August 2000 personalities
Phillip Adams - host Late Night Live on Australian National Radio; Frank Ahrens -(3) Washington Post media writer; Steven Alward -network manager, ABC, Australia, network radio; Janet Anderson - UK Broadcasting Minister ; Amanda Armstrong - Editor, ABC, Australia, network radio; Sue Arnold - (2) UK Observer radio columnist; John Aravosis - founder StopDrLaura web site; Zoe Ball - former BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ; James Ballis- chief of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) notifications branch; Peter Barnard -(4) -UK Times radio columnist; Simon Bates - UK Classic FM broadcaster; Joaquin F. Blaya - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Spanish language network, Radio Unica; Helen Boaden -controller BBC Radio 4; James Boyle- - former controller BBC Radio 4; John Brier - president and founder of; Vincent Browne -Irish journalist and radio presenter; Amador S. Bustos - President and CEO of Z-Spanish Media, and President Radio Division of Entravision (US); Bill Cameron-former WMAQ,Chicago,Political Editor; 'Bishop' Renato Cardoso - new chief executive, Radio Liberty, UK; Sara Cox - BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ; Victor Diaz - owner, XLNC1, Tijuana, Mexico; Paul Donovan - (2) -U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Bruce DuMont - founder and curator of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago; Stephen Dunifer - Pirate radio pioneer in San Francisco area; Chris Evans - British broadcaster and radio mogul; Robert Feder - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Prof. David Flint --(2) -Australian Broadcasting Authority chairman; Eddie Fritts - President and Chief Executive Officer, US National Association of Broadcasters ; Ira Glass - host, US Natioal Public Radio show "This American Life"; Michael Gordon-Smith- Australian Broadcasting Authority member and Australian cash-for-comment enquiry chairman ; Gareth Grainger - deputy chairma, Australian Broadcasting Association (outgoing); Judd Gregg - Republican Senator, New Hampshire; Paul Griffin - aka Captain Fred of Berkeley pirate radio station 104.1 FM; Ceng Guangxing - director, Guangdong People's Radio Station in south China; Ray Hadley - sports host, 2UE , Sydney; Thomas Hicks - vice-chairman of Clear Channel and former chairman and CEO of AMFM ; Sue Howard - Director of Radio. ABC, Australia; John Humphrys -BBC Radio 4 'Today' Breakfast presenter; Mike Huskey - station manager at WAGY AM, Forest City, North Carolina; Don Imus -(2) -US syndicated shock-jock; Doug James -WUBT-FM, Chicago, morning host; Tom Joyner -(2)- syndicated US morning host; Mel Karmazin -(2) Viacom President & Chairman and CEO Infinity Broadcasting (US) ; Bob Kerrey - Democratic Senator for Nebraska; Jim Kirk --Chicago Tribune media columnist; Kevin Klose - President, US National Public Radio ; Irina Lallemand - Director of News, XM Satellite Radio, and former news director at WCBS-AM, New York; David Lague - Sydney Morning Herald writer; Charles Laquidara -veteran Boston disc jockey (retired); Albert Lasker - radio advertising pioneer; Ron Liddle - editor of the BBC 'Today' breakfast programme; Alfred C. Liggins III - president and chief executive, Radio1 Inc (US); Jeff Liberman - Chief Operating Officer of Entravision Radio Group (US) ; Malcolm Long - member Australian Broadcasting Authority (new); Larry Lujack - Chicago veteran disc jockey; Kelvin MacKenzie - -head of U.K. Wireless Group; John Mainelli - New York Post writer; John McCain- Republican Senator for Arizona (proposer of LPFM bill); Donald McDonald - (2) -chairman Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Bernard McGuirk - Producer of syndicated US show "Imus in the Morning: L.Lowry Mays - Chief Executive,Clear Channel ; Arthur Mobley- president of Eight Chiefs Inc., which runs KMJK-FM Phoenix; John Ogden -former station director, Radio Liberty, UK (Resigned); Mike Oxley - Ohio Republican Rep.; Neeti P Ray - president, Infinity Broadcasting. Toronto, Canada; Danny Renton, - BBC World Service Trust project manager in Tirana, Albania; John Rimmer - Member Australian Broadcasting authority (re-appointed); Ian Robertson -Member Australian Broadcasting authority (re-appointed); "Rosko" -William Roscoe Mercer- veteran New York disc jockey (deceased); Cliff Russell -general manager Detroit ducational station, WDTR-FM ; Debra J.Saunders - San Francisco Chronicle writer; Helen Shaw -RTÉ (Ireland) director of radio; Chris Schacht -(2) -Australian Labor Party Senator; Dr Laura Schlessinger -(5) -Conservative U.S. talk show host; Mark Schubb - General Manager, KPFK, Los Angeles: Dr Clement Semmler - former general manager, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (deceased); Jonathon Shier- managing director Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Clea Simon- writer on radio for the New York Times ; John Smyntek - Detroit Free Press radio reporter; Howard Stern - US radio host; Kathy Stinehour - General Manager WUBT-FM, "The Beat",Chicago; Kevin Straley - Director of Talk, XM Satellite Radio and former Program Director at WRKO, Boston; Susan Stranks - former UK Children's TV presenter and lcampaigner for children;s radio; Donna Symmonds - Barbadan lawyer and BBC cricket commentator; Robert Le Tet -- member Australian Broadcasting Authority (new); Dan Turner - Director of Channel Production, XM Satellite Radio and former Senior Director for Programming Operations at World Space Corporation; Jim Watkins - General Manager, WHUR, Washington DC; Roland White - UK Sunday Times columnist; Melinda Wittstock -host-designate of US NPR morning news show to be carried on Sirius Satellite Radio ; Louise Wood - deputy station director, Radio Liberty , UK (Resigned); Michael Wright - UK Sunday Times columnist;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

August 2000 Archive

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August 2000 Archive
July 2000 Sept 2000
Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.

2000-08-24: The US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission have now cleared the merger of US digital radio broadcasting technology companies Lucent Digital Radio and USA Digital Radio to form Ibiquity (RNW July13).
Investors in the combined company include Lucent Technologies and 15 of the top 20 US radio broadcasters.
Previous Ibiquity

2000-08-24: More programming for Sirius Satellite Radio which is due to go on air around the end of this year.
US National Public Radio (NPR) has announced that it is launching two new channels which will be broadcast on Sirius and available online at NPR's web site.
The channels NPR Now and NPR Talk will be mainly made up from existing NPR shows including "Talk of the Nation" and Car Talk" and will also feature a new morning news show headed by former print and television journalist Melinda Wittstock..
The new show will be the first to be created by NPR2, the network's new satellite programming division, which forms part of NPR's multi-media expansion , which includes NPR News, NPR Cultural, NPR Online and NPR Worldwide.
Both channels will promote NPR's local radio stations and NPR2 will also provide fresh NPR classical and jazz features for other Sirius channels.
NPR President and CEO Kevin Klose, said, "NPR2's presence on Sirius will extend our public service mission to new listeners and help build audience for our member stations nationwide."
" As Americans increasingly integrate new technologies into their media habits, they will be able to find standard-setting NPR programming wherever they go - on their radio, in their cars, online and even overseas."
Sirius has also announced an agreement to carry programming from independent entertainment network Comedy World.
Sirius comedy broadcasts will include daily Comedy World programming, as well as a weekly show hosted by entertainer Sandra Bernhard.
Previous Klose
Previous NPR;
Previous Sirius;
Previous satellite radio;
NPR site;
NPR News release;
Sirius site;

2000-08-23: SMG, the former Scottish Media Group, has reported first half pre-tax profits up 25% to £ 30 million, aided by contributions from its acquisition of the Ginger Media Group which includes Virgin Radio (RNW Jan 13).
The group says it is delivering exceptional returns and is in a good position to develop as a major player in UK media.
And according to the UK Radio Magazine, GWR group is to spend £1.24 million on buying 62% of GP Broadcasting, which operates Peterborough station Lite FM.
The same terms are on offer for all the company's shares, which would value the station at £2 million.
The deal depends upon the UK Radio Authority ruling within five months that taking over the licence would not be against the public interest.
GWR exceeded current UK ownership limits when it purchased DMG Radio (RNW June 15) but has announced its intention to sell a number of its AM stations.
UK Radio Magazine site
2000-08-23:The Clear Channel takeover of AMFM has moved almost to closure as the US Federal Communication Commission's Mass Media Bureau has now formally announced that it has issued authorisation for the transfer of control of AMFM and its subsidiary licensees to Clear Channel.
It has also issued authorisations related to divestitures to third parties and the CCU/AMFM Trust I.
Previous Clear Channel :

