June 2010 Archive
2010-06-30: US terrestrial radio management is getting the message that it needs to leverage the benefits of the Internet for business growth according to a report from Bridge Ratings that adds that more than 90% of the 242 general managers they spoke to in the top 150 markets expressed concern that they were prevented from being more active because of budgetary constraints and a lack of know-how. 80% said they were held back by their personnel; and more than two thirds cited equipment or software as holding them back.
Bridge refers to its study released eat the end of last month on the impact that social media marketing can have on any business in which it said that over the period of three months that one of its client CHR stations used a "hierarchy pattern" of marketing to promote contests, one-air features and client-based promotions there was a 25% and above increase in response or participation for every area that was marketed: "Listening occasions increased, time-spent listening grew and with a viral marketing component, custom VIP databases swelled within 30 days," it said.
In the current study "Is Terrestrial Radio Ready for a Digital Future?" Bridge comments, "Terrestrial radio has been exposed to the potential of increasing audience and advertising revenue through digital platform transition, but this new study by Bridge Ratings pinpoints just how unprepared they are."
On the other side of the equation it says that a study of 2612 persons 12 and older underscored "the urgency related to terrestrial radio's rapid adoption of all things digital" and that Internet radio and social networking show the greatest growth although it goes on to say, "For the immediate future terrestrial radio should maintain it's weekly listenership penetration."
Fewer than one in ten of its sample, it says had recently come in contact with a social network communication sourced from a radio station but of those who had "44% were motivated to visit the station's web site and 38% indicated they listened to the station in question by virtue of some social network contact."
Bridge also says that mobile devices present an opportunity for traditional radio and goes on to detail the interests of a panel concerning their current and potential use of cell phones, finding amongst other things that 6% expressed interest in a simulcast stream of a radio station but three times as many were interested in streaming pure play Internet radio and 5% each in audio playback or MP3 streams.
Previous Bridge Ratings:
2010-06-30: Melbourne in Australia now has its first full-time Jewish community service following the grant of a temporary community radio licence to Melbourne Jewish Radio Inc (MJR - on air as LION-FM, a name derived from The Lion of Judah): The area's Jewish community had previously been served by three-hours a week of programming on Ethnic station 3ZZZ and a small amount of Hebrew-language programming on SBS Radio.
Announcing the award of the sub-Metro low-power licence, with a maximum power of 250 watts on 96.1 MHz and running for a year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that because of spectrum congestion in the area it has placed conditions on the licence in which the power will have to be reduced towards the Geelong area should there by interference to Geelong community radio, which is on 96.3 MHZ. The ACMA also said that it may require MJR to share the frequency should it receive valid applications from other eligible aspirant groups and notes that there is no commitment to a long-term community service in the future.
Under the city's 2000 radio licence area plan there is provision for eight Melbourne-wide services and 18 sub-metro community broadcasting services and licences have been issued for all of them: Any additional long-term licence would mean a variation to the plan, which would require a public consultation.
2010-06-30: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that white supremacist and write-in Senate candidate for Missouri F. Glenn Miller doesn't meet the requirements set down for a bona-fide candidate and that broadcasters are not required by law to carry his adverts according to the Kansas City Star.
The paper quotes Mark Sableman, an attorney for the Missouri Broadcasters Association, which together with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wrote the FCC in April, as saying that the agency agreed with their argument that Miller was not qualified since he didn't have a campaign committee, regular news releases or an office, as the rules require
We're glad to have clarity," Sableman said. "The Miller commercials certainly don't meet the suitability requirements of most stations."
Entercom had carried the adverts on its news-talk KMBZ-AM and country WDAF-FM along with disclaimers on the basis that it could not legally refuse them but it donated payments received to two charities, one Jewish and the other a chapter of the NAACP (See RNW Apr 1): Other broadcasters argued that Miller was not qualified and thus not entitled to the "reasonable access" to advertising that Federal law requires for all qualified candidates
The adverts say white men have become cowards and should unite to take their country back: It also attacks Jews -claiming that they control the banks and media and are loyal to Israel (one advert which repeats the line "It's the Jews, Stupid!") - and also "the mud people who multiply."
They also direct listeners to his web site (WHTY.org) and other white supremacist sites including that of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
RNW comment: All Access has links to audio of the adverts at the end of this report it carried in April. It also carried mixed reactions some arguing that Freedom of Speech meant the adverts should have to be carried but others that they were an abuse of freedom including one that went to the nub of the issue with a comment that Miller was free to stand in the street and say what he wants or print what he wants but that this is not the same thing as requiring other parties - broadcasters in this case - to carry his adverts unless he is a genuine candidate.
Kansas City Star report:
2010-06-29: UK Guardian Media Group is to follow the pattern of merging regional radio stations into a national network that has begun following regulatory changes that permit this: Earlier this month Global Radio halved the number of its Heart stations (See RNW Jun 21) and it has also ended local output at its Gold network of AM stations.
In the case of the Gold stations, which were originally independent commercial station - the UK had 26 in all including stations such as Hereward, GEM-AM, Invicta Radio, and Radio Trent 301 - that were mostly live and local all the time, but had already been networked then the Gold format went national and reduced to mainly producing only four-hours a day of locally recorded output from noon to 16:00.
They will now be reduced to two networked Global stations, one Gold covering England and another Wales: Global had already divested itself of some stations to meet regulator requirements when it bought GCap Media and these stations are now owned by Orion Media, which is headed by headed by former Chrysalis Radio chief executive Phil Riley (See RNW May 22, 2009).
In the GMG Radio case, its five Smooth Radio regional stations in England are to become a network broadcast from Manchester and the UK Guardian, which is owned by the same parent, says that the move will mean the loss of up to 60 jobs.
It adds that the Scottish Smooth station will not be affected but the East Midlands HQ in Nottingham will be closed and there will be significant cuts at the stations in north-east England, and the East and West Midlands. It did not detail changes expected at the London station.
The stations already simulcast much of their output and they will retain regional news, travel and weather programming on the FM and regional DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) services although these will be produced in Manchester: The station will also broadcast a national service on the Digital One multiplex.
The paper quoted GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor as saying, "We are trying to change the shape of UK radio. Commercial radio has lacked scale and national delivery and the BBC has had all the national stations apart from the three commercial ones. We are going to add to that as the nation's first UK-wide easy listening station."
Of the national station he commented, "The future of radio is all about establishing strong brands, available across multiple platforms, and the future for Smooth is a truly national station. This deal with Digital One will enable Smooth to develop into one of the strongest names in UK radio."
"We want to be number one among 40-to-59-year-olds," he added. "Smooth Radio is well-loved and we are investing in reach and talent. On the downside we are having to make some tough decisions and lose some trusted and valued colleagues. That is regrettable.
"We regret the impact this will have on our people, but this new approach means Smooth Radio will be even better placed to serve its listeners and advertisers, more cost efficient as a business and in prime position for the digital future."
GMG in the financial year to the end of March, reported earlier this month, had an operating loss of its wholly owned businesses before exceptional items of GBP 53.9 million (USD 81.2 million), compared to GBP 65.2 million (USD 98.2 million) a year earlier. Its pre-tax loss rose from GBP 96.7 million (USD 145.7 million) to GBP 171.0 million (USD 257.6 million) including one-off impairment charges of GBP 96.5 million (USD 145.4 million) relating to its investment in EMAP and GBP 63.9 million (USD 96.3 million) relating to GMG Radio. In March this year it sold GMG Regional Media, which had become a loss maker.
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Guardian Media Group (GMG):
UK Guardian report:
2010-06-29: Townsquare Media, the former Regent Communications, which last month installed Steven Price, co-founder of media investment firm FiveWire Ventures, as Chairman and CEO (See RNW May 3) has now announced further management changes including the appointment of a number of FiveWire executives.
These are of Alex Berkett, who becomes Senior Vice President - Business Development and Mergers and Acquisitions; Dhruv Prasad who becomes Senior Vice President - Strategy and Operations; and Scott Schatz, who becomes Vice President - Finance and Information Technology;
Other appointments are of Greg Yudkin, who joins from CBS Radio as Vice President and Controller; and Christina Frey, who joins from McKinsey and Company as Vice President and Project Manager - Digital Strategy. Before joining McKinsey she worked at Sirius Satellite Radio.
The company also announced that John King, Senior Vice President - Operations, is to retire tomorrow after 39 years in radio.
Commenting on the appointments Price said in a release, "I am excited to be able to add such talented, dedicated and creative people to our Company's senior leadership. They will help us create a culture of excellence and a commitment to seeking new opportunities throughout our Company."
Previous Townsquare Media:
2010-06-29: London community station Link FM has closed down because of financial problems including a large drop in advertising and failure to secure grants, each of which had provided around half of its GBP 160,000 (USD 241,000) annual running costs. It had made around 30 unsuccessful applications for grants over the past three years and the recession cut support from local businesses.
Before the closure of the station, which serves the Havering area, presenter Nicki Cook told the Romford Recorder, "This hasn't been easy. We have 60 volunteers - some who have been with us since inception - and we've all put a lot of hours, blood, sweat and tears into this station."
Link FM first went on air in trials in 1990 and 1991 from with Harold Wood Primary School - the first in the UK to broadcast- and St Edward's Church of England Comprehensive School, and was awarded a Restricted Service Licence in 1992. It then broadcast on further RSLs, with a break in 1996, until it was awarded a community licence six years ago.
Romford Recorder report:
2010-06-28: UK media regulator Ofcom, which has already considerably eased UK radio ownership and localism regulations, has now posted its proposals for allowing product placement on UK TV and paid-for-references to brands and products on UK radio.
Responses to its consultation have to be submitted by September 17 and the proposals include details of proposed restrictions on the types of products to which the rules would apply and the way products can be included in TV programming and referred to in radio programming.
The proposals follow the passing of UK legislation on the matter as a result of changes in European Union legislation regarding to product placement on TV:
The consultation sets out four options:
Firstly to maintain the current rules, thus requiring all commercial communications (such as paid-for references to products or services), other than sponsorship credits, to be separated from programming.
Secondly to maintain the principle of separation but allow a defined set of exemptions, an approach that Ofcom took last year although it says there could now be a wider range of exemptions than were then proposed.
Thirdly to remove the principle of separation between commercial communications and programming except in relation to spot ads, which would need to be distinguishable from programming. The principles of editorial independence and separation (except in relation to spot ads) would no longer apply under this option.
Fourthly to allow full integration and remove the principle of separation in all cases, including spot adverts.
In relation to these Ofcom says it has identified various issues that could arise and specifically refers to potentially harmful products, programming primarily aimed at children; consumer affairs programming; religious programming; whether current safeguards and prohibitions in relation to news should be preserved; whether funding of commercial arrangements by non-commercial organisations require particular consideration; and whether potential commercial arrangements around music selection or rotation require consideration.
As regards harmful products Ofcom notes existing prohibitions UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (the "BCAP Code") on the promotion of tobacco products, prescription medicines, infant formula and smoking accessories and restrictions on scheduling in relation to alcohol, gambling, follow on formula and over-the-counter medicines. As regards children it notes that the code makes it clear that advertisements must avoid anything likely to condone or encourage poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in children.
It also comments that advertising within consumer affairs programming could raise particular concerns about the independence of observations and comments made within that programming, and whether these may have been affected by commercial arrangements but says that it is not proposing additional safeguards beyond those in the BCAP Code and takes the same approach in relation to religious programming.
Regarding news, however, Ofcom is not proposing to ease existing restrictions that prohibit sponsorship in general, although it allows sponsorship of "integrated sports news (RNW Comment: Presumably recognizing the commercial nature of sport today).
Ofcom consultation document (110 page 587KB PDF):
2010-06-28: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have jointly expressed concern about provisions in the US DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act that could extend the number of organizations covered by the current political advertising laws and also expand the scope of the Lowest Unit Charge (LUC) under which broadcasters have to apply the lowest rate for the slot concerned when airing political adverts.
In a joint letter to Majority leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch O'Connell, NAB Joint Board Chairman Steve Newberry and NCTA President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow say they wish to express their great concern and say the "change to current law could have the unintended consequence of displacing local advertising business during the election cycle."
They then add, "Furthermore, this provision would retroactively expand the LUC window, require priority placement of certain federal candidate ads and impose burdensome and unworkable
reporting regulations on your local content distributors" and say the proposals raise constitutional concerns and cites the case brought by CBS against the Democrat National Committee in 1972 in which the Supreme Court commented that it could not see "principled means under the First Amendment of favouring access by organized political parties over other groups and individuals."
The pair conclude by asking that the Senate follow the house and "remove provisions harmful to local businesses, as well as the broadcast and cable industries."
2010-06-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) it issued more than three years ago to Faith Enterprises, Inc., licensee of WZOO-AM, Asheboro, North Carolina, for late filing of renewal applications and subsequent unauthorized operation (See RNW Feb 25, 2007).
Faith responded by saying that it had made its filing on time but acknowledging that it had not properly tendered the requisite fee, although it did tender this three weeks later, before the renewal deadline and believed that this meant the application "would be timely filed."
It also noted that the agency kept the fee, thus leaving it with the impression that all was well and that when it received notice from the FCC that the licence had expired it and the call letters had been deleted from the agency database it had applied for Special Temporary Authorization (STA) to continue operations and resubmitted the renewal application.
On this basis the agency has cancelled the penalty and substituted a 25% late filing penalty, amounting to USD 37.50.
The FCC has also issued a USD 500 Forfeiture to Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, licensee of Low Power FM KWPA-LP, Coupeville, Washington, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation of the station.
It had issued an NAL for this amount in December 17 to which the licensee responded by arguing for cancellation on the basis that the failure was inadvertent - saying that the volunteer who handled FCC filings developed cancer and left the station and that it only discovered the failure to file when another volunteer took over her duties - and that the penalty would cause financial hardship.
The FCC dismissed the first argument and noted that it had not received documentation to substantiate the hardship: It confirmed the penalty.
2010-06-27: Last week was yet another very quiet one for the regulators as regards radio with no announcements at all from Australia or Ireland and few of them elsewhere: In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted only one radio announcement, its approval My Broadcasting Corporation's application for a licence for a 1,490 watts English language commercial FM in Gananoque, Ontario.
The new station will offer a blend of Country, Gold/Oldies and Adult Contemporary music selections and local programming will include approximately 14 hours of spoken word programming, of which approximately 5 hours will be devoted to news.
In the UK, Ofcom made only one radio posting, that of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no radio complaints although it did post details of a radio Fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld (See RNW Jun 22).
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a very quiet week as regards radio, a situation that looks set to continue with the emphasis in the agenda for the agency's next Open Meeting - on July 15 - having no radio items as such although its Notice of Propose Rulemaking seeking comment on electronic tariff filing is part of changes away from paper that has broad implications.
The agency also posted a clarification on the requirements for the agency's Ownership Report (Form 323): In April it had announced a July 8 deadline for filing the biennial Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations but it now says that it has now received numerous inquiries concerning filing information for stations whose ownership has changed since the "snapshot date" of November 1 last year.
In view of this, the Media Bureau now says it agrees that the public interest would best be served by considering requests for waiver of the biennial filing requirement in the cases of such stations, apart from those where the transfer was pro forma.
For pending transfers in the period from June 23 to the July 8 deadline, the agency will require filing of the form before the deadline as a condition of granting the application but for transfers between November 1 and June 23 it will consider requests for waivers from those new owners to say they cannot file the form because it either does not have and cannot obtain the required information from the prior owner or cannot certify to the accuracy of the information because it lacks the necessary information to support such a certification.
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-06-26: Tribune Co. has dropped midday host Steve Cochran from its WGN-AM, Chicago: He is to be replaced in August by Mike McConnell, formerly of Clear Channel's WLW-AM in Cincinnati, whose hiring was announced by WGN earlier this month although it did not then say what slot he would take (See RNW Jun 7).
The speculation, however, was that he would take Cochran's slot and according to Robert Feder in Vocalo, Cochran was given the news when his noon to 1500 show ended yesterday.
Cochran, notes Feder, had been preparing his listeners for his departure for some weeks although he had not been formally informed that he was to be dropped.
His latest contract extension ran until Wednesday next week and so far the station has made no announcement on its website about who will fill in until McConnell takes over: It currently lists guest hosts in the 1300-1500 slot.
Feder quotes Cochran as saying as he left, "It's the greatest audience I've ever worked for, and I'll miss them tremendously. But I am nothing but optimistic about the future - and I haven't been optimistic for quite some time."
Cochran joined WGN as a weekend and stand-in host at the start of 2000 and became full time midday host in the changes that followed the death of Bob Collins in a plane crash (See RNW Feb 9, 2000): Collins was succeeded in the morning drive slot by Spike O'Dell and Feder says that Cochran was odds-on favourite to take over that slot when O'Dell retired at the end of 2008 but "negotiations broke down when WGN bosses refused to boost his base salary and insisted on contract language covering his punctuality and attitude."
The slot was taken first by John Williams but after six months he was moved to the 0900 to noon slot that had been occupied by Kathy O'Malley and Judy Markey for two decades and Greg Jarrett was moved to the breakfast role (See RNW Jun 16, 2009 )
Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WGN, said in a statement, "We want to thank Steve for his service at WGN Radio and wish him the best" but Feder suggests that there has been friction between the host and station management since the breakdown of talks over morning drive and adds that his employment has been in serious doubt since WGN program director Kevin "Pig Virus" Metheny (RNW Note: This is the epithet for him used by Howard Stern when Metheny was Program Director at WNBC: More commonly remembered is the term "pig vomit", which comes from the character Kenny 'Pig Vomit' Rushton in the 1997 movie Private Parts) told him on the air, "I like you. I just don't like your show" after which he was moved from afternoons to middays with only a four-month contract.
Earlier in the week Metheny, of whom Feder seems no fan (See a column of his from November last year -here - in which amongst other things he commented that under Metheny "the station's hallmarks of honesty and truthfulness slowly are being replaced by posturing and attitude."), came under fire from O'Malley and Markey after a caller to Tuesday's edition of Garry Meier's afternoon show, on which Metheny was appearing, had said she was "one of the many people who were upset when [Kathy & Judy] were released."
Metheny responded, "You may want to get that straight. What they did was retire. They retired of their own volition. They gave us that notification, and then at that point, after they decided they didn't want to continue any longer, we did control the timing of it, but we didn't show them the door unceremoniously and, as I've often been accused of, we didn't give them the word that morning. . . . That was actually how they chose to portray it. They knew quite a while in advance actually, and the manner in which you learned it - and the timing at which you learned it - was not WGN's decision."
Feder reported that the comment upset the duo so much that they broke silence about their departure and issued a joint statement in which they said, "Kevin Metheny said on the Garry Meier Show that it was our choice to leave our show and WGN in May of 2009. It was not our choice, and we want that to be clear. Over 20 years on the air, we established a bond of trust with our radio girlfriends that we all valued. We never lied to them about the circumstances of our leaving, and we're just tired of hearing that it was our idea. It wasn't."
Feder says the hosts' account is corroborated by the station's news release at the time in which Langmyer paid tribute to the duo as having been "a phenomenal chapter in WGN Radio's rich history..." and then added "This was a business decision. The media business and the Chicago radio market have changed dramatically in the last few years, including a new method of ratings measurement. WGN needs to respond to these changes, and this is the time to move in a new direction."
