnam, 102.9 FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Hot Tomato).
Country - The Marriage Is Up Cup, Jon Vertigan, 3YB, Warrnambool, Victoria (ACE Radio Broadcasters).
Best Networked Program:
Metropolitan - The Hamish and Andy Show, Today Network (Austereo) -Second year running
Provincial - The Benchwarmers, Ant & Becs, Sea FM, Gold Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - ACE Radio Country Today, Sandra Moon, 3WM, Horsham, Victoria (ACE Radio Broadcasters).
Best Syndicated Australian Program:
Remembrance Day: The 90th Anniversary, Radiowise Media Networks, Sydney, New South Wales.
Best Station Sales Achievement:
Metropolitan - 2Day FM Sales Team, 2Day FM, Sydney, New South Wales (Austereo).
Provincial - Flow FM Sales Team, Flow FM, Kapunda, South Australia (W&L Phillips) - Second year running.
Country - RadioWest/Hot FM Kalgoorlie, 6KG RadioWest, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Agency Salesperson:
Metropolitan - Lauren Duncan, 2Day FM, Sydney, New South Wales (Austereo).
Non Metropolitan - Karyn French, 100.9 Sea FM/Heart 107.3, Hobart, Tasmania (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Direct Salesperson:
Metropolitan - Marcus Ryder, Fox FM/Triple M, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Leonie Leonard, Hot FM/Sea FM, Mackay, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - Ashlee O'Brien, 6KG RadioWest, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Best Sales Promotion:
Metropolitan - 2UE Rebranding to 2UE-Wii, 2UE, Sydney, New South Wales (Fairfax Radio Network).
Provincial - Laptops + Steamroller = Awesome, 104.7 Product Team, 104.7, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ARN/Austereo).
Country - Captain Costcutter, 2GN, Goulburn, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasters).
Best Community Service Project:
Metropolitan - Bushfire Appeal, Fox FM/Triple M, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Jessie's Journey, 92.7 Mix FM, Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Macquarie Southern Cross Media).
Country - 2NM Power FM Black Coal Cup Day, 981 2NM/98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasters).
Best Achievement In Production:
Metropolitan - Sideshow Mike Andersen, Triple M, Sydney (Austereo) - Second year running.
Provincial - Mark Brewer, NX FM, Newcastle, New South Wales, Austereo).
Country - Brett Smith, 98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, NSW, Grant Broadcast).
Metropolitan - Matt Steadman & Brett Kelly, Austereo Melbourne Studios, Fox FM/Triple M, Melbourne, VIC (Austereo) - recipient of Max Wilson Engineering Award.
Non Metropolitan - John Pearce, 2GO Remote Breakfast Studio, 107.7 2GO, Central Coast, New South Wales (Macquarie Southern Cross Media) -second year running.
Best Multimedia Execution - Sales:
Waterwise Widget, Brett Sandler & Shiobhan Baster, Nova 937, Perth, Western Australia (DMG Radio Australia).
Best Multimedia Execution - Station:
Tall Ships, Hamish & Andy, Fox FM, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Most Popular Station Manager:
Joel Gosper, 981 2NM/98.1 Power FM, Muswellbrook, New South Wales (Grant Broadcasters).
Metropolitan - Sean Ryan, Nova 106.9, Brisbane, (DMG Radio Australia).
Provincial - Andy Mathers, Star 104.5, Central Coast, New South Wales (DMG Radio Australia).
Best Newcomer On-Air:
Metropolitan - Ryan Shelton, Nova 100, Melbourne, Victoria (DMG Radio Australia).
Provincial - Kiri Martin, The Edge 96.1, Western Sydney, New South Wales, (Australian Radio Network).
Country - Kristen Henry, Magic 93.1 FM, Riverland, South Australia (Fairfax Radio Network).
Best Newcomer Off-Air:
Metropolitan - Michael Eva, Fox FM, Melbourne, Victoria (Austereo).
Provincial - Ashleigh Hudson, 104.7/MIX 106.3, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ARN/Austereo).
Country - Anita Buda, 5SE/96.1 Star FM, Mount Gambier, South Australia (Macquarie Southern Cross Media) - recipient of the Matt Ellis Encouragement Award.
In addition to the regular awards a number of special achievement awards were made this year for Exceptional contribution to the metropolitan rollout of digital radio: These went to:
Joan Warner - CEO Commercial Radio Australia.
Des DeCean, Austereo.
Raoul Prideaux, Macquarie Southern Cross Media.
Wayne Dickson, BTC Australia Pty Ltd.
Graeme O'Connor, ARN.
Max Carter, Sky Sports Radio.
Richard Morris, Commercial Radio Australia.
Steve Adler, DMG.
Kath Brown, Commercial Radio Australia.
Alastair Reynolds, Fairfax Media.
Das DeCean was also inducted into the Australian Commercial Radio Hall of Fame. One of Australia's most qualified and experienced radio engineers, he was the first employee of Austereo 29 years ago when FM radio was launched in 1980.
He has headed the technology team at the network ensuring the adoption of leading edge broadcast systems; introduced the first use of CDs on air and most recently has been integral in the introduction of digital radio in Australia.
In relation to digital radio, Commercial Radio Australia this month released industry developed innovative Commercial Content Standards for the synchronisation of visual and audio components for advertising on DAB+ digital radio.
Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA said of the standards, "The finalised Commercial Content Standards will give confidence to the advertising sector that the radio industry has a reliable digital radio production process and hopefully it will encourage further digital radio advertising innovation from the industry."
CRA also announced that a world first software package- known as Piñata - that links all aspects of the Commercial Content Standards - audio, text, images, scripts and an audit file - is in its final stages of development by the Commercial Content Standards Group (CCSG), a working group of CRA's Digital Technical Advisory Committee (DTAC). It is currently undergoing final development and will be released to the radio industry in early 2010.
In another change in the Australian industry, CRA has elected Cathy O'Connor, Chief executive officer of DMG Radio Australia, as its new chair to replace outgoing chairman, Michael Anderson, chief executive officer of Austereo, who has announced he is leaving the radio industry next year.
Previous ACRAs (2008 Awards ):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2009-10-13: UK Media regulator Ofcom has upheld just one standards complaints against radio in its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it also upheld two TV standards complaints and considered a further TV case resolved through action taken by the broadcaster: No Fairness and Privacy cases were listed.
The figures compare with the upholding of Standards complaints against three radio stations in the previous bulletin in which no TV standards complaints were upheld although details were listed of a TV Standards Complaint that was not upheld and a TV Fairness and Privacy case was partially upheld.
The radio complaint upheld involved a "Win a Holiday in May competition" run by Guardian Media Group's Smooth Radio Northwest. In this weekly competition listeners were asked to call the station as soon as they heard a particular clue and if selected at random, were brought to air to answer a question. If correct, they were awarded £100 and a place in each Friday's draw to win a holiday.
The on-air promotion said, "How would you like to spend an all-inclusive week in paradise on twelve miles of white sandy beaches? If you haven't already, take a look online now - there are some amazing images of Turks and Caicos and all the details, terms and conditions for this wonderful prize."
Ofcom was contacted by a listener who had won one of the competitions and was surprised to find that the prize excluded airport taxes - approximately GBP 400 (USD 635,000) in total which they were required to pay.