2000-08-22: US radio ratings organisation Arbitron is gaining some competition for its Infostream Internet ratings service from a new player, Measurecast Inc. which has launched a streaming audience measurement service providing Internet organisations with audience data within 24 hours of a webcast.
Measurecast's first customer is whose president and Chief Operating Officer John Brier said "Rather than trying to mould traditional methods to a very untraditional medium, MeasureCast has developed a powerful new measurement tool that is easy to use and appropriate for the Internet streaming industry. "
" The accurate research and next day reports from MeasureCast will enable us to establish critical streaming benchmarks, which helps our radio partners and advertisers alike."
Rather than relying on reports from programme monitors MeasureCast employs Active Event Monitoring(tm), a server-side technology, to record the exact number of streams requested from an Internet broadcaster's streaming server.
Previous Brier
Measurecast website ;

2000-08-22: In February (RNW Feb 14), we reported on some 600 pigeons in Orissa State in India losing their jobs as message carriers because of the introduction of radio communications.
Now, according to an AP report in the Los Angeles Times, it appears the pigeons are also losing their lives.
The report quotes B.N. Das, police superintendent of signals at the pigeon service headquarters as saying that 21 pigeons have died of sunstroke in recent months because they had not been watched carefully enough.
Those left are also at risk because the 34 constables assigned to pigeon duty in remote districts see the job as a punishment and the pigeons as a costly anachronism.
The police department has asked the government to sell off most of the birds and use the pigeon service's $2,900 annual budget elsewhere in the department.
The pigeon service was started in Orissa in 1946 using pigeons from the army.
They were trained to specialize in three types of service: static, under which bird flies one way with a message attached to a leg and is then taken back to its base, boomerang under which birds travel regularly, carrying messages between two points within a 60-mile radius and mobile pigeons which fly back to their home base and were carried by police officers patrolling remote areas to keep in touch with their colleagues.
The last major disaster in which they played a significant role was the 1982 Orissa flooding when the police pigeons were the only method of communication because radio networks were disrupted by water.
Das said pigeons were not used in last year's devastating super-cyclone because the disaster was so great that the constables assigned to the pigeon posts fled.
The state's communications system was useless for days, but word finally got out through ham radio operators.
Previous Indian pigeons report;
Los Angeles Times/AP report;.

2000-08-22: After the UK and Germany, Italy is the next European country expected to raise billions from auctioning mobile phone spectrum.
It is to set out details of how it intends to conduct its auction this week and expects to raise a total of some £22 billion.
Expected to bid are existing Italian companies and the European giants including British Telecom (through the Blu consortium), Telecom Italia, Vodafone (through Omnitel), and Wind backed by France Télecom.

2000-08-21: Diversity amongst the columnists this week, although many of them are on leave or just sticking to reviews.
The ending of Sue Arnold's column in the UK Observer, does however, touch upon wider issues, "You have to admire people …… ……who can blather away without a pause; it's a talent all on its own."
" One of these days someone will apply for Agony FM."
"Radio is for news and music and sport and, of course, the Proms (RNW note: A UK series of classical music concerts) on Radio 3 at this time of year. But it's also for practical advice about A-levels (RNW note: UK Examinations which are a prime determinant in getting a plave at university) and hamsters. You should use it."
In the UK Sunday Times , Michael Wright, a holiday stand-in, gazes a little into the future starting with, "Here's what I really want from a car radio. Sitting in my little car, preferably not in a traffic jam, I want to be able to whistle a bar or two of a song or symphony and for that piece instantly to fill my battered motor, in digital stereo. I want the news, weather and traffic reports instantly to be accessible whenever I give the order."
He then comments that stations are getting better at knowing what to play when, adding," Soaking up Classic FM in the car almost every day, for example, I am struck by how much of the station's output offers just what the doctor ordered, at exactly the time he prescribed it."
"It's strange how a Mozart slow movement or a wash of Tallis can turn the traffic queues on Tower Bridge from an unwanted obstruction into an opportunity to gaze at the beauty of the Thames at dusk."
Not that Wright finds the station perfect: "John Brunning's Smooooooth Classics at Seven ("The ultimate wind-down") comes on sounding like a coffee commercial for sexually frustrated housewives. "
" Every day it starts with a snippet of the In Paradisum from Fauré's Requiem, then, just when we've decided that, yes, this is exactly what we want to listen to, John switches us over to The Lark Ascending for the 50th time."
And even when it does manage it, it spoils it, "Just occasionally, radio comes up with exactly the thing you want to hear. Driving home last week, humming Danny Boy to myself, I wished I could hear it being played. I turned on Classic FM, and lo! There it was: the very tune - hardly a Classic FM staple - arranged for violin and piano, swirling out of the speakers. So this is how God must have felt when she said: 'Let there be light.'"
" Flushed with my technical breakthrough in conjuring up audio on demand, I had another go, humming the opening of a Schubert piano sonata. And lo! There came, instead, an advertisement for online train tickets."
" Fine: I'll practise my humming."he concludes.
And while on advertisements, his Times colleague Peter Barnard, adds a little information there in a clumn which pays tribute to Albert Lasker, "the first great advertising man and a pioneer of radio as a selling tool early in the 20th century.
" Lasker, he writes, "was an American who was packed off to Chicago to join the advertising agency Lord and Thomas, which he later owned."
"Lasker brought scientific thinking to advertising, virtually invented the notion of the copywriter, and had a straightforward philosophy: 'Get a simple message, hammer it home.'"
Lasker was also the subject of a programme on the BBC Radio 4 series Anatomists of Desire about advertising gurus and, says Barnard, "not the least of the first programme's merits was that it demonstrated how radio did the spadework for the goldrush that television advertising was to become."
Barnard ends," The best commercials obey the Lasker principle of simplicity, the worst are too clever by half, sending woolly messages that are like bad jokes: forgotten in a few seconds. "
" Lasker, who had wanted to be a journalist, had the sub-editor's feel for telling, uncomplicated phrases. It's a skill modern radio needs. And not just in the commercial breaks."
A pity indeed to harp on our well-worn track, that this particular programme isn't available "on-demand" from the Radio 4 website. It would be well worth paying a little to get it.
Previous Columnists:
Previous Arnold:
Previous Barnard:
Barnard UK Times column;
Wright Sunday Times column;

2000-08-21: The launch of commercial Irish national talk radio may now be delayed by up to six months because some of its backers have pulled out.
NewsTalk 106 has been asked by the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) to find more backers so that it does not end up controlled by too few major investors.
The station, which was backed by all of Ireland's independent stations, who were taking a share related to the size of their audiences, was awarded its licence against competition from Dublin Live FM.
Originally itwas expected to go on air earlier this year but it now looks more likely that the launch will be some time early next year.
It is expected to have a format of news interspersed with traffic and weather updates plus sport and the arts.

2000-08-20: Licence news this week. And the main story this week is the final approval by the US Federal Communications Commission of the Clear Channel-AMFM take-over, subject to the divestment of 122 stations. (RNW Aug 17)
Elsewhere more bits and bobs, with nothing at all worthy of mention from Australia.
In Canada, the CRTC has put through a large number of routine renewals, mainly of CBC TV licences but including radio licences running to 2007 in Alberta for the Big West Communications Corporation stations CIBW-FM, Drayton Valley, and CHBW-FM Rocky Mountain House and its transmitter CHBW-FM-1 Nordegg.
It has also approved a transfer of ownership of CHEQ-FM Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Quebec, from Gestion Overtime Inc.
No conditions were applied as the station has been unprofitable for the past three years and a change of frequency for Christian Radio Manitoba Ltd broadcasting as CHVN=FM Winnipeg. The applicants' originally requested frequency was disallowed.
And finally it approved a Low Power FM licence until the end of 1991 to the Cameron Bell Consultancy Ltd for a 50 watt station to give news related to the construction of the Broadway/ Lougheed Corridor.
In the UK the Radio Authority has announced that next week it will advertise the West Midlands Digital multiplex licence.
This week it has announced that it received only one application for the Central Scotland digital multiplex. This was from Switchdigital Scotland, which is proposing 8 music channels as well as also carrying the BBC Gaelic service for Scotland.
Switchdigital's shareholders are The Wireless Group (55%), Clear Channel International (20%) (RNW Aug 19), Capital Radio (20%) and the Carphone Warehouse (5%).
The Authority has also only received one application for the local radio licence in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, for the next years. This was from existing licence-holder, Bucks Broadcasting Ltd., broadcasting.
Previous licence news
CRTC Website;
UK Radio authority website