Feder also says that in a follow-up conversation with the hosts, who were dropped with more than a year left of their contract - under it their last show would have been July 2, this year - and have been paid for the past year, O'Malley said, "WGN chose to end our show. WGN chose the date that it would end. And WGN told us we could not say anything to anybody about the show being cancelled until May 22 - the last day of our show."
Markey added that they had made an appearance for the station three days before they were dropped and O'Malley added, "They chose the date because it was three days after we had agreed to make an appearance for Best Buy. It was a huge Tribune/WGN advertising deal. They wanted us to leave on May 22. When they told us the show was over, WGN wanted us to say that it was our idea. And we rejected that."
Markey also said that Langmyer had suggested that they play up their exit as a celebration to which Kathy responded, "Tom, you're f--ing firing us. We're not taking a victory lap - and we're not pretending this was our idea"
Vocalo- Feder on Cochran ouster:
Vocalo - Feder on O'Malley and Markey:
2010-06-25: Clear Channel has disclosed in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that in relation to its announcement that Mark Mays is to step down as President and CEO but remain chairman, it has entered into a new employment agreement with Mays.
The new employment agreement runs to the end of July 2013 and under it Mays is to receive a base salary of not less than USD 1 million a year together with a Performance Bonus that after this year will be not less than USD 500,000 a year
In addition Mays gets a number of perks including use of Clear Channel's company jet for personal use as well as an option to purchase the plane (and its hangar) at "fair market value" and the company will pay for offices and support staff "no less favourable" than he was getting prior to the agreement.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-06-25: Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive of UK commercial radio body the RadioCentre has reacted to a ruling by the BBC Trust that BBC Radio 1 breached the corporation's editorial guidelines in its broadcasts on "Harry Potter Day" in July last year by describing the event as "the latest example of the BBC falling under the spell of celebrity and being hijacked for the promotion of an already successful commercial product."
He continued, "For the BBC to break its own rules repeatedly is bad enough, but more importantly it is selling listeners short if its radio stations are allowed to move yet further away from their public service remit. As the Trust prepares its report on the BBC Strategy Review, we are urging it to be more ambitious and to put a stop to this kind of excessively commercial behaviour once and for all".
The RadioCentre has attacked other BBC promotional activities in the past including complaints over a Coldplay tour and the "U2= BBC campaign" that resulted in a ruling earlier this year by the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit that the corporation gave undue prominence to commercial products or organizations (See RNW Jan 13).
In the latest ruling the Trust commented that in the case of Harry Potter Day, "Each of the programmes individually complied with the editorial guidelines, but the timing of the coverage on the day of the latest film's release together with the cumulative effect of so many trails and mentions resulted in a breach of the provisions relating to product prominence."
It added, "The verbal references to the brand or the film were not used sparingly nor were there very strong journalistic reasons for repeated references" and said "Sufficient care was not taken to minimise product references in output designed to appeal to children (who would comprise a proportion of the audience and for whom the coverage was by its very nature designed to appeal).
It did not accept however that the number of references and the manner in which the trails were delivered amounted to undue prominence; said there was no element of plugging in the review of a branded product; and that the creation of the micro website did not give undue prominence to the Harry Potter brand or the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Partially upholding the complaint the Trust said ,"Radio 1's coverage of and references to the Harry Potter film went beyond what was appropriate for a youth-focused, publicly funded, national pop station to broadcast, and constituted a clear endorsement of the film" but that the station had neither endorsed nor appeared to endorse the brand or the film.
2010-06-25: Yazmi USA, which is owned by WorldSpace founder and former CEO Noah Samara, has now completed its purchase of most of the assets of the international satellite radio operator.
Yazmi paid USD 5.5 million for the assets including the company's two geostationary satellites, less than a fifth of the USD 28 million that another Samara company, Singapore-based Yenura, agreed to pay last year (See RNW Mar 20, 2009) in a deal that was eventually rejected by the company's lenders(See RNW Sep 2, 2009).
2010-06-24: Arbitron has announced a management restructure that will see the departure of two executive vice presidents and new roles for five remaining executives.
Leaving the company are EVP Chief Marketing Officer Alton L. Adams and EVP Customer Solutions Robert F. Henrick whilst other moves include the appointment of CFO Sean Cramer to a newly-created position of Executive Vice President of U.S. Media Services, responsible for the Company's radio and cross-platform services and operations although he will continue to head the company's finance organisation during a search for a new CFO.
Tim Smith takes an expanded role as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy: He continues to lead the Company's legal and regulatory matters with an additional focus on directing the Company's domestic and international strategy and identifying productive partnerships and business relationships.
Scott Henry has been named Executive Vice President, Technology Solutions, which integrates Henry's current responsibilities for Information Technology with oversight of the Company's Engineering and Service Supply Chain groups "in order to further strengthen the Company's process and quality initiatives and streamline the evolution of the Portable People Meter technology from hardware design to software development."
Carol Hanley has been named Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, which integrates the Company's marketing initiatives into her current responsibilities for the Company's sales, and Marilou Legge has been promoted to the new position of Executive Vice President for Organization Effectiveness and Corporate Communications.
2010-06-24: The US has produced the strongest performance for this year's Radio Lions at the Cannes festival, taking eight gold awards although no Radio Lions Grand Prix award was made this year.
: Radio Lions jury chairman Paul Lavoie said they would have liked to given the Grand Prix to a campaign for the Red Cross created by Leo Burnett in Colombia but the Cannes Festival has a policy that campaigns for charities or not for profit organizations cannot be considered for the prize because of a fear of creating potential conflicts in the judging process.
The Red Cross campaign took three Gold Lions - for adverts "Helicopter", "Ambulance" and "Operation" and four more Campaign Golds went to adverts for Heineken from Euro RSCG Worldwide, New York.
In the individual Golds adverts from the US took half of the eight awards, two each going to adverts from Lapiz, Chicago and Y&R, New York: The other four want to the Try Advertising Agency of Norway; DDB New Zealand; LEW'LARA\TBWA, São Paulo, Brazil, and SHALMOR AVNON AMICHAY/Y&R INTERACTIVE, Israel.
When it came to Silver Awards, the Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US did best with the Australia taking seven Silvers, the US six; New Zealand five; South Africa three; and India, Israel, and Puerto Rico one each.
Overall entries were up 7% this year, the fifth year of the Radio Lions, to a total of 1,235 from 55 countries.
Cannes Radio Lions 2010 Winners (131 kb PDF):
2010-06-23: Clear Channel Communications has announced that Mark P. Mays is to step down from his role as President and Chief Executive Officer but will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors and will remain actively involved with the company in that capacity.
The company has hired executive search firm Egon Zehnder International to search for a new CEO and Mays will remain in his current roles until the replacement is named.
Scott M. Sperling, of THL Partners, and John Connaughton, of Bain Capital, the two private equity companies that led to bid to take Clear Channel private, said in a joint statement on behalf of the Board, "Mark Mays has made enormous contributions to Clear Channel as President and CEO over the past six years, as he has throughout his career with the company. We deeply appreciate his service to the company, his leadership, and the remarkable foundation he has built."
They added, "We are committed to identifying a world-class executive who will just as capably and successfully lead this great business into the future."
Mays in a Clear Channel release commented, "After 21 wonderful years of building the industry leader that is Clear Channel, I have made a personal decision to step away from the chief executive role. Clear Channel is well-positioned to continue leading in the marketplace, and given the positive trends I am seeing, I am very optimistic about the future of the company. this is an opportune time for a new CEO to work with the management team in leading our terrific company forward, and I look forward to executing a seamless transition."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2010-06-23: Emmis has announced that it has extended from June 25 until July 30 of the closing date for acceptance of the offer by JS Acquisition, which is owned by company Chairman President and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan and backed by an affiliate of private asset management company Alden Global Capital to acquire the company's outstanding Class A Common Stock at USD 2.40 per share and take the company private.: Emmis's board approved the offer last month (See RNW May 26)
The cash price represented a 74% premium over the 30-trading day average closing price of the Class A Common Stock and a 118% premium over the 180-trading day average closing price of the Class A Common Stock as of April 26 when the proposal was made public: The stock closed at USD 2.26 today making the premium 6%.
Emmis says the tender offer is being extended in order to be able to coordinate its timing with those of an exchange offer by Emmis of 12% PIK Senior Subordinated Notes due 2017 for Emmis' 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock. Emmis has not yet commenced the exchange offer but says it expects to do so shortly after completion of review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
2010-06-22: Newcomers fared combatively weakly in the latest Australian ratings but the leaders in all give metropolitan markets remained largely unchanged with talk stations Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB in Sydney and Fairfax Media's 3AW in Melbourne holding on to their top rankings although share was down for each.
In Melbourne, new talk station MTR 1377 took over the 2MP frequency on April 19 and the ratings - which cover the periods from March 28 to May 1 and May 9 to Jun 12, 2010 - cover both formats: Assuming there was no major audience fall whilst 3MP was on air, they are not good news for the station whose overall share was down from 2.0 to 1.7 and whose highest share was a 3.0 share - down from 4.3 amongst the 55-64 demographic.
3AW by comparison did well with an overall share of 14.8 - down from 15.0 - within which Ross Stevenson and John Burns took the breakfast share up from 18.5 to 19.4; Neil Mitchell lost share in mornings to go from 17.1 to 15.9, still well ahead of Jon Faine 's unchanged 13.6 for ABC 774; and Derryn Hinch at drive took his share up from 11.0 to 12.9, second only to Austereo's Fox FM's Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) who maintained their top rank with 20.8, down from 21.3.
In Sydney, Alan Jones continued to dominate breakfast although his share for 2GBwas down from 18.7 to 17.2 and the Ray Hadley's morning show was also down - from 18.3 to 17.5 while second ranked ABC 702 was unchanged for both time slots with 13.9 and 10.6 shares respectively and commercial rival, Fairfax's 2UE took its share up from 4, 0 to 5.9 at breakfast (taking it from eighth to fifth rank).
National success story was again that of Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) and Austereo noted their shows success and also added, "Austereo's Today network websites are still the number one nationally. Hamish & Andy's Caravan of Courage Great Britain and Ireland saw incredible traffic across the network with almost 15 million page impressions."
Austereo Chief Executive Officer Guy Dobson said of the network's overall performance, "Austereo continues to dominate the FM radio market and the results are a credit to our on and off air teams. Today stations are number one FM across the board except Adelaide which is fast gaining ground. The Triple M brand is mid-resurgence and is gaining exceptional momentum."
Chairman Peter Harvie added, "The Austereo Group stands out in the crowded radio market, through creative shows that continue to break new ground. It is fair to say that Australian commercial radio creativity is up there with the world's best".
DMG highlighted an increase in share for Classic Rock 95.3 FM in Sydney (the former Vega station) which in its first full period rating recorded an increase in share from 3.5 to 4.5 with a highest share of 10.0, up from 3.7, in the 10-17 demographic.
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA with 14.7 (13.9) - same rank; Mix 102.3 with 13.1 (12.9) - same rank; SAFM with 12.7 (12.1) - same rank.
*ABC 891 with 11.9 (11.8) remained fourth and 5MM remained fifth with 9.1 (9.6), followed by Nova, which was sixth with 7.9 (8.7).
*Brisbane - B105 with 12.3 (12.1) - Up from second; 97.3 FM with 11.7 (11.2) -up from fourth; Nova with 11.1 (11.7) - same rank;
*4MMM with 10.9 (12.38) -fell from first to fourth followed by ABC 612, which retained fifth rank with an 9.7 (10.1).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.8 (15.0) - same rank; Fox FM with 13.2 (13.5) - same rank; ABC 774 with 12.7 (12.9) - same rank;
*Gold FM moved up from fifth to fourth with 7.2 (7.1), followed by Magic, which was up from ninth to fifth with 6.8 (4.7) after which Nova 100 was sixth, down from fourth with 6.8(7.5) and 3MMM was pushed down a rank to seventh with 6.0 (5.2).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, remained 11th but share was down from 3.4 to 3.3. As already noted the new Melbourne Talk Radio took over from 3MP part way through the ratings and share was down from 2.0 to 1.7.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 16.0 (16.0) - same rank; ABC 720 with 11.8 (11.0) - up from third. 92.9 with 11.6 (11.4) - same rank.
*96 FM remained fourth with 9.9 (10.7) followed by Nova with 9.7 (9.6), then 6PR in sixth rank with 9.3 (9.0).and 6JJJ, remained seventh with 7.6 (7.4)
*Sydney: 2GB 14.7 (15.6) - same rank; ABC 702 with 11.5 (11.4) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.7 (10.2) - same rank.
*WSM remained fourth with 6.6 (7.0) but 2UE moved up from eighth to fifth with 6.1 (4.9), pushing Nova down a rank to sixth with 6.1(6.5) after which MMM remained seventh with an unchanged 5.3 ahead of Mix 106.5, which was up a rank at eighth with 5.0 (4.7) followed by 2CH, which fell from sixth to ninth with 4.9 (5.7) followed by 2JJJ, which remained tenth with 4.5 (5.4).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Hamish and Andy:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2010-06-22: Absolute Radio's breakfast host Christian O'Connell has revealed in the station's blog that Australian drivetime duo Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) are to stand in for him as hosts of his Sunday evening show "Choice Cuts" next month while he is on holiday.
Hamish and Andy have been in the UK for their 2010 "Caravan of Courage" tour of the UK and Ireland.
The series is their fourth road trip - they have already toured Australia twice in caravans and the US in a motor home for their show on Austereo's Fox FM and for Channel 10 TV specials and there has been speculation that they may leave Austereo when their current contracts end.
O'Connell commented of the duo that their show "has cheered me up and inspired me to push myself and my show into new areas of creativity and invention."
He added, "They will fit right in on Absolute Radio where comedians Frank Skinner and Dave Gorman have made real homes for themselves. I can think of no other commercial radio station that is such an attractive and fertile ground right now for funny people they are very very funny) is that the show breaks many rules and conventions and is beautifully and playfully subversive as all the best shows are. You would be doing yourselves a favour to check out their podcasts on iTunes. "
Previous Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Parent of Absolute's owner):
Previous Hamish and Andy:
2010-06-22: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds five TV standards and two TV advertising minutage complaints but no radio ones although it has posted details of radio fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
The radio complaint was against the BBC Radio 4 breakfast "Today" programme and a report it carried on the preceding day's activities in Parliament, which included questions put to Harriet Harman MP (who was standing in for the Prime Minister) during Prime Minister's Question Time.
Solicitors acting for businessman and former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft complained that the programme "wrongly and unfairly" stated that during Prime Minister's Question Time the Liberal Democrats had accused Lord Ashcroft of tax evasion and therefore implied that he was guilty of a criminal offence and that it had not given him an appropriate opportunity to respond to the allegation.
The BBC said that it did not accept that the passage identified made the allegation and a transcript showed that a report was introduced with the words, "The Liberal Democrats have targeted the Conservative Party donor and Deputy Chairman Lord Ashcroft in a row about tax evasion. Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Vince Cable used parliamentary privilege to name the peer as a "non-dom" - accusing him of not paying tax in the UK on overseas earnings."
It did not agree that this meant that Ashcroft was accused of tax evasion or that the accusation was true or that there were reasonable grounds for it.
It commented that that because Dr Cable's initial question concerned the evasion of tax, the row which followed could accurately be called "a row about tax evasion", even though it grew to encompass other issues and noted that within the context of that row, Lord Ashcroft was named and targeted by MPs. The BBC said that it did not follow, and was not suggested, that Lord Ashcroft was himself accused of tax evasion by Dr Cable or Ms Harman.
Ofcom considered the case and concluded that the report provided a fair reflection of the discussion during Prime Minister's Question Time and, taken as whole, made clear that, while the Liberal Democrats had initially raised a question about tax evasion, they had not in fact accused Lord Ashcroft of tax evasion. It added that it did consider that it would be reasonable to conclude that the report suggested that Lord Ashcroft had been accused of tax avoidance but said that this accusation did not constitute an allegation of wrongdoing that would normally require, in the interests of fairness, an opportunity to respond.
As well as these complaints, Ofcom also listed without details 154 TV complaints against 129 items and 21 radio complaints against 21 items it did not uphold: This compared to 164 TV complaints against 121 items and 12 radio complaints against 12 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-06-21: Arbitron has announced its "next generation" portable people meter (PPM), moving the existing technology onto a wireless platform.
The PPM 360 resembles a cell phone and is smaller than the current meter and the company says the new approach lays the foundation for the development of future applications for the patented, proprietary PPM technology on multiple consumer devices.
Company President and CEO William Kerr commented in a news release, "This innovative approach further liberates audience measurement from the home and enables media, brands and marketers to follow the mobile consumer more closely - which is particularly important for brands appealing to younger demographics." "This platform<" he added "is designed to be an integrated component to our existing radio services and drive future innovation for media measurement."
Arbitron's Chief Technology Officer Taymoor Arshi said the PPM 360 "technology is a combined approach to measurement and data retrieval that enables future development of applications for multi-platform measurement, including cell phones, wireless devices and computers providing flexibility for future services that better reflect the industry need to follow the consumer."
"Our new technology is designed to position us to meet the research needs of a network, station or advertiser, including seeing data closer to a major event," he added.
2010-06-21: Global Radio is to halve the number of its Heart stations and cut around 200 posts, most of them freelance according to the UK Guardian, which says that under plans announced to staff today the company will set up 15 Heart super-stations in place of the 33 it currently operates and will also subsume two of its other stations into the Heart brand as Crawley-based Mercury FM becomes part of Heart Sussex & Surrey, and Ten-17 FM in Harlow, joins Heart Essex.
The paper adds that the 15 stations will have their own breakfast and drivetime shows but other programming will be networks out of London as is the current practice: It quotes Global Group chief executive Ashley Tabor as saying the easing of regulation by UK media regulator Ofcom "enables commercial radio to organise itself more efficiently and take advantage of new technology to enable our people to work smarter" and adding "Although this has meant some brave decisions for our business, these changes considerably strengthen our company by providing listeners with higher quality programming and our customers with a far superior service."
Previous Global Radio:
UK Guardian report:
2010-06-21: Triton Media's Dial Global continued its dominance of the top-rated US radio networks according to Arbitron's RADAR 105 survey just released that shows the Dial Global Contemporary Network and Dial Global Complete FM Network held on to the two top ranks amongst those 25-54 with the Premiere Informed Network taking third place, the Dial Global Adult Power network holding on to fourth and the Dial Global Female Perspective moving up from ninth to seventh rank.
Dial Global did slightly better amongst the 18-49 demographic where its Dial Global Contemporary Network, Dial Global Complete FM Network and Dial Global Complete FM Network held the top three spots'; Dial Global Female Perspective was sixth , and Dial Global Music & Entertainment was tenth.
Arbitron said that the survey showed an increase in the numbers reached by network radio for key buying and demographic groups compared to the RADAR104 survey: It listed the figures as 73.8 percent of Persons aged 12+ (189,990,000 Persons); 74.3 percent of Persons aged 18+ (172,706,000 Persons); 73.7 percent of Persons aged 35+ (119,360,000 Persons); 76.5 percent of Persons aged 18-49 (103,336,000 Persons); and 76.9 percent of Persons aged 25-54 (97,489,000 Persons).
