July 2010 Archive
2010-07-31: The first of five finalists who will compete for the BBC Radio 2 Kiri Prize - the station's nationwide search with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to find an opera star of the future - is Cardiff-based soprano Gwawr Edwards who secured her place in the final with performances of Ach, Ich Fuhl's from Mozart's The Magic Flute and O Mio Babbino Caro from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi: She was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra in a semi-final concert at BBC Television Centre in London on Friday night.
The performances were judged by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, mezzo-soprano Anne Howells, conductor Robin Stapleton and director John Cox and aired in Radio 2's flagship live music programme, Friday Night Is Music Night.
Each of the five semi-final concerts - the others will be broadcast in the same slot over the next four weeks - will feature three young singers with the winning singer going into the final to be broadcast on Friday September 3: The winner of the prize will perform with Dame Kiri at BBC Proms In The Park in Hyde Park, London, on 11 September and be given the opportunity to attend a three-week residential course at the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia, in Italy.
2010-07-31: A former promotions employee at Fisher Communications' KVI-AM has been ordered to pay USD 14,000 in restitution for rigging a call-in contest as part of a plea agreement that led to her pleading guilty to second-degree theft, a felony in Washington State, instead of first-degree theft, the charge originally laid against her.
Ryan Keeley was accused of helping friends and their associates to each win USD 1,000 by picking their names in a contest called the "Secret Listener Salute" in early 2007: The contestants were supposed to be selected randomly from one of two databases containing the names of potential listeners with listeners being required in order to collect the USD 1,000 prize to call the station within 30 minutes when they heard their names called on air.
The Seattle Times reports that the prosecution alleged that Keeley arranged for the other defendants to sign up for the contest and be selected, then call to collect their prizes: She left the station in July 2007 and is now working in a coffee shop and seeking drug treatment - a defence report said she is addicted to OxyContin - but was in the court in Seattle on Friday and apologized for the offences, adding, "Had drugs not been involved, I would have not made a decision like that."
14 co-defendants said the paper were initially charged with second degree theft but by the time prosecutors found they should have been charged with a misdemeanour rather than a felony, the statute of limitations for misdemeanour charges to be filed had expired.
Seattle Times report:
2010-07-30: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has refused renewal of the licence of Ontario station, CHSC-AM, St Catherines, and ordered it to cease broadcasts by the end of tomorrow.
Licensee Pellpropco Inc. had acquired the station in 2002 and the licence was renewed for eight years at the start of September 2003 and in 2006 the company requested an amendment to the licence to allow it to devote up to 40% of its programming to third-language programs: This was denied by the CRTC, which noted that Canadian radio regulations limit non-ethnic commercial radio stations to not more than 15% of third-language programming in their schedules. The agency also noted that the licensee had failed to file its annual return for the broadcast year to the end of August 2005 and also that during the current term of the licence the station had apparently failed to comply with numerous regulations including broadcasting less than the regulatory requirement for category 2 Canadian music; exceeding the maxim allowed of third-language programming; failing to provide logger tapes and complete program logs on two occasions; and failing to provide complete financial statements and complete annual Canadian talent development expenditure reports for its annual returns for the broadcast years 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.
The CRTC also noted that it received complaints that since 2006 Pellpropco had reoriented CHSC's programming to serve Toronto's Italian-speaking community rather than the market it is licensed to serve, St. Catharines.
In light of the complaints and admitted and apparent non-compliance the licensee was called to a public hearing in 2008 to show cause why a mandatory order requiring it to conform to the Regulations relating to Canadian content, the broadcasting of third-language programming, the filing of complete annual returns and the provision of logger tapes, program logs and music lists should not be issued.
Following the hearing the agency issued mandatory orders requiring compliance with various regulations; required the station to file a complete annual return for the 2007-2008 broadcast year and audited financial statements for the broadcast years 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 by 30 November 2009, as well as to file proof of payment for the CTD shortfall for each of the broadcast years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 with the Commission by 31 August 2009 and also imposed additional conditions to the licence in relation to the broadcast of ethnic and third-language programming between 6 a.m. and noon from Monday to Friday and the provision of English-language news on weekends.
Earlier this year the Commission called the licensee to appear before it at a heading in Toronto on the basis that it might have again failed to comply with the Regulations as well as its conditions of licence and mandatory orders in relation to requirements for broadcast of English-language news at weekend, filing annual returns and the audited financial statements and proof of payment of its CTD shortfall for the broadcast years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
It noted that the licensee was put on notice both prior to this hearing and at the hearing that the onus was on the licensee to convince it that the CRTC should not take various measures such as short-term renewal of the licence or its suspension or revocation.
The responses from the licensee were not sufficient to convince the Commission that it should not take further action - it noted various breaches and said that proposed measures for ensuring compliance "seem to have been devised at the last minute, leaving the Commission unconvinced as to their effectiveness and the sincerity of the licensee's willingness and ability to implement them."
The CRTC noted broken promises in the past and that neither of the owners of the licensee, who are ultimately responsible for compliance, appeared at the Toronto hearing: it said it was "not convinced that the licensee has the ability and capacity to put its house in order and, generally, to operate its station responsibly and to fulfil its regulatory obligations and conditions of licence" and also that it was left with "no reason to believe that [the licensee] would comply with either its present obligations or new ones if it were granted even a short-term renewal."
Accordingly it said it took the view that "non-renewal is the only appropriate measure in this case" and in view of this did not consider a request by Pellpropco to very the conditions of the licence.
2010-07-30: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released - covering the period July 2009 to June 2010 - show listening stable with 86% of the country's adult population listening daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio, the same as in the previous survey covering April 2009- March 2010 and the same as a year earlier.
Listenership to any multi-city/regional/local radio service was also unchanged at 58% - up from 56% a year earlier - and there were falls in weekday reach for RTÉ Radios 1 - down a point to 25% (the same as a year earlier) and 2fm - also down a point, in this case to 14% (16% a year earlier): The other national stations recorded unchanged figures - 14% for Today FM (15% a year earlier); 7% for Newstalk (the same a year earlier) and 3% for RTÉ Lyric FM (4% a year earlier).
Market share for any multi-city/regional/local radio service was up 0.5 to 52.5% (49.4% a year earlier) but as with reach there were falls for RTÉ Radios 1 - down 0.3 to 22.6% (23% a year earlier) and 2fm - down 0.4 to 9.3% (10.9% a year earlier): Newstalk took its share up 0.1 to 4% (3.7% a year earlier) whilst Today FM and RTÉ Lyric FM had unchanged shares - of 9.6% (10.6% a year earlier) and 1.6% (1.6% a year earlier) respectively.
Of the regional stations Beat 102-103FM had an unchanged weekday reach figure of 19% (20% a year earlier) with its market share down 0.6 to 11.5% (12.1% a year earlier); regional youth service Spin South West was up 1 to 19% (18 % a year earlier) with its share up 0.2 to 10.0% (9.9% a year ago); and North-West regional service i102-104FM was unchanged at 19% (16% a year earlier) with share up 1.7 to 13.6% (9.1% a year earlier).
Of the newer regional stations North-East/Midlands regional service i105-107FM (which launched in February 2009) retained a 6% reach (2% a year earlier) with share up 0.2 to 3.8% (1% a year earlier) and multi-city service 4 FM (which has been on air since the end of February 2009) took its reach up 1 to 3% (2% a year earlier) with share up 0.5 to 2.0% (0.5% a year earlier
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five stations (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were Highland Radio with an unchanged 69%; Mid West Radio with an unchanged 52%; Limerick's Live 95FM - down 2 to 51%; Radio Kerry (up 3 to 50%); and Tipp FM - down 1 to 49%: WLR FM dropped out of the top five as its reach fell three points to 47%.
In weekday share terms the top five were Highland Radio - down 0.4 to 63.7%; Tipp FM - up 2.5 to 57.8%; Radio Kerry - up 2.0 to 55.6%; Mid West Radio - down 1.0 to 50.5%; and Shannonside/Northern Sound - up 0.6 to 46.8%.
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with an unchanged 29%; FM 104 with an unchanged 19%; Dublin's 98 -down 1 to 14%; Spin 1038 -up 1 to 14%; and Q102 with 13% (up 1) whilst in weekday share terms they were RTÉ Radio 1 with 32.2% (up 0.4); Dublin's 98 with 10.9% (Down 0.7); Q102 with 10.3% (Up 0.9); FM 104 with 9.7% (down 0.8); and RTÉ 2FM with an unchanged 8.1%.
In Cork the leaders in weekly reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with an unchanged 48%; Cork's 96FM with an unchanged 38%; RTÉ Radio 1 with 25% (down 1); Cork's Red FM with 20% (Down 1); and Today FM with an unchanged 16% whilst in weekday share terms they were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 43.3% (down 0.3); Cork's 96FM with 33.2% (down 0.6); RTÉ Radio 1 with 20.7% (Down 1); Today FM with 11.0% (Up 1.1) and Cork's Red FM with 10.4% (Up 0.1).
In its comment on the results RTÉ commented, "RTÉ Radio has maintained mammoth leads on its national and regional competitors with a clean sweep of the top ten most-listened-to programmes in Ireland. RTÉ Radio also retained 18 of the top 20 most-listened-to programmes in the country, up from 17 this time last year."
It also noted that RTÉ Radio 1 saw biggest year-on-year gains at weekends and Clare Duignan, Managing Director, RTÉ Radio, commented: "This book was all about keeping the ships steady and holding onto RTÉ Radio's impressive lead on competitors.
Ana Leddy, Head of Radio 1, added, "RTÉ Radio 1 made massive gains over the last three years and those gains were always going to plateau. This is a great book for RTÉ Radio 1 because it demonstrates that we are maintaining our number-one position with huge leads, from Morning Ireland through to Pat Kenny right up to Drivetime, where Mary Wilson pulls in over 80,000 more listeners than her nearest competitor.
For RTÉ 2fm its Head John McMahon commented, "I am delighted that Colm Hayes and Lucy Kennedy held on to such an impressive audience in the wake of the tragic death of Gerry Ryan. It's clear that schedule and music changes earlier in the year have paid off in helping 2fm retain some important leads on competitors. I can't wait to hear Ryan Tubridy back on 2fm, and I'm looking forward to unveiling a new season on 2fm on August 17th."
Previous Irish Ratings:
2010-07-30: Beasley Broadcast Group has reported second quarter revenues up 5.6% to USD 24.9 million with same-station net revenues up 6.6%: Operating income was up 46.4% to USD 5.8 million and net income nearly tripled - up from USD 700,000 to USD 2.0 million (Earnings per diluted share did triple - up from three cents to nine cents).
For the first six months net revenues are up 1.3% to USD 46.8 million with operating income up 41.3% to USD 9.1 million and net income up from USD 700,000 to USD 2.6 million (Earnings per diluted share were up from three cents to 11 cents).
Beasley said the second quarter increase was primarily from higher revenues in its Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Ft. Myers-Naples market clusters: Total net revenue in Beasley's other eight market clusters in the second quarter of 2010 was comparable to the year ago period as the Company generated net revenue increases from three market clusters which more than offset revenue declines at the Company's remaining five market clusters.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George G. Beasley said the company and the industry as a whole are "continuing to see a rebound in advertising spending and the 6.6% rise in second quarter same-station net revenue was the Company's best comparison since late 2007."
"The significant growth in second quarter SOI, operating income and net income," he added "again highlights the value of the Company's streamlined cost structure and the significant operating leverage in our model."
He added that clusters in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, Augusta and the Coastal Carolinas exceeded results from a year ago and that the Company "continued to drive strong interactive revenue growth with second quarter revenue from these sources rising approximately 19% from 2009 second quarter levels."
"The second quarter results," said Beasley "demonstrate that Beasley Broadcast Group is well positioned to benefit both on the top and bottom line from even modest advertising activity increases in our markets. Looking forward, we remain focused on managing our station clusters to match or exceed the revenue performance of the market, participating in expected higher levels of political spending in the second half of 2010 and further growing revenue related to our interactive initiatives."
Previous George Beasley:
2010-07-30: Univision has reported second quarter net revenue to the end of June up 23.2% on a year ago at USD 639.8 million with adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA1) up 20.0% to USD 272.0 million whilst for the first six months of the year net revenue increased 17.6% to USD 11.094 and OIBDA1 increased 18.9% to USD 452.2 million.
TV accounted for most of the increase with radio revenues lagging - TV revenues in the second quarter were up 27.9% to USD 530.1 million, boosted by World Cup soccer, which contributed USD 73.6 million to the total and Interactive Media was up 98% to USD 19.8 million whilst radio revenues fell 5.5% to USD 89.9 million: For the first six months TV revenues were up 21.2% to USD 910.2 million; Interactive Media was up 66/3% to USD 29.1 million; and radio was down 4.6% to USD 154.2 million.
Corresponding OIBDA1 figures were a 21.7% TV increase to USD 232.9 million in the quarter, an increase from USD 500,000 top USD 6.8 million for Interactive Media and a 6.9% fall to USD 32.3 million for radio whilst for the first six months TV OIBDA was up 20.3% to USD 404.9 million; Interactive Media went from a USD 1.1 million loss to a positive 4.8 million; and radio fell 5.3% to USD 42.5 million.
Overall Univision's net income moved from a 2009 second quarter loss of USD 27.7 million - including a USD 27 million impairment loss - to net income of USD 35.3 million this year including USD 5.2 million in impairment charges whilst for the first six months it went from a USD 82.8 million loss including USD 29.1 million in impairment charges to net income of USD 32 million including USD 5.2 million in impairment charges.
Univision in comment on the radio results highlighted its success in Austin and New York where its station "outpaced all other stations for growth in the second quarter of 2010 in their respective markets" and also its top ratings amongst Spanish language services in Houston for the 18-34 and 25-54 demographics.
Commenting on the overall performance President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Uva said, "We achieved strong results in the second quarter 2010, building on our very solid foundation of performance in the first quarter of the year."
He concentrated on the company's success with World Cup soccer - "a clear demonstration of the changing demographic makeup of this country, something that we expect to be further supported by the upcoming U.S. Census results."
2010-07-29: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in its annual Communications Monitoring Report issued today says that in 2009 the communications industry accounted for 4.6% of the country's gross domestic product with overall revenues rising 2.1% from 2008's total to CAD 55.4 billion (USD 53.5 billion) within which broadcasting revenues were up 3% to CAD 14.4 billion (USD 13.9 billion). 11% of broadcasting revenues came from radio; 39% from TV and 50% from BDU (Broadcast Distribution Undertaking) broadcasting activities
Broadcasting growth was primarily driven by the distribution of television signals and by the specialty and pay television sector, which recorded increases of 7.4% and 5.8%, respectively and this was were partially offset by a drop off in advertising whose effects were felt most strongly by conventional television stations and radio stations where revenues declined by 7.4% and 5.2%, respectively.
Private radio revenues in the year totalled CAD 1.51 billion (USD 1.46 billion) and the stations contributed CAD 51 million (USD 49.3 million) to the development of Canadian content. In all the country had 1,221 different radio services, including 41 digital services- 910 English-language services, 265 French-language services and 46 services in other languages. This number was down from 1,213 in 2008 including 59 digital services
The report notes that revenues from private commercial radio stations increased 7% annually from
CAD 1.2 billion (Currently UD 1.16 billion) in 2004 to CAD 1.6 billion (USD 1.55 billion) in 2008 before falling back last year with FM revenues increasing by 8% annually
CRTC Communications Monitoring Report 2009 (299-page 2.1 MB PDF):
2010-07-29: The latest Broadcasting Financial Results report released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), covering 2008-09, shows the country's commercial TV sector reporting AUD 3,784.4 million (USD 3.414 million) in broadcasting services revenue, down 9% on 2007-08 whilst radio reported AUD 1.039 billion (USD 937.9 million ) in revenues, down 4% on 2007-08.
Commercial TV reported profits of AUD 232.2 million (USD 209.5 million) , down 29.8% on the previous year whilst commercial radio profits fell more steeply - down 53.9% to AUD 122.5 million (USD 110.5 million)
The figures are based on information supplied by the licensees of 55 commercial television licences and 273 commercial radio licences, operating as at 30 June 2009 and radio information is broken down by AM or FM services in national, state, capital city and regional markets as well as some information on larger, medium-sized and smaller markets within regional radio.
The reports have been produced by the ACMA and its predecessors since 1978 and the latest report, in spreadsheet form, shows figures from the 2004-05 financial year to 2008-09, during which the number of Capital city commercial radio stations has remained constant at 261 and the regional total remained constant at 213.
(RNW Note: We have not converted the following figures to USD in view of currency changes over the years: Currently an Australian dollar is just above USD 0.90).
Advertising revenues rose steadily from 2004-05 to a high in 2007-08 and then fell back - from AUD 598.5 million to AUD 666.5 million and then down to AUD 635.2 million for capital city stations and from AUD 280 million to AUD 327.3 million and then down to AUD 316.9 million for regional stations.
For FM stations advertising revenues rose from AUD 653.2 million to a high in 2007-08 of AUD 742.8 million, falling back to AUD 710.1 million last year whilst for AM stations advertising revenues went from AUD 225.4 million to AUD 251 million and then fell back to AUD 242 million.
In terms of profitability, the report shows that overall in 2004/05 216 of the 261 stations reporting were profitable but in 2007-08 51 of them were unprofitable and last year 59 were unprofitable: Overall PBIT rose from AUD `189.8 million in 2004-05 to AUD 265.5 million in 2007-08 then plunged down to 122.8 million in 2008-09: Within the total unprofitable stations lost AUD 30.9 million in 2004-05, AUD 37.5 million in 2007-08 and AUD 147.2 million in 2008-09.
FM stations made a total profit of AUD 167.9 million in 2004-04 when 17 unprofitable stations lost AUD 20.2 million with the overall profit rising to AUD 225.7 million in 2007-08 and plunging to AUD 116.5 million in 2008-09: Within these figures 17 unprofitable stations lost AUD 20.2 million in 2004-05; 24 unprofitable stations lost AUD 29 million in 2007-08 and 24 unprofitable stations lost AUD 112.9 million in 2008-09.
For AMs the overall profit went from AUD 21.9 million to AUD 39.9 million and then plunged to AUD 15 million with 28 unprofitable stations losing AUD 10.8 million in 2004-05, 31 unprofitable stations losing AUD 8.5 million in 2007-08 and 35 unprofitable stations losing AUD 34.3 million in 2008-09.
2010-07-29: Cumulus Media has reported second quarter broadcast revenues up 5.8% on a year ago at USD 68.74 million with net revenues up 5.7% to USD 69.74 million: For the firs six months of the year broadcast revenues were up 4% to USD 124.1 million and net revenues were up 3.9% to USD 121.32 million.
Station operating expenses rose by less in the quarter - by 3% to USD 40.41 million (primarily because of the effect of a companywide one-week furlough in Q1, 2009 that was not repeated this year) and were reduced by 1.5% for the first six months to USD 80.34 million with adjusted EBITDA for the quarter up 6.1% to USD 24.81 million and up 19.9% for the first six months to USD 37.01 million.
Net income for the quarter was down, however by 12.6% to USD 12.30 million after a USD 7.2 million loss on the exchange of assets or stations (down from 34 cents to 29 cents per basic and diluted share) but for the first six months was up 12.8% to USD 12.16 million (up from 26 cents to 28 cents per basic and diluted share).
Cumulus also noted that it put has paid down USD 8.4 million of debt in the second quarter and USD 21.2 million in the first six months.
It put the revenue increase down primarily to "an increase in revenue from national accounts, political revenue generated by mid-term congressional elections, and increases in internet related revenues" and added, "We believe that incremental growth in advertising revenue for the second half of the year will be driven primarily by cyclical political spending."
Commenting on the results, Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey said, "This was another quarter of solid performance for both Cumulus Media, Inc. and Cumulus Media Partners, LLC. As we continue to aggressively innovate the radio business through our proprietary technology platform and operating systems, these businesses are running with increased efficiency across all functional areas resulting in strong operating leverage and healthy free cash flow growth."
"As a result," he added "we continue to make good progress as we work to de-leverage the balance sheets of both of these entities."
2010-07-28: According to latest figures from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed broadcast station numbers continued to rise in the first half of this year, although the number of AM stations fell marginally: At the end of 2009 the total of licensed broadcast stations was 30,503 and this went up by 163 to 30,666 at the end of March and in the second quarter this went up by another 189 to reach 30,855 at the end of June.
Within this there were 14,453 licensed radio stations at the end of March, up 33 from the 14,420 at the end of 2009, and a further 50 were added in the second quarter to take the total to 14,503.
AM station totals went down from 4,790 at the end of 2009 - and the same number at the end of March - to 4786 at the end of June.
Commercial FM numbers rose from 6479 at the end of 2009 to 6483 at the end of March and 6494 at the end of June and Educational FM numbers rose from 3151 at the end of 2009 to 3180at the end of March and 3223 at the end of June.
The total of Low Power FMs rose from 864 at the end of 2009 to 865 at the end of March but then fell back again to 864 at the end of June.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2010-07-28: According to Forbes, the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS) is demanding USD 45 million in back taxes from billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, the San Antonio billionaire and Clear Channel co-founder, relating to sales of 11.3 million shares of Clear Channel stock that he sold.
Forbes says that Mc Combs used a tax strategy similar to one disallowed last week for Denver-based billionaire, Philip Anschutz, a ruling that is likely to hit many more of America's rich - Economywatch estimates that collectively they could need to find some USD 35 billion this year.
Under the scheme stock options were turned into cash and the capital gains deferred through an arrangement in which they would lend shares underlying the options to a bank and receive cash around 75-85% of their market value: Because the shares were to be delivered to the bank in future - the contracts were a prepaid variable forward and a sale lending agreement- this was treated as a lending arrangement not a sale but the Tax Court ruled that as the banks typically sold short the share they borrowed it amounted to a sale and thus capital gains tax could not be deferred. Many rich Americans had used such arrangements on the advice of Wall Street institutions.
In the Anschutz case he converted options into USD 375 million I cash and deferred payment of the tax due - more than USD 144 million - for 11 years but in 2006 the IRS issued guidance that it would regard such arrangements as a sale, leading Anschutz to take the case to court. His company is to appeal the Tax Court ruling.
In McCombs' case, Forbes reports that the IRS says he should have reported a total of USD 216.7 million in long-term capital gains in 2002 and 2003 and that in those two years he had USD 245 million in taxable income but reported only USD 18 million and also that he owed USD 53 million in income tax but paid only USD 8 million.