The broadcaster was asked to comment and responded by saying the promotion invited listeners to visit the station website for details and added that the posted terms and conditions listed the airport taxes requirement.
It also said that those entrants who progressed to each of the Friday draws were contacted directly to confirm their telephone number and to check that they had read the terms and conditions online and said that because of the number of conditions relating to the competition - giving as examples passport/visa requirements, health regulations and airport taxes - it took the decision to refer listeners to off-air information rather than meticulously list all the specifics of the prize.
Ofcom noted these details but said it was concerned that the on-air description of the prize as "all-inclusive" did not accurately reflect what was actually on offer. In Ofcom's view, it said, the requirement to pay over GBP 400 towards a holiday for two people meant that the prize could not reasonably be described as being "all-inclusive", and would have deterred some listeners from entering the competition had it been included in the on-air description. It ruled that the prize had not been accurately described on air as required.
In addition to the above, Ofcom also listed without details 174 TV complaints against 120 items and 17 radio complaints against 15 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 157 TV complaints against 58 items and 31 radio complaints against 22 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2009-10-12: Arbitron has announced the commercialization of its Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings service in five more markets, taking the total where the PPM is now commercial to 25 markets.
The new markets are Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, St. Louis, Denver-Boulder, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
and Arbitron has released estimates for the September 2009 survey in these markets and says these should be used by subscribing stations, agencies and advertisers for transactions in the markets.
Arbitron says it is to commercialize its PPM ratings in nine further markets at the end of the year with the release of the December PPM report for in Portland, Oregon; Sacramento; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo; San Antonio; Kansas City and Las Vegas.
2009-10-11: In another fairly quiet week for the regulators, the main development potentially affecting radio was a political one in the US where a House Committee has voted for proposals that would ease the restrictions on low power FMs (See RNW Oct 8).
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found rule breaches by a two community stations, proposed changes in two licence areas, and posted proposals for simplified licensing procedures proposed for remote Indigenous radio services known as 'RIBS radio'.
These stations currently generally operate under either a community broadcasting licence or a temporary community broadcasting licence and holders of temporary community broadcasting licences are required to re-apply each year whilst holders of community broadcasting licences are required to re-apply every five years, and must satisfy extensive criteria.
Commenting on the proposals, for which comments have to be submitted by November 20, ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said, "The ACMA identified an opportunity to relieve providers of remote Indigenous broadcasting services of a significant administrative burden. These broadcasters typically serve small and isolated communities in locations where spectrum is not scarce.
"I encourage providers of remote Indigenous broadcasting services and members of the community to comment on the proposal, and to work with the ACMA in simplifying the current licensing arrangements."
The two community stations that breached rules were Bankstown Auburn Community Radio Inc. (BACR), holder of a licence in Bankstown, New South Wales, and Heritage FM Inc, licensee of 6HFM, Armadale, Western Australia.
BACR was found to have breached requirements relating to encouraging members of the community they serve to participate in the operations of the service and the selection and provision of programming. In response to the findings it appointed a Publicity and Promotions Officer who will be developing strategies to encourage participation in both the operations of the service and the selection and provision of programming and also indicated its intention to expand its committee structure and seek advice from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia on how to improve its compliance with licence conditions.
6HFM was found to have broadcast an advertisement from one of its sponsors because it had failed to broadcast a pre-recorded tag in relation to an announcement for a financial sponsor of the licensee.
In this case the ACMA said it was satisfied that 6HFM has appropriate measures in place regarding the tagging and broadcast of sponsorship announcements and that the breach, in this instance, was inadvertent and due to human error.
No further action is to be taken in relation to each breach.
Licence area changes were proposed for Canberra and St Georges Basin, New South Wales: In the first case, the ACMA is seeking comment, to be submitted by November 4, relating to a plan to make a new FM frequency available to community radio broadcasting service, 1CMS to improve reception of the service in the Tuggeranong area of Canberra and consequent changes to 2QBN's frequency in Williamsdale and a change to the technical specifications of a high power open narrowcasting radio service in Canberra.
In St George's Basin the proposal, for which comment has to be submitted by October 30, would allow commercial service 2ST, Nowra, to move an FM translator from Bewong to a new site at Huskisson to address issues related to the maintenance and operation of the transmitter which has caused coverage disruptions of the service into the St Georges Basin area.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), made only a few radio-related postings, including the allocation of a new commercial FM licence for Halifax, Nova Scotia to HFX Broadcasting Inc. (See RNW Oct 9).
Other postings included:
*Approval of a power increase from 37 watts to 250 watts for Newcap Inc.'s CJUK-FM, Thunder Bay, a change that would give the station protected status.
*Approval of application by Ottawa Media Inc. to relocate the transmitter, decrease the antenna height and increase from the power of 485 watts to 1,100 watts CJWL-FM, Ottawa. Some concerns were raised about potential interference with the signal of Christian Hits CHRI-FM but the commission noted that Ottawa Media would be responsible for rectifying third adjacent channel interference to CHRI-FM.
*Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to operate a 267 watts transmitter in Creighton to carry the signal of rebroadcast the programming of its national English-language network service Radio One originating from CBKA-FM, La Ronge.
In addition the agency has posted on its site additional aggregate financial summaries for the campus and community radio sector as part of the Review of campus and community radio. The sample continues to exclude developmental stations and campus instructional stations.
There were again no radio postings from the UK or Ireland but in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted may yet see its low-power FM proposals that were curbed following lobbying by the National Association of Broadcasters, which persuaded Congress to require third adjacent channel protection, move back closer to the original proposals following passage by a House Committee of an act that would remove this requirement.
Regarding other matters, the agency has yet again further extended - by another 90 days to January 7 next year - of the deadline for the filing of amendments to pending waiver requests or renewal applications or requests for permanent waivers of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule: It says the extension is necessary to allow it to consider the Media Parties' request that the deadline be delayed until 90 days after the issuance of a final court order on pending judicial challenges to the Commission's modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.
It also announced that the deadline for broadcasters required to file its biennial FCC Form 323, which provides ownership information about broadcast facilities that it requires as part of its aims of Promoting Diversification in the Broadcasting Services, has been amended.
Initially the agency had required its completion by November 1 but now it is to await approval of its new from the Office of Management and Budget after which it will issue a public notice that will give at least 30 days from that date for the new form to be completed. In addition it has extended from October 1 this year to November 1 the date by which information submitted on the revised Form 323 must be accurate and is also not to require licensees excused from filing by a Media Bureau's Order on May 29th to file the existing Form 323 on November 1, 2009. It says it believes that it would be an undue burden on licensees and other entities required to file Form 323 to prepare the existing form on November 1 and then prepare and file the revised form soon thereafter.
The agency has also been involved in a number of enforcement actions including the posting of four USD 10,000 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (See RNW Oct 8) and later issued the following penalties or proposed penalties:
*USD 7,000 NAL to John L. White, licensee of KOLJ-AM, Quanah, Texas, for unauthorized operation of the Station at a variance from his license without first filing for and obtaining Commission approval for the modification of the Station's facilities.
The station had gone dark in June 2008 following severe storms that amongst other things led to the collapse of its tower. Then licensee Media Technology filed a request for Special Temporary Authority for it to remain dark, which was granted along with a caution that the licence would automatically expire should operations not resume by June 6 this year.