The Top ten networks amongst the 25-54 demographic (Arbitron also now posts details for the 18-49 demographic) were (with the RADAR 104 figures in brackets):
1 - Dial-Global Contemporary Network with an average audience of 4.327 million and an average rating of 3.4 (In RADAR 104 the network was first with 3.979 million and an average rating of 3.1)
2 - Dial Global Complete FM Network with an average audience of 4.112 million and an average rating of 3.2 (In RADAR 104 it was second with an average audience of 3.871 million and an average rating of 2.9).
3: Premiere Informed Network with an average audience of 3.248 million and an average rating of 2.6 (In RADAR 104 it was third with an average audience of 3.335 million and an average rating of 2.6).
4: Dial Global Adult Power Network with an average audience of 3.083 million and an average rating of 2.4 (In RADAR 104 the network was fourth ranked with an average audience of 2.936 million and an average rating of 2.3).
5: Premiere Modern Women Network with an average audience of 2.526 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 104 it was fifth with an average audience of 2.470 million and an average rating of 1.9).
6: Westwood One Adults Network with an average audience of 2.481 million and an average rating of 2.0 (In RADAR 104 it was sixth with an average audience of 2.464 million and an average rating of 1.9).
7: Dial Global Female Perspective Network with an average audience of 2.462 million and an average rating of 1.9 (In RADAR 104 it was ninth with an average audience of 2.370 million and an average rating of 1.9).
8: Premiere Today's Men Network with an average audience of 2.333 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 104 it was seventh with an average audience of 2.406 million and an average rating of 1.9).
9: Premiere Money & Smarts: 15 Network with an average audience of 2.333 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 104 it was eighth with an average audience of 2.388 million and an average rating of 1.9).
10: United Stations Impact Network with an average audience of 2.278 million and an average rating of 1.8 (In RADAR 104 it was tenth with an average audience of 2.408 million and an average rating of 1.9).
The highest ranked Citadel Network was again Citadel Media Prime Access, still in 23rd rank with an average audience of 1.405 million and an average rating of 1.1 (In RADAR 104 it was 23rd with an average audience of 1.402 million and an average rating of 1.1).
Previous Citadel (Formerly Disney)/ABC, America):
Previous Premiere Radio Networks:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 104):
Previous Westwood One:
2010-06-20: Yet again last week North America provided the most important regulatory news but there were a few radio-related postings from all corners although there was only one posting from Australia where the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is to make FM frequency 90.5 MHz available for a new high power open narrowcasting radio service in Perth, Western Australia, and will advertise for applications for the licence shortly. The frequency was used by seniors broadcaster Capital Community Radio, which is moving to 101.7 MHz, which covers a larger area.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a number of radio decisions including:
*Approval of application by Astral Media Radio G.P. for a new 20 watts English-language commercial FM in Summerland, British Columbia to replace its CHOR-AM. The new station will retain CHOR's mainstream Adult Contemporary music format but the licence will only run until 31 August 2014. The CRTC says this is because there is an issue of CHOR's non-compliance with Canadian content development contributions in 2008, and will allow the commission to review compliance with regulations at an earlier date than a full licence.
*Approval of application by Erin Community Radio to move its low power, English-language Type B community station CHES-FM, Erin, from 101.5 MHz to 88.1 MHz and increase its power from 50 to 250 watts.
The licensee said the frequency change was needed because it could not increase power on its current frequency and that that the increase would allow the station to cover much more of the town of Erin and would help it to fulfil its original mandate
The application attracted several interventions in support and against the application with the latter about concerns on the effect on CKLN Radio Incorporated's CKLN-FM and possible interference - in relation to which the CRTC noted that that Erin's proposed directional antenna would direct CHES-FM's signal towards the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, thereby minimizing any potential interference - and also because it might mean that CKLN would be prevented from increasing its coverage.
*Approval of application by Anong Migwans Beam, carrying on business as GIMA Radio (not for profit), M'Chigeeng, to operate a 50 watts English- and Aboriginal-language, low-power Type B Native FM radio station in M'Chigeeng: The station is to broadcast musical selections performed in Ojibwe and music by local and visiting drum groups.
Revoked the licences of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's transitional digital radio transmitters CBME-DR-1, CBM-DR-1, CBF-DR-1 and CBFX-DR-1 Montréal. The CBC had advised the regulator that it was to cease operation of the transmitters.
The CRTC also posted public notices that included the following radio-related matters:
*With a 19 July deadline for the submission of interventions or comments:
*Application by Radio MirAcadie inc. to add a 250 watts FM transmitter at Neguac to broadcast the programming of CKMA-FM, Miramichi.
*Application by Radio Dégelis inc. to add a 5,750 watts FM transmitter at Rivière-du-Loup to broadcast the programming of CFVD-FM Dégelis, Quebec
*With a 21 July deadline for the submission of interventions or comments:
*Application by Instant Information Services Incorporated to relocate the transmitter and antenna of its English-language low-power FM radio programming undertaking CIRC-FM, Fredericton. The applicant says the current site is unreliable and the change would improve the quality of its signal.
Prince Edward Island:
*Application by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. to the frequency for the station's transmitter CIOG-FM-1, Summerside, from 91.1 MHZ to 92.5 MHZ. The applicant said the change was necessary because the 91.1MHZ frequency had now been allowed to another FM.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched its 2010 Broadcasting Support Scheme (See RNW Jun 19) and in the UK Ofcom has awarded seven new community licences (See RNW Jun 17). Ofcom was also involved in a High Court case in which former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt is claiming that his human rights to free speech were breached by an Ofcom ruling that his insults and abuse of a councillor breached its codes (See RNW Jun16).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted continues to devote its main attention to broadband and the Internet, opening proceedings on the best legal framework for broadband access. The move follows a court ruling against it in the Comcast decision in relation to the company's blocking of some peer-to-peer use of its service and the agency amongst other things is seeking comment as to whether its "information service" classification of broadband Internet service remains legally sound; the legal and practical consequences of classifying broadband Internet connectivity as a "telecommunications service" to which its Title II regulations apply ; and a third way in which it would "reaffirm that Internet content and applications remain generally unregulated under Title I of the Communications Act; identify the Internet connectivity service that is offered as part of wired broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service; and forbear under Section 10 of the Act from applying all provisions of Title II other than the small number that are needed to implement fundamental universal service, competition and market entry, and consumer protection policies."
The moves to regulate produced a party split with statements by Republican Commissioner Robert M. McDowell saying that classifying broadband as a Title II service is not necessary to implement the recommendations of the National Broadband Plan and his colleague Meredith Attwell Baker taking a similar approach and commenting, "The foundation of a strong national broadband policy is already in place, and we do not need to alter the regulatory classification of broadband Internet access service to achieve the important goals unanimously agreed to in the Joint Statement on Broadband."
The Democrat majority took a view more favourable to regulation with chairman Julius Genachowski saying of the Comcast decision that it "unfortunately, created uncertainty in an area that had been widely regarded as settled" and adding of the agency's approach that "Our pro-investment, pro-innovation, pro-competition, pro-consumer policies remain unchanged and they remain essential for broadband in America. "
His fellow Democrat Michael J. Copps was harsher beginning his comments by saying, "Between a few big industry players who never liked the telecommunications law passed by Congress and previous Commissions only too ready to sacrifice the public interest to special interests, consumers find themselves in quite a box" and later adding "For much of the past decade, the FCC took American consumers on a costly and damaging ride, moving broadband Internet connectivity outside the statutory Title II framework that applies to telecommunications carriers. This was a major flip-flop from the historic-and generally successful-approach of requiring non-discrimination in our communications networks Previous Commissions are much more the culprit here than any court. After all, they were relying on an approach that was fundamentally at odds with the purposes set out in the Telecommunications Act of 1996."
His colleague Mignon Clyburn said that her fear was that "there are efforts underway designed to stifle at all costs our ability to engage in reasonable and productive discussion about these pressing issues" and added "Perhaps most notably, one of the current narratives being put forth is that proceeding with this inquiry - let alone a change in classification - would freeze investment in the networks. This argument, however, is specious. First, notable telecommunications analysts at firms such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS, and Goldman Sachs have each asserted that the public reaction by industry to the Chairman's proposal is overblown. In fact, they believe the current landscape presents a tremendous buying opportunity."
She later added, " I can understand why powerful companies balk at government oversight. They view any government authority as a threat to their unbridled freedom. Indeed, if it were up to them, we would not enact rules; but rather, rely on "voluntary organizations and forums" made up solely of industry personnel to give us advice on how to serve as a backstop for consumers."
It has also moved forward in relationship to its media ownership rules, setting July 12 as the date for comment on its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review and July 26 for reply comments.
The FCC also posted invitations to quote for nine studies that it is commissioning "to evaluate the current marketplace and the state of the media industry."
Each of the nine studies will be required to define relevant performance "with respect to one or more of the three public interest goals of competition, localism, and diversity that the Commission seeks to promote through its media ownership rules."
The studies for which bids are being requested are:
Study 1: Media usage as a function of local market structure. This study will analyze media usage (television viewing and radio listening) as a function of local market structure, taking account of the availability of other media platforms and holding constant other relevant factors.
Study 2: Consumer survey and consumer valuation of media as a function of local market structure. This study will examine, based on a consumer survey, the impact of local media market structure on consumer satisfaction with available broadcast radio and television service.
Study 3: Civic knowledge/engagement as a function of local market structure. This study will examine civic knowledge and/or engagement with respect to local or regional events as a function of local market structure.
Study 4: Quantity of local television news and public affairs programming provided as a function of local market structure. This study will examine the effect of local market structure on the total amount of local television news and public affairs programming provided.
Study 5: Quantity of radio news and public affairs programming provided and audience for radio news programming as a function of local market structure. This study will examine provision of radio news and public affairs programming and will examine the impact of local market structure on presence of news formats. The study may also examine station websites to determine how much news these stations provide.
Study 6: Local content on the Internet. The study will examine the availability and usage of local content on the Internet and analyze the impact of local market structure on the availability and usage of local Internet content. This will include the extent to which websites are affiliated with local broadcasters and other media.
Study 7: Impact of minority ownership on minority-targeted radio programming. This study will examine the impact of minority ownership on minority-targeted radio station formats.
Study 8: Empirical analysis of the impact of local market structure on viewpoint diversity.
Study 9: Theoretical analysis of the impact of local market structure on the range of viewpoints supplied.
The FCC has also issued fines to operators of pirate stations in Massachusetts and New York (See RNW June 19) and a USD 3,000 forfeiture to Grace Baptist Church , licensee of WBLW-FM, Gaylord, Michigan, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
The FCC had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) totalling USD 7,000 in January - USD 3,000 for late filing and USD 4,000 for unauthorized operation -when it renewed the licence and the licensee requested a reduction or cancellation on the basis that the two offences were the same and thus separate forfeitures were duplicative, that it was inexperienced in dealing with FCC regulations, and that the penalty would cause financial hardship.
The FCC dismissed both of the first two arguments but based on profit and loss statements submitted it reduced the penalty to USD 3,000.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-06-19: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched its 2010 Broadcasting Support Scheme, which awards grants to allow Community radio and TV stations to evaluate and review the operation and effectiveness of their services.
The scheme is open to all licensed community stations and total funding provided for this year is up to Euros 65,000 (USD 80,000). Applications for grants have to be submitted by September 22.
2010-06-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined three men who operated a pirate FM transmitter in Hyde Park and Dorchester, Massachusetts, USD 10,000.
It had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) for this amount to Delroy Johnson, Paul Parara, and Richard Parara in March this year but received no response and has now confirmed the penalty.
Earlier in the week the agency issued a USD 4,500 forfeiture to Mark Nierman and Kakadu Productions, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York, for operating a pirate FM in Brooklyn. In January it had issued a USD 10,000 NAL to which Nierman and Kakadu responded by requesting cancellation on the basis of inability to pay.
The FCC on the basis of documentation provided declined to cancel the penalty but did reduce it to USD 4,500.
2010-06-18: Former Boston radio host and financial adviser Gregg T. Rennie has been sentenced to seven years jail for defrauding clients of at least USD 3.2 million on top of which he faces three years of supervised release and must pay USD 3.78 million in restitution.
Rennie hosted a financial-advice show on four Massachusetts radio stations sold bogus "federal housing certificates" that promised a guaranteed rate of return and used the funds to pay personal expenses and a contractor on a failed Quincy condo project, (See RNW Dec 30, 2009).
The Boston Herald quoted Rennie as saying in a letter to his victims that was made public in a court filing, "I am completely entrenched in my guilt and shame, and have crawled in the ashes for a long time over this whole mess."
The paper added that Rennie said he had been working at a landscape, design and construction company where he could earn USD 250,000 a year of which he said he could pay 35% towards restitution and asked to be sentenced to a residential detention facility, home confinement, probation and supervised release, so that he could support his wife and three children and repay victims.
Boston Herald report:
2010-06-18: The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) has ruled that former Phoenix radio host and Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who is running against incumbent Senator John McCain for the Arizona Senate seat, did not breach the Federal Elections Campaign Act in comments he made on his show against McCain's 21010 campaign advertisement, ruling the hosts comments to be political commentary that the Act allows.
Hayworth was at the time hosting an afternoon drive talk show on Clear Channel's KYFI-AM and when McCain launched his campaign responded to the adverts by taunting McCain and encouraging listeners to call the show with anti-McCain comments.
Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods filed a complaint with the FEC arguing that Hayworth was "running a de facto campaign" and that Clear Channel was effectively allowing him to advertise his candidacy.
The McCain campaign then filed a complaint, which is still pending, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Hayworth left the station on January 22 this year after which he announced that he was to challenge McCain.
The Phoenix Examiner quotes Hayworth as responding to the FEC ruling by terming the complaint "more of the same pattern of fear and intimidation regularly practiced by the senator" and a McCain campaign spokesman as saying, "Congressman Hayworth entered the race after leaving the radio...proof that he intended to run all along and was using his show as a campaign platform."
Previous Clear Channel:
Phoenix Examiner report:
2010-06-18: Buyins.Net has announced that WorldSpace (NASDAQ WRSPQ.PK - the pk indicating pink sheets ) stock has now been added to US stock markets' naked short threshold lists and notes that there is a failure to deliver in the company's shares.
Under US regulations, data is collected each day when there are such failures to deliver for five consecutive days and if a clearing agent has had a fail-to-deliver position for 13 consecutive settlement days, that clearing agent, and the broker/dealer it clears for, has to purchase securities to close out its fail to deliver position.
WorldSpace stock was listed as having last traded at six tenths of a cent and the listing has normally driven up the price of stock because it forces those involved to obtain stock to settle their positions.
(RNW Note: Short selling is the practice when those planning to sell a stock "short" - normally done by "borrowing" the shares from an organization owning them and then selling them with the intention of purchasing the shares on the open market when they have to be returned and making a profit on a fall in the price during the period involved and it becomes "naked short selling" when the sale transaction is made without any shares being owned.
Naked short selling was banned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2008 following accusation that some companies had been using the practice to drive down share prices and sometimes having no intention of delivering the shares: It was also said that naked short selling could have contributed to the failures of Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers.)
2010-06-17: LBC breakfast host Nick Ferrari has won two Golds at this year's Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, taking the Arqiva Gold Special Award in addition to which his show took the Best breakfast Show award: Amongst owners Bauer took the most awards with five Golds.
The awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by Christian O'Connell of Absolute Radio and Arqiva's Director of Radio Paul Eaton said Arqiva is "hugely proud to be associated with these prestigious awards. They recognise the incredible diversity, talent and dedication that exist within commercial radio, both on and off-air, and the level of expertise among entries get stronger every year."
He described Ferrari as "a true radio star, a sparkling jewel in commercial radios crown."
RadioCentre Chief Executive Andrew Harrison added,, The Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards are a testament to the incredible hard work that our stations commit to producing the very best content for listeners across the country. With the standard of entrants higher than ever, and the introduction of new awards, they are a true reflection of the terrific service the commercial radio sector delivers.
The awards in full were:
Lifetime Achievement Award - John Perkins (former Managing Director of Independent Radio News (IRN)).
The RadioCentre Chairman's Award - Lisa Kerr (Campaign Director for Digital Radio UK - seconded from RadioCentre, where she is Director of External Affairs - for her "exceptional performance in the long term development of commercial radio.").
The Arqiva Gold Award - Nick Ferrari
Station of the Year Awards:
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Digital Station of the Year - FunKids
1 million plus TSA (Total Survey Area) - Hallam FM (Bauer).
300,000 to 1 million TSA - The Bay (North Lancashire - CN Group).
Up to 300,000 TSA - 106.4 Andover Sound (Hampshire - Tindle Radio).
Arqiva Commercial Radio Presenter of the Year Awards:
1 million plus TSA - Absolute Radio (Ultimate owners Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd).
300,000 to 1 million TSA - Rich Williams - 96.3 Radio Aire (Bauer)
Up to 300,000 TSA - Knoxy - Moray Firth Radio (Bauer)
The Arqiva/RCS Commercial Radio Programmer of the Year - Clive Dickens - Absolute Radio
The Arqiva/Skillset Commercial Radio Newcomer of the Year - Lucy Jones - 107.6 Banbury Sound (Banbury Broadcasting Co. Ltd.)
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Journalist/News Team of the Year - Real Radio North West News Team (GMG (Guardian Media Group) Radio)
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Feature of the Year - The Afghan Diaries - On the Front Line - Radio City 96.7 (Bauer).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Special Programme of the Year - Ali Booker's Cancer Diaries - Oxfordshire's 106 JACKfm (ARI Consultancy).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Specialist Programme of the Year - Friday Night Sport Show with Bill & Ben - 102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire (Town & Country Broadcasting).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Social Action Initiative Award - Real Radio Websafe - Real Radio North West (GMG Radio).
The Arqiva/Triple A Breakfast Show of the Year - Nick Ferrari at Breakfast - LBC 97.3 (Global Radio).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Schools Radio Award (in association with The Vision Charity) - Pudsey Grangefield School (Leeds).
The Arqiva/PPL Most Played UK Artist on Commercial Radio - Take That.
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Marketing Award - Get Me to the Church on Time 2 - Hallam FM (Bauer).
The Arqiva Local Sales Team of the Year - The Bay Sales Team (North Lancashire - CN Group).
The Arqiva National Sales Team of the Year - GTN (GTN took over UBC Media Commercial Division).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Technical Innovation Award - Global Radio RadioVIS System - Global Radio Creativity Technology Team.
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Station Imaging Award - Oxfordshire's 106 JACKfm (ARI Consultancy).
The Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards arenow in their 15th year and are organised by industry body, the RadioCentre,
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Previous CN Group:
Previous Global Radio:
Previous Guardian Media Group (GMG):
Previous Tindle Radio:
2010-06-17: UK Media regulator Ofcom has awarded seven new community radio licences in London and the south-east, turning down a further 16 applications.
The stations awarded licences were
Betar Bangla (Stratford, east London - offering a service for the Bengali community of Tower Hamlets and the east end of London).
Generation Radio (Clapham Park, south west London - offering a local radio service to residents and opportunities to volunteer with the service.)
Greenwich Kasapah (Greenwich, south east London - a primarily speech-based community radio service targeting the African communities in and around Greenwich.).
Reprezent FM (South London - a service for 13-25 year olds in south London.)
Rinse FM (Inner London- a service that will showcase UK urban and dance music and will interact with and influence these music scenes.)