McCombs, like Anschutz, has gone to the courts and Forbes adds that according to his lawsuit McCombs borrowed USD 300 million in the late 1990s to buy the Minnesota Vikings NFL team and put down 11.3 million of his 14.5 million Clear Channel shares as collateral. Clear Channel shares as collateral: After their value plummeted, McCombs faced margin calls but did not wish to sell the Clear Channel stock and was advised by three investment banks to enter into a prepaid variable forward contract.
Following this in July 2002 he set up such a contract with JPMorgan Chase with 12 different tranches to be settled (with stock or cash) in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and in August that year he agreed to lend the shares to JPMorgan Chase.
Rather than sell the shares he agreed to lend them to JPMorgan Chase and in 2002 entered into a "variable prepaid forward contract" in 2002 with three banks, including JP Morgan, where he'd use the stock to finalize debt over the next three years."
The IRS is claiming that says that the transactions were in effect one deal that in substance were a sale in 2002 on which tax was due but McCombs is arguing that the deals were separate, that for tax purposes, he sold no stock in 2002, and also that the statute of limitations has passed for assessing back 2002 and 2003 taxes.
The IRS in relation to the latter denies that it took action too late and says that Gary V. Woods, MCombs' long-time partner and the president of McCombs Enterprises, signed an agreement on behalf of McCombs, extending the statute.
Woods told Forbes that as the case was still being litigated he was restricted in what he could say but added, "We believe that the facts in our case are substantially different than those in the Anschutz case."
Previous Clear Channel:
Economy Watch report:
2010-07-28: Emmis has won a legal round against investors who had tried to block the planned sale of the company to a company set up by its Chairman and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan.
Marion County Superior Court Judge Robyn L. Moberly in denying a petition from the investors commented that shareholders who objected to the sale on the basis that the price offered was too low were free to sell their shares. Emmis termed the decision a "sweeping victory".
JS Acquisition Ltd, which is backed by Global Capital, has offered USD 2.40 per share for Emmis's Class A Common stock and Smulyan holds enough of this to ensure acceptance of the offer but preferred stockholders could still scupper the deal (See RNW Jul 14).
Emmis is still facing legal action in other jurisdictions including a class action in the in U.S. District Court in New York announced by the law firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz. This suit also claims that the bid is too low
Reporting on the latest ruling the Indianapolis Star noted that the Emmis board had agreed to accept the offer in May this year (See RNW May 26) and says the stock sale is expected to now go ahead at a shareholders meeting in Indianapolis on August 3.
It also noted that the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Emmis has more than USD 340 million in debt, and said that including noncash charges, operating losses over the last two fiscal years have totalled more than USD 500 million.
Indianapolis Star report:
2010-07-28: Mexican radio group Grupo Radio Centro has reported second quarter revenues up 17.2% on a year earlier at MXN 208.6 million ( USD 16.39 million); expenses up 10.6% to MXN 167.3 million (USD 13.14 million) ; broadcasting income up 54.5% to MXN 41.34 million (USD 3.25 million ); operating income up 91.2% to MCN 31.42 million ( USD 2.47 million) and net income of MXN 3.12 million (USD 245,000) compared to a loss of MXN 28.29 million (USD 2.22 million) a year earlier.
The company put the increased revenues down to increased advertising revenue in Mexico and also revenue from KXOS-FM, Los Angeles, which it began to operate on April 15 last year.
For the first six months broadcasting revenues were up 12.3% to MXN 374.9 million (USD 29.5 million); expenses were up 24.6% to MXN 328.0 million (USD 25.8 million); broadcasting income down 33.5% to MXN 46.84 million (USD 25.24 million); operating income down 45.7% to MXN 27.0 million (USD 2.12 million); and a net loss of MXN 24.48 million (USD 1.92 million) compared to a net loss of MXN 13.62 million (USD 1.07 million) a year earlier.
The company also noted that as of June 30 its outstanding bank debt totalled MXN 180 million (USD 14.14 million) and that it was not in compliance with one of the financial covenants of its credit facility, the fixed charges coverage ratio for the first and second quarter of 2010. It adds that it obtained a waiver from the lender of this non-compliance for the first and second quarter of 2010and that no assurance can be made as to whether the Company will be able to comply with the fixed charges coverage ratio for the third quarter of 2010.
It also noted that the lender may not provide future waivers and could accelerate the amounts due under the loan.
Previous Grupo Radio Centro:
2010-07-27: Entercom has reported second quarter revenues to the end of June up 4% to USD 105.8 million with station expenses up 2% to USD 68.1 million and station operating income up 8% to USD 37.7: Same station increases were of 5% for revenues, 2% for expenses and 9% for operating income.
EBITDA was up 11% to USD 33.4 million, operating income went from a loss of USD 43.65 million to income of USD 28.84 million and net income went from a loss of USD 41.91 million in the second quarter of 2009 when the figures included a USD 67.68 million impairment charge, to net income of USD 14. 26 million (from a loss of USD 1.19 cents per basic share and per diluted share to net income of 38 cents per diluted share and 40 cents per basic share. The company also noted that during the quarter it reduced its outstanding net senior debt by USD 16.8 million and as of June 30 had USD 4.4 million in cash and USD 701.2 million of senior debt.
For the first six months net revenues are up 1.8% at USD 127.31 million; an operating loss of USD 36.86 million became operating income of USD 41.01 million; and net income went from a loss of USD 36.58 million to income of USD 18.46 million (from a loss of USD 1.03 per basic and diluted share to net income of 49 cents per diluted share and 52 cents per basic share.
President and CEO David J. Field said of the results in a release, "Entercom posted strong operating results in the second quarter as solid revenue growth and margin expansion drove double-digit increases in EBITDA and Free Cash Flow. Looking ahead, we are highly enthusiastic about our future prospects based upon the likelihood of continued economic recovery, the ad market rebound, radio's excellent audience listening trends and cost effectiveness, secular weakness in certain competitive media, and the impact of our internal digital and business development initiatives. In addition, we should continue to benefit from our strong free cash flow generation that has enabled us to reduce our debt by over USD 200 million in the past two years."
At the company's conference call Field said that national sales had led the improvement and that following improved revenue so far there were encouraging signs for the rest of the year.
He added that the industry as a whole was now two quarters into a solid recovery in radio ad spending
2010-07-27: A calculation by Harker Research estimates that the use of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings as opposed to numbers to be expected from Nielsen Ratings, which use a diary system, could be costing US radio stations in the top 50 markers as much as USD 7 billion a year.
Harker says it came up with the estimate after Nielsen released a summary of listening in the 51 markets they survey: Harker then compared the figures for reach, time spent listening and AQH (average quarter-hour) listening, noting that in Arbitron diary markets TSL is almost 50% higher than in its PPM markets and Nielsen's estimate is even higher, nearly twice that for the PPM.
AQH is nearly 30% lower for the PPM than Arbitron's diary estimates and 45% lower then the Nielsen estimate, and Harker says this is why Arbitron "created the misguided 70 is the new 100 sales campaign aimed at media buyers. Their goal was to convince media buyers that they could buy only 70 rating points in a PPM market with the confidence that they were really getting 100 rating points."
Clients says Harker are telling it they don't accept the premise and are demanding lower rates if the PPM shows lower ratings and if the Nielsen figures are correct a "Back of the envelope" calculation shows that in 2009 using the 16.5 Nielsen rating rather than Arbitron's 9 rating, stations in the top markets could have taken billing up from around USD 9 billion to around USD 16 billion at the same cost per point.
RNW comment: The crucial issue here it seems to us is how far the figures from either system can be shown to accurately record listening. Diary systems leave room for human error in the listening recorded but equally the PPM may be neutral in "human" terms but biased because of the make-up of panels or missing listening because of inability to read the encoded data at all times - in 2005 UK radio ratings organization RAJAR showed the best identification of signals in its tests came from the Eurisko Media Monitor, an audio-matching pager-type device - which correctly identified 70% of the signals compared to 59% for the PPM, which works by inserting a code into the transmitted signal, and 30% for the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch, a wristwatch audio-matching device (See RNW Feb 15, 2005).
We do not know how far the technology has improved since then but 41% missed leaves a very large margin for error, even if the PPM panels are now perfect in their composition.
Harker Research report:
2010-07-26: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has entered into a Consent Decree with Univision Radio that resolves pay-for-play allegations made against the company: As part of the settlement Univision is to pay USD 1 million to the US Treasury and will also "implement business reforms and compliance measures" to ensure future compliance.
In a companion criminal action a federal district court has accepted the plea of Univision Services, Inc. to charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), based on the same facts.
Under the agreement, Univision will appoint a Compliance Officer and regional Compliance Contacts responsible for monitoring and reporting company performance under the settlement and ensure regular training of programming personnel on payola restrictions: There will be a general prohibition on Univision stations and employees exchanging airplay for cash or other valuable considerations except under specified conditions, and provided that such exchanges comply with sponsorship identification laws and limits on the sizes of any gifts, concert tickets and other items that Univision stations and employees can accept from record labels.
Commenting on the settlement, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said in an FCC news release, "Payola -- the idea of pay-for-play -- misleads the listening public. This agreement with Univision underscores the FCC's focus on consumer protection and our commitment to ensuring that broadcasters play it straight with the public."
FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison added, "Broadcasters play a critical role in educating and entertaining the public and along with that special role comes some fundamental obligations. We will continue to work with other government agencies, including criminal law enforcement authorities where appropriate, leveraging all the tools at our disposal to protect consumers and prevent them from being misled."
2010-07-26: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Tribune Co. Chief Executive Randy Michaels - a former Clear Channel Radio CEO - presages further cuts in the business to trim costs and take the company that was taken private in 2007 in a USD 8.2 billion that was financed almost entirely with borrowed finance, out of bankruptcy.
Tribune owns eight major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times as well as 23 TV stations and WGN-AM, and the Journal says he's reducing duplication in news reports through supplying international and national reports to the smaller papers from their larger siblings rather than their doing their own reports and also intends to follow the consolidation pattern he set for radio at Clear Channel with similar consolidation in Tribune's print and broadcast operations.
He was asked about keeping employees motivated - something that would appear to be problematical at WGN (See RNW June 26) - and cited as an example an employee who "figured out a way to save us a couple of million dollars [in] the way we buy newsprint."
"We gave him a USD 25,000 check, took his picture, sent it around," responded Michaels. "There were some people who groused about that, but there were a lot more people who sent us ideas."
[RNW Comment - an indication perhaps that employees will sell themselves cheap and executives grab as much as they can - 1.25% of the saving is hardly a generous reward.]
Michaels told the Journal he didn't think paywalls would work for the company's papers and that at the moment none of its newspapers was close to being economically viable as a pure online operation but advertising was rebounding substantially in some sectors.
He forecast that the company's lenders would approve its plans to exit bankruptcy on which they are set to vote by August 6.
Previous Tribune Co.:
Wall Street Journal report:
2010-07-26: Absolute Radio has announced that former Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright is to be amongst its team of commentators for its Barclays Premier League programming along with Jim Proudfoot and Russ Williams.
The station, which bought Premier League rights packages along with BBC Radio Five Live and UTV's talkSPORT (See RNW Feb 11), will launch its cover on August 14th with a schedule in which from 13:30 Russ Williams will anchor 90-minutes of pre-match build-up cover on Absolute Radio Extra followed by a two-hour Rock & Roll Football programme on Absolute Radio whilst Jim Proudfoot will be match commentator for the same slot on Absolute Radio Extra.
At 17:00 Wright will anchor a 90-minute post-match commentary analysis and commentary on both stations accompanied by Jim Proudfoot, Russ Williams and guests.
The Live commentary will be co-produced by Independent Production Company USP and Executive Produced by Simon Crosse.
Absolute also says in a posting on the station's blog that it already has a sponsor in place for the programming but cannot give details yet.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Ultimate parent of Absolute):
2010-07-25: Last week was yet another where the main regulatory news as regards radio came from North America with a lower level of activity elsewhere: In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that community radio broadcaster 4CCR, Cairns, in Queensland, has breached the licence condition that requires licensees to encourage community participation in the operations of the service.
The ACMA investigated after receiving a number of complaints about station policies that restricted membership and notes that in response to its finding 4CCR has begun the process of redeveloping its membership policies and constitution to ensure it has open membership: This process is being undertaken in conjunction with a range of agreed measures that were implemented in December 2009 when 4CCR's licence was renewed and the ACMA says that accordingly it will take no further action for now although it will continue to monitor the station's implementation of the agreed measures.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a fairly quiet week as regards radio licensing decisions, announcing only one, in addition to which it has launched a number of consultations and announces new policy to strengthen the community and campus radio sector.
The licence decision was approval of an application by Joel Lagacé, on behalf of a not-for-profit corporation to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence for a 50 watts English-language, low-power Type B community FM radio programming undertaking in Iroquois Falls, Ontario.
The station will broadcast 126 hours of programming per broadcast week, all of which will be locally produced and will include the promotion of local activities and festivals, local news, sports and weather; programming directed to the Francophone population in the area; and a range of musical selections, including Pop, Rock, Dance, Country, Jazz and Blues.
Regarding the country's community and campus radio sector, the agency said its new policy will provide this sector with stable funding, and emphasize the importance of local reflection as well as the participation of volunteers in all areas of a station's operations.
Michel Arpin, the CRTC's Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting, said of the move, "Community and campus radio stations serve a distinct need within the broadcasting system. In the years to come, these stations will have access to predictable funding so that they may continue to offer local information, give exposure to emerging Canadian artists and provide opportunities for volunteers to participate in the broadcasting system."
As part of the policy the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) will see its annual funding increase by more than CAD 700,000 (USD 678,000). This will be distributed among the more than 140 community and campus radio stations and will come from a re-allocation of commercial broadcasters Canadian Content Development (CTD) contributions.
The policy will also ease regulation on campus radio stations which will see their advertising limits regulated on the basis of a weekly limit rather than the current hourly one.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with an Aug 23 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments relating to an application by Newcap Inc. to change the antenna radiation pattern of CJYQ-AM, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, from directional to non-directional; decrease the transmitter power from 25,000 watts to 3,500 watts night time while maintaining it at 25,000 watts day time, and change the antenna site. Newcap said that its previous antenna site is unusable due to deterioration caused by the coastal Newfoundland weather.
Another notice with the same Aug 23 deadline for the submission of intervention or comments includes the following radio applications:
*Application by 4352416 Canada Inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for its English-language specialty station, CJMB-FM, Peterborough, expiring 31 August 2010.
The CRTC notes that this licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to the filing of annual returns for the 2007 and 2008 broadcast years and also its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions for the 2006 and 2008 broadcast years and for Canadian Content Development contributions for the 2009 broadcast year.
The licensee is also requesting an easing of its licence condition requiring minimum of 90% of all musical selections broadcast during each broadcast week shall be devoted to selections drawn from subcategory 35 (non-classic religious) as this relates to Christmas music on the basis that not all Christmas songs falls into subcategory 35. It is proposing that from 1 November until 5 January it be required to broadcast a minimum level of 67% of Category 3 music and a maximum level of 33% Category 2 music each week.
A third consultation for which the deadline to submit interventions or comments is August 24 relates to an application by Newcap Inc. to add a 50 watts FM transmitter in Springdale, Newfoundland and Labrador, to the licence of CKCM-AM, Grand Falls, New Brunswick.
*Application by Astral Media Radio inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for its French-language commercial station CITF-FM, Québec, expiring 31 August 2010, and to delete licence conditions requiring it to a minimum of 63 hours of local programming; the maintenance of the current level of 2 hours and 6 minutes of news; and the requirement to file annually until the expiry of the implementation period for the benefits related to Transfer of control of 3903206 Canada Inc., of Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc. and of 50% of Radiomedia Inc. to Astral Radio Inc., Broadcasting a report on the report on the diversity of musical selections aired on each of its three predominantly music-based FM network services (i.e., Énergie, RockDétente and Boom FM).
Astral noted that no other group is required to file a report on musical diversity or to broadcast local programming at a level that exceeds what is required of all licensees under the Radio Regulations, 1986.
*Application by Astral Media Radio inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for its French-language commercial station CITÉ-FM-1, Sherbrooke, and its transmitter CITÉ-FM-2, Sherbrooke, expiring 31 August 2010, and also to delete the same conditions that apply to CITF from its licence.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom issued its first report on the progress of digital radio (See RNW Jul 22) and also upheld standards complaints against three radio stations in its latest bulletin (See RNW Jul 19).
In the US the main radio news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was the ending of its Auction 88 in which 13 construction permits fetched just below USD 1.9 million (See RNW Jul 23): The FCC also defended its decision to relax cross-ownership rules in a court filing although Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps posted a dissent (See RNW Jul 21).
In enforcement actions the agency confirmed a USD 10,000 penalty on Dexter Blake of Mt. Vernon, New York, for operating a pirate FM.
It had filed a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in this amount in March last year to which it received no response.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-07-25: Guardian Media Group, which in February this year sold its loss-making regional newspapers for GBP 7.4 million (USD 11.5 million) and in March 2007 sold a minority stake in the Auto Trader for around GBP 675 million (Currently USD 1.05 billion, the USD 1.33 billion) has rebuffed enquiries from UTV and West Midlands radio group Orion Media about its GMG Radio subsidiary according to the UK Sunday Telegraph.
The paper says that GMG values the radio business at GBP 115 million (USD 178 million) but both UTV and Orion valued the business at below GBP 100 million (USD 155 million) and quoted a GMG spokesman as saying, "Our radio stations are attractive assets so it is unsurprising that we receive expressions of interest from time to time. While we keep our portfolio under constant review, we are not seeking a buyer at this time."
The paper notes that GMG lost GBP 171 million in its latest financial year and says that chief executive Andrew Miller is looking at all the company's assets as part of its search for cash to shore up its loss making national newspapers, The Guardian and Observer.
GMG is controlled by the Scott Trust and is mandated to secure the future of The Guardian.
Previous Guardian Media Group:
UK Sunday Telegraph Report:
2010-07-24: BBC Radio 1 has announced that Mary Anne Hobbs is stepping down from her weekly leftfield dance and dubstep show after 14 years with her last show to be aired on Thursday September 9: She has accepted a post teaching and mentoring students at the University of Sheffield's Union of Students radio station, TV station and the newspaper and will continue to work in film, as a live DJ live, and curate at Sonar festival in Barcelona.
In a BBC release she thanked the Corporation, commenting, "The great freedom the BBC has given me as a broadcaster, has allowed me to help break so many confrontational artists as diverse as Slipknot and Skream, and of course, the whole genre of Dubstep in recent times. My current experimental show is in peak condition, it's never been stronger and although it's a very emotional decision to leave the show that I love so much, it's also an optimum moment to bow out at the very top of my game."
BBC Radio 1 Deputy Controller Ben Cooper, said, "Mary Anne's passion and energy for her music means she has been an amazing ambassador for Radio 1 in the UK and around the world. We all wish her all the very best for the future."
2010-07-23: The US Federal Communications Commission's latest radio auction - auction 88 - ended today after 17 rounds over four days having attracted gross bids totalling USD 1.886 million (Net USD 1.443 million) for 13 permits - 11 commercial FM stations, one commercial FM translator station, and one commercial AM station: In all there were 25 bidders - five of the original 30 who expressed interest failed to file complete applications - and the 13 permits sold went to 13 bidders.
A further two construction permits (CPs) for commercial FMs were initially offered but then removed from the auction.
The winning bids ranged from USD 22,000 from Mid-America Radio Group, Inc. for a CP for an FM in Bloomfield, Illinois, to USD 499,000 from Hawkeye Communications, Inc. for an FM in Rosendale, New York, one of only two bids above USD 400,000 - the other was of USD 425,000 from South Shore Broadcasting, Inc. for an FM in North Madison Ohio.
Two other FM bids were above USD 200,000 - of USD 255,000 from JEM Broadcasting Co. Inc. for a CP in Greenwood, Arizona and the other of USD 224,000 from The MacDonald Broadcasting Company for a CP for a station in Traverse City, Michigan.
The FM Translator on offer - for Coyote, California, went to Educational Media Foundation for USD 31.000 and the AM CP - for Terre Haute/West Terre Haute/ Shelburn, Indiana, - went to Birach Broadcasting Corporation for USD 53,000.
2010-07-22: BBC Radio 3 has announced that it is to make is archive of world music programmes online together with associated photographs taken during the preparation of many of the programmes.
The archive, which comprises more than a hundred hours of programming recorded in 40 countries and is to be searchable by country or programme, is being made available on the eve of the station's 10th year at the WOMAD World Music Festival and includes programming made by Andy Kershaw in North Korea and Iraq: The latter series won a Sony Award.
Kershaw commented, "There are documentaries here I'd forgotten I'd made, some of which uncover the music and the reality of life and in the world's most extreme, secretive, feared and misunderstood countries. I'm amazed some of these regimes let me out. Even more amazed they let me in."
World Routes programme presenter Lucy Duran added, "Finding out about the roots music of a country leads you right to the heart of its culture. The World Routes' trips have taken the listeners to an amazing variety of places and geographies, from the peaks of the Georgian Caucasus, where we heard rare and ancient polyphonic singing of astonishing beauty, to the upland valleys of Madagascar, where we were treated to some of the most unusual and exquisite music of this planet. "
2010-07-22: UK media regulator Ofcom in its first annual report on developments in the digital radio market says that in the three months to the end of March this year just under a quarter of UK radio listening was to services through a digital platform - including DAB digital radio, digital television, (and via the internet (which includes services received on PCs, Wi-Fi internet radios and internet-enabled mobile phones).
It notes that it was asked by the British government to prepare an annual report on the availability and take-up of digital radio services when the government announced its Digital Radio Action Plan, which sets a target of 2015 for the switchover to digital radio but says this should only begin when the market is ready and half of all listening was via digital platforms with national DAB coverage comparable to FM and local DAB services reaching 90% of the population and all major roads.
Of the digital listening it recorded, Ofcom notes a significant variation by demographic group with digital listening more common amongst the affluent and those below 65 and dropping off amongst older age groups: DAB accounted for 63% of digital listening hours in the quarter followed by listening via digital TV platforms (17%) and streaming over the internet (13%). There was also a significant geographical variation - in east Surrey more than half the homes had DAB receivers and listening via any digital platform was highest in Berkshire and North Hampshire (over 31%), more than twice the figure for Northern Ireland. Amongst digital-only stations, five had a weekly audience of more than a million in the quarter led by The Hits (Bauer) with 1.5 million - down 14% year-on-year: BBC 6 Music recorded the greatest increase in reach - up 53% year-on-year to just above a million.