2000-08-19: US radio giant Clear Channel is still gobbling up stations with the purchase of 11 stations in California from the Mondosphere Group.
They're in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria-Lompoc but no price has been announced.
Clear is also involved in SwitchDigital the only group applying for the Central Scotland digital multiplex licence in the UK (see tomorrow's licence news).
Clear has a fifth of the group, which already has a London digital multiplex licence.
Elsewhere on the US radio deals front AAA Entertainment which already owns three FM stations in Peoria, Illinois, is spending $2.3 million to add a fourth, WBGE-FM which it is buying from B&G Broadcasting.
And in West Virginia, Mortenson Broadcasting is paying $600,000 to Hanson Broadcasting for WMON-AM & WZKM-Fm in Charleston. It recently spent £1 million on WSCW-AM & FM in Charleston.
In Georgia, Cox Broadcasting has been granted a waiver by the FCC which will allow it to complete its purchase of WFOX, Gainesville, from AMFM. Cox owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution but produced studies which the FCC accepted arguing that the 55 miles separation from Atlanta means the two cities are separate markets and the deal thus does not breach media cross ownership regulations.
Previous Clear Channel
2000-08-19: Germany's third generation mobile phone auction has ended with bids totalling £30.8 billion, £376 per head of the country's population and just under the £381 per head in the British auction, which raised £22.5 billion.
Each of the six remaining bidders bought two of the 12 blocks on sale, giving them all a licence but Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa announced hours after the announcement that it was withdrawing from successful consortium E-plus, leaving Holland's KPN with full ownership of E-plus.
The other winning bidders at prices ranging from £5.13 billion to £5.17 billion British-Telecom backed Viag Interkom, Deutsche Telekom, France-Telecom backed Mobilcom, Group 3G (a joint venture between Telefonica of Spain and Sonera of Finland) and Vodafone-Mannesman.
Shares in most of the companies concerned have fallen because of the high prices paid.
Particularly hard his has been British Telecom which is increasing its debt to around £ 30 billion with the cost of the licence and the £4 billion it is to spend doubling its holding in Viag to 90%.

Previous German spectrum auction :
2000-08-19: The US Democrats seem to have underestimated the power of radio during their conference in Los Angeles, upsetting some powerful stations in important states and giving the Republicans a chance to make some hay.
With its nose particularly out of joint was KMOX, the dominant news station in St Louis, who had booked two Democrats as guests only to find itself in a hole when neither turned up and no big name substitutes could be found despite the best efforts of some 30 volunteers involved in the Democratic National Committee's radio operation.
Part of the problem, as elucidated earlier this week in a Washington Post column, is that many of the Democrats just don't want to get out of bed early for the radio shows.
And this, says the column, has offered some early bird chances to the Republicans who earlier in the week targeted "radio row" to satisfy the hosts who were lacking Democrats.
Whilst the Republicans had Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson prepared to talk to stations the Democrats had no big names on offer and gave him a walkover with a potential audience of millions.
The report quotes says Mark Pfeifle, an Republican National Committee spokesman travelling with Nicholson, as saying "We're the only show in town -- I don't know why the Democrats haven't figured it out. "The DNC has not brought anybody here until 10 a.m."
" That's 1 p.m. on the East Coast. The Democrats missed every East Coast drive-time show this morning."
Washington Post column
2000-08-18: Clear Channel says it already has buyers lined up for the 122 stations it has to divest to get approval of its take over of AMFM and hopes to close the deal within two weeks.
Randy Palmer, vice president of investor relations for the company says there won't be much effect on listeners and no layoffs are planned.
Heading the combined company will be Clear Channel Chief Executive L.Lowry Mays and former AMFM chairman and chief executive Thomas Hicks who will become vice-chairman of Clear Channel.
The above, of course, assumes that the lawyers don't become involved as they already have with the Viacom purchase of the Infinity stock it doesn't hold.
In the Infinity case, shareholder Yehuda Glatzer has filed suit in a Delaware Court claiming Viacom is trying to take advantage of the current low Infinity share price,
He says it is paying too little for the company despite the premium it has bid. And is asking the judge to stop the transaction and award damages and legal fees.
Previous Clear Channel ;
Previous Infinity Broadcasting;

2000-08-18: US Spanish-language radio group Entravision, in its first report as a public company, has reported second quarter net revenues this year of $35.7 million, up 146% over the same period in 1999.
Broadcast cash flow in the same period was $14 million, up 147%. On a same station basis gains were also healthy with revenues up 28% and broadcast cash flow up 34%.
Entravision has now completed its $448 million acquisition of Z-Spanish media, which adds 25 radio stations to its portfolio and makes it the largest Spanish-language radio group in the US.
Amador S. Bustos, President and CEO of Z-Spanish Media, has become President of Entravision's Radio Division, as well as a member of Entravision's Board of Directors and Jeff Liberman has become Chief Operating Officer of Entravision's Radio Group.

2000-08-18: Bidding in the third-generation German mobile phone auction of spectrum has now topped £29 billion after its 162nd round with no further contenders dropping out.
However analysts are now speculating that Group 3G, a joint venture between Telefónica of Spain and Sonera, of Finland, will soon pull out and effectively end the auction.
The bids, which in total are already well above the £22.5 billion raised by the UK spectrum auction (RNW April 28), are now around £255 per head of the German population, nearly as much as the £381 per head paid in Britain.
The high costs have led credit rating agency Standard & Poor's to say it is likely to downgrade the credit rating of most of the companies involved.

Previous German spectrum auction

2000-08-17: Children's radio is to return to Britain under the first BBC Radio 4 schedules released by the channel's new controller Helen Boaden.
The programmes will be in a children's radio story time which is to be broadcast at 7.15 p.m. on Sundays for at least a year.
They will be single voice readings not radio dramas.
Boaden, said she had long been an advocate of radio for children, adding,"It always seemed blindingly obvious to me,"
Boaden's predecessor James Boyle axed the last regularly scheduled children's programmes on the channel in 1998.
The BBC has been accused of squandering its expertise in children's radio programming.
Its weekday Children's Hour, which began in 1922, had an audience of more than a million for its stories, quizzes, plays and music at its peak in the min-Fifties and its weekday story Listen with Mother ran from 1950, until it was dropped in 1982
. Other programming announced include an extended Gardener's Question Time which will run 45 minutes instead of its current 30 minutes and radio dramas to include Emma by Jane Austen Scoop by Evelyn Waugh as well appearances in their own works by playwrights Harold Pinter (in A Slight Ache) and Alan Bennett (in Forty Years On).
Previous Boaden;
Previous Boyle;

2000-08-17: Clear Channel's $16 billion take over of AMFM has finally been given the all clear by the US Federal Communications Commission subject to the disposal of another 23 stations in ten markets on top of the 99 stations whose sell-off the Justice Department had required as part of its approval of the deal in July (RNW July 27).
The 122 stations which now have to be disposed of, either by sale to a third party or to an insulated trust are in a total of 37 US markets -- Albany, New York, Allentown, Pennsylvania, Austin, Texas, Biloxi-Pascagoula, Missouri, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cincinnati, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, Columbia, South Carolina, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, Daytona Beach, Florida, Denver-Boulder, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, Ft. Pierce, Florida, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, North Carolina, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Houston, Texas, Jackson, Missouri, Jacksonville, Florida, Los Angeles, California, Miami, Florida, Melbourne, Florida, New Haven, Connecticut, Orlando, FL, Pensacola, Florida, Phoenix, Arizona, Providence, Rhode Island, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, San Diego, California, San Francisco, California, San Jose, California, Shreveport, Florida, Springfield, Massachusetts, Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, and Waco, Texas.
San Antonio, Texas, based-Clear Channel, operated more than 800 radio stations in the US as well as having interests in some 240 stations internationally.
Dallas-based AMFM owned 465 US radio stations; the combined company is now by far the largest radio organisation in the US.
One step down in radio terms and Viacom Inc is to pay $15.5 billion in stock to buy the publicly held 35% of its radio subsidiary Infinity Broadcasting Corp., the Number 2 radio station owner in the US.
Infinity's then corporate parent CBS, which bought Infinity in 1996, sold 35% of the shares when it floated Infinity in 1998 at a time when radio shares were riding high amidst rapid industry consolidation.
Viacom inherited CBS's 65% when it took over the company this year and Viacom President (and Infinity chairman and CEO) Mel Karmazin had said he wanted to buy back the rest of Infinity if its share price did not rise.
Viacom was able to do so on the back of a high Viacom share price. Infinity stockholders will receive 0.564 shares of Viacom for each Infinity share they own.
Previous Clear Channel
Previous Infinity Broadcasting;
Previous Karmazin;
FCC News release;

2000-08-17: Bids in the auction for Germany's third- generation mobile phone licences have now reached £27 billion (DM85 billion) after 12 days and 150 rounds with only one bidder dropping out so far.
Forecasters now estimate that the total could top £30 billion and the telecoms regulator has now cut the amount by which new bids have to top existing offers from 10% to 5%.
12 "blocks" of radio spectrum up for auction with bidders needing two to get a licence.
Still left in the race are Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile; Group 3G, backed by Spain's Telefónica and Finland's Sonera; E-Plus, backed by KPN of The Netherlands and Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa; MobilCom, backed by France Telecom; Viag backed by British Telecom and Vodaphone-Mannesmann.
Fears that bidders have underestimated the cost of the licences have led to falls in the share price of most of the associated companies.
Previous German spectrum auction

2000-08-16: US National Public Radio show "This American Life" is to go on the road in December for a number of shows which will be taped with live audiences.
Host Ira Glass and the show's crew will take in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The show which takes a quirky look at the oddities of American life is five years old in November; it has been on the road before, the last time being two years ago.