Streetlife Radio (Waltham Forest, north east London - to provide an inclusive platform for local people and act as a forum to strengthen community bonds and encourage social cohesion)
Susy Radio (Redhill and Reigate, Surrey - to promote local community access and involvement in the radio station and its activities).
All the services will be on AM except for Reprezent FM, Rinse FM, and Susy Radio which are to be offered FM frequencies.
The bids rejected came from:
Afro Urban, Haringey
Brooklands FM, Weybridge and north Surrey
Echo Radio, Dartford and Bexley
Krystal FM, south London
London Chinese Radio, south London
Muslim Community Radio, Tower Hamlets
Redstone FM, Redhill and Reigate
Relaks Radio, Tower Hamlets and east London
Sadaa FM, Redbridge
Smile Radio, London Borough of Bromley
Starpoint FM, Lewisham
Sydenham Community Radio, Sydenham
Talk Africa Radio, Greenwich
Tube FM, Ealing
2010-06-17: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia says that 294 entries have been received for this year's New Artists 2 Radio (NA2R) competition, the commercial radio industry initiative which aims to discover the next big unsigned, independent music artist to be played on radio.
Judging is now set to begin with ten finalists to be selected with an announcement on August 18: From them two winners will be announced, each of whom will receive guaranteed airplay- valued by the industry at AUD 1.3 million (USD 1.13 million) - on the major metropolitan and regional commercial radio networks for their new single.
The entries will be judged by a panel of commercial radio network program and music directors and the event is now in its ninth year. Commercial Radio Australia Chief Executive Joan Warner said it provided a "fantastic opportunity for new and emerging bands or artists" and noted that last year's NA2R winner, Finabah, was the most successful winner so far, gaining impressive chart success with their single "Everyone Jump", including debuting at Number 9 on the Air Independent Singles sales chart and peaking at Number 5 in the Australian artists Top 20 airplay chart.
All finalists will also attend a radio workshop be held in Melbourne on September 10 with leading program and music directors and music marketing professionals and the two winning acts will perform at the NA2R showcase event to be held in Melbourne on October 15 in front of key music and program directors from the commercial radio sector.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-06-17: CBS Radio News has for the fourth successive year taken the "Edward R. Murrow Overall Excellence Award" in the series of awards named after the network's celebrated reporter and commentator: Overall it took three national/network awards; National Public Radio (NPR) took five including one shared with Youth Radio and the web site award, which it also won last year. ABC News Radio, which took two awards last year and is now distributed by Citadel, took none.
In the large market awards WBUR-FM, Boston, took the Overall Excellence award and WTOP took four awards (last year it took five including the overall excellence award). In the small market awards WATD-FM - Marshfield, Massachusetts took the overall excellence award and also the audio newscast award.
Overall 89 awards are to be presented to 59 organizations at the RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association) Awards Dinner on October 11 in New York.
This year the radio awards are termed "audio", and in addition the awards now include an "Online News Operation - National" category with six video awards, all of which went to the Associated Press
The radio awards this year were:
Radio Network/Syndication Service:
Overall Excellence - CBS Radio News.
Audio Breaking News - AP Radio News - Miracle on the Hudson.
Audio Continuing Coverage - CBS Radio News for Economic Meltdown.
Audio Feature Reporting - WNYC-AM/FM for Radio Rookies Money Stress.
Audio Reporting: Hard News - National Public Radio for IED: A Familiar Enemy for Platoon.
Audio News Documentary - Long Haul Productions for American Dreamer: Sam's Story.
Audio Investigative Reporting - Youth Radio with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" for In the Kennel: Uncovering a Navy Unit's Culture of Abuse.
Audio News Series - WUOM's The Environment Report (for Dioxin Delays)
Audio Newscast - CBS Radio News for CBS World News Roundup.
Audio Sports Reporting - National Public Radio for Friday Night Lives.
Use of Sound - CNN for The Bronx - A River Runs Through It.
Web site - National Public Radio.
Writing - National Public Radio for Can I Just Tell You.
Radio: Large Market:
Overall Excellence -WBUR-FM, Boston.
Audio Breaking News Coverage -WBZ-AM, Boston, for Death of Senator Kennedy.
Audio Continuing Coverage- WCBS-AM, New York, for The Tragedy Over The Hudson.
Audio Feature Reporting - WTOP-FM, Washington, DC, for Walkman Rewind.
Audio Reporting: Hard News - Mississippi Public Broadcasting - Jackson, Mississippi, for Boot Camp Program Helping Dropouts.
Audio Investigative Reporting- KCBS-AM - San Francisco, for Hard Times: California's Broken Parole System.
Audio News Documentary- WTOP-FM - Washington, DC, for The War That Never Ends
Audio News Series - WBAL-AM - Baltimore, for Christmas in Maryland.
Audio Newscast - WTOP-FM - Washington, DC, for 7 AM Newscast.
Audio Sports Reporting - WTOP-FM, Washington, DC, for DC Divas.
Use of Sound - KGO-AM - San Francisco, for Fowl on the Flightline
Web site - KIRO-FM - Seattle.
Writing- WFAE-FM - Charlotte, North Carolina, for Lost Boys of Presby.
Radio: Small Market
Overall Excellence -WATD-FM - Marshfield, Massachusetts.
Audio Breaking News Coverage - WRVA-AM - Richmond, for Virginia Randolph School Shooting.
Audio Continuing Coverage - WSHU-FM - Fairfield, Connecticut, A Community Victimized in the Shadows.
Audio Feature Reporting - KUNC-FM - Greeley, Colorado, for Two Men, Two Women and a Baby.
Audio Investigative Reporting - WSLU-FM - Canton, New York, for Seaway Valley & Hackett's: A Special Report
Audio Reporting: Hard News - KNAU - Flagstaff, Arizona, for Navajos Hope for Stimulus Dollars.
Audio News Documentary- WVPN-FM - Charleston, West Virginia, for The Great Textbook War.
Audio News Series - Alabama Public Radio - Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for The Capital Case of Bridget Lee.
Audio Newscast WATD-FM - Marshfield, Massachusetts, for The MidDay Report With Christine James.
Audio Sports Reporting - KCLU AM/FM - Thousand Oaks, California, for The Oldest Dodger
Use of Sound - WMSI-FM - Jackson, Mississippi, for Progress at Ground Zero
Web site - WAKR-WONE-WQMX - Akron, Ohio.
Writing - KCCU-FM - Lawton, Oklahoma, for Chrysler Leaves Cordell, Lone Grove Clean-Up.
RNW Note - we listened to the audio of a number of the awards - and full points to RTNDA for posting this - finding the triteness quota rather high in many cases ( maybe this is a cultural difference between the US and UK).
Most impressive to us were the three investigative reporting awards and the overall excellence awards provide quite a good glimpse for those not used to US radio of the strengths (and weaknesses) of the country's radio in terms of national, large, and small markets and we would also recommend listening to the Use of Sound Awards, in particular the CNN national award and the small market award, which went to WMSI-FM - Jackson, Mississippi.
Previous Murrow Awards (2009 Awards):
Murrow Awards web site (Has audio of winners):
2010-06-16: A ruling is expected next week from the UK High Court on a case brought by former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt in which he claims his human rights to free speech were breached by a ruling from UK media regulator Ofcom that his insults to a guest on his programme - he called a London councillor a "Nazi" amongst other things -
Gaunt's lawyers claimed during the two-day hearing that ended today that the host's use of the word Nazi was justified in the context of the exchange, which concerned a ban on smokers becoming foster parents. Gaunt was fired by the UTV, the owners of talkSPORT, in November 2008 following an internal investigation into the broadcast (See RNW Nov 19, 2008) and Ofcom in May last year ruled that his comments breached its codes relating to generally accepted standards (See RNW May 12, 2009)
Gaunt, who was taken into care as a child, wrote about the issue as a columnist in the UK Sun newspaper (whose Sun Talk online station he now hosts) and in it had termed social services the "SS" and "health and safety Nazis/" His attorney Gavin Millar QC said the councillor knew about the article before the interview and that the article was "part of the context for the word 'Nazi'" being used during the broadcast.
In a release issued before the hearing, Gaunt's solicitor Martin Howe said, "A free press and media is an essential and fundamental ingredient of meaningful democracy. Broadcasters should be free to test our elected politicians on matters such as expenses, front-line cuts, terror policies, and the prosecution of wars."
"In Jon Gaunt's case," added Howe "he should be free to challenge a controversial childcare policy. Presenters in political debate should not be looking over their shoulder waiting for the Ofcom gag to be slapped on. Tyranny triumphs when good men are silenced. Our democracy has more to fear from faceless bureaucrats thumbing their thesaurus than from the plain speaking polemic of Jon Gaunt".
During the hearing, Millar said Gaunt had used the word "Nazi" as slang not in an historical or ideological sense and commented, "There is now a recognised slang of the word Nazi [as] one who imposes their views on others."
Millar said Ofcom had acted disproportionately and that Ofcom could only breach the "fundamental" right to free speech when there was a "pressing social need" to take action: He described Gaunt's comments as a "classical polemical attack on a politician ... in his capacity as a politician."
For Ofcom lawyer David Anderson QC said there was a strong emphasis on the concept of Nazism in the 53 complaints the regulator received and that the ruling was against the station, which could have done more to prevent the interview becoming an ill-tempered exchange.
Ofcom says the breach finding was proportionate and said the host's "offensive language" was part of "a bullying and hectoring approach which exceeded the expectations of the audience for his programme."
He pointed out that Ofcom had not levied any financial penalties on the station and had fired Gaunt because he had breached the station's guidelines. "No one is suggesting," he said "that as breaches [of the code] go, this is a particularly serious one."
RNW comment: Re-reading the Ofcom ruling, we note that it considered that "the subject matter in this case may have been a particularly sensitive one for the presenter, given his own experience of being in care as a child" but also that the station had before the programme taken steps to "warn the presenter to exercise care during the interview."
It also notes that the station said that "Gaunt ignored 'constant instructions by talkback and hand signals' from the producer to calm down, let the guest answer the questions, and retract the use of the word 'Nazi'" The producer, it said, had considered using the "dump button" but "decided it was better to get Jon Gaunt to retract and qualify his comments. This Jon Gaunt did by calling Michael Stark 'a health Nazi.' As the programme producer believed Jon Gaunt was ignoring his comments, he gave further instructions by talkback and hand signals to conclude the interview. Eventually, Jon Gaunt terminated the interview."
Although our instincts are to side with freedom of speech, what Gaunt is actually claiming here- to use his style and the word Nazi the sense he says he used the word - is the right to behave on air as a rude, hectoring, abusive, and pig-headed Nazi.
Unless the station was misleading Ofcom - and it fired Gaunt a long while before the ruling, it would seem he was fired because he would not accept instructions from his employer to restrain his conduct, something it is reasonable for the broadcaster to do.
As regards the Ofcom ruling, it was not a sanction and in our view represents a form of free speech on behalf of the complainants in assessing the acceptability of the remarks: Had the regulator levied a fine on UTV, we would have felt the response was disproportionate.
Gaunt -we have to assume he goes along with the comments of his legal team - is being disingenuous to claim that the issue is about preventing him from challenging a controversial policy as opposed to criticizing him for behaving like a lout in doing so.
In this case the sensible balance seems to be Ofcom's free speech right should take precedence but that sanctions are only justifiable in much more serious cases.
Ofcom - 2009 Complaints Bulletin including Gaunt ruling (246 Kb PDF):
2010-06-16: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) Chief Revenue Officer Frank Flores has left the company but so far has made no statement about the reason for his departure or his plans apart from saying he is not planning to retire.
Flores was also the company's New York Vice President and General Manager, overseeing Spanish hits "Mega 97.7" WSKQ-FM and Spanish AC "Amor" WPAT-FM and Micki Reyes has been named as acting Genera, Manager of the stations.
Flores, who is 58, had been with SBS since 2004 when he joined after 23 years with Infinity Broadcasting/CBS Radio's WXRK-FM: He was named as Chief Revenue Officer in April last year, having been General Manager and Vice-President of the company's New York radio market from January 2005 prior to which he was SBS's VP and Director of Sales in the market. Last year his salary was USD 292,000 on top of which he received a bonus of USD 317,000 to take his total remuneration to just below USD 610,000.
2010-06-16: Radio One Inc. has announced that it has agreed financing with affiliates of Deutsche Bank of a new senior secured credit facility comprised of a USD 50.0 million revolving facility and a USD 350.0 million term loan that it us to use to refinance all of the Company's outstanding indebtedness under its existing senior credit facility.
The affiliates are committed to providing the revolving facility and to use commercially reasonable efforts to syndicate the USD 350.0 million term loan whilst Radio One is offering to exchange for each USD 1,000 principal amount of its outstanding 8 7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011 USD 1,000 in principal amount of the Company's newly issued 11.0%/12.0% Senior Grid Notes due 2017 and for each USD 1,000 principal amount of its outstanding 6 3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 USD 900 in principal amount of the newly issued Exchange Notes.
Linked to thus us a consent solicitation to amend the indentures governing its Existing Notes to delete substantially all of the covenants contained therein.
The company says the holders of its existing notes who take part in the exchange offer will be invited to participate in a subscription offer to purchase an aggregate of USD 100.0 million in principal amount of the Company's new 8.5%/9.0% Second-Priority Senior Secured Grid Notes due 2016 (the "Second Lien Notes"), the proceeds of which will primarily be used to fund the purchase of the additional equity interests in TV One for an aggregate purchase price of approximately USD 82 million.
It adds that it has entered into a Support and Backstop Agreement with the holders of some 80% of its existing notes under which they will offer all their existing notes for exchange and subscribe to purchase up to USD 100 million of the Second Lien Notes should other holders of its existing notes not subscribe to the offer to purchase them.
The completion of the offer requires that at least 95% of the existing notes are tendered and not withdrawn and that various other conditions are met and the subscription offer expires at 17:00 New York time on June 30.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-06-15: Arbitron in a release ahead of next Monday's RADAR 105 network ratings report says that it shows more than 239 people in the US listen to radio in a typical week, up by seven million on a year earlier: It suggests the increase is linked to the inclusion of Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings in the survey, noting that reach has increased since the ratings started to include the PPM after the December 2007 RADAR 95 report, which was based on diaries alone.
Listening to RADAR affiliated stations is also up - from 213 million a week a year ago in the RADAR 101 survey to nearly 220 million people aged 12 and older.
Arbitron also noted that despite new competition from portable players, mobile listening and internet-only stations, radio reaches 93.1% of Americans 12 and older each week and 91% of teens aged 12-17.
Network radio, it adds, reaches 87% of the 18-34 demographic; 90% of Black Non-Hispanic persons - more than 93% of whom listen to radio each week; and 86% of Hispanic persons, aged 12 and older - 95% of whom listen to radio each week.
In terms of education and income the report says radio reaches 96% of percent of college graduates aged 25-54 and the same percentage of adults aged 25-54 with a college degree and an annual income of USD 50,000 or more and of college graduates aged 18-49 with a household income of USD 75,000 or more: Network affiliated stations it adds reach 88% of the last group.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 104):
2010-06-15: Cincinnati WLW-AM host Bill Cunningham has opted to stay with the Clear Channel station and not jump ship to Tribune Company's WGN-AM, Chicago, with long-time WLW host Mike McConnell, who starts at WGN next month (See RNW Jun 7).
Clear Channel took McConnell off the air when word came out that he was to move to Chicago when his contract ended and Cunningham, who has been with the station since 1983, was also off the air this week from his noon to 1500 slot, taken off according to the Cincinnati Enquirer because of his refusal to commit himself to staying with WLW when his contract expires this month.
The paper quoted Cunningham, who is 62, as saying, "I had to resolve in my mind where I wanted to be, and I've decided I want to stay in Cincinnati... The lawyers are working on the ifs, ands and buts. I believe I'll be back on the air in the next day or two. "
The paper said Cunningham hinted that he was signing a multi-year deal and also notes that Cunningham last weekend taped a week of daytime talk show pilots, called "Big Willie," for Tribune's WGN-TV concerning which Sean Compton, Tribune Co. programming president, said he was pleased.
In Chicago the word may be good news for John Cochran who a day before Cunningham opted to stick with WLW had said on his Facebook page that he expected to be dropped from the midday slot at WGN-AM when his contact expires at the end of this month.
Robert Feder writing in Vocalo quotes Cochran as writing, "As of now I don't believe I will be on WGN beyond 6/30" and says a few days earlier he had facetiously written, "If you follow along with these things, you will notice news about a new talk show host from Cincinnati being hired by WGN and speculation that he's coming in to replace me or possibly John Williams. Can't speak for John, but in my case the management is treating me with the same love they've shown me for many months now - so obviously I'm good."
Feder adds that Williams has been in limbo since WGN announced that it had hired McConnell and told the Enquirer that he'd be starting at 09:00 - Williams slot: Williams meanwhile had been working from 09:00 to 1300 on WGN and then from 1300 to 15:00 for CBS Radio's WCCO-AM in Minneapolis.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Tribune Co:
Cincinnati Enquirer report:
2010-06-14: SNL Kagan in updated advertising revenue forecasts for US radio and TV is now projecting TV revenues to grow by 14.3% this year to USD 19.8 billion compared to 2009 whilst radio is projected to be up 6.4% to USD 17.1 billion.
Both rises come following massive declines in 2009, when radio was down 17.7% to USD 16 billion, and this year's radio increase includes a predicted 15% increase in on line revenues to USD 552 million National spot and local ad revenues are expected to gain 17.0% and 4.3%, respectively: Looking further ahead SNL Kagan predicts radio revenues to grow to USD 19.8 billion by 2016.
The company's Senior analyst Robin Flynn commented in a release, "The bounce-back in ad revenues, combined with other positive trends, such as growing digital dollars, have reassured investors, who have bid radio station stocks up 36% and TV station stocks up 26% year-to-date."
The SNL Kagan predictions follow Radio Advertising Bureau figures showing first quarter revenues this year up 6% to USD 3.687 billion (See RNW May 21) and BIA-Kelsey's latest update of its predictions in which it forecast a US radio increase of 3.7% to USD 14.21 billion this year (See RNW May 27).
2010-06-14: US public broadcasters have announced what they term "an ambitious effort to develop a digital distribution network that will allow public broadcasters and web producers to combine, create, share and distribute their news and cultural content."
The effort was announced by NPR (National Public Radio) President and CEO Vivian Schiller at the Wired Business Conference on behalf of the American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International (PRI) and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).
Funding to start the project came from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is providing nearly USD1 million over the next six months to create development plans and a working prototype of what the partners are calling the Public Media Platform (PMP). NPR is administering the grant that will fund the planning phase.
NPR in a news release said that at the core of PMP is an open Application Programming Interface (API) that will simplify the task of sharing, combining and distributing news and educational content to member organizations and the general public and will be available to" organizations such as the five public media partners, as well as public radio and TV stations, independent producers, and non-traditional, mission-focused content creators and developers who see value in aligning their efforts with public broadcasting."
They add that it will "fuel the delivery of more quality news and programming that engages and informs communities" and lists amongst its uses "mobile apps, third party sites (from major news aggregators to niche websites), blogs, mash-ups, and widgets."
