Raúl Alarcón Jr. - Chairman & CEO, Spanish Broadcasting System; Meredith Attwell Baker -- Republican FCC Commissioner (To leave and join Comcast); George G. Beasley - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Beasley Broadcast Group; Colleen B. Brown - President and CEO, Fisher Communications; Tom Casey - CFO & EVP Clear Channel; Chris Chapman - (2) - Chairman, Australian Communications and Media Authority; Tim Davie - Director BBC Audio & Music; Lewis W. Dickey Jr. - chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media; Guy Dobson - CEO Austereo; Clare Duignan -Managing Director of RTÉ Radio; David J. Field - President and CEO Entercom; Konrad von Finckenstein - Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); Randy Falco - Executive Vice President and COO, Univision; David K Frear - EVP and CFO Sirius XM Radio; Julius Genachowski - FCC chairman; Ray Hadley -2GB, Sydney, morning host; Jeff Haley- President and CEO, the Radio Advertising Bureau, US;Derryn Hinch - (2) - Melbourne 3AW Afternoon host; John Hogan - President and CEO, Clear Channel Radio; Catherine L Hughes - founder and chairwoman Radio 1 Inc.; Alan Jones - (2) - Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Mel Karmazin - CEO Sirius XM Radio; Lenard Liberman - CEO and president, LBI Media; Alfred C. Liggins III - (2) - president and chief executive, Radio One Inc.; Barry Mayo - President Radio One Inc. radio division; Simon Mayo - British Radio host; John McMahon- Head of RTÉ 2fm; Ruxandra Obreja - chair Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) ; Michael O'Keeffe - chief executive Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; Leslie Moonves -President and CEO, CBS Corporation; Robert F. Neil - Executive Vice-President, Cox Media Group - formerly President and Chief Executive Officer, Cox Radio, US- to retire end of May; Prashant Panday - Executive Director & CEO, Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), operators of Radio Mirchi; Richard Park - Group executive director and director of broadcasting, Global Radio; Sumner M. Redstone - chairman,Viacom and CBS; Rod Sherwood - President & CFO, Westwood One; Jeffrey H. Smulyan - Chairman, president, and CEO, Emmis Communications; Peter D. Thompson - Chief Financial Officer, Radio One Inc.; Walter F. Ulloa - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entravision; Joan Warner - CEO, industry body ;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once
May 2011 Archive
2011-05 31: BBC Radio 4 lost its "pips" for three hours tonight -thanks to computer problems. Normally six pips introduce almost all Radio 4 news programmes - five for a tenth of a second and the sixth for half a second marking the stat of the hour - but tonight after the announcer for the flagship early evening news programme had introduced it with "Time for PM with Eddie Mair" instead of the pips silence followed.
Mair said of their absence, "It is five o'clock. Well, there were no pips in essence. We've been making checks. We've been told it is a computer error."
Later in the programme Mair interviewed BBC Broadcast engineer John-Paul Dunkley who said, "The box that creates the audio of the pips has died unfortunately in the basement of Broadcasting House. We do have a reserve but unfortunately that has not been picked up."
He noted that the bongs that greet the start of the six o'clock and midnight news bulletins, and are recorded from the Palace of Westminster's Big Ben, were not affected
At 7-o-clock the pips were still missing and the announcer said a "dignified silence" would have to suffice but they were back for the eight-o-clock news bulletin.
The pips originate from an atomic clock set to Coordinated Universal Time, which includes leap seconds, in BBC Broadcasting House.
2011-05 31: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 20,000 penalty to a Florida woman for operation of an unauthorized FM in North Miami.
Nounoune Lubin had been issued with a NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount in September last year when FCC checks showed that she had continued to operate the station from her residence despite acknowledging receipt of two NOULs (Notices of Unlicensed Operation).
Lubin responded to the NAL requesting cancellation on the basis that she did not, and has not ever, operated an unlicensed radio station: The FCC commended that its evidence was of repeated operation of the station and that agents had "observed a clearly visible coaxial cable coming in through a back window of Ms. Lubin's residence that was connected on one end to the antenna in the backyard, and on the other end to transmitting equipment apparently located in her residence."
It adds that when she signed for the NOULs that even if she had originally been unaware of the nature of the equipment she had the opportunity to "evaluate all unknown electronic equipment in her residence and ensure that operation did not continue" and that at a minimum she allowed the equipment to remain operable in residential space under her control when she could have remove or unplugged it at any time.
On this basis it confirmed the penalty.
2011-05 31: According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), is investigating coverage by Sydney 2GB of the climate change debate.
The report of the investigation was carried at the end of an ABC TV Media Watch programme "Lessons in hyperbolic gestures" that looked at the way its breakfast host Alan Jones displays bias in his treatment of guests who agree with his view that there is no man-made climate change and those who don't share his view.
A transcript of the programme (video is embedded: See link below) details exchanges between Jones and Professor David Karoly of the University of Melbourne last week, the host's first interview - the programme terms it "part interrogation, part harangue" - this year "with a climate scientist who doesn't reckon that the whole thing is nonsense."
One part of the exchange clearly shows Jones - certainly an intelligent man who knows what he is doing - when told that there is evidence of climate change going on the attack by first deriding his guest's comments and then when the host repeats that there is evidence asking exactly where it is to be found in the chapter written by the professor amongst "peer reviewed scientific studies."
Jones also suggests that the Professor who says of payment to him for being on the receiving a travel allowance to cover the costs of going to meetings of the Science Advisory Panel and I am receiving a small retainer which is substantially less than your daily salary that he is "receiving a travel allowance to cover the costs of going to meetings of the Science Advisory Panel and I am receiving a small retainer which is substantially less than your daily salary" is thereby being influenced by being paid for his views.
Media Watch in its own - rather more well sourced - attack on Jones comments, this is from a "man who, according to an inquiry by the Australian Broadcasting Authority, was found in the 1990's to have signed contracts worth millions of dollars, which he didn't disclose to his listeners, to spruik the virtues of Optus, and Qantas, and the State Bank of New South Wales, and the Walsh Bay development, and the Walker Corporation...And Alan Jones is accusing one of Australia's most respected scientists of being corrupted by the payment of a small retainer? The hypocrisy, and the gall, are breathtaking."
The programme also details errors by Jones in his mathematics to support his contentions and gives transcripts of Jones' interviews with those who shared his views in which he is shown to be fawning on them.
RNW comment: We suspect the characteristics of Jones in regard to this matter are similar to those of many other talk hosts who could probably show Dr Goebbels a thing or two when it comes to propaganda and the abuse of their platform, especially when it comes to scientific matters. We do not think that curbing their ability to make the comments would be healthy but where they have demonstrably and without doubt misrepresented a situation, some enforceable right of reply would not be unfair - something like the same prominence, the same time, to be repeated for at least every day for a week after the misrepresentation is proven together with a requirement that statistics be made available prominently on a station's website as a condition of licence - with automatic revocation should this not be done within a month of the proof (not a complaint about accuracy) being made to the station. For Jones to demonstrate his bias is not desirable, but to air demonstrably false calculations without a prominent correction is something else and not in our view a matter of censorship so much as recognising that fact is important and that arguments built on demonstrably false information need to be corrected.
If nothing else it would enable their reputations to be trashed by fact rather then the misleading information with which they trash others.
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC Media Watch transcript/video:
2011-05 31: Cox Media Group (CMG) has named company veteran Bill Hoffman, who was previously vice president and general manager of the company's WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta, as its new executive vice president to replace Bill Neil as its executive vice president: Neil retires today.
Unlike Neil whose experience was primarily in radio (See RNW May 10), Hoffman has a TV background: He joined Cox in 1979 as an account representative at TeleRep and has held a number of roles within the company including vice president and general manager of WFTV in Orlando; local sales manager at WSB-TV; office manager at Atlanta's TeleRep office and national sales manager at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh; and local and national sales manager of WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In his new role he will oversee various radio, television and newspaper operations across CMG.
2011-05 30: BBC Radio 4 has announced that in September it is to broadcast an eight-hour dramatisation of Vasily Grossman's "Life And Fate', which was set during the Battle of Stalingrad.
The drama will be broadcast during the week from September 18-24 and will be available as a podcast: its cast includes Kenneth Branagh, Samuel West, Sara Kestelman, John Sessions, Kenneth Cranham, Philip Jackson, Malcolm Storry, Don Gilet and Matthew Marsh.
In addition to the drama itself the station will air a special recording of Start the Week that will discuss Grossman, who was one of Russia's most distinguished war correspondents, and also a documentary "The Life And Fate Of Vasily Grossman" and three readings from his front-line journalism.
Grossman's work, which was completed in 1960, compared Stalinism with Nazism, and was seized by the KGB - Politburo ideology chief Mikhail Suslov told the author that, if published, his book could inflict even greater harm to the Soviet Union than Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago and that it could not be published for two or three hundred years
The author died aged 58 in 1964 but the work was smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm in 1974 and the book was published in the west in 1980. Under Glasnost it was published in Russia in 1988.
2011-05 30: Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Chairman Chris Chapman has said that existing broadcasting regulations are essentially based on an old analogue concept not the digital world in which we now live.
He made his comments in a speech to the Communications and Media Lawyers Association (CAMLA), on "The 'convergence phenomena' from a regulator's perspective" raised the issues of regulation of old media compared to the current situation with new media.
Amongst the examples he raised was the case of Manchester United player Ryan Giggs' "super-injunction" to prevent his being named and the breaching of the order on "Twitter" that led to the injunction being aborted.
This together with other examples cited - including the breach of the Sony PlayStation network's security and two cases involving Facebook in Australia- said Chapman illustrated "the indisputable fact that developments in communications technology are outpacing what was thought of as possible just five years ago, let alone what legislative frameworks considered would be required more than 10 years ago"
"Many of the controls on content and the provision of telecommunications services," he continued, "will need revision and adaptation for today's reality and for the emerging digital economy."
Chapmen then looked at possible changes in the near, mid, and long-term, including comments on the devices involved; content; the networks; services that allow consumers to access content; and the way they do so.
Australia's core legislation said Chapman are now "decades old and, in some cases, are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a converged communications and media environment".
In terms of broadcasting Chapman referred to the concept of degree of "Influence" in determining regulation of media ownership and control so as to ensure diversity of content and opinion and the degree to which print and broadcasting operators are offering internet services whilst the internet had also facilitated the rise of new services.
He queried the degree to which this concept would remain useful and particularly the effect of the changes that the internet had brought in giving access to content on an international basis rather than local geographic delivery of services and the effects this had on such notions as "licence area" and "media ownership and control".
"The idea of a Broadcasting service and Program," commented Chapman "is essentially an analogue concept from a time when a service was normally a single channel or stream of programs" and he went on to comment on the change to this idea brought on by internet delivery of programming and content that because of the mode of delivery were not subject to the same regulations as broadcast services.
The move to digital, said Chapman, meant that regulation "constructed on the premise that content could be controlled by how it is delivered has increasingly lost its force, both in logic and in practice" and he went on to say that the concept of "influence" was itself dramatically changed, saying "Previously, influence was judged by the proxy of reach and audience. These are both challenged by fractured multi-channel media, global distribution and user generated content. What might be the future proxy for influence? Or do we need another concept altogether? I don't have the answer tonight!"
He concluded by suggesting that the ACMA needed to "think beyond incremental change, and change the game to one that builds again from first principles so that whatever does emerge in Australian media and communications can survive, be internationally competitive and indeed assist us to prosper in the digital economy of the future."
2011-05 29: North America again provided the most regulatory news concerning radio last week with little on offer elsewhere and no radio-releases from Australia and only a few elsewhere.BAI website:
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted details of a revised approach it is to take to deal with non-compliance by radio stations (See RNW May 26) but no radio licensing decisions.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) announced the award of almost Euros 800,000 of grants to support the production of 96 radio projects in Round 11 of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme (See RNW May 24).
In the UK Ofcom released its latest bulletin in which it upheld two radio complaints, one of them concerning a government advertisement (See RNW May 23) and also awarded the Bath local FM licence to Celador, adding another outlet for its The Breeze, and also re-awarded the additional service licence that is broadcast on spectrum in the frequencies used for Global Radio's national Classic FM network to ITIS (Integrated Transport Information Services Limited), which currently uses the spectrum to transmit traffic and road travel data to in-car navigational devices (See RNW May 25 for both).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a third NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) concerning its review of the US Emergency Alert System (EAS).
It had adopted a second Report and Order on the matter in 2007 as part of its steps "towards upgrading the EAS to incorporate the latest technologies and capabilities and to facilitate integration of public alerting at the national, state, and local levels" and the current move is seeking comment on a wide range of tentative conclusions so far reached.
"These proposed revisions," it says "seek to integrate CAP (Common Alerting Protocol)-based alert messaging into the existing EAS while laying the foundation for transitioning to next generation alert mechanisms."
In some 110 pages it details plans amongst other things for the formatting of such messages in the CAP but for the moment is proposing to keep the current system in operations whilst ensuring that CAP-formatted EAS messages can be converted EAS Protocol-compliant EAS messages.
It also asks for comment whether the current September 30, 2011, deadline for CAP-compliance is sufficient or whether the Commission should extend or modify it so it is triggered by some action other than FEMA's adoption of CAP, such as implementation by the Commission of revised certification rules.
Other issues raised include details related to the transition to a new system including how far changes will affect existing equipment and the degree to which it might have to be replaced.
The FCC has also announced that application fees will increase from June 21 to reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U).
Other announcements included the results of its FM Auction 91 in which 66 bidders won a total of 108 construction permits - 144 were on offer - with net bids totalling USD 8,537,655 (See RNW May 24).
The agency has also again been involved in enforcement action against radio stations including the levying of a USD 10,000 penalty on a North Carolina FM and proposed two USD 10,000 penalties on West Virginia stations for public file breaches (Again RNW May 24).
Previous Licence News:
2011-05 28: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM ) says DRM+ trials carried out in New Delhi last week have shown coverage of signals for both the robust 4-QAM and high capacity 16-QAM signals was found to be Scomparable to that of an analogue FM station operating at around five tomes the power of the DRM+ signal.
The signal was transmitted on 100.1MHz carrying three programme channels - Gold DRM (FM), Rainbow DRM (FM) and AIR news in Journaline and its reception was measured by a test vehicle going in four directions from central New Delhi where the transmitter was installed.
DRM Consortium Chairperson Ruxandra Obreja said "This test was a successful culmination of a close partnership of DRM Consortium and All India Radio and the whole hearted support of the DRM members who took part in this event. AIR has already adopted DRM30 for its SW/MW network and DRM+ will play a complementary role operating in VHF band."
2011-05 27: Journal Broadcast Group's vice president of radio programming Tom Land has died aged 51 from cancer that was diagnosed in August last year.
Land grew up in Smithville, Missouri, first working at small-town radio stations as a teenager: His Linked in profile lists three decades in broadcasting after studying Radio/TV Broadcasting at Columbia from 1977-80 including three years as VP Programming Long at Pride Broadcasting's KEYN/KQAM Radio, Wichita, Kansas; nearly 13 years as Director of Operations at KLSI/MIX 93.3/KUDL in Kansas City under the ownership of Sandusky, Apollo and Regent Communications until 1998; then nine months with Cumulus until he joined Journal Broadcast in 1999 (as operations manager for the company's Omaha operations) .
In 2006 he was promoted to Director of Radio Programming for the company in 2006 and in 2008 he added the role of Director of Operations for the company's Milwaukee-based radio stations. He was promoted to the post of Vice President, Radio Programming in December last year.
His obituary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel focuses on Land's concern about people as well as his professional capabilities quoting Steve Wexler, executive vice president of the Journal Broadcast Group, as saying of Land's skill in picking up a feel for a station's strengths and weaknesses, "We call it ears in our business. He had great ears."
Wexler also commented of Land's concern for people, commenting of his organizing an adopt-a-family program with the Salvation Army at KSRZ-FM in Omaha that he had raised with land the issue of so much talk in a music format that "He looked me straight in the eye," and responded "Wex, we're saving Christmas for 500 families."
Wexler concluded of Land, "He had faith and family and radio. And he'd say, 'Don't overcomplicate it.' That's his legacy."
Previous Journal Communications::
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obituary:
2011-05 27: Global Radio's head of news Jonathan Richards, who is programme director for its London talk station LBC 97.3, is leaving the company at the end of the month.
Richards had been with LBC for 16 years and was promoted to his current role in 2008. He began his radio career at Reading-based Radio 210 and then became a News Producer at BBC Radio Berkshire and producer of Punters on BBC Radio 4 before moving to Capital Radio, working as a news reporter on Capital FM and Gold and also presenting "The Way It Is."
Richards moved to Chrysalis Radio in 1995 working on Heart 106.2, becoming its News Editor in 1997 and Network Head of News in 1999 in which role he oversaw news operations and output for the group's Heart and Galaxy stations before Chrysalis was bought by Global Radio in 2007 for GBP 170 million (Then USD 340 million - See RNW Jul 31, 2007) and was promoted by the new owners from the post of LBC's Editorial News Director to Programme Director to replace Scott Solder, who left radio.
Announcing Richards' departure in an email to staff, Global Radio's director of broadcasting, Richard Park, said Richards had "been instrumental in taking LBC's listening figures from strength to strength and has also been a key figure in the development of the group's news function."
Parks went on to wish Richards "every success for the future" and Richards said the departure was by "amicable agreement" but nothing was said of his plans for the future.
Previous Global Radio:
2011-05 26: Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode tomorrow celebrate a decade of film reviews on BBC Radio 5 Live with a special show from the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, Kermode's favourite cinema and on of his youthful haunts. It is the first of a number of special shows to mark the duo's anniversary.
The show will take place before a live audience and feature as a special guest actor and producer Noel Clarke - he produced Kidulthood and Adulthood.
Mayo joined the station in May 2001 hosting the weekday afternoon 5 Live programme and the reviews with Kermode became a staple feature of the show before being converted to a weekly two-hour Friday show (14:00-16:00 local) last year.
Commenting in a BBC news release Kermode said: "After 10 years of doing the film review with Simon Mayo I continue to enjoy explaining to him and the listeners why they are wrong! I plan to carry on doing so for another 10 years" and Mayo added "After 10 years of doing the film review film review with Mark Kermode I continue to be baffled by everything he says. The plan is to be baffled for another 10 years."
On Monday (11L00 GMT) the station will feature a look back at ten years of the duo's reviews by actor Hugh Bonneville and next Friday another special edition of the Film Review will feature some famous fans who've become "friends" of the programme over the years including an interview with Stephen Fry; Bourne series director Paul Greengrass live in the studio; and contributions from Jason Isaacs and Michael Sheen.
The following Friday (June 10) another special edition will be broadcast from the station's new home in Media City Salford including "guests" the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which will play extracts from some of the greatest film scores of all time
2011-05 26: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has appointed Kevin Gage to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President and its chief technology officer, starting at the end of this month.
It says that Gage, whose career has included helping to develop the DVD specification whilst at Warner Brothers and a spell as head technologist at Warner Music Group, will "lead NAB's technology efforts, including oversight of the current staff that represents NAB on a variety of standard-setting organizations, and which serves as the liaison to the engineering and technology community."
The NAB also announced that Steve Newberry, president and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation, will receive the National Radio Award during this year's Radio Show Luncheon to be held on Friday, September 16 during the 2011 Radio Show.
Announcing the award NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David commented in a news release, "For over 25 years as an owner and operator, Steve Newberry's enthusiasm for radio and exemplary leadership abilities have been acknowledged and respected by radio executives nationwide. We welcome Steve as the latest recipient of the National Radio Award, and look forward to honouring him for his dedication to the Radio profession."
As well as his Commonwealth Broadcasting roles Newberry is also joint board chairman of the NAB, and is a member of the board of directors and executive committees for RAB (US Radio Advertising Bureau_ and a member of the board of directors of Citizens First Bank.
2011-05 26: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted details of a revised approach it is to take to deal with non-compliance by radio stations with the requirements of Canada's Broadcasting Act, the Radio Regulations, 1986 and their conditions of licence in the context of an application for licence renewal or amendment.
The current approach where a station had been involved in breaches is normally to grant a short-term renewal, typically four years, in respect of a first-time breach and call the licensee to a public hearing to discuss the problem where there was a repeated breach: At this state the commission can issue a mandatory order requiring full compliance and renew the licence for a maximum of two years. It has also had a general practice of denying applications for licence amendments when a station is found to be in non-compliance.
Under the agency's revised approach licensees will continue to be given the opportunity to comment on preliminary findings and when considering applications for licence renewal the agency will question licensees about the non-compiance and action taken to remedy the situation after which sanctions will be imposed according to the nature of the non-compliance.
In the case of renewals sanctions will continue to range from short-term renewal up to licence revocation but amendment applications will no longer be automatically denied but sanctions including denial may be applied depending on the seriousness and nature of the non-compliance.
The CRTC adds that the "notion of grading the level of seriousness of non-compliance is consistent with the eventual implementation of more relevant and timely regulatory tools related to compliance."
2011-05 25: Celador's "The Breeze" easy listening format has gained another outlet with the award of the local FM licence for Bath, which had been re-advertised by UK media regulator Ofcom after two other bidders applied for the licence in addition to current holder One Gold Radio Ltd (broadcasting as Total Star).
Celador already has Breeze stations in Hampshire and Bristol and the new station is expected to start broadcasting soon after the current licence expires in November although it would be able to launch earlier if it can reach agreement with the current licensee. The new licence will run for seven years.
Ofcom has also re-awarded the additional service licence that is broadcast on spectrum in the frequencies used for Global Radio's national Classic FM network to ITIS (Integrated Transport Information Services Limited).
ITIS, which currently uses the spectrum to transmit traffic and road travel data to in-car navigational devices, bid GBP 444,000 (USD 717,000) per annum for the licence, which will run for up to six years and two months from 1 January 2012.
2011-05 25: Radio One Inc. in an 8K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has listed salaries for its top executives for the three years to the end of 2010: Highest paid was CEO Alfred C. Liggins III whose base salary went from USD 846,271 in 2008 to USD 934,267 in 2009 and USD 959,992 last year but was dwarfed by the total he received in bonuses over the period -- of USD 5.8 million in 2008; USD 980,000 in 2009 and USD 1.15 million last year. On top of this he received stock awards and option awards that took his total remuneration to USD 6,958,046 in 2008; USD 2,078,179 in 2009 - the stock hit a five-year low of 29 cents in February that year - and USD 4,197,360 last year when it peaked at USD 5.22.
Next highest paid in total remuneration was his mother, the company's founder and chairperson Catherine L. Hughes whose basic pay for the three years was almost static - USD 709,795; USD 713,423; and USD 744,688 but whose total remuneration went from USD 879,633 to USD 1,053,542 to USD 1,797,287 last year.