When it comes to replacing existing receivers, Ofcom estimates that there are currently some 70-80 million sets in British homes with a further 34 in automobiles on top of which there are analogue receivers in various models of mobile phones and portable players: Of these radios in vehicles are most likely to be used regularly - some 92% of the total being used each week followed by 81% of portable sets; 73% of clock radios and 66% of hi-fi radio receivers.
DAB receivers already sold it notes total some 11 million - around 15% of the total of home receivers - but in vehicles only around 1% are DAB.
Ofcom Digital Radio Report (24-page 460 KB PDF):
2010-07-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has defended the decision of former chairman Kevin J. Martin to relax newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rules but retain the TV and radio ownership restrictions by a majority decision with only Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps dissenting.
In a new filing with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals the agency says it still supports the decision: It lists six issues presented - whether its "incremental loosening of its 35-year prohibition on common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations was reasonable" ; whether its "decision to approve five longstanding newspaper/broadcast combinations and to defer action on other pending requests to waive the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule was reasonable.; whether its "decision to retain its radio/television cross-ownership, local television ownership, local radio ownership, and dual network rules in their existing form was reasonable"; whether "revision or retention of these rules was consistent with the First and Fifth Amendments"; whether "took reasonable steps to promote policies that enhance broadcast station ownership by minorities and women"; and whether the "Court should either transfer the notices of appeal among these cases to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, or dismiss them itself for lack of jurisdiction."
It then went on to defend the commission's actions as reasonable and argue that the court should either transfer the case to the District of Columbia Circuit or decide that it has jurisdiction, dismiss the appeals, and affirm the FCC's actions.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement said of the filing, "While the rules being challenged were adopted before I became Chairman, I support our General Counsel in arguing that the order was within the discretion of the Commission and the brief's general defence of the Commission's authority to make decisions based on the information before it at the time."
He went on to comment on Congress's requirements for a quadrennial review of media ownership rules and noted that the agency was currently "in the middle" of its 2010 ownership review, which he said would focus as required on promoting "the lasting public interest goals of competition, localism, and diversity... in the interest of an informed citizenry and vibrant media marketplace."
Dissenting Commissioner Copps started by commenting, "It is difficult for me to believe that our new FCC, with its new majority, is in court today basically accepting the validity of the pro-consolidation decision of a previous Commission" and continued "We have had 18 months to reconsider the awful vote that loosened our newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rules, but the best we can do, judging from today's brief, is to kick the media ownership can farther down the road."
Copps, who has consistently opposed much of the consolidation of US media, then commented on the court running "out of patience" and continued "Eighteen months is time enough to stop implementation of a rule that can only wreak more harm on our already threatened and diminished media."
"Three decades of hyper-speculation," he said "have diminished media diversity, put investigative journalism on the endangered species list and significantly dumbed-down our fact-based civic dialogue. More often than not, the FCC aided and abetted the process, encouraging the evisceration of our media ownership limits and abandoning our most basic public interest responsibilities regarding radio and television. Local, diverse and competitive media attuned to the needs of the myriad communities that comprise America are not a luxury that it would be nice to have. They are a necessity without which our democracy cannot thrive. "
FCC filing (155-page 370 KB PDF):
2010-07-21: The finalists for this year's Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) - the 22nd set of awards- have been announced by industry body Commercial Radio Australia., which notes that a record total of more than a thousand entries were received this year. The winners will be announced at a spring carnival-themed ceremony in Melbourne on October 16, to be hosted by Australian comedy duo, Roy and HG, aka John Doyle and Grieg Pickhaver.
In all awards will be made in a total of 32 categories including a new "Best New Digital Radio Format" award that commercial radio Australia says "recognises the innovation and development of digital radio in Australia."
Commercial Radio Australia notes that 18 new digital-only stations have been added in each digital market with the finalists in the category being Koffee (DMG), NovaNation (DMG), Sky Sports Radio 2 (Sky Sports Radio), The Edge Digital (ARN), Classic Hits Plus (ARN), Choose the Hits Jelli (Austereo) and Radar (Austereo).
As well as the awards themselves, which are dividing in most categories into metropolitan, provincial and country awards, the awards night features the announcement of the latest Hall of Fame inductee, acknowledging a lifelong commitment to and achievement in the Australian radio industry: Past Hall of Fame inductees include John Laws, Bob Rogers, Neil Mitchell, John Brennan, Paul Thompson and Janet Cameron.
Amongst the most prestigious awards are those for Best on-Air team - for whom the metropolitan finalists are two-time winners Hamish and Andy (Fox FM); drive time duo Ants and Becks (Mix 101.1); two-time winners, Kyle and Jackie O (2Day FM); the FiveAA Breakfast Show; The Matt and Jo Show (Fox FM); Hughesy & Kate (Nova 100); and Fitzy, Claire and Jules (Nova 919) plus Best Talk Presenter for which this year's metropolitan finalists are 2009 winner, Derryn Hinch (3AW), three time winner, Neil Mitchell (3AW) and multiple ACRA winner Ray Hadley (2GB), all three of whom are also finalists in the metropolitan Best Current Affairs Presenter category, along with Eddie McGuire of Triple M, Melbourne, in the finalists.
The full list is on the Commercial Radio Australia web site.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Commercial Radio Australia web site:
2010-07-21: Arbitron has reported second quarter revenues up 1.8% on a year ago at USD 88.3 million but costs and expenses were up 2.1% to USD 87.7 million, primarily because of commercialization of its Portable People Meter ratings and also a one-off USD 1.5 million relating to executive changes announced last month that included the departure of Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer Alton L. Adams and Executive Vice President, Customer Solutions Robert F. Henrick (See RNW Jun 24).
Earnings before interest, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter were up 6.4% to USD 12.9 million and net income was up 8.7% to USD 3.8 million ( from 13centsd to 14 cents per diluted share).
For the first six months, however, revenues are down 0.6% to USD 184.2 million with reasons for the decline including a switch by Cumulus and Clear Channel to Nielsen's Ratings service in some small and mid-sized markets: The first six months of last year, the company, notes also saw the commercialization of its PPM service in six new markers but no new markets this year.
Despite the revenue fall EBITDA for the first six months was up 12.5% to USD 42.1 million with net income up 10.8% to USD 17.5 million (from 60 cents to 65 cents per diluted share).
President and CEO William T. Kerr in an upbeat assessment said of the results, "In the second quarter, the radio advertising marketplace continued to improve. As the ad economy brightens, we continue to work with customers to help the radio industry take better advantage of the rebound in advertising dollars."
Regarding Arbitron itself he said, "Our efforts in the second quarter also yielded significant progress towards our near-term and longer-term goals. We settled the outstanding disputes with the PPM Coalition and created a plan to move forward collaboratively."
He also noted "focus on improving the sample quality of our PPM and diary-based ratings services", the unveiling of the PPM360 - "a step toward our goal of delivering PPM technology on smart phones and other internet-enabled devices" (See RNW Jun 21), and the company's new management structure already referred to.
Looking forward, Arbitron re-iterated its 2010 guidance of revenue to increase between two percent and six percent compared to the 2009 revenue of USD 385.0 million and earnings per diluted share to be between USD 1.50 and USA 1.75.
2010-07-20: Clear Channel Radio has announced that it is to donate two more stations to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council through the MMTC-Clear Channel Ownership Diversity Initiative, , an "ongoing program to expand ownership and training opportunities for minorities, women, and other underserved groups": It announced a year ago in a news release that it was to donate a number of AM stations to the Initiative and said it was to start with WHJA in Laurel, Mississippi, KYHN in Fort Smith, Arizona, KMFX in Rochester, Minnesota (licensed to Wabasha and now KYFX-AM, Wabasha), and WTFX in Winchester, Virginia,(See RNW Jul 21, 2009) but its latest release indicates that it donated the first three plus WYNF AM, North Augusta, SC.
The two additional stations now being handed over are Sports KFXN-AM (500 watts day and 4 watts night time: Clear Channel also owns sister sports station KFAN-AM, which is 50,000 watts day and 25,000 watts night) , Minneapolis and Oldies WTOC-AM (2,000 watts day and 320 watts night time) , Newton, New Jersey.
Announcing the latest donation, Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan said in a release, "By donating these two additional stations, we're helping to create more opportunities for those who want to excel in the radio industry."
Clear Channel also announced that two of the stations already donated - WYNF-AM and WHJA-AM - are to be re-launched with new minority operators and executives, adding that the rigorous screening process, determined by the MMTC, focused on candidates who could best serve their respective communities.
WYNF-AM has been awarded to Shannon Renee deMedicis of Medici Media, Inc., and WHJA-AM to Jeffrey Hedgemon, CEO of Full Spectrum Broadcasting and the MMTC is now working with Renee deMedicis on WYNF and Jeffrey Hedgemon on WHJA: Pending financing and final diligence, the stations will be operated under LMAs.
MMTC President and Executive Director David Honig said of the awards, "Shannon and Jeffrey have demonstrated exceptional work and decades of experience in media and broadcasting. We're confident that, with the resources provided by Clear Channel Radio and MMTC's cooperation with the NAB Education Foundation, we can further support Shannon and Jeffrey so that they can provide a meaningful resource for news and entertainment to their communities. We're excited to continue our work with Clear Channel to progress diversity in broadcasting."
Shannon Renee deMedicis, Owner and President of Medici Media, Inc., has worked in radio sales for companies like Billboard as well as several local radio stations and also operated WNNR-AM (Now WEZO-AM) in Augusta, Georgia under an LMA and Jeffrey Hedgemon, President/CEO of Full Spectrum Broadcasting, has had 40 years in the industry having stated his broadcasting career in 1970 at WXOK-AM in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a part-time radio announcer while in high school. He subsequently worked on-air as well as in programming, production and sales and corporate management
Previous Clear Channel:
2010-07-20: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) is reported to have added the duties of Chief Revenue Officer to those of EVP and Los Angeles General Manager for Marko Radlovic following the departure last month of former Chief Revenue Officer Flank Flores (See RNW Jun 16): Radlovic had previously served as CRO from 2003, when he was promoted to the newly-created corporate position from his role as President / General Manager SBS's KLAX-FM, KXOL-FM and KZAB-FM/KZBA-FM in Los Angeles.
He then became EVP/Chief Operating Officer in 2005 - and was also Chief Operating Officer from July 2005 to November 2007/ He moved to Los Angeles in 2009. In his new role as well as his Los Angeles duties, Radlovic will monitor sales in local markers and supervise all the company's General Managers and also be in charge of the company's relations with McGavren Guild and Citadel Media Network.
Last month Los Angeles blockshopper reported that Marko and his wife Anjuli had put their six-bedroom home in Sharman Oaks on the market for USD 2.595 million.
2010-07-19: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced the finalists for the 2010 NAB Marconi Radio Awards: In all it lists five finalists in each of 21 categories.
Finalists for the Legendary Station Award are KBCO-FM, Denver; KSHE-FM, St. Louis; KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; WBZ-AM, Boston; and WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C. whilst the finalists for Network/ Syndicated Personality of The Year are Bob and Tom, (Premiere Radio Networks; Dr. Laura, Take On the Day, LLC; Steve Harvey, Premiere Radio Networks; Tom Joyner, Reach Media; and Scott Shannon, Citadel Media.
Other finalists are:
Major Market Personality of the Year - Jody Dean and The Morning Team, KLUV-FM, Dallas;
Dunham, Miller & Keith, KTCK-AM, Dallas; Gene and Julie, KVIL-FM, Dallas; Ronn Owens, KGO-AM, San Francisco; and Pierre Robert, WMMR-FM, Philadelphia.
Large Market Personality of the Year - Drew and Mike in the Morning, WRIF-FM, Detroit; Mike Rosen, KOA-AM, Denver; Mike Trivisonno, WTAM-AM, Cleveland; Susan Wise, WLYF-FM, Miami; and Doug Wright, KSL-AM, Salt Lake City.
Medium Market Personality of the Year - Brian Gary and Todd Harding, "The Good Morning Guys," KUAD-FM, Windsor, Colorado; Scott Innes, WYNK-FM, Baton Rouge; Brent Johnson, WTCB-FM, Columbia, South Carolina; Mornings with Tony Lynn & Myles, KBQI-FM, Albuquerque; and Kelly Mac, WJMZ-FM, Greenville.
Small Market Personality of the Year - Cathy Blythe, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; Leo Greco, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Todd Haugen and Mardy Karger, KBHP-FM, Bemidji, Minnesota; Cyril [Bub] McCullough, WMCI-FM, Mattoon-Charleston, Illinois; and Will Payne and Barry Diamond, KITX-FM, Hugo, Oklahoma.
Spanish Personality of the Year - Rosie del Valle, WNWZ-AM, Grand Rapids, Michigan;
Rafael Orlando, WYUS-AM, Milford, Delaware; Omar Ramos, WPPN-FM, Chicago; Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, KSCA-FM, Los Angeles; and Claudia Torrescano, KFLC-AM, Dallas.
Major Market Station of the Year - KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KHKS-FM, Dallas; KIIS-FM, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; and WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.
Large Market Station Of the Year - KSFI-FM, Salt Lake City; KSTP-FM, Minneapolis; KUBL-FM, Salt Lake City; KYGO-FM, Denver; and WRBQ-FM, Tampa Bay.
Medium Market Station of the Year - KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; KLRC-FM, Siloam Springs, Arizona; KXTD-AM, Tulsa, Oklahoma; WKHK-FM, Richmond, Virginia; and WXST-FM, Charleston, South Carolina.
Small Market Station of the Year - KFGO-AM, Fargo, North Dakota; KGMI-AM, Bellingham, Washington; KOFM-FM - Enid, Oklahoma; WCNL-AM, Newport, New Hampshire; and WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland.
AC Station of the Year - KKHJ-FM, Pago Pago, American Samoa; KSTP-FM, MinneapolisWLYF-FM, Miami; WMJX-FM, Boston; and WTCB-FM, Columbia, South Carolina.
CHR Station of the Year - KDWB-FM, Minneapolis; KHKS-FM, Dallas; KIIS-FM, Los Angeles; KJYO-FM, Oklahoma City; and WNKS-FM, Charlotte.
Country Station of the Year - KMPS- FM, Seattle; KSON-FM, San Diego; KUBL-FM, Salt Lake City; WFMS-FM, Indianapolis; and WKHK-FM, Richmond, Virginia.
News/Talk Station of the Year - KBOI-AM, Boise; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KOA-AM, Denver; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; and WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.
Oldies Station of the Year - KKLZ-FM, Las Vegas; KLUV-FM, Dallas; WCBS-FM, New York; WCRE-AM, Cheraw, South Carolina; and WOGL-FM, Philadelphia.
Religious Station of the Year - KFSH-FM, Los Angeles; KSBJ-FM, Houston; WFMV-FM, Columbia, South Carolina; WLIB-AM, New York City; and WMIT-FM, Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Rock Station Of the Year - KBZT-FM, San Diego; KDGE-FM, Dallas; KROX-FM, Austin; WAAF-FM, Boston; and WMMR-FM, Philadelphia.
Spanish Station of the Year - KLMG-FM, Sacramento; KLNO-FM, Dallas; KLNZ-FM, Phoenix; KXTD-AM, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and WOJO-FM, Chicago.
Sports Station of the Year - KBUN-AM, Bemidji, Minnesota; KOZN-AM, Omaha, Nebraska; WAXY-AM, Miami; WFAN-AM, New York City; and WXYT-FM, Detroit.
Urban Station of the Year - KMJM-FM, St. Louis; WBHK-FM, Birmingham; WBLS-FM, New York City; WHUR-FM, Washington, D.C.; and WVEE-FM, Atlanta.
2010-07-19: The BBC has announced the appointment of Lorna Clarke, who has been Electric Proms Director for the past four years, as Network Manager for BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, with immediate effect.
She began her career in 1983 and worked in newsrooms in BBC Cornwall, Radio Viking in Hull, Metro Radio in Newcastle, BBC GLR and BBC World Service News before joining KISS 100 London in 1990 and working her way up to Programme Director.
She became BBC Radio 1 Head of Mainstream Programmes in 2002 and after five years spent four years as a BBC Talent Executive before becoming Head of Programmes for BBC 1Xtra combined with Electric Proms Director, and then focussed solely on the Electric Proms role from 2006.
She will report to Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, and he commented in a release, Lorna has an outstanding talent and thorough knowledge of the industry gained by working in UK radio in a career spanning 25 years so I'm thrilled that she is bringing her formidable expertise to Radio 2 and 6 Music."
2010-07-19: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin has upheld standards complaints against three radio stations and three TV stations and also considered a further TV standards complaint resolved through action already taken by the broadcaster: In addition it posted details of a TV advertising scheduling complaint upheld and a TV fairness and privacy complaint that it did not uphold,.
The radio complaints upheld all related to complaints about political matters, two about community stations and one about comments by soccer programme presenter Peter Martin who in the Superscoreboard on Bauer's Clyde 1actively endorsed support for the Labour party.
In an exchange on the day of voting in the General Election on May 6 Martin's fellow presenter Graeme Spiers said he had voted for the "Kirkcaldy Minister's son" (then Labour Party Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was standing in Kirkcaldy)and asked him if Martin had cast his vote to which Martin said he was going to within the next hour and on being asked for whom he would vote and for whom he thought Glasgow Rangers Football Club manager Walter Smith and Acting Celtic Football Club manager Neil Lennon would vote for said it was a "stonewall certainty" that both would vote Labour.
Bauer when asked about the comments said that it had procedures in place at all its stations concerning election coverage with guidelines issued well in advance followed by repeated reminders and that in this case the presenters had been briefed but "the guidelines were not at the forefront of their minds when they meandered into a conversation speculating around how certain individuals may have voted".
It characterised the comments as a light hearted view to make the sports show more topical and both presenters were aware of the seriousness of the matter and "deeply regret entering into a conversation about the election which they recognise showed a considerable lack of judgement and awareness on their part".
It added that it accepted that a Code had had been breached and said the presenters concerned had been reprimanded and taken off air for a period. Of com agreed that there was a clear breach.
The community stations against which complaints were upheld were Radio Hartlepool and Tyneside station Spice FM, which serves the south Asian community.
In Radio Hartlepool's case it aired a programme featuring a Labour Party local election candidate but no contribution from candidates from other political parties: The station responded to a complaint concerning by saying that it invited candidates from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, the two major parties, to take part but they did not respond and the Labour Party candidate was the only one to contribute to this programme. It added that it had had invited all Hartlepool Borough Council local election candidates from the "Major Parties" to appear in various different programmes between26 April 2010 and 5 May 2010 and had also invited several independent candidates and candidates from the UK Independence party to take part in the programmes about their respective wards.
Ofcom noted that when it checked it found that one sitting independent councillor had not been invited to take part in the programme devoted to his ward, to which the station said that it had concentrated on inviting candidates from the major political parties and did not focus on previously elected candidates.
Ofcom found that by failing to invite a sitting councillor to take part in the programme dealing with his ward there was a breach but added that it was "evident that the broadcaster made genuine attempts to comply with the Code and specifically the rules around elections by, for example, ensuring that at least the relevant candidates of the major parties were invited to participate in the programmes dealing with particular wards during the local election campaign for Hartlepool Borough Council."
In Spice FM's case Ofcom received a complaint that in one programme there had been contributions from two Labour party councillors, encouraging listeners to vote for the Labour party in the forthcoming elections, but no contributions from representatives of other political parties."
Spice in response said that it had invited representatives from each of the major parties to appear at different times and that "equal amounts of time on air" were to be made available to each of them.
In the event however the Conservative Party candidate who was due to appear had to pull out because of illness just before he was to go on air and the station said it has been unsuccessful in its attempt to get other representatives of the party to appear in the remaining few days before the election.
Ofcom noted the station's actions and that the Liberal Democrat candidate had been given equal time but said that nevertheless codes were breached by the failure to cover the Conservative party's position, in any form during the election period.
Ofcom also listed without details 225 TV complaints against 125 items and 13 radio complaints against 13 items it did not uphold: This compared to 553 TV complaints against 199 items - 134 of them in the elections/referendums category against one advert and a further 141 in the same category - and 22 radio complaints against 17 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-07-18: Last week the main regulator news came from the US with other regulators having a quiet time as regards radio - there were no radio announcements from Ireland or Canada, where the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been more concerned with the transition to digital TV than radio matters.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Aithority (ACMA) is inviting applications for licences to provide five new high powered open narrowcasting radio services- for Perth, Kalgoorlie and Kambalda in Western Australia, Griffith in New South Wales and Launceston in Tasmania.
It has set an AUD 10,000 (USD 8,680) reserve for the Perth licence and an AUD 2,000 (USD 1,735) reserve for each of the others and applications have top be submitted by July 28.
The new licences have been made available following ACMA variations to licence area plans over the last 12 months following the conclusion of an extensive ACMA planning program to provide the ABC NewsRadio service to towns with a population of 10,000 or more, in line with the Government's broader policy objectives.
The ACMA is also seeking public comment by August 13 on proposals to make new services available in Western Australia where it is proposing to make capacity available for:
*The introduction of the ABC radio service NewsRadio at Busselton.
*Infill translators at Augusta, Collie and Margaret River for the commercial radio broadcasting services 6TZ and 6BUN Bunbury.
*Two new community radio broadcasting services at Augusta and Harvey (on FM 96.5 MHz and 97.1 MHz respectively);
*A new high power open narrowcasting radio service at Collie (on 1593 kHz with a maximum transmitter power of 500 W).
The ACMA notes that it has been unable to find any FM frequencies in the Busselton licence area for the proposed ABC NewsRadio service due to spectrum congestion and that it is therefore proposing the use of AM frequency 1152 kHz there with a maximum power of ten watts.
The three FM infill translators for the Bunbury commercial radio services are proposed to operate on 101.5 MHz at Augusta and 96.7 MHz at Collie for 6BUN and on 100.3 MHz at Margaret River for 6TZ.
In the UK, Ofcom was also concerned with other areas to the virtual exclusion of radio although it did welcome the High Court judgment upholding its ruling that former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt breached its codes with comments he made terming a councillor a "Nazi" and an ignorant pig (See RNW Jul 13).
Ofcom also refused a request from Passion Radio, Oxford, to change its format and target audience, from playing a mix of cutting edge and credible chart music targeting 15-29s to an easy listening soft music service aimed at a 45-plus audience.
The matter was the subject of a public consultation launched in February (See RNW Licence News Feb 21) to which there were 96 responses, 91 against the change and five for.