In June this year the current licensee notified the Bureau that the Station had resumed operation on March 19, 2009, with a replacement tower at a different electrical height from its licensed tower and filed a concurrent request for an engineering STA to operate the replacement tower and also sought permission to operate at a reduced night-time power of 0.063 kW from the previous night-time power of 0.073 kW, and included a night-time allocation study demonstrating that no impermissible interference would be caused to other stations as a result of this proposal.
The request was granted but it was noted that the licensee had breached rules by operating from the tower without having first sought permission and requiring filing of appropriate forms.
The FCC noted that the station's licence automatically expired because it was either dark or involved in unauthorised operation for more than a year but in this case opted to reinstate the licence and apply a forfeiture for unauthorized operation as an appropriate action.
*Issued USD 250 forfeiture to Meadowland Baptist Church, licensee of Low Power FM WBLG-LP, Bowling Green, Kentucky, for late filing of renewal application. The FCC had initially issued an NAL for USD 1,500 to which the station responded by requesting cancellation on the basis that the late filing was occasioned by the severe health problems and hospitalization of its chief engineer and liaison person. The FCC inline with other recent decisions concerning LPFMs rejected the argument but cut the penalty to USD 250.
In Wyoming, the agency denied an application for review from Chaparral Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of KLZY-FM, Powell. Chaparral had filed a change to move the channels for the CP for the station but did not enclose the required USD 2,230 fee as a result of which it was assessed for a 25% late penalty fee of USD 557.50 in addition to this.
Chaparral had paid the full amount but requested waiver of the late penalty fee on various grounds in particular arguing that the agency should have dismissed the application with the option to re-file without penalty. The FCC said Chaparral had misread the relevant provisions of the agency rules and confirmed the penalty.
In contested licensing decisions, the FCC has admonished Radio Free Nashville, Inc. (RFN), which was granted a licence for the construction of low power FM station WRFN-LP, Pasquo, Tennessee, on December 12 last year: It had filed a minor modification application to relocate the Station's licensed facilities that was granted on April 25, 2007 and the construction permit required RFN to complete construction and file a covering license application by October 25, 2008 but RFN filed its application on December 5, 2008, more than six weeks late, a delay that would normally lead to automatic expiry of the construction permit.
Bay-Pointe Broadcasting, Inc. had objected to the grant and sought its reconsideration, contending that the grant had been premature.
The FCC noted that RFN had said that it completed construction immediately following the grant of the modification and that its failure to file a covering license application was due to an inadvertent administrative oversight and added that that the construction at the new site - completed on April 26, 2007 - took less than one day because it was merely returning to a site that it had previously used.
It also noted that bureau staff had been unaware of Bay-Pointe's objection when it granted the application and thus should have considered the arguments. It therefore granted the application for reconsideration but having done said that because RFN had contact FCC staff when it discovered its oversight and followed the staff's directions it would of its own accord waive the expiry and deny the Bay-Pointe arguments but admonish RFN for the late filing.
In Indiana the FCC dismissed a petition for reconsideration of the grant to Spryex Communications, Inc. of a construction permit for new non-commercial educational station WCIX-FM, at Versailles, Indiana. The petitioner said that the licensee was offering to sell the permit at a profit, which he said appeared to be contrary to the Commission's intent in reserving channels for "community radio" and requested reversal of the CP award.
The FCC in denying the petition noted that it had been filed late and thus had to be dismissed except in extraordinary circumstances, which did not exist in this case. It also noted that the restrictions of sales of CPs applied to low-power FMs not full-power ones like WCIX.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2009-10-10: The BBC Trust has partially upheld a complaint from UTV-owned talkSPORT that had alleged unfair trading by the Corporation in its bidding for the radio broadcast rights to the FA Cup - it bought exclusive radio broadcast rights to event in a deal which runs from 2008/09 to 2011/12 - and England internationals.
UTV had raised the complaint with the BBC Executive in December last year but the complaint was rejected in January this year by the BBC Executive Fair Trading Committee following which UTV appealed to the Trust, which has found that the BBC had failed to conduct a proper competitive impact assessment when bidding for the rights and said that this amounting to a breach of the Executive's duty to endeavour to minimise the BBC's negative competitive impact on the wider market.
It also commented that that the Executive had failed to respond to talkSPORT in an open and transparent manner and added that the "the handling of this complaint could have been undertaken with more rigour by BBC Fair Trading" and commented, "In particular, rather than focusing on the issue of whether the BBC paid more for the FA Cup rights than they were worth to a commercial operator, the complaint investigation should also have included more questioning on the processes and actions undertaken by the Executive to ensure value for money and to ensure compliance with the Fair Trading Guidelines."
It found there was insufficient evidence to support allegations that the BBC had breached competition or state aid law; that the successful bid made by the BBC was unreasonable in terms of value; and said there was "no evidence that the Trust did not sufficiently carry out its duties in relation to the stewardship of public money."
The Trust has ruled that by January next year the Executive must report to the Trust on how it plans to strengthen the process of bidding for sports rights to ensure value for money for licence fee payers; by June next year the Executive's Fair Trading external auditors must report to the Trust on steps taken to assess, identify and minimise any potential negative competitive impacts of the BBC's activities in relation to the BBC's acquisition of sports rights; and adds that the "Executive must note that achieving value for money does not necessarily mean securing exclusive sports rights, and if there are other ways of meeting the obligations of a particular service licence, these must be considered."
UTV Media Managing Director Scott Taunton commented of the ruling, "I would like to thank the BBC Trust for the manner in which they have conducted their investigation.
"We are obviously pleased with the Trust's findings and look forward to entering future sporting rights bidding processes knowing that we are competing on a level playing field."
BBC Trust Ruling (10-page, 93kb PDF):
2009-10-09: Emmis has reported second quarter revenues to the end of August down 27.4% on a year ago at USD 67.97 million with overall net income of USD 5.4 million a year ago turning into a net loss of USD 133.4 million ( Net loss applicable to common shareholders was USD 135.56 million compared to net income of USD 1.24 million a year ago with per share income of three cents moving to a loss of USD 3.67), because of impairment loss of USD 171 million : The fall follows a 26.9% year-on-year revenue decline in the first quarter with the total for the six months down 27.2% to USD 130.4 million.
Within the figures, radio revenues for the quarter were down 25.2% to USD 54.43 million and down 26.9% for the half-year to USD 99.6 million whilst publishing revenues fell 30.6% for the quarter to USD 14.54 million and 28% for the half-year to USD 30.79 million.
Station operating expenses for the second quarter were down 18.4% to USD 54.78 million and for the half-year were down 15.4% to USD 109.3 million.
In an email to staff that was posted by the company on its site, CEO Jeff Smulyan said of the results, ". The good news is that, although the problems with the economy, turmoil in our industries and our own bumps in the road have demanded a lot of attention, we do have improvements to report."
He then went on to comment about concern about possible NASDAQ De-listing of which he said, "I understand that merely being put on notice is unsettling, but I am confident that we have the time and means to avoid delisting. Because the trigger for delisting is months away, we believe improvements in our business could drive our stock price up in time to prevent delisting. However, if the market does not respond to our progress as we expect, we can address the problem through other means over which we have more direct control. Emmis will remain a NASDAQ firm."