Of non-family executives, the highest paid was Chief Administrative Officer Linda J. Vilardo whose base salary was again fairly static - USD 445,145; USD 436,146; and USD 440,409 but whose total remuneration was USD 2,450,145 in 2008 then down to USD 636,146 and then back up again - to USD 1,000,931 last year.
CFO Peter D. Thompson saw his base salary go up from USD 361,607 to USD 360,853 to USD 404,043 with total remuneration rising from USD 425,785 to USD 572,778 and USD 993,190 and Radio Division President Barry A. Mayo's basic salary went from USD 500,000 down to USD 476,667 and then up again to USD 546,458 with total remuneration going from USD 659,211 down to USD 651,667 and the up to USD 902,049.
In the filing Radio One also notes that on May 16 prior to the company's 2011 annual meeting of stockholders, B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr. submitted his resignation from the Board of Director and that two days later the Board appointed Dennis Miller as a Class B director to serve until the 2012 Meeting or until his successor is duly elected and qualified.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2011-05 25: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), which earlier this month carried out a successful test of DRM+ in Scotland, is now conducting a test in New Delhi as part of DRM+ India Showcase week.
DRM says the test in Scotland showed DRM+ to be capable of excellent coverage in good quality at reduced power levels compared with FM. Urban coverage was found to be superior to FM despite some audio drop outs and in rural areas, the coverage was also excellent with some audio failure related to terrain shielding. This, it adds, was comparable to FM listening experience.
Following submission of the test results to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) the ITU-R Study Group 6 has endorsed DRM mode E (DRM+) as a recommended digital radio standard and in Delhi the test so far showed the signal, whose reach at around 500 W radiated power (300 W exciter output) was predicted to be 10 km could in fact be received up to 28km away on the first day.
The system is capable of carrying up to four radio services per frequency and the Delhi test - organized by All India Radio (AIR) and the DRM Consortium - is using a special transmitter at the AIR headquarters to transmit the live programme of both AIR Gold and AIR Rainbow plus the Journaline text news service on the test frequency 100.1 MHz:
The test in Scotland was carried out from the from Arqiva's Craigkelly transmitting station located just to the north of the town of Burntisland, Fife and used a frequency and antenna system previously used by a commercial FM station. DRM said the urban coverage was superior to FM, especially in the more rugged 4-QAM mode, because despite a few drop-outs, the overall subjective experience was found to be better than that of FM with noise, clicks and fuzz. The audio decoding method includes error concealment algorithms to fade-out to silence when audio frame errors are detected and fade-in again when the error rate falls.
2011-05 24: Clear Channel and the Journal Broadcast Group whose radio stations and TV station respectively carried the competition for months in 2007 are facing legal action in August unless mediation fails to resolve a claim by a Florida woman over a prize she won in a competition that featured a top prize of a USD 300,000 home or USD 150,000 in cash.
The prize was being offered by developer Copperhead LLC which subsequently went broke and the News-Press in Cape Coral quoted Clear Channel spokeswoman Angel Aristone as saying that the contest rules clearly spelled out that the grand prize was to be provided solely by Copperhead - and failure to pay by Copperhead doesn't make the promoters responsible.
Paula Hedberg, who won the prize - although the paper says that for reasons not clear the records she didn't qualify for the home - is claiming that the broadcasters are liable under state law governing contests, which says it's illegal for any "operator" of a contest to fail to award a prize that's been promised.
An "operator" it says is defined in the law as, "any person, firm, corporation, or association or agent or employee thereof who promotes, operates, or conducts a game promotion, except any charitable non-profit organization."
RNW Comment: On the surface the state law seems crystal clear unless the broadcaster's involvement was merely to take paid adverts for the competition and that seems unlikely from the News-Press report: If they were co-promoters the broadcasters are also subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules governing contests albeit the agency seems to shy away from telling stations to cough up the full ante or lose their licences, which would pretty well guarantee that they would ensure the prize was under their control before getting involved.
Either way the publicity cannot be good for the broadcasters and if they are likely to lose anyway their best bet would seem to be to settle quickly rather than let the matter drag on. It also seems that in one area Hedberg may be lucky - the News-Press says that the property slump has meant that its value would now be less than USD 100,000.
Our view is straightforward: Big companies like Clear Channel and Journal Broadcast can afford to ensure they operate within the rules and if they are found to have breached them should bear all costs involved in meeting their obligations - the principal amount involved, interest (at credit card charge levels) for the period from the launch of a lawsuit (2008 in this case) - thus giving them a strong incentive for a sppedy settlement - and all legal costs.The FCC should also levy the highest fine it can for breaches of the rules.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-05 24: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode again has levied a USD 10,000 penalty on a North Carolina FM and proposed two USD 10,000 penalties on West Virginia stations for public file breaches.
The penalties were:
USD 10,000 forfeiture to Media East, LLC, licensee of WLGT-AM, in Washington, North Carolina for failure to make available a complete public inspection file.
Media East had been issued with a USD 10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) after an inspection in March last year the station had been unable to produce any public inspection file documents dated after 2006. WLGT's station manager told the agent that the current public inspection file documents were probably kept at Media East's headquarters in Statesville, North Carolina.
Media East in response to the NAL had requested cancellation and produced a declaration in which its general manager states under penalty of perjury that the was present during the entire inspection on March 9, 2010; that he provided all "public affairs listings" to the agent; the statement that the station was unable to produce any documents after 2006 is "not true;") he told the agent that items before 2006 were probably kept in the Statesville office; and a complete public inspection file was kept at the New Bern main studio.
The FCC noted that according to the agent's handwritten notes taken at the time of the March 9, 2010 inspection and the agent's recollections of the inspection, Media East failed to make available any post-2006 documents during the inspection.
It commented that it did not find the general manager's "self-serving after-the-fact recollection to be credible, particularly in light of other inconsistencies", noting amongst other things that he had to be called to the station after the inspection was begun with a secretary who was unable to find the local public inspection file
USD 10,000 NAL to Stephen R. Peters, licensee of WHAW-AM, Lost Creek, West Virginia, for by failing to maintain and make available quarterly radio issues/programs lists in the local public inspection file.
The breach came to light during an inspection of the station in August last year when the FCC agent found that the station's public inspection file did not contain any issues/programs lists for the current license term. 1. . Peters admitted to the agent that the station did not maintain issues/programs lists.
USD 10,000 NAL to that Della Jane Woofter, licensee of WVRW-FM, Glenville, West Virginia, for failing to maintain and make available quarterly radio issues/programs lists in the local public inspection file. The breach came to light during a routine inspection in August last year and the station manager admitted to the agent that the station did not maintain issues/programs lists.
The FCC has also formally announced the results of its FM Auction 91 in which 66 bidders won a total of 108 construction permits - 144 were on offer - with net bids totalling USD 8,537,655 (See RNW May 11): Down payments are due by June 7 and final payments by June 21 with relevant long-form applications (FCC Form 301) to be submitted by the end of June.
2011-05 24: Radio Mirchi operator ENIL (Entertainment Network (India) Ltd.), India's leading private FM operator, has reported 2010-11 profits (Financial Year 2011 to the end of March) nearly trebled at INR 52.2 crore (USD 11.8 million - a crore is ten million) up from INR 17.9 crore (USD 4.04 million) although the figure includes a profit of INR 12.3 crore (USD 2.78 million) from the sale of its Times Innovative Media subsidiary. Without the one-off profit the profits still more than doubled.
Revenues for the year, boosted by the Cricket World Cup, almost doubled from INR 231 crore (USD 52 million) to INR 461.6 crore (USD 104 million) whilst for the final quarter they were up 34% to INR 82.2 crore (USD 18.5 million) with EBITDA up 120% to INR 32.6 crore (USD 7.34 million) and consolidated profit after tax of INR 17.2 crore (USD 3.88 million) compared to a year earlier net Q4 loss of INR 15.3 crore (USD 3.45 million).
Executive Director and CEO Prashant Panday said of the final quarter it had been "outstanding" and continued, "Revenue growth has been buoyant, lifted by the cricket World Cup. EBITDA has grown strongly on the back of better cost management. Our listenership numbers are looking strong. We are on the cusp of a major expansion in the radio business with the announcement of the Phase III of Private FM radio policy expected soon. We look forward to this expansion and we are prepared for it."
*ENIL is a subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Limited (TIML) which is in turn a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman * Co. Ltd),
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.:
Previous Indian Radio:
2011-05 24: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced the award of funding totalling Euros 796,000 (USD 1.12 million) to support the production of 96 radio projects in Round 11 of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme.
The BAI received a total of 262 applications for funding totalling Euros 3.289 million (USD 4.626 million) of which 63 were ruled out in a preliminary evaluation leaving 199 applications for a total of Euros 2.519 million (USD 3.543 million)
In the next phase a further 103 were unsuccessful leaving the 96 successful applications for projects that will be aired on 30 stations.
In language terms 236 of the applications were for English language projects (totalling Euros 2.856 million - USD 4.017 million) of which 87 were successful (totalling Euros 702,900 - USD 988,900) and 13 each were for Irish language and bilingual Irish-English projects (totalling Euros 271,225 -USD 381,680 - and Euros 161,910 - USD 227,800 respectively with one Irish language application of Euros 16,00 (USD 22,50 ) and eight bilingual applications totalling Euros 77,500 (USD 109,000) being successful.
In terms of station type, Community stations made 108 applications for grants totalling Euros 1.106 million ( USD 1.556 million) and gained 43 awards totalling Euros 333, 420 (USD 469,700); local and regional stations made 91 applications totalling Euros 722,911 ( USD 1.019 million) of which 36 were successful with total awards of Euros 260,280 (USD 367,000); National stations made 21 applications for a total of Euros 191,596 (USD 269,800) of which five were successful with awards totalling Euros 45,500 (USD 64,100; and there were 42 public service applications for a total of Euros 1.267,886 (USD 1.786 million) of which 12 succeeded with grants totalling Euros 157,200 (USD 221,400).
The smallest application from a broadcaster (unsuccessful) was for Euros 3,000 (USD 4,200) and the largest of Euros 663,663 (USD 934,200) from RTÉ Radio 1, which made 18 applications of which two succeeded with awards totalling Euros 37,500 (USD 52,800): Newstalk, which made 21 applications totalling Euros 191,596 (USD 269,800), succeeded with five with awards totalling Euros 45,500 (USD 64,100).
The largest award, however went to NEAR 90fm, all of whose sic applications totalling Euros 76,563 (USD 107,800) although its awards totalled only Euros 63,500 (USD 89,400)
In terms of format, the largest amounts awarded went to documentary formats - in all applications for various documentary formats totalled Euros 2.276 million (USD 3.203 million) with the awards made totalling Euros 598,215 (USD 841,700). Next came drama awards, with awards totalling Euros 111,720 (USD 157,100 ) various entertainment awards - totalling Euros 45,500 (USD 64,000) and then various education awards totalling Euros 40965 (USD 57,600).
2011-05 23: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds complaints against various Northern Ireland broadcasters who carried a government advert that it considered amounted to "political? advertising and also a complaint against Somerset community station Somer Valley FM concerning an invitation to listeners to make requests for songs to be played on a programme that had been pre-recorded.
The Northern Ireland complaint involved an advertisement placed by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister ("OFMDFM") concerning the Hillsborough Castle Agreement ("the Agreement"), which had been announced on 5 February 2010.
Jim Allister QC, leader of the political party, the Traditional Unionist Voice, complained that the advert amounted to "political? advertising, in contravention of the Communications Act 2003: It was aired by seven radio stations - Northern Media Group's Q97.2 FM (Coleraine), Q101.2 FM (Omagh and Enniskillen) and Q102.9 FM (Londonderry); Bauer's Downtown Radio and Cool FM (Northern Ireland); CN Group's Citybeat (Greater Belfast); and UTV Media's U105 (Belfast).
The advertisement lasted 30 seconds and featured Peter Robinson MLA (DUP), the First Minister, and Martin McGuinness MP MLA (Sinn Féin), the Deputy First Minister commenting favourably on the agreement followed by an announcer saying who they were and what they were commenting on then giving details of how to get the full test and concluding with, "The Hillsborough Castle Agreement - securing a better future for all."
Allister said this advert featuring the two politicians was intended to "promote their political deal and perception, rather than mere public information" and added "The laudatory content of their contributions puts them in the territory of promoting and selling their political message rather than merely providing information."
Ofcom contacted the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre ("RACC"), which said it had not cleared the advert for broadcast as was required under advertising codes: It then told the broadcasters that if this was the case the advert should not be broadcast again until approval was given by the RACC.
No station, said Ofcom, had sought RACC clearance and they ceased to broadcast the adverts: Ofcom then asked each broadcaster to comment in regard to the rules requiring prior clearance by the RACC of adverts featuring matters that are political, industrial or of public controversy.
NMG said it was aware of the need for clearance and added that it had now revised its instructions to production teams dealing with advertisers: Bauer said that the stations had accepted the advert in good faith "mistakenly believing it was effectively a public information message"; Citybeat said it had acted "naively" based on previous experience, trust and with the assumption that due process had been followed; and UTV that it had classed the advert as public information and not special category
Ofcom noted the varied circumstances that had led to the broadcast of the advert and also comments from the broadcasters about the public information nature of the advert in that it told people how to get information that was important but said that nevertheless there was a breach of the relevant codes in not getting clearance and also found that the advert was "the overall purpose of the advertisement, and the manner in which it was imparted, was not to inform and educate the public by means of imparting information or advice that was in the public interest" and that it was "political"
The OFMDFM noted the context in which the advert was released and said it was "clearly in the public interest and the purpose was clearly to educate and to inform the public: It added that it considered that Ofcom had taken a very narrow interpretation of "public service nature" and suggested that "the public environment that the NI Executive is operating in is more politically complex than other areas covered by Ofcom", concluding that "it is not surprising that communications from the Executive will be criticised by the TUV, which has publicly voiced its opposition to the whole concept of our local political institutions."
In the Somer Valley FM case, Ofcom received complaints that an edition of the station's regular early evening "Jukebox Hour " request programme had been recorded prior to the broadcast and thus invitations to listeners for song requests were misleading as there was no possibility that the pre-recorded programme would fulfil them. Listeners can make their requests via text message (at standard network rate), e-mail or the station?s Facebook page (free of charge).
Somer Valley in response to Ofcom's query said that text service "attracts a monthly cost of GBP 29.38 (around USD 47) to the station" and its sole purpose "is to maximize ways listeners can contact and have input into their community station."
In the case in question it said the presented had been unexpectedly absent and added that it had intended to carry over any listener requests to the next live airing of the programme although it acknowledged that the programme did not inform listeners that this would occur. It added that no text message requests were received from listeners during the broadcast in question.
Ofcom noted the circumstances and the fact that the station made no money from the calls but said that nevertheless it was materially misleading because it was deliberately presented as being live and had included repeated invitations to listeners to request songs to be played during the programme.
Ofcom also upheld a TV standards complaint and a TV Fairness and privacy complaint: The figures compare with no radio complaint upheld in the previous bulletin in which TV complaints were upheld against five broadcasters, one radio and one TV standards complaints were considered resolved, a TV advertising minutage case upheld, and a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint upheld.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 273 complaints against 143 TV items and eight radio complaints against eight items that it did not uphold: This compared to 404 complaints against 225 TV items - 113 against one edition of a Channel 5 TV programme- and 36 radio complaints against 23 items that it did not uphold that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-05 22: Last week the main regulatory news again came from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was busy with enforcement actions and also posted its latest report on US licensed station numbers: Elsewhere things were fairly quiet.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has renewed for five years the licence of New South Wales Community station 2MFM but the renewal is linked to an enforceable undertaking given by 2MFM to further encourage participation by members of the wider Muslim community, the first time such an undertaking has been offered to gain licence renewal: The station is licensed to provides a service to meet the "Religious - Islamic" community interest.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman said the offer "demonstrates that the licensee, Muslim Community Radio Inc, has recognised a serious commitment was critical to address concerns identified in the course of the ACMA's public consultations."
In the undertaking, 2MFM has undertaken to encourage Muslims from a broad cross-section of Islamic organisations in the Sydney RA1 licence area to participate in the operations and programming of the service; to amend relevant provisions in its constitution to better align it with the community radio broadcasting industry template' and to amend its presenter policy so that all members are eligible to become presenters.
It is to prove reports to the ACMA that will enable the agency to monitor compliance.
Also in New South Wales the ACMA is also seeking comment on proposals to make FM frequencies made available for additional transmitters at Charlotte Pass for Cooma commercial stations 2XL and 2SKI, which are already in operation under temporary retransmission licences.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a fairly quiet week as regards radio but it did post a consultation, with a June 20 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments that included the following radio-related applications:
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Canada Radio Partnership (the general partnership) for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CJCH-FM and CIOO-FM Halifax, Nova Scotia; CKGM-AM, Montréal, Québec; CKKW-FM and CFCA-FM, Kitchener, Ontario; and CFRW-AM, CFWM-FM and CHIQ-FM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, from Bell Media.
Other BCE Inc. re-organization applications:
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc. (7550413), partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership (the general partnership) for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CKCE-FM, Calgary, Alberta, from Bell Media.
Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media British Columbia Radio Partnership for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CFTE-AM, CKST-AM, CFBT-FM, and CHQM-FM, Vancouver and CFAX-AM and CHBE-FM ,Victoria from Bell Media.
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. (Bell Media) and 7550413 Ontario Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ontario Regional Radio Partnership (the general partnership) for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CFJR-FM and CJPT-FM, Brockville; CKLC-FM and CFLY-FM Kingston; CKPT-FM and CKQM-FM, Peterborough ; and CKLY-FM Lindsay, Ontario, from Bell Media.
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Ottawa Radio Partnership (the general partnership) for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CFRA-AM, CFGO-AM, CKKL-FM and CJMJ-FM, Ottawa, Ontario, from Bell Media.
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. (Bell Media) and 7550413 Ontario Inc. (7550413), partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Toronto Radio Partnership for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the radio programming undertakings CHUM-AM, CHUM-FM and CFXJ-FM and of the transitional digital radio undertakings CHUM-DR-1 and CHUM-DR-2, Toronto, Ontario, from Bell Media.
*Application by BCE Inc. on behalf of Bell Media Inc. and 7550413 Ontario Inc. (7550413), partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Bell Media Windsor Radio Partnership (the general partnership) for authority to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of CKWW-AM, CKLW-AM, CIMX-FM and CIDR-FM, Windsor, Ontario, from Bell Media.
Bell Media, the managing partner holding 99.99% of the voting interest in the general partnerships, is wholly owned by Bell Canada and controlled by BCE and the other partners are wholly owned by Bell Media.
Other radio applications:
*Application by Gabriola Radio Society for a licence to operate an 80 watts English-language Type B community FM in Gabriola Island.
* Application by Stoke FM Radio Society for a licence to operate a 4 watts English-language developmental community FM in Revelstoke.
*Application by Cortes Community Radio Society for a licence to operate an 80 watts English-language Type B community FM in Cortes Island.
*Application by Jean-Noël Allain, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence to operate a 10,423 watts French-language FM Type B community radio programming undertaking in Bouctouche. Approximately a third of the proposed programming would be in English.
*Application by Alan Jacobs, in his capacity as the Director of Operations of Walpole Island First Nation Radio for a broadcasting licence to operate a 50 watts English-language Type B native radio FM in Walpole Island First Nation.
*Application by Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 1,000 watts Hot AC English-language commercial FM in Prescott.
*Application by Small Town Radio for a licence to operate a 700 watts English-language Type B community FM in Port Hope.
*Application by Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for a licence to operate a 50,000 watts daytime and night time English-language commercial AM in Montréal.
(The station's programming would be of information relating to traffic and the obstacles caused by road work in the greater Montréal region, using the studios, the transmitter and the site of transmission of CINW-AM, whose licence was revoked in January 2010. Cogeco Diffusion Acquisitions inc., the applicant's parent company, has entered in to a three-year agreement with the ministère des Transports du Québec, with possibility of renewal, that, among other things, stipulates the broadcasting of this information.)
*Application by Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 50,000 watts daytime and night time French-language commercial AM radio programming undertaking in Montréal.
(This station would operate on a different frequency but like the preceding application use the facilities of CINW to broadcast programming relating to traffic and the obstacles caused by road work in the greater Montréal region.)
The CRTC also posted an information bulletin listing the following applications processed under its streamlined procedures:
*Tiessen Media Inc. - Approved change to the ownership and effective control of Tiessen Media Inc. through the transfer of the shares of Jamie Tiessen in Tiessen Media Inc. to Goldwest Broadcasting Ltd., a corporation controlled by Elmer Hildebrand. (Tiessen Media Inc. is the licensee of English-language commercial station CFIT-FM, Airdrie, Alberta.)
*Approved extension to 2 March 2012 of the time limit to implement low-power, English-language tourist information station CFTW-FM, Whistler, British Columbia.
*My Broadcasting Corporation - Change to the ownership of My Broadcasting Corporation (My Broadcasting), for estate planning purposes, through the transfer of Andrew Dickson and Jon Pole's voting interest in My Broadcasting (35.05% each) to their respective family trusts. (My Broadcasting is the licensee of various radio stations in Ontario.)
*Approved extension to 30 September 2011 of the simulcast period for the programming by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of CBE-AM on CBEW-FM, Windsor, Ontario.
*Sortir FM inc - Approved change to the ownership and effective control of Sortir FM inc. through the transfer of the shares of Jacques St-Hilaire in Sortir FM inc. to Mass-Média Capitale inc., a corporation owned and controlled by Louis Massicotte.
(Sortir FM inc. is the licensee of French-language tourist information station CKJF-FM and English-language tourist information station CJNG-FM, both in Québec.).
*Approved- Extension to 26 August 2012 of the time limit to implement the French-language commercial station CKUB-FM, Montmagny, and its transmitter in Saint-Fabien-de-Panet, Quebec. This is the final extension to be granted by the Commission.
There were no radio announcements from the UK but in Ireland the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) posted its May complaints report in which it upheld three complaints against radio programming (See RNW May 19).
In the US as already noted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted latest figures on the number of licensed broadcast stations in the country - showing rises since the end of 2010 in the numbers for commercial FMs (up 7); non-commercial educational stations (up 106); an unchanged number of low-power FMs and a fall by four in the number of commercial AMs. (See RNW May 16)
The agency was also busy with enforcement actions, handing out or proposing penalties totalling nearly USD 190,000 - See RNW May 17; May 18, May 19 and May 21.