2000-08-16: Bids for mobile phone radio spectum in Germany have now topped £24 billion , topping the £22.5 billion raised in the UK.
So far only one bidder, Swisscom subsidiary Debitel has dropped out.
Previous German spectrum auction

2000-08-16: Losers in the battle for Canadian radio licences don't like to accept the referee's word nowadays it would seem.
Decisions in June (RNW June 18) by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)to award a Toronto AM licence to PrimeTime radio run by Oakville, Ontario., station CHWO, which targets listeners over 50 years old and a Toronto FM licence to black-oriented music format Milestone Radio are both being challenged.
The latter is being challenged by 39 appeals arguing that other minority groups deserve the frequency more.
PrimeTime, which took over the 740 AM frequency left open by CBC Radio's move to FM, is being challenged in a petition by Infinity Broadcasting whose president Neeti P Ray argues that ethnic groups, not the over-fifties, are the fastest growing segment of the Toronto population and that there are ample mainstream stations already serving the easy-listening music audience targeted by PrimeTime.
Had Infinity been successful it would have broadcast in 22 languages and Ray also cites a study commissioned by his company which attacks the CRTC decision for not taking into account Toronto City Hall reports on the growing population of minorities in cities.
In the case of Milestone, which had previously made unsuccessful licence bids(RNW Jan 7), most of the challenges come from south Asian groups who do not have any radio stations.
The appeals are expected to be heard in September.

2000-08-15: Some Radio talk show hosts it seems are even less inclined to stick to their words than politicians they castigate for the same action.
Only a day after he had nnounced that he was banning Democratic vice-presidential contender Joseph Lieberman from his show, Don Imus welcomed the Senator back.
In so doing he commented , "This just makes me look like a complete, total fool. We actually do like you, but we were perplexed why we couldn't get a hold of you."
Imus did however rehect an offer from Lieberman to return to the show together with Democratic presidential contender Al Gore. Maybe we should wait and see!
Previous Imus ;

2000-08-15: Ceridian Corporation is to hold a special shareholders' meeting on October 5 to approve its plan to split into two and separate off its Arbitron ratings arm (RNW July 19).
If the plan is approved, the company will set up a reverse stock split at a ratio not exceeding one to five thus expected to give existing shareholders five new Ceridian and one new Arbitron share for each five Ceridian shares they currently hold.
Previous Ceridian/Arbitron

2000-08-15: Cumulus Media Inc has reported strong growth due to acquisitions but falls in cash flow and same-station revenues in its results for the second quarter and first six months of the year.
When all pending acquisitions and divestitures are completed the company will own and operate 271 radio stations in 54 mid-size and smaller U.S. media markets, an average of five per market.
It also owns and operates a multi-market radio network in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Figures for the second quarter show net revenues up 36.7% on 1999 Q2 to $62.6 million, broadcast cash flow up 21% to $16.4 million. EBITDA was $ 12.4 million after approximately $1.2 million in non-recurring corporate costs including severance, professional fees, and other miscellaneous corporate expenses.
On a same-station basis, however, net revenues for the 212 stations involved were down $1.6 million or 3.5% to $43.6 million.
Cumulus also announced that it was endingvarious Internet-related activities and consolidating its corporate functions which are currently based in Atlanta and Milwaukee, in Atlanta.
It recorded a related one-off charge in the quarter of $9.3 million relating to these changes.
For the half-year to June 30, net revenues increased $33.2 million, or 43.2%, to $110.3 million, Broadcast Cash Flow (increased $3.9 million, or 21.3%, to $21.9 and basic and diluted loss per share was $1.06 compared to $0.94 for the six months ended June 30, 1999.
Previous Cumulus;
Cumulus news release;

2000-08-14: Another slim week for the columnists but again good value from Peter Barnard in the UK Times, ruminating on music on radio nowadays.
To start with though, his introduction, to use his own words," warrants passing on." "You get to hear all sorts on a trawl of the radio dial, but the following from a caller to one network warrants passing on: "I'd just like to send a message to my two ex-wives. I'm delighted they fell in love with other people because I'm having a fantastic time".
As is his won't Barnard then develops more general comment from the particular, this time by noting that the comment came from a caller to a Classic FM programme, Classic Romance, a soporific show presented by Simon Bates every Sunday morning."
Barnard then continues that, "People with a sugar allergy should avoid this programme. The same could be said for much of Classic FM's output." "At least, the same could be said by classical purists and indeed people such as me, who think there is still something - how shall we put this? - slightly tacky about Classic FM. Lacking in weight, old chap, and certainly not at all intellectual."
"Indeed, the most telling direct comparison between Classic and Radio 3 is that the former is an emotional network whereas the latter is an intellectual one." Widening the argument further Barnard comments that the listening figures show Classic FM with a weekly reach of 6.2 million and an audience share of 4.4 per cent, more than three times that of BBC Radio 3.
Commenting on Classic's success, he says he thinks it has exploited wider cultural changes. giving examples of former disc jockeys who turn up "all over the dial" and concluding that, "There is a homogenous feel to radio now. Musically, radio reflects, as well as influences, a trend that sees concert violinists marketed like models in the case of the women and like footballers in the case of the men, a shift begun by Nigel Kennedy before Classic FM was born."
"Does it matter that there are now people who think that Nessun Dorma is a football anthem rather than an operatic aria? Does it matter that Classic almost exclusively features the more tuneful works of dead composers?"
"If Mozart had lived in a different age, would he have written for Hollywood? I really don't know."
"What I do know is that when Classic started, there were those who said that its bite-sized chunks would give a whole new audience an appetite for the four-course meals served up on Radio 3. This has not happened."
"Classic expands, the Radio 3 audience is static. Six million people are apparently quite happy to regard the appetiser as the whole meal. Classic is to serious music what the sound bite is to serious politics. And both are here to stay."
In the Sunday Times, where his colleague Paul Donovan is on holiday, stand-in Roland White is on less serious ground although his introduction is again noteworthy.
"Pat Murphy, who reports on cricket for Radio 5, made an uncharacteristic slip of the tongue last week when talking about the Test match weather. There was, he said, a chance of "drivel". "
"Or perhaps it wasn't a slip of the tongue. Perhaps he had been listening to Sunday Service, the programme he was interrupting."
Widening the argument later White writes of "the dangers of so-called zoo radio, the practice of having a main presenter supported by a couple of sidekicks", the idea of which was to make a show sound energetic and lively.
He goes on though to ask where radio goes next, saying, "I suspect the reason we are stuck with zoo is that nobody can think of the next revolutionary new format."
"If you have one person presenting a radio programme, it doesn't take a genius to employ a bit of help. But where do we go from there?"
The answer White suggests is backwards, saying, "more often than not, I have found that the shows with real variety and change of tone are now presented by one person."
However after citing a few examples he concludes, "In many other areas, though, the forecast is not good: look out - as Pat Murphy might put it - for prolonged patches of drivel."
And whilst that would be unfair as a description of the other columnists, by comparison they do seem rather pedestrian this week with too few ideas or phrases warranting "the passing on."
Previous Barnard;
Previous Simon Bates;
Previous Columnists;
Previous White;
Barnard column;
White Column;

2000-08-13: Mobile phone spectrum in Europe is continuing to attract high bids.
Following on the heels of the UK third generation mobile phone spectrum auction for which bids reached $22.5 billion (RNW April 28), the German 3rd generation auction has now topped $20 billion.
One bidder, Swisscom subsidiary Debitel, has now dropped out and there is speculation that the 3G consortium including Sonera and Telefonica may be next out.
Deutsche Telecom's T-Mobil, Hutchison's E-Plus and Vodaphone's Mannesman Mobilfunk are the leading bidders still in the race.
Germany is potentially the largest mobile phone market in Europe and bids so far are already more than three times the original forecast of $6.4 billion for up to six licences.