A separate document lists potential uses including feeding material to the websites of non-profit media; distributing station, network and producer content; Giving context to major news events; Informing the work of journalists and bloggers; and supporting partnerships through a comprehensive rights-management system. Applications listed include a geographically targeted news application that could deliver local content to an individual depending on the location of their mobile device (RNW note: It specifically lists the i-Phone and i-Pad here rather than mobile devices in general but we would think there would be opposition from others if this were linked to a specific maker); IP radio in cars; and personal playlists.
Previous Corporation for Public Broadcasting:.
Previous Public Radio International:
2010-06-14: According to RapidTV News, which has been following news about WorldSpace consistently, Yazmi, the company controlled by WorldSpace founder Noah Samara that now owns most of the company's assets (See RNW Jun 11), is to focus its attention on South Africa.
RapidTV News quoted Hamza Farooqui, MD of WorldSpace Southern Africa, as saying last week if the sale to Yazmi USA was approved the company would re-launch in South Africa, but would first apply for a licence from the industry regulator.
WorldSpace had provide 42 stations to South African subscribers and operated in the country under a permission to do so while the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) finalised the licensing process for subscription broadcasters.: It pulled out in 2007 because it was said to have contravened the Electronic Communications Act, which caps foreign ownership on local broadcasting companies at 20% and also issues as to the licences it would need and whether it should be treated as a broadcaster or an infrastructure provider or both.
The report said that broadcasting and telecommunications lawyer Avhasei Mukoma said he thought WorldSpace would probably need both a network and a services licence, and either way it would have to abide by the black empowerment rules and added that his concern was about its business model although they might be able to succeed as a niche provide if they brought "something unique to the market."
2010-06-13: Last week was one where a suggestion of using former analogue TV frequencies for community radio in the US might expand the medium and in the UK where five closed stations appear to have been revived as the regulator approved their sale by the receiver.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) posted details of two radio decisions.
In New South Wales it found that temporary community radio broadcaster Lambing Flat Community Broadcasting Inc., licensee of 2YYY, Young, breached the Community Broadcasting Radio Codes of Practice 2008 relating to conflict resolution and complaints handling.
A complaint led to an investigation by the ACMA that found that the station did not have policies and procedures in place to resolve internal conflict. It also found that the licensee had failed to provide the complainant with a copy of the codes and had not informed the complainant of their right to refer their complaint to the ACMA
The station had responded by endorsing a conflict resolution policy and amending its internal policies and procedures to include measures to ensure that the complaints handling provisions of the codes are followed. On the basis the ACMA decided to take no further action.
In Western Australia, the ACMA made FM frequencies available for two new high power open narrowcasting radio services at Kalgoorlie and Kambalda. The licences will be auctioned with a call for applications to be posted later this month and in addition the ACMA is to increase the maximum power of the planned community broadcasting service on FM frequency 99.5 MHz in the Kalgoorlie area.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) revoked the licence of two Quebec AMs that Corus closed earlier this year (See RNW Jun 8): It also posted the following additional radio decisions:
*Approved application by Newcap Inc. to increase the power of CHFT?FM, Fort McMurray, from 20,000 to 50,000 watts.
*Approved application by Larche Communications Inc. to relocated the transmitter of CJOS-FM, Owen Sound, and reduce its power from 20,000 to 9,400 watts.
The application was opposed by Blackburn Radio Inc., licensee of CKNX-AM, Wingham, and Bluewater Community Radio, licensee of CFBW-FM, Hanover with Blackburn saying the proposal would result in CJOS-FM's penetration in the Wingham market and a decrease in its coverage in the Owen Sound central market and thus have a significant impact on its station and Bluewater saying it would draw money away from the Hanover market and that it had little to do with cost saving.
The CRTC noted that the change would increase the population served within the station's 3mV/m contour from 48,530 to 49,400 and the population served within its 0.5mV/m contour from 121,583 to 128,000 but said it was satisfied that the Owen Sound radio market could accommodate the proposed technical change without undue economic or technical impact on the existing radio stations.
*Approved application by Dufferin Communications Inc. to relocate the transmitter of CIRR-FM, which serves Toronto's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and increase its power from 50 to 250 watts. Dufferin said the change was necessary to provide a better signal and better reception to the station's targeted audience.
*Denied application by Radio Port-Cartier inc. (to increase power of CIPC-FM, Port-Cartier, from 18,766 watts to 41,687 watts
The application was opposed by Radio Sept-Îles inc. and CHLC-FM, Baie-Comeau, with the former noting a similar application in January 2007 and suggesting that the application is simply a thinly veiled business strategy, rather than an attempt to solve the signal reception problem in Port-Cartier whilst CHLC-FM said that it is very familiar with the market in question and that CIPC-FM's reception in Port-Cartier is excellent. It said it was particularly concerned that the requested power increase would cover the market of its station in Baie-Comeau and added that for the past few years it has lost several regional and national advertising accounts to more powerful stations.
The CRTC noted that Radio Port-Cartier has to comply with its condition of licence regarding contributions to Canadian content development and also made only 50% of its CCD contributions for 2009. It added that its practice is to deny licence amendments requested by applicants that are in non-compliance with their regulatory obligations and said that it did not consider that it was warranted in departing form the policy in this case.
The CRTC also posted a Notice of Consultation with a July 12 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments that relates to the renewal applications for the following licences, all of which expire at the end of August this year and that the agency raise no concerns:
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CHRB-AM, High River.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CJXX-FM, Grande Prairie; CFMY-FM Medicine Hat; CFDV-FM and CHUB-FM, Red Deer;
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CHED-AM, Edmonton.
Corus Radio Company's CHQT-AM, CISN-FM, and CKNG-FM, Edmonton;
Newcap Inc.'s CKKY_AM, Wainwright.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CFFR -AM and CFAC-AM, Calgary; CJAQ-FM Calgary and its transmitters CJAQ-FM-1, Banff, and CJAQ-FM-2, Invermere; CKYX-FM, Fort McMurray, and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island; CHFM-FM, Calgary, and its transmitter CHFM-FM-1, Banff; CHMN-FM, Canmore, and its transmitter CJMT-FM-1, Banff; CJRX-FM, and CFRV-FM , Lethbridge.
Newcap Inc.'s CFXH-FM, Hinton; CKSQ-AM, Stettler; CIZZ-FM. Red Deer; CKDQ-AM, Drumheller; CIBQ-AM and CIXF-FM, Brooks; CKRA-FM, Edmonton; CKVH-AM, High Prairie; CHLW-AM, St. Paul; CFOK-AM, Westlock; CKJR-AM, Wetaskiwin; and CFCW -AM, Camrose.
Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd.'s CKYL-AM, Peace River, and its transmitters CKYL-FM-1, Peace River; CKYL-FM-2, High River; CKYL-FM-3, Fairview; CKYL-FM-4, Valleyview; and CKYL-FM-5, Saddle Hills.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CKKN-FM, Prince George, and its transmitters
CKKN-FM-1, McLeod Lake, and CKKN-FM-2, Mackenzie.
CTV Limited's CKST-AM, Vancouver.
N L Broadcasting Ltd.'s CHNL-AM, Kamloops, and its transmitters CIN-AM, Ashcroft; CHNL-1 -AM, Clearwater; CFNL-FM, Sorrento; and CJNL-AM, Merritt; plus CKRV-FM, Kamloops.
Corus Premium Television Ltd.'s CJOB-AM, Winnipeg.
Acadia Broadcasting Limited's CHSJ-FM, Saint-John.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Newcap Inc.'s CJYQ-AM, St. John's.
Truro Town's Tourist/Weather/Traffic information/Seasonal events/ Environment Canada service CJIS-FM, Truro.
My Broadcasting Corporation's CHMY-FM, Renfrew, and its transmitter CHMY-FM-1, Arnprior.
CKDX Radio Limited's CKDX-FM, Newmarket.
Dufferin Communications Inc.'s CIDC-FM, Orangeville.
Corus Radio Company's CHAY-FM, Barrie; CFPL-AM and FM, London; CKDK-FM, Woodstock
CTV Limited's CFCA-FM Kitchener; CKLW-AM and CIDR-FM Windsor; CKQM-FM, Peterborough; and CKLY-FM, Lindsay.
Northwoods Broadcasting Limited's CJRL-FM, Kenora
Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHYM-FM and CKGL-AM, Kitchener.
Raedio Inc.'s CJCS-AM, Stratford.
Radio Dégelis Inc.'s CFVD-FM, Dégelis, and its transmitters CFVD-FM-2, Pohénégamook, and CFVD-FM-3, Squatec.
Radio Express Inc.'s CIRA-FM, Montréal, and its transmitters CIRA-FM-2, Trois-Rivières; CIRA-FM-3, Victoriaville; and CIRA-FM-4, Rimouski.
Astral Media Radio inc.'s CJAB-FM, Chicoutimi.
The CRTC also posted a consultation notice with a Jul 13 deadline for the submission of interventions/comments that includes the following radio applications:
*Application by MacEachern Broadcasting Limited to increase the power of CIGO-FM, Port Hawkesbury, from 19,000 to 40,000.
*Application by Northwoods Broadcasting Limited to use the rebroadcasting transmitter CKDR-6-AM Atikokan, to broadcast the programming of CFOB-FM, Fort Frances, instead of the programming of CKDR-2-FM, Sioux Lookout, and to delete CKDR-6-AM from CKDR-2-FM's licence.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has formally approved the sale of the five South West Radio stations that were closed in March and they are expected to be back on the air this month (See RNW Jun 11). It also posted its latest Bulletin in which it upheld two radio complaints (See RNW Jun 7).
The agency also posted a research report on "Audience attitudes towards offensive language on television and radio."
The 298 page report was compiled from comments made by participants about three DVDs of television and radio clips that contained potentially offensive language and were selected by Ofcom on the basis of its experience of complaints about offensive language received from viewers and listeners since 2005: The clips were representative of material broadcast pre-watershed and post-watershed across a range of channels and types of programming
Reactions varied according to context and also the age, sex (RNW comment: Ofcom uses the now common "gender" - a euphemism that says much about the change in use of language), and personal experience.
The report warns that the report contains language that some may find offensive and later on says that in "terms of strong language, most participants found the words 'cunt', 'fuck', 'motherfucker', 'pussy', 'cock' and 'twat' unacceptable pre-watershed and also wanted care to be taken over the use of the words 'bitch', 'bastard', 'bugger', 'dick', 'wanker', 'shag', 'slag' and 'shit'. Post-watershed, 'cunt' and 'motherfucker' were considered the least acceptable words discussed in the research. There were mixed views on the use of the word 'fuck' which was considered more acceptable by some participants (e.g. younger people and male participants) but less acceptable by others (e.g. participants aged 55-75). Most participants also wanted some care to be taken over the use of the word 'pussy' post-watershed. The other words listed were seen to be acceptable post-watershed by most participants."
"In terms of discriminatory language," it adds, "nigger' and 'Paki' were seen as the most offensive words. Some participants thought it was acceptable to use them in some specific contexts (e.g. for educational use), whereas some thought they should not be used on television or radio in any context. The word 'spastic' was also generally considered unacceptable. Some discriminatory language polarised responses, particularly 'retarded', 'gyppo', 'pikey', 'gay' and 'cripple' as participants' familiarity with and interpretation of, these words varied greatly, both within the general UK sample, and between the general UK sample and the minority group."
In the US Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has, as already noted, suggested that the FCC consider the use of the spectrum from analogue TV channels 5 and 6 for low power and community stations (See RNW Jun 12): The agency itself has been involved in a number of potentially far-reaching actions that included setting July 12 as the deadline for comments on whether its "media ownership rules continue to serve the public interest". The deadline for reply comments is July 26.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski appeared before the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Committee on Appropriations at its hearing on the agency's Fiscal 2011 Budget Request. In this the FCC is asking for a total of USD 352.5 million, from USD 335.8 million in 2010 (See RNW Feb 1).
The sum includes an increase of approximately USD 19.4 million over its fiscal 2010 base appropriation; a "one-time base increase of USD 11.1 million to allow the Commission to bring on an additional 75 employees with the skills needed to: support the cyber-security role of the Commission; implement fully the Commission's broadband responsibilities; make the FCC a model for excellence in government; overhaul our data systems; revitalize our standing internationally; and allow the FCC to be a leader in the federal government in the use of new information technologies that will ensure broad-based public participation and unprecedented transparency in agency deliberations" and an additional USD 6.4 million to reflect the locality pay adjustment for Commission employees ; the continuation of the USD 1 million base increase for additional full-time equivalents that was included in its fiscal 2010 budget; and an additional USD 900,000 for its public safety and homeland security efforts.
Much of Genachowski's emphasis was on the agency's broadband plans, an issue on which the commissioners appear to be split on partisan lines - Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker told a Broadband Policy Summit that the current policy was working well and that the agency should not seek to regulate the Internet as it does phone companies: She said that Chairman Genachowski had "announced his intent to turn this regulatory foundation on its head by classifying broadband Internet access service as a monopoly-era Title II offering" and suggested that a DC Court's Comcast decision left him no choice whilst she was concerned that the debate was not "really about putting potential net neutrality rules on firmer ground."
Baker said there was no "evidence of market failure warranting government action, and there are clear risks that come with adopting unnecessary or imperfect regulations. "
On the other side of the argument, Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps speaking at Stanford Law School on the topic of "Openness and Innovation in the Digital World" took the view that the US had "forgotten" the lessons of developing previous national communications and transport infrastructure and has fallen "victim to a strange and totally unhistorical assumption that broadband would get built without any special effort, absent any enlightened public policy encouragement, and that business would build it out even in places where business had no incentive to go."
He took the view that the FCC had in much of the past decade taken "American consumers on a costly and damaging ride, moving the broadband transmission component of Internet access services provided by dominant telephone and cable companies outside of the statutory Title II framework that applies to telecommunications carriers" and that nowadays a "few huge access providers" have "become the only real broadband game in town."
"Competition-as envisioned in the 1996 Telecommunications Act-in the Internet access services market" commented Copps "is simply not adequate."
Those most vocal in claiming that the US government wanted to regulate the Internet said Copps were really asking the commission to "choose existing models and business plans over new innovation and real entrepreneurship?... This isn't about government regulating the Internet-it's about making sure that consumers and innovators, rather than a handful of entrenched incumbents, each control their own online experiences."
"Allowing a powerful duopoly-in many places a monopoly-to exercise unfettered control over high-speed Internet access" said Copps "does more than just create technology and economic risks; it poses a real threat to the future of our democracy."
In specifically radio related actions the FCC posted a number of enforcement decisions including the following:
*Issued USD 5,600 forfeiture to Stocks Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of WFHK-AM, Pell City, Alabama, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The FCC had issued a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to which the licensee responded by seeking reduction on the basis that it would cause financial hardship to the station and its owners family and on the basis of a history of compliance.
Company President Adam Stocks said he co-owns the station with his wife and that in six years it made a profit - of USD 2,604 - only in 2006. The FCC noted that it took account of gross revenues as the basis for financial hardship claims and that in this case the revenues were more than USD 175,000 for the years 2004 to 2006, the years for which information was provided.
On this basis it rejected the financial hardship argument but it did reduce the penalty to SUD 5,600 on the basis of a history of compliance.
*Issued USD 1,100 forfeiture to Piedmont Radio Co., licensee of WPID-AM, Piedmont, Alabama, for late filing of licence renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. In this case it had also issued a USD 7,000 NAL to which Piedmont responded by saying that it had attempted to file the application on time and believed it had been successful. It also argued that payment would cause financial hardship and could lead it to reduce programming or close down the station.
The FCC rejected the arguments but nevertheless reduced the penalty to USD 1,100.
In contested radio licensing decisions the FCC has posted the following decisions:
*Rejected petition from Great God Gospel and Educational Station, Inc., licensee of low power FM WITG-LP, Ocala, seeking reconsideration of an agency decision to dismiss its application for a new booster station as unacceptable.
The FCC had dismissed the application on the basis that that an LPFM station licensee cannot have any attributable interest in any other non-LPFM broadcast station to which Great God had argued that an FM booster station was not a translator station and was not subject to broadcast ownership restrictions. The FCC dismissed this argument as without merit.
Great God had also requested a waiver but the FCC said it failed to demonstrate any special circumstances to show that such a waiver would be in the public interest.
*Allowed the assignment of the Construction Permit for WMUI-FM, Rushville, from The President and Trustees of Miami University of Ohio to Rush County (Indiana) Schools, rejecting a petition to deny the application and letter opposing it from Martin L. Hensley, of Greenfield.
Hensley argued that the University has "no interest" in constructing the facility and that the proposed buyer Rush County is constructing the facility prior to Commission grant of the Application and claimed that this amounts to an unauthorized transfer of control.
Rush County said that the information provided by Hensley simply demonstrated that it taken steps to find out what would be needed to construct the station and possibly move its transmission site but did not amount to starting to build the station and the University said that it had fully intended to build the station but for "difficult budgetary issues." The FCC gave the go-ahead and rejected the Hensley's arguments.
*Granted application from of Network of Glory, LLC for a construction permit for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM station in Clinton and denied petitions for reconsideration of the decision from The Helpline, whose application for a new NCE station in Harrisonville had been rejected on the basis that Glory's application was entitled to preference amongst the six mutually exclusive applications for an NCE FM to serve six different communities in Missouri and Kansas.
Denied objections to an application from New Life Broadcasting, Inc. to relocate the transmitter site of WNVM-FM, Cidra, and change its technical facilities.
The application was also opposed by Josantonio Mellado-Romero and others and by Jose J. Arzuaga, licensee of WOYE-FM, Rio Grande, on the basis that that the application did not provide line-of-sight to the community of Cidra, Puerto Rico, in violation of FCC rules and that the station would not provide the required coverage but FCC staff said that this was because of a major terrain obstruction was in the proposed antenna site's path and that New Life's Minor Change Application otherwise complied with the Commission's technical rules.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
Ofcom - "Audience attitudes towards offensive language on television and radio" (298-page 756 kb PDF):
2010-06-12: Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has suggested at the 35th Annual Community Radio Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC)should examine the possibility of using analogue TV Channels 5 and 6 as additional spectrum for "LPFM, expanded NCE use, and AM broadcasters" whilst community broadcasters should consider use of the Internet as a supplement to their broadcasts and also of HD digital radio in partnership with commercial and non-commercial educational stations.
Regarding the TV channels, she commented that they "have proven difficult for television broadcasting, and I have a hard time imagining that they would fare much better as additional spectrum for mobile broadband use" and went on to say that she was "not suggesting that the Commission move today to reallocate this spectrum for such uses" but was suggesting "that it is time for us to take a serious look at where these services fit within the overall spectrum plan, and that Channels 5 and 6 may be a good home."
"I will be encouraging my colleagues to take a look at this issue as we move forward with a long-term spectrum program," she added "and I urge you to continue to weigh in about how the services you provide are worthy of a hard look when it comes to this spectrum in particular."
Regarding current activities of the Commission in relation to community radio, Clyburn singled out "the strides we are now making in tribal radio" and noted that in February the FCC "adopted an order codifying this tribal preference and a notice for a further rulemaking on tribal auction bidding credits and priorities for non-landed tribes."
The NFCB (National Federation of Community Broadcasters) she suggested was "one last model for hope" when it came to minority ownership of stations and community radio, she added, "presents a model for what could be; how Americans can get local news and information from a diverse array of sources and from home-grown talent and ownership."