In radio licensing decisions, the FCC has deleted vacant FM Channel 234A at Brackettville, Texas: the deletion followed a petition from of RF Services, Inc., licensee of a new FM station at Rocksprings, Texas, and would accommodate the new FM station's pending hybrid application, which requests the substitution of Channel 234C3 for Channel 235C3 at Rocksprings, Texas, re-allotment of Channel 234C3 from Rocksprings, to Brackettville, Texas, and modification of the new FM station authorization.
After Channel 234A was allotted a filing window was opened and one application was received but this was later dismissed and the allotment has remained vacant for more than 13 years.
Previous Licence News:
2011-05 21: In a further enforcement action the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture) to a Miami man.
Signals from an unlicensed FM transmitter were traced to property owned by Durrant Clarke of Miami in November last year and Clarke told agents that an FM transmitter in an unlocked room adjoining his office had been put there with his permission by an acquaintance some four weeks earlier, that he had been aware that the equipment was a radio transmitter of some kind; and that it used his electric power and his router to connect to the internet and that he turned the transmitter on and off at different times according to instructions from his acquaintance.
The FCC took the view that the facts showed Clarke to have control of the station and thus was involved in its operation. It accordingly proposed a base-level forfeiture of USD 10,000.
2011-05 20: The case against Melbourne 3AW drivetime host Derryn Hinch, charged with breaching name suppression orders by naming two paedophiles at a June 2008 "name them, shame them" rally and on his website was today adjourned until June 3 by magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said he needed some time to consider his decision.
Hinch had entered a plea of not guilty and argued that he did not specifically identify the offenders whom he named: In a posting on the 3AW website Hinch says his barrister told Melbourne Magistrates' Court that while Hinch named the sex offenders it wouldn't enable them to be identified because in one case dozens of people had the same name.
In all Hinch was charged with five counts of breaching suppression orders by naming two sex offenders on his website and at a 2008 rally on the steps of Parliament House and Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, told the court the purpose of Hinch's rally was to identify the offenders, saying, "It was called a name and shame them rally It is very difficult to imagine shaming an anonymous person."
He added that combined with information already made public the details Hinch gave would identify the two men who were named.
Hinch in a blog entry commented that he had "explained before why I pleaded Not Guilty when obviously I did shout the names of two serial sex offenders at our Name Them and Shame Them Rally on the steps of Parliament House in 2008. And I urged several thousand other people to repeat the names after me. Which they did. Audio of that rally was played in court today.
"In court I did not dispute those facts and did not dispute that my motive was to overturn a bad law.
"What is in dispute is whether or not, by merely naming an offender, I had identified him as outlined in the charges against me."
Hinch then went on to argue that a unanimous Australian High Court decision rejecting his argument that the name suppression law was unconstitutional had qualified the law in terms of what was necessary to breach Suppression Orders because it said that naming might not breach a Suppression Order if "it merely states that a person of a stated name was found guilty of an offence [ and details of those offences], was convicted and is about to be released from prison or that such a person had been subject to an Extended Supervision Order under the Act". Hinch said that in response to this his view - expressed outside the court -- was that "if you went down that path you would be allowing 'Google to rule our courts'. That would make life impossible for the media in trying to keep track of suppressed names and what may or may not be out there in cyberspace."
Hinch has liver cancer and prosecutors had agreed to adjourn sentencing for around six weeks to give him time to receive a transplant should an organ become available (See RNW May 19).
RNW note: Comments on the blog are mixed with some of them calling him cowardly or weak for not putting forward his "Google" argument in court an others - pretty well all of whom want to end the orders - supporting him.
We tend to support the argument made in one response that in part said, "Hinch did break the law on several occasions and then he did attempt to influence the outcome by manipulating public opinion. Again this is against the law."
We also have some deep concerns about the argument that by making many other people fall under suspicion because they have the same name as the two offenders Hinch named, the host was performing any real public service, a concern acerbated by memories of a case in the UK where a paediatrician was attacked because the attackers did not know that this was not the same as a paedophile.
3AW - Hinch post:
2011-05 20: Following Katie Couric's last show yesterday as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, Westwood One today launched a Reporters Notebook news feature to replace Katie Couric's Notebook on some 200 stations.
The new one-minute news feature will feature observations and analysis from CBS correspondents including Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer, Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan, Chip Reid, Anthony Mason and John Blackstone.
Previous Westwood One:
2011-05 20: Fisher Communications has now announced the final results of voting for its board for which dissident small shareholder FrontFour Capital put forward four nominees who, if elected, would have given it control of the board as FrontFour co-founder David Lorber was already a member.
Fisher had already announced that preliminary results showed that neither the board's slate nor that of FrontFour had gained enough votes under its cumulative voting system to elect their whole slate (See RNW May 17).
In the voting Fisher received votes for some 4.38 million shares that it could cumulate and allocate to its nominees whilst FrontFour nominees received some3.43 million votes.
Fisher's Board has opted to distribute the votes it gained to current Fisher director, Richard L. Hawley, and new nominee, Roger L. Ogden whilst Joseph J. Troy and Matthew Goldfarb from FrontFour's slate will also joint the board.
Ogden and Troy will serve as Class 3 directors with initial terms expiring in 2014, and, as the elected nominee receiving the fewest number of votes, Mr. Goldfarb will serve as a Class 1 director with an initial term expiring as of Fisher's 2012 Annual Meeting. Fisher also announced that the Board will elect a new Chairman in the near future and also that the shareholders had approved other proposals put to the company's Annual General Meeting.
In a statement the company said, "We remain committed to building long-term value for all of our shareholders and we look forward to working with all of our newly elected directors to continue the operational and financial momentum that has enabled Fisher to deliver peer-leading growth. We are also very grateful to our departing Board members for their significant contributions and outstanding service to Fisher and our shareholders."
So far we have seen no comment from FrontFour, which a number of newspapers reported had not returned calls for comment.
Fisher shares, which rose by 73 cents on Thursday, fell back again today to end down 69 cents on the day at USD 26.06 ( A 2.58% fall - they have been rising in after-hours trading).
RNW comment: This result seems to us unsatisfactory as regards the long-term future for Fisher since it now has three members of its board nominated by a shareholder that has made a number of attempts to sell it off and would seem to have no vested interest in a long-term future for the company and a significant one in a short-term gain through a break-up or sell off.
In terms of Fisher continuing as a group in its current form the best possible result would probably be for FrontFour to sell off its holding and for its directors to resign but we suspect that instead of this we will see continued sniping from a very small shareholder distracting attention from issues of running the company.
2011-05 19: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has upheld three complaints against radio broadcasts in its May decisions just posted: They were against Newstalk; RTÉ 2FM; and TodayFM. In addition a further four radio complaints were rejected and a total of 18 TV complaints and 14 radio ones were considered resolved.
The Newstalk complaint upheld related to a broadcast of "The Right Hook" programme in November last year that the complainant said included a personal attack by host George Hook on Ireland's Minister for Health Mary Harney that was inappropriate for broadcast.
The edition in question included a discussion of a report by the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, which "found that the Department of Health and the HSE have shown an unacceptable disregard for the law to provide nursing home care to people who need it".
The programme was introduced by an audio clip of Peter Finch ion the movie Network in which he said "'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" and Hook said he had never been as angry in the eight years the show had been on air as he was on this occasion.
The BAI Committee noted that Hook was very critical of Harney and her track record as Minister of Health and said it considered that that the broadcast was one-sided without sufficient alternative opinion and thus breached requirements in Ireland's Broadcasting Act for fairness, objectivity and impartiality.
The RTÉ 2FM complaint upheld was against The Tubridy Show and a broadcast in November last year during which host Ryan Tubridy, read a story relating to the awarding of damages to a victim of child sexual abuse in the High Court.
The complainant said this portion of the broadcast was not presented in a balanced manner as the host after giving details of the case commented that the "perpetrator 'still went to mass every day... that's disgusting, isn't it?"
This said the complainant was a case of the host expressing personal view in contravention of the Broadcasting Act as were other comments describing the perpetrator as a "monster" and "a creature" and saying that men who commit sexual offences are beyond any treatment or rehabilitation and that they should be physically harmed as a result."
RTÉ in its response said that the comments made were no more than the host's "expression of his own opinions about something he had read in a newspaper." And that the act did not mean that individual presenters cannot, within reason, express their own views.
The Committee in upholding the complaint said that the host's closing remarks - "...and from what I gather these guys cannot be quote unquote cured.....only one way to deal with them, and that's physiological....these guys should have bits taken off..." - were presented as a statement of fact unrelated to the newspaper reports and that "Irrespective of subject matter, such unsubstantiated literal statements by a presenter are not permitted."
The third complaint, against The Ray D'A'rcy Show on Today FM related to a broadcast in January this year that the complainant said breached sections of the Act on protection for children and coarse and offensive language.
In the broadcast around 10:20 a.m. Will Hanafin used the "F" word twice and on another D'Arcy used the phrase "pissed off."
Today in response said that it did not intend to offend listeners and apologized for any offence caused but that the topic under discussion - the political situation at the time - demonstrated "the level of frustration and anger felt by everyone out there.." It noted that the show was targeted at an adult audience.
The Committee noted the context but nevertheless upheld the complaint.
Previous BAI complaints:
2011-05 19: Melbourne 3AW drive host Derryn Hinch is back in court tomorrow when Melbourne Magistrates Court will consider charges that he breached orders barring the naming of sex offenders although indications are that the presiding magistrate and prosecutor will not press for him to be jailed.
Hinch, who in March lost his challenge to the law in a unanimous ruling by the Australian High Court in Canberra (See RNW Mar 10), has liver cancer and his lawyer and the prosecutor have both suggested that sentencing submissions to be put off for two or three months so he could recover from a liver transplant - should he receive one.
Hinch had appeared in the court earlier this week and on his website said that his QC Peter Faris "was trying to buy me some time, trying to keep me out of jail, until after I have had a life-saving liver transplant."
An affidavit had been produced by Professor Bob Jones, Director of the Liver Transplant Unit at the Austin Hospital, that Hinch's liver was "badly scarred and damaged, and has developed recurrent tumours that have required complex treatment": It would said Jones be "terminal unless he receives a liver transplant within the next 2-3 months. Hinch's need for a liver transplant is extremely urgent on the basis that if he does not receive a transplant in the next two or three months, his condition has a significant risk of becoming inoperable In such circumstances, I believe imprisonment or any similar hindrance to Hinch may have the consequence of a death sentence."
Both the magistrate Charles Rozencwajg and state prosecutor Gavin Silbert SC says Hinch had indicated that if he were found guilty and a prison sentence were imposed, sentencing arguments would be adjourned for two months to give him time for a transplant.
Regarding the High Court decision, Hinch, who will plead not guilty in the Magistrates Court, commented, "We lost that case on constitutional grounds. But, in their judgement, all seven High Court justices made some damning criticism of the law I am charged with breaking."
Hinch had shouted out the names of two sex offenders on the steps of the Victorian Parliament at a Name Them and Shame Them rally back in 2008 and he added of the High Court ruling, "Most telling, in my opinion, was the unanimous opinion that 'Material will not necessarily breach a Suppression Order if it merely states that a person of a stated name was found guilty of an offence [ and details of those offences], was convicted and is about to be released from prison or that such a person had been subject to an Extended Supervision Order under the Act'."
In an earlier posting Hinch had said of his attempts to have any jail sentence postponed, "Despite what has been said on Twitter, I am not trying to evade jail. I am not looking for special favours. I am not scared. And I am not a coward.
"All I am trying to do is save my life. Which I think is my right. Without a liver transplant, doctors say I only have months to live. At all times, 24/7, I must be no more than 45 minutes from the Austin Hospital in case that magic call comes thanks to the generosity of a donor family who will have given the gift of life in the midst of their own grief."
He also noted of an earlier attempt through the Office of Public Prosecutions to gain an adjournment to which "They virtually said: See you in court.
"On the health issue, the OPP said bring along your medical experts and we'll bring along experts from Corrections Victoria who can testify to the quality of the medical services in jail.
"Funny. Last time I looked they didn't have an organ transplant unit."
Hinch blog re gaining "breathing space":
2011-05 19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in enforcement mode again has proposed penalties totalling USD 49,000 on the owner of four AMs for various offences and also a USD 8,000 penalty on a California FM for public file breaches.
The main penalties went to Entertainment Media Trust (EMT), Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee and were:
USD 25,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to EMT in relation to Missouri stations KZQZ-AM, St. Louis, and KQQZ-AM, De Soto - for failing to operate KZQZ in accordance with the terms of its station authorization; for failing to conduct required annual equipment performance measurements for KZQZ and failing to maintain and make available complete public inspection files for both stations.
The breaches came to light when in April last year in response to a complaint the FCC Enforcement Bureau measured the signal from KZQZ transmitter site and observed no change in the field strength of the station's transmissions after 6:30 p.m. CDT, at which time is should have switched from daytime to night-time directional patterns.
A subsequent inspection the next day of the stations, which are co-located, revealed that issues/programs lists were missing for the period since the licensee acquired the stations were missing - eight since it acquired KQQQZ in March 2008 and both issues/programs lists for the period after the licensee acquired KZQZ in November 2009. Station personnel also said KZQZ had received comments from the public on the station's webpage, but none of these comments was included in the public inspection file.
The agent also conducted field tests of the KZQZ signal after the station had switched manually to a night-time directional pattern and found the field intensity to be one-tenth of the value measured the previous evening. According to station management, no remote monitoring equipment was installed or used at Station KZQZ, and no operator had made observations of the transmitting system to determine if the directional pattern was correct for the pertinent time of day. Station management also stated that the licensee had not established any monitoring procedures or schedules for the station and had not maintained any station logs, other than those pertaining to the Emergency Alert System.
A Letter of Inquiry was then sent requesting copies of the last set of equipment performance measurements for KZQZ to show compliance with FCC rules but EMT said "arrangements" for the measurements were in process but had not been coordinated and that this would be "corrected as soon as possible."
On this basis the FCC is proposing base penalties of USD 7,000 for failure to operate with the appropriate radiation pattern; USD 2,000 for the failure to make required measurements and penalties of USD 12,000 (for KZQZ) and USD 2,000 (for KQQZ) - the base penalty would have been USD 10,000 - for the public inspection to breached to make a total of USD 25,000.
It notes that these penalties are influence by its findings in another enforcement action involving two other stations owned by the licensee.
USD 24,000 NAL to EMT in relation to Illinois stations WQQX-AM, East St. Louis, and WQQW-AM, Highland - for failing to maintain and make available local public inspection files.
The breaches came to light following an inspection of the co-located stations in response to a complaint. It was found that neither station was maintaining a local public inspection file and, when asked about the stations' public inspection files, station personnel were only able to produce ownership reports from 2008.
In this case the agency is proposing to increase the penalty from the base of USD 10,000 to USD 12,000 for each station.
These two NALs followed an earlier one of USD 8,000 issued to Lazer Licenses, LLC, licensee of KSSB-FM, Calipatria, California, for failing to maintain a complete public inspection file. The breaches came to light during an inspection in April last year and this case missing issues and programs lists had been subsequently placed in the file the following month.
2011-05 18: Fairfax Media has put its radio business up for sale although it is expected to get only around half of the AUD 500 million (then USD 450 million) it paird for Southern Cross Broadcasting's radio stations and video production business in 2007 (Macquarie Bank-owned Macquarie Media - not linked to Macquarie Radio Network - paid AUD 1.35 billion - then USD 1.22 billion - for Southern Cross in a deal under which Southern Cross's metropolitan radio stations and Southern Cross Syndication were then sold to Fairfax Media with nine of Fairfax's regional radio stations sold sold to Macquarie - See RNW Oct 22, 2007). Fairfax has been hit by a decline in print media advertising and also bad weather in Australia and New Zealand's earthquake.
It described the radio business in the announcement as "a leading national radio network with strong established brands and a loyal listener and advertiser base in each of its key markets" and adds "Fairfax Radio is performing strongly and has a demonstrated ability to succeed through the cycle."
Fairfax has appointed KPMG Corporate Finance to assist with the sale process which it says is expected to commence in the next few weeks although it adds, "Any final decision to sell Fairfax Radio will be subject to achieving an acceptable price and consideration of all options to maximise value."
Divestment proceeds would it says be "used initially to repay debt and increase financial flexibility" and CEO Greg Hywood, who took over the post in February this year, added, "The decision to consider the divestment of Fairfax Radio has been taken in response to strong expressions of interest from prospective acquirers and as part of our ongoing review of opportunities to maximise shareholder value and the mix of assets we own."
Fairfax had on Monday announced a that it had renegotiated an extension to April 2015 of an AUD 414 million (USD 441 million) tranche of its Bank Syndicated Facility that was due to mature in April next year: It also has tranches of AUD 422 (USD 450 million) due April 2013 and AUD 292 million (USD 311 million) due April 2014 and says the total facility is currently drawn to AUD 395 million (USD 421 million). Debt maturities scheduled over the next three years says Fairfax will be fully covered by the undrawn facilities and cash generated by its options but there is speculation that it may put other assets up for sale to reduce its debt with candidates reported to include a partial float of New Zealand auction website Trade Me.
Bidders for the radio operations - 15 stations including 3AW in Melbourne, 6PR in Perth, and 2UE in Sydney - could include Australian Radio Network (ARN), DMG Radio Australia, John Singleton's Macquarie Radio Network, which has expressed interest, and News Ltd. with a value of AUD 250-270 million (USD 250- 270 million ) being put on them.
Southern Cross Media Group, which has just paid USD 740 million (USD 748 million) for Austereo (See RNW Mar 26 and Feb 2) is not thought to be in the running and Macquarie is thought to be the most likely buyer.
Macquarie is capitalised at AUD 92 million (USD 98 million) so would need to raise capital for any purchase. Of the other potential purchasers, News Ltd. has no radio operations in Australia but DMG, which is half-owned by Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan, and ARN could both have problems with competition issues meaning they would either be likely to bid for individual stations or would have to make significant divestments were they to bid for the whole business.
Previous Fairfax Media:
2011-05 18: Oaktree Capital Management, the Los Angeles-based investment management corporation reported to handle some USD 83 billion in assets and whose radio holdings include control of Townsquare Media, is reported to be planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that would value it at around USD 8-9 billion according to a number of reports.
They all seem to stem from a Financial Times report that quoted ", people familiar with the matter" and noted that the company listed shares four years ago on a "quasi-public exchange set up by Goldman Sachs" although it adds that this proved disappointing as investors found trading the stock to be difficult.
Oaktree was set up by its current chairman Howard Marks and President Bruce Karsh and other principals in 1995 - at that time Marks had experience in managing high yield bond and convertible securities whilst Karsh had been managing distressed debt.
It bought debt in a number of radio companies and ended up controlling the former Regent Communications, which it re-branded as Townsquare Media (See RNW May 3, 2010) and into which it later folded the former GAP stations ( See RNW Aug 13, 2010 - it also later bought 12 stations in Washington State from New Northwest Broadcasting - See RNW Dec 2, 2010) )and is expected to place Millennium Radio New Jersey's eleven stations, which it currently purchasing (See RNW May 9). It also holds a significant stake in Tribune Co., which publishes the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times as well as having broadcast holdings.
The New York Times in its report notes that moving from the private exchange to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) would ultimately give its founders a way to cash out their stakes in the company. So far the Oaktree has declined comment on its plans.
Financial Times report:
New York Times report:
2011-05 18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has handed out a further USD 67,500 in penalties or proposed penalties in relation to breaches related to operating unlicensed stations, and failures to have operating EAS equipment, to maintain tower enclosures and maintain public inspection files.
In order of descending amount the penalties issues were of:
*USD 25,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to John F. Warmath, licensee of WIRJ-AM, Humboldt, Tennessee, for failing to maintain an enclosed fence around the base of the station's AM antenna; Emergency Alert System equipment; and a public inspection file.
The breaches came to light when in response to a complaint agents inspected the station and found that it had no EAS equipment installed, that there was no fence surrounding the base of the station's antenna structure and no perimeter property fence and that the station had no public inspection file.
The station's acting chief operator told the agents that the EAS equipment had been missing for more than 60 day; that he estimated that the fence had been removed about a year prior to the inspection; and that neither he nor Warmath had not filed any documents in the public inspection file in over two years, and that they were unaware of any other person maintaining a public inspection file for the station during that period.
Based on this information the FCC is proposing base-level forfeitures of USD 7,000 for the fencing violation; USD 8,000 for the EAS breach; and USD 10,000 for the public inspection file breach to make a total of USD 25,000.
*USD 15,000 forfeiture to Robert Brown of Boston, Massachusetts, for operation of an unlicensed station in the Mattapan neighbourhood of Boston: The agency had issued a USD 15,000 NAL to Brown in October last year but had received no response so it confirmed the penalty.
*USD 15,000 forfeiture to Lloyd Morris of Boston, Massachusetts, for operation of an unlicensed station in the Mattapan neighbourhood of Boston. : The agency had issued a USD 15,000 NAL to Morris in October last year but had received no response so it confirmed the penalty.
*USD 7,000 NAL to Patrick H. Sickafus, licensee of WWSM- AM, Annville-Cleona, Pennsylvania, for failing to enclose two of the station's antenna towers within effective locked fences or other enclosure
The breach was found during an inspection in May last year when the inspector found that the wooden gate to the centre antenna structure was off its hinges and open that the door to the centre tower's tuning hut was unlocked and open, allowing unhindered access to the live tuning coils feeding the centre tower. The agent also found that the enclosure for the antenna structure located at the northern part of the site was missing the entire southside wall and the door to the tuning hut was unlocked. A base forfeiture of USD 7,000 has been proposed
*USD 5,500 forfeiture to World Media Broadcast Company, licensee of WCLM-AM, Highland Springs, Virginia, for failure to maintain functioning Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment; functioning transmission system remote control equipment; and a public inspection file at its main studio, and make that file available upon request.
The agency had issued a USD 21,000 NAL to World Media last year made up of base penalties of USD 8,000, USD 3,000, and USD 10,000 respectively (See RNW Licence News May 16, 2010) to which World Media responded requesting a reduction on the basis of a history of compliance, prompt action in repairing the EAS equipment and inability to pay.
The FCC rejected the first two arguments but reduced the penalty to USD 5,500 on the basis of inability to pay.
2011-05 17: Hedge fund FrontFour Capital seems to have failed in its attempt to gain control of the Fisher Communications, which it wanted to sell off: Although the full results have not yet been released because of the cumulative voting system it uses for the election of directors, Fisher has said in an 8k filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that preliminary results indicated that neither the company nor hedge fund FrontFour Capital have succeeded in getting their full slates of candidates elected to its board.