In refusing the change, Ofcom commented that its Licensing Committee was not satisfied that any of the four relevant criteria in the Broadcasting Act 1990 had been met and in particular commented that "the Committee believed that the move to target the service at an older audience which is also being served by other relevant independent stations in the area, while ceasing to serve the under-30 population, would have the effect of narrowing the range of programmes available" and added, "There was also no evidence of significant demand for, or support for, the proposed change."
In the US as already noted the main issue involving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week related to the overturning of its indecency ruling against Fox TV over the agency's 2004 "fleeting indecency" rules (See RNW Jul 13).
In other radio matters the FCC was involved in a number of enforcement actions as below:
*Issued a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Christopher M. Myers of Lauderhill, Florida, for operating a pirate FM. The agency had issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO) in August 2008 and received a return receipt from him but last year in relation to a complaint about a broadcast on a different frequency traced the source to the same residential building from which Myers had previously broadcast; Further checks were made this year after another complaint and FCC agents observed a coaxial cable that connected a roof-mounted antenna on the condominium building to an FM radio transmitter operating on the frequency 95.9 MHz located inside Mr. Myers's condominium and that Myers was the only person present inside his unit at the time.
*Issued a USD 10,000 NAL to Enid Public Radio Association, licensee of KEIF-LP, formerly KUAL-LP, Enid, Oklahoma, for repeatedly interrupting regular programming with unauthorized commercial announcements and operating at antenna height greater than that authorized.
Enid was granted a licence for the station in May 2003 and in January 2005 filed a renewal application and this was followed in May 2005 by a Petition to Deny the Application from Chisholm Trail Broadcasting Co., which alleged that the station was being operated at a height above average terrain ("HAAT") 22.82 meters higher than that authorized, and with an effective radiated power ("ERP") of 155 watts, 73 watts greater than that authorized and 55 watts greater than the maximum ERP for an LPFM station.
Chisholm also alleged that the station regularly interrupted programming with adverts and regularly sold advertising time in conjunction with other stations in the area and that the "classic rock" format broadcast by the Station does not qualify for nor correspond with the educational mission described in Licensee's original application.
In addition Chisholm alleged that the licensee had engaged in an unauthorized transfer of control because chief engineer Scott Clark controls Licensee's board of directors, because two directors had resigned their positions, and because Scott Clark "assumed a position on [Licensee's] board without having been approved by the licensee's principals.
The licensee did not respond to this petition and the FCC found that the record did not support the transfer of control allegation. Regarding the other allegations the FCC noted that Chisholm had provided a declaration from engineer William H. Nolan concerning checks he had made from outside the station's facilities - using laser assisted measuring equipment, and various terrain databases to establish the antenna height and also details of his methodology for establishing signal strength.
It accepted the height measurement but said that the field strength measurements were not made in line with its prescribed methodology.
Regarding advertising, Chisholm produced a rate card - which sets rates for "commercial" spots as well as "ads" on the day of an on-air interview, also stating that the "classic rock" format offers "great results for your advertising dollar" - with the licensee's name and an advertising package consisting of advertising rates for KXOK-LP, a low-power television station, the www.kxoktv.com Website, and radio station "KXOK," which is labelled as "Enid's Home for Classic Rock," with the frequency 104.7 FM.
The agency also noted that although there is no licensed radio station with the call sign "KXOK," Enid's is the only FM radio station in Enid or the surrounding area operating on 104.7 MHz and the station's online program stream confirms that its format is "Classic Rock All Day Long on 104.7, The Rocket." Additionally as Chisholm noted, Enid has in 2004 been admonished for violations of program underwriting rules of the same type as Chisholm alleges and did not dispute those allegations.
At that time no penalty was imposed as the licensee had said it had instituted new procedures regarding checks on underwriting announcements but, said the FCC, some of the adverts transcribed by Chisholm in 2004 and 2005 were still airing in 2007.
On this basis it concluded that its rules relating to adverts had been breached and that the station was operating at an antenna height greater than its licensed one. It therefore issued the USD 10,000 NAL - the base amount of USD 5,000 in relation to the antenna height breach and USD 5,000 (the base forfeiture for this is USD 2,000) for violation of underwriting rules.
It also concluded that although the breaches did not justify refusing to renew the station's licence, the renewal should be for the shorter period of six years.
It is also requiring the licensee within 90 days to file a report demonstrating that the Station's antenna has been lowered to its authorized height, and must include operating logs indicating that the Station is otherwise in compliance with its authorization and all applicable Commission technical rules. It also requires the licensee every 180 days to file a report detailing underwriters and others making acknowledged contributions together with dates and times of airing of all on-air announcements in connection with these and the text of the announcement plus operating logs indicating that the Station has been operating at all times in compliance with its authorization and all applicable Commission technical rules.
In New Mexico, the agency cancelled a USD 1,500 NAL issued to Friends of KHFM-Ruidoso, licensee of KHFM-FM, Ruidoso, for late filing of renewal application. The licensee had attempted a paper filing and asked for cancellation or substantial reduction because of this and on financial hardship grounds in response to which the FCC responded by cancelling the financial penalty and substituting an admonishment.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-07-17: Jonathan Ross today ended his BBC Radio 2 Show saying that presenting it had been a "Terrific experience", and thanking guests over the years and "most of all we should say thank-you to the listeners" not that we know any of you."
Of the guests he said we've had the best, the pick of the crop, the newest bands, the biggest bands"we really have been spoiled we've had the best, the pick of the crop, the newest bands, the biggest bands, we really have been spoiled and added "only a handful were terrifically disappointing" and similarly only a few shows he had been "ashamed of."
Ross, who in January opted not to renew his BBC contract - his radio show ran for approaching 11 years- ended his BBC TV chat show on Friday and is to host another chat show on ITV: He began his radio career in 1987 as a stand-in host on BBC Radio 1 and his Radio 2 show was launched in 1999.
Ross left the door open for future work with the BBC, commenting of the Corporation, "The BBC have supported us and shown us a great degree of leeway and I leave with nothing but fond memories and gratitude " and did not refer to the row over crude phone calls left in 2008 by him and Russell Brand on actor Andrew Sachs' answering machine, an action that led to the end of Brand's show on Radio 2, the resignation of then Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas, and a three-month unpaid suspension from the BBC for Ross.
Of the show itself he said. "There were certain periods when it was a little too lively, but it's been a great experience and a learning experience, bizarrely for people of our age."
The final show- audio is on the BBC Radio 2 website until next Saturday - featured Ross and his sidekick Andy Davies and guests X-Factor twins John and Edward Grimes or "Jedward", comedian Alan Carr and singer Sir Tom Jones.
The show ended after thanks to the crew and Davies with Drive-In Saturday by David Bowie.
Ross's departure may only be temporary however as Radio 2 and 6-Music Controller Bob Shennan told the UK Independent ahead of the broadcast of the show, which is now recorded, "I'm pleased that he's leaving with a positive feeling about the BBC and that he's left Radio 2 with a good vibe between us, which means that if the right project turns up that maybe he will consider that. I hope that he's left the BBC in such a way that he's left the door open to come and do some more things."
"Jonathan Ross has been an entry point to Radio 2 for millions of listeners over the past decade," added Shennan. "I think that Jonathan - notwithstanding the difficulties over the last 18 months - was unquestionably the pivotal force in the renaissance of Radio 2 during that period. He was an inspirational choice at the time and has done a brilliant job."
UK Independent report:
2010-07-17: Corus Entertainment Inc. has announced that it has advised the New York Stock Exchange that it intends to delist its Class B shares from the exchange and to list and trade them solely on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Announcing the move, Corus President and CEO John Cassaday, said in a release, "We believe that the costs associated with maintaining our NYSE listing outweigh the benefits for the Company and our shareholders. The voluntary delisting from the NYSE will have no impact on Corus' commitment to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and transparency in financial reporting."
Corus says that it intends to file a Form 25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on or about July 26, 2010 to effect the delisting and that it expects the delisting to take effect on or about August 5, 2010.
Once the delisting is effective, it says it will continue to meet its reporting obligations with the SEC until such time it can terminate registration of its Class B Shares with the SEC, as permitted under SEC rules.
2010-07-16: Oaktree Capital, which controls Townsquare Media, the company that emerged when the former Regent Communications came out of bankruptcy om April (See RNW Apr 27). and GAP Broadcasting/ Gap West, has put a number of Form 316 applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under which it proposes to bring all the stations controlled by the two groups into one single entity.
The GAP website when we last checked said it operates "116 radio stations in 24 markets located in Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming" whilst Townsquare says it operates 62 stations in 13 markets.
Reports concerning the plan, which has not been finalised, indicate that Townsquare CEO Steven Price would head the combined entity and that GAP President George Laughlin and GAP WEST President Erik Hellum would stay on in senior roles.
2010-07-16: Astral Media has reported revenues up 9% overall to CAD 253.6-million (USD 240.6 million )in its third quarter to the end of May with the same percentage increase for radio - to CAD 89.1 million (USD 84.6 million) and TV - to CAD 144.9 million (USD 137.5 million)- whilst Outdoor was up 11% to CAD 19.6 million (USD 18.6 million). Advertising revenues were up 11% and subscription ones were up 7%.
Net earnings were also up 9% - to CAD 48.5 million (USD 46.0 million- from CAD 0.89 to CAD 0.86 per share) and EBITDA was up 4% to CAD 84.9 million (USD 80.6 million).
For the first nine months revenues were up 5% to CAD 722.6 million (USD 685.5 million) within which radio was up 2.1% to CAD 252.2 million (USD 239.5 million); TV was up 6.5% to CAD 415.6 million (USD 394.3 million); and Outdoor was up 6.7% to CAD 54.8 million (USD 52.0 million). EBITDA was up 13% to CAD 244.3 million (USD 231.8 million) and net earnings were up 25% to CAD 138.3 million (USD 131.2 million- from CAD 1.98 to CAD 2.45 per share).
Commenting on the performance President and CEO Ian Greenberg noted that the company was still operating in a "slowly recovering economic and advertising market environment" and said, "I am delighted with Astral's performance in the third quarter and by the strong growth displayed by each of our business units. I am particularly pleased that our advertising revenues increased 11% and that our subscription revenues grew a strong 7%, contributing to Astral's 55th consecutive quarter of profitable growth."
2010-07-16: The UK Sun tabloid newspaper's launch into radio has been killed and the paper has closed down its SunTalk internet station hosted by Jon Gaunt and opted not to proceed with plans to take it national on a digital multiplex.
The station launched in April last year and a notice on its web site says, "SunTalk is no longer live ... Thank you for listening over the last 18 months. Please continue to enjoy our podcasts."
News International, which owns the paper said the closure was part of an "ongoing review of costs and strategy" - it is cutting around 80 editorial jobs at the Sun's sister titles the Sunday Times and London Times.
Gaunt's web site gaunty.com has so far made no mention of the closure - when we checked it still carried a note saying the host will be in the High Court on July 15 and 16 in relation to a case he brought against UK media regulator Ofcom which had ruled that comments he made on UTV-owned talkSPORT calling a councillor a "Nazi" and "ignorant pig" breached its codes: The court upheld the regulator but Gaunt indicated he was to try and appeal the matter further (See RNW Jul 13). It is not clear what the host, who was fired by UTV for his comments, is now planning to do.
2010-07-15: Emmis has reported revenues for its first quarter to the end of May up 0.9% on a year earlier to USD 60.34 million with radio revenues up 1.8% to USD 44.364 million and publishing down 1.7% to USD 15.976 million.
Operating income was USD 3.838 million compared to a year earlier loss of 6.634 million but and income of USD 20.251 million before income taxes and discontinued operations became a loss of USD 1.855 million and with a consolidated net ncome of USD 15.692 million moved to a net loss of USD 704,000.
Overall it had a net loss attributable to common shareholders of USD 3.909 million compared to net income of USD 11.987 million a year earlier (from 32 cents per share income to 10 cents a share loss.).
Emmis notes that it had classified as discontinued its Belgian radio operation, which it sold, and Hungarian radio operations whose licence was awarded to another bidder and adds of the latter, "We have continued to explore our legal remedies in both the Hungarian and international forums, but we cannot predict the outcome of these efforts."
In Hungary the Budapest Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling in January by the Budapest Municipal Court that the Hungarian regulator, the ORTT ((Hungary's National Radio and Television Board) broke the country's laws in awarding the licence of Emmis-controlled Sláger Radio to the FM1 Consortium last year but also said that the ORTT was under no obligation to break the contract signed with FM1, which operates Neo FM (See RNW Jan 19)
Realdeal.hu says Sláger Radio CFO Laszlo Jakus told Hungarian news agency MTI that Sláger "expects" ORTT to cancel the contract with FM1 without delay in light of the ruling but FM1 in a statement published on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange said that the ruling would "have no direct effect" because of the Municipal Court Ruling that it could not force ORTT to terminate the contract.
This leaves Emmis with the option of an action for compensation in Hungary or an international court.
2010-07-15: Gwyneth Williams, until recently Director of BBC World Service English, has been appointed Controller of BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7, the digital station that is to be re-branded BBC 4 Extra.
She will succeed Mark Damazer, who is leaving in September to become head St Peter's College, Oxford (See RNW Apr 13).
Williams grew up in South Africa and was educated at St Hugh's College, Oxford. She began her BBC career in 1976 as a trainee talks writer for the World Service and went on to become producer and duty editor of the World Tonight and deputy editor, special current affairs programmes, overseeing election coverage.
She was editor, policy and social programmes from 1994 to 1996 and oversaw the launch of current affairs programmes on BBC Radio 5 Live, edited Radio 4's The Week in Westminster and worked briefly for BBC1's On The Record before becoming hear of radio current affairs and then from July 2007 director of English networks and news for the World Service, a role that is being merged into a new post in a corporation management shake-up.
She will take up her new post in September and report to Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music who said of the appointment in a news release, "Gwyneth is an editorial leader of the highest calibre and a passionate supporter of Radio 4. She brings vast broadcasting experience, tremendous intelligence and a fresh perspective to one of the biggest jobs in broadcasting, and I look forward to working with her in building on Mark Damazer's success."
In his blog on the Radio 4 website Davie added, "As I wrote here at the start of the process, Mark Damazer - Radio 4's current Controller - has managed to sustain buoyant audiences without compromising the quality of programmes, so I am well aware of the importance of finding the right person to follow in the exceptional Mr Damazer's footsteps. I saw some outstanding candidates during the recruitment process; brilliant leaders from a broad range of backgrounds, all with hugely impressive experience."
Williams said in a release, "Radio 4 represents the BBC at its best: it is loved and trusted and stands above all for quality. It is a privilege and honour to be asked to lead the network through the next stage of its evolution. I am hugely looking forward to working with so many talented programme-makers, each with a unique contribution to make. I want to ensure that this creativity shows on air and delights and inspires our listeners."
Also at the BBC, Scott Solder has been appointed as the new editor of BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast to succeed Richard Jackson who had edited the programme for the last seven years and who has moved to the BBC World Service.
The BBC says he will have a crucial role working for the station's move to its new home in Salford next year and will take up his new role later this summer.
Solder joins the BBC after a period running his own company working in journalism and communications providing media training and journalism services with clients including No. 10 Downing Street and the BBC. He was previously Programme Director at LBC in London before which he had worked in the BBC including a spell at BBC Radio 5 Live.
BBC Radio 4 - Davie blog:
2010-07-15: Vatican Radio is disputing the conclusions of a court-ordered study of the effects of electromagnetic radiation from its transmission facilities at Santa Maria di Galeria is linked to higher cancer rates to those living at Cesano near the site .
According to the daily La Stampa newspaper the report says there has "been an important, coherent and meaningful correlation between exposure to Vatican Radio's structures and the risk of leukaemia and lymphoma in children" and adds that there are "important risks" of dying of cancer for people who had resided at least 10 years within a nine-kilometre (5.5-mile) radius of the radio's giant antenna towers.
The report was ordered in 2005 as part of investigations into a complaint filed by Cesano residents (See RNW Oct 9, 2000) and a case in which Cardinal Roberto Tucci and Pasquale Borgomeo, who were Vatican Radio's then president and director respectively, were found guilty of criminal offences (of "throwing of dangerous objects " - a phrase in an old Italian law) in relation to the emissions and given suspended prison sentences (See RNW May 10, 2005).
The convictions were overturned by an appeals court two years later (See RNW Jun 9, 2007) but the case was opened again in 2008 by Italy's top court, the Court of Cassation ( See RNW May 16, 2008) and then dismissed last year.
Independent Catholic News reported that in a broadcast on Vatican Radio the station's director Fr Federico Lombardi said international scientific studies carried out in the past had never shown that such a connection exists, adding, "Vatican Radio will present its own comments and counter-deductions from its own technical consultants as soon as possible.
"It is important to remember, that Vatican Radio has always adhered to international norms concerning electromagnetic emissions limits."
The paper said that it was told by an unnamed source in Rome, "This is an old story. Berlusconi's (Italian PM Berlusconi) relatives want the land and their first claim failed the simple test of evidence. Their next attempt was to use an old Italian law dating back to the days of bows and arrows which prohibited the throwing of dangerous objects. This was based on the premise that if people living near Santa Maria di Galeria need to put up a shield to protect their satellite dish from picking up Vatican Radio broadcasts, then something must have been thrown... ergo hoc...
It also quoted an unnamed Italian medical doctor as saying, "This does sound like the start of the silly season to me. If a genuine scientific study has been conducted then the report should be made available for peer review."
Previous Vatican Radio:
Independent Catholic News report:
2010-07-14: Corus Entertainment has reported third fiscal quarter revenues (to the end of May) up by 12% to CAD 218.4 million (USD 211.40 million) within which TV revenues were up 13% to CAD 147.013 million (USD 142.30 million) and Radio revenue was up by 9% to CAD 71.426 million (USD 69.14 million)
For the first nine months consolidated revenues, driven by TV, were up 7% to CAD 633.4 million (USD 613.1 million), within which TV was up 10.3% to CAD 435.242 million (USD 421.3 million) - TV subscriber revenues rose by 11% and advertising revenues by 2% - whilst radio was down very slightly from CAD 198.971 million to CAD 198.190 million (Approximately USD 191.8 million).
The company's profit was up by 20.2% to CAD 73.818 million (USD 71.5 million) for the quarter and up 9.7% for the first nine months to CAD 212.488 million (USD 205.7 million). Within this radio profit rose 36.1% to CAD 21.877 (USD 21.2 million) for the quarter and by 15.7% to CAD 52.66 million (USD 51.0 million) for the first nine months whilst TV was up by 17.3% to CAD 59.452 million (USD 57.5 million) for the quarter and by 10.6% to CAD 179.724 million (USD 174.0 million) for the first nine months.
Net income for the quarter went from a loss of CAD 145.030 million (USD 14.4 million) in 2009, when the figures included a CAD 172.5 million (USD 167 million) after-tax broadcast license and goodwill impairment charge, to a profit of CAD 31.4 million (USD 30.54 million - From a loss of CAD 1.81 to a profit of CAD 0.39 per basic and diluted share: Excluding the charge the 2009 figure was a profit of CAD 0.39 per share).
For the first nine months a net loss of CAD 75.368 million (USD 73.0 million became a profit of CAD 119.922 million ( USD from a loss of CAD 0.94 to a profit of CAD 1.49 per basic share and from the same loss to a profit of CAD 1.48 per diluted share, again after the impairment charge share and also including a CAD 16.2 million (USD 15.7 million) reversal of a disputed regulatory fee accrual, a CAD 14.2 million (USD 13.7 million)recovery due to income tax rate changes and a debt refinancing loss of CAD 14.3 million (USD 13.8 million)..
Commenting on the figures, Corus President and CEO John Cassaday said, "This was an exceptional quarter for Corus, with advertising sales strong for both Television and Radio.
We also benefited from our cost control initiatives and ad sales continue to pace well ahead in our fourth quarter as the overall economy continues to recover. We are confident in our ability to achieve our earnings guidance for the full fiscal year."
Corus also noted that during the third quarter it agreed to sell its Quebec radio stations to Cogeco Inc., subject to regulatory approval (See RNW Apr 30) and that on March 31, April 30 and May 31 it had paid monthly dividends of CAD 0.049585 and CAD 0.05 to holders of its Class A and Class B Shares respectively.
2010-07-14: It is looking increasingly likely that the latest attempt by the company's chairman, President and CEO Jeffrey Smulyan to take Emmis private will cost him considerably more than the current bid or may fail as did his previous attempt in 2006 (See RNW Aug 5, 2006).
The hold-up relates to preferred stock - Smulyan already holds enough of the company's Common stock to ensure approval as regards this - and SEC filings from a group from Texas investor Geoffrey Raynor and groups associated with him and also from other investors including the 'Locked-Up Holders' (Double Diamond Partners LLC, Zazove Aggressive Growth Fund, L.P., R2 Investments, LDC, DJD Group LLC, Third Point LLC, the Radoff Family Foundation, Bradley L. Radoff, and LKCM Private Discipline Master Fund, SPC) have indicated that they will vote against accepting the offer from Smulyan's JS Investments for their preferred shares.
Together these groups control more than a third of the preferred shares - they hold around 970,000 of the company's 2.8 million preferred shares- enough to block the deal, which requires approval from two-thirds of them. Under the buyout proposed by Smulyan, who is backed by Alden Global Capital, holders of preference shares would swap them for new 12% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2017 at 60% of the face value of the preferred shares.
2010-07-14: UK radio ratings company RAJAR says that its MIDAS 6 (Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services) sixth survey of internet delivered audio services shows podcasts have a positive effect on radio listening.
The survey has been extended to cover listening on cell phones and RAJAR adds that a fifth of Smartphone users in the survey - conducted last month by Ipsos MORI amongst a sample of RAJAR respondents drawn from the main RAJAR survey who had claimed to listen to the radio via the internet, or downloaded podcasts, or listened to the radio via their mobile phone -said they had downloaded a radio app.
Nearly a third (31%) of those in the survey said they had listened to radio via the internet with a sixth (16%) adding that they had downloaded a podcast although only a quarter of podcast users found them to listen to all the programming they had downloads.
Of the 31% who have listened to radio via the internet most had listened live (29% - up from 27% in November 2009) and 25% (had time-shifted listening using Listen-Again services.
71% of those who did time shift said there had been no impact on the amount of live radio to which they listen and half said they are now listening to radio programmes to which they did not listen previously. Most of the listening to podcasts was at home - 77% of podcast users listened there and 45% in the car or on public transport.