2000-08-13:The Sydney Morning Herald reports the death aged 85 of one of Australia's key broadcasting figures, Dr Clement Semmler.
A blacksmith's son, Semmler was born in rural South Australia and after graduating at Adelaide University was a high school teacher, radio writer and broadcaster before joining the ABC in 1942.
He played an important role in setting up the Corporation's national television service, and in 1961.he became assistant general manager in charge of radio, television and Radio Australia, later becoming general manager.
Sydney Morning Herald obituary

2000-08-13: Licence news this week. And the main story this week is the dog that didn't bark; despite lots of anticipation the US Federal Communications Commission still hasn't come through with its approval of the Clear Channel-AMFM takeover, approved by the US Department of Justice last month(RNW June 22).
Elsewhere all was also fairly quiet. In Australia, the government has just announced appointments and re-appointments to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (RNW Aug 12) but there has been no important activity on the radio front.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has renewed a number of licences including those for CKLP-FM Parry Sound, from 1 September 2000 to 28 February 2001 and from 1 September 2000 to 31 August 2007 for CBC's CBPS-FM, Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, CBPJ-FM Waterton Lakes National Park and CBPI-FM Waterton Park,Alberta, CBPQ-FM Coquihalla Toll Plaza, British Columbia and CBPN and CBPN-FM Golden, British Columbia.
The CRTC has also approved the addition of a 92 watt FM transmitter at Banff, Alberta, for CKIK-FM Limited and changes in effective control of Portage-Delta Broadcasting Company Ltd., Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, licensee of radio programming undertaking CFRY Portage la Prairie which has been bought by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has renewed Wessex FM's licence for the Weymouth & Dorchester area for a further period of eight years, from 4 September 2001 and has advertised a new small-scale Independent Local Radio FM licence to serve the town of Warminster, in West Wiltshire, and the immediately surrounding area.
It has also published the latest edition of its pocket book which lists names, addresses, frequencies, air dates and licence expiry dates for all the Independent Radio stations within the UK including the nine new analogue local licences and twelve new digital multiplex licences awarded up to June.
It also gives the Authority's future licensing plans for 2000/2001.
Previous licence news

CRTC Website;
UK Radio authority website

2000-08-12: The StopDrLaura website has announced the defection of yet another advertiser from the Dr Laura Schlessinger radio show.
Latest defector says the site is Natrol which has announced that current environment surrounding this program does not suit the personality of our and what we wish to accomplish as a responsible corporate citizen."
For another view on the boycott call (RNW note - and in our view rather too rarely argued point about the implications), have a look at an article by Debra J.Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle.
This starts off by citing a decision by Rabbi Pinchas Lipner to disinvite Schlessinger from speaking at the Hebrew Academy of San Francisco's annual International Conference on Jewish Medical Ethics in February.
Saunders says she strongly disagrees with Schlessinger's comments on homosexuality but points out that Schlesssinger does not advocate violence against gays and does urge parents to accept their gay children.
Saunders adds that John Aravosis, who started the StopDrLaura site, would not comment on what happened with the ethics conference.
But he did comment about a Schlessinger comment that she hadn't , "said anything different than the pope has said." by saying he didn't think he had to explain the difference between Dr Laura and the Pope.
Saunders gives her version of the difference, "The Pope is a powerful man with lots of followers, who could do to Aravosis what he does to Schlessinger -- and then free speech advocates would cry censorship. She is a lone woman, who can only hire security guards. She is easier to intimidate than the Pope." Saunders concludes that, "This is no different than the Hollywood blacklist. She holds unpopular positions, censorious zealots keep her from speaking even on medical ethics. Yet people who are horrified at the blacklist yawn as anonymous foes muzzle her. This time, they tell themselves, it's different."
Previous Dr Laura;
Dr Laura website;
StopDr Laura site;
San Francisco Chronicle article;.

2000-08-12: The Australian government has re-appointed Professor David Flint as chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Association for a second term running until October 2004 but his deputy Gareth Grainger has been dropped and the position left unfilled for the moment.
Also re-appointed were Michael Gordon-Smith as a full-time member, and Sydney lawyer Ian Robertson and Internet expert John Rimmer as part-time members.
Two new part-time members are also being appointed. They are former Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) chief executive Malcolm Long and Robert Le Tet , Melbourne-based film producer and co-founder of EONFM in Melbourne, now Fox FM.
Previous Flint;
Previous Gordon-Smith;
ABA website;

2000-08-12: US Shock jock Don Imus, now fully back at work after his riding accident in June (RNW June 20), seems to have lost none of his taste for name-callin.
This thishe called Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman a snivelling coward" and "banned him for life" after Liebermann refused to go on his radio show.
According to John Mainelli in the New York Post, Imus said his producer Bernard Mcguirk got the run-around when he called to ask Liebermann to appear on his show.
Liebermann, who had been on the show dozens of times, apparently told McGuirk he now has to deal with Gore's (Democratic Presidential candidate Al Gore) staff.
Imus then went into a rant on his show, saying, "If I'm Joe Lieberman and I got famous being on this program a hundred times, I don't turn myself into a snivelling coward and allow the Gore people to tell me what to do."
"Don't lay it off on that crook you're running with because you sold out every principle and moral ethic that you held in this cheap grasp for power because you want to be - which you're not going to be, by the way - the vice president."
With typical modesty Imus continued, "We plucked this loser out of the wilds of Connecticut. At least get on the phone with Bernie and say things are a little tight right now and we have to be careful and have to go on the 'Today' show or whatever."
" They tell us to call the Gore people, that they're doing the booking, which we know is a lie. " "They're doing a politically correct thing because they're frightened to death ... that I'm going to ask him why he decided to run with this crook. They won't ask him that on the 'Today' show."
Previous Imus;
Previous McGuirk;
New York Post article;.

2000-08-11: Yet more advertisers have dropped Dr Laura Schlessinger's radio show as a result of controversy over her remarks about homosexuality according to the StropDrLaura site.
Latest to drop out are Internet Company and the Red Lobster Seafood restaurant.
Schlessinger's own site is carrying the same "Support my sponsors" message it has had for a while
Previous Dr Laura;
Dr Laura website;
StopDr Laura site;

2000-08-11: Claims by Australian radio host Phillip Adams that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Board wanted him fired for political reasons (RNW July 11) are not to be investigated by the Australian Senate according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The claims were categorically denied at the time by the ABC but Labor Senator Chris Schacht says he will grill the ABC management during funding hearings in November over what he terms "prima facie" evidence that the ruling coalition is interfering politically with the ABC.
The paper says Schacht wants to know if it is true that ABC network manager Steven Alward and editor Amanda Armstrong, under pressure from the board, threatened to sack Adams.
According to reports in Australia Alward told Adams during a meeting at Adams's home that hey they themselves would be sacked if they didn't fire him and Armstrong added that they had to protect themselves.
They are then said to have offered a deal under which Adams' Late Night Live slot would be cut from eight hours a week to two on a Saturday afternoon and his Aus$150000 salary would be cut by two thirds.
According to the reports Adams reconstructed the events on tape immediately after the meeting and then wrote to ABC chairman Donald McDonald who wrote back denying any plan to fire him or discussion of his dismissal by the board.
McDonald has handed over the matter to ABC director of radio, Sue Howard, and the new managing director, Jonathan Shier.
Previous Adams;
Previous Howard;
Previous McDonald;
Previous Schacht;
Previous Shier;
Sydney Morning Herald report.