The filing says that at least 4,381,513 votes were cast for at least one of the Company's director candidates and at least 3,429,717 votes were cast for at least one of the FrontFour Candidates and that this would indicate that neither slate of four candidates put forward has been elected in full.
This would mean that the push by dissidents, who needed the full slate to gain control of the board, has failed: Fisher in the filing says it will now file an amendment giving details of the directors elected within four business days after such final results are known to the Company.
It also said that a majority of votes were in favour of holding favoured annual shareholder advisory votes on the compensation of the Company's named executive officers and that it will hold an advisory vote on the compensation of the Company's named executive officers annually.
2011-05 17: UTV in an interim statement covering the first four months of the year has reported a 3% overall revenue increase led by TV where revenues were up by 8% with a 2% increase forecast for May but an 8% decline in June because of the boost from World Cup soccer to the 2010 figures.
Radio revenues were mixed with the GB Radio Division up % compared to a 2% market decline but again the boost to last year's figures from the World Cup means that UTV is forecasting declines in May and June of 9% in each month.
UTV Media's Radio Ireland division was down 5% but sterling exchange losses amounted for 2% of this with a like-for-like comparison showing a 3% decline that is expected to continue into May and June.
New Media revenues were in line with those of a year earlier and are expected to remain the same over May and June.
2011-05 17: Latest US radio results - from Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) and Westwood One show falls rather than rises in first quarter revenues with SBS revenues down marginally at USD 30.78 million from USD 30.85 million with radio down 2% to USD 26.44 million but TV providing a bright spot with a 15% increase to USD 4.33 million.
OIBDA was down 8% to USD 5.46 million whilst operating income was down 6.8% to USD 4.1 million with the drop put down to an increase in operating expenses- station operating expenses were up 3.32% to USD 23.39 million - offset by decreases in corporate expenses and depreciation and amortization.
Commenting on the figures, Chairman and CEO Raul Alarcón, Jr. said, "We saw some improvement in the business environment across select markets during the first quarter. We have continued to focus on supporting our strong brands and market leadership through strategic investments in our content and distribution, while managing our costs."
"Looking ahead," he added, "our target audience continues to expand rapidly and our multi-media portfolio remains well positioned to attract advertisers in the nation's largest Hispanic markets."
Westwood One, which last month sold its Metro Traffic business to Clear Channel (See RNW Apr 29) reported revenues in the first quarter down 2.1 % on a year earlier at USD 90.9 million with the fall mainly in its Network Radio division where 2010 revenues were boosted by the Winter Olympics.
The company also noted a decline in news revenue, and the compressed selling period for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship after the contract was renewed in January with the falls were partially offset by revenue increases in Network music and entertainment, and certain news and talk programs including The Osgood File with Charles Osgood. Network Radio revenues were down 6.9% on a year earlier at USD 51.7 million whilst Metro Traffic revenues were up 5.0% to USD 39.2 million.
Overall adjusted EBITDA went from a positive USD 2.14 million in 2010 to a loss of USD 5.21 million with this year's figures including USD 5.72 million in broadcast rights expenses related to a new sports content agreement, and the company's net loss increased from USD 6.7 million to USD 9.8 million (From 33 cents to 45 cents per diluted share) with the increase reflecting the higher operating losses of USD 6.5 million, partially offset by a higher tax benefit of USD 2.2 million and other income of USD 1.1 million related to the fair market value adjustment from the USD 10.0 million of common stock purchased by Gores this past February.
Westwood One noted that the sale of Metro Traffic had allowed it to reduce debt by around USD 104 million and commenting on the figures President Rod Sherwood re-iterated sentiments expressed when Metro Traffic was sold, saying in a release, "We are focused on expanding our Network radio and digital business by launching new radio programs and digital video content, expanding distribution of our current programs, and supporting our revenue structure with the necessary resources."
"We are well positioned in the marketplace," he added. "Our new talk programs, including the Robert Wuhl Show and Urbanski, are generating increasing revenue and gaining distribution" also noting the launch in April of new programmes, including The Daily Wrap, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal, Rocsi on the Radio, with Rocsi Diaz, (co-host of BET's television show, 106 & Park), and a suite of Rick Dees programming.
Previous Westwood One:
2011-05 17: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing penalties totalling USD 37,000 on two operators of unlicensed FMs, a further 21,000 penalty on a Texas AM, and has denied a call to reconsider a USD 4,000 penalty on a Pennsylvania amateur station operator.
A USD 22,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) was issued to Judith V. Smith, formerly Judith V. McFarlane, of Miami, Florida, for operating an unlicensed transmitter and refusing to allow an inspection.
In June last year FCC agents traced signal that identified the station as "Gospel Reggae FM" to the residence of Smith, who owns a business called "Gospel Reggae FM.com."
The person who answered the door identified herself as owner and occupant of the residence and identified herself as Judith McFarlane but refused to allow an inspection. Shortly thereafter the station ceased operation.
In assessing the proposed penalty the FCC noted that the base forfeitures for refusal to allow an inspection is USD 7,000 and for unauthorized operation is USD 10,000: It increased the second amount to USD 15,000 to make a total penalty of USD 22,000 because its records show that McFarlane/Smith had previously been issued with a Notice of Unlicensed Operation for operation of an unlicensed station on the same frequency at the same location.
Also in Florida, a USD 15,000 NAL went to Fritzner Lindor of Orange Park, Florida. The FCC had traced signals to Lindor's residence on two days in June last year and on the following day inspected the station whilst it was on air: Lindor admitted purchasing the station's transmitter and operating the station without a license and also said he had been involved in broadcasting for about 19 years and knew that his actions violated the Act.
On this basis the FCC increased the proposed penalty from the base level of USD 10,000 to USD 15,000.
The agency also issued a USD 21,000 NAL to Consolidated Radio, Inc., licensee of KVOZ-AM in Del Mar Hills, Texas, for failing to maintain a main studio in the community of license; operate consistent with the terms of its station authorization; and maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The breaches came to light after monitoring of the signal showed that the field strength for the station on two days in July last year had remained the same after sunset as during the day and subsequently also attempted to inspect the station but could not find its main studio in Del Mar Hills, its community of licence.
As no contact details were listed in Del Mar Hills agents then contacted Consolidated Radio at its office in McAllen, Texas, and was given the name of a contractor from Brownsville, Texas who handles FCC issues for Station KVOZ and told that the contractor would coordinate an inspection of the station.
An inspections was carried out later in July during which the FCC agent was told that the station had been running at 3 kilowatts power during both daytime and night-time operation "for the last few months" due to a problem with its transmitter and also that no main studio had been maintained for that period.
The agent was later taken to a private residence in Laredo, Texas, and inspected a file that reportedly had been located at the previous main studio location: It contained some of the contents of the station's public inspection file, but did not contain the station's service contour map, political file, or issues/programs lists.
The FCC has accordingly proposed base amount penalties of USD 10,000 for the public file violations, USD 7,000 for the main studio breach and USD 4,000 for the power breach to make a total of USD 21,000.
In addition Consolidated has also been directed that within 30 days it must to submit a statement signed under penalty of perjury by an officer or director of Consolidated Radio stating that it is maintaining a main studio for Station KVOZ in compliance with the Rules; that KVOZ is powering down after sunset as specified in its station authorization; and that a complete public inspection file is available at its main studio.
The agency also confirmed a USD 4,000 penalty to Jose Torres, the licensee of Amateur Extra Class Station N3TX in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for wilfully and repeatedly operating his amateur station on an unauthorized frequency at his residence. Torres had been issued with a Notice of Violation for the breaches along with a USD 4,000 NAL and subsequently met with agents, claiming sat the time that he had not been at home on days when the signal was traced to his residence and submitted cell phone records to validate his claim. He also requested a reduction on the basis of inability to pay and submitted the three most recent years of his federal tax returns to support this claim.
The FCC said the cell phone records only showed that Torres' phone was not in use at the time of the offences and rejected his request for cancellation and also said that the documentation provided did not justify a reduction. The USD 4,000 penalty was confirmed.
2011-05 16: Cumulus Media, which is currently in the process of taking over the share of Cumulus Media Partners (CMP) it does not already hold and of Citadel Communications, has reported first quarter broadcast revenues up 2.5% on a year earlier to USD 56.73 million and net revenues up 2.7% to USD 57.86 million.
Station operating expenses were down 5.9% to USD 37.56 million with station operating income up 23.6% to USD 20.30 million and adjusted EBITDA - which excludes USD 1.9 million in one-off charges primarily related to the acquisitions - was up 4.1% to USD 12.76 million: Without the charges it would have been up around 20%. Free cash flow went from USD 907,000 to USD 1.73 million, up more than 90%.
Overall a net loss of USD 144,000 in the first quarter of last year became net income of USD 16.12 million (from a loss of a cent per basic and diluted share to income of 38 cents per basic share and 37 cents per diluted share.
Commenting in a release on the results Cumulus chairman and CEO Lew Dickey concentrated on the acquisitions, saying, "During the first quarter, we announced two very important transactions for our shareholders. With the acquisition of CMP and Citadel, we are transforming our company into a true national platform that is broadly diversified with scale."
"The pro forma entity," he added, "will have a strong balance sheet with ample liquidity that will generate enormous free cash flow. We look forward to combining these entities into a fully-integrated asset base that will provide numerous opportunities to create value through both content and distribution."
Once the USD 2.4 billion Citadel acquisition goes through, Cumulus should be valued at more than USD 4 billion, which would make it second only to Clear Channel as a US radio operator. Earlier this month it announced completion of a USD 610 million Notes offering with proceeds to be primarily used in connection with the acquisitions of Citadel and CMP (See RNW May 13).
In its 10Q filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cumulus says it has "have obtained commitments for up to USD 500.0 million in equity financing and commitments for up to USD 2.525 billion in senior secured credit facilities, which are expected to be used to pay the cash portion of the purchase price in the Citadel Acquisition" adding that currently estimates that the funds available to it "will be sufficient to satisfy our anticipated financing needs for working capital, capital expenditures, interest and debt service payments and completion of pending and other potential acquisitions and other debt obligations through March 31, 2012."
In an 8K filing last month in connection with the financing Cumulus listed sources of its funds as including revolving credit of USD 71.7 million; a term loan of USD 2.040 billion; USD 610 million in notes offered; proceeds from equity investment of USD 395 million; equity value for issuance in its CMP Acquisition of USD 80 million; Equity value for issuance in the Citadel Acquisition of USD 713 million and proceeds from the assumed exercise of all outstanding Citadel stock options of USD 91.6 million to make a total from all sources of just above USD 4 billion.
In the uses of this it estimated some USD 1.15 billion for cash in the Citadel acquisition with a further USD 713 million in equity with USD 80.3 million in equity for the CMP acquisition and USD 1.877 billion to refinance existing debt and subsidiary's preferred stock. Other uses included USD 142 million for fees and expenses.
2011-05 16: The number of licensed broadcast stations in the US at the end of March was up 13 on the total for the end of 2010 at 30,643 according to figures just released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that showed the radio total -excluding low power FMS - up 109 to 14,728 although the number of commercial AMs fell by four to 4,778.
The number of commercial FMs was up 7 to 6,533 and that of FM Educational stations rose by 106 to 3,417 and the number of Low Power FMS remained unchanged at 859.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2011-05 16: LBI Media, Inc. first quarter revenues were up 8% on a year ago to USD 25.4 million to USD 25.4 million driven by TV, which was up 21%, to USD 14.2 million while radio was down 5% to USD 11.3 million.
The TV rise was put down mainly to success at its EstrellaTV network with radio's decline primarily down to a fall in advertising in its Texas markets partially offset by increases in Southern California.
Operating expenses were up by more - 25% overall to USD 23.7 million - and adjusted EBITDA was down 39% to USD 4.3 million with major factors in the decrease including the inclusion in the 2010 figures of a USD 1.6 million radio gain related to the purchase of KDES-FM and a one-off USD 700,000 charge related to the settlement of a legal dispute: Excluding the one-off factors adjusted EBITDA was up 4.0%.
Overall LBI recorded a net loss of USD 6.45 million, up from USD 4.01 million with the largest single factor the absence of the USD 1.6 million radio gain noted above and others including a USD 1.0 million write off of deferred financing costs relating to our former senior secured credit facility
Commenting on the company's earnings results, Lenard Liberman, Chief Executive Officer and President said, "We are pleased with the results of our first quarter, and with the progress we have made in our network business since the launch of EstrellaTV."
After noting the ratings success of Estrella he continued, "With our recently completed refinancing, we now have a capital structure in place to provide the liquidity and flexibility to optimize the value of our assets. Our radio and television stations are located in some of the most attractive markets for Hispanic media, and the release of the 2010 Census data confirms the strength and growth of the US Hispanic population. With the powerful growth of the underlying demographics in our markets and with the strength of our highly rated programming, we believe we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this favourable trend and deliver outstanding performance."
2011-05 16: Australian metropolitan commercial radio revenues, which in March had slowed down significantly with only an 0.3% overall rise and falls in all markets except Sydney and Melbourne (See RNW Apr 8) bounced back again in April with a 5.73% overall increase to AUD 53.95 million (USD 56.94 million) according to figures from the 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte and released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
There was growth in all the five major metropolitan markets with Perth showing the largest percentage increase - up 13.5% to AUD 7.05 million ( USD 7.44 million) followed by Sydney - up 7.16% to AUD 17.15 million (USD 18.10 million); Adelaide - up 7% to AUD 5.24 million (USD 5.53 million); Melbourne - up 3.35% to AUD 16.17 million ( USD 17.07 million) and Brisbane - up 0.89% to AUD 8.37 million (USD 8.84 million).#For the first ten months of the 2010-2011 financial year overall growth is now 6.63% on a year earlier.
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner suggested one reason for the month-to-month change, commenting "The increase in revenue this month could be attributable to the inclusion of Easter promotions - last year Easter fell at the beginning of the month so advertising revenue for Easter and its lead-up would have been reported a month earlier"
"Despite the ups and downs in the short-term," she added "radio continues to perform well in the long-term and is a very resilient and reliable media for Commercial Radio Australia has also announced that Advertising agency, Leo Burnett Melbourne has won the 2011 Gold Siren award for best radio ad of the year for a campaign called "Slow Mornings" for 7-Eleven.
The winning ad uses humour to encourage people to buy a coffee from 7-Eleven and will automatically be entered into the Cannes Radio Lions to be held next month at the Cannes Advertising Festival with winning writers Andrew Woodhead and Eamonn Dixon to receive airfares, accommodation and tickets to the event.
It is the first time the agency has won this award and the same advert also took a Silver Siren for winning the campaign category
Judge, Joe Talcott, chief creative, NewsLab said: "This year's Siren Awards were quite difficult to judge, with a strong showing of high quality work being submitted. The Gold winner wonderfully demonstrated something that millions of people experience every morning. It compelled you to listen to the ads".
The Siren Awards, which are run by Commercial Radio Australia, to recognise the best radio advertising in the country are now in their seventh year. Audio of the winning adverts is on the Siren Awards website.
Previous Australian Metropolitan radio revenues:
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Siren Awards website:
2011-05 15: Last week the main regulatory action was again in North America with things quite elsewhere: There was only one radio announcement from the UK and none from either Australia or Ireland.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has posted a definition of "emerging Canadian artists on commercial radio", noting that this it has adopted of an English-language emerging Canadian artist provided by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and the Canadian Independent Music Association and of a French-language emerging Canadian artist provided by the CAB and the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video.
It noted that the exposure of emerging Canadian artists on commercial radio "has been a topic of discussion for more than a decade, most extensively during the two most recent reviews of the policies for commercial radio" and that it started a consultation about the definitions to be used in February 2008.
The definition adopted for English language artists is that they have never reached either the top 40 position on one set of charts or the top 25 on another set with a similar definition for a French language artist.
The Commission also made public two studies on the airplay given to new Canadian artists, which they said "indicate that no new regulations are required at this time since these artists are receiving adequate airtime."
CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C. commented, "The Canadian radio industry is actively supporting new emerging artists, who promise to contribute to a vibrant music industry in the coming years. Many Canadian artists are also taking advantage of online platforms and social media to promote and distribute their music. Given these opportunities, there is no need to impose specific requirements."
The CRTC also posted one radio licensing decision: This was in Ontario where it denied an application by CTV Inc to increase from 7,500 watts to 14,000 watts the power of its English-language commercial station CKQM-FM, Peterborough.
CTV noted a 2009 approval of changes to the station's signal - reducing power and increasing the antenna height - to accommodate a change of frequency for Corus's CKRU-FM, Peterborough, that increased the coverage for CKQM but had, said the licensee, caused significant interference and reception issues that the power increase would help remedy.
The application was opposed by Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. and Durham Radio Inc., which said CTV had not provided sufficient technical analysis of the signal strength and also that the reception problems were outside CKQM's coverage area and that the application would increase its contour and result in a greater penetration of the Northumberland market.
The CRTC said it considered that the decision it had to make was whether CTV demonstrated a technical or economic need for the amendment requested: It noted that the changes would increase would result in an increase in the population served from 137,959 to 150,587 in the 3 mV/m service contour and from 361,101 to 499,300 in the 0.5 mV/m service contour, but that of 12 complaints produced only three complaints refer to problems within its 3 mV/m service contour and one complaint originates within the 0.5 mV/m contour.
On this basis it conclude that CTV had not produced sufficient proof of inadequate service to Peterborough, the community the station was originally licensed to serve, and rejected the application.
The CRTC also posted a number of public notices including:
*Nova Scotia: Consultation with a June 2 deadline for interventions or comments relating to application by Maritime Broadcasting System Limited to re-locate the transmitter of its English-language commercial station CKDH-FM, Amherst, from 18,700 to 23,000 watts and reduce the antenna height.
The applicant says the relocation is necessary because the hydro poles serving the transmitter were brought down following a recent storm and adds that it is therefore proposing to move the antenna and the transmitter into the radio station's building along with its emergency generator.
It has allowed a period for interventions of 20 days instead of the usual 30 for various reasons including delays so far and because the construction season has started in the area.
*Various locations: Consultation with a June 17 deadline for interventions or comments that includes the following radio applications:
*Application by Le5 Communications Inc. to increase from 1,400 to 4,620 watts and increase the antenna height of its French-language commercial station CHYC-FM, Sudbury.
*Application by Norwesto Communications Ltd. to renew the licence for its English-language commercial station CKQV-FM, Vermilion Bay, and its transmitters CKQV-FM-1, Dryden; CKQV-FM-2, Kenora; and CKQV-FM-3, Sioux Lookout, expiring 31 August 2011. The CRTC notes that the licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to the submission of annual returns for the 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years.
*Application by HB Communications Inc. to relocate its existing transmitter for English-language comemrcial station CFMQ-FM , Hudson Bay to a new location five kilometres away.
The licensee states that the relocation is necessary because the land on which its transmitter is currently located has been sold and adds that as a result of this change, some listeners with lower quality FM receivers may lose their signal.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland and in the UK there was only one from Ofcom - that of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it upheld no complaints against radio (See RNW May 9).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already reported has concluded its Auction 91 of FM Construction permits for which the gross total of Provisionally Winning Bids was USD 10.522 million with the net total USD 8.538 million. The highest bid was of USD 2.068 million for a permit for Lawrence Park in Pennsylvania and the lowest of USD 1,100 for a permit in Cedarville, California (See RNW May 11)..
In enforcement actions, the agency has proposed penalties of USD 25,000 and USD 20,000 respectively on a Puerto Rico AM for breach of a consent decree under which a USD 15,000 penalty had been cut to USD 8,000 but not paid and on a New York pirate station operator (See RNW May 13).
It has also saw one Commissioner, Republican Meredith Attwell Baker, announce that she was to leave the Commission on June 3: her announcement attracted the standard messages of goodwill from her fellow Commissioners but speedily also attracted rather less friendly comment from the outside world when it emerged that she is to join Comcast whose USD 13.75 billion takeover by NBC Universal she had voted for only four months ago.
With comments such as "shameless" and "disgust" floating around she then felt impelled to issue a second statement in which she said she was proud of her time in government service, that she had not been approached about any post at Comcast or NBC/Universal whilst she was a Commissioner and that when the opportunity of the post became available in mid-April she consulted with the FCC's General Counsel and recused herself from any matters related to Comcast or NBC/Universal and had also not voted on any item since she entered into discussions about potential employment.
"Because of this," she concluded, "I plan to depart the Commission as soon as I am able to ensure an orderly wind-down of my office."
RNW comment: However personally honest Baker may have been she does not meet the standards of the Julius Caesar comment that "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion" and in the same way that any really reputable news organization receiving information from Burston-Marsteller would be best placed to investigate the matter and clients involved, not run any of the material, Washington would be a better place were all those in office to politely decline her calls from now on and simply tell her to put things in writing, making all such communications public. Chances of either - nil! Chances of widespread intelligent public trust in US politicians and business much the same.
The FCC has also issued a call for comments concerning the economic impact low-power FM stations may have on full-service commercial FM stations. The requirement for a study on the effects the stations "will have" after the law came into effect was part of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 that came into law in January this year and the FCC notes that it can only at the moment base its study on the effects current stations have had.
In particular it notes its view that the two prime factors to be considered are changes in the audience of full-power stations and changes in their advertising revenues that are attributable to the presence of LPFMs.
It is therefore asking for comment on factors relevant to the study, any evidence they can provide about the direct effect LPFM's have had or are likely to have on the audience ratings of full-power stations and on their advertising revenues.
It adds that it would also like comment amongst other things on the appropriate geographic areas to be evaluated - noting that its current plan is to use areas based on signal contours and Arbitron markets.
The FCC also says that it does not intend to study potential interference issues or their potential economic effect.
Previous von Finckenstein:
Previous Licence News:
2011-05 14: RadioCity and Indian Internet services group Sify Technologies have announced a partnership under which PlanetRadiocity's web radio is to be carried n Sify services.
Under the deal, which is reported not to be a monetary one, RadioCity expects to expand its audience for which it already claims 1.4 million users, whilst Sify expands its services. The web radio is not a stream of RadioCity's terrestrial service but a music service of Bollywood, Indian Pop, and other genres of music that allows users to select songs to dedicate to family and friends and also post comments via email or Facebook.
Sify, which was well as being an ISP runs a string of "mylife" cybercafés, is to make the "radio" available as a tab on the homepages in all the cafes and its broadband.
In a news release, Sify's president, consumer infrastructure services Natesh Mani said they believed "radio on Sify is a complete 'fun and masti' (RNW note -"masti" is a Hindi word that carries the meanings of "fun" and "mischief") offering for young professionals and next generation listeners" and added, "We are delighted to partner with Radio City and integrate an Indian internet radio channel with Sify.com. It may be put as our marketing initiative to increase our listener base on the internet."