In addition to this 15% said they had heard of WiFi radio but only 2% owned one; 13% of adults 15+ said they had listened to the radio via mobile phone with 54% if these selecting the station using specific FM preset and 14% by running an app for a specific radio station.
Previous MIDAS survey (Survey 5):
2010-07-14: Celador Radio has bought The Quay radio station from its owners Portsmouth Football Club, which put it into administration last week.
It is to use the frequency for its new South coast radio service The Breeze, which is due to go on air at the end of the month in Southampton and Winchester - currently the frequencies are used by Play Radio, which were bought by Celador in April.
2010-07-13: The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has thrown out the US Federal Communications Commission's rules, introduced in 2004, under which even a fleeting indecency can lead to a fine, saying that the agency's rules are so vague as to cause a chilling effect on free speech.
Prior to the January 2003 Golden Globes Award in which U2 lead singer Bono used"fucking brilliant" as a superlative on air FCC policy was less restrictive and related to the context in which words were used and fines were lower and enforced for a programme but under the new rules each licensee's broadcast was treated as a separate violation, certain words were considered inherently indecent - the agency said that the F-word, which under previous rules was considered only indecent when there was a sexual connotation in the context in which it was used carried an inherent sexual connotation - and even the single use of an expletive - a "fleeting expletive" could lead to a fine.
The rule was challenged by Fox backed by other broadcasters and last year the US Supreme Court upheld the policy on procedural grounds but sent it back to the Second Circuit for consideration of constitutional arguments.
Writing for the three-judge panel, Judge Rosemary Pooler, examined the history of FCC indecency rules from the time of George Carlin's notorious seven "Filthy Words " monologue and noted that after the agency had defined the words there had been no enforcement action on the matter for nine years.
Commenting on the current situation Pooler wrote, "The English language is rife with creative ways of depicting sexual or excretory organs or activities. Even if the FCC were able to provide a complete list of all such expressions, new offensive and indecent words are invented every day."
The Court ruled that "By prohibiting all `patently offensive' references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what `patently offensive' means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive" and noted examples of a Vermont station's refusal to air a political debate because a local politician had previously used expletives on air.
Reaction to the ruling from FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was muted - he issued a short statement saying the agency was "reviewing the court's decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment."
Stronger reaction came from Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps who in a statement wrote, "I am shocked by such an anti-family decision coming out of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sadly, the court focused its energies on the purported chilling effect our indecency policy has on broadcasters of indecent programming, and no time focusing on the chilling effect today's decision will have on the ability of American parents to safeguard the interests of their children. I hope that this decision is appealed-and ultimately reversed."
The Parents Television Council described the ruling as "greenlighting the airing of unedited profanity at any time of day on broadcast television" and PTC President Tim Winter commented, "A three-judge panel in New York once again has authorized the broadcast networks unbridled use of the 'f-word' at any time of the day, even in front of children. The Court substituted its own opinion for that of the Supreme Court, the Congress of the United States, and the overwhelming majority of the American people."
The ruling was welcomed however by the Media Access Project whose Senior Vice President and Policy Director Andrew Jay Schwartzman said in a statement, "The score for today's game is First Amendment one, censorship zero."
"Media Access Project," he added, "entered this case on behalf of writers, producers, directors and musicians because the FCC's indecency rules are irredeemably vague and interfere with the creative process. Today's decision vindicates that argument. The next stop is the Supreme Court, and we're confident that the Justices will affirm this decision."
The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also supported the ruling with its Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton commenting in a statement, "NAB supports today's appellate court decision. As broadcasters, we will continue to offer programming that is reflective of the diverse communities we serve. We believe that responsible decision making by network and local station executives, coupled with program blocking technologies like the V-chip, is far preferable to government regulation of program content."
Previous Media Access Project:
2010-07-13: The UK High Court has backed media regulator Ofcom over its ruling that former talkSPORT host Jon Gaunt breached its Broadcasting Code when he called local councillor Michael Stark an "ignorant pig" and a "Nazi" during an interview: Ofcom imposed no penalty but Gaunt had already been fired by the UTV-owned station (See RNW Nov 19, 2008).
Ofcom has welcomed the decision, which Gaunt, who was backed by human rights group "Liberty", was refused leave to appeal but can renew his application directly to the court of appeal - which he plans to do - and could also take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
So far Gaunt has not posted any reaction on his website but he said after the case that he thought he had won some "significant victories" because his style of broadcasting had been "legitimised as political speech and therefore has the highest level of protection under the Human Rights Act."
Gaunt went on to comment that Ofcom had stressed that the word "Nazi" was the problem but the court disagreed and took the view that "ignorant pig" was more offensive (RNW comment: This is not how we read the judgment, which in our view made it crystal clear that the context of the comments was crucial in its ruling although Gaunt said that in his view he used the term in context after Stark insulted him and children who are still in care in the UK).
The court described the interview as "rant" and added that it was both "offensive and abusive" and also said that the Ofcom decision "did not constitute a material interference to [Jon Gaunt's] freedom of expression at all."
One judge Sir Anthony May commented, "The broadcast was undoubtedly highly offensive to Mr Stark and was well capable of offending the broadcast audience. The essential point is that the offensive and abusive nature of the broadcast was gratuitous, having no factual content or justification."
Mr Justice Blair added that "the person interviewed was an elected politician who would expect to receive and tolerate a rough ride" and that "It was therefore an interview where the claimant's freedom of expression should be accorded a high degree of protection and that was capable of extending to offensive expression " but went on to say that freedom of expression "may not however extend to gratuitous offensive insult or abuse, nor, we think, to repeated abusive shouting which serves to express no real content".
Blair said that the use of the word "Nazi" in the interview was "not, in the context, a description of Mr Stark's wider political or ideological position" but said the tone of the interview degenerated that Gaunt "became increasingly abusive, hectoring and out of control", and that there was no contextual justification for the use of the term "ignorant pig" which was "said with such venom as to constitute gratuitous offensive opinion abuse."
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards commented, "We were perfectly happy for this case to be taken to Court to review the way in which we interpret our statutory duties. We are very pleased that the High Court has recognised that we came to the right decision in this case. This is a thorough endorsement of our judgement in what was a difficult case."
"Parliament," he added, "has given Ofcom the duty of applying generally accepted standards to television and radio services, which we always aim to do in a way that respects the important principles of freedom of expression whilst at the same time protecting audiences from unjustified offensive and harmful material."
In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 PM Programme (around 36 minutes in), Kelvin MacKenzie, the former -chairman and chief executive of U.K. Wireless Group -which owned TalkSport and was taken over by UTV - defended Gaunt and said the case clearly showed that in the future the courts, not Ofcom, would have the final say in such cases, forecasting that if the case went to the European Court of Human Rights Gaunt would win.
Also being interviewed was New Statesman magazine commentator George Eaton who defended the decision in similar vein to comments he made in his blog in the magazine in which he referred to the decision as a defeat for a "British Fox News" (MacKenzie, a former editor of the Sun newspaper, which is owned by Fox parent News Corporation, defended Fox as being successful in making money from news when other US news broadcasters were making losses) and said that whilst Gaunt had a right to freedom of speech he did not have the inalienable right to broadcast his opinions on the station.
The case attracted a large number of responses to the UK Guardian report with a considerable number defending a broadcaster's right to be offensive but others taking a similar line to Eaton and almost nobody defending Gaunt as an individual.
New Statesman - Eaton blog re Gaunt:
UK Guardian report (More than 125 comments when we last checked):
2010-07-13: UK radio ratings company RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) has appointed Jerry Hill as chief executive officer to succeed its managing director Sally de la Bedoyere, who stepped down at the beginning of June.
Hill who is a former CEO of TSMS Ltd, a division of United News and Media plc. and later CEO UK & Ireland (2001-05); joint CEO, EMEA (2006-08) and worldwide strategic development director (appointed in 2008) of Initiative Media Ltd, a division of Interpublic Group, will take up his new role on Sep 6.
He also served as director of BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), the UK TV ratings organization, and a council member of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and is currently chairman of Carnegie Orr, a leading independent corporate communications agency.
RAJAR chairman David Mansfield said of Hill's appointment in a news release," He is a highly rated individual with a very impressive track record in media spanning over 20 years. It is very important for the radio industry that the day-to-day running of RAJAR is in professional and capable hands and we feel confident that Jerry is this person."
Hill added, "I am a real fan of radio. It is a highly innovative industry and faces a very exciting future. I am greatly looking forward to taking up this new position with RAJAR and working with its highly professional team, who have worked hard over past years creating and maintaining the industry gold standard in radio audience research, a standard that is recognised not just in the UK but internationally as well. "
Previous de la Bedoyere:
2010-07-13: Boston "Business Station" WBIX-AM, which nearly collapsed in 2004 after its then owner Bradford C Bleidt was arrested and charged with fraud and a potential purchaser walked away from a deal to buy it for USD 7 million (See RNW Nov 20, 2004), is now in its last few months following a deal by current owner Alex Langer to sell the station to Williamsville, New York, based Holy Family Communications for USD 1 million cash plus a tax deduction as he also gets a "Donation Letter" for USD 500,000, since the station "is being sold below fair market value." Non-profit Holy Family currently operates stations in Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y.
After Bleidt's arrest the receiver put the station in the hands of Langer, who had sold it to Bleidt for USD 10 million in 2002. Langer dismissed the staff the following month (See RNW Dec 2, 2004) but his attempts to sell the station then failed and he returned it to a business format, which will continue to air until Holy Family takes it over some time in the fall.
The station is currently 40,000 watts daytime then 22.500 watts just after sunrise and before sunset with a night power of 2,500 watts although it has a construction permit that will allow it to increase power to 50,000 watts daytime with no critical-hours reduction but still a night-time 2,500 watts.
Non-profit Holy Family currently operates stations in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, and says it expects to introduce Catholic-themed programming on the station by the start of November: In a release its president Jim Wright said, "We are very excited about bringing Catholic radio to the Boston community."
2010-07-12: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in comments filed today with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in relation to its 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review is calling in what in a news release it terms "Modest Ownership Reform" doe the elimination of cross-ownership restrictions, "substantial reform" of the TV duopoly rule to allow combinations in markets of all sizes; further relaxation of local radio restrictions; and when it comes to ownership diversity the use of "incentives to promote new entry and access to capital."
Its 193-page filing in essence calls for an easing of regulation for the benefit of broadcast groups but support from the public purse when it comes to the promotion of ownership diversity and is mixed with many self-serving statements concerning the benefits it says broadcasters bring to their local communities: Broadcasters," it says, "play a vital role in their communities - they understand the needs of their audiences and work every day to provide programming and additional services to address those needs. NAB and many radio and television broadcasters have demonstrated in the FCC's pending proceedings on the future of media and broadcast localism that local stations provide valuable news, vital emergency information and alerts, and popular entertainment to the American public free of charge."
"To continue to do so, however," it then says, "they must have the flexibility to form competitively viable ownership structures. Ownership rules that limit the ways broadcasters can compete in a digital, multichannel environment adversely affect stations' abilities to serve their diverse audiences and local communities."
In relation to the changed media environment the NAB filing says, "In a multichannel environment dominated by consolidated cable and satellite system operators and burgeoning online outlets, undue market power is not a plausible rationale for restricting ownership of local broadcasters but not their competitors. Indeed, the primary competition-related concern in today's multichannel, multiplatform marketplace is the continued ability of local broadcasters to compete effectively and to offer free, over-the-air entertainment and informational programming upon which Americans rely To best achieve the FCC's goals of a competitive media marketplace that provides high quality service and greater innovation to consumers, the Commission should structure its local ownership rules so that traditional broadcasters and newer programming distributors can all compete on an equitable playing field Empirical research, numerous prior FCC decisions and the courts have all concluded that efficiencies and cost savings realized through common ownership of media outlets can enhance stations' programming and produce other localism benefits."
As regards radio ownership, the filing says, "According to numerous studies, common ownership of radio stations has produced greater programming diversity and has not significantly affected advertising prices. In light of the increasingly fragmented audio marketplace and the financial challenges facing local stations, especially during the recent severe recession, the Commission should continue the process of relaxing the local radio restrictions."
The NAB refers to the state of the radio industry by the early 1990s when the FCC found that more than half US radio stations were losing money and some 300 had closed and that in the subsequent 1996 Telecommunications Act Congress had not only lifted various restrictions but directed the FCC to examine whether any of its ownership rules are "necessary in the public interest as the result of competition" and to "repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer in the public interest."
Much of the filing then states the obvious - that stations rely on advertising for income are less affected by changes in the advertising market than subscription-services; that advertisers can now opts for Internet-related advertising and satellite stations (the NAB of course lists other media but only these two are new and only new media are making significant inroads); that technological development, again primarily internet-related, has provided more options for entertainments and information with a consequent switch of time away from broadcast radio and also the use of the Internet to find news (the filing does cite one report as saying "The majority of Internet users (57 percent) now use some kind of social media and their use has accelerated the development of citizen journalism, including at the local level" but like so many does not look at how much original reporting as opposed to derivative comment Internet services have added in regard to news and the nature of the "news" on much social media. We also noted a later comment in relation to broadcaster websites that "these new platforms are unable to provide the extensive revenues required to provide local journalism and emergency information); and "News and public affairs programming of importance to the entire nation also can be important to the citizens of a particular community, especially concerning such issues as national security, war, the environment, the national economy or the Presidential election (albeit we cannot see that this as a significant argument in terms of "localism" and this section refers to FCC studies under Republican chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin that were contested at the time rather more than the NAB indicates).
Other parts are more contentious such as a section headed "Diversity and Localism Will Flow Logically From A Competitive Market": This does not provide substantiation of the claim and much evidence exists round the world that consolidation leads to anything but localism.
In regards to diversity the NAB filing of necessity uses information from many studies that preceded the economic crisis and thus has limited value although the comment that "competition in the media marketplace "gives firms incentives to produce the products that consumers want,"81 including news programming with particular content or a particular viewpoint" both rings true and suggests potential problems of increased bigotry fed by ignorance in US society as a whole and raises some substantial question marks over the subsequent argument that "the Commission should rely upon rules designed to promote competition to ensure that the needs of viewers and listeners are being met" (We would argue that a democratic society needs citizens who are aware of factual information - requiring accurate reporting - and arguments for and against not confirmation of prejudice based on choosing media that contain primarily information in line with existing views. The problem however is for society not broadcasters to resolve).
In terms of ownership diversity the NAB says it has "long supported both industry-based initiatives and legislative/regulatory changes to ensure that ownership of communications properties better reflects the demographics of the audiences and other consumers of communications services", claims some successes for its programmes (28 graduates from the NABEF (NAB Education Foundation) Broadcast Leadership Training program have "purchased stations and many others have been promoted within their companies or are in various stages of station acquisition " and goes on to advocate "reinstitution of the tax certificate policy, which previously provided tax incentives to those who sold broadcast properties to minority owners" and mention other initiatives that it has supported or advocated including allowing a change in community of licence on the basis of "an obligation to finance the development of a low power FM station in the community being vacated" and waiving limits "on the transfer of grandfathered clusters where the purchasing party agrees to transfer the acquired properties to qualified small businesses within one year."
RNW comment: Most of the filing is long winded but the figures - SNL Kagan estimates are that revenues, which have been falling since 2006 (US radio revenues were down some 18% in 2009) will not reach the 2006 levels until at least 2020 and as we have been reporting a number of groups have gone into bankruptcy - speak for themselves concerning the financial problems facing many US radio operators albeit part of the problem was overpaying in the assumption that good times would continue and thus being stuck with debt: We have seen no comprehensive figures to indicate the degree to which the removal of debt would change things and FCC station numbers and auction details so far indicate that there is still a demand for licences and comparatively few closures.
In these circumstances, the NAB filing does seem to make a substantial case that in terms of advertising easing ownership restrictions will not unreasonably constrain advertisers, who have other platforms they can us.
As regards radio, it also makes a substantial case in terms of many formats that easing or removing ownership limits will again not act substantially to reduce format diversity in a market although we remain concerned about news reporting where the evidence in terms of quantity is much more available than any in terms of quality. News talk is a different case and one where in the end the market will rule although we think there is legitimate concern about a free-for-all in terms of comment without establishing a factual basis.
The one argument the NAB submission largely avoids is the degree to which the marketplace will provide the information needed for a vibrant democracy - as opposed to a strident public space - and implicit in some of its comments is the contention that competition is not an unalloyed good (nor, it would appear when one looks at the NAB position on performance royalties, does it appear that the NAB is fully in favour of the marketplace). It does not take up any suggestion that the financial benefits that subscription services gain from avoiding regulation might be reasonably constrained although in fairness any action on this would most probably be voided by the current US Supreme Court.
In the ultimate analysis, the NAB makes a reasonable case in most areas (albeit its figures re diversity of ownership show a poor performance in extending this) assuming that the current pattern of almost automatic renewal of licences continues. We would like to see the debate widened as it could well be that a radical restructuring of US radio with renewal dependent on provision of defined public services and a switch to more community broadcasters could be preferable to continuing the current situation. We can also see no good reason in terms of corporate ownership why the US should not allow foreign corporations to own broadcasters in such a framework, which would constrain any attempts to introduce a political agenda in ownership: After all foreign owners do seem to have taken over the recording companies in a free market and US radio companies own stations in other countries.
NAB Filing (1.14 MB 193-page PDF):
2010-07-12: The drama "Will Smith Look-alike", written by Deborah Asiimwe of Uganda, ha won this year's annual BBC World Service African Performance playwriting competition.
African drama was first aired on the service in 1960 and the competition, for a 30-minute English-language play with no more than six characters, was launched in 1971: The first year's competition was judged by Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and he returned to judge this year's competition, commenting of the winning entry, "I thought the writing was very good and I became really caught up with the play wondering what the final denouement would be. It was convincing".
Will Smith Look-Alike tells the story of 17-year-old Tereka as he travels to New York with his school music group after they won a national competition and once there thinks that his resemblance to the American actor Will Smith will help him to pursue a better life in the USA.
The entry will air on the World Service for Africa later this year along with four other dramas - two that were in joint second place and the third-placed entry. In joint second place were "Kitu Kidogo", by Atwine Bashir Kenneth of Uganda - a tale of two corrupt policemen who are struggling to make ends meet and who unknowingly prey on the Head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau and "The Coffin Factory", by last year's winner, Julia Childs from the UK - is a light-hearted play which deals with the stigma of HIV (RNW Note: For those interested audio of her winning play from last year, "Home Sweet Soweto Home" and of other winners in 2009 is still on the BBC web site - links are here. There are also links to audio of the 2008 winners)
In third place was "The Cow Needs A Wife", by Angella Emurwon of Uganda- a slapstick comedy about a young man whose girlfriend discovers she is pregnant: He needs to find a cow to give as a dowry to her grandmother and enlists the help of his rich uncle as his opportunistic sidekick.
Also to be produced by the service is "Mandida's Shoes", by Mike Mware, a Zimbabwean studying in South Africa. The drama which was given a special mention is about Mandida, a young schoolgirl chosen to recite a poem in front of the Prime Minister at her school's Jubilee celebrations, but who has other plans.
Drama producer, BBC African Performance, Jenny Horrocks noted the strong entries from Uganda and that Prof Soyinka picked three as winners without knowing their origin and added, "Over the years, the competition has championed new writing talent across the continent, giving listeners an opportunity to provide different perspectives on a diverse range of contemporary issues. We've produced plays about prostitution, internet fraud, weddings, funerals and football, as well as comedy and science fiction.
"In celebrating the 50th year of BBC drama in Africa, it's fantastic to look back at the list of creative, funny and hard-hitting dramas that reflect the wealth of creative talent across the continent."
2010-07-11: Last week was yet another where the main regulatory action came from North America: Elsewhere there were no radio postings from Ireland and only one each from Australia and the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made FM frequency 90.7 MHz available for the introduction of the ABC radio service NewsRadio to the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales: The coverage area of the service includes Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Kempsey on the NSW North Coast and the service is scheduled for 2012 as part of phase three of the ABC's rollout of NewsRadio.
In addition the ACMA will also make spectrum available for a new community radio broadcasting service to serve Coffs Harbour will make a new FM frequency available to the commercial radio broadcasting service 2HC, to rectify deficient coverage in the town of Woolgoolga to the north of Coffs Harbour.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejected a complaint against a broadcast of The Dean Blundell Show on 20 March last year on Corus's CFNY-FM Brampton, Ontario, that had previously been ruled by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) not to have breached industry codes (See RNW Jul 8).
It also posted a number of radio licensing decisions including the following (In order of province):
*Approved application by Salt Spring Island Radio Corporation to reduce the power of its English-language commercial station CFSI-FM, Salt Spring Island, from 330 to 130 watts. The Commission notes that the new technical parameters reflect those established following construction of the transmission facilities and that the station's coverage area will be significantly reduced as a result of this technical change.
*Approved applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licences for CKNI-FM, Moncton, and CHNI-FM, Saint John to increase the maximum proportion of all programming that may be devoted to musical selections from 10% to 25%. Rogers submitted that this change is needed to permit the rationalization of costs by eliminating the news wheel approach to programming, and to reduce duplication in programming that currently exists between CKNI?FM and CHNI?FM and also indicated that the change would allow it to focus its resources on local and regional long-form talk programming.
The CHNI application was opposed by Acadia Broadcasting Limited on the basis that the station was approved as a news/talk station and that Rogers was aware that there would be long-term operating losses when it applied for the licence. It also said proposed Adult Contemporary music would decrease diversity in the Saint John mark.
In addition TFG Communications Inc. questioned how Rogers would continue to serve the market with a reduction in spoken word programming.
Rogers responded by noting that it had originally applied for both music-oriented and news/talk stations in Halifax, Moncton and Saint John, but only the applications for news/talk stations were approved. It said its plan had been that the music station would support the news/talk stations particularly in the smaller markets of Moncton and Saint John and added that without the music station, it has not been able to make the news/talk stations in Moncton and Saint John viable, despite efforts to cut costs. It also emphasized that music would be confined to time periods after 6 p.m., and indicated that it would be willing to accept a condition of licence in this regard.
Approving the application the CRTC noted Rogers's willingness to accept conditions and said it considered that the stations will not compete directly with music-oriented stations in their markets. In light of this it said that it considered that the change proposed by Rogers will serve to alleviate the financial difficulties faced by the stations, while not changing the essential orientation of their programming.
The CRTC also posted a consultation notice, with an August 6 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments that included three radio applications from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, relating to two Quebec stations and one in Ontario.