2000-08-11: XM Satellite radio, whose competitor Sirius Satellite Radio earlier this week (RNW Aug 9) completed in space tests of its first satellite, has now announced that it has closed the $ 235 million financing deal announced in July (RNW June 11 ) thus completing its funding to launch of its satellite radio service.
XM's first satellite is due to be launched in November.
Previous Satellite Radio;
Previous XM satellite radio;

2000-08-10: It hasn't taken long for the ABC Radio Networks-Radio 1 Inc deal to bear fruit for Dallas-based host Tom Joyner.
His Tom Joyner Morning Show, which was lost by WHUR-FM Washington to WMMJ-FM Washington (RNW Aug 8), is gaining two top ten markets on August 28th, the day of the Washington change.
The two organisations have signed a letter of intent to also broadcast the show from 6am to 10am weekdays on WILD-AM in Boston and KMJQ-FM in Houston from that date.
And some more results: Christian-oriented Salem Communications Corporation has reported net broadcasting revenue of $24.8 million for the second quarter of this year, up 15.9% compared to 1999.
Broadcast cash flow was up 8.7% to $11.3 million.
Same station basis net broadcasting revenue and broadcast cash flow increased 11.2% and 9.6%, respectively, for the second quarter in 2000 as compared to 1999.
The company's non-broadcast media business lost 2 million in the quarter.
Net income was $1.6 million for the quarter, or $0.07 per share, compared with a loss of ($0.21) per share in the same period last year.
Previous Joyner:
Previous Radio 1 Inc;

2000-08-10: Latest Sydney ratings show that 2UE, the station at the heart of the cash-for-comment affair (See RNW Aug 3), and also in controversy when it lost rugby commentary rights (See RNW April 7), hasn't suffered in audience terms.
2UE was up in the ratings in all time slots except the 7pm to midnight time and Ray Hadley and the 2UE Talking League team averaged a bigger audience than rugby rights holder 2GB and 702 combined.
Showing up worst in the ratings was Triple M, the AusStereo rock station, which dropped 3 per cent to a rating of 10.3, its worst performance for a year and a half.
It lost audience in particular amongst the younger audience with under 25 listeners down nearly 7 per cent and the 25-39 group down nearly 6 pr cent.
Previous Hadley :

Next column

2000-08-09: The Australian government has reversed its decision to cut back Radio Australia and has announced an injection of Aus$9 million over the next three years, citing regional instability as the driving force.
It has also decided to look at options to continue a television service to the Asia-Pacific, following comments by the Seven Network that it would have to look at the future of its struggling Australia Television.
The decision was welcomed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, whose chairman Donald McDonald, said in the statement that, "These additional funds will give the ABC the opportunity to strengthen its Radio Australia broadcasts to Asia to a significant extent."
" The ABC will once again in Asia be able to match the transmission strength it has had with Radio Australia in the Pacific for the last three years."
McDonald added that the ABC would now look at transmission options including use of the Cox Peninsular transmitters, which the government recently sold to a Christian Broadcasting Group. (RNW June 6).
Commenting on the decision in the Sydney Morning Herald, David Lague writes, "The virtual closure of Radio Australia in 1997 to key regional audiences was a stupid decision and it was always just a matter of time before it was reversed."
" For insignificant savings, the transmission of news, current affairs and entertainment to established and loyal audiences in East Asia, including thousands of expatriate Australians, effectively ended when there was never more need for Australia's voice to be heard."
" It was ludicrous then and has become more so with the political and economic upheavals that have radically altered the outlook for peace and security in the region." "Radio Australia provided a consistent, daily, professional projection of Australia and regional affairs; the cheapest and most effective form of public diplomacy Australia has reaching tens of millions of people in the Asia Pacific region and a balance to our more obviously self-interested striving for economic advantage."
" Now the Government has gracelessly backed down without acknowledging its earlier error and decided to add a television service as well."
Previous Radio Australia: Previous Donald McDonald: Sydney Morning Herald comment;

2000-08-09: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced that it has now successfully completed the in-orbit testing of its first satellite, Sirius 1, which was launched six weeks ago (RNW July 3).
It says its second satellite Sirius 2 has now arrived at the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, and is scheduled for launch between September 5 and September 15.
The next launch, of Sirius 3, is scheduled for October but the spare satellite Sirius 4 , previously scheduled for delivery to ground storage in December has now been delayed.
Previous Sirius;

Previous Satellite radio ;

2000-08-09:The US radio industry looks set for another record year according to the Radio Advertising Bureau whose latest figures show combined local and national revenues for the first six months of the year 21% ahead of 1999.
Local figures were up 18% and national ones 31% . In June, combined figures wete up 14% on June 1999.
The industry also continues to consolidate with latest deals including a $15 million acquisition by Maryland-based Radio 1 Inc of WPEK-FM in the Greenville-Spartanburg market from Alpeak Broadcasting.
And in Florida, Meridian Broadcasting is paying InterMart Broadcasting $7 million for WWWD and WCCL in the Ft. Myers-Naples market.

RAB news release ;

2000-08-09: Laura Schlessinger seems to be losing the battle to keep advertisers on her US talk show.
Two more advertisers have dumped the Dr Laura radio show according to the StopDrLaura website.
Latest to pull advertising as a result of protests about her comments on gays and lsbians are computer manufacturer Gateway and Kroger's Stores in Texas.
The site says Gateway pulled out because of her "discriminatory" remars and the stores action was in response to complaints.
Previous Dr Laura;

StopDrLaura website

2000-08-08: The San Francisco Examiner reports again on the US Low Power FM, looking ahead to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) meeting in the city from September 20th.
Pirate operators and LPFM applicants are, it says, linking up in a "Micropower Summer" to protest what they regard as the corporatization of the nation's airwaves.
The protest at NAB's San Francisco radio convention is being organised by a coalition that includes the Direct Action Media Network, Global Exchange, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
The paper quotes Paul Griffin, aka Captain Fred of Berkeley pirate radio station 104.1 FM as saying trying to stop LPFM is " like stepping on a mushroom. If you step on it, what you're going to get is more mushrooms."
He added that would shut the NAB convention down but NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton responded that the planned protest "has been brought to the attention of law enforcement" and. "is in their court."
The Examiner also quotes former pirate and founder of Radio Free Berkeley, Stephen Dunifer, as saying, "When things settle out from the Democratic convention, people are going to be looking for another target, and I certainly think the NAB is a fat target."
However, as it points out, LPFM's support comes from a much wider grouping than former pirates, including the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the American Library Association and Consumers Union.
They are among 16 groups that signed a letter sent at the end of July to U.S. senators urging them to support the low-power FM initiative.
"Low-power radio is an essential tool in countering the unprecedented consolidation and homogenisation of the FM dial in recent years," they write. "It promises to localize broadcasting on an unparalleled scale, breaking the stranglehold of a few nationwide syndicates on the industry and diversifying the airwaves."
The NAB says its opposition is based on interference concerns and quotes NAB President Eddie Fritts as saying, "The FCC has rushed to judgment in deciding to license low-power FM stations on "third adjacent channels" - that is, three clicks away from existing stations. Interference with signals will be a problem."
The Examiner cites broadcasts by of San Francisco Liberation Radio 97.3 FM and Free Radio Berkeley's 104.1 as evidence to the contrary.
Both are "second adjacent channels" away from four popular commercial stations KPFA, KKSF, KYCY and KFOG, and engineers for all four say they have not experienced interference from either. "You'd better believe, if they did interfere, I'd be on those guys in a minute," said KFOG engineer Kelly Parker.
Previous Dunifer;
Previous Fritts;
Previous LPFM
San Francisco Examiner report;

2000-08-08: Washington's most popular black radio personality, Tom Joyner, is to leave WHUR and take his syndicated morning show to Radio One Inc's WMMJ according to Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post.
Dallas-based Joyner has pushed WHUR high up the ratings over the past five years and Ahrens quotes Radio One President and chief executive Alfred C. Liggins III as saying, "This is huge for WMMJ. Joyner is the primary reason WHUR has done so well."
Joyner, who will replace Les Brown on WMMJ on August 28, has some 7 million listeners a week to his show compared to 14.5 million for Rush Limbaugh and 12 million for Howard Stern and in Washington usually battles Howard Stern for top slot.
No details have been released about the terms of the deal with ABC Radio who syndicate Joyner's show and had reached a ceiling with existing stations and affiliates.
Radio One which has expanded rapidly will soon have 50 stations and allow Joyner to reach a wider audience.
It's unclear who will replace Joyner at WHUR, a black adult-contemporary music station which is usually among the area's top three stations in the Arbitron ratings and is one of Washington's top-billing stations with an affluent black audience.
It's also the last commercial FM in the city not owned by a chain and could not compete with Radio 1 in terms of overall clout. General Manager Jim Watkins said WHUR could now consider producing its own, highly local morning show.
Previous Ahrens;
Previous Rush Limbaugh ;
Previous Liggins;
Previous Radio 1 Inc:
Previous Howard Stern;
Washington Post article.