For RadioCity its head of digital media and new business Rachna Kanwar added, "This is a strategic move for Radio City. We are perhaps the first Indian radio station to launch a multi-genre Indian web radio, and now through this partnership, we hope to increase our listener base among Indian netizens, globally digital media is growing at a fast rate and it has the ability to engage persons 24x7. Now we have 1.4 million listeners on our web radio. With internet usage attaining both critical mass and depth, the medium will only help us see a substantial increase in our listenership. We saw the premise of cross-channel navigation among the visitors of Sify.com to be very promising, so we went ahead to strike a deal."
Previous Indian Radio:
2011-05 13:The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has handed out proposed penalties totalling USD 45,000 for breaches of its rules, one to a Puerto Rico AM that had breached terms of a consent decree and the other to the New York operator of a pirate station.
In Puerto Rico a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) of USD 25, 0000 went to A Radio Company, Inc., licensee of WEGA-AM in Vega Baja.
A Radio had entered into a consent decree in May 2008 regarding breaches of rules regarding antenna tower fencing, public inspection file requirements, and operating with an unauthorized antenna pattern that included payment of USD 8,000 to the US Treasury by June 14, 2008 and also the submission of a submit a Compliance Report certifying compliance with all terms of the Consent Decree by May 14, 2010. The Consent Decree ended an enforcement proceeding which originated with a USD 15,000 NAL.
In April last year A Radio in response to a letter of Inquiry from the FCC admitted that it had to make the payment but said that its "original check for USD 8,000 was not cleared by Western Bank because of insufficient funds."
The amount has still not been paid nor has a compliance report being submitted so the FCC has now issued a USD 25,000 NAL.
In New York the agency issued a USD 20,000 NAL to Recardo Millwood, Bronx, for operating an unlicensed transmitter.
The proposed penalty followed warnings issued in early and mid October last year and again in late October and early November.
The proposed penalty was increased from the base level of USD 20,000 because of the repetition of the breaches.
2011-05 13: Houston's public radio output is to change at 04:00 local time on Monday when the University of Houston's KUHF-FM, currently a news and classical music station, moves to a news and information format and the 91.7 FM frequency - the former KTRU-FM which was purchased from Rice University - starts to air classical programming as KUHA-FM, Classical 91.7.
Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the transfer of KTRU's licence, dismissing petitions opposing the transfer (See RNW Licence News Apr 17) and the eclectic programming of KTRU went off the FM band on April 28 although the student-run stations continues to broadcast on the HD2 channel of the Pacifica Foundation's KPFT-FM.
KUHF will carry a mixture of programming from American Public Media, the BBC, NPR, and PRI in addition to local news, weather and traffic - and KUHA will offer recordings from local institutions such as the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Houston Grand Opera as well as public radio programming including The Front Row, Exploring Music, Metropolitan Opera, Performance Today and From the Top.
A preview of KUHF's planned programming is on the station's website.
KUHF programming preview (PDF):
2011-05 13: Cumulus Media has announced the closing of its offering of USD 610 million of USD 7.75% senior notes due 2019 that it had announced last month (See RNW Apr 25) in a private offering.
The net proceeds from the notes will be used, as part of Cumulus's refinancing in connection with its acquisitions of Cumulus Media Partners, LLC and Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, to repay in full amounts outstanding under the term loan facility under the Company's existing senior secured credit facilities with any proceeds left after fees and expenses related to the offering to be used for general corporate purposes.
2011-05 12: Radio One Inc., which in preliminary results earlier this month said it expected first quarter revenues to the end of March to increase by 10.2 (See RNW May 3), has now reported that although this was correct it concealed a fall in radio revenues and warned that it now expects radio revenues to be flat in the second quarter.
As in the preliminary results, overall revenues were up 10.2% % to just above USD 65 million and adjusted EBITDA was at the top end of the range in the preliminary results at USD 10.56 million, up 0.13% on a year earlier.
Operating expenses were up 7.8% to USD 59.52 million, mainly because of increases of USD 5.75 million for Corporate selling, general and administrative, excluding stock-based compensation.
Radio One also recorded an extra USD 10 million in interest expense because of its entry into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement and Amended Exchange Offer on November 24, 2010 and a loss of USD 7.74 million on the retirement of the Amended and Restated Credit Facility on March 31, 2011.
Net loss went up from USD 5 million to USD 64 million (from Nine cents to USD 1.23 per share). It noted that during the quarter it t closed upon a new senior secured credit facility comprised of a USD 25.0 million "super-priority" revolving credit facility and a USD 386.0 million term loan.
CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III said of the results, "Q1 2011 was challenging with our overall radio net revenues down 1.5% in the first quarter compared to last year."
In contrast, he noted "Reach Media net revenues increased 83.8% and were impacted by Reach Media assuming operational and financial control and responsibility for the ongoing cruise event, the 'Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage.' (The event took place in March 2011 and generated approximately USD 6.6 million of revenue for Reach Media). Our internet business revenues increased 1.0% this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2010; we continue to believe that our on-line platform will be a major source of revenue and EBITDA growth for the future."
TV One, said the company, continues to perform strongly and had Q1 net revenues up 19.7% on a year earlier at USD 30.8 million and it noted that its ownership interest in TV One is now approximately 50.9and that it expects to account for TV One on a consolidated basis beginning in the second quarter of this year.
Regarding radio Liggins commented, "Second quarter 2011 radio pacings have deteriorated over the past several weeks, and we now expect Q2 2011 radio revenues to be relatively flat compared to prior year, although this will be mitigated by the strong growth in TV One revenues, which will be consolidated for the first time in Q2 2011."
Commenting on the radio figures during the company's conference call Liggins said the company "definitely underperformed" its peers adding "It's disappointing but this is a short-term disruption."
As to reasons for the shortfall the company put this down in part to the knock-on effects in the US of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and also to being too aggressive on pricing - Radio President Barry Mayo said its average unit rate was up 5% - which allowed competitors to undercut it and lost business and senior management turnover in a number of its markets.
Radio One's shares were down 2.44% at the end of the day at USD 2.80, having closed at USD 2.87 yesterday and opened at USD 2.84.
Previous Radio One:
2011-05 12: Latest UK radio ratings from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) show that the medium had a record reach in the first quarter of this year with 47.3 million adults - 91.6% of the 15 plus population - tuned in each week with listening up to a record 1.058 million hours a wee, some 22.4 hours per listener.
Listening via a digital platform was up 12.8% on a year ago to 22.3 million a week with digital listening hours up 15.4% to 280 million hours a week with DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) accounting for 63.1% of all digital listening time - listening via digital TV platforms was up 7.1% to 44 million hours and through the internet it increased by 28.3% to 38 million hours a week. Digital's share of the total listening is up from 24% a year earlier to 26.5%.
Within the listening, the BBC's share was down from 55.3% in the previous ratings and 56.5% a year earlier whilst commercial radio was up from 42.5% in the previous survey and 41.3% a year earlier to 42.6%.
Of the BBC stations, Radio 4's audience was boosted to a new record of 10.829 million helped by a busy news period and events at The Archers as were the audiences to all of its channels except Radio 5 Live, which fell back by 6.2% compared to the previous quarter whilst its main commercial rival, UTV-owned talkSPORT was up 5.2%.
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, commented in a news release, "It is quite brilliant to see radio reaching a record number of listeners in the digital age. These results speak to the unique quality of radio in the UK and reflect our work as an industry to keep innovating to attract new listeners. From a BBC perspective, the record results reflect the unique strength of our programme makers and the growing value of distinctive radio stations."
Commercial industry body the RadioCentre in its comments noted that the industry had a record reach, adding nearly two million listeners (1.884 million) compared to a year earlier and nearly a million (987,000) compared to the previous quarter and added, "The bumper listenership boost comes in the same week that the commercial radio sector scooped its best ever haul of 14 Gold Awards at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, topping an impressive week for the industry."
It also noted the narrowing of the gap between it and the BBC and RadioCentre Chief Executive Andrew Harrison commented in a news release,"Commercial radio is at the top of its game, delivering record audiences in the same week that the industry scooped an impressive 14 Gold Awards at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. These accolades, together with record audience figures, are further evidence of commercial radio's enduring appeal. Once again, the industry has demonstrated its ability to innovate and provide listeners with what they want."
Sony Awards success was also highlighted by Absolute Radio in comments posted by Chief Operating Officer Clive Dickens in which he said, "In a week of success that saw us win seven Sony Radio Awards, it is particularly pleasing to see even more good news as the business recovers nearly all of the reported audience losses last quarter. We have continued to invest heavily in marketing this year, kicking off in March with our multi award-nominated national 'Faces for Radio' marketing campaign and we expect to continue to see the impact of this in the coming quarters."
Absolute also highlighted the importance of digital, commenting, "Digital innovation remains core to the brand's business and Absolute Radio continues to pioneer the radio industry in digital listening. 60% of the brand's network listening is now done via a digital broadcast platform against an increased industry average from 25% to 27%."
Bauer highlighted an increase in reach from 12.3 million to 13.4 million year-on-year and highlighted the success of its dance music station Kiss in recording its "highest ever reach in its first Rajars since taking to the national stage early in the New Year, jumping from 3.4 million to 4.07 million listeners across the UK, an increase of 20% year-on-year."
Steve Parkinson, managing director of Bauer Radio London, said: "We couldn't be happier with the results for KISS since taking the brand to a national level earlier this year. We have seen increases in all four corners of the KISS world over the past year - nationally, in London and in the East and West of England. The Bauer Passion portfolio is built around stations that unite listeners around music and lifestyle, so the kind of significant increases we see from KISS, heat, Kerrang! and The Hits support our insight into what makes these audiences tick."
Dee Ford, group managing director radio, Bauer Media added, "This is a solid set of results with more listeners than ever choosing one of our iconic, market leading stations. The Bauer Place portfolio underlined its 'big in all the right places' proposition by growing local listening in major cities around the UK including Belfast, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Leeds, Dundee, Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle. The Bauer Passion portfolio, delivered a fantastic 20% increase in reach, which reflects stations at the top of their game."
In the London commercial battle Global Radio's Capital was back on top in terms of both reach and share for the first time since Global bought GCap Media in 2005 with Global's Heart FM second in terms of reach and Bauer's Magic FM third although Magic was second in terms of share with 5.9% compared to Capital's 6% and Heart's 4.7%
Within the figures compared to the second quarter of the year and a year ago:
*BBC Radio 1 gained 404,000.00 listeners and had a weekly audience of 11.825 million but listening share was down from 8.8% to 8.7% (9.5% a year ago when it had 11.737 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 gained 594,000 million listeners and had a weekly audience of 14.537million but listening share was down from 16.2% to 16.0% (17.2% a year ago, when it had 14.569 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 gained 42,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 2.258 million and listening share up from 1.2% to 1.3% (1.2% a year ago, when it had 2.025 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 gained 510,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.829 million and listening share was up from 12.1% to 12.3% (12.2% a year ago when it had 10.029million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, lost 440,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6.653 million, with listening share down from 5.3% to 4.1% --(4.6% a year ago when it had 6.481 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it lost 462,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.750 million and a listening share down from 5.5% to 4.7% (4.7% a year ago when it had 6.563 million listeners).
*BBC World Service gained 331,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.790 million and listening share up from 0.6% to 0.9% (0.6% a year ago when it had 1,288 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network gained 23,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 500,000 and listening share unchanged up from 0.2% to 0.3 (0.2% a year ago when it had 357,000 listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd's (Times of India parent) Absolute Radio (total including all AM and FM) - gained 19,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.394 million but listening share was up from 0.9% to 1.0% (1.1% a year ago when it had an audience of 1.396 million).
*Global Radio's Classic FM gained 366,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6.086 million and listening share unchanged at 3.9% (3.7% a year ago when it had 5.515 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 160,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 3.248 million but listening share was down from 2.3% to 2.1% (1.6 % a year ago when it had 2.368 million listeners.).
Among digital stations the top ten stations in the survey had a weekly audience as below - (previous quarter in brackets) - this excludes Bauer's Kerrang! which has a substantial analogue and digital listenership and had a total weekly reach of 1.399 million including its analogue stations (down from 1.408 million quarter on quarter and up from 1.203 million a year ago) but includes BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Asian Network:
1: BBC 6 Music - 1.297 million (Up from 1.137 million and up from 1.023 million a year ago.). Same rank.
2: BBC 7 - 941,000 (Down from 949,000 and up from 931,000 a year ago). Up from fourth rank (This is now BBC Radio 4 Extra)..
3: The Hits (Bauer) -1.141 million (Up from 1.123 million and up from 1.011 million a year ago). Down from second.
4: Smash Hits (Bauer) -1.094 million (Up from 1.045 million and from 853,000 a year ago). Down from third.
5: BBC 1Xtra - 892,000 (up from 816,000 and from 663,000 a year ago). Up from sixth rank
6: BBC Five Live Sports Extra - 799,000 (up from 751,000 and from 685,000 a year ago). Up from seventh rank
7: Planet Rock (Independent) -797,000 (Down from 827,000 and up from 694,000 a year ago). Down from fifth rank.
8: Heat (Bauer) -626,000 (Up from 557,000 and up from 447,000 a year ago). Up from ninth rank
9: Absolute Radio 80s -624,000 (Down from 665,000 and up from 264,000 a year ago.) Down from eighth rank
10: BBC Asian Network -500,000 (Up from 477,000 and from 357,000 a year ago). Same rank
**Although in share terms BBC 6 music retained top rank with 1.0 share, and with BBC 7 Music (Now BBC Radio 4 Extra) remained second with an 0.6 share, the third place goes to Planet Rock with an 0.5 share and fourth rank is shared by The Hits and BBC 1XTra, each with 0.4.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (Absolute's ultimate parent):
Previous Global Radio:
Previous RAJAR (and RAJAR ratings - Q4, 2010):
2011-05 11: Citadel Communications, which is to be taken over by Cumulus (the release carries the usual misleading description of it as a "merger") has reported first quarter revenues down 3% on a year earlier at USD 160 million although the company notes that because of the application of fresh-start reporting after it emerged from bankruptcy , its discussion and analysis of the Company's results for periods prior to May 31, 2010, the Fresh-Start Date, are not comparable to periods after that date although it says its opinion is that they allow for a meaningful comparison within which its Radio Markets segment was down 1.3% to USD 136.4 million and Radio Network division was down 11.4% to USD 24.9 million.
Consolidated station operating income was down 3.3% to USD 48.1 million within which radio stations were up 1.2% to USD 47.0 million and the Radio Network was down 64.7% to USD 1.2 million.
Free cash flow, however was up 57.3% to USD 39.4 million but if it is adjusted as if interest had been paid on senior notes during the period would have been up 18.8% to USD 29.7 million.
Adjusted EBITDA was down 3.4% to USD and net income of USD 11.48 million for the predecessor company became a loss of USD 6.64 million: Depreciation and amortization was USD 8.86 million in 2010 for the predecessor company and USD 23.04 million this year for the current company (No per share figures were listed).
2011-05 11: Fisher Communications held its Annual Meeting today in Seattle with shareholders voting in an acrimonious contest for four members of its board between a slate put forward by the company and another put forward by board member David Lorber, a founder of hedge-fund FrontFour Capital that has backed a number of attempts to sell off or break-up the company.
FrontFour only holds around 2% of Fisher's shares but it has claimed the support for three of its slate from funds controlled by investor Mario Gabelli that hold 28.5% (See RNW May 4)
Fisher has said the results of the proxy vote are to be announced within several days via a Securities and Exchange Commission filing - following the meeting, which was held at the Company's Fisher Plaza headquarters with company officials barring reporters and photographers from the meeting, although it was made available via a webcast (This is available here - until May 18.
The meeting was opened by Fisher chairman Michael D. Wortsman who started by introducing a video of Fisher's activities then before opening the AGM SAID he would allow brief statements to be made about the candidates for the board.
He then introduced various company officials before going on to introduce the Fisher candidates for the board- the FrontFour candidates were not present - and then allowing (around 18 minutes into the webcast) Lorber to make a brief statement in favour of FrontFour's slate of candidates in which he concentrated on the premise of driving stockholder value.
Wortsman then made a short statement in favour of the Fisher slate, including himself, concentrating on the expertise and knowledge of the nominees.
He also referred to "wholly unsupported accusations against the company, our CEO and their directors" and said the board's opponents had been willing to "say almost anything to gain their nominees" and went on to say "The simple fact is that FrontFour has not been a long-term significant Fisher shareholder" but is a hedge-fund that was seeking to make a short-term gain at the expense of other shareholders and that had put forward a slate that if elected would give it control of Fisher without any control premium being offered to the rest of the shareholders.
He added that this was not the time to "disrupt " the company's momentum or auction the company at all and went on to comment on Fisher's performance in outperforming the rest of the broadcasting industry and cited Proxy Advisory Services ISS and Glass-Lewis support for the Fisher slate (See RNW May 4).
After allowing a short period for voting this section of the meeting closed at just after 10:30 local time.
The meeting then heard presentations from CEO Colleen Brown and Chief Financial Officer Hassan Natha before moving on to a question and answer session.
The first question came from a shareholder who identified himself as an attorney and accountant (CPA) and said his family owns 20,000 Fisher Communications shares, who asked about the issue of directors' own shareholdings regarding which Wortsman said that board members had bought shares but on many occasions there has been closed windows when they could not buy shares. Another shareholder who said he was Doug Southern a shareholder and former chairman of Seattle apparel makers Cutter and Buck - and obviously no fan of Lorber (an online search indicates that it has a history of dealings with Lorber before he left Pirate Capital, which owned some 13% of Cutter and Buck) asked about possibility of removal for cause as it seemed that in Lorber they had a "cancer" on the board and was told it required both cause and a shareholder vote.
2011-05 11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 FM Construction Permits ended today, the eleventh day of the auction, with a gross total of USD 10,522,200 for Provisionally Winning Bids (PWBs) and a net total of USD 8,537,655.
The figures were up from USD 10,508,500 and USD 8,532,655 at the end of Round 46 on Tuesday and over 62 rounds, PWBs were made for 108 of the permits with the highest bid of USD 2,068,000 being made for the Permit in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania and the lowers of USD 1,100 for one in Cedarville, California.
On the final day of the auction, only one permit attracted new bids, that for Dubois, Wyoming, for which at the end of Tuesday the PWB was of USD 5,000 from Cochise Media Licenses LLC.
Today Cochise was competing for the permit against Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC and it ended up taking it for USD 10,000, USD 700 above Future Modulation's PWB at the end of Round 60.
The top PWB's were:
* Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania - USD 2,068,000 Gross (USD 1,344,200 Net) bid by First Channel Communications - Round 17
After this there were five more bids of above USD 500,000 gross, which were those for:
*Coosada, Alabama - USD 987,000 Gross (USD 641,550 net) from Liberty Acquisitions 825, LLC - Round 21.
*Northport, Alabama - USD 708,000 Gross (and Net) from Apex Broadcasting, Inc. - Round 29.
*Celoron, New York - USD 691,000 Gross (and Net) from Cross Country Communications, LLC. - Round 17
*Coachella, California - USD 678,000 Gross (and Net) from Entravision Holdings, LLC - Round 20
* Daytona Beach Shores, Florida - USD 640,000 Gross (USD 416,000 Net) from Susan Hall- Round 18.
There was then one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 15 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range.
Previous FCC and Auction 91:
2011-05 11 :DMG Radio Australia has announced that Helen Davies is to take over from Sam Thompson who yesterday announced her resignation as general manager of its Nova 100 and Classic Rock stations in Melbourne although she is to remain with the company to work on other projects.
Thompson has been with the company for eight years, the last six of them as GM in Melbourne and she commented that this was a long time and it was now "time to explore fresh challenges and for new opportunities."
DMG Radio Australia Chief Operating Officer Kingsley Hall said they respected "Sam's decision after a long time in a challenging role", adding that "fortunately" she had agreed to stay and work on other projects.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Thompson as saying, "'The decision was made weeks ago,'' adding ''I made the announcement today as I wanted to tell my team, and the entire team are together in one room on survey day.''
Davies joins DMG Radio Australia from Austereo, where she is currently Director of Entertainment Content Solutions: She was also General Manager for 2DAY FM and Triple M in Sydney for five years from 2005 to 2010.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2011-05 11: Emmis, which in 2009 lost its Hungarian licence for Sláger Rádió (See RNW Nov 19, 2009) and later decided to pull out of analogue broadcasting there (See RNW Nov 21, 2009) has fared better in neighbouring Slovakia where it has been granted an 8-year extension of its license to operate radio station Rádio Expres.
Slovakia's Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission also granted Emmis an option for an additional 8-year extension.
Commenting on the grants, Emmis President and CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a news release, "We are very gratified by the decision. We are proud of our team at Rádio Expres. They have set the very highest standards in Slovakian broadcasting, and today's decision recognizes their accomplishments."
Expres general manager Eva Babitzova added, "Rádio Expres is the most popular station in Slovakia, with the largest over the air audience and largest station website reaching over 1.5 million Slovaks weekly. The new license is good news not only for the hard-working team at the station, but primarily for the loyal listeners of Rádio Expres."
2011-05 10: Latest Australian radio ratings just released for the third survey of the year show few changes with the leaders maintaining their crowns and Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB increasing its overall lead in Sydney - it took a 16.2% share overall, up from 15.6 in the previous survey whilst Fairfax Media-owned rival 2UE only took 6.1% (up from 6.0%). .ABC 702 held on to the second rank overall in Sydney although its share was down from 10.8% to 10.4%.
Ray Hadley did particularly well for 2GB with a record 20.1% share in the 0900-noon slot and his share kept him ahead of long-time long-time Sydney ratings leader Alan Jones whose breakfast show, which precedes Hadley's, retained an 18.3% share: Hadley was only just behind Jones in the first Survey of this year -18.6 to 18.8 - and then overtook him in the second survey with 19.3 to 18.3.
In the Sydney FM race Austereo's 2-Day held on to its lead with a 10.1% share, down from 10.3 while DMG Australia's Nova increased its share from 6.9% to 7.1% and moved up a rank to fourth.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation did well in Adelaide where it was up from fourth to equal top rank.
In its comments on the ratings Austereo referred to "exciting growth" for its Today network and highlighted the network's FM wins in Breakfast and Drive in Sydney; a 42nd consecutive top FM rank for Fox FM in Melbourne and top rank for B105 in Brisbane where the station took its share up by 0.9 to 12.7% and the drive time success of the combination of Fifi Box and Jules Lund for most of the week together with Hamish and Andy (Hamish Blake and Andy Lee) on Fridays. It also noted that in Perth Mix FM was the FM leader for the 92nd consecutive ratings.