In Ontario, it proposes to change the frequency of CBOB-FM , Brockville, which rebroadcasts the programming of its English-language station CBO-FM, Ottawa, from 106.5 MHz to 91.9 MHz, modify the antenna radiation pattern from non-directional to directional, reduce power from 3,000 watts to 1,080 watts, and the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 100.5 meters to 97.9 metres. The CBC says the change is required because NAV CANADA found the 106.5MHz frequency to be unacceptable because it would cause potential interference to the GTB localizer service at the Wheeler-Sack airport in Northern New York State. The change, the CRTC notes, would increase the station's potential listenership by 60% (from 36,950 persons to 59,133) in the 3 mV/m contour and by 62% (from 32,720 persons to 53,021) in the 0.5 mV/m contour.
In Quebec, it is proposing to change the licence of reduce the power of its French-language station CBF-FM, Montréal, to allow it to use a transmission site on Mount Garceau because the proposed antenna site for the première chaîne service to Saint-Donat is unavailable and to reduce the power of the station's rebroadcasting transmitter CBF-FM-20 Saint-Donat, from 5,460 watts to 4,370 watts (and decreasing the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 242.5 meters to 182.9 metres)
In Trois-Rivières it proposes to use transmitters CBF-16 Clova, CBF-17 Lac Édouard and CBF-18 Parent to rebroadcast the programming of CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières instead of the programming of CBF-FM Montréal, Quebec, and if the application is approved delete them from the CBF licence.
In the UK Ofcom's only radio-related posting was of its latest bulletin in which it upheld no radio complains (See RNW Jul 6).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted its report and order concerning the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2010: For the year the agency had a budget USD 335.8 million (See RNW Feb 1) and Congress is requiring the agency to collect USD 335,794,000. The FCC is is proposing to adjust the FY 2009 amount - it then had an appropriation of USD 341.6 million - downward by 1.8 percent and allocate this amount across the various fee categories as well as to update details in its databases including updating details of station facilities and population covered by radio licensees.
The agency notes that in its FY 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking it received two comments and one reply comment regarding radio station fees including one from a Robert Bittner who said the structure unfairly favours large stations with much higher revenues.
He proposed that the Commission use a flat percentage of a station's income as a more equitable methodology for assessing regulatory fees or alternatively that it assess regulatory fees on a per-person basis based on the station's city-grade contour, taking into consideration reductions for AM stations and those stations that have to reduce power at night.
In a reply comment, Alex Goldman agreed with these recommendations.
In a further comment, Edward A. Schober, representing Radiotechniques Engineering, recommended that the Commission review the regulatory fee structure for AM radio stations in which fees, from highest to lowest, are currently assessed according to class: Class A, B, D, and C.: He argued that Class D AM radio stations should be assessed the lowest AM regulatory fee as a class of service and that the AM and FM radio station regulatory fees be related to the amount of spectrum occupied by the stations- is 100 kHz for FM stations and 10 kHz for AM stations - and thus that AM stations should be assessed 10 percent of the FM station fee covering the same population.
The FCC referred to "interesting recommendations" but noted obstacles to their implementation including the fact that broadcast stations are not required to file revenue details and that a change to a revenue-based system would mean that the agency had to gather and maintain data for more than 12,000 stations. As regards a city-grade contour system it notes that as well as the data burden this would also mean the same fee being paid many times over in larger cities as many stations serve the same audience.
In terms of the spectrum charging methodology it rejects this on the basis of a dearth of data in the record to support a correlation between the amount of bandwidth occupied and the appropriate amount of regulatory fees to be assessed and also because the correlation between spectrum use and regulatory fees may not be consistent with the intent of the original Section 9 legislation.
It notes however that the current fee grid was approved by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and 19 State Broadcaster Associations in 1988 and says that the idea of an AM fee structure based on class could be reviewed further for future funding years.
In other actions the agency's ownership form 323 is now in operation, a last-minute attempt to have the deadline for it put back having been rejected by the US Court of Appeals in DC (See RNW Jul 8).
The FCC has also posted a list of 25 applicants found to be qualified to bid in the upcoming closed auction of broadcast construction permits for 11 commercial FM stations, one commercial FM translator station, and one commercial AM station to be sold in its Auction 88 commencing on July 20.
The permits to be auctioned are:
Class A FMs in Greenwood, Arizona (3 applicants with USD 60,000 minimum bid); Durango, Colorado (eight applicants with USD 20,000 minimum bid); Steamboat Springs, Colorado (eight applicants with USD 7,500 minimum bid); Bloomfield, Indiana (six applicants with USD 20,000 minimum bid); Traverse City, Michigan ( five applicants with minimum USD 45,000 bid); Oxford, Mississippi (four applicants with minimum USD 20,000 bid); Rosendale, New York (eight applications with minimum USD 100,000 bid); North Madison, Ohio (two applicants with minimum USD 75,00 bid); Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico (four applicants with minimum USD 100,00 bid); Idalou, Texas (eight applications with minimum USD 100,000 bid); Shawsville , Virginia (four applicants with minimum USD 75,000 bid); New Holstein, Wisconsin (four applicants with minimum USD 25,00 bid); and Two Rivers, Wisconsin (four applicants with minimum USD 35,00 bid).
Coyote, California (two applicants with minimum USD 15,000 bid); Manahawkin/Warren Grove, New Jersey (two applicants with minimum USD 500 bid).
AM station: Terre Haute/West Terre Haute/ Shelburn, Indiana (seven applicants with minimum USD 50,000 bid).
In a number of enforcement actions the agency reduced the penalty proposed on a Kansas station to USD 5,600 for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation (also RNW Jul 8)
Later it issued a USD 7,000 forfeiture to Texas Southern University, licensee of KTSU-FM, Houston, Texas, also for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation. The university requested cancellation on the basis that the failure was inadvertent but the agency rejected the argument and confirmed the full penalty.
More fortunate was Friends of KHFM-Ruidoso, licensee of KHFM-FM, Ruidoso, New Mexico, which had been issued with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for USD 1,500 for late filing of renewal application for FM Translator Station K240CN. In this case the licensee argued for cancellation on the basis that it had become frustrated in attempts to file the application electronically but had filed it by mail and the FCC cancelled the NAL and admonished the licensee for filing the renewal application in paper format without demonstrating good cause.
In licensing decisions it has now posted its approval of the transfer of all but two of the former Regent Communications licenses to new owners Townsquare Media: The two remaining stations remain in a trust as they have to be disposed of to meet ownership caps (See RNW Jul 6).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-07-11: Dallas Fort-Worth non-commercial Christian station KVTT-AM is to close down on Monday for financial reasons leaving six full and two part-time staff looking for work.
The station has been on the air for 34 years, mostly as an FM but last year it sold the 91.7 frequency to North Texas Public Broadcasting for USD 18 million because of its debt and moved to AM through a least agreement with M& M broadcasting.
The signal is daytime only and DFW.com reports that it was unable to raise funding from its listeners to continue on air, quoting general manager Doug Price as saying, "We attempted to build an audience for 1110. But we were unable to build enough of an audience to get the financial support we needed in sufficient time to keep us on the air."
2010-07-10:Canada's commercial radio stations face an extra CAD 13 million (USD 12.6 million) in royalty costs following a decision by the Copyright Board of Canada setting royalties to be paid for their use of music for the period 2008-12.
The decision covers a number of rights holders but the tariffs cover different periods - from 2008-10 for SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada); from 2008-2011 for Sound Music Licensing Company (Re: Sound formerly the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada (NRCC)]; 2008-2012 for the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (jointly CSI:); from 2008-11 for the AVLA (Audio-Video Licensing Agency) and the Société de gestion collective des droits des producteurs des phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes du Québec (jointly AVLA/SOPROQ) and 2009-11 for ArtistI .
A station that airs music off a server is responsible for four copyrights and two remuneration rights must be accounted for and collective societies filed five separate tariffs dealing with one or more of those rights. At the request of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), which opposed the tariffs, the Board consolidated their examination and for the first time was able to set tariffs for all of those rights at the same time.
The charges for SOCAN and Re-Sound remain unchanged at 4.4 and 2.1 per cent, respectively, for gross income above CAD 1.25 million (USD 1.21 million) but the rate for CSI increases from 0.8 to 1.2 per cent, an increase that the board says essentially reflects a higher value of music already attributed to both SOCAN and Re-Sound in a previous decision: The Board concluded that this higher value should equally apply to CSI.
Most of the increase, however, results from adding two new groups of rights owners - makers of sound recordings and performers with the AVLA/SOPROQ rate is set at 1.2 per cent and that of ArtistI at 0.02 per cent, again for gross income higher than CAD 1.25 million.
The Board notes that this is around a fifth of the increase that the collectives had asked for and says that under the new tariffs the royalties to be paid in a year by all commercial stations - including those with below CAD 1.25 million a year in advertising revenues - will total about CAD 85 million (USD 82.3 million) of which about CAD 51 million (USD 49.4 million) will go to SOCAN, CAD 13 million (USD 12.6 million) to Re-Sound, CAD 11 million ( USD 10.7 million) to CSI, CAD 10 million (USD 9.7 million) to AVLA/SOPROQ and CAD 200,000 (USD 194,000) to ArtistI.
Gilles McDougall, Acting Secretary General of the Board, said of the decision, "With total radio stations revenues slightly over CAD 1.5 billion (USD 1.45 billion) for 2009 "the effective total royalty rate to be paid by radio stations is 5.7 per cent."
Copyright Board of Canada tariffs (549 kb 8-page PDF):
2010-07-09: Shares in ENIL (Entertainment Network India Ltd.), which operates the Radio Mirchi stations, fell 15.55% on Friday to close at INR 198.25 following an announcement that it is to sell its out-of-home subsidiary Times Innovative Media (TIM) to parent company Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd for INR 45 crore ( USD 9.66 million - a crore is 10 million).
The total deal also includes INR 56 crore (USD 12 million) of debt, valuing TIM at INR 110 crore (USD 23.6 million) compared to INR 1200 crore that Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers put on the company in 2008 when they bought a 16.56% stake - ENIL owns the other 83.44% - for INR 200 crore ( USD 42.9 million) in 2008.
A number of broking firms consider that the valuation was much too low as out of home is considered a high growth area in India.
ENIL Executive Director & CEO Prashant Panday disagreed, telling Indiatelevision.com, "The OOH business is strongly dependent on the contracts that you have. Two-thirds of the revenue of our OOH business is coming from the Delhi and Mumbai airport contracts, of which Mumbai contract is going to expire on 26 July. Delhi is now with a joint venture. We do not know what's going to happen, and thus, it makes sense for us to focus on our core business."
ENIL had a net loss of INR 15.32 crore (USD 3.3 million) in the year to the end of March but reported a profit of INR 15.42 crore (USD 3.31 million) in the final quarter and expects to be in profit this year to the tune of INR 35-40 crore (USD 7.5 to 8.6 million). The radio side of the business reported a profit of USD 18 crore (USD 3.87 million) and its other arm - event management - broke even in the 2010 Financial Year
Panday said the company was going to keep the funds it was receiving for investing in Phase 3 of the government's FM licence auction.
An Indian government panel is reported to have cleared plans for this phase and the Cabinet is expected to approve the plans soon after which bidding details will be announced.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2010-07-09: Clear Channel is borrowing from TV and is to stage a series of "upfronts" - presentations to advertisers and agencies to showcase the benefits it can offer according to the New York Times.
The report was posted as the company announced that it had launched "Clear Channel Create" - a "Creative Council to Drive Engagement for National Brands" in an "effort to help advertisers develop creative concepts and content platforms that further leverage the wealth of Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s audiences."
John Partilla, Executive Vice President and President of Global Media Sales at Clear Channel, commented in a news release, "We're bringing together the top experts in developing creative that drives engagement across our industry-leading radio, outdoor and digital platforms. This is a powerful complement to the creative resources inside our leading agency partners."
He added that the group had "already produced outstanding recommendations for a number of leading brands like VISA, GEICO and NBC that have been enthusiastically received over the past several months."
The Times said that Clear Channel had been encouraged in its move by a robust upfront market for TV commercial time ahead of the 2010-11 season and added that the intention is "shift the mindsets of marketers and agencies... to see radio as a more integrated piece of their media mix, to be planned upfront.",
Previous Clear Channel
New York Times report:
2010-07-08: The UK government has indicated that the government is not going to push for an early switch-off of analogue radio despite saying it would stick to the target date of 2015 set by the previous govt.: Culture Minister Ed Vaizey in a speech to the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference said that there would be no switch-off until "the vast majority of listeners have voluntarily adopted digital radio over analogue" and "digital coverage matches FM." He added that even then FM would "remain a platform for small local and community radio for as long as these services want it."Vaizey told radio executives at the conference that despite the conditions it is essential to "maintain the momentum towards digital, and that we start to really pick up the pace and make some real progress. That means a digital radio Switchover in 2015 remains a target we aspire to, but for which a lot more work needs to be done before we can make it a cast-iron commitment.
He then went on to describe digital radio as "a huge opportunity for radio and for radio listeners" and continued, "Britain already leads the world in digital radio. Three of the leading digital radio manufacturers, Roberts, Pure and Bush, are hugely successful British companies who are already taking their success here abroad.
"...But most importantly of all, consumers in the UK should not be limited, in effect, to eight national radio stations across FM and AM. If I were to suggest today that TV viewers should go back to five main channels, there would be outrage. I hope in a few years time, when we approach switchover, radio listeners will see the benefits of multi-channel national radio in exactly the same way that television viewers have seen such benefits."
Vaizey they referred to the BBC digital station 6 Music, whose planned closure has been halted by the BBC Trust (See RNW Jul 5), saying, "Perhaps we have already seen a glimpse of this in the public outcry about the proposed closure of 6 Music. Digital radio is the opportunity to strengthen, to innovate, and to engage. Digital radio is already a good consumer proposition. Twenty-four percent of radio listening is already on digital and over 11 million digital radio receivers have been sold. But it can, and I believe will, be much more. The FM spectrum is now full and it simply does not have the capacity to deliver the range of services and functions that digital can."
Commenting on the Cons of a switch Vaizey said they all began with a C - Content, Coverage, Cars and most importantly Consumers, who "through their listening habits and purchasing decisions will ultimately determine whether a switchover to digital can happen."
"The challenge for the radio industry," he said was "to drive consumer demand by providing great content." Vaizey added that manufacturers and broadcasters needed to "to work together to launch new stations and add value to existing ones, and to develop new functions which are easy to use and engaging, such as the ability to record and pause programmes, or to download music and other content as you hear it."
The BBC said Vaizey was central because it currently has more than half of all radio listening and he then added another reference to 6 Music, saying, "The furore and subsequent saving of 6 Music shows that the BBC is already building a fantastic portfolio of digital radio content, which has already established a passionate following, myself included. So we need more 6 Musics. And not just from the BBC but also from the commercial sector. But the BBC must not simply provide great digital content. It must also lead the way in the promotion of digital, across all its platforms, as a medium through which to access all radio."
Great content, however he added, was no good without coverage and action to increase that had been "far too slow" and as far as automobiles were concerned he noted that "in-vehicle digital conversion", which had not been a factor for TV was essential for radio.
The government he said would re-affirm to automobile manufacturers the view that digital radio should be standard in all cars by the end of 2013 - he later commented that he would hope that mobile phone manufacturers would make digital radio available in their devices by 2013 -but, he added, there also needed to be "an affordable and easy conversion solution" for receivers in the millions of cars already on the road.
There are already, he said "some excellent in-car convertors on the market but we should not assume that the market alone will provide the solution for all motorists or vehicles. However, I am confident that such a solution is achievable with a joined up and concerted effort."
Vaizey dismissed, however, suggestions that the internet alone could deliver the radio of the future, saying there "would be massive implications for capacity and energy use if all listeners listened to the radio on the internet" and continuing, "Instead we believe radio's future is a mixed ecology, with DAB, which is mobile, free at the point of access and cost efficient providing the 'spine' of the digital radio offering and the internet providing the added value."
Vaizey also dashed the hopes of a move to more advanced forms of DAB, saying, "A change in technology, to say DAB+, offers little benefit to the industry or listeners compared to the impact it would have. The benefits of DAB+ are primarily a more effective use of spectrum, but DAB already offers significant capacity for new services and there are only so many which the market can sustain " but he added that "we must protect against any future change and DAB+ must be a feature of future digital radio receivers. "
regarding the power consumption of digital receivers ad compared to analogue ones, he said that the difference is minimal and when it came to transmission there were benefits, commenting, ", Arqiva (The main UK digital radio transmission company) believes that transmitting Classic FM via DAB uses less than 7% of the electricity of transmitting the service via FM, while at a local and regional level the energy savings are around 50%."
Before Vaizey spoke, Tim Davie, the BBC's Director of Audio and Music, told the conference of a range of measures to support digital radio that the corporation is planning. Some of the figures he seemed in conflict with Vaizey's subsequent comment that "The BBC has already got us to a position where we have 90 per cent coverage" as he spoke of plans to add 61 new BBC national DAB transmitters by the middle of next year and increase the BBC's in-home coverage to at least 92% of the UK population (from approx 85% currently) and provide good in-car coverage for around 93% of the UK's motorway network (from 83% today) and to - include four new transmitters to achieve FM-equivalent coverage level of around 99% population and road coverage within the M25 (from around 89% today -RNW comment: The M25 is a motorway round London and the cynic might suggest that if in this area FM cover cannot be matched, it certainly isn't going to be on a national scale!).
Davie also spoke of offering BBC Research & Development expertise to tackle the problem of aftermarket automobile DAB radios, increased expenditure on marketing digital radio platforms including a larger share of total marketing being devoted to digital-only stations and the launch later this year of the RadioPlayer, a single online console that would offer all UK radio in one place.
UK Culture Dept - Text of Vaizey speech:
2010-07-08: Arbitron's Public Radio Today report just released shows news-talk by far the most popular public radio format in the US, accounting 44/8% if all listening in the fall last year although this fell back from the fall of 2008, which included the final month of the presidential campaign and the subsequent election.
Twelve more stations adopted the format compared to a year earlier taking the total to 333 whereas the news/music format lost 13 - down from 263 to 250 but its share of listening was up from 20.2% to 21.2%
Classical music formats also increased their listening share - up from 13.7% to 15.4% as numbers rose by nine to 109 and the number of commercial classical stations fell
News-Music station numbers were down from 154 to 113 and its listening share was down from 6.2% to 5.6% and in fifth rank in terms of share AAA (Adult Album Alternative) stations lost 11 stations to 57 and its listening share was down from 3.9% to 3.7%.
2010-07-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deadline for filing its ownership Form 323 came into effect today following a ruling in the US Court of Appeals in DC that denied a request to delay the deadline.
The request was made on behalf of a group of broadcasters by the law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, which argued in part on the basis that the new form required that filing organizations obtain an FCC registration number, which requires submitting a Social Security number.
The FCC in response said last month that it had modified the form so that Social Security Numbers were not required and added that the petitioners had not shown that submitting Social Security Numbers would constitute an "irreparable injury."
The law firm accused the agency of not meeting "basic procedural requirements" and of "consistently misleading conduct" and disputed the FCC contention about Social Security Numbers, adding that even if the requirement had been dropped this had been done without following proper procedures.
2010-07-08: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has rejected a complaint against a broadcast of The Dean Blundell Show on 20 March 2009 on Corus's CFNY-FM Brampton, Ontario, that had previously been ruled by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) not to have breached industry codes.
The Commission received a complaint about the show and referred it to the CBSC under its usual procedures: The CBSC rejected the complaint and the complainant then requested that the CRTC review the decision, which the agency did to examine if the programming failed to meet the objective of the Broadcasting Act that programming be of a high standard.
The complaint related to a ten-minute regular segment of the show, which is hosted by Dean Blundell, Todd Shapiro and Jason Barr and in "Wha' Happened?" runs a recurring contest in which callers are asked to share bizarre stories about things that have happened to them for a prize, such as concert tickets.
In this programme three women rand in to recount their stories, one named Ashley telling how she and her friends were arrested for vandalizing the car of a friend's cheating boyfriend; another - Brenda - of her fiancé's accidentally cutting off her nipple with a weed-whacker while she suntanned naked and a third - Hyper-Lee - of how she temporarily "lost" a condom inside herself after having sex with a man while in Mexico.
The complainant in his original complaint alleged that inappropriate sexual material was regularly being aired during daytime hours and characterized The Dean Blundell Show as a thoroughly disgusting morning show where they degrade and insult pretty well everyone. Their content, he said, always seems to have a sexual content, with innuendo to the most disgusting and vile acts. This is an absolute disgrace and must cease immediately. The Canadian public airways are no place to be airing this teenage smut and disgusting concepts of how sexually perverse a person can be; it is an outrage.
When asked to provide a specific example he cited the March 20 show as "fairly typical."
CFNY-FM's program director in response agreed that some people might find the discussions offensive due to the sexual nature of some of the comments in question and offered his regrets that the complainant was offended by the program but said he did not "believe that the comments were of a sexually explicit nature," adding that the "material was presented using euphemisms and innuendoes and it was delivered in a comedic manner."
The CBSC found, because the content in question was sexual innuendo only that industry codes had not been breached leading to the request that the CRTC look at the issue.
The Commission commented that while the segment in question contained references to sexuality in passing, used euphemisms and had suggestive undertones, there were no descriptions of sexual acts, explicit or otherwise. Only one reference to the act of sex was made, it noted, and it was not descriptive in any way. Brief references to female body parts were also included, but they were not overtly sexual.
It found "no evidence that the program crossed the line into the realm of unduly sexually explicit material that would warrant regulatory intervention" and agreed with the CBSC that "there was no violation of established broadcast standards."
2010-07-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 7,00 to USD 5,600 the penalty it was proposing on Christian Action Team, Inc., former licensee of KJLG-FM (formerly KNGM-FM), Emporia, Kansas, for late filing of renewal application and subsequent unauthorized operation.
It issued the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture of USD 7,000 in February 2007 and Christian Action argued for cancellation on the basis that its failure was inadvertent; that it relied on erroneous information from FCC staff; and that it has a history of compliance with agency rules.
The FCC dismissed the first two arguments, noting in relation to the allegation of erroneous information from staff that no source or documentation concerning this had been provided: it did however reduce the penalty on the grounds of a history of compliance.
2010-07-07: Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenues in the financial year to the end of June were up 2.25% on a year earlier at AUD 647.32 million (USD 559.60 million), according to figures released today by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.
According to the 2010 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte, advertising revenue grew in all five metropolitan markets for the financial year, with the strongest growth recorded in Melbourne.