" if you really want to know what is going on in your local community, where do you turn? For most of us, it certainly is not the Internet. Sure, there are so-called "hyper-local" Web sites here and there that provide important neighbourhood information. But this is the exception, and not the rule. And while someday, the Internet may be able to reliably link us all to our local communities, today is not that day. For local news and information, there is almost no source better than community radio."
2010-06-12: India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction ended on Friday evening with all the 44 blocks for sale - two in each of 22 areas - sold with the total for a licence in all areas of INR 12.847.77 crore (USD 2.735 million - a crore is ten million) and the price for a licence in the top ranked area of Mumbai at INR 2,292.95 crore (USD 488 million).
As well as the two blocks on sale to private bidders, a third block was reserved for state operators (at the same price) meaning that the auction has raised INR 38.543 crore (USD 8.21 billion).
Only Infotel - a member of the WiMAX Forum that has indicated it would use WiMAX for its national build-out - won licences in all areas with Qualcom taking the other licences in the top two areas - Mumbai, and Delhi- plus Kerala and Haryana; Aircel Limited taking licences in third-tanked Tamil Nadu plus fifth-ranked Andra Pradesh and West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East; and Jammu & Kashmir and Bharti Airtel taking licences in fourth-ranked Karnataka plus Maharashtra, Kolkata (Calcutta), and Punjab.
Other winning bidders were Tikona Digital Networks Private Limited, which took licences in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh East and West; Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh plus Augere (Mauritius) Limited, which won a licence in Madhya Pradesh.
In all there had been 11 bidders for licences but the big players - Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Vodafone and Tata Communications had bid high prices in the 3G auction earlier that ended last month, raising a total of INR 67,719 crore (USD 14.62 billion) for the government (See RNW May 19). leaving them somewhat strapped for cash
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction results):
2010-06-11: The Delaware Bankruptcy Court has now approved the transfer of most of the assets of international satellite radio operator WorldSpace to Yazmi, a company set up by WorldSpace founder Noah Samara.
So far there has been no formal announcement of plans for the company's satellite operations but most of its subscribers were in India, where it closed down operations at the end of last year (See RNW Dec 31, 2009).
2010-06-11: UK media regulator Ofcom has now formally approved the sale of the five South West Radio stations that were closed in March after going into receivership (See RNW Mar 25) to One Gold Radio Ltd., which is owned by Total Star 107.5 Managing Director Brett Orchard, and format changes that will allow them to return to the airwaves.
The five stations - Bath FM, Brunel FM, 3TR-FM (Three Towns Radio) and two Quay West stations -in Bridgewater and West Somerset - were bought by Your Media Communications Ltd. last year (See RNW Aug 29, 2009) but Ofcom refused the transfer of the licences (See RNW Dec 2, 2009).
The regulator last month said that is was considering sanctions, possibly involving revocation of the licences over the shutdown (See RNW May 11).
Ofcom has agreed that the two Quay West stations can co-locate within Somerset and share programming and has reduced the local programming requirement of for at least ten hours daytime on weekdays to seven hours - the four hours daytime at weekend remains unchanged.
Local programming requirements for the other three stations are also changed as for the Quay West stations and in addition Brunel FM will be allowed to share programming with the other two stations; Bath FM, which started test transmissions on Wednesday, will be allowed to share programming with Brunel Fm and co-locate in the Swindon area; and 3TR will be allowed to co-locate with Brunel FM.
2010-06-11: IPC Media, the parent of NME Magazine, has confirmed that NME Radio is to become an online only service following a decision by DX Media, which launched the service in June 2008 (See RNW May 8, 2008) and operated it under licence, to end the arrangement.
After Xfm was bought by Capital Radio (subsequently merged into GCap, which was then taken over by Global Radio) many of those involved with the station were dissatisfied with the changes made and perceived a gap in the market and conceived NME Radio to fill the gap: The managing director was Xfm's creator Sammy Jacob.
NME Radio has been available on the Sky and Freesat digital satellite platforms, Virgin Media, and on Arqiva's Digital One national commercial digital multiplex since December last year when it began an eight-month trial (See RNW Dec 22, 2009): It was listed as one of the nine services on Muxco's Surrey & North Sussex digital multiplex when its licence award was announced in April 2008.
In its first ratings in November 2008 the station had 215,000 listeners a week (See RNW Oct 16, 2008) and 226,000 in the first quarter of this year (See RNW May 13).
Making the announcement NME publishing director Paul Cheal said, "We have enjoyed a great working relationship with DX Media and we would like to thank them for all the excellent work that has gone into NME Radio."
The release noted that the station will continue on its website, which reaches more than 4.2 million unique users per month, and Cheal continued, "We will continue to develop ways in which NME's audience can engage with both audio and visual content utilising our in-house studio facilities whilst maintaining an online music service via our award-winning music website NME.COM."
Nothing was said about how many jobs will be affected and the future of the station's DJs, including Jon Hillcock and Alex Zane who formerly worked on Xfm.
2010-06-10: Citadel Broadcasting has revealed in an 8K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has signed new deals with all the company's top executives following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (See RNW Jun 3): Chief Executive Farid Suleman has a new five-year deal with an automatic one-year extension unless advance notice is given of intention to terminate the employment; a base salary of USD 1.25 million plus health and welfare benefits and an annual performance bonus whilst other executives have three-year deals.
Suleman's target bonus for 2010 is USD 2 million and he will also be entitled to stock appreciation rights which generally vest in three rateable annual instalments commencing on the first anniversary of the grant date: Should his employment be terminated "without cause" or for a "good reason", he will be entitled to amounts owing to him; a lump sum payment of a pro-rate bonus for the year of the termination, continued health and welfare benefits for 24 months; and accelerated vesting of stock awards.COO Judy Ellis, CFO Randy Taylor, General Counsel Jackie Orr, and SVP/Finance & Administration Patricia Stratford all have "substantially similar" contracts for their three years again with an automatic one-year extension unless prior notice is given of intention not to extend the employment but should Suleman cease to be CEO have the right to terminate their employment within 90 days. They have similar agreements to Suleman covering termination of employment.
Ellis receives a base salary of USD 500,000; Taylor of USD 400,000; Orr of USD 350,000; and Stratford of USD 200,000 in addition to which they also have bonus deals with 2010 targets respectively of USD 200,000 each for the first three and USD 125,000 for Stratford.
Citadel also noted in the filing the members of its new board that in addition to Suleman consists of William M. Campbell, III; Greg Mrva; Paul N. Saleh; Jonathan Mandel; John L. Sander; and Doreen Wright.
2010-06-10:Although Corus announced at the end of April that it was to withdraw from the Quebec province radio market and had agreed a deal to sell 11 Quebec radio stations to Cogeco for CAD 80 million (then USD 78.7 million - See RNW Apr 30) the Montreal Gazette is reporting that a new bidder has come forward with a slightly higher offer.
The paper says T&T Media, a company led by businessman Nicolas Tetrault and Montreal radio veteran Paul Tietolman, former owner of two other Quebec stations CKVL-AM, Verdun (founded by his father Jack in 1946), and CKOI-FM, Montreal, has offered CAD 81 million (USD 78.2 million).
(RNW Note - the former CKVL-FM but became CKOI in 1976 and both were sold to Metromedia in 1992. In 2000 CKVL-AM, which had been simulcasting CINF-AM from the end of the previous year, went silent. Metromedia was taken over by Corus in 2001,and at the end of January this year Corus closed down its two Montreal AMs CINF and CINW - (See RNW Jan 29),
T&T Media are also offering to purchase Corus's CKSR-FM, Saguenay, which was not included in the Cogeco deal and is still up for sale and the equipment of the two AMs provided the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) allows it licences to operate these stations (The licences have just been revoked by the CRTC at Corus's request - See RNW Jun 8).
The Gazette says Corus did not respond to queries about the offer but the Toronto Globe and Mail in an update on its mobile service said that according to Corus it had entered into a "binding agreement" for the sale and was not "in a position to consider any other offers."
The update also quoted Cogeco spokeswoman Marie Carner as saying they had a "binding agreement" with Corus and adding that "both parties are pretty pleased with that agreement."
Montreal Gazette report:
2010-06-10:Two reports from UK commercial radio body The RadioCentre that were launched on Wednesday evening at an industry event say the BBC's strategy review is a missed opportunity, that the Corporation is attempting to preserve the status quo, and puts forward recommendations that it says will "allow the BBC to continue to deliver top-quality output, while enabling the rest of the radio industry to thrive."
One report -"Putting Listeners First" was written by the RadioCentre on behalf of commercial radio whilst the second "BBC Radio - A Review", comes from "independent consultants Value Partners".
The recommendations in essence call for the corporation to pull away from competing for mass audiences in favour of programming that the commercial sector is unlikely to provide.
Regarding the popular music services BBC Radios 1 and 2, the report says the BBC is proposing little change and goes on to propose that Radio 1 "must reclaim its reputation as a station for young people " and "should focus on serving audiences under 25 years of age, with a significantly greater focus on teenage listeners (13-19)" whilst Radio 2 "must harness its power as the nation's most popular radio station" and "should place much greater emphasis on serving the needs of older listeners, both in daytime music choice and the scheduling and content of programmes."
On the digital service 6-Music, which is to be closed under BBC management cost-cutting plans, it says "that the most distinctive and unique programming of 6 Music should be retained and incorporated into the schedules of Radio 1 and Radio 2" and adds, "A lack of confidence in the BBC's ability to deliver genuinely the output of 6 Music on more mainstream stations has been expressed widely. Yet, if the BBC was able to guarantee that this would be achieved then we believe that loyal listeners and the music industry could be satisfied."
It then goes on to say of "radio's digital future" that the corporation "should invest in sustained and heavyweight promotion of the digital radio platform on the BBC's network television stations and analogue radio services, rather than the narrow promotion of specific BBC digital radio services"; that it should fund building of its national DAB multiplex to match FM coverage levels within the current licence fee settlement; that it should broadcast far more of its popular content on digital stations only or on digital in advance of broadcast on the analogue network; and should explore migration of its national analogue services to digital in conjunction with the appropriate commercial services.
On BBC local radio services says the corporation should re-adjust their remit to "enhance their public service credentials and better serve their local communities" and in particular should commit itself to no further networking across local radio services; should remove all music from the daytime schedules of BBC English local stations (The BBC review has proposed to raise the target audience for these services to 55+ and have no music in breakfast and drivetime programmes) although specialist music programmes "could be broadcast in the evening, promoting artists from within that station's broadcast area"; "should develop closer relationships with local community, hospital and student radio stations, allowing them access to the airwaves outside of peak times"; and adds that heir service licences "should be amended to require regular programming for local ethnic communities."
On Cross-promotion the report says this should be used only to promote "promote programming which has particular public Value" and the digital radio platform and "should not be used to promote the BBC's most popular content."
It ends by calling for sanctions to ensure "effective implementation" of the BBC Trust's final proposals and also suggests that consideration should be giving to allowing UK media regulator Ofcom to "conduct reviews of Public Service Radio Broadcasting, comparable to those that it
conducts into Public Service Television Broadcasting" and to "conduct periodic market impact assessments of existing BBC Radio services (beginning with Radio 1 and Radio 2, as the nation's most popular radio services)."
Commenting on the report, the Radio Centre's Chief executive Andrew Harrison said in a release, "The best of BBC Radio is among the finest in the world. However, BBC Radio also enjoys an extremely privileged position, and it is right to consider how it should continue to play its part in securing a thriving radio sector for all. This is a unique opportunity to shape our industry for the digital age and one we cannot afford to miss. I believe that our recommendations will deliver top-quality BBC output, and we urge the Trust to prove itself as the cheerleader for the listener."
The Value Partners report a foreword from the Rt. Hon Lord Smith, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who comments, "The balance in the radio industry gets out of kilter when public and commercial services sound too similar, or when BBC stations are seen to prioritise popularity over quality and the delivery of their public purposes. The recommendations in the Value Partners report are measured and proportionate and provide a framework with the potential to recast the shape of the UK radio industry for the better, and help the BBC Trust to meet its requirements to put radio listeners at the heart of its decisions."
RNW comment: Although the RadioCentre describes the Value Partners report as "independent", it seems to us as independent of the industry's interests as anything the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) produces - in other words, the paymaster calls the tune and, although rather more subtle than much of the NAB's propaganda, this report is nevertheless propaganda for the commercial industry and it s main thrust is to push the BBC out of contention for the 25-44 demographic that is most sought by advertisers.
Here it says that over the past decade BBC Radios 1 and 2 have increased their share of this audience from 22% to 32%, an increase it puts to BBC Radio 2 making its audience profile younger and Radio 1 allowing its profile to grow older. There is no suggestion that the change could in any way have anything to do with commercial radio failing to do its job in attracting an audience and cutting back its commitment to news and public service programming as far as it can and lobbying to be allowed to trim this further.
The industry has, rather than focussing on programming that will attract an audience as a first priority, pushed for consolidation and cost cutting to aid its bottom line and we note that the report says that it does not consider moving Radios 1 and 2 into the commercial sector at this time would be appropriate as it "would flood the radio advertising with excess inventory - with potentially severe consequences for many of the 66% of local commercial stations currently loss-making or generating profits of less than £100k p.a."
That is probably the most honest assessment of anything in the report: It's been obvious that such a move would provide more competition for advertising revenues but that hasn't stopped a number of the dim-bulbs in the industry pushing it as the economy tanked and hit advertising hard.
As regards the rest, we suspect technological change may yet have more impact than anything the industry can do - advertisers will remain interested in broadcast media but the proportion of their spending going to newer media will increase and we suspect that mobile devices (including wireless internet) will do much better with younger audiences than DAB when it comes to many services whilst use of portable players for music will also continue to make inroads into radio's audiences, particularly if radio is offering little extra of interest to that audience than the material of their own choice they can load into a portable player.
Certainly putting listeners' interests first would not include DAB as currently planned - remaining committed to an inferior encoding system (MP2) that combined with broadcasters opting to cram in services rather than go for technical quality has meant that online services are already providing better quality as are digital TV platforms. They're also upgradeable and universal unlike DAB receivers (and indeed other digital radio systems, none of which are universal).
2010-06-09:The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that challenges made to the arguments of American author Dick Masterson during an edition of the Kid Carson Show, the morning show of CFBT-FM (The Beat 94.5, Vancouver), meant that the broadcast did not violate Canadian industry codes.
Before the phone interview with Masterson, the author of the book "Men Are Better than Women" and creator of a website of the same name, the hosts aired information on why they had opted to interview him and explained that they had played audio clips from Masterson's website on a previous program, which contained "brutal" views about women, and that they had received some viewer feedback suggesting, on the one hand, that they bring him on to debate him and, on the other hand, that they should not "spread this negative energy."
One host, Nira Arora, said that she had referred to him as a "dick" because his name is Dick and the show broadcast clips taken from his web site that included comments that "All women are whores"; "Women make horrible employees"; "Women should not be allowed to vote. It's ridiculous. A woman president would be a disaster"; and "Women are only good for having kids. Unfortunately they're not very good at raising them."
When the interview started Carson suggested that Masterson was exaggerating his opinions to sell his book to which Masterson agreed that he wanted to sell the book and then went on to criticize what he termed the "rampant feminization of society" and added, "We're all supposed to pretend that men and women are so equal, women are just as qualified to be cops and that's just not true."
In a following segment he commented of his statement that women were "whores" that "Women are, you know, it's a, it's a necessity, uh, in society that women are whores because men have more money and we want sex more than women do. So what's gonna happen, we're gonna try to dump money on you guys to put out. It's a necessity of the system."
Carson said he felt like he was in a comedy skit because he could not believe that Masterson was serious and that, if Masterson were serious, Carson would be "furious and I'd be shuttin' you down" and in a subsequent exchange with Arora Masterson repeated his comments about women being whores and when she said she had not taken "free stuff because you know guys wanna bang you" he said she was "the one in a million exception that proves the rule."
Subsequently callers to the show argued strongly with Masterson about his comments and the hosts also disputed comments he made.
After the show the CBSC received two complaints with one of the complainants who objected to the promotion of a "male chauvinist", asking if the author of a book called "Why White People Are Better than Non-White People" would have been given air time, and requesting a CBSC ruling: The station's Program Director responded by saying "understand your concern and apologize if you were offended by the comments and beliefs of Dick Masterson" but going on to say that the "members of The Kid Carson Show do not share and do not agree with the views of the guest and told me that their intention was not to offend anyone, but rather expose a person who has such negative and ridiculous views on women."
The CBSC in its decision said its Panel "understands the perspective of the complainant and shares the complainant's concern about the Masterson attitude" but went on to say that in this broadcast the "unsavoury Masterson comments were effectively blunted, indeed destroyed."
They added, "The bottom line for the Panel is that Dick Masterson's ridiculous standards-violating anti-female assertions were shredded by the hosts and the callers. However offensive they might have been on their own, they did not survive the torrent of reaction", commented that it would treat a programme that involved a racist or white supremacist in a similar way to the way it was treating this case and ruled, with one panel member dissenting, that Codes had not been breached
In her dissent Jasmin Doobay, the News Director at CKOV-FM and CKLZ-FM in Kelowna, British Columbia, said he dissent "relates to the initial decision to give Dick Masterson a platform to express his venomous perspective" and added that her view was "that, by allowing Masterson on the program, the broadcaster has in effect polluted the program by his abusiveness directed at women In my view, the challenged program is not salvaged by the application of any of the contextual considerations "
2010-06-09:The price for a countrywide broadband licence in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction has now moved above USD 2.6 billion with that for the most prized region - Mumbai - up to INR 2,152.95 crore (USD 458 million - a crore is en million) and that for second-ranked Delhi also above INR two million crore at INR 2,101.02 crore.
The bidding was keen for the top four areas - third ranked Tamil Nadu is up to INR 1,931.06 crore and fourth-ranked Karnataka at INR 1,527.98 crore after which there is a large gap - fifth-ranked Andra Pradesh is at INR 997.78 crore and sixth-ranked Maharashtra at 915.64 having not moved for four days.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-08:The US General Accountability Office (GAO) in a preliminary report on the potential effects of the introduction of performance royalties in the US says that the introduction could transfer some USD 19 million annually from radio to the recording companies and that this could lead some stations to reduce staff, switch from music to non-music formats, or discontinue operations.
Overall says the report the recording and broadcast radio industries combined generated more than USD 25 billion for the U.S. economy in 2008 but it adds that both industries are currently under economic pressure as digital technology and piracy have cut into recording sales and economic conditions and technological change that has attracted advertising to new media platforms has cut into radio's advertising revenues.
Both industries says the GAO benefit from their current relationship with the exemption from royalties of economic benefiting radio and the music itself attracting listeners whilst airplay promotes sales of recordings and tickets for concerts although the promotional value of airplay has decreased "due to the emergence of competing technologies."
In terms of payments, the report says that of the Of the 11,162 licensed commercial stations in the US as of November last year 7,886 have a music format and of these stations 67 percent - those with annual revenues of less than USD 1.25 million - would pay a flat royalty, with the remaining stations paying a royalty that would be
negotiated or set by the copyright royalty judges; the flat rate is in three bands - of USD 500 a year, which would be paid by 473 stations (6% of the total); USD 2,500 a year, which would be paid by 2,215 stations (28% of the total) , and USD 5,000 a year, which would be paid by 2,600 stations (33% of the total): The remaining 2,598 - 33% - would pay a royalty rate to be negotiated or set by the copyright royalty judges.