He then went on to a re-stating of earnings for the past financial year, sating this "solely relates to a noncash technical tax issue that has no impact on our operations" and adding, "While there might be big numbers involved and a lot of paperwork being filed, I don't see anything to worry about."
That he said left the good news - "For the last few months, we've seen sequential improvements in our domestic radio performance. While we're still behind year-to-year, we're making gains. In Q1, we were down 27 percent from the previous year; in Q2, we were down 22 percent - still negative, but an improvement. And we see continued improvements ahead. In fact, we think that, within a few months, we could see our first positive numbers since April of 2008."
Smulyan said the improvements were in all markets, singling out Emmis clusters in Chicago, St Louis, Indianapolis and Austin as outperforming their markets on top of which New York was "building stream" and along with LA expected to improve in the coming months.
Regarding publishing and international operations Smulyan said they continued to "face big challenges - with major advertisers particularly hard hit by the global economic slowdown - and they continue to work hard to meet and overcome those challenges."
He ended on a hopeful note, writing, "The past year has been the most difficult I've experienced, but I do see better times ahead. Certainly, we can't relax. We've got to keep fighting, innovating and surviving. But we are making gains. Not long ago, I said that together we could emerge from these difficult times ready for new opportunities. Now, thanks to your good work, I can say, together, we're showing steady improvement toward that goal. Thank you."
2009-10-09: Greater Media has dropped the Hot AC format of its WNUW-FM, Philadelphia, and flipped the station to simulcast the programming of its sports station WPEN-AM (950 ESPN).
The station's web site re-directs the to the 950espn site, now headed "97.5 FM The Fanatic" and carrying a promo line saying, "950 ESPN is now 97.5 The Fanatic. All the great programming and sports talk you expect from us is now also heard on the FM dial."
In a release, Greater Media said of the switch, which began at 5p.m. today, "Greater Media Philadelphia is proud to bring the greatest sports fans in America the FIRST FM sports radio station in Philly."
The announcement carried details of the station line-up and a note that specialty programs for Monday and Friday evenings will be announced in the near future.
John Fullam, Vice President and Market Manager of Greater Media Philadelphia., added, "We are thrilled to launch Philly's first FM Sports station" said "Philly Fans are the most passionate sports fans in America. They deserve a station like The Fanatic with dynamic programming including Mike Missanelli, ESPN, the World Series, and the biggest stories, names and games in Philadelphia sports."
Previous Greater Media:
Greater Media news release:
2009-10-09: According to the Sag Harbor Express, Peconic Public Broadcasting is to take over Long Island University's WLIU-FM.
Peconic is a non-profit group headed by station staffers that was formed to rescue the station after the university announced plans to sell it because it could no longer afford to subsidize operations, which cost it around USD 2 million a year (See RNW Aug 11) and the group, which made the highest offer of three bidders, is said to be paying some USD 2.4 million although no figures have been released.
The station is currently based on the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University and Peconic had said that if their bid was successful they planned to move the station HQ to Wainscott.
The paper quoted WLIU General Manager Wally Smith as saying, "We are thrilled and excited that we were successful. We will carry on the tradition of public radio on the East End and we are grateful to LIU for making this decision."
He added that the station would be able to continue operations from Southampton until December and possibly for a few months more
The paper says that the Peconic offer was probably sweetened by an offer to continue hosting WCWP-FM from Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus at Brookville and quoted Smith of saying about WCWP, "They, [LIU], don't have to make an investment in additional staff until they are financial secure."
Peconic has gained support from several private backers and Smith said they were confident they could raise the funds for the purchase.
Sag Harbour Express report:
2009-10-09: HFX Broadcasting Inc. has been awarded a licence for a new English-language commercial FM in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Its bid for a 32,000 watts Adult Album Alternative station beat off rival bids from Acadia Broadcasting Limited for a 45,000 watts Adult Album Alternative FM and from Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a 14,223 watts Blues FM.
A further application by Parrsboro Radio Society to increase the power of its low-power community Type B station CICR-FM from 50 to 500 watts was rejected (thus giving it protects status) with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) commenting that Parrsboro's rationale for its application - that it would allow it to serve several local communities - related to communities that are not covered by the proposal and communities it was never licensed to serve.
The agency in making the award noted that the Halifax market is currently served by nine mainstream commercial stations including HFX Broadcasting Inc.'s Rhythmic/Dance Top 40 format CKHZ-FM that began operating in the 2005-06 financial year. It said the market had grown at a healthy compound annual rate of 8.8%, compared to 6.5% for all of Canada from 2004 to 2008 and considered that it could support an additional commercial station without undue negative impact on existing stations.
2009-10-08: The Local Community Radio Act of 2009, which could potentially clear the way for hundreds more Low Power FMs in the US by removing third-adjacent-channel protection requirements, has been passed by the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet by a 15-1 majority.
Jonathan Lawson, Executive Director of Reclaimthemedia, which was one of the organizations backing the move, commented that the Act would "make the airwaves truly public for millions of rural and urban Americans and added, "Once this bill becomes law, many communities that have been without local news, local music and local talk will have a new option: media by the people, for the people."
A report on the vote carried by Reclaimthemedia and the Prometheus Radio Project quoted California Democrat Anna Eshoo, a co-sponsor, as saying, "All I can say is, it's about time. It was absurd and ridiculous that broadcasters went to such great lengths to block the public from having some small measure of access to the airwaves, and disgraceful that we had to spend more two million dollars to prove what the FCC already had shown-that LPFM would not interfere with full power stations."
Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman Mike Doyle, who was the lead co-sponsor of the bill with Nebraska Republican Lee Terry, noted that "The bill still has a long way to go in the legislative process, but I am optimistic that by the end of the year the Local Community Radio Act will be signed into law.
Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Campaign Director for the Prometheus Radio Project said the vote "signals a policy shift towards more local and diverse media" and added, "We need to use this momentum to push for full passage of the Local Community Radio Act so groups working tirelessly to have a voice in their communities can start building stations."
Reclaimthemedia also noted that a number of Republicans who had opposed LPFM in the past had switched to support the bill including Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers; Oregon Republican Greg Walden, a former broadcaster,; Florida Republican Cliff Stearns, a former co-sponsor of anti-LPFM legislation and ranking Republican on the subcommittee, and Michigan Democrat John Dingell who called for the study of LPFM interference in 2000.
The Act now goes to the full Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by California Democrat Henry Waxman, a long-time LPFM supporter.
RNW Note: So far the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which was behind lobbying that led to the third-adjacent-channel restrictions has not commented. We will update this report should we see comment from them.
Previous Prometheus Radio Project:
Prometheus Radio Project release:
2009-10-08: The defence in a lawsuit in which Entercom is being sued by the relatives of a woman who died from drinking excess water in a "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest staged by the company's KDND-FM,m Sacramento, in 2007 has now rested its case.
The Sacramento Bee says that Entercom Communications Corp. attorney Donald W. Carlson, who because of a gag order that he sought and obtained cannot explain his strategy to reporters, had questioned four witnesses - a coroner's pathologist, a radio engineer and two other contestants - concerning the contest that led to the death of Jennifer Lea Strange who was trying to win the Wii as a present for her son.
The pathologist testified that she had not come across a case of death through water intoxication in carrying out 2,300 previous autopsies and had found only 18 such deaths in a search of literature over the previous 30 years.