CEO Guy Dobson said it was "pleasing to see success for the spectacular Today Network and Mix 94.5 in Perth" and added "This, along with growth for Triple M Sydney, and Melbourne, ensures Austereo's dominance in the FM radio market".
City by city, the top stations were (previous ratings % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 102.3 with 13.7 (14.7) - same rank but shared with ABC 891 which with 13.7 (10.8) was up to equal top rank from fourth; SAFM with 12.9 (13.9) - down one; 5AA with 12.7 (13.45) - down one;
* Nova, then remained fifth with 8.9 (10.6) followed by Cruise 1323 which was up a rank to sixth with 7.7(6.3), ahead of 5MM which was down a rank to seventh with 7.4 (8, .5) and then 5JJJ, which remained eighth with 5.1 (4.9)
*Brisbane- B105 with 12.7 (11.8) -Same Rank; 97.3 FM - up from fourth with 11.3 (10.6); Nova with 10.9 (11.7) - Down a rank;
*ABC 612 was then down a rank to fourth with 10.1 (11.4) followed by 4MMM which remained fifth with 10.0 (10.4) and 4BC, which remained sixth with 8.5 (8.1).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 16.4 (17.3) - same rank; ABC 774 with 11.7 (11.1) -up from third; Fox FM with 11.6 (12.4) - down from second;
*Gold was then up a rank to fourth with 7.2 (6.4), swapping places with Nova which went down to fifth with 6.2 (6.5) after which Magic remained sixth with 5.9 (5.6) followed by 3MMM -up a rank to seventh with 5.7 (5.1) after which SEN was up two ranks from tenth with 5.4 (4.6).
DMG's Classic Rock, the former Vega, remained eleventh but was up to 3.9 from 2.9 whilst Melbourne Talk Radio remained next to bottom with 1.8 (2.0), and ABC News Radio in bottom rank was down from 1.9 to 1.5.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 15.4 (14.1) - same rank; 92.9 with 11.6 (11.6) -up from third; ABC 720 with 11.6 (11.9) - down from second;
* Nova remained fourth with 9.9 (10.5), after which 6PR was up a rank from ahead of 96 FM, which was down from fourth to fifth with 10.0 (9.5) after which 6PR was up a rank to fifth with 9.1 (9.1) and 6JJ remained seventh with 8.8 (8.8).
*Sydney - 2GB 16.2 (15.6) - same rank; ABC 702 with 10.4 (10.8) - same rank; 2-DAY with 10.1 (10.3) - same rank;
*Nova with 7.1 (6.9) moved up a rank to fourth, swapping places with WSFM whose share was down from 7.1 to 6.8 after which 2UE remained sixth with 6.1 (6.0) followed by Mix 106.5 which was up a rank to seventh with 5.7 (5.4) and 2CH, which was up a rank to eighth with 5.0 (4.9). This pushed 2JJJ down two ranks from seventh to ninth, ahead of 2MMM with 4.1 (3.8). DMG's Classic Rock, which took over the former Vega slot, remained 12th with 2.8 (2.6).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Ratings:
Previous Fairfax Media:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
2011-05 10: Clear Channel has dropped two senior staff as part of a re-organization of their areas that its Radio President John Hogan said in a memo to staff followed a review of the company's regional clusters with a view to improving their operation.
Out are George Toulas, Executive Vice President of Operations for Regional Markets, and Senior Vice Presidents of Operations Dave Crowl and Tom Thon.
Hogan's memo also notes the promotions of Market Managers Tom McConnell (Boston); Hartley Adkins (Washington, DC and Baltimore) and Matt Martin (San Antonio) to the posts of to the position of Senior Vice Presidents of Operations.
McConnell will have responsibility for the Northeast market; Adkins will oversee the Southeast market, and Martin will be responsible for the West and in a memo to staff Hogan adds "In addition, they will also work closely with me, regional market leaders and a small group of senior CCR executives to develop and implement our plan for reinventing regional market operations. Each will also play a larger strategic role within the company going forward."
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-05 10: Cox Media Group (CMG) has announced that its Executive Vice President Bob Neil is to retire at the end of this month after 25 years with the company. .
Neil joined Cox in 1986 as station manager of Atlanta's WSB-AM/FM, and in 1988 was named vice president and general manager of Tampa's WWRM-FM.
From 1989 to 1992 he was vice president and general manager of WSB-AM/FM, and from 1992 to 1996 served as executive vice president-radio of Cox Broadcasting.
He was named president and chief executive officer of Cox Radio, Inc. in 1996, when it became a public company and remained in the post until 2009 when he took his current role in which he has overseen various radio, television, newspaper, digital and research operations within CMG and also served as president of Cox Radio and also had responsibility for CMG Research.
Neil's successor is yet to be named but he is to remain a consultant for the company for some years.
CMG President Doug Franklin said of Neil in a news release, "Bob has contributed enormously to the success of our CMG properties with his brilliant programming, research and content skills. His leadership over radio for 19 years is evident in the quality stations and employees we have across our network."
2011-05 10: As on Monday, bidding in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits remained slow down today with only 13 new bids involving a total of four permits, all of them at the lower end of the price scale.
At the end of the day after 54 rounds the gross total for provisionally winning bids (PWBs) was USD 10,517,200, up from USD 10,508,500 at the end of Round 46 on Monday and the net bids total amounted to USD 8,532,655, up from USD 8,528,155.
The largest new Provisionally Winning Bid (PWB) of the day was of USD 17,000 for a Construction Permit (CP) in Ten Sleep, Wyoming from Lovcom Inc. in Round 50.
The bids range from USD 1,100 from Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC for a permit in Cedarville, California (In round 27) to a top price of USD 2,068,000 from First Channel Communications for a permit in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania (Round 17).
Below the Lawrence Park bid there are five bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million; one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 15 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range - all the same as on May 5 (See RNW May 5).
During the early rounds today, only two permits were in play, one that for Trona in California that was the subject of competition between Hispanic Target Media (it had a Provisionally Winning Bid (PWB) of USD 2,300 at the end of Monday) and Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC. At the end of the day Hispanic was back in the lead with a Round 52 bid of USD 4,100.
The other was the CP for Ten Sleep, Wyoming, for which Lovcom, Inc. had placed a PWB of USD 12,000 at the end of Monday and which a target was again for Future Modulation. At the end of the day the PWB for the permit was of USD 17,000 from Lovcom in Round 50.
In the 51st Round Future Modulation upped to bidding for the permit for Tecopa in California to USD 12,000 - the PWB on Monday was of USD 11,000 from Jodesha Broadcasting Inc. and then in Round 53 it increased the bidding for the permit for Dubois in Wyoming to USD 4,500 - the PWB for this had previously been a USD 4,100 bid in Round 40 from COCHISE MEDIA LICENSES LLC., which took back the lead in Round 54 with a bid of USD 5,000.
Previous FCC and Auction 91:
2011-05 10: Salem Communications first quarter revenues were up 7.2% on a year earlier and operating expenses were down 1% to USD 39.8 million with operating income up USD 47.7 million: The largest revenue increased came from its Internet operations - up 38.4% to USD 6.2 million with operating income up 36.8% to USD 900,000 - followed by Publishing, where revenues were up 17.1% to USD 2.8 million with operating loss down fro USD 97,000 to USD 39,000.
Broadcasting revenues lagged - up 3.2% to USD 42.7 million with station operating income down 3.1% to USD 14.9 million and same-station net broadcast revenue was up 3.7% to USD 41.8 million with same-station operating income down 3.7% to USD 14.6 million.
EBITDA was up 35.1% to USD 15.7 million but adjusted EBITDA fell 4.0% to USD 11.5 million and overall net income up from USD 200,000 to USD 2.6 million ( From one cent to ten cents per diluted share): Salem noted that this year's first quarter figures include a gain of 4.5 million gain (USD 2.7 million, net of tax, or USD 0.11 per diluted share) on disposal of assets comprised of a USD 2.4 million pre-tax gain from the sale of KKMO-AM in Seattle, Washington and a USD 2.1 million pre-tax gain from the sale of KXMX-AM in Los Angeles, California, offset by losses from various fixed asset and equipment disposals; and USD 300,000 in non-cash compensation charges USD 200,000, net of tax)
2011-05 09: UTV's talkSPORT has taken this year's Sony Station of the Year Award -the UK "Radio Oscars" that this year celebrated "30 years of excellence in radio" with 14 Golds going to commercial radio compared to 23 for the BBC, six of them for BBC Radio 5 Live, the Corporation's main competitor to talkSPORT and last year's winner of the award (See RNW May 5, 2010 ).
Digital Station of the Year was Fun Kids and the smaller stations of the year awards went to GMG Radio's 105.4 Real Radio North West , BBC Radio Derby, and Central FM in Scotland, now - controlled by John Quinn, former chairman of The Local Radio Company.
Amongst the personality awards, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood took the Music Personality of the Year Award for Absolute Radio; Danny Baker took the Speech Personality Award for the BBC; and Jeremy Vine took two Golds for Radio 2 - Speech Broadcaster of the Year and Best Interview of the Year.
The Special Awards both went to women - The Special Award to Annie Nightingale "In recognition of more than 40 years of exceptional broadcasting including her breakthrough achievements, her championship of the new, and the inspiration she has given to music makers and broadcasters alike " and The Gold Award to Jenni Murray "For a career of exemplary broadcasting, for her incisive yet sensitive interviewing skills, her championship of the woman's perspective and the inspiration she has given to others."
Commenting on the results, Tim Blackmore, Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards said, "In spite of the continuing emergence of new platforms and of video ubiquity, the creative use of sound continues to attract massive and regular support from the vast majority of the British public. This is entirely down to the skills and talents of radio professionals in all sectors of the audio business and it is these awards that continue to highlight their ever impressive levels of achievement."
The full list of Gold Awards is:
UK Station of the Year - UTV's talkSPORT.
Digital Station of the Year - Fun Kids
Station of the Year (One Million plus): GMG Radio's 105.4 Real Radio North West
Station of the Year (300,000 - 1 million) - BBC Radio Derby
Station of the Year (up to 300,000) - Central FM (103.1 FM)
The Gold Award - Jenni Murray
The Special Award - Annie Nightingale
Programme & Production Awards:
Best Entertainment Programme - The Frank Skinner Show - Avalon for Absolute Radio
Best Sports Programme - Fighting Talk - Worlds End Television for BBC Radio 5 live
Best News & Current Affairs Programme- Victoria Derbyshire - BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast Show of the Year (10 million plus) - 5 live Breakfast - BBC Radio 5 live
Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million) - The Graham Mack Breakfast Show - BBC Wiltshire
Best Speech Programme - The Infinite Monkey Cage - BBC Radio Science for BBC Radio 4
Best Breaking News Coverage - 5 live Drive: Birth Of The Coalition - BBC Radio 5 live
Best Live Event Coverage - The Ryder Cup on 5 live - BBC Radio 5 live
Best Music Special - The John Bonham Story - TBI Media for BBC 6 Music
Best Specialist Music Programme - Jazz on 3 - Somethin' Else for BBC Radio 3
Best News Special - Raoul Moat - The Final Hours - Real Radio North East for Real Radio
Best Feature - Heel, Toe, Step Together - Falling Tree Productions for BBC Radio 4
Best Comedy - The Jason Byrne Show - BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 2
Best Drama - Every Child Matters - BBC Radio Drama Manchester for BBC Radio 4
Best Community Programming - Warning: May Contain Nuts - BBC Radio Berkshire
Best Internet Programme - Answer Me This! - Answer Me This Podcast.com
Best Use of Multiplatform - BBC Introducing - BBC Audio and Music for BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 3, BBC Local Radio and BBC Radio 2
Best Use of Branded Content - Alex Masterley on Classic FM with Towry - Classic FM
Best Single Promo/Commercial - Capital's Summertime Ball Mash-Up - 95.8 Capital FM Best Promotional/Advertising Campaign - The FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa on talkSPORT - talkSPORT Creative for talkSPORT
Best Competition - Beat The Star - Heart West Midlands
Best Station Imaging - Kiss 100 - Kiss 100 and Pure Tonic Media for Kiss 100
Music Radio Personality of the Year - Ronnie Wood - A Somethin' Else production for Absolute Radio and Absolute Classic Rock
Music Broadcaster of the Year- : Zane Lowe - BBC Radio 1
News Journalist of the Year - Matthew Price - BBC Newsgathering for BBC Radio 4
Best On-Air Contributor - Annabel Port - Absolute Radio
Speech Radio Personality of the Year - Danny Baker - Campbell Davison Media (for BBC Radio 5 live)/ BBC London 94.9
Speech Broadcaster of the Year - Matthew Price - BBC Newsgathering for BBC Radio 4
Best Interview - Jeremy Vine interviews Gordon Brown - BBC Radio
Station Programmer of the Year - Moz Dee, talkSPORT
Previous Sony Awards:
Sony Awards site:
2011-05 09: US radio growth continued for the fifth consecutive quarter with a 3% increase year-on-year in revenues in the first quarter to USD 3.783 billion according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
Within the figures spot revenues were up 1% to USD 3.062 billion and network revenues were flat at USD 260 million with the main growth in off-air - up 9% to USD 312 million and digital - up 21% to USD 149 million.
RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley commented of the results, "The consistent ad spending increases from advertisers in Radio's top 5 categories are significant. This growth, indicative of confidence in Radio's platforms, is echoed across multiple categories and leading marketers like Communications giant AT & T, Quick Service Restaurant leader McDonalds and Supermarket titan Safeway."
He continued, "The double-digit gain in Radio's Digital sector reflects advertisers' growing interest in tapping the power of exciting interactive capabilities in providing a return path to enhance product and brand promotion and increase sales."
The top five spending categories in the quarter (based on spot spending) were Communications/Cellular at USD 338 million; Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers at USD 333 million; Television/ Networks/Cable Providers at USD 295 million; Restaurants at USD 262 million; and Financial Services at USD 212 million.
In terms of percentage increases the best performers in the quarter were
Automotive Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers- up 27% to USD 333.2 million; Casino?s Lottery- up 22% to USD 101.6 million; Insurance Companies- up 20% to USD 184.8 million; Health Care- up 12% to USD 53.6 million; and
Professional Services- up 9% to USD 125.8 million.
2011-05 09: Bidding in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits remained slow down today as at the end of last week with only nine new bids, all for the minnows.
After 46 rounds the gross total for provisionally winning bids (PWBs) was USD 10,508,500, up from USD 10,498,500at the end of Round 40 on Friday and the net bids total amounted to USD 8,528,155, up from USD 8,518,155.
The largest new Provisionally Winning Bid (PWB) of the day was of USD 12,000 for a Construction Permit (CP) in Ten Sleep, Wyoming from Lovcom Inc. in Round 46, the last of the ninth day of the auction.
There were bids in all rounds for this permit as it see-sawed between Lovcom and Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC. - Future Modulation was also involved in one of the other three new bids - in Round 45 when it bid USD 2,100 for a permit for Trona, California - losing it in Round 46 to a USD 23,00 bid from Hispanic Target Media Inc.
The other new bid was of USD 11,000 for a permit in Tecopa, California, from Jodesha Broadcasting, Inc .
The bids range from USD 1,100 from Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC for a permit in Cedarville, California (In round 27) to a top price of USD 2,068,000 from First Channel Communications for a permit in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania (Round 17).
Below the Lawrence Park bid there are five bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million; one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 15 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range - all the same as on May 5 (See RNW May 5).
Previous FCC Auction 91:
2011-05 09: Entercom has reported first quarter revenues up 2% on a year earlier to USD 82.5 million but station expenses were up 4% - to USD 61.8 million - with station operating income down 4% to YSD 20.7 million.
Adjusted EBITDA was down 13% to USD 15.1 million and net income plunged from USD 4.2 million to USD 1.02 million (From 12 cents per basic and 11 cents per diluted share to three cents per basic and diluted share).
The figures include USD 1.54 million in what its filing to the SEC terms "Merger and acquisition costs", presumed to be costs incurred in preparing a bid for Citadel (Which is being taken over by Cumulus for USD 2.4 billion - See RNW Mar 10) as the 10Q filing refers to a "an unsuccessful proposal to acquire a large radio group operator."
President and CEO David J. Field told investors it was "no secret" that it was the other bidder for Citadel, adding that they liked the former ABC stations but not the smaller ones.
Field said that Citadel would have been "Nice" to have but it was not a "must" and he dropped out when the price went too high, adding that Citadel was a better bet for Cumulus and wishing them well.
Commenting on the results themselves Field said, "Same-station revenue growth, excluding political and the impact of last year's New Orleans Saints Super Bowl run, increased 4% in the first quarter. In addition, we gained significant revenue share during the quarter, outpacing our peers in 16 of our 22 reporting markets." He continued, "We bolstered our competitive position by reformatting five of our stations in San Francisco, Kansas City and Buffalo and continued to enhance our digital capabilities, driving strong growth in our key digital metrics. Finally, we are pleased to note that radio listening trends remain outstanding as the total number of local radio listeners continues to grow and is now at an all-time record level. In addition, local radio holds well over a 90% share of total radio listening vs. satellite and internet."
2011-05 09: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest bulletin upholds no radio complaints considers a radio standards complaint over swearing by (Sir) Elton John on air to have been resolved through action taken by the broadcaster and gives details of a radio fairness and privacy complaint not upheld: It also lists TV complaints that it upheld against five broadcasters, a TV standards complaint considered resolved, a TV advertising minutage case upheld, and a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint upheld.
The radio complaint considered resolved was the only one Ofcom received concerning an edition of Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 on Jan 28 this year when the singer responded to a comment by saying "Oh fucking hell": Both the host and the singer apologized for the comment during the broadcast (See RNW Jan 28).
In its response to Ofcom the BBC had noted that not only did both host and guest apologise immediately after the comment was aired around 08:50 but that a further apology was made after the news broadcast at 09:00 and added that the language used was "a spontaneous outburst, borne out of irritation rather than malice or an intention to cause offence."
Ofcom in considering the matter resolved noted that the BBC has said that it will in future not only warn those responsible for booking guests but speak to guests directly to "re-emphasise the importance of not using offensive language" and that in this case advance guidance had been given to the singer's management team although not to (Sir) Elton John himself.
The radio fairness and privacy complaint not upheld was against The Hillz FM community radio station in Coventry; It was made by a former presenter and volunteer at the station after another presenter Gino Shankle (alias "DX9") referred to her by her radio alias "Delicious" and made remarks that alluded to her dismissal from co-presenting the programme with him, comments that she said were "malicious and degrading".
Ofcom said it recognised that the comments were personally hurtful to the complainant but that use of her broadcasting alias did not disclose any information that could reasonably be regarded as being of a particularly private nature or attracting a degree of privacy.
The figures compare with one radio and nine TV standards complaints against five stations upheld in its previous bulletin along with one TV Fairness and Privacy complaint upheld and two more partly upheld with a further five not upheld. It also found that TV broadcasters had aired more advertising than permitted in three cases.
In addition to the above findings Ofcom also listed without details 404 complaints against 225 TV items - 113 against one edition of a Channel 5 TV programme- and 36 radio complaints against 23 items that it did not uphold: This compared to 342 complaints against 172 TV and eight radio complaints against seven items that were similarly listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom complaints bulletin:
2011-05 09: Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital, which holds shares in a number of US radio companies including the majority share in Townsquare Media, into which it put the former Regent Communications and Gap Broadcasting/Gap West Broadcasting, has now agreed a takeover of Millennium Radio New Jersey.
Millennium owns 11 New Jersey stations and had struggled with debt problems: The deal will lead to its recapitalization but terms of the sale were not released although Millennium's CEO, Bill Saurer, said in a statement that it would benefit from a strong financial position and solid cash flow following the acquisition.
The stations in the deal are flagship WKXW-FM (New Jersey 101.5) and seven more FMs - WJLK, WOBM, WCHR, WSJO, WFPG, WENJ and WPUR plus three AMs - WOBM, WADB and WENJ.
2011-05 08: Last week the main regulatory news again came from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is running its Auction 91 of FM Construction Permits and also handed out a number of proposed penalties for various rule breaches: Elsewhere things were slower but there were radio-related postings except for Australia where the only posting concerned wireless access spectrum.Ofcom updated "enhanced news" guidance:
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a number of radio postings including a ruling backing a Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) decision to reject a complaint about the broadcast of a report on an incident in Germany when a man tore off another man's testicles and threw them out of a window (See RNW May 3).
In licensing decisions the CRTC approved the acquisition by 7590474 Canada, a company controlled by Radio Humsafar Inc., to acquire from Diffusion Laval inc., the assets of French-language commercial station CJLV-AM, Laval, Quebec, for CAD 200,000 (USD ). The Commission noted that the station has unprofitable since its launch in 2004 and therefore there will be no tangible benefits required.
The agency also posted a public notice with a June 9 deadline for the submission of interventions or comments relating to an application to move the transmitter of CBR-AM, Calgary, Alberta, to a new site: It notes that since the current transmitter site was built in the early 1960s Calgary's population has more than tripled and urban development is now encroaching on the transmitter site resulting in significant population within strong signal contours.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Association of Ireland (BAI) has posted details of its Right to Reply Scheme and an updated guide to its complaints processes (See RNW May 4) and is also involved in the release of ratings (See RNW May 6).
In the UK, Ofcom posted its April Radio Broadcast Update which included details of two Digital licences surrendered, those of My Baby Radio on the Stoke DAB multiplex and Radio Plymouth on the Plymouth and Cornwall multiplex.
It also invited declarations of intent to apply for two local FM licences, those for Ludlow currently held by Murfin Media Limited (broadcasting as Sunshine Radio) and the Guernsey area, currently held by Tindle Radio Limited (broadcasting as Island FM). In both cases Declarations have to be made by May 24 accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of GBP 1,000 ( USD 1,640) and a deposit of GBP 6,700 (USD 10,970) for the Shropshire licence and an application fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 8,200) and deposit of GBP 10,000 (USD 16,400) for the Guernsey licence (the deposits will be refunded on receipt of a valid application to a subsequent re-advertisement of the licence): if only the current licensees submit a declaration they will be invited to re-apply under Ofcom's Fast Track procedures and if no applications are made the licence will not be re-advertised
A third licence, that for the Barnstaple area was also scheduled to be "pre-advertised" but Now Digital Ltd., which owns the Exeter and Torbay Digital Multiplex, has applied to extend its coverage to North Devon a move that means that current licensee Lantern Radio Ltd (broadcasting as Heart Devon) will be entitled to apply for a renewal of its FM licence. Consultations are to be held on the Now Digital proposal and the Barnstable licence will not be pre-advertised in the meantime.