It also notes that in addition to the cost of royalties the cost and administrative burden of keeping records on which tracks were aired would be too much for many non-commercial and some commercial stations.
The report comments that at the moment it does not know what level of payments would be required but for its final report it intends to provide estimates, based on prior decisions of the copyright royalty judges, of the revenues generated from stations that would not make a flat annual royalty payment.
In addition to royalties in the US, the report notes that musicians from other countries receive no payment for performances aired in the US and that US musicians do not, unlike their foreign counterparts in countries where performance royalties are currently paid (most of the world): Were the US to introduce performance royalties, it says, US musicians could begin receiving royalties from foreign countries.
RNW comment: Much of the input to the GAO for this report has necessarily come from the parties involved and there would appear to be considerable evidence that their devotion to making money far outweighs commitment to being truthful when their income could be adversely affected: The GAO, for example, in April reported on the costs to the US of piracy and counterfeit goods and sensibly noted that "Generally, the illicit nature of counterfeiting and piracy makes estimating the economic impact of IP infringements extremely difficult, so assumptions must be used to offset the lack of data."
US GAO report re Performance Royalties (738 kb 22 page PDF):
US GAO report on Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (399 kb 41 page PDF):
2010-06-08: Rapid TV News, which has been following the bankruptcy proceedings of international satellite radio operator WorldSpace, says that the Delaware court is expected to approve the transfer of Worldspace assets to new owner Yazmi, set up by WorldSpace founder and former chairman and CEO, Noah Samara, on Thursday.
It adds that Liberty Media subsidiary Liberty Satellite Radio, which bought WorldSpace's debts but later balked at taking control of the company's satellites, is expected to hold on to some WorldSpace Italian assets as part of a final settlement.
Court documents, it says, state, "The consideration to be received from [incoming purchaser] Yazmi, [controlled by Noah Samara] though, is not sufficient to pay Liberty Satellite Radio and Liberty Satellite Radio Holdings in full. The Debtors estimate that Liberty's aggregate secured claims exceed USD 116 million. Under the proposed Settlement Agreement, the Debtors will be released from such claims (and the corresponding liens), thereby allowing the Debtors to distribute the proceeds of the sale to other creditors. In exchange, the Debtors (and the other Parties to the Settlement Agreement) will provide releases to Liberty, and Liberty will receive other consideration..."
Rapid TV says that Liberty will get a return of USD 370,000 in funds that it had loaned to WorldSpace to support the Italian subsidiary and also USD 250,000 of the proceeds of the sale to Yazmi. This is notes is 5% of the total and significantly less than Liberty would receive were its senior secured claims to be allowed: It will also have a lien on USD 5.5 million - the amount that is being paid for the WorldSpace assets but along with other parties involved will be barred from suing Yazmi as part of the agreement.
2010-06-08: India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction is continuing to attract bidding in most areas although the bids were unchanged for five areas today: the total for a countrywide licence at the end of the day - Day 13 and 102 rounds - was INR 11,517.90 crore ( USD 2.451 billion - a crore is 10 million).
Top area remained Mumbai (Bombay) with a price of INR 1,993.02 crore (USD 424 million) followed by Delhi - INR 1,942.18 crore; Tamil Nadu - INR 1,783.33 crore; and Karnataka -INR 1,411.10 crore.
Bidding in the fifth-ranked area - Maharashtra - was unchanged for the third day at INR 915.64 crore.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-08: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has now formally revoked the licences of Corus Entertainment's Montreal AM's CINW and CINF (Info690), which Corus closed down on January 29 (See RNW Jan 29).
The stations were descended from Canada's first commercial radio station, which originally launched as an experimental station XWA in 1919 but were loss making, leading Corus to decide that they were not viable.
2010-06-07: Tribune Company has announced that Cincinnati WLW-AM midday host for two decades Mike McConnell is to join its WGN-AM after leaving the Clear Channel station although it is not yet been announced what slot he will take.
The Chicago Tribune, which is owned by the same parentas WGN, says McConnell's contract expires at the end of July and he will start with WGN on August 9 and speculates that there could be a space left when Steve Cochran's contract expires later this month :Earlier this year Cochrane was moved into a shorter and earlier 1300-1500 weekday slot.
It also speculates that he may yet be joined by WLW-AM 1200-1500 host Bill Cunningham, whose contract with Clear Channel runs to the end of this month and who has signed with Tribune Broadcasting to do a pilot for a potential syndicated daytime television show: The Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier this month that both hosts - who worked for Tribune Company CEO Randy Michaels and Tribune Television President of Programming Sean Compton at WLW when both were at Jacor and then Clear Channel- could be leaving but also quoted Cunningham as being evasive about his plans and commenting, "Don't make me talk about this. All I can say is that I work for WLW-AM for now. I can't talk about it. I'm going to get into trouble. When I can talk about it, I'll call you."
Last month Cunningham had said he was not leaving Cincinnati radio and was "about to sign an extension with Clear Channel."
WGN in its announcement of McConnell's move quoted the host as saying, "I've always enjoyed Chicago and never met anyone who's lived, worked, or visited there who has a bad word to say about the people or the city of Chicago. I can't wait to be a part of it and particularly WGN Radio" and WGN Radio Program Director Kevin Metheny as saying of the host, "Mike McConnell is arguably the most gifted of all American broadcasters at leveraging the news and events of the day into compelling radio shows. We're fortunate and delighted he is joining WGN."
WGN Vice President/General Manager Tom Langmyer added, "There are really just a handful of truly unique radio hosts in this country - and Mike is one of them. He's successful based on being who he is, not by imitating others. He's straightforward, and his common sense approach to topics will be a great fit for WGN listeners."
Also in Chicago, the Tribune reported that Windows to the World Communications Inc., the parent of public broadcasters WTTW-Ch. 11 and WFMT-FM is to cut around 12% of its workforce - between 25 and 30 people depending on how many employees go for early retirement - as part of an effort to trim operating costs by USD 3 million a year: WFMT, it says, is expected to be able to cut expenses by USD 200,000
The company's president and chief executive Daniel J. Schmidt said in a statement, "We believe the cost reductions we are implementing directly address both our short and longer term financial challenges and provide a base on which we can build for the future."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Tribune Co.:
Cincinnati Enquirer report:
Chicago Tribune re WFMT:
Chicago Tribune re WGN:
2010-06-07: Metropolitan advertising revenues for Australia's commercial stations in May were up 7.66% on a year ago at AUD 56.09 million (USD 45.92 million) according to figures from the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte just released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Strongest growth came from Sydney - up 8.9% to AUD 17.65 million (USD 14.45 million), followed by Brisbane, up 7.79% to AUD 8.97 million (USD 7.34 million), Adelaide up 7.64% to AUD 5.36 million (USD 4.39 million); Melbourne up 7.55% to AUD 17.18 million (USD 14.97 million) and Perth up 4.59% to AUD 6.93 million (USD 5.67 million).
The figures follow a strong first quarter in which revenues were up 7.7% on a year earlier although there was a slowdown in April when revenues were up 2.58% to AUD 51.04 million (then USD 45.23 million but now USD 41.79 million - See RNW May 15).
Commenting on the latest figures Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said they meant "means the industry is on track for positive growth for the financial year - and highlights the resilience of radio in very competitive trading times."
Previous Australian radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-06-07: The price for a countrywide broadband licence in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction has now moved above INR 100 billion with the price for a licence in Mumbai, the most prized area, above USD 384 million.
Overall the total reached INR 10,652.08 crore (USD 2.267 billion - a crore is ten million) with the price in the top four areas of 1,804.30 crore for Mumbai; 1,758.29 crore for Delhi; 1,614.48 crore for Tamil Nadu; and 1,277.48 crore for Karnataka.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-07: UK Media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds five TV and two radio standards complaints and also posts details of a TV fairness and Privacy complaint not upheld.
The radio complaints upheld concerned a double glazing advert aired on Buzz Asia, a music-led radio service aimed at young Asian adults in London, and sponsorship of The Real Sports Phone-in aired on Guardian Media Group's Real Radio Wales.
In the Real Radio case comments in the programme said that the sponsor sold "the UK's cheapest cars", a claim that a listener suggested was "unsubstantiated and potentially inaccurate."
GMG Radio responded to Ofcom by saying that a "that "a wrong though genuine interpretation by a company employee directly caused an incorrect sponsor credit to be aired" and added that the original script for the credit was cleared for broadcast by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre ("RACC") but not aired.
An employee later aired an amended script and GMG said an incorrect assumption of RACC clearance "by an experienced employee was responsible for allowing the subsequent sponsor credit to feature on air without appropriate checking."
It added that following the airing the RACC contacted the station and queried the claim as broadcast and that it removed the sponsorship credit from the air as well as taking measures to prevent recurrence.
Ofcom noted the speedy action and measures subsequently put in place for approving script amendments but said that the claim had breached two rules.
In the Buzz Asia case the station aired presenter-read advertisements that led Ofcom to ask it for its comments about the requirement to separate advertising and programme. The station in its response noted that no listeners had complained to Ofcom but said the "physical separation between the programme and the presenter read advertisement was not as overt as perhaps it could have been."
It said it believed that listeners "would have been in no doubt about when they were listening to an advertisement, especially as "it contained a clear offer and contact details and was branded clearly in the client's name" and that it "believed that, while separation "may have been oblique", it was adequate "when taken in context" and would have "created the required separation within the minds of the listeners."
Ofcom disagreed and ruled that the station had failed to ensure the required separation between advertisements and programming.
The figures compare with the upholding of a radio fairness and privacy complaint in the last bulletin in which it also ruled that a Cambridge community service that had ceased broadcasting because of financial difficulties was thereby in breach of its licence conditions: In that bulletin it also upheld standards complaints against seven TV broadcasters; considered a further complaint resolved through action taken by the broadcasters; ruled that there had been breaches of advertising scheduling regulations by seven TV broadcasters; partly upheld a TV Fairness and Privacy complaint and posted details of three more TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld.
As well as these complaints, Ofcom also listed without details 164 TV complaints against 121 items and 12 radio complaints against 12 items it did not uphold: This compared to 209 TV complaints against 105 items and 20 radio complaints against 20 items that it did not uphold in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-06-06: In another quiet week, the main regulatory news again came from North America where the Federal Communications Commisison (FCC) may have been handed a poisoned chalice in a call from public interest groups to investigate the effects of hate speech in media on hate crimes as part of its review of media (See RNW Jun 1).
There were no radio announcements from Australia or Ireland but things were fairly busy in Canada where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) amongst other things posted latest radio revenue figures, which showed commercial radio revenues in the 2009 fiscal year down by 5.2% on a year earlier (See RNW Jun 3).
It also posted revised guidelines for the application of its Common Ownership Policy for Radio, which it notes is designed to ensure a plurality of ownership in Canada's private commercial broadcasting and maintain a balance of competition between radio broadcasters in any particular market.
The changes amongst other things concern the definitions of a market - under Canada's regulations in markets with fewer than eight commercial stations operating in a particular language, a broadcaster can only control three stations operating in that language, with a maximum of two stations in any one frequency band and where there are eight or more such stations the maximum is two AM and two FM stations.
The commission says that is has made changes based on an analysis of recent cases where it has ruled on applications that would take a broadcaster above the limit - requiring an exception to be made - and notes that this applies where a change would mean even a minor overlap between the contours of a station in a market and in an adjacent market.
In broad terms it will allow an application where the population in the overlapping area includes less than 5% of the population of the market; reject it if the overlap is 15% or more and between those limits consider factors such as whether the station in question accepts advertising from local businesses in that market; whether that station broadcasts news and public affairs coverage of particular interest to listeners in that market; and whether approval of the application might affect competitive balance in the market, or because of a large discrepancy in the size of the markets served by the relevant stations, approval would be likely to affect the orientation of news and public affairs coverage.
Radio licence decisions included the following:
British Columbia and Manitoba:
*Renewal from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2011 of licence of Astral Media Radio G.P.'s CILK-FM, Kelowna, and its transmitters CILC-FM, Magna Bay and CILK-FM-1, Big White Mountain; CICF-FM, Vernon and its transmitter CICF-4-FM Armstrong/Enderby; CKNL-FM, Fort St. John; CKTK-FM, Kitimat - all in British Columbia- and CKXA-FM, Brandon, Manitoba.
The agency said the short-term renewal will enable the Commission to review at an earlier date the licensee's compliance with its conditions of licence, including that relating to its contributions to Canadian Content Development. It also approved the licensee's request to amend its broadcasting licence for CILK-FM Kelowna in order to delete the condition of licence relating to religious programming.
*Renewal from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2011 of licence of low-power, English-language commercial specialty station CHJX-FM, London. The agency notes that the short-term renewal will allow it to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's compliance with regulations in regard to the filing of annual returns and also its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development (CTD) contributions for the 2007 and 2009 broadcast years.
*Renewal of licence of Astral Media's French-language commercial station CIMO-FM, Magog, and its transmitter CIMO-FM-1, Sherbrooke, Quebec for a short-term period of four years. The short-term renewal will allow the Commission to review the licensee's compliance with its obligations and conditions of licence - specifically filing of annual financial returns - at an earlier date. It also approved a request to amend CFVM-FM's licence by removing the condition of licence regarding the provision of annual reports on the diversity of musical selections.
*Renewal from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2016 of licence of Astral Media's French-language commercial radio station CFVM-FM, Amqui. It also approved a request to amend CFVM-FM's licence by removing the condition of licence regarding the provision of annual reports on the diversity of musical selections.
*Renewal from 1 June 2010 to 31 August 2011 of licence of low-power, English-language commercial station CFET-FM, Tagish. The agency notes that the short-term renewal will allow it to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's plans for local programming and compliance with regulations in regard to the filing of annual returns and also its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development (CTD) contributions for the 2003 through 2008 broadcast years
Administrative renewals from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 of the following - the renewal does not dispose of any substantive issues that may exist with respect to the renewal of these licences:
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CKER-FM, Edmonton.
*Frog Lake Cowboys Club's Native Type B NCS-AM, Frog Lake.
*Drumheller Regional Business Development Centre Corp.'s tourist radio CHTR-FM, Drumheller.
*Western Singh Sabha Association's CISK-FM, Williams Lake.
*Bear, Gerald's Native Type A CFNT-FM Tobique Indian Reserve.
*Instant Information Services Incorporated's tourist radio CIRU-FM, St. Stephen.
*Instant Information Services Incorporated's tourist radio CFNS-FM, Amherst.
*Charles McPherson (OBCI- On behalf of a Corporation to be Incorporated)'s Native Type B CKWO-FM, Fort Frances.
*Jiska Westbroek's tourist radio CKFW-FM, Sorrell Lake.
*Persian Vision Broadcast and Media Corporation's specialty audio service, Toronto.
*Collin Catarat's CKBR-FM', Dillon.
*Chaplin Tourism Committee Inc.'s tourist radio CFSW-FM, Chaplin.
*Liard First Nation FM Society's Native Type A CHWA-FM, Watson Lake, and its transmitter VF2330 Upper Liard.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a July 6 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments regarding the renewal of the following radio licences due to expire 31 August 2010: The licensees have been found to be in apparent non compliance with regulatory requirements during the current licence term.
*Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's CJCA-AM, Edmonton.
*CKIK-FM Limited's CJCA-AM, Edmonton; CFGQ-FM. Calgary, and its transmitter CFGQ-FM-2, Banff; and CHQR-AM, Calgary.
*Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CJPG-FM, Portage La Prairie.
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHDI-FM, Edmonton; and CJOK-FM, Fort McMurray, and its transmitter CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island.
*Newcap Inc.'s CFCW-FM, Camrose; CKWY-FM, Wainwright; CJXK-FM, Grand Centre; and CIRK-FM, Edmonton.
*Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd.'s CKKX-FM, Peace River and its transmitters CJHP-FM, High Prairie; CKKF-FM, Fairview; CKKX-FM-1, Manning; CFFC-FM, Fox Creek; and CFKX-FM. High River; and CKHL-FM, High Level AB and its transmitters CKLA-FM, La Crete and CJRA-FM, Rainbow Lake.
*Vista Radio Ltd.'s CFBV-AM, Smithers and its transmitters CKBV-AM, New Hazelton, and CHBV-FM, Houston; CIRX-FM, Prince George; CFLD-AM, Burns Lake and its transmitter CHLD-AM, Granisle; CKBX-AM, 100 Mile House; CKCQ-FM, Quesnel; and CFNI-AM, Port Hardy and its transmitter CFPA-FM, Port Alice,
*Corus Premium Television Ltd's CKNW-AM, New Westminster (Vancouver).
*Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc.'s CKBC-FM, Bathurst.
North West Territories
*Vista Radio Ltd.'s CJCD-FM, Yellowknife, and its transmitter CJCD-FM-1, Hay River.
*Telephone City Broadcast Limited's CKPC-AM and CKPC-FM Brantford.
*R.B. Communications Limited's CIXL-FM, Welland.
*Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting Limited's CFBK-FM, Huntsville.
*The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s CFBG-FM, Bracebridge and CKLP-FM, Parry Sound.
*Blackburn Radio Inc.'s CFGX-FM; CHKS-FM; and CHOK-AM and its transmitter CHOK-FM-1, all in Sarnia; CKNX-AM and FM, Wingham, and the latter's transmitter CKNX-FM-2, Centreville; CKUE-FM Chatham, and its transmitter CKUE-FM-1, Windsor; CFCO-AM and its transmitter CFCO-1-FM, both in Chatham.
*Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited's CKOT-FM, Tillsonburg.
*Corus Radio Company's CFHK-FM, St. Thomas.
*Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation's CFOS-AM and CIXK-FM, Owen Sound
*Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.'s CFJB-FM, Barrie.
*Larche Communications Inc.'s CICX-FM, Orillia.
*Radio-Classique Montréal inc.'s CJPX-FM, Montréal.
*Radio du Golfe inc.'s CFMV-FM, Chandler.
*176100 Canada Inc.'s CKYQ-FM, Plessisville, and its transmitter CKYQ-FM-1, Victoriaville,
*Radio Haute Mauricie inc.'s CFLM-AM, La Tuque.
*Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy inc.'s CJSO-FM, Sorel.
*Radio communautaire MF Lac Simon inc.'s Type B Native Radio station CHUN-FM, Rouyn-Noranda.
The agency also posted a notice, with a July 7 deadline for submission of interventions or comments, regarding the following radio applications:
*Application by Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation to decrease the power of CIXK-FM, Owen Sound, from 100,000 watts to 28,000 watts; increase its antenna height and relocate the transmitter and also to decrease the power of CKYC-FM, Owen Sound, from 31,600 watts to 22,000 watts and also increase the antenna height and relocate the transmitter. The company says moving its FM antennas to a new tower in Owen Sound will significantly reducing yearly operating costs.
*Application by the Radio communautaire francophone de Montréal inc. to increase the power of its French-language Type B community station CIBL-FM, Montréal, from 221 watts to 1,003 watts.
*Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add the transmitters CBF-1, Senneterre; CBF-3, Lebel-sur-Quévillion; and CBF-4, Matagami, to the licence of its French language CHLM-FM, Rouyn-Noranda and to delete them from the licence of French language CBF-AM, Montréal. All the technical parameters of the rebroadcasting transmitters would remain unchanged.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has posted its May Update in which it summarizes radio decisions during the month.