The two other contestants were Ron Mendoza, who testified that he knew of the previous case in which a Chico State student had died of water intoxication in a hazing incident, and contrasted that case with voluntary participation in the competition in this case, and Aram Dermenjian, who was the first to drop out and said he assumed the other participants "would know their own limits."
The paper quoted former UC Davis School of Law Dean Rex R. Perschbacher as saying of the Defence strategy, "Perhaps the corporation believes they've got enough distance from the contest and that the jury might conclude they don't have any responsibility, but that seems a high-risk strategy to me. Maybe there's nothing more for them to say."
The plaintiff's lawyer had concluded his case by calling Strange's two children - Ryland Strange, 6, and his little sister, Jorie, 3- to testify.
The two attorneys are now scheduled to address the issue of the radio company's liability as well as damages when they argue their cases to the jury next Tuesday.
Sacramento Bee report:
2009-10-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued four Notices of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture (NALs) to the tune of USD 10,000 each for public file offences.
The NALs have gone to:
*Linfield College, licensee KSLC-FM McMinnville, Oregon. It had disclosed in connection with its licence renewal that issues/programs lists from 1999, 2000, and 2001 were missing from the Station's local public file and also that it failed to file or retain copies of its biennial ownership reports, although it states that there were no ownership changes at the station during the license term. The licence was renewed.
* Auburn Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WSFW-AM, Seneca Falls, New York, which also disclosed in its licence application that it had failed to retain required documentation in the station's public inspection file. Its licence was also renewed.
* Auburn Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WAUB-AM, Auburn, New York. Again it had disclosed documentation shortfalls in its licence renewal application and again the licence was renewed.
*Lake County Broadcasting Inc, licensee of WNYR-FM, Waterloo, New York, which had failed to retain required documentation in its public inspection file. Its licence was also renewed.
2009-10-07: According to the New York Post, the private equity companies - Bain Capital and THL Partners - that bought Clear Channel and whose two efforts to date to restructure its debt have failed are now seeking assistance from some large banks to avoid going into default on the company's loans.
Citing two unnamed sources "close to the situation" the paper says the banks, who were taken to court by Clear Channel to force them to live up to their agreements to fund the buyout, are disinclined to help with the result that Clear Channel could default by the end of this year or early next year.
Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, RBS and Wachovia had originally agreed to finance the deal at USD 39.60 a share but balked following a drop in the company's share price: Stockholders ultimately voted for a deal at USD 36 a share (See RNW July 25, 2008) but only after legal action (See RNW May 23, 2008).
The Post notes that private equity firms stuck with the deal, and most of the lenders have since sold their Clear Channel debt at discount prices.
It adds that Bain and THL, who together own around 16% of Clear Channel, have denied reaching out to the banks whilst Clear Channel has refused comment and goes on to suggest that, although they could inject new cash the best option for them according to a source could be to allow the company to go bankrupt, potentially leaving them with a share of the de-leveraged business, which could turn into a profitable investment.
Previous Clear Channel:
New York Post report:
2009-10-07: UTV has withdrawn from UK commercial radio body The RadioCentre, saying it made the decision because of increasing concern at the direction the Centre was taking in relation to digital switchover and also because of what it sees as too much influence from Global Radio, the UK's largest radio company.
Scott Taunton, Managing Director, UTV Radio said in a statement, "I am genuinely disappointed to be standing down from the RadioCentre, not least given the great work carried out by the many talented and dedicated staff I have worked with at the industry body since its inception."
"Following the merger of GCap and Chrysalis (Both taken over by Global Radio)," he continued, "it is clear to me that the governance of the RadioCentre is no longer reflective of the wider industry interests, an issue which, despite considerable effort, I have been unable rectify."
Global Radio has not commented on the move and for the RadioCentre its chief executive Andrew Harrison responded by thanking UTV for its contribution and wishing them well.
UTV has previously withdrawn from radio industry bodies - it pulled out off the RadioCentre's predecessor bodies the Radio Advertising Bureau and Commercial Radio Companies Association for five years until January 2006 when it rejoined them and soon after that threatened to pull out of the RadioCentre unless it got a seat on the Board.
In other UK radio news the UK Guardian has reported that six candidates have been shortlisted for the post of chief executive of Digital Radio UK, the new industry body that is to take over from the UK Digital Radio Development Board (DRDB - See RNW Sep 3).
The post will have a salary of GBP 150,000 (USD 240, 00) a year and the paper said one radio executive described the post as "the impossible job" and others had expressed concern that the package on offer wasn't enough to attract a candidate of sufficient calibre: It quoted an unnamed "industry figure" as saying, "It's a job for a heavy hitter and not one for the faint hearted. It needs to be someone who can deliver."
Candidates are to be interviewed by Tim Davie, the BBC's Director of Audio and Music, and Harrison and one major concern will be the take-up of DAB digital radio in automobiles, a matter discussed this week in London between representatives of the radio industry and motor manufacturers.
In yet another UK radio move, John Perkins is to stand down as managing director of commercial radio news provider Independent Radio News at the end of November after two decades in the post. He will be succeeded by IRN business development director Tim Molloy
Perkins began his radio career as a reporter on Radio City in Liverpool when it launched in 1974 and moved to LBC as a political reporter a year later.
At IRN he was industrial editor and home affairs editor before in 1982 being appointed managing editor of LBC/IRN. He became IRN managing director in 1989.
Perkins said he was "proud of IRN's achievements over the years", adding, "It is now taken by over 300 radio stations in the UK with a combined audience of over 30 Million listeners. It is also financially sound and this year - despite the credit crunch - will deliver near record profits with a further increase predicted next year."
Previous Digital Radio UK/UKDRDB:
UK Guardian report re Digital Radio UK:
2009-10-07: Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced that it is to run a second series of free digital radio creative workshops for advertising agencies and radio advertising clients in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, to be held on October 11, November 11 and November 15 respectively.
The CRA says the aim is to provide hands on experience to clients and advertising agencies on the opportunities available on the recently launched digital radio platform and they will include examples of digital commercial content, demonstrate how to bring radio ads to life using images and include a brainstorm session to share insight into radio solutions.
The body's CEO Joan Warner said demand for the its first series of workshops had exceeded expectations and garnered very positive feedback from the advertising industry, adding, "Following the successful switch on of DAB+ in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide the advertising industry has had an opportunity to hear the new DAB+ programming and see DAB+ slide show and scrolling text in action. These workshops are designed to explore new opportunities for advertisers."
AFA Executive Director, Mark Champion said of the move, "We aim to help our members elevate their professional development and we see the digital radio creative workshops as an excellent avenue to learn about the integration of the new digital radio technology into the advertising industry. Agency members participating in the AFA Accreditation program will accrue four CPD hours for attendance at the workshop."
Also in Australia, this year's Australian Radio Conference, is to be held in Sydney on Friday with British TV host, journalist and entertainer, Sir Michael Parkinson delivering the keynote speech.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2009-10-06: St Louis looks set become the latest US city to lose a classical music station following the announcement that The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod ((LCMS) is selling 100,000-watt KFUO-FM for USD 18 million to Gateway Creative Broadcasting, which as Joy FM broadcasts Christian contemporary music from owns two "rimshot" stations- KPVR - FM and KHZR-FM, in Potosi and Bowling Green, that do not cover St. Louis County or city.