One local FM licence was re-awarded under the fast track procedure, that for KFLM Ltd.'s Kings Lynn station.
The update also includes details of eight format changes, two of them relating to Absolute Radio which is to be allowed to replace the format of its national AM service with a simpler description - "A Rock-Oriented Station combining New Music with Classic Album Tracks, aimed At 25-44 Year-Olds" and also to be allowed to drop the requirement to broadcast local news for London on its London FM licence.
Five of the six other changes relate to local FMs Dearne FM (Barnsley), Rother FM (Rotherham), and the Trax FM services in Bassetlaw and Doncaster, which are to be allowed to share programming with local programming to be made within any part of their combined licence areas in addition to which the Wakefield-based Ridings FM is to be allowed to co-locate with either of the above Barnsley and Doncaster licences.
The final change related to Montgomeryshire area service Radio Halfren, the former Radio Maldwyn, which is to be allowed to reduce its news coverage: Currently the licence says it has to carry news "At least hourly at peaktime weekdays and weekends. Outside peak, UK-wide, nations and international news should feature" and this it to be replaced with "Local News at 7.30am and 8.30am weekdays. Outside these times UK-wide, national and international news should feature."
The update also details sampling reports on Real Radio Scotland, Sovereign FM (Eastbourne, Seaford, Hailsham and the surrounding area) and Viking FM (Humberside), all of which were found to be operating within their formats.
Ofcom also notes that following publication of its "Statement on commercial radio localness regulation" in April last year, some local stations have committed to providing an 'enhanced' local news service in return for being able to broadcast a greater number of networked hours during daytime programming: It has now clarified its guidance on expectations of an "enhanced'" local news service.
ON Digital multiplexes the Update notes the addition of NME Radio to the Cambridge and Norwich multiplexes with NME taking over the "Passion for the Planet" slots on the Bristol and Bath, Exeter and Torbay, Southend and Chelmsford, and Peterborough multiplexes.
One change of Control review was posted, that for Perth FM, where no significant changes were noted, and Ofcom also approved the transfer to Northern Media Group Ltd of the Northern Ireland licences of Q101.2 FM, Omagh & Enniskillen; Q102.9 FM, Londonderry; Q97.2 FM, Coleraine; Five FM, Newry; Six FM, Mid Ulster; and Seven FM, Ballymena.
Regarding Community Radio the Update notes the issuance of four licences - to Biggles FM, Biggleswade; HCRfm (Huntingdon Community Radio (Media) Ltd.), Huntingdon; In2beats, Bedford; and Reprezent FM (Eclectic Productions UK) in South London and a change in the key commitments for Tamworth Radio Broadcasting C.I.C's TCR fm, which amongst other things it to be allowed to reduce the typical amount of live programming from at least 12 hours per day to 44 hours per week and ease the requirements for its regular talk/phone-in shows and replace a scheme committing itself to visit local schools and arrange school visits to its premises with a commitment to visit youth centres.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted has been running its Auction 91 of 144 FM Construction permits with the total bid now nearly USD 10.6 million although bidding has now slowed right down (See RNW May 6) and was also involved in issuing a whole swathe of proposed penalties for unlicensed operation - one of them of USD 25,000 - and other rule breaches (See RNW May 5) along with earlier proposed penalties to two Illinois broadcasters (See RNW May 3).
It also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2011 (Also RNW May 3)
It also held an Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum at its HQ at which chairman Julius Genachowski noted various features of Japan's broadband-based warning system that was used to mitigate the effects of this year's earthquake and tsunami, including features that automatically close down many energy plants, industrial facilities, and transportation services and that the US does not currently have a comparable earthquake warning system nor the same level of redundancy in its mobile communications system that Japan has through its wireless mesh network. .
The agency also noted that it has granted a request from the PPM Coalition's (PPMC) request to withdraw its Emergency Petition for Section 403 Inquiry and to terminate the Commission's inquiry into the matter without further action: The PPMC had filed an emergency motion in September 2008 calling for the investigation amidst concerns about the effect of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings on urban- and Hispanic-formatted stations and in particular under-representation of various groups on PPM panels (See RNW Sep 25, 2008 and Sep 4, 2008).
The Agency had issued a Notice of Inquiry into the matter in May 2009 (See RNW May 18, 2009): It noted in granting the request that the PPMC had said that it and Arbitron had agreed on plans to alleviate the Coalition's concerns (See RNW Apr 22, 2010 ).
In licensing decisions the agency has posted an order concerning decisions made in the case of 37 groups of mutually exclusive applications for Construction Permits (CPs) for new or modified non-commercial educational FMs in filing windows that were open from February 10 through 26 last year and from October 12 through 22, 2007.
In a disputed licence case the agency denied an application from Blakeney Communications, Inc., which wanted to modify the facilities of WBBN-FM, Taylorsville, Mississippi, for a review of a Media Bureau decision granting Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc. a license to cover a construction permit for modification of the facilities WRKH-FM, Mobile, Alabama,
WRKH was licences to operate without full Class C facilities but in 2002 Clear Channel filled an application to upgrade it to full Class C and this was granted in June that year with the CP scheduled to expire on June 13, 2005. Construction was commenced the day before this but on June 13 Blakeney filed an application to upgrade WBBN-FM, an application in conflict with the WRKH upgrade.
Clear Channel filed its licence application on June 15 and Blakeney filed the petition to deny on June 24, 2005, arguing that Clear Channel had failed to file its licence application on time.
Clear Channel responded by contending that its application was timely because a permittee was allowed allows permittees 10 days from the start of program tests to file a covering license application, and the Bureau in July 2006 denied Blakeney's Petition to Dismiss although it admonished Clear Channel for making its filing two-days late.
Blakeney responded with a Petition for Reconsideration, which was denied in March 2008 after which Blakeney responded with the Application for Review, contending that WRKH had become a Class CO station on June 13, 2005, under FCC rules.
Previous Licence News:
2011-05 07: BBC Radio 5 Live's "Men's Hour" - promoted on its launch in July last year as the "cheeky younger brother" of BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour (See RNW Jul 3, 2010)- returns to the airwaves tomorrow (21:00 local: 20:00 GMT).
It will again be hosted by its creator Tim Samuels who will be joined each week by comedian Jon Holmes and the station says the news series will build on its legacy of offering a man's perspective on life's crucial issues and will tackle tackling issues that matter - from philandering and fatherhood to seducers, spiritual gurus and sperm stealers.
2011-05 06: Univision has reported first quarter revenues up 6.2% to USD 481.8 million with adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) down 6.3% to USD 169 million after taking into account USD 15 million of income from a commercial settlement in the first quarter of 2010: Excluding the settlement, the OIBDA was up 2.2%.
Within the figures TV income was up 7.1% to USD 407.1 million; radio was down 2.3% to USD 62.8 million and Interactive media was up 28% to USD 11.9 million.
Executive vice president and chief operating officer Randy Falco in the company's earning release commented only on TV and in brief comments on radio the company highlighted its top rank amongst Spanish-language stations in 18-34 and 25-54 demographics in the PPM-rated Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and San Francisco markets.
2011-05 06: Bidding in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits slowed right down today with the only new bids for the minnows - the largest new Provisionally Winning Bid (PWB) was of USD 8,100 for a Construction Permit (CP) in Rotan, Texas, from Joseph A Episcopo in Round 39.
In all only 11 new bids had been placed today when bidding ended in Round 40 and there had only been one new bid each in the first three rounds of the day - Rounds 35 through 37.
After 40 rounds the gross total for provisionally winning bids (PWBs) was USD 10,498,500, up from USD 10,485,400 at the end of Round 34 on Thursday and the net bids total amounted to USD 8,518,155, up from USD 8,497,195.
The bids range from USD 1,100 from Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC for a permit in Cedarville, California (In round 27) to a top price of USD 2,068,000 from First Channel Communications for a permit in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania (Round 17).
Below the Lawrence Park bid there are five bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million; one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 15 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range - all the same as on May 5 (See RNW May 5).
Previous Auction 91:
2011-05 06: Clear Channel Media Holdings has reported first quarter revenues up 5% on a year earlier at USD 1.32 billion driven, it said, by "growth across its businesses from an improved advertising environment" although it then notes that but for foreign exchange movements the increase would have been 4%.
Within the figures radio revenues were up 3% to USD 640.4 million, primarily from increases in local advertising, whilst Americas Outdoor was up 7% to USD 289.3 million and International Outdoor was up 7% to USD 360.9 million.
Operating expenses for radio were down 3% - to USD 417.2 million and those for Americas Outdoor were up 8% to USD 195.69 million and for International Outdoor up 3% to USD 315.80 million with consolidated operating expenses down 1% to USD 952.14 million.
OIBDAN for radio was up 20% overall to USD 314 million with that for radio up 15% to USD 223 million; for Americas Outdoor up 5% to USD 93.6 million and up 41% for International Outdoor to USD 45.1 million with the net loss for the quarter reduced from USD 175 million a year ago to USD 132 million.
Clear Channel noted that foreign exchange movements increased its revenues by around USD 10 million and costs by around USD 8 million in the quarter and that other operating income of USD 16.7 million was primarily related to gains on sales of radio stations, towers and proceeds received from condemnations of bulletins.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tom Casey said of the performance that they "reflect continued improvement in the advertising environment globally, combined with the ongoing execution of our business plan."
He continued, "We generated growth in advertising revenues across our businesses, including gains in multiple markets and categories in our radio segment, as well as increased revenues across many of our outdoor markets. These gains, combined with a disciplined approach to cost management, led to further improvement in our overall operating profit margin. Looking ahead, we remain focused on maximizing our leadership position by driving innovation across our operations, growing market share and converting our top line performance into improved returns for our shareholders."
At the company's conference call Casey said national advertising had led it out of the recession and local was now heating up, adding that the second quarter is pacing up 2% and "we're still seeing good growth in our local business" noting that the company was outperforming the market.
Asked about the purchase of Metro Networks from Westwood One (The price of USD 119.25 million was not announced when the deal was made public -See RNW Apr 29) Casey referred to a "pretty small price" on which the company expected "a very good return" but would not give specifics.
Previous Clear Channel:
2011-05 06: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey just released covering the period from April 2010 - March 2011 show listening unchanged compared to the previous survey from January to December 2010 but down from the 2009 year: 85% of the country's adult population listened daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio, a fall from 86% for January to December 2009.
Listenership to any multi-city/regional/local radio service was up one percent from the previous survey at 58% and equal to the 2009 figures when it was also 58%.
Compared to the previous quarter RTÉ Radio 1 held on to its weekday reach from of 25% (25% a year earlier but RTÉ 2FM went down from 13% to 12% (15% a year earlier) and figures were unchanged for Today FM at 13% (14% a year earlier); Newstalk 8% (7% a year earlier); and RTÉ Lyric FM 3% (as a year earlier).
In terms of overall market share nationally for weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 there was an 0.4% decrease to 53.2% (51.9% a year earlier) within which RTÉ Radio 1 was up 0.5 to 23.2% (22.9% a year earlier), Today FM was up 0.2% to 9.5% (9.6 % a year earlier) and Newstalk was up 0.1% to 4.1% (3.9% a year earlier). RTÉ Lyric FM retained its 1.7% share (1.7% a year earlier) and RTÉ 2FM was down 0.4% to 7.8% (9.7% a year earlier).
Of the multi-city and regional stations Beat 102-103FM retained its weekday reach figure of 19% (19% a year earlier); regional youth service Spin South West held on to 21% (18% a year earlier); North-West regional service i102-104FM held on to 20% (19% a year earlier) and North-East regional service i105-107FM, increased its reach from 7% to 9% (6% a year earlier - it launched in November 2008). Multi-City Service 4FM, which went on air in February 2009, was up from 3% to 5% (2% a year earlier).
Amongst local stations, excluding Dublin and Cork, the top five ranks (weekday reach compared to the previous ratings) were taken by Highland Radio with 66% (Retaining top rank but down from 67% and down from 69% a year earlier); Shannonside with an unchanged 53% (47% a year earlier); then with 51% Midwest Radio (Up from 49% and down from 52% a year earlier) and Radio Kerry - unchanged - (Sharing fifth rank ranked a year earlier with 46%); WLR FM up 1% with 49% (50% a year earlier); and Limerick's Live 95FM down 2% with 48% (53% a year earlier).
In weekday share terms the top five ranks were taken by Highland Radio with 61.7% (down from 62.3% and from 64.1% a year earlier); Radio Kerry with 58% (Up from 57% and 53.6% a year earlier); Tipp FM with 51.2% (Down from 55.7% and from 55.3% a year earlier); Midwest Radio with 49.2% (Up from 48.9% and down from 51.5 a year earlier). Shannonside with an unchanged 48.7% (Down from 49% and up from 46.2% a year earlier when only the combined Shannonside/ Northern Sound figure was given).
In Dublin the leaders in terms of weekday reach were RTÉ Radio 1 with 30.0%, up from 29%; FM 104 with an unchanged 20%;Spin 1038 with 15%, up from 14%;
Q102 with 14%, up from 13% and 98FM with 13%, down from unchanged 14%.
In Cork the leaders in weekday reach were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103FM with 49% - up from 48%; Cork's 96FM with 36% -up from 35%; RTÉ Radio 1 with 25% - down from 26% Cork's Red FM with 18%, down from 19% ; Today FM with 14%, down from 15% ; and C103 with 16%, up from 14%.
In its comments on the results RTÉ highlighted its success with 19 of the top 20 programmes on RTÉ and particularly that of Radio 1, with 18 of them. It also noted that RTÉ 2fm had retained its "crown as the second-most-listened to station in Ireland" with weekend growth for Lyric FM.
RTÉ Radio Managing Director Clare Duignan, commented, "It's another conclusive book for Radio 1. In fact figures don't come much more conclusive than this. With stunning gains on weekdays and steady reach at a time of enormous commercial challenges, it's clear that RTÉ Radio 1 is giving listeners what they want."
She then added, "I predicted almost a year ago that the seemingly never-ending gains at weekends would have to level off and, on Saturdays, they have. I do believe however that this is a plateau of a dramatic upward curve and has to be expected. RTÉ lyric fm continues to grow at weekends and the significant percentage gains by some programmes is a tribute to the craft and attention that lyric pays to its output. Commercial weekday share for RTÉ Radio is up to 32.7%. The figures speak for themselves."
RTÉ 2fm head John McMahon said of his station, "We've had some really encouraging signals in these figures, with many of the new shows on 2fm growing audience very soon into their run" and Duignan commented, "Six months on from the debut of the new schedule on 2fm and there are encouraging signs. After years of decline our heroic Hector has brought an end to the 2fm breakfast slump, growing his listenership to 137,000, and closing the gap on his nearest commercial rival. At weekends, particularly on Saturdays, new faces and new teams have grown listenership to many 2fm programmes."
Previous Irish Ratings:
2011-05 05: Entravision has reported first quarter revenues were up 2% - driven by TV as radio was flat - at USD 44.04 million but operating expenses were only up 1% to USD 30.06 million (corporate expenses were marginally down at USD 3.75 million to make a total of USD 33.81 million) and consolidated adjusted EBITDA was up 9% to USD 10.41 million.
Within the figures, TV revenues were up 3% to USD 30.67 million whilst radio was marginally down - from USD 13.43 million to USD 13.38 million with TV operating expenses down 1% to USD 17.83 million whilst radio operating expenses were up 3% to USD 12.23 million.
Overall, however, the company's net loss applicable to common shareholders more than doubled from USD 2.18 million to USD 4.43 million (from three to five cents per basic and diluted share)- largely because interest expenses were up from USD 5.51 million to USD 9.44 million.
In his comments on the results Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Walter F. Ulloa concentrated on TV and the Hispanic market in general, saying, "During the first quarter, we achieved revenue growth primarily driven by retransmission consent revenue despite continuing challenges in the advertising environment. Our audience shares remain strong, and we believe we are well positioned to benefit as the U.S. Hispanic market continues to expand and advertisers increasingly recognize the importance of reaching our target audience. The release of the 2010 U.S. census data reconfirms the growth and importance of the U.S. Hispanic population and our position in some of the fastest-growing and most densely-populated Hispanic markets. We remain focused on improving our operating performance while continuing to carefully manage our costs."
2011-05 05: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has handed out a whole swathe of proposed USD 10,000 penalties to operators of un licenses transmitters plus a USD 25,00 one to a California man who had received repeated warnings and who during one incident asked Commission agents "Do you want to get shot?" as well as refusing access to the station.
Gabriel A. Garcia of San Jose was said to have operated an unlicensed station identifying itself as "KNRG" on various frequencies and to have been issued with numerous warnings and Notices of Unlicensed Operation (NOUOs )between April and June last year - he made the comment about shooting on June 15 last year and also served with a USD 25,000 "Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture" (NAL) in March this year relating to unlicensed broadcasts between March and August last year relating to which he had also received warnings and NOUOs (See RNW Mar 12). .
On that occasion the FCC increased the proposed penalty from the base amount of USD 10,000 to USD 25,000 because of the numerous warnings and refusal to allow inspection, a decision it has repeated this time.
Five other NALs for unlicensed operation were issued of the base USD 10,000 amount to Florida operators: They went to -
*Alex Alcime of Fort Myers, who promoted himself as "DJ Short Dawg".
*Patrick Michael Ford of Fort Myers, who promoted himself as "DJ Joker".
*Thomas L. Morey of St. Petersburg, who promoted himself as "DJ Thomas".
*Mikhail Rhodd of Lauderdale Lakes, who promoted himself as "Blakk Babi" on "89.5 FM Stuntastic Radio".
* Antonio Robinson of Miami, the owner of a business, "Hittbreaker Worldwide DJ's".
The agency has also issued a USD 14,000 NAL to Frandsen Media Company, LLC, licensee of KGNT-FM, Smithfield, Utah, for maximum permissible exposure limits and operating its transmitter at a power level not authorized by its license.
During an inspection in April last year agents found no perimeter fence round the base of Round Hill where station transmitter was sited although there was a secure fence at the top of the hill but no RFR caution signs were found posted anywhere on or near the transmitter site. Higher than allowed radiation levels were measured in parts of the unrestricted area and during a repeat inspection the station was found to be operating at 4.7KW rather than the licensed 3.2 KW.
The station engineer reduced power and it was found that limits were not exceeded when the station operated at 73% of its authorized power and it was then set to operate at this level.
The FCC in setting the proposed penalty noted that in the station's 2005 renewal application Frandsen had certified that the station complied with required radiation levels and increased the proposed penalty from the base level of USD 10,000.
In Kansas, the FCC issued a USD 11,500 forfeiture to Daniel D. Smith, licensee of KANR-FM, Belle Plaine, Kansas, for failure to maintain operational emergency alert system ("EAS") equipment; to make an observation of antenna structure lighting at least once each 24-hour period; to repaint the antenna structure as necessary to maintain good visibility; and to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file.
The agency had issued a USD 25,000 NAL in March last year to which Smith responded requesting reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture based on his inability to pay the forfeiture, his prompt actions to remedy the violations, and his remorse.
The FCC reduced the penalty to USD 11,500 - equal to 7.7 % percent of the station's average gross revenues - on the basis of his documented inability to pay but rejected the other arguments.
2011-05 05: The gross total in bidding in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits today rose only slightly today - creeping up towards USD 10.5 million with bidding for the Construction Permit for Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania - still by far the highest priced - unchanged at the USD 2,068,000 bid at the close of Tuesday from First Channel Communications (The bid was made in Round 17).
After 34 rounds - bidding only went up for four permits in this round, the highest of them of USD 21,000 - the gross total for provisionally winning bids (PWBs) was USD 10,485,400, up from USD 10,341,700 at the end of Round 28 on Wednesday and the net bids total amounted to USD 8,497,195, up from USD 8,404,705.
At the bottom end the lowest bid remains that for Cedarville, California, which went to USD 1,100 in Round 27 to a bid from Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC.
After the Lawrence Park bid the Round 34 table lists five bids in the range from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million - from Liberty Acquisitions 825, LLC of USD 987,000 for the CP for Coosada, Alabama (A Round 21 bid); from Apex Broadcasting, Inc. of USD 708,000 for the Northport, Alabama, CP (A Round 27 bid of USD 644,000 from Educational Media Foundation was leading on Wednesday); from Cross Country Communications, LLC of USD 691,000 for the CP in Celoron, New York (A Round 17 bid) of USD 678,000 from Entravision for the CP in Coachella, California (A Round 21 bid); and of USD 640,000 from Susan Hall for the CP in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida (A Round 18 bid).
There was then one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 15 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range.
Previous FCC and Auction 91:
2011-05 05: A New Jersey judge has now approved the sale of Atlantic Broadcasting's five stations to Longport Media, which is owned by Atlantic City attorney and businessman George Miller. The stations were sold by auction on Wednesday at the Atlantic City office of Fox Rothschild, which represents Atlantic Broadcasting but details of the new owner were not released at the time.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that Judge Judith H. Wizmur also approved USD 90,000 and up to USD 35,000 in expenses to Boardwalk Radio of Syosset, New York., 90% of whose ownership overlapped with that of Atlantic’s owners and which served as the "stalking horse " in the bidding process: Boardwalk had asked for USD 126,000 in breakup fees and USD 35,000 in expenses, saying it was entitled to these because it provided needed information about Atlantic Broadcasting and set the bidding in motion, leading to a sale USD 1.2 million above the minimum.
Boardwalk’s attorney , Lee J. Mendelson had said after the auction that “Absent a sale this week, the debtor would have run out of funds a the end of this week… Certainly this sale, as opposed to a closed company, is clear evidence of benefit tothe estate” of Atlantic Broadcasting”
The Press said that Miller said after the hour-long hearing that he bought the stations to keep them under local control and is the sole owner of the company, but is considering selling shares to other investors.
"A lot of people involved in the stations are local icons of the community, and I wanted to keep the local flavor," said Miller.
Longport Media is to take over operation of the five radio stations on May 13, and the deal will expected in about a month, pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Attorney Michael Viscount of the Atlantic City office of Fox Rothschild, told Judge Wizmur that a "spirited bidding process" that lasted an hour and a half took place and that three other parties besides Boardwalk Radio showed up to bid with Boardwalk dropping out as soon as other bids were placed.
Atlantic Broadcasting had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December last year with around USD 8 million of debt, USD 6.8 million of it secured debt to Sun National Bank (See RNW Apr 28).
The stations sold are AM stations News-talk station WOND-AM and Spanish station WBSS-AM (Pleasantville) plus Classic rock WMGM-FM ("Shark 103.7") and Top 40 WWAC-FM ("Wild 102.7" Atlantic City); and classic hits WTKU-FM ("Kool 98.3" Ocean City).