City by city the increases in descending were of 3.3% in Melbourne to AUD 195.41 million (USD 168.93 million); of 2.83% in Adelaide to AUD 61.64 million (USD 53.29 million); of 2.21% in Sydney to AUD 202.49 million (USD 175.05 million); of 1.3% in Brisbane to AUD 103.32 million (USD 89.32 million) and of 0.73% in Perth to AUD 84.46 million (USD 73.01 million).
Commercial Radio Australia added that the financial year figures ended with strong growth in June 2010 across the five metropolitan markets of 8.58 % to a total of AUD 63.21 million (USD 54/64 million). In May revenues were up 7.66% on a year earlier (See RNW Jun 7).
All markets recorded growth in June with Adelaide up 16.64% to AUD 6.30 million (USD 5.45 million); Perth up 13.97% to AUD 7.99 million (USD 6.91 million); Melbourne up 7.27% to AUD 19.45 million (USD 16.81 million); Sydney up 6.65% to AUD 19.67 million (USD 17.00 million) and Brisbane up 6.2% to AUD 9.79 million (USD 8.46 million).
The body's CEO Joan Warner said of the figures, "This is good news for the industry and reflects a strong turnaround from a slow start in the first few months of the financial year highlighting the resilience of the radio industry."
"The industry remains cautiously optimistic for the next twelve months but must continue to work hard to promote the strengths of radio for advertisers," she added.
Previous Australian radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-07-07: Sirius XM Radio has announced that it added more than 583,000 net subscribers in the second quarter of this year to reach a total of 19,527,448 and it increasing its guidance for the whole of this year to an addition of approximately 1.1 million, which would take its total to nearly 20 million.
The addition - of 754,690 net subscribers - compared with a fall of 185,999 in the second quarter of 2009 - and for the half year the company says it had added 754,690 net subscribers compared to a loss of 590,421 net subscribers in the first half of 2009.
Gross additions in the quarter it added increased by 46% and deactivations decreased by 8% compared to the second quarter of 2009 and self-pay churn improved to 1.8% for the second quarter of 2010 from 2.0% whilst the conversion rate from a trial subscription included in the sale of a vehicle to a self-pay subscription improved from 44.3% to 46.7%.
CEO Mel Karmazin commented in a release, "Our subscriber results mark the best quarter of gross additions, deactivations and net additions since the merger of Sirius and XM in July 2008. The strong execution in both adding subscribers and retaining them resulted in our record-high 19.5 million subscriber milestone, despite continued economic uncertainty."
"The further improvement in our guidance," he added, "reflects the attractiveness of satellite radio but maintains a cautious outlook for continued improvement in the economy."
Previous Sirius XM:
2010-07-7: Following the rebuff by the BBC Trust, which said it did not accept that the case had been made for the closure of digital station 6 Music (See RNW Jul 5), the BBC Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie has defended his strategy for radio but added that the Corporation had been "listening" to licence payers.
Appearing on The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 Davie said he would not resign over the issue, adding, "I will be judged on the quality of programming and the quality of networks."
Pushed on his strategy Davie said," "Part of the strategy I had was to question whether we needed a standalone network called 6 Music. We recommended less (RNW comment. We presume he meant fewer) services but we also said 'Let's put this out to consultation'. We have been pushed back and the licence fee payers have spoken and I think we're listening."
The trust told BBC executives to focus on "an overarching strategy for digital radio" and Davie said, it had not said the executive didn't have strategy adding that the proposal to close 6 Music was "one leg of our strategy of creating a more compelling digital portfolio" and that he didn't want radio "to be in a position where we are the only media not in the digital world."
When the plans to close the station were revealed by BBC Director General Mark Thompson in March (See RNW Mar 2) Davie had defended the decision in a BBC blog in which he noted that one in five adults had heard of the station and under one in 50 listened each week, adding, "Yes, we could invest heavily in marketing to try to address this, but my preference that money is focused on unique, high quality radio, not supporting a large number of services." On the Media Show he said of the furore, "There was some debate about 6 Music - to put it mildly [but] I had never questioned the validity of us covering those music genres."
2010-07-07: St Louis's only classical station KUOM-FM ended its broadcasts on Tuesday evening with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: Its frequency has been sold by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to Gateway Creative Broadcasting's JOY-FM, which is using it to air Christian contemporary pop although the Synod has kept the AM signal, which airs Christian talk radio, and is continuing to put out a classical service - Classic99 - on the Internet.
A note on the Classic99 web site from Dennis Stortz, Director of Broadcast Operations, says, "For 62 years it has been our pleasure to serve the community and our listening audience. Thank you for all the support and valued relationships during these many years."
Stortz has been kept but 14 other employees of the station, most of them long-time employees, have lost their jobs and according to KTVI-FOX2now.com the Church forced all employees to sign an agreement that may be illegal under Missouri and Federal Labour law. The station says that the agreement It states that if employees want six months severance pay they can not work for anyone, at any job, anywhere, for those 6 months, conditions that it adds seem to be illegal according to labour attorneys.
Classic99 web site:
2010-07-07: US National Public Radio (NPR) has appointed Deborah Cowan, Radio One Inc.'s SVP, Finance, as its Chief Financial Officer.
She will leave Radio One this month and join NPR at the start of August. Cowan joined Radio One in 2001 and was promoted from Vice President of Finance to Senior Vice President of Finance in March 2005 with an expanded remit that made her responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Company's finance and accounting departments.
NPR SVP/Strategic Operations & Finance Debra Delman said of the appointment that Cowan's "financial expertise, radio and media experience, and her passion for the NPR brand will be a tremendous asset to the organization."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2010-07-06: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now posted its approval of the transfer of all but two of the former Regent Communications licenses to new owners Townsquare Media.
The stations had been moved into The Regent Trust, which operated them under a TBA with Townsquare when Regent left Channel 11 bankruptcy in April (See RNW Apr 27).
The new owners, controlled by Oaktree Capital, changed the company's name to Townsquare in May (See RNW May 3) but market ownership limits meant that it has to sell Classic Rock KARS-FM, Ft. Collins, Colorado, and Alternative KFTE-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana, as the change of ownership ended the "grandfathered" provisions which had allowed the company to retain them.
These two stations have now been transferred into the newly-created Fort Collins-Lafayette Divestiture Trust and Broadcast Management & Technology CEO Jay Meyers, who had been overseeing the Regent Trust, is inviting offers for them.
2010-07-06: Emmis Communications has announced that it has commenced an offer to exchange shares of Emmis' outstanding 6.25% Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock for 12% PIK Senior Subordinated Notes due 2017 at a rate of USD 30.00 of the new Notes for each USD 50.00 of the existing stock (excluding accrued and unpaid dividends).
The offer closes at 1700 ET on August 3 and Emmis has also announced a special shareholders' meeting at 18:30 in Indianapolis to vote on amendments to the terms of the Existing Preferred Stock.
Emmis additionally announced that JS Acquisition, the Indian corporation set up by its Chairman, President and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan has extended the deadline for its offer to purchase all of Emmis' outstanding shares of Class A common stock for USD 2.40 per share in cash to the same deadline as the exchange offer.
2010-07-06: UK Media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upheld one TV standards complaint and posted details of two more that it did not uphold but considered no Fairness and Privacy complaints and upheld no radio ones.
It also listed without details 553 TV complaints against 199 items - 134 of them in the elections/referendums category against one advert and a further 141 in the same category - and 22 radio complaints against 17 items it did not uphold: This compared to 154 TV complaints against 129 items and 21 radio complaints against 21 items in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2010-07-05: In initial conclusions about the future of the Corporation, the BBC Trust has rejected plans to close digital radio station 6 Music, saying the BBC Executive has not made the case for this, but has indicated that it would consider proposals from the Director General for a "different shape for the BBC's music radio stations as part of a new strategy" should the DG wish to propose this.
There have been widespread protests from listeners, musicians and the music industry about the proposed closure and the Trust noted "significant public support" for the service and said that 78% of almost 50,000 online responses to its consultation on the future of the BBC focused on the station. It also received more than 25,000 e-mails and nearly 250 letters concerning the station, the great majority of them opposing closure.
There was no reprieve however for the Asian Network and in a release Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons added that it would consider a formal proposal for its closure, although this must include a proposition for meeting the needs of the station's audience in different ways.
In relation to other plans the Trust has endorsed the Executive's proposed 25 per cent budget reduction, although it says it "will want to understand and approve the editorial changes involved" and adds "In line with the Executive's proposals, the BBC should sharpen online's focus so that it is truly distinctive and has clearer editorial vision and control."
Regarding TV the Trust commented, "At this stage there is no need for radical changes to the current portfolio, but the BBC needs to identify future tipping points where reassessment of the structure will become necessary, such as full digital switchover in 2012 and 50 per cent of viewing on a non-linear basis. The BBC has more to do to ensure programmes are truly high quality and distinctive."
The Trust also approved the proposals to close the Blast! Service and left the decision on closure of BBC Switch to the Executive.
The Trusts announcement was posted in tandem with the Corporation's 2009-10 Report and Accounts (Posted as four PDFs totalling 9.50 MB and some 28o Pages. We are still ploughing through these and plan to expand this report.).
BBC download page (Links to PDFs of report and accounts):
2010-07-05: UK Guardian Media Group (GMG) has announced that Andrew Miller, previously the company's chief financial officer, has been appointed chief executive to succeed Carolyn McCall, who left the Group at the end of June to become chief executive of easyJet.
Miller became GMG CFO in August last year before which he was CFO of Trader Media Group, the Auto Trader publisher jointly owned by GMG and Apax Partners, for more than six years: After it announced that McCall was leaving (See RNW Mar 24) GMG named him interim CEO until a permanent appointment was made.
GMG chair Amelia Fawcett said of the appointment, "Andrew is the ideal appointment to this role, following a rigorous recruitment process that produced a very high-quality shortlist of candidates. He has great financial acumen, an intimate understanding of GMG's portfolio and a full appreciation of our unique purpose and values. He knows how to drive successful digital transformation and has led large-scale financial transactions. Most importantly, he has the ability, desire and vision to lead GMG through the next stage of its development and to ensure a sustainable future for our journalism."
Previous Guardian Media Group:
2010-07-04: Last week saw quite a few radio licensing decisions but no major initiatives from the regulators with North America the busiest area although there were decisions from every area: In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has registered new commercial radio codes relating to the airing of Australian music (See RNW Jul 2).
The agency also issued a temporary community radio licence to Melbourne Jewish Radio, the faith's first full-time service in the city (See RNW Jun 30), posted new Community broadcasting participation guidelines, and found that a Queensland community station had breached rules requiring that sponsorship announcements be limited to five minutes per hour three times in January this year.
The station involved, 4DDB, Toowoomba, is licensed to Darling Downs Broadcasting Society Inc. under a long-term community licence and the ACMA noted that he breaches followed a number of programming and management changes at 4DDB in late 2007. As a result of this compliance history, the ACMA accepted an enforceable undertaking from the licensee in June 2009 detailing changes it would make to its operations, including changes to the way in which it schedules sponsorship announcements
It added that it considers that 4DDB's current management committee has worked cooperatively to address these operational issues and that it has demonstrated a commitment to meeting its obligations under the licence conditions and is to take no further action at this time although it will continue to monitor 4DDB's operations and the station is required to provide regular reports to the ACMA.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a fairly long list of licence renewals from July 1 to August 31, 2013, noting in each case that the short-term licence renewal will enable the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee's compliance with Canada's Radio Regulations.
The renewals were for (In order of province):
*Newcap's tourist information station CILR-FM Lloydminster (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns: Newcap has explained that this is because the station is run as a public service and had no revenues in 2008 and were not anticipated in future)
*Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's English-language specialty radio station CJRY-FM Edmonton (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns).
*Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership's specialty radio CJSI-FM, Calgary (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD -Canadian Talent Development - contributions).
*Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited's English-language specialty station CJLT-FM, Medicine Hat (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
Alberta and Saskatchewan:
*CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association's low-power, English-language Type B community radio station CIAM-AM, Fort Vermilion, and its transmitters CIAM-FM-1, Red Earth; CIAM-FM-2, Buffalo Head; CIAM-FM-3, Watt Mountain; CIAM-FM-4, Foggy Mountain; CIAM-FM-5, Weberville; CIAM-FM-6, Hines Creek; CIAM-FM-7, Slave Lake; CIAM-FM-8, Charlie Lake; CIAM-FM-10, Buckland (Saskatchewan); CIAM-FM-11, Vanderhoof; CIAM-FM-12, Cleardale; CIAM-FM-13, Peerless Lake; CIAM-FM-14, Wabasca; CIAM-FM-15, Fort Chipewyan; CIAM-FM-16, Meander River; CIAM-FM-17, Chateh and CIAM-FM-18, Manning (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns).
*Vista Radio Ltd.'s English-language commercial station CJCI-FM, Prince George (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns).
*663975 B.C. Ltd.'s English-language commercial station CKFU-FM. Fort St. John (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and the requirement to devote a percentage of the CTD contribution to FACTOR or MUSICACTION).
*Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's CKDV-FM Prince George and its transmitter CKMK-AM, Mackenzie (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD) contributions: the CRTC noted that in 2005 the Prince George Theatre Workshop collapsed and that due to a lack of community-led Canadian content development (CCD) initiatives to support at that time, the station management was unable to fulfil its CTD commitment for the year but increased them in 2006).
*Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s English-language specialty station CFEQ-FM (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to CTD contributions).
*TFG Communications Inc.'s CJRP-FM, Saint John, and its transmitter CJRP-FM-1, Rothesay (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited's English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CHOZ-FM, St. John's, and its transmitters CFOZ-FM, Argentia; CKMY-FM, Rattling Brook; CIOS-FM, Stephenville; CIOZ-FM, Marystown; CJOZ-FM, Elliston; CKOZ-FM, Corner Brook; CKSS-FM, Red Rocks and CJMY-FM, Clarenville (Considered to be in non-compliance in relation to the broadcast of Canadian musical selections).
*Coast Broadcasting Ltd.'s English-language commercial station CKSJ-FM, St. John's (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns).
*Hope FM Ministries Limited's English-language specialty radio station CINU-FM, Truro Calgary (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Sound of Faith Broadcasting's English-language specialty radio station CJFH-FM, Woodstock (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Mennonite Community Services of Southern Ontario's ethnic commercial station CHPD-FM, Aylmer (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns and proposed change to the station's condition of licence relating to the language of the programming to be broadcast).
*JOCO Communications Inc.'s English-language commercial station CFSF-FM, Sturgeon Falls (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions and filing of annual returns).
*The Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.'s English-language commercial station CHPB-FM, Cochrane (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited's English-language commercial station CISS-FM Ottawa (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*CHFN Communications Society's Native English-and Ojibway-language Type B station CHFN-FM, Cape Croker (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns).
*3885275 Canada Inc.'s commercial ethnic station CJSA-FM, Toronto (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Sound of Faith Broadcasting's English-language specialty station CJTW-FM, Kitchener (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Raedio Inc.'s commercial station CHGK-FM, Stratford (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*United Christian Broadcasters Canada's English-language commercial station CKJJ-FM, Belleville and its transmitters CKJJ-FM-1, Cobourg; CKJJ-FM-2, Brockville; CKJJ-FM-3, Kingston, and CKJJ-FM-4, Bancroft (Considered to be in non compliance because of failure to file annual returns and in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd.'s commercial ethnic FM radio station, CKDG-FM, Montréal (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
* Radio CJFP (1986) ltée's French-language commercial station CIEL-FM-4, Trois-Pistoles (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions).
*Radio Témiscamingue incorporée's English-language commercial station CKVM-FM, Ville-Marie, and its transmitter CKVM-FM-1, Témiscaming (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns and provision of Canadian Content Development (CCD) contributions (RNW Note CCD replaced CTD at the start of September 2008)).
*9174-8004 Québec inc.'s French-language commercial station CHEQ-FM, Sainte-Marie de Beauce (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions and filing of annual returns).
*Battlefords Tourism & Convention Association Inc.'s tourist information station CHBT-FM, North Battleford (Considered to be in non compliance in relation to the filing of annual returns).
*Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s English-language commercial station CKRM-AM, Regina (Considered to be in non-compliance in relation to the provision of CTD contributions, filing of annual returns, and broadcast of Canadian musical selections).
In Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed contracts for the licence renewals until 2019 for two community radio stations - Dundalk FM and Ros FM, each of which have been on the air since 2004 and also posted its June Compliance Committee decisions in which no radio complaints were upheld (See RNW Jul 1).
In the UK, Ofcom has now posted its proposals for allowing product placement on UK TV and paid-for-references to brands and products on UK radio (See RNW Jun 28) and also posted its 2009-10 annual report (See RNW Jul 2).
It also posted a consultation document regarding the decisions it is required to make when renewing radio multiplex licences. Responses have to be submitted by July 30.
Under its proposals the agency is now proposing that licensees submit a supplementary technical plan which sets out their existing coverage as measured by a new set of field strength levels provisionally agreed by key DAB stakeholders, and to then include a condition in the licences to ensure the continued provision of this level of coverage during the renewed licence period.
In regard to the national Digital One commercial multiplex it is not proposing any new requirements promoting the take-up of DAB receiving equipment and is also proposing not to require Digital One to pay a percentage of multiplex revenue. Regarding the latter, it says "This proposal takes into account our intention to commence charging for the spectrum occupied by digital terrestrial radio (i.e. DAB) broadcasters from the end of 2014, using Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP)."
It adds, however that if a clear policy decision is taken by Government to migrate radio broadcasting from the existing analogue platforms to DAB, we would need to look afresh at the efficiency benefits of introducing AIP to digital radio multiplexes.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has in a move into an area it rarely has to deal with 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 (See RNW Jun 30).
It also granted a further 90-day extension for various companies to file amendments to pending waiver requests or renewal applications or to file requests for permanent waivers of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule in view of their request that that the deadline be delayed until 90 days after the issuance of a final court order on pending judicial challenges to the Commission's modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule. The new deadline is October 4
The FCC has also set pleading cycles for comments on various data practice reviews including one related to the media bureau. In this it is asking for recommendations on the utility and rationale for its existing date collections including which it should continue, what alterations it should make, and which collections it can eliminate without reducing the effectiveness of its decision making. It is also asking how it could improve collection and analysis processes for existing data collections, how it can improve dissemination of analyses and reports it produces and whether additional data should be collected and if so for what purpose, how it should collect the information, expected costs and burdens to the agency and industry that would arise and any confidentiality or other issues that would impact the Bureau's collection or reporting of the data.
Comments have to be filed by August 13 and reply comments by September 13.
In enforcement actions the agency has cancelled a USD 7,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) it issued more than three years ago to a North Carolina station and also issued a USD 500 to a Washington State Low Power FM (See RNW Jun 28): Later in the week it issued a USD 1,200 penalty to Oberlin College Student Network, Inc. licensee of Station WOBC-FM, Oberlin, Ohio, for late filing of licence renewal application. It had issued a USD 1,500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to which Oberlin responded by asking for a reduction on the basis that the failure was inadvertent, financial hardship and a history of compliance. The FCC rejected the first argument and noted that no documentation had been supplied to sustain the financial hardship argument but did reduce the penalty to USD 1,200 on the basis of a history of compliance.
Amongst radio licensing decisions, the agency has posted details of its consideration of awards tentatively made under its points system for 52 groups of mutually exclusive applications for permits to construct new or modified non-commercial educational (NCE) FM stations filed in the October 2007 filing window.
The applications are for stations in Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Louisiana; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Hampshire; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Vermont; and Wisconsin.
The selectees were:
Group 300 - Alaska Federation for Community Self Reliance ("AFCSR") with a service to Fairbanks - one of 11 groups applying for licences to serve five communities in Alaska.
Group 301 - Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corporation ("KPBC") - one of seven applications proposing services to Kodiak.
Group 302 - Alaska Educational Radio System, Inc. ("AERS") for a service to Seldovia - one of six applications proposing services to Seldovia or Homer.
Group 303 - New Life Tabernacle Homer AK with a service to Kenai - one of six applications for services to six communities.
Group 304 - Harvest Christian Fellowship, Inc. with a service to Piedmont, Alabama - one of four applications for services to Piedmont or Cedartown, Georgia.
Group 305A - The Enon Grove Community Church and Christian Eagle Association, Inc. ("Enon") for a service to Franklin, Georgia: It was competing with an application to serve Roanoke, Alabama.
Group 305B - Harvest Christian Fellowship, Inc. ("Harvest") for a service to Union Springs - one of six applications proposing services to three communities in Alabama.
Group 309 - East Valley Institute of Technology District # 401 ("EVIT") for a service Tonopah, Arizona - one of nine applications proposing services to six communities in Arizona and Texas.
Group 311A - Bird Street Media Project ("BSMP") - one of three applications for a service to Oroville, California.
Group 312 - Regents of the University of California ("UC Regents") - one of five applications for a service to Livermore, California.
Group 314 - People of Progress, Inc. ("POP") for a service to Shasta - one of eight applications for services to eight communities in California.
Group 315 - Vida Worth Vivir, Inc. ("VWV") for a service to Meadow Vista - one of five applications to serve five communities in California.
Group 316 - California Association for Research and Education ("CARE") for a service to Paicines - one of five applications to serve three communities in California.
Group 318 - Calvary Chapel of Modesto, Inc. ("Calvary Modesto") for a service to Dos Palos - one of ten applications to serve four communities in California.
Group 320 - South Valley Peace Center ("SVPC") for a service to Tulare - one of four applications to serve three communities in California.
Group 322 - Crested Butte Mountain Educational Radio, Inc. ("CBMER") for a service to Gunnison - One of nine applications to serve four communities in Colorado.
Group 323 - Summit Public Radio and TV, Inc. for a service to Breckenridge - one of eight applications to serve five communities in Colorado.
Group 325 - Community Radio for Northern Colorado ("CRNC") for a service to Silverthorne - One of 12 applications to serve nine communities in Colorado.
Group 326 - Bryant University ("Bryant") for a service to Danielson, Connecticut - one of five applications to serve five communities in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Group 327 - Legion of Christ College, Inc. ("LCC") for a service to Wethersfield - one of six applications to serve four communities in Connecticut.
Group 328 -Help Save the Apalachicola River Group, Inc. ("HSARG") and Martin Bayou Management Corporation ("MBMC") on a time-sharing basis for services to Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach respectively - two of ten applications for five communities in Florida.