The KFUO web site, which notes that the station is "celebrating 61 years of Dedication to Classical Music and the Arts in St Louis", does not mention the sale on its home page: The church also owns KFUO-AM , which in 2003 became the first Missouri station to broadcast in HD, and a much earlier posting by Pastor Todd Wilken on The Brothers of John the Steadfast web site when the sale was first authorized noted that the sale was only of the FM station of which he commented "Classic 99 needs to be sold. Classic 99 does not broadcast the Gospel Those who have long opposed the sale of Classic 99 have intentionally confused the AM and FM stations, simply referring to "KFUO."
According to the St Louis Post-Dispatch the sale will become final in March pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval and payment for the station will be made in stages over a decade - USD 150,000 immediately, USD 1.35 million on closing, an additional $1,500,000 in interest and amortization in the fourth year, and the remainder in the tenth year.
The paper also notes that Gateway also owes USD 600,000, due in March 2011, on the two rimshot stations and reports that the station was never advertised and the sale was made in secrecy.
LCMS treasurer Tom Kuchta and board member Kermit Brashear, an Omaha lawyer and politician, it says, were behind the sale and Brashear handled the negotiations.
The paper reports that says the board apparently wanted to sell to a Christian organization but quotes the Rev. Dr. Paul Devantier, senior vice president at Concordia Seminary, as saying Brashear refused to acknowledge a Lutheran group which wanted to buy the station and retain the format, adding, that it was "difficult to understand why that group or any group within the church was never able to submit a bid to purchase the station."
"There's simply not a lot of cash being transferred," he said. "The church body is making it very easy for (Gateway) to purchase the station, offering to finance it. If that opportunity, if those same terms had been offered to individuals in the (LCMS) and the community, which has been so supportive, the station could have maintained its format, the tradition of the station, and its service to the church, the community and the world."
Another group, the Circle of Friends headed by Noemi Neidorff and Donna Wilkinson, also wanted to buy the station but they said Brashear ignored their requests for a copy of the term sheet for the station but instead tried to sell the group Gateway's rimshot stations, an HD channel on KFUO's signal, and "intellectual property" for USD 5 million. In August Brasher had said that he had met met the leadership of the Radio Arts Board and Circle of Friends and made the counter-offer, which he described as a win-win, of the HD channel and two existing Joy FM tations (See RNW Aug 17).
They said in a statement after learning of the sale that "the entire process leaves many questions unanswered" and also expressed "dismay that Kermit Brashear was not willing to negotiate with the (KFUO) Radio Arts Board or provide us upon our request the terms of any sale."
Postings today on The Brothers of John the Steadfast site echoed the concerns with very few so far expressing support for the sale, and even fewer for the sale on the terms reported.
The Brothers of John the Steadfast posting when the decision to sell was announced:
The Brothers of John the Steadfast reactions to sale reports:
St Louis Post-Dispatch report:
2009-10-06: Entercom Sacramento VP and Market Manager John Geary is no longer a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit filed after Jennifer Lea Strange died in a 2007 water-drinking contest staged by the company's KDND-FM in 2007 (See RNW Jan 17, 2007).
The decision to dismiss him as a defendant came after a discussion between Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd A. Phillips and attorneys for the plaintiff and the defence according to the Sacramento Bee, which adds that attorneys from both sides are precluded from discussing the decision after Entercom's lawyers sought a gag order that Strange's attorneys did not oppose.
Geary, who last week said he did not know about the contest until he learned of the death (See RNW Sep 29) declined comment.
The suit continues against Entercom Sacramento and Entercom Communications Corp.
Sacramento Bee report:
2009-10-05: CBS Radio has now flipped its smooth jazz WVMV-FM, Detroit, to its AMPS hit format and the WVMV web site redirects to "AMP 98.7 ALL The Hits" with a sub-heading "COMMERCIAL FREE MONDAYS": The site does not mention WVMV, whose format has moved to 92.7's HD2 channel as well as online at smoothjazzdetroit.com (This site is live).
The move had been rumoured for some time and on Friday at 17:00 the station played a montage of station IDs from former Detroit rock station WLLZ - "98.7 Wheelz The Hits You Grew Up With" -then went into a weekend of stunting starting with "Welcome to the Jungle" by GunsN Roses and then audio of the now infamous Kanye West comment at the VMA Awards in which he said Beyoncé's video was better, followed by her "Sweet Dreams", the signal for the start of the interim 987Takeover.com.
The flip sets CBS up against Clear Channel's contemporary hits WKQI-FM and the Detroit News in its report in advance of the flip noted that Dom Theodore, vice president in charge of contemporary hits radio for CBS, who was in Detroit on Friday once ran WKQI: he was OM of WKQI / WDFN / WXDX and later Regional VP of Programming for Clear Channel Detroit, before resigning in October last year (effective at the end of the year).
Previous Clear Channel:
Detroit News report:
2009-10-05: US National Public Radio (NPR) has announced a new journalism project, funded by USD 2 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and USD 1 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in which a dozen public stations - both radio and TV operators -will get resources to expand original reporting and form an online network to distribute and share content.
NPR says the pilot will help the stations, which are yet to be chosen, to establish themselves as definitive sources of news on a topic selected by each one as most relevant to its community, such as city politics, the changing economy, healthcare, immigration or education.
It adds that the funding will allow the stations to "hire new journalist bloggers" WHO "will focus exclusively on reporting and aggregating news about a topic relevant to that city, based upon its geography and unique characteristics. Stations will feed their work into NPR's content management system, where the entire group of participants will have easy access to each others' work to inform, enrich and add context as they create and present their stories. This common content sharing infrastructure provides a solid platform to support stations' online publishing needs and to expand the power of the network."
"These online reports," it says "will help fill the growing gap in local news offerings" and NPR President and CEO Vivien Schiller commented, "The opportunity here is two-fold. First, to beef up coverage of critical issues at the local level, and, second, to begin to establish an online network that can transform itself into a news powerhouse of unparalleled depth and quality."
Alberto Ibargüen of Knight Foundation said of the reason for the project, "The contraction of professional journalism poses a direct threat to our democracy as access to independent, in-depth, news and information is diminished" and CPB president and CEO Patricia Harrison, commented, "Public Media has an opportunity and a responsibility, in an environment of rapid technological and social change, to ensure diverse publics get the trusted information they need on issues important to their lives.
"CPB and the CPB board led by our Chairman Ernie Wilson are committed to ensuring that this web-first, multi platform news approach will be among many innovative investments that CPB makes to strengthen local and network journalism."
NPR also announced at the beginning of this month the launch of a new Technology Research Center (TRC) that will operate under the auspices of the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS and TRC combines the satellite transmission expertise of the PRSS with the technical innovation of NPR Labs.
The Center will provide broadcast technology research, consulting, and testing capabilities for members of the public radio community, including NPR member stations, NPR, other networks, and producers of public radio content and shows and also plans to market its consulting services to commercial customers with revenues to be used to support distribution of content to public radio stations.
Mike Starling, who serves as the vice president, chief technology officer, and executive director of NPR Labs, will head the new Center: he commented of the move, "We are delighted to join the PRSS and NPR Distribution. This new Technology Research Center will enable me and my team to expand the type and number of projects and services we offer and provide additional research and development bandwidth to the broadcasting industry."