New national digital commercial licences:
For TIML Radio Ltd for its Absolute 80s service; and a local digital licence (London III multiplex) and RLCS (Radio Licensable Content Service) licence for Sathy Media Ltd's IBC Tamil service and a
Ending of licences for:
Tamil Media Ltd's IBC Tamil Satellite RLCS service and Eurolatina Communications Ltd's Satellite RLCS service and Local DAB service (which was not broadcasting).
Local commercial FM licences:
Fast track application from Shetland Islands Broadcasting Company Ltd to renew its current Shetland Islands licence after pre-advertisement attracted no other applicants.
Multiplex format changes:
Addition of TIML's Absolute 80's service to digital national multiples (as above) and replacement of Absolute 80 with Absolute 90's service on the London II multiplex.
Removal of Q from London III multiplex.
Addition of IBC Tamil (as above) to London III multiplex.
Issued licence to Sandwell African Caribbean Development Agency Limited's Radio Sandwell in the West Midlands.
Five-year extension of licence for Takeover Radio Children's Media Trust's Takeover Radio.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted has been asked by a coalition of more than 30 organizations to examine the effects of hate speech in media and the "likely" link with hate crimes.
It also rejected an attempt by the former CEO of Tama Broadcasting to reconsider its decision to allow assignment of the company's licences to the receiver and has also dismissed a National Public Radio (NPR) call to re-examine its grant of an FM translator licence to Educational Media Foundation, a station that NPR said could interfered with one of its member stations (See RNW Jun 2).
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-06-05: Conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh (59) was married for the fourth time today in Palm Beach, Florida, to 33-years-old Kathryn Rogers: The ceremony was preceded on Friday night by a rehearsal dinner luau (A traditional Hawaiian feast - Rogers is from Hawaii) at The Breakers Hotel that the Palm Beach Post reports was attended by around "400-or so close friends and family" (RNW comment -we don't believe that, if the language is used accurately, anyone can have 400 close friends!), including various Republican luminaries - it lists "former Bush White House weasel Karl Rove" (RNW Comment: Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff); host Sean Hannity; actor and former Republican Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - as well as other guests from the world of sport and political consultants James Carville (who was lead strategist for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and is also host of a weekly sports show on XM Satellite Radio) and his wife, Republican political consultant Mary Matalin.
The paper says that according to its sources some 50 extra security guards were hired by Limbaugh and the hotel was closed for most of the day to those who didn't have a room key and also that a list of "undesirables" - including its reporter - who were to be banned form the hotel until Monday was circulated amongst those on the security detail.
It adds that Limbaugh is reputed to have paid Elton John more than USD 1 million to perform at the wedding banquet, noting that Limbaugh has "bashed homosexuality on his radio program for years" and speculating about whether the singer, who is open about his homosexuality, was aware of the host's comments.
Palm Beach Post report:
2010-06-05: The price for a countrywide broadband licence in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction ended the week at INR 9,837.41 crore (USD 2094 billion - a crore is ten million) with that for the most prized area - Mumbai (Bombay) at INR 1633.47 crore ( USD 347.7 million) after 11 days and 82 rounds.
The total was above INR 1000 crore each for the top four areas- Mumbai, Delhi ( INR 1,591.82 crore); Tamil Nadu (INR 1,461.62 crore) and Karnataka (INR 1,156.54 crore) after which bidding for Andra Pradesh has remained at INR 903.33 crore for the past three days.
There was change at the bottom end however, where all areas are now above the starting price of INR 15 crore (USD 3.19 million) having increase to INR 15.15 crore each for the bottom three areas - Himachal Pradesh; North East; and Jammu and Kashmir
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-04: Former WSCR-AM (The Score) host Michael "Mike" Murphy has launched a class-action lawsuit against CBS Radio claiming that non-compete clauses in his contract of employment violate Illinois law according to a report in Crain's Chicago Business.
It says Murphy's lawsuit claims his contract included geographic restrictions on where an employee can seek work 90 days before leaving CBS and six months afterwards that are prohibited by Illinois law.
It quotes Murphy's attorney, Lucas Fuksa as saying the suit could extend to employees at other stations and that damages would amount to millions of dollars, adding, "If people are in a similar situation, I would be willing to help them out, because situations like this are a flagrant disregard for Illinois law."
CBS spokeswoman Karen Mateo, says the report, declined to comment.
2010-06-04: The price for a countrywide broadband licence in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction has now gone above USD 2 billion with that for the most prized area - Mumbai (Bombay) more than USD 330 million after 77 rounds and ten days.
The countrywide total ended today at INR 9,522.35 crore (USD 2027.110 billion - a crore is ten million) and the bidding for a Mumbai (Bombay) licence reached USD 1,554.21 Crore (USD 330.9 million), ahead of the INR 1,514.58 crore for Delhi.
They were followed by Tamil Nadu (INR 1,390.71crore) and Karnataka (INR 1,100.43 crore) while three areas still remain at the starting price of INR 15 crore (USD 3.19 million) - Himachal Pradesh; North East; and Jammu and Kashmir.
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-03: Citadel Broadcasting has announced that it has now completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy following formal approval of the plan by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on May 19 (See RNW May 18).
Under the reorganization the company's senior lenders - most of its secured debt was held by J.P. Morgan Chase - ended up with 90% of the equity in the re-organized company and its debt was cut from USD 2.14 billion to USD 762.5 million.
The company filed its reorganization plan in February (See RNW Feb 4) having filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in December last year (See RNW De 20, 2009).
2010-06-03: Canada's commercial radio revenues fell by 5.2% to CAD 1.5 billion (USD 1.44 billion) in the fiscal year to the end of August 2009 compared to 2008 and expenses were trimmed by around 1.7% to USD 1.2 billion (USD 1.15 billion) according to latest figures just published by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): The revenue total compares with CAD 1.342 billion in 2005; CAD 1.419 billion in 2006; 1.503 billion in 2007; and the record 1.591 billion for 2008.
The agency adds that total profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) were down to CAD 271.6 million (USD 260.9 million) for the fiscal year from CAD 334.9 million (currently USD 321.8 million) in 2008 and also below the totals for 2005 (CAD 283.5 million); 2006 (CAD 285.5 million); and 2007 (CAD 299.1 million).
Operating margins went from 24.2% in 2005 to 23.4% in 2006; 22.8% in 2007; and 23.8% in 2008; to 21.0% in 2009.
AM numbers continued to fall - down seven to 149 in 2009 with revenues down 7.4% to just above CAD 300 million - whilst FM numbers were up 23 to 495 with revenues totalling just above CAD 1.2 billion.
Within the AM figures, English language revenues were down almost 8% to CAD 272 million; French-language AM revenues were down 8.5% to CAD 11.6 million and the 11 ethnic AMs increased their revenues slightly to just above CAD 22 million.
Revenues for English-language FM stations dropped by 5.8% to just below CAD 1 billion, while French-language revenues were up slightly to CAD 227 million and ethnic FM stations' revenues fell by 3.3% to CAD 16 million.
Average staff numbers, which had been increasing from 2005 (9,390) - then 9.901 in 2006; 10,158 in 2007; and 10.467 in 2008 - went down by 2.6% to 10.192.
The CRTC notes that the figures, which cover the period of September 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009, reflect the worldwide economic downturn and the accompanying decline in advertising revenues.
2010-06-03: The BBC Trust, which has already conducted reviews of bbc.co.uk; the BBC's services for children; the BBC's services for young people and Radio 2 and 6 Music, has now commenced its review of BBC Radios 3, 4 and 7.
It is also currently in the process of conducting reviews of BBC One, Two and Four and Red Button and expects to published reports on them soon.
The public consultation for the latest reviews will be available on the BBC for 12 weeks and the report is scheduled to be finalised and published early next year.
BBC Trust web site:
2010-06-03: Clear Channel Radio and Fox News have announced a five-year renewal of their contract for Fox News Radio as the primary national news service for more than 100 of Clear Channel's news/talk stations.
Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan said in a release, "As we approach the fifth anniversary of Fox News' launch on 100 of our stations, it's clear this is one of the most successful branding relationships in all of media. We continue to expand this relationship with our news/talk stations because the quality of the FOX News product continues to be outstanding."
Fox News Radio Executive Vice President Kevin Magee responded, "Our original relationship helped propel FOX News to be a preeminent player in the radio industry. We look forward to continuing this highly successful affiliation with Clear Channel Radio."
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-06-03: The price for a countrywide broadband licence in India's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) auction is now approaching nearly USD 2 billion with that for the most prized area - Mumbai, which overtook Delhi today after none days and 68 rounds, approaching USD 300 million.
The countrywide total ended today at INR 8,979.87 crore (USD 1.911 billion - a crore is ten million) whilst the bidding for a Mumbai (Bombay) licence reached USD 1.404 Crore (USD 298.9 million), just ahead of the INR 1,384.89 crore for Delhi: The two ended Wednesday on level pegging at INR 1,304.66 crore (USD 277.7 million).
Bids have topped INR 1,000 crore in four areas - Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu (INR 1,271.62 crore) and Karnataka (INR 1,006.20 crore) and only three areas remain at the starting price of INR 15 crore (USD 3.19 million ) - Himachal Pradesh; North East; and Jammu and Kashmir
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Telecommunications Ministry web site (Has links to auction updates):
2010-06-02: Arbitron and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) have announced that they have now settled their dispute over Portable People Meter encoding and that SBS is to resume encoding its signals in all its markets where the PPM is currency: SBS has also extended its agreement with Arbitron for PPM ratings in these markets.
The dispute was part of a series of disputes with Arbitron over the PPM ratings, which minority broadcasters said under-estimated their audience: Arbitron subsequently enhanced the recruiting of minority panellists for the PPM and in April announced that it had settled its outstanding disputes with the PPM Coalition, whose members include SBS (See RNW Apr 22).
Earlier Arbitron and SBS had been locked into a legal dispute over the encoding that at first led a New York judge to order SBS to resume encoding its broadcasts (See RNW Feb 16) - it had stopped doing so because it said it had lost confidence in the PPM methodology - but that order was lifted in March (See RNW Mar 31).
Commenting on their settlement, SBS Chief Revenue Officer Frank Flores said in a news release, "Both Arbitron and SBS are committed to working together to address SBS's previously-voiced concerns about the impact of the PPM service on minority radio broadcasters. SBS is gratified that it has reached an amicable resolution with Arbitron."
For Arbitron its President and CEO William T. Kerr said, "SBS is a valued client, and we look forward to growing our relationship, and moving forward together in a productive and meaningful way. We believe that the radio industry is best served when Arbitron and broadcasters work collaboratively."
2010-06-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dismissed an application by Dr. Glenn Cherry, the former CEO of Tama Broadcasting Inc., seeking reconsideration of its earlier denial of his objection to assignment of the company's licences to a receiver.
Tama was the parent of Tama Radio Licenses of Tampa, Florida, Inc., licensee of WTMP-AM, Egypt Lake, Florida and WTMP-FM, Dade City, Florida; Tama Radio Licenses of Jacksonville, Florida, Inc., licensee of WFJO-FM, Folkston, Georgia; WHJX-FM, Baldwin, Florida, WJSJ-FM, Fernandina, Florida; WSJF-FM, St. Augustine, Florida; and WFJO-FM, Folkston, Georgia; and Tama Radio Licenses of Savannah, Georgia, Inc., licensee of WSSJ-FM, Rincon, Georgia and WSGA-FM and WTHG-FM, Hinesville, Georgia: It was founded by Dr. Cherry and his brother Charles Cherry II and in 2007 their financial backers, the Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street Fund were granted control by the FCC, who initially kept Cherry on as CEO but fired him in December that year.
Later the D.B. Zwirn hedge fund took control after the group was unable to keep up its payments on a USD 20 million loan from Zwirn and the FCC Media Bureau dismissed an objection from Cherry and granted applications for the involuntary assignment of the stations' licenses from Tama subsidiaries to a court-appointed receiver, Scott Savage.
Cherry applied for a review of this decision at the end of March last year and the FCC has now dismissed this application, saying that he raised no new issues.
The agency has also dismissed a petition from National Public Radio to re-examine its granting to Educational Media Foundation (EMF) of a licence for an FM translator station in New Albany, Indiana, although its 100 dBµ interfering contour is entirely within the 60 dBµ protected contour of second-adjacent channel Station WFPL-FM, Louisville, Kentucky.
It noted that such applications can be accepted it can be shown that no actual interference will occur because of factors such as terrain and lack of population and that EMF had sought to show that the area where interference might occur was small and contained no population.
WFPL's licensee Kentucky Public Radio had petitioned for denial of EMF's application but the FCC granted it and later rejected an application for review on the basis that the method used for predicting interference was "technically flawed."
NPR had not taken part in the earlier proceeding but argued that it has standing as an organization representing hundreds of non-commercial educational stations: The FCC rejected the argument that NPR could now choose to appeal the matter and also said that even if NPR had the standing to file the petition for reconsideration it would have been rejected as failing to produce evidence of new facts or changed circumstances.
2010-06-01: NextMedia Group has announced that it has now completed its plan of reorganization and exited from bankruptcy with significantly increased liquidity and a stronger balance sheet.
The company adds that it is in the process of satisfying all remaining obligations to its vendors and landlords in full.
President and CEO Steven Dinetz commented in a release, "With the completion of our reorganization well within the accelerated timetable we set for ourselves, we have strengthened our financial position and are now solely focused on the execution of our operating and strategic plans. The process has had no impact on our day-to-day operations, and did not result in any changes to our management team or employee headcount. Indeed, we continued to invest in our operations while restructuring - notably adding to our roster of digital outdoor displays and building out Nextmedia360, our cross-platform radio and digital initiative."
The company, which owns 33 radio and an outdoor businesses has come out of the reorganization with USD 135 million in new debt financing, representing a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of approximately 5.2x, and a new USD 55 million equity investment from new investors: When it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December last year (See RNW Dec 21, 2009) it owed USD 162.3 million to its 1st lien lenders and USD 89.6 million to 2nd lien holders.
2010-06-01: A coalition of more than 30 organizations including The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), Free Press, the Prometheus Radio Project, the Center for Media Justice, the Benton Foundation and Media Alliance, has called on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, including the likely link between hate speech and hate crimes, and to explore non-regulatory ways to counteract its negative impacts."
In response to the agency's consultation on the Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities in a Digital Age the group says that "current media landscape is a safe-haven for hate and extremism" and adds that "As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve"
"Any assessment of 'the current media landscape' that overlooks hate speech", say the group, "would be incomplete, and could result in policies that unintentionally harm communities of color and others" and of radio it says, "Consolidation in the radio market has proven particularly problematic. Hate has seemingly emerged as a profit-model for many radio and many of these programs are syndicated throughout the country because only a few companies own the majority of the radio stations nationally."
The group also says that "established media outlets, such as broadcast stations or cable news programs, can use their traditional platforms to drive more traffic to their web-sites, where often the rhetoric is overly extreme" and notes of the Internet that it "gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye. Even worse, sometimes anonymous Internet speakers hold their information out as news, leaving the public with the difficult job of discerning fact from fiction.
RNW Comment: After noting the tenor of the filing and in particular its call for an "exploration of non-regulatory ways" to "counteract" the negative impacts of hate speech - a term we dislike in this context and of crimes as being far too simplistic - we did a quick check of reports on the matter: No surprise then to find some of the Conservative reports immediately misrepresented things as with theothermccain report entitled "Douchebag Coalition Wants FCC to Regulate 'Hate Speech' in New Media."
Others - some of whom might be considered to have a respectable pedigree - spoke of a call on the FCC to "monitor", "track" or "police" hate speech so we again re-checked all 25 pages of the submission: The word "Monitor" was only in it once as a note that organizations such as the NHMC "do not have the resources to monitor the growing number of vitriolic media personalities", a mention made in context of a note about the campaign that led to Lou Dobbs resignation from CNN ( A minor own goal it would seem to us since that note will immediately convince many that there is a hidden agenda to support action such as advertiser boycotts of other hosts).
The words "Police" and "Track" were not in it at all and we therefore considered the text in terms of the FCC statement that the "objective of this review is to assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their lives, their communities and our democracy " and that the FCC aims to evaluate "the current media landscape, analyze policy options and, as appropriate, make policy recommendations to the FCC, other government entities and other parties."
The filing also says that once the information is collected - words that indicate a study not continuing monitoring, policing, or tracking - the group involved "will utilize the data for educational, informational and research purposes."
Much of the text cites examples of attacks on individuals; postings by some of the "hate groups"; details of studies of media output and its portrayal of minorities; and lack of diversity in media ownership.
After this it again comments in terms of a study rather than policing- commenting: "Collection of the data is an essential task, even if the Commission does nothing more than turn that information over to the public, researchers and other government entities... It will encourage media entities to evaluate and correct their inaccuracies, solidifying the long tradition of journalistic integrity."
All in all, we found the submission -which obviously looks at the issue from a particular standpoint - rather more impressive than the reports, albeit some of the latter such as ars technica do a good job of reporting what the groups ask for as well as adding commentary in which they say amongst other things, "But we still hope that the Commission dodges this bullet. It will bring upon the agency a world of pain, dragging it into a quagmire of accusatory politics at a time when the FCC faces a host of crucial regulatory tasks "and later says, "And watching the probe would be a polarized Congress up for mid-term elections, its members itching to run with any tirade that will get them on cable TV."
We reluctantly tend to agree in practical terms about the wisdom of an FCC study (albeit a properly conducted academic study on the issue would be of value) but the implications are fairly dire for America's future because they suggest that a small group of determined but ignorant bigots can have far too much influence on the country's agenda and even on whether there should be attempts to get at facts that run counter to their prejudices, much as it would seem a similar small section of Muslims can inhibit portrayal or mockery of their religion even on cable TV (Satanic Verses or South Park are examples that come to mind).
ars technica report:
NHMC et al filing:
Theothermccain com (mis)report:
2010-06-01: Astral Media has announced the rebranding of Astral Media Radio Sales inside Astral RadioPlus as part of a corporate re-branding announced last week under which it will operate publicly as "Astral" with a new corporate logo although retaining the Astral Media Inc. name for corporate legal purposes.
President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Greenberg said of the new public profile, "Astral has grown significantly over the past two years adding diversification to our media product offering, and extending our reach across Canada. Our new identity reflects the attributes of our unique culture, focused on providing innovative and tailored advertising solutions to clients, and on delivering rich and exciting content to consumers through a variety of platforms all across the country. Most importantly, it recognizes our exceptional people without whom none of this would be possible."
Astral commissioned Toronto-based Juniper Park, a creative agency specialized in branding strategy, design and advertising, to collaborate with Astral in a 12 month, research-based brand assessment and redesign process and will roll out the new identity across all its properties, including specialty and pay television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital.
Greenberg also told the Canadian Press in an interview that the company's radio business was experiencing an advertising rebound, saying, "For March, April and May I think you're going to see a substantial, very close to a double-digit, increase in radio for the industry."
He also played down any possible impact on the company of Cogeco's CAD 80 million purchase of 11 Corus stations in Quebec (See RNW April 30), saying, "We still are by far the No. 1 radio broadcaster in the province of Quebec and we expect to retain that leading position."
The national radio sales division has now become past of Astral Radio Plus, that takes in Astral Media Radio Sales and Astral Media Broadcast Sales in Vancouver.
Canadian Press (Winnipeg Free Press) report:
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