2000-08-07: A disappointing week for the columnists, with most of them concentrating on reviews or local issues without a great deal of wider relevance.
And the one who does come to our rescue, Peter Barnard of the London Times, is making a point which if RAIN magazine (RNW July 15 ) is to be believed could rest as much on hype than current reality about audience figures although Barnard does adduce some evidence to support his thesis.
Barnard's column starts off with a heading, "Listening on the Internet makes nonsense of that quarterly sport of dissecting the listening figure" which, if RAIN's dissection of Arbitron figures is true. average in the hundreds rather than the thousands for Internet listeners.
However in the body of his column Barnard widens his argument and gives some justification for his contention that, "It's becoming clear that some of the largest radio audiences often don't get anywhere near a radio."
In support of this he cites digital speech network Oneword which was officially launched last month, dedicated to readings from books and plays interspersed with poetry and comedy (RNW July 17).
Barnard says he had a letter asking how, with only a few thousand digital sets in use, Oneword was going to survive.
However, says Barnard Oneword is receiving around 200e-mails a day from Sky Digital subscribers, a sign that it is getting a significant audience from its deal with Sky Digital which makes its output available to 3.8 million Sky subscribers.
In addition in July the Oneword site had around 90,000 hits with around 2000 people listening for 20 minutes or more.
The website figures don't really counter RAIN's analysis but the Sky digital ones do and, so it would appear do some website cricket figures.
According to Barnard the site(RNW July 7), which is carrying its own live commentary, had six million listeners on weekdays during the second Test against the West Indies, although this fell to a - still very healthy - 2.2 million at the weekend.
Internet audiences in this case would appear to be very significant, especially if the boss is paying for the connection system!
Barnard also notes that he listens on the Internet on Saturday mornings to the Radio 5 live cricket chat show which is broadcast on Friday night, the time-shift in listening again making a nonsense of formal listening figures especially when, as in the BBC's case, there is a considerable international audience as well on the Internet.
The other columnists?
Well his Sunday Times colleague Paul Donovan is making political points, albeit with some justification, about the BBC cover of the debate on the UK adopting the European currency the Euro.
Donovan contends that the BBC has both constitutional and moral duties to be neutral on the matter yet is not in some important areas.
And in the UK Observer, Sue Arnold does quite a good job in reviewing an episode of the BBC With Great Pleasure series which purported to deal with the music, poetry and prose The Queen Mother would have chosen to mark her hundredth birthday.
But, since she was not on the programme the effort did lack something.
Previous Arnold;
Previous Barnard;
Previous Columnists;
Previous Donovan;
Arnold Observer column;
Barnard Times column;
Donovan Sunday Times column;
Cricinfo site;

2000-08-07: Goodbyes this week to two long-time East Coast disc jockeys.
Signing off in Boston was Charles Laquidara who plans to retire to Maui, although he may consider Internet opportunities from there.
And in New York, the death aged 73 was announced of William Roscoe Mercer, better known as Rosko, a pioneer of free-form FM radio in New York City in the 60's and 70's.
Laquidera, 61, who signed off the airwaves on Friday, was the host of The Big Mattress on WBCN-FM for nearly a quarter of a century.
He was a struggling Hollywood actor when he took his first radio job as an announcer for classical music station KPPC-FM, Pasadena, California, and when the station changed its format to "underground rock", he gained a reputation in a radio genre closely linked to the 60's protest movements.
He moved to Boston for WBCN in 1969 and in 1972 became its morning drive host, coming up with the " Big Mattress" name.
His explanation on his eponymous website is, ``It seemed to conjure up images of thousands of listeners, from hundreds of different towns in New England, all on this huge, imaginary mattress -- all waking up to the sounds of rock and roll from their radios before they went off to school or work.''
He remained with the station until 1996, when his morning show was replaced with Howard Stern, and Laquidara moved to sister "classic rock" station WZLX.
New York born Rosko was even more of a pioneer.
He started his radio career as a jazz disc jockey in Chester, Pennsylvania, and then played jazz and rhythm and blues in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey .
He was the first black news announcer on WINS in New York and was then lured to the West Coast by KDIA in Oakland.
Later under the Rosko name, the first black disc jockey on KBLA in Los Angeles, before returning to New York to work first for WBLS and then, in his free form radio days - on WOR-FM.
When WOR changes its format to make it more restrictive in 1967 he went on air to say why he was resigning and left but was soon hired by WNEW-FM for whom he continued to broadcast rock, soul, folk, jazz and poetry.
In 1970 he moved to France for five years, working there for the Voice of America, after which he returned to the US where he did voiceovers and worked on dance music station WKTU.

Big Mattress website
2000-08-06: UK audience figures just released by the Radio Joint Audience Research organisation (RAJAR) show that whilst BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Sara Cox may have problems over mouth control and the size of male colleagues' penises (RNW July 28), she has none with the size of her audience.
Her show had a total audience of 7.2 million compared to 2 million for that of Chris Evans who is Britain's highest paid breakfast show presenter. Evans lost 100000 listeners compared to the previous quarter, this in a period when Cox's move to take over the BBC Breakfast slot from Zoe Ball (RNW April 3) was expected to give him a chance to pull back his audience.
In percentage terms, Cox increased her share from 10.4% to 11%.
Overall radio figures were healthy at weekly reach of 43.68 million , up half-a-million over the year, with BBC radios 1 and 2 faring particularly well.
Virgin FM, which carries the Evans show, and AM pop station Atlantic 252 did badly.
Of the BBC radio channels. BBC Radio 1 had an audience increase of just over 300000 over the past year to a total weekly reach of 11.3million, and BBC Radio 2 also did well with a weekly reach of 10.04 million, up from 9.86 million.
Radio 3 had a weekly audience of 19.7 million, up from 19.5 million, whilst Radio 4 dropped from 9.3 million to 9 million and Radio 5 lost 5 live lost some 200000 listeners in a fall to 5.8 million.
Percentage shares, which also take into account the time spent listening, showed that overall the BBC had a 51.1% audience share compared to a 48.9% share in the same period of 1999 with Radio 2 doing particularly well.
The figures for its channels and the main commercial channels (1999 figures in brackets) were :
BBC: Radio 1- 10.7% (10.5%), Radio 2- 12.9% (12.4%), Radio 3 - 1.2% (1.3%), Radio 4 10.9% (10.7%), Radio 5 4.1% (4.1%).
Commercial stations:Atlantic 252 0.8% (0.9%), Classic FM 4.4% (4.2%).
TalkSport had 1.4% (compared to 1.8% for TalkRadio in 1999 and the same share as the first quarter of the year but a weekly reach fall of 370,000 indicating that TalkSport head Kelvin MacKenzie may be in the same league as Chris Evans in terms of both bluster and performance).
Virgin, which has the Evans' breakfast show, was 1.7% (2.2%).
Local commercial stations dropped share from 40.2% to 38.8% a weekly audience drop to 2.67 million from 2.7 million.
Previous Zoe Ball;
Previous Sara Cox;
Previous Chris Evans;
Previous Kelvin MacKenzie:
RAJAR Website;

2000-08-06:According to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy executives of the Guangdong People's Radio Station in south China have been meeting daily for a week after an incident in which the station broadcast a phone call saying the Communist Party should relinquish power.
The show ``Today's Hotline'' was broadcasting live nationwide and abroad via satellite during its prime-time early evening slot when a listener phoned in with strong comments about China's endemic corruption, the centre said.
It added that, although the station has a time delay for deleting obscene or politically sensitive comments, censors failed to respond when the caller said the only way to cure the situation was for the Communist Party to give up its 50-year grip on power.
Citing unidentified sources within the station it added that at least one editor will be fired and station director, Ceng Guangxing, could also be forced to step down.

2000-08-06: Licence news this week.
And the main story was from Australia where the final report on the cash-for-comment affair came out with recommendations for new standards as a condition of licences together with the suggestion of the Australian Broadcasting Authority being given the power to levy immediate sanctions including taking a presenter off air for a period or enforcing an advertising-free period on a station (RNW Aug 3 ).
The ABA has also started an investigation into the suitability of Sydney Youth Radio Inc and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Broadcasting Inc to hold community broadcasting licences.
The former has applied for a youth licence for Sydney to be broadcast as WILD FM.
The latter, which has carried out temporary broadcasts as FREE FM, has also applied for a Sydney-wide community licence.
Both organisations have been asked to provide documentation and evidence by August 25.
This evidence may be used allocating Sydney community licences for which public hearings are to be held later this month (RNW July 23).
In Canada, there have been a number of routine licence renewals by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission(CRTC) but no major developments.
Renewed were licences to WIC Premium Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia, to provide English-language radio broadcasts of the Vancouver Canucks hockey games of the week for the 2000-2001 to 2006-2007 seasons of the National Hockey League, and to Rogers (Alberta) Ltd., Calgary, Alberta to provide English-language radio broadcasts of hockey games of the Calgary Flames for the 2000-2001 to 2002-2003 seasons.
In addition the CRTC approved a new digital radio transmitter in Windsor, Ontario, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation but refused an application for a change in frequency and increase in power for CFBG-FM, Bracebridge, Ontario.
The CRTC has also renewed a large number of licences which expire at the end of this month until the end of February 20001 while it considers renewal applications. (Decision CRTC 2000-293 and Public Notice CRTC 2000-112)
In the UK the Radio Authority has pre-advertised three local radio FM licences.
They are for Fort William in Inverness-shire) and the surrounding area with an adult population of around 10,000 where the held by Nevis Community Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Nevis Radio, expires on 31 July 2002, for Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and the surrounding area with an adult population of around 55000 where the present licence, held by North East Community Radio Ltd., broadcasting as NECR, expires on 5 June 2002; , for Harrogate in Yorkshire where the present licence covering an adult population of around 170,000 is held by Stray FM Ltd. and expires on 3 July 2002. All these licences are for eight years.
Previous licence news
CRTC Website;
UK Radio authority website