2009-10-04: Last week was another generally quiet one for the regulators with the only radio postings coming from North America: There were no radio announcements from Australia, Ireland, or the UK.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did make a small number of radio-related postings including the following:
Consultation notice, with a Nov 3 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments, that included the following radio matters:
Application by Radio du Golfe inc. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter at Percé to broadcast the programming of CFMV-FM, Chandler
*Application by Rawlco Radio Ltd. to add 100,000 watts FM transmitters at Gravelbourg Swift Current and Warmley to carry the programming of CJME-AM, Regina.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was involved in a number of enforcement actions and also announced that it was run ownership rules workshops from early November in advance of its 2010 quadrennial review of media ownership rules (See RNW Sep 29).
It also responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the US National Association of Broadcasters that requested the inspection of records filed as part of the Enforcement Bureau's then-pending investigation of Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. and XM Radio, Inc.
The Bureau had granted in part and denied in part the applications and was dealing with five applications for review from the NAB and six relating to a request for similar records from U.S. Electronics, Inc.
The NAB requests concerned compliance by the companies with the Commission's rules governing FM modulators/transmitters used in connection with the satellite service and terrestrial repeaters, together with letters from the commission and responses from the companies.
The latter had been filed together with requests for confidentiality and after various exchanges of letters.
The Enforcement Bureau released four Letters of Inquiry (LOIs), two sent to each satellite company, and the and confidentiality requests of Sirius and XM but in regard to the Sirius responses considered that from more than 3,500 pages of records the vast majority of which the Bureau withheld as confidential commercial information. It also held that 94 pages involving presentations to Commission staff regarding proposed modification to Sirius' radios with FM modulators, and consent decree proposals should be withheld but rejected Sirius' argument that an additional 126 pages of records were entitled to confidential treatment; Sirius' claim that the names and titles of executive and senior-level Sirius employees involved in this matter should be redacted from any records released.
Similar decisions were made in relation to XM regarding which more than 2,700 pages of records were located with more than 2,250 pages being withheld.
USE had filed similar requests to the NAB and subsequently filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 14, 2008 seeking release of the records withheld in part under the Bureau's two decisions but after responses from Sirius, XM, and their unnamed employees moved to dismiss its complaint without prejudice, and the court granted its motion.
The FCC also notes that is subsequently entered into consent decrees with Sirius and XM concerning the alleged violations to which the FOIA requests relate and approved the merger of the two companies (See RNW July 28, 2007 - XM paid approximately USD 17.4 million and Sirius approximately USD 2.2 million ).
In response to the latest applications, the FCC has decided that the Bureau should redact the names and titles of the XM and Sirius employees - who had objected strongly on personal privacy grounds to the detail being released - from the records it determined should be released to NAB, commenting that it agreed with the employees that the release of their names was not "consistent with the core purpose of the FOIA, which is to allow the public to learn about the operations of the government. "
The NAB's argument said the FCC failed because "issues of whether the documents should be entered into the record of and considered in the merger proceeding, where they may be subject to protective orders) are not relevant in this proceeding, where our task is merely to decide whether certain documents should be released to the public at large" and release of the names "would not serve the FOIA's core purpose of "contribut[ing] significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government" but rather "would contribute primarily to an understanding of the operations and activities of XM and Sirius."
Regarding claims by the Sirius that the bureau erred in not redacting the identities of distributors, details of communications with its distributors, and the narrative in its LOI responses concerning how it internally dealt with the FM modulator issue, the FCC agreed that release of part of the responses would cause the company competitive harm and decided that they should be redacted.
It also said that the disclosure of other portions of the LOI Response involving Sirius product development and business strategies would result in competitive harm to Sirius, and said its review of the document indicates that the Bureau should also have redacted this part of the LOI Response.
In the case of XM, it said that a request that four documents provided in response to the LOIs should be treated as confidential failed to give specific details of what details should have been so treated unlike the documents from Sirius, which provided very specific indications of what sections and lines of their LOI Responses should have been treated as confidential and redacted.
For this reason it denied the XM application for review insofar as it seeks confidential treatment of the records the Bureau indicated would be released.
In other enforcement actions the FCC announced consent decree with CBS Radio over a competitive eating competition under which a USD 4,000 forfeiture was withdrawn in favour of a "voluntary contribution" of the same amount to the US Treasury and also announced a USD 4,000 forfeiture against Saga over another competition (See RNW Sep 28).
The Enforcement Bureau also issued the following forfeitures:
*USD 1,000 forfeiture to Pikes Peak Community College, licensee of FM Translator Stations K228EY (formerly K268AR), Pueblo, Colorado, and K206BZ, Manitou Springs, Colorado, for late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation.
It had initially issued an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for USD 14,000 to which the licensee responded by arguing that the penalty was excessive in view of other recent decisions.
The FCC took the point and reduced the penalty to USD 1,000.
*USD 500 forfeiture to Big Sky Owners Association, Inc., licensee of FM translator station K257AE, West Fork, Montana , for late filing of licence renewal and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The agency had initially issued an NAL for USD 7,000 to which the licensee responded by arguing for cancellation on the basis that the failure was unintentional and caused by significant" staff turnover at the time the renewal was due.
The argument was rejected but the penalty was cut to USD 500 in line with similar recent decisions.
*USD 250 forfeiture to TEA-VISZ, Inc., licensee of FM translator station W272AY, Park Falls, Wisconsin, for late filing of licence renewal application. TEA-VISZ had been sent an NAL for USD 1,500 for the breach to which it responded by arguing for cancellation on the basis that the failure was inadvertent and financial hardship.
Both arguments were rejected but the penalty was reduced to USD 250 in line with other recent penalties issued to translator station licensees.
The FCC also opened a window running to October 30 to permit amendment of a number of mutually exclusive construction permit applications for non-commercial educational and commercial FM, FM translator, and television stations that would allow applicants to apply for a commercial licence. Involved in the group are 13 AM applications in Indiana and a total of 76 FM applications and seven FM Translator Applications.
The latter are in California (3), Pennsylvania (2) and New Jersey (2) and the former are in Arizona (5); Colorado (18); Indiana (7); Michigan (6); Mississippi (4); New York (9); Puerto Rico (5), Texas (10); Virginia (4); and Wisconsin (8).
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2009-10-03: Former Boston radio host and financial adviser Gregg T. Rennie has been charged with 13 counts of fraud for allegedly defrauding clients of at least USD 3.2 million that he was said to have diverted from funds received for investment to pay personal expenses and business debts.
Rennie who hosted the "Your Money" talk show on WBIX-AM, Boston, was licensed to sell mutual funds and annuities and the Boston Herald reports that he is alleged according to documents filed in the U.S.District Court to have scammed clients by convincing them to buy "federal housing certificates," promising 8 percent to 12 percent interest payments on the investments, which he claimed were tax- and risk-free: The paper adds that he concealed his scheme by giving investors phony prospectuses and statements and by using his own funds and other investors' funds to make sporadic interest payments to some clients
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Rennie that resulted in a USD 4.2 million judgment against him and the paper says that if convicted on the current charges he faces up to 20 years in jail and more than USD 5 million in fines.