Previous Atlantic Broadcasting:
Press of Atlantic City report:
2011-05 04: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has posted details of its "Right of Reply" scheme that came into effect today and also a Guide to its Complaints Process, under which complainants now have to approach broadcasters before proceeding further. Until today they could approach the BAI directly.
All broadcasters are required to publish the BAI's Code of Practice on their websites and comply with the procedures in the Code when handling complaints.
The Code applies to all commercial, community and public radio and television broadcasters licensed to broadcast in the Republic of Ireland and the Code deals with Fairness, Objectivity & Impartiality in the broadcast of news and current affairs; prohibitions on broadcasting "anything which may reasonably be regarded as being likely to promote, or incite to, crime or as tending to undermine the authority of the State" and ensuring that they do "not broadcast anything that may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or offence."
It also deals with issues of an individual's privacy and Advertising, Teleshopping, Sponsorship & Commercial Communications.
Complaints relating to a single broadcast have to be made within 30 days of the broadcast and those relating to multiple unrelated broadcasts within 30 days of the first broadcast but where complaints are about related multiple broadcasts within 30 days of the latest of the latest broadcast.
Broadcasters are then required to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant whether they have upheld or rejected the complaint and if the former how they propose to resolve the matter - the BAI lists as possibilities "an apology, correction, clarification and/or the offer of a rebuttal."
If the broadcaster does not respond within the time set down in its particular Code of Practice or if the response is considered unsatisfactory the complaint may then referred to the BAI within 14 days of receipt of a response or after the deadline for a response has not been met.
The BAI website has a table of links to the Codes of Practice posted by broadcasters or where one has so far not been posted: In the case of state broadcaster RTÉ the period for a response is 20 working days whilst Today FM, the most popular of the independent national stations lists a period of 21 days as do the other commercial stations and community stations whose sites we checked although we did note that Community Radio Youghal in its code said it will not "accept complaints which we deem to be of a frivolous or vexatious nature."
Stations also have to post details of the "Right to Reply" scheme under which a request has to be made to the broadcaster, who also has to include details of this on its website (The Red FM site does so very clearly). The scheme is intended to "provide an opportunity for a person to exercise his/her right to the correction of incorrect information without recourse to legal proceedings" and in cases where a right is refused the matter may be referred to the BAI's Compliance Committee.
Commenting on its introduction, BAI's Chief Executive Michael O' Keeffe noted that the Right " is about the correction of incorrect facts or information" and added "However, the Scheme does not provide for the broadcast of an alternative or contrary opinion."
Red FM site (Complaints page):
2011-05 04: The gross total in bidding in the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits today topped USD 10 million with bidding for the Construction Permit for Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania - still by far the highest priced - unchanged at the USD 2,068,000 bid at the close of Tuesday from First Channel Communications (The bid was made in Round 17).
After 28 rounds the gross total for provisionally winning bids (PWBs) was USD 10,341,700, up from USD 9,804,200at the end of Round 22 on Tuesday and the net bids total amounted to USD 8,404,705, up from USD 7,870,795.
At the bottom end no permits remain at the auction minimum figure of USD 1,000 - the last permit at this amount - for Cedarville, California, went to USD 1,100 in Round 27 with a bid from Future Modulation Broadcasting, LLC. after it had sat from the start of the auction with a single USD 1,000 bid from Jodesha Broadcasting, Inc.
At the top end the Round 28 table lists five bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million - from Liberty Acquisitions 825, LLC of USD 987,000 for the CP for Coosada, Alabama (A Round 21 bid); from Cross Country Communications, LLC of USD 691,000 for the CP in Celoron, New York (A Round 17 bid.); of USD 678,000 from Entravision for the CP in Coachella , California (A Round 21 bid); of USD 644,000 from Educational Media Foundation for the Northport, Alabama, CP ( A Round 27 bid - on Tuesday EMF led with a bid of USD 440,000); and of USD 640,000 from Susan Hall for the CP in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida (A Round 18 bid).
There was then one bid in the USD 300-400,000 range; three in the USD 200-300,000 range; and 14 in the USD 100,000 to 200,000 (Not including 200,000) range.
Previous Auction 91:
2011-05 04: CBS Corporation has reported what CEO President and CEO Leslie Moonves termed "an exceptionally strong" first quarter with revenues down less than 1% to USD 3.51 billion - from USD 3.53 billion - a year earlier (when its TV revenues were boosted by Super Bowl XLIV, as well as a new programming agreement for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship) but with OIBDA of USD 576 Million Up 64% compared to Adjusted OIBDA a year earlier. Reported OIBDA was up 96% and diluted per share earnings rose nearly six-fold from five to 29 cents.
Operating income more than doubled - from USD 210 million to USD 437 million - and net earnings were USD 202 million (29 cents per diluted share) compared to adjusted net earnings a year earlier of USD 34 million (five cents per diluted share: The adjusted figures exclude restructuring charges of USD 57 million and USD 26 million of discrete tax items.)
Within the figures, local broadcasting, which includes CBS's radio and TV stations, reported revenues up 2% from USD 606 million to USD 621 million with its OIBDA up 26% from USD 134 to USD 169 million and operating income up from USD 109 to USD 143 million.
CBS TV revenues were up 1% and radio revenues were up 4%, reflecting, the company said "improved advertising marketplace, with growth in automotive, retail and financial services, and increased market share."
Executive chairman Sumner Redstone said the performance "demonstrates the extraordinary momentum we have created in our businesses... Our industry-leading content and multi-platform distribution continue to provide a competitive advantage that fuels our ongoing success. Going forward, I am very confident that the strategies employed by our management team will propel us to even greater heights throughout the rest of the year and beyond."
2011-05 04: The fight between Fisher Communications board and dissident shareholder the FrontFour Capital hedge fund has continued with both sides weighing in again with messages of support for their respective candidates for the company's board.
Neither side has provided any substantively new arguments but FrontFour, whose founder David Lorber sits on the Fisher Board and which has been pushing for a break-up sale of the company, has now claimed Fisher's largest shareholder as a supporter.
A filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission by investor Mario Gabelli who controls funds owning 28.5 percent of Fisher shares - FrontFour has only around 2% - says that the funds will vote for three of the four nominees proposed by hedge fund FrontFour Capital - F. Powers, Joseph J. Troy, and Matthew Goldfarb. It did not propose supporting FrontFour's fourth candidate Stephen Loukas, who is a managing partner at FrontFour.
The filing followed a release on Monday from Fisher in which Proxy Advisory Services ISS and Glass-Lewis urged the rejection of the FrontFour candidates and election of the nominees put forward by Fisher.
ISS said that the dissidents had "not demonstrated a compelling case that change at the board level is needed" and attacked FrontFour's arguments whilst Glass-Lewis said it found "little cause to support the Dissident's solicitation. [FrontFour's] financial arguments are largely absolute, failing to provide relative measures by which shareholders can fully and fairly assess Fisher's purportedly lamentable performance. By contrast, our analyses of Fisher's performance since the appointment of Ms. Brown suggest the Company has generally weathered a broader market downturn in more favourable condition than certain of its broadcasting peers."
FrontFour responded with its own release that essentially repeated its previous arguments (See RNW Apr 27).
2011-05 03: The US Federal Communications Commission has issued a USD 14,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Mattoon Broadcasting Company, licensee of Stations WLBH-AM and FM, in Mattoon, Illinois, for by failing to enclose WLBH-AM's towers within effective locked fences or other enclosures and failing to maintain a management and staff presence at the stations' main studio.
The proposed penalty follows an inspection in July last year when on one day the FCC agent found the main studio building was locked and no one answered when the agent rang the doorbell and attempted to telephone the stations.
The same occurred on a further attempt the next day, during which visit the agent noted that sections of all the fences surrounding the four-tower array used by WLBH-AM were falling down or sections were completely missing.
Subsequently Matton's President and General Manager James Livesay contacted the agent: He conceded that the fencing had deteriorated and said he would replace it right away. He said that as regards staffing the individual who is usually as the studio has had a significant number of absences for medical tests but provided no other explanation for the absence of staff.
The FCC is proposing penalties of USD 7,000, the base amount, for each breach.
Also in Illinois, the FCC has issued a USD 4,000 NAL to Pilot Media, LCC, licensee of WIBL-FM, Fairbury, for failing to maintain and make available the quarterly issues/programs lists in the local public inspection file.
The NAL follows an inspection in October 26 during which agents found that the public inspection file was missing issues/programs lists after the 3rd quarter of 2009.
The usual penalty for the breach is USD 10,000 but the FCC noted that the WIBL public file was mostly complete and reduced the amount to USD 4,000.
The FCC has also posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2011. Regarding radio fees - based on the type of station and population served, it notes that for this period it will begin to incorporate new Census data that was taken in 2010, and this could have an impact in altering the fees of some radio stations.
FCC "fees" NPRM (57-page Word document):
2011-05 03: Sirius XM has reported first quarter revenues of USD 725.4 million, up 9% on a year earlier, with adjusted EBITDA up 15% to USD 181 million: CEO Mel Karmazin said it had also raised free cash flow estimate - up from previous guidance of USD 300 million to USD 350 million - and said that but for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that have caused "OEM Supply chain" uncertainties would have been able to raise its subscriber guidance.
Overall it ended the quarter with 20,564,028 subscribers, up 9% on a year earlier -- 16,807,643 self pay, up from 15,773,671 and 3,756,385 paid promotional, up from 3,170,528 - with subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) per gross subscriber down from USD 59 a year earlier to USD 57 and average self-pay monthly customer churn unchanged at 2%.
Overall Sirius XM reported net income of USD 78.12 million - up from USD 41.60 million (From one cent to two cents per basic share and an unchanged one cent per diluted share).
Karmazin commented of the results, "Consumers are buying cars again and demand for our product is strong We operate in a highly competitive audio entertainment marketplace, where there are more choices than ever before, yet consumers continue to choose Sirius XM. We continue to invest in content, expand distribution and improve our technology to deliver the most compelling value proposition possible to consumers across the country."
Of the company's financial position, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Frear added, "We ended the first quarter with USD 434 million of cash and cash equivalents after deploying approximately USD 135 million to repurchase debt. In April, we repurchased approximately USD 74 million of our 3.25% Convertible Notes due 2011 via a cash tender offer. We continue to make progress toward reaching our leverage target. Our net debt to adjusted EBITDA declined to 4.1x at the end of the first quarter of 2011 from 6.6x at the end of the first quarter of 2010."
Sirius is forecasting full-year 2011 revenue of around USD 3 billion with adjusted EBITDA at around USD 715 million with self-pay churn and conversion broadly as in 2010 and free cash flow to increase from previous guidance of USD 300 million to USD 350 million. Its shares were up 8.3% to USD 2.069 on Tuesday.
Previous Sirius XM:
2011-05 03: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that a broadcast on a Saskatchewan station of a report on an incident in Germany when a man tore off another man's testicles and threw them out of a window did not violate established industry standards for radio broadcasting.
The complaint about the report aired on the on Harvard Big Breakfast Show on Harvard Broadcasting's WFWF-FM (The Wolf) in Regina was made to the Commission in January last year and passed on to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) which rejected the complaint (See RNW Oct 28, 2010).
After this the complainant - who said the broadcast was broadcast was sexually explicit, contained gratuitous violence, glamorized/trivialized violence, and contained coarse and offensive language -asked the Commission to review the decision.
The CRTC having done so agreed with the CBSC that it did not violate any established industry standards for radio, as it contained no gratuitous violence, nor did it otherwise sanction, promote or glamorize violence; it contained no unduly sexually explicit content and it contained no unduly coarse or offensive language. It concluded no further action was warranted.
2011-05 03: At the end of its fifth day - the last round was Round 22 - the gross bids in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits gross total for provisionally winning bids is approaching USD 10 million with the Construction Permit for Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania - still by far the highest priced - now above USD 2 million.
The gross bids total was USD 9,804,200, up from USD 8,395,300 at the end of Round 16 on Monday and the net bids total amounted to USD 7,870,795, up from USD 7,342,970. The Lawrence Park CP provisional winning bid (PWB) was one of USD 2,068,000 from First Channel Communications who were in the lead yesterday with a bid of USD 1,413,000.
There was also movement at the bottom where the there is now only one bid of USD 1,000 - for Cedarville in California: There had been two other PWBs of USD 1,000 at the start of the day.
At the top end the Round 22 table lists four bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million - from Liberty Acquisitions 825, LLC of USD 987,000 for the CP for Coosada, Alabama (Liberty was the top bidder on Monday with USD 8151,000); from Cross Country Communications, LLC of USD 691,000 for the CP in Celoron, New York (The top bidder for this on Tuesday was of USD 628,000 from MEDIA ONE GROUP, LLC.); of USD 678,000 from Entravision for the CP in Coachella , California (Entravision led the bidding for this on Monday at USD 463,000); and of USD 640,000 from Susan Hall for the CP in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida (Hall was top bidder on Monday at USD 571,000).
There was then one bid in the rang USD 400,000 to 500,000; three in the range USD 200,000 to USD 300,000 and eleven in the range USD 100,000 to USD 200,000.
Previous FCC and Auction 91:
2011-05 03: Beasley Broadcast Group has reported first quarter revenues up 5.5% on a year earlier to USD 23.1 million (same station revenue was up 6% to the same total) with station operating income up 25.8% to USD 7.6 million; operating income up 48.2% to USD 4.9 million and net income tripled from USD 500,000 to USD 1.5 million (from two cents to seven cents per diluted share).
The revenue increase is says reflects increases in nine of its eleven market clusters and operating income reflected this and a 2.2% reduction in operating expenses.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George G. Beasley said the "6.0% first quarter same-station revenue growth reflects the improved industry environment and the strength of our stations and ratings in their markets, which drove revenue increases at nine of our eleven market clusters including Philadelphia, Miami and Las Vegas, our largest revenue markets."
"Beasley's 2011 first quarter results," he continued "mark our fourth consecutive quarter of same station revenue growth which, combined with ongoing expense management, led to our fifth consecutive quarter of solid SOI and margin gains. Reflecting the Company's streamlined operating and cost structure, first quarter same-station SOI increased 24.8% to USD 7.6 million, while SOI margins rose to 33%, up from 28% in the first quarter last year."
"The consistency of growth in our operating results," said Beasley "demonstrates that our strategies of the last few years to focus on our core product and build digital extensions for our core content that heighten listener engagement and provide marketing solutions to advertisers, is the right path for us to continue to compete well and succeed in our markets. At the same time, we remain focused on our capital structure where quarter-by-quarter we are further reducing debt, interest expense and our leverage ratio."
He also noted that during the March 2011 quarter Beasley strengthened its balance sheet by repaying USD 3.2 million against the credit facility, reducing total bank debt to USD 138.8 million from USD 142.0 million at the end of 2010. "We ended the first quarter with the Company's lowest leverage ratio since mid-2006 and expect to continue using cash from operations to further lower debt," he concluded.
In other US results, Radio One Inc. has announced updated preliminary results for the first quarter to the end of March and says it now expects revenues to increase by 10.2% to around USD 65 million.
It also said it anticipates Adjusted EBITDA of approximately USD 9.9 million to USD 10.9 million but a larger net loss than previously anticipated - of USD 1.22 to USD 1.24 per share compared to the previous figure of 37 cents to 39 cents per share with the increased loss in the anticipated net loss is primarily the result of a non-cash charge related to its provision for income taxes..
The Company it says now anticipates a provision for income taxes for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 of USD 45.6 million irrespective of the Company continuing to hold net operating losses of approximately USD 548.0 million: Approximately USD 45.3 million of the amount reflects the increase in deferred tax liabilities associated with the amortization of certain of the Company's radio broadcast licenses for tax purposes.
Radio One also noted that it now has a majority holding in TV1 following closure of redemption of a 12.4% ownership interest held by DIRECTV.
Previous George Beasley:
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2011-05 02: At the end of its fourth day - now at round 16 - the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 91 of 144 construction permits gross total for provisionally winning bids has reached USD 8,395,300, up from USD 6,776,400 at the end of last Friday's rounds.
The net bids total amounted to USD 7,342,970, up from USD 5,566,335 and the Construction Permit for Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania, has still attracted by far the highest bid - of USD 1,880,000 from Mini Me Media, LLC. On Friday the provisionally winning bid for this permit was USD 1,413,000 from First Channel Communications.
Lowest bids are still of USD 1,000, the auction minimum, and after the Lawrence Park bid the Round 16 table lists three bids in the rang from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million – from Liberty Acquisitions 825, LLC of USD 815,000 for the CP for Coosada, Alabama (Liberty was the top bidder on Friday with USD 571,000); from
There were then two bids between USD 300,000 and USD 500,000; two between USD 200,000 and USD 300,000; and nine between USD 100,000 and USD 200,000.
Previous Auction 91:
2011-05 02: Seattle classical station KING-FM moved into a non-commercial mode at 00:01 this morning after 63 years as a commercial station.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had reported a month ago that fundraising to convert the station to a "listener-supported" format had gone so well that the switch was to be made in May rather than June as originally planned and Crosscut.com in its report on the change says that the station has raised around half of the USD 2 million it is trying to raise.
The station's website is currently carrying details of a USD 250,000 challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will take the total raised to the target USD 2 million should KING FM raise USD 1.75 million.
The announcement, asking listeners to "rise to the challenge" also carries a comment from station general manager Jennifer Ridewood saying "The shift to a non-commercial station will allow us more air-time for classical music, more support for the arts and an expanded education mission."
The station announced last year following a financial crisis that it was to move to a "Listener-supported" model (See RNW Mar 23. 2010), saying that the move would enhance the station's ability to "perform its mission."
Crosscut.com says the move was made without fanfare: "a pre-recorded announcement followed by Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy'" and adds, "Gone are the slick, jingle-filled (and often jarring) 60-second commercials. In their place are the more sedate "underwriting announcements" - those 20-second, gently exhortatory, mildly commercial fixtures that have become familiar to public radio listeners everywhere."
It quotes program director Bryan Lowe as saying the station will now be able to play long pieces without interruption and will now air at least six to seven minutes more of music each hour with the extra music being the most notable change.
"We're not removing anything from the schedule, but we are adding specialty and longer form programs," said Lowe. "The most important thing is that we're going from 40 live and local broadcasts each year to 60 live and local broadcasts a year, which is at least one per week," he says. Lowe says that along with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, KING-FM will also broadcast performances by groups like Seattle Pro Musica and Seattle Baroque."
KING-FM is currently owned by Beethoven, A Non-Profit Corporation (Classic Radio, Inc.), a non-profit partnership of the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera and ArtsFund. It was donated to the non-profit by King Broadcasting when King Broadcasting was sold to The Providence Journal Company in 1992
KING-FM web site:
Seattle Post-Intelligencer report:
2011-05 01: In another fairly quiet week as regards radio actions the main story last week was again from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now three days into its Auction 91 of FM construction permits: Elsewhere there were no major radio decisions.
In Australia the only radio posting from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was a ruling that Melbourne Community station 3ECB (Radio Eastern) licensee Eastern Community Broadcasters Inc. breached agency codes relating to handling complaints (See RNW Apr 30).
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted a number of decisions granting community licences including the following (In order of province):
*Approved application from the Sugar Cane Community Diversity Association (SCCDA) for a licence to operate a 5 watts English- and Aboriginal-language, very low-power developmental community FM radio programming undertaking in Williams Lake. Programming is to place a special focus on local artists and local musical festivals.
*Approved application from Rossland Radio Cooperative (RRC), for a licence to operate a 20 watts English-language, low power community FM in Rossland
*Approved application from Centre Wellington Community Radio Inc. (CWCR) for a licence for an 85 watts English-language community FM in Elora and Fergus.
Spoken word programming is to consist of weather, news and sports and musical programming to be drawn from a range of content category 2 (Popular Music) and 3 (Special Interest) musical selections.
There were no radio postings from the UK and none as such from Ireland but there the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has posted its revised General Commercial Communications Code covering Advertising, teleshopping, sponsorship, product placement and other forms of commercial promotion: Most of this relates to TV but the new rules continue the prohibition of sponsorship of news programmes on radio with some rules such as voluntary codes of practice for alcohol apply to both radio and TV.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as already noted has attracted bids totalling approaching USD 7 million in its Auction 91 of 144 FM Construction Permits with a fifth of this for a permit for Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania (See RNW Apr 29).
The agency also updated the agenda for its Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum to be held at its HQ on Wednesday (See RNW Licence News Apr 24).
In Oklahoma it has granted in part a Petition from The Cherokee Nation to deny the tentative selection of an application from the Foundation for the Annunciation Monastery of Clear Creek for a construction permit for a new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM at Oaks.
The Foundation application had been on of 14 applications in a group of applications in a group in an October 2007 NCE filing window and was made the tentative selectee on the basis of the fact that it would provide the first NCE service to 49,381 people, over 5,000 more than Cherokee Nation's next-highest proposal to provide first NCE service to a population of 43,346.
Following the selection Cherokee Nation filed the petition to deny on two grounds - that the Commission improperly compared Foundation's population calculations to its own in finding a dispositive fair distribution preference for Foundation and that Foundation failed to disclose all of its directors in the Application, and moreover that two of Foundation's six directors as of the Application's filing date were not United States citizens, thus putting the application in breach of the Communications Act of 1934.
The FCC after considering Foundation's response dismissed the first argument but in regard to the issue of directors - related to which Foundation confirmed that two of the six directors were French - rejected Foundation's argument that its application was in order because under ecclesiastic law all power over the Monastery, and hence the Foundation's affairs, rests with the Prior of the Monastery, Rev. Philip Anderson, and thus he has de facto control.
The FCC said that the applicant was not the monastery as a religious entity but the Foundation, which was a corporation under Oklahoma law, and concluded that the application if filed accurately would breach the Communications Act: it also noted that the Foundation could have structured its corporate governance to comply with its claimed de-factor structure without breaching Oklahoma law. Accordingly it dismissed the application.
In addition to the Cherokee Nation objection John Brown University had filed petitions to deny the application because the Application failed to protect television station KOTV-TV, Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was then broadcasting on analog TV channel 6.
The FCC said that as it had now rejected the application the John Brown University petitions were moot.
Cherokee Nation had also filed a petition to stay the selection of Foundation until the FCC had taken action on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in relation to adoption of the Tribal Priority but the agency dismissed this petition as Cherokee Nation had become the tentative selectee following the dismissal of the Foundation application.
Previous Licence News:
BAI - Irish Broadcasting Landscape report (144 page 2.53 Mb PDF):
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