Group 329 - Clean Air Broadcasting Corporation ("Clean Air") for a service to Key West, Florida - one of eight applications to serve Key West.
Group 333 - Calvary Chapel of Melbourne, Inc. ("CCM") for a service to Kenansville - one of 11 applications proposing service to seven different communities in Georgia.
Group 334 - Calvary Fellowship, Inc. ("Calvary") for a service to Tavernier - one of five applications proposing to serve four different communities in Florida.
Group 336 - Radio Training Network, Inc. ("RTN") for a service to Claxton - one of six applications proposing service to five different communities in Georgia.
Group 337A - Southwest Project for Community Education, Inc. ("SPCE") for a service to Sasser - one of four applications proposing service to three different communities in Georgia.
Group 337B - Mission Support Service ("MSS") for a service to Hawkinsville - one of four applications proposing service to four different communities in Georgia.
Group 338 - Calvary Chapel of Thomasville, Inc. ("CCT") for a service to Pave - one of five applications proposing service to four different communities in Georgia.
Group 340 - Common Ground Athens, Inc. ("CGA") for a service to Nicholson - one of six applications proposing to serve three different communities in Georgia.
Group 341 - Calvary Chapel Kauai ("CCK") for a service to Lihue - one of four applications proposing service to three different communities in Hawaii.
Group 342 - Calvary Chapel Kona, Inc. ("CC Kona") for a service to Kailua Kona - one of six applications proposing service to five different communities in Hawaii.
Group 344 - Bloomington Normal Broadcasting Corporation ("BNBC") for a service to Hamilton, Illinois - one of five applications proposing service to four different communities in Iowa and Illinois.
Group 346 - Idaho Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Inc. ("ICSDA") for a service to McCall - competing with another Idaho application for a service to New Meadows.
Group 347 - Believer's Broadcasting Corporation ("BBC") for a service to Table Grove - one of four applications proposing service to two different communities in Illinois.
Group 350 - Inter Mirifica, Inc. ("Mirifica") for a service to Noblesville - one of five applications proposing service to two different communities in Indiana.
Group 351 - Horizon Christian Fellowship of Indianapolis, Inc. ("HCFI") for a service to Morristown - one of 10 applications proposing service to four different communities in Indiana.
Group 353 - Summit Seekers, Inc. ("SSI") for a service to Laurel, Indiana - one of seven applications proposing service to five different communities in Ohio and Indiana.
Group 354 - Harvest Chapel, Inc. ("HCI") for a service to Otterbein - one of five applications proposing service to three different communities in Indiana.
Group 359 - Covenant Network ("Covenant") for a service to Houma, Louisiana - one of 10 applications proposing service to seven different communities in Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Crisis Pregnancy Help Center of Slidell ("CPHC") for a service to Slidell - one of five applications proposing service to five different communities in Louisiana.
Group 362 - - Glory2Glory Educational Foundation, Inc. ("G2G") for a service to Bastrop, Louisiana - one of seven applications proposing service to six different communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Group 365 - Prayers for Life, Inc. ("PFL") for a service to Shirley - one of five applications proposing service to four different communities in Massachusetts.
Group 371 - Rochester Community and Technical College ("RCTC") for a service to Stewartville, Minnesota - one of eight applications proposing service to seven different communities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Group 374 - Immanuel Baptist Church ("IBC") for a service to Robbinsdale, Minnesota - one of five applications proposing service to four different communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Group 379 - Toccoa Foundation, Inc. ("Toccoa") for a service to Dillsboro - one of five applications proposing service to four different communities in North Carolina.
Group 380 - Pathway Christian Academy, Inc. ("Pathway") for a service to Hertford - one of six applications proposing service to four different communities in North Carolina.
Group 381 - : Brice's Creek Bible Church ("Brice") for a service to Newport- one of five applications proposing service to five different communities in North Carolina.
Group 384 - Granite State Educational Fellowship ("Granite") for a service to North Charleston, New Hampshire - one of eight applications proposing service to seven different communities in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Group 389 - Available Media, Inc. ("AMI") for a service to Tohajiilee Indian Reservation - of eight applications proposing service to seven different communities in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Group 392 - Hamptons Community Radio Corporation ("HCRC") for a service to Westhampton- one of eight applications proposing service to six different communities in New York.
Group 393 - Mission Connecticut, Inc. ("MCI") for a service to Brewster - six applications proposing service to three different communities in New York and Connecticut.
Group 394 - and Long Island Acorn ("LIA") for a service to Riverhead - one six applications proposing service to five different communities in New York.
There is now a 30-day window for those who did not gain licences to file petitions to deny.
In a further NCE decisions posted the FCC rejected a petition from Harvest Time Apostolic Ministries seeking reconsideration of a staff dismissal of its application for a new NCE FM in Barstow, California.
Harvest Time was amongst 26 mutually-exclusive applicants for a licence to serve 12 different communities in California and Nevada and in October last year the FCC determined that the Hilltop Church application for a new NCE FM station in Pahrump, Nevada, was entitled to a decisive preference.
Harvest Time submitted that it has submitted with its Petition an "amendment resolving all mutual exclusivities" and maintains that the Application is now grantable as a "singleton" application but the FCC disagreed and said the amended application was still in conflict with six applications in the group and that the conflict was removed not by Harvest Time but by its action in tentatively selecting the Hilton application.
In Mississippi, the FCC granted an application from Quitman County Development Organization, d/b/a Deep South Delta Foundation, for a new NCE FM station in Clarksdale and rejected a petition to deny this from Blues and Gospel Heritage Association, which had submitted a mutually exclusive application for a new NCE FM in Jonestown.
The latter argued that its application should have been preferred because it not only "provides a first NCE reception service" to "virtually the same area" as the Quitman Application, but it also proposes a first local transmission service to Jonestown and also that Quitman had failed to submit documents "showing the basis of its calculations that the city of Clarksdale has no NCE reception service"; saying that the projected 60 dBu contour of NCE Station WMAV-FM, Oxford, bisects Clarksdale; and that Quitman failed to substantiate its claims that it has a local presence and has been an established local applicant for over 24 months prior to its application filing.
The FCC said the points raised were not substantial enough to warrant denial of Quitman's application.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BAI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2010-07-04: International satellite radio operator WorldSpace, now bought by Yazmi USA that is controlled by the company's founder Noah Samara (See RNW Jun 25), would appear to have lost at least one contract in India, which was its largest subscriber base.
The loss however is not a radio one but a data transmission deal with the Press Trust of India (PTI), which supplied its service to more than 250 customers using a WorldSpace link: Information Week reports that concern about the future of the service after WorldSpace declared bankruptcy led the PTI to look at other options.
It quoted PTI Chief Information Officer Tridib Bordoloi as saying, "Ever since World Space filed for bankruptcy, our strategy from day one has been to maintain continuity and explore alternatives (to World Space). We wanted to provide an alternate delivery mechanism to our subscribers in addition to World Space providing them the current service. In case World Space was unable to extend the agreement beyond March 31, 2010 at least our subscribers would not be adversely affected."
Bordoloi, reports Information Week stared talking to telecom vendors but realized that the problem could be an opportunity and the company has now developed a proprietary content distribution system using the Internet to deliver its news serviced in encrypted form.
Dell and Microsoft are collaborating in the development and tests across PTI offices in Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai and with subscribers have shown the system to be faster and reliable than other options and also offer the benefit of being able to supply the PTI service to anyone worldwide with a suitable Internet connection. For the existing subscriber base the new system, says Bordoloi, will return its investment within a year.
Information Week report:
2010-07-03: Mike O'Meara, best known for his partnership with Don Geronimo on the "Don and Mike" show for more than two decades until his partner left the show in 2008 (See RNW Feb 25, 2008) is to return to the Washington DC airwaves on Wednesday, courtesy of Citadel..
O'Meara continued on CBS Radio's WJFK-FM after Don Geronimo left but was dropped when the station flipped to a sports-talk format last year (See RNW Jul 15, 2009) although he went on to produce a podcast of his own programme.
His new gig is for the "The Kirk McEwen and Mike O'Meara Show" morning show on Citadel's classic rock WVRX-FM (The Edge) and O'Meara will be teamed with Kirk McEwen, who joined the station in November last year as afternoon-drive host.
The station's website is currently promoting the new team and in its announcement quotes station Operations Manager Kenny King as saying, "Kirk & Mike are two extremely popular radio personalities that each have an incredible D.C. and Baltimore fan base, and it's so exciting to be able to put them together on The Edge. However, I feel the need to apologize in advance for what's about to happen on 105.9-FM because I can't predict the type of trouble these guys are gonna get us into .I guarantee it'll be entertaining though."
McEwen says "In a city known for its monuments, this is monumental! I couldn't be more amped" and O'Meara as adding, "For the first time in my career, my favourite music will be on the same station with my favourite personality, me."
As part of its promotion of the show it says that the duo will buy lunch for the first 105 fans to stop by at an event it is staging in Washington DC.
The Edge web site:
2010-07-03: BBC Radio 5 Live is to introduce a "Men's Hour" show later this month, a series of seven programmes that it in its news release says will be a "cheeky younger brother" to BBC Radio 4's "Women's Hour", which has been on the air for 64 years.
The station adds, "Less about leering at ladies and more concerned with how to maintain monogamy, this is the men's magazine women have been waiting for.
The new series was created by Tim Samuels, who will also host it with each programme to feature "guest interviews and regular features such as Questions You Daren't Ask Your Doctor and Midlife Music Crisis".
Samuels said of its style, "It's about capturing the spirit of when good mates sit around nowadays - amidst all the banter you can actually open up about what's on your mind without being ripped apart. We're celebrating modern man's mix of swagger and neurosis."
It will be produced by Jon Holmes for Tonic Productions, in association with Fresh One Productions: Holmes himself is to get a one-off programme - "Jon Holmes' Mob Rule" -on the station on July 25.
The BBC describes this as an offering in which "The 6 Music presenter dips a radio sieve in the stream of public consciousness from the Have Your Say and Comments pages on the worldwide web to pan for comedy gold."
Continuing in similar vein it adds, "Twitter, radio phone-ins, newspaper blogs and all manner of multi-platform outlets offer the general public opportunities to vent their views on global and local proceedings. Jon Holmes and guests will circle the globe, collecting the thoughts, hopes, dreams and completely odd offerings of the opinion-spewing public in a quest to find out whether the people really know best."
Online events also feature in "Web 2010 With Helen & Olly", which airs tomorrow and in which Olly Mann and Helen Zaltzman look at who's made the web headlines this year, who the internet has turned into a star and who it has humiliated, and how the World Cup was played out online.
Other new offerings from the station include "Chart The Week ", a seven-part Sunday morning topical news series hosted by Richard Bacon that will launch on July 18. In it Bacon will be joined by a panel of special guests to dissect the 10 most talked about stories of the week.
2010-07-03: A filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that by July 1, only 1,335,101 shares have been tendered in and not withdrawn from the offer by JS Acquisition, a company set up for the purpose of the bid by Emmis chairman, president and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan, to take the company private: The offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Class A Common Stock was, says the filing for fee purposes, made on a basis that "assumes the purchase of all 32,910,753 shares" of the stock - meaning that only some 4% of stock holders have taken up the offer, which was originally to have closed on June 25 but was extended (See RNW Jun 23).
A number of shareholders have gone to law about the offer - Emmis says in the filing that seven putative class action suits had been filed by July 1 - claiming that they are being offered an artificially low price and that Smulyan and Emmis's Board have breached their fiduciary duties by selling the stock at USD 2.40 a share.
This 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 in April (See RNW Apr 26) but Emmis stock has since risen and it closed last week at USD 2:20 having ranged between USD 2.03 and USD 2.36 since the end of April.
The filing adds that all the suits named Smulyan an each member of its board and some also named JS Acquisition and Alden Global Capital Ltd, which is financing the deal, as defendants (suits from Ross, Hinkle, McQueen, and Stabosz named Alden, which has joined in the Motion to Dismiss these suits).
The filing says that in the course of the SEC review process the board reconvened on June 30 to consider the fairness of the Offer to unaffiliated holders of Existing Preferred Stock (although Heath Freeman did not attend) and that the members of the board who were present determined that the offer is fair.
2010-07-02: New Australian commercial radio Codes of Practice relating to the airing of music have now been posted following their registration with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The codes were developed by industry body Commercial Radio Australia and registered following endorsement by commercial radio broadcasters and consultation with the listening public.
The code relating to music - Code 4 - sets quotas for the broadcast of Australian music by commercial radio licensees and in line with the regulatory approach taken for digital television services, the ACMA has agreed to register a temporary exemption from the Australian music obligations for new digital-only services.
It is the last of the industry's codes to be registered following an extensive review of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice 2004and Codes 1-3 and 5-8 were registered in February: In addition Commercial Radio Australia is developing new codes relating to the protection of participants in commercial radio in response to the findings of the ACMA's investigation into live hosted programs following the row over a Kyle and Jackie O (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson) show in which a girl subjected to a lie-detector test said on air that she had been raped when aged 12 (See RNW July 30, 2009).
Commenting on the exemptions for digital services, ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman said, "In these early days of digital radio, licensees should be afforded the opportunity to experiment with programming formats, including the programming of niche services such as 'event channels' like Pink Radio and Radio GaGa."
In regards to music, the code's purpose is set out as being to promote "the role of broadcasting services in developing and reflecting a sense of Australian identity, character and cultural diversity, by prescribing minimum content levels of Australian music. "
It sets down the applicable proportion of total time or total number of Australian musical items for a service depending on its predominant format.
The highest percentage of not less than 25% applies to Mainstream Rock; Album Oriented Rock; Contemporary Hits; Top 40; or Alternative formats.
Next is not less than 20% for Hot/MainstreamAdult Contemporary; Country; or Classic Rock followed by not less than 15% for Soft Adult Contemporary; Hits & Memories; Gold -encompassing Classic Hits; and Hip Hop.
These are followed by not less than 10% for Oldies; Easy Listening; Easy Gold; or Country Gold and not less than 5% for Nostalgia; Jazz; or NAC (smooth jazz).
The Code also sets out the proportions of new Australian performances -ranging from not less than 15% to not less than 25% - that have to be aired as a proportion of Australian performances aired but notes that this is subject to "the release of such Performances by the Australian record industry in numbers that are substantially the same as those released in the financial year ending 30 June, 1998."
If there is a substantial decrease the proportions may be varied in consultation with AMPCOM (the Australian Music Performance Committee) and in addition should a service change its format AMPCOM has to be notified in writing within seven days.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2010-07-02: UK media regulator Ofcom in its 2009-10 annual report highlights economic problems and the effect these have had on the media industry and as far as radio is concerned Chief Executive Ed Richards singles out the fifth year for Community Radio.
He comments, "This has been a real success story. Since the first station - the Eye in Melton Mowbray - hit the airwaves in November 2005 we have licensed stations across all parts of the UK to willing and capable people with a real passion for their community and broadcasting. Today there are over 160 stations on-air, with a potential audience of eight million people, delivering a rich range of content, catering for the young, the old, different ethnic groups, religions and specialist music genres."
in the year the regulator made a GBP 7.5 million (USD 11.4 million) saving against its 2009/10 budget of GBP 136.8 million (USD 207.8 million).
One reason for the saving, he adds is the decision taken in the year by its Remuneration Committee to freeze all staff pay and reduce the number of people eligible for performance pay.
The UK Guardian quotes quotes Richards as saying that more cuts are on the way with a budget review likely to result in a "significant reduction" in expenditure, with "job losses likely": Richards himself, has taken a 10% pay cut to GBP 343,000 (USD 521,000) in the 2010-11 financial year. The UK government said in its emergency budget last month that it was looking for savings in all areas of around 25%
The paper notes that Richards' remuneration in 2008-09 totalled GBP 392,000 (USD 596,000) but that in 2009-10 this was down to GBP 382,000 (USD 580,000) and that Ofcom chair Colette Brown, who was paid GBP 200,000 (USD 304,000) in the 2009-10 year is also to take a 10% pay cut next year. In her message in the report she commented, "We have seen redundancies and cutbacks in the communications sector, but also evidence of real resilience born of a tough competitive environment."
In her message in the report she commented, "We have seen redundancies and cutbacks in the communications sector, but also evidence of real resilience born of a tough competitive environment."
Last year current UK Prime Minister and then opposition leader David Cameron singled out Richards' pay as an example of an inflated publlic sector salary.
In terms of the coming year, the report indicated that as with this year more attention will be devoted to broadband and spectrum issues than to broadcasting.
In the last year Ofcom's remit was extended to include video on demand, including the provision of such service on the internet but Philip Graf, Ofcom Content Board and Radio Licensing Committee chairman adds that "the power of traditional media remained very apparent - and occasionally the power to offend, illustrated by the Ross-Brand affair."
He also comments on changes being made in relation to the rules concerning advertising including consideration of easing regulation of sponsorship of radio programming (See RNW Jun 28).
In relation to the move to digital broadcasting, Graf comments that "The Government's Digital Britain initiative, and subsequent Digital Economy Act, took radio policy forward in two major ways. Firstly a plan for an industry-wide upgrade from analogue to digital, with corresponding licensing measures to enable this. Secondly, a liberalization of the statutory constraints within which Ofcom regulates local radio."
"Against this backdrop," he adds "the Content Board wanted to take a strategic look at radio regulation in the medium term, considering the future shape of the sector, taking full account of changes in technology and consumer behaviour.
The resulting thinking has fed into a Statement on Localness Regulation that Ofcom published shortly after the passing of the Digital Economy Act. This gives local radio stations greater freedom to co-operate by 'co-locating' their studios, and sharing programming, while preserving local content that listeners value, and prioritizing news delivery."
Regarding broadcasting complaints the report noted that during 2009/10 Ofcom received 28,281 programme complaints, either from viewers or listeners, or from people featured in programmes. Of these of which 28,072 were complaints about programme standards and 209 were complaints about alleged unfairness and/or unwarranted infringements of privacy.
A total of 10,888 cases (28,281 complaints) were resolver of which 10,888 cases (28,281 complaints) were standards complaints. 132 of these were upheld and a further 13 cases were resolved with 10,514 cases were not in breach or out of remit.
Of the Fairness and Privacy complaints five were partly upheld and three were not upheld by the Fairness Committee and a further four were upheld and 11 partly upheld by the Executive. In addition the Executive considered a further nine resolved, rejected 55, and a further 122 not entertained or discontinued.
Fines included one of GBP 150,000 (USD 240,000) in respect to the Russell Brand Show on BBC Radio 2 in which messages concerning his granddaughter were left on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs relating to claims that Brand had sex with his granddaughter (See RNW Oct 26, 2008) and Lakeland Radio was fined GBP 15,000 (USD 24,000) for running a competition that entrants could not win ( See RNW May 29, 2009).
In terms of radio licensing, the report notes that during the year 26 new community radio licences were awarded, taking the total to more than 220, with 167 stations on air. It also noted various format changes for commercial radio and developments of additional digital multiplexes.
UK Guardian report:
2010-07-01: Sacramento-headquartered Bustos Media is joining the ranks of US radio groups to be taken over by its senior lenders - NewStart, Atalaya, and Prudential - and its co-founder Amador Bustos, who was chairman and CEO, and his brother John, who was the company's Operative Vice President, have already left the group.
The brothers had earlier launched Z-Spanish Media, which they set up in 1992 with USD 3 million of private equity investment and built into a chain of 32 stations before they sold out to Entravision in 2000 for USD 475 million.
Bustos Media was founded with investments from Providence Equity Partners of Rhode Island; Alta Communications of Boston; and Opportunity Capital of Fremont, California. It had built a portfolio of 28 radio stations and produced two nationally-syndicated carried by 55 affiliated stations.
In January this year Bustos Media had revealed that it was in technical default with its lenders and had missed some payments and broken loan covenant agreements but Amador Bustos said that the owings were less than USD 100 million and there was no danger of bankruptcy but that the lenders had hired Jay Meyers of Broadcast Management & Technology to work on "fine-tuning" the operation.
The lenders at the time said they were working on an "orderly fix" and in his latest memo Amador Bustos acknowledged their "patience."
The memo says that until the licence transfer is approved Meyers will serve as the interim CEO.
The Bustos Media website is currently the lines that it is under construction and that"A new Bustos Media page is coming soon."
Previous Amador Bustos:
Previous Bustos Media:
2010-07-01: BBC Radio 2 has announced that Irish comedian Patrick Kielty is to take over Jonathan Ross's Saturday morning slot for ten weeks from July 24 until October 2 when Graham Norton will take over the 10:00 to 13:00 slot permanently.
Kielty, who presented the station's New Year's Resolutions show in January and The People's Artist Chart in April, said in a BBC release, "I'm delighted to be sharing Saturday mornings with the listeners of Radio 2. I've had great craic (Gaelic for good times- pronounced "crack") making my shows earlier this year and I'm really looking forward to kick-starting the weekend on the wireless this summer."
Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, added, "It's always exciting to introduce new regular voices to the schedule, and I'm delighted that Patrick will have a lengthy stint on the network this summer."
Ross did not renew his BBC contract and his last show is July 17th.
2010-07-01: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has today opened the nominations list for this year's NAB HD Radio Multicast Award: The awards were launched in 2007 and recognize "an HD Radio multicast station at the forefront of creating unique, innovative or groundbreaking programming an HD Radio multicast station at the forefront of creating unique, innovative or groundbreaking programming."
Nominations have to be in by July 30 and the award will be presented during the 2010 Radio Show, which is to be held from September 29 to October 1 in Washington, DC.
2010-07-01: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has now signed contracts for the licence renewals until 2019 for two community radio stations - Dundalk FM and Ros FM, each of which have been on the air since 2004.
Dundalk FM, operated by Dundalk Media Centre Limited, will broadcast a mix of talk-based programmes, special interest speech, special interest music, religious, sports with many programmes produced and presented by community groups from the broadcast area operated by Dundalk Media Centre Limited, will broadcast a mix of talk-based programmes, special interest speech, special interest music, religious, sports with many programmes produced and presented by community groups from the broadcast area.
Ros FM, operated by RosFM Community Radio Limited, will provide a community radio services for Roscommon Town and Environs including programming made by, and relevant to, those with disabilities, the older aged, women, lone parents, youth, unemployed, and voluntary groups.
The BAI has also posted its June Compliance Committee decisions, upholding five complaints against one TV broadcast on RTE One and partially upholding a further complaint against the station over another programme on the same date. No radio complaints were upheld.
In all the Committee considered 12 complaints, four of which were against radio.
Previous BAI Complaints:
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