WBIX was involved in an earlier fraud when it was sold for USD 10 million to then Boston money manager Bradford C. Bleidt in a deal that went sour when Bleidt was arrested after he attempted suicide and sent taped confessions of malpractice to the Securities and Exchange Commission (See RNW Nov 21, 2004): former owner Alex Langer said he had not been paid the full amount and announced his intention to take back ownership and the receiver handed its operation over to him (See RNW Jan 8, 2005).
In December 2005 Bleidt was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of just under USD 32 million to his clients and in May 2007 the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a final settlement that added interest of just under USD 10 million to the restitution amount.
In an unrelated case Pittsburg, Kansas, headquartered American Media Investments, which operates stations in Kansas, Missouri and Texas, has been luckier than Rennie's victims: The company's former chief operating officer, 63-years-old Paul W. Lyle, who has pleaded guilty to the theft of around USD 87,000 for lottery scratch-tickets won USD 96,000 in a Kansas Lottery.
The Joplin Globe says that as part of a plea deal, Lyle is to surrender a boat, trailer, cash and other items he won as part of grand prize valued at USD 96,000, including USD 28,000 worth of taxes paid by the lottery. It adds that Lyle had stolen money to pay for the lottery tickets through the use of company credit and debit cards between January 2008 and May of this year when the theft was discovered and he was dismissed.
Investigators with the Crawford County Sheriff's Department subsequently discovered more than USD 30,000 worth of losing state lottery scratch-off tickets in a drawer of Lyle's desk at KKOW Radio, Pittsburg.
Boston Herald report:
Joplin Globe report:
2009-10-02: Arbitron has announced details of plans to increase sample sizes in markets rated using its Portable People Meter (PPM) markets, particularly a 10% increase for the 18-54 demographic by the middle of 2011.
The company hopes to achieve the sample for this demographic by 8% by the end of 2010 with the final 2% to be added n the following six months.
It also says it plans a minimum sample target of at least 750 people 6 and above by mid-2011 in all markets and of at least 675 for Memphis and Providence where clients did not elect to take advantage of a previously offered sample increase proposal.
Arbitron President and CEO Michael Skarzynski said of the moves, "Over the past 9 months, Arbitron has made significant advancements to improve sample quality. As part of our ongoing quality initiatives, we have accelerated the prioritization of increasing our cell-phone-only sample. This new plan to increase sample targets for Persons aged 18-54 complements our recently announced commitment to increasing the number of cell-phone-only households in all PPM markets. We continue to lay the groundwork to help ensure that the radio industry has the state-of-the-art solutions and services that it will need to compete for the long-term."
2009-10-02: All of the BBC Radio networks are to mark the 75th anniversary of the Corporation's Maida Vale studios with special programming from the studios on October 30 including a BBC Radio 2 special Friday Night Is Music Night featuring Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performing with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; a Live Lounge from Snow Patrol on BBC Radio 1; and a concert from the BBC Symphony Orchestra on BBC Radio 3.
A former ice-skating rink was refurbished to make the studios and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers moved into the building in 1934. During the Second World War they were used to broadcast news across Europe.
They were also home to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1958 to 1996 and Radio 1's Peel Sessions from 1967 until 2004 and hosted early radio performances from legendary acts including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie and drama recordings for Radio 3 and Radio 4 including Dr Zhivago and King Lear.
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: "Maida Vale has played a unique role in British music and arts for 75 years. The thousands of people who have passed through its doors have created some of BBC Radio's most memorable moments. Our celebrations promise to offer listeners some exceptional live performances which are a fitting tribute to this legendary venue."
2009-10-01: Bob Collins, the former director general of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ - he stepped down in 2003 (See RNW May 10, 2003) - and current chairman of the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland, has been names as the chairperson of the new Irish media regulator, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which is taking over the functions of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI)and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of Ireland (BCCI), as well as the functions of the RTÉ Authority and the board of Teilifís na Gaeilge (TG4).
In all the BAI will have a nine-member board, five of whom, including Collins, had been appointed to date: the BCI board had officially ended in December last year but it had remained in place because of delays in passing the delays in the passage of the Broadcasting Bill 2008
Making the announcement about the new Authority, Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said, "This new Authority will take on a great task in the regulation of a creative industry. Broadcasting works best where standards apply. The new Authority will seek and uphold the highest standards, enhancing trust among viewers and listeners. The airwaves are a public good and as such must be overseen with the public interest firmly to the fore."
2009-10-01: Entravision, which in December received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange (See RNW Dec 17, 2008) because its stock had closed below USD 1.00 for 30 days has announced that it has now regained compliance with the NYSE's minimum share price continued listing requirement.
The company's stock closed above the minimum USD 1.00 on September 30 and the average for the 30 days to that day was also above the requirement.
The company's stock rose 4.05% today to end at USD 1.80: It last closed below USD 1 on August 15, when the price was 97 cents.
2009-10-01: Absolute Radio has announced on its OneGoldenSquare blog that it is to launch a new digital station DABBL that is to showcase only broadcasts of as-live music for an initial launch period of around six weeks.
To be called DABBL, the station will air from 19:00 to 06:00 on DAB in the London area as well as online and the playlist will be determined by listeners' votes with the choice being made from a list of more than a hundred live performances that the station aired and recorded in its first year of operations since a Times of India subsidiary took over the station, formerly Virgin Radio.
The station website is already live and content on offer includes performances from "the Isle of Wight Festival and Hard Rock Calling, Blur, Coldplay and Kings of Leon gigs, and V Festival."
Absolute adds, "We wanted DABBL to showcase this fantastic live content, and celebrate the best live performances." And then says of the future that the station" won't always be about live music. We are looking at introducing other themes, and we want you to help us choose them."
Amongst suggestions it is putting forward are "Britpop classics, classic covers, songs to rock-out to, Punk Rock karaoke tunes, songs with colours in the title. Anything goes."
Absolute already airs two digital - and former Virgin stations - Absolute Radio Classic Rock and Absolute Radio Xtreme.
Initially at least the station is planning to build revenues on commercial partnerships and sponsorship rather than by taking spot adverts and it will also have no presenters. It is not intending to report RARAJ audience figures.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (ultimate owners of Absolute):
DABBL web site:
2009-10-01: Arbitron has announced the formation of a Cross-Platform media measurement group to be headed by Pierre Bouvard, who has been its Executive Vice President, Sales, since February and now takes the title Executive Vice President, Cross-Platform Services.
Arbitron President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Skarzynski said of the move, "Arbitron PPM technology provides a unique method for tracking consumer-level exposure across numerous platforms and media. By establishing this group, we believe that we can more effectively operate at the speed and scale required to succeed in this dynamic media marketplace.
"We believe this cross-platform media measurement initiative is a natural extension of our existing services and will help generate more comprehensive insights into our customers' total audience. Arbitron has invested in maintaining its leadership position by delivering high quality media measurement services, and we will continue to strive to obtain Media Rating Council accreditation across our radio markets."
Arbitron says that it plans to" capture an integrated view of the modern consumer media experience -- bridging the measurement gap amongst television, radio, Internet, mobile and placed-based media."
Bouvard's team, it says, will develop the cross-platform media measurement strategy, define key offerings and take them to the marketplace.
In an associated move Carol Hanley has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, reporting to Skarzynski.
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