2000-08-05 :Several US newspapers are running an Associated Press feature on Native American broadcasting linked to the "Native America Calling" weekday talk show, which has now been on the air for five years.
It has an estimated audience of 125,000 on a total of 36 radio stations and associated Internet audio simulcasts according to distributor, American Indian Radio on Satellite.
The programs are supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (see RNW June 27 ), listener donations and private foundations and aim to provide a forum for native Americans to discuss issues and also to preserve oral traditions such as the "listening circle".
One example cited is of a part Cherokee listener in Anchorage who fears he won't have access to services such as health care.
In 1838, his ancestors escaped from the Trail of Tears--the forced relocation of thousands of Cherokees to Oklahoma an ancestors ended up settling in Missouri, but since they weren't in Oklahoma to be federally registered, they lost their status as Cherokees.
"I can't be recognized as Cherokee even though I can prove my grandparents were full-bloods," hel says. "I'm kind of hung out in limbo; I don't exist."
Another Cherokee, 62-year-old John GrofsVenor who connects to the show almost every day from his home computer in Nespelem, Washington State is quoted as saying, "Native America Calling takes a balanced approach as it digs into issues that affect the lives of Indians. They talk about issues like tribal sovereignty and things that the main media does not address."
Listener JoAnn Tall, a member of the Oglala Lakota nation from Porcupine, South Dakota. says, "With the show, we get our concerns out and the people on the outside know what's going on."
And final word on the show from another regular listener Charles Fast Horse, an Oglala Sioux Indian from Rapid City, South Dakota.
"It sends the smoke signals that our grandfathers communicated with," he said.
"We want to hear issues that not only concern our people but others all around."
AP item in Washington Post

2000-08-05 : The battle between US gay and lesbian groups and conservative radio host Dr Laura Schlessinger continues with the StopDrLaura movements claiming more successes in getting advertisers to drop her show and Schlessinger herself using her website to call on her supporters to purchase from "loyal" sponsors whenever they can.
According to the anti-Schlessinger website, the latest companies to drop her are EchoStar, Sears and the Ohio State Lottery which has stopped adverts on local Dr Laura outlet WKRC.
The site says all the withdrawals are due to the host's anti-gay comments.
On her website, Schlessinger says, "I have come to understand how difficult it is for sponsors to be accosted by a few people with an agenda." "They don't want to hurt so much as one relationship with a customer and thus are vulnerable to this kind of pressure."
" So, you can imagine how very pleased I am with those sponsors who remain committed to supporting me and therefore my on-going relationship with you, my listeners."
She then goes on to call for active support for her sponsors.
Previous Dr Laura;
Dr Laura website;
StopDrLaura website ;

2000-08-05 : Yet another strong set of US radio results for the quarter, this time from Maryland-based Radio One Inc. which targets African American audiences.
Its revenues were $32.6 million up 55% on the same period last year and same station basis revenues were up a quarter.
Earnings rose even more dramatically to $5.6 million compared with $254,000 for the same quarter of 1999. Radio one has been on an acquisition spree and in March (RNW March 13) announced plans to add 22 more stations to its holdings.
They included 12 stations purchased from Clear Channel $1.3 billion.
Previous Radio 1 Inc.

Previous US results;
2000-08-04: Veteran Chicago disc jockey Larry Lujack has now officially signed a one-year deal with Jammin' Oldies station WUBT-FM , The Beat.
He is to host a 10 a.m. Saturday show starting this Saturday.
Lujack had been retired for 13 years when he agreedin May to temporarily co-host WUBT's morning show with Doug James for one day a week (RNW May 12 ) .
Jim Kirk in the Chicago Tribune reports that Lujack has also left the door open to possibly for more shows.
He quotes him as saying, "It's what it is for now, but I could change my mind. I want to see how this goes first."
Lujack added,"I had no idea this would be the big deal it was. Thirteen years is a long time. The station did a hell of a job hyping it."
No details of payment have been released but speaking to the Sun Times from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Lujack is quoted by Robert Feder as saying,"I realize they are paying me a lot of money, and they have a right to expect something pretty damn good."
" So there is still the pressure to deliver, but not the kind of pressure when you had to do that job and you had to get good ratings to survive"
" .. . . Besides, what's the worst that can happen now? I can always just go back to erosion control and forest fire prevention."
The Tribune also quoted Kathy Stinehour, executive vice president of AMFM,Chicago and general manager of WUBT., as saying,"I think now The Beat will offer an entertainment that nobody else in town has. They don't have it. We got him."
In the latest Arbitron ratings for Chicago, WUBT was 16th overall with a 2.6% share.
Previous Feder
Previous Kirk
Previous Doug James;
Previous Lujack :
Previous Stinehour:
Chicago Sun-Times report;

Chicago Tribune report;

2000-08-04: Yet more strong second quarter results for US radio including Infinity with nearly a billion dollars revenue for the quarter.
Following Clear Channel (RNW July 28 ) which had nearly $966 million net revenues for the quarter, second-ranked Infinity has topped this with second quarter net revenues of $975 million, up 63% compared to 1999.
Operating cash flow was also a record $458 million, 73% up on 1999.
Chief Executive Mel Karmazin said there were gains in both its radio and billboard operations.
In radio, net revenues rose 20% to $555 million .
While nowhere near close in revenue terms, Spanish-language network Radio Unica did come close in the percentages with revenue up 69% to $7.7 million.
Revenue for the first half of the year increased by 120% to $14.0 million from $6.3 million in the first half of 1999.
Net loss to common shareholders for the quarter was $6.8 million, or $0.32 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $10.4 million, or $0.94 per basic and diluted share in the same period last year.
Joaquin F. Blaya, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Radio Unica, commenting upon the group's efforts in building a national Spanish language network said, "We have succeeded in creating a unique broadcasting model that is generating dramatic revenue growth with corresponding low operating costs."
" We are demonstrating the economic benefits of our centralized, automated production and delivery system and national network of 50 owned, operated and affiliated stations."
" With this infrastructure in place, and our acquisition program largely consummated, we are in a strong position to continue to drive revenues, while rapidly transitioning the company to profitability."
Previous Karmazin ;
Previous US results;

2000-08-04: The UK Guardian reports on the sale of London commercial radio station Radio Liberty to a Christian evangelical sect which has led the station director, John Ogden, and his deputy Louise Wood, to resigned in protest.
Purchaser is Universal Difusao (UD), owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God which tells its followers that demons cause diseases and that prayer can rid them of debt.
It has paid around £4 million for the station, a speech and music station targeted at young women, which was owned by Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrods store.
The Guardian says that the buyers have pledged not to use Radio Liberty to spread its beliefs although at some times it may target people in "difficulties.".
The paper quotes the station's new chief executive 'Bishop' Renato Cardoso, as saying, "We are not going to use lots of airtime to serve the church" but we do intend to provide a gateway for people in difficult situations."
"It will be in the very early morning hours and late at night when people in these difficult situations are looking for entertainment. They will find there a voice of hope and they will be able to contact a number in order to receive help."
He denied that they would be proselytising on air, something which is forbidden by the UK Radio Authority's programme code.
The Radio Authority permitted the deal on condition that the new owners keep to the existing format and an authority spokeswoman said: "All the information we have on them meets the statutory requirements."
The Authority's website still lists the station chairman as Mohammed Al Fayed and John Ogden as its station director and the station's site says nothing about the matter.
UK Guardian report;
Radio Liberty site;
UK Radio Authority site;

2000-08-03: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) in its final report following the "cash-for-comment" enquiry has found "systemic failure to ensure the effective operation of the industry's self-regulatory codes of practice"in Australia.
It has proposed new commercial radio programme standards which, unlike industry codes of practice, would be part of the conditions of a licence.
The ABA proposes to introduce them in November, running until April 2003, by when the ABA hopes the industry itself will have developed suitable new codes.
The standards relate to disclosure of commercial agreements by presenters of current affairs programs, the need to distinguish advertisements from other programs and the establishment of compliance programs by licensees.
Following the release of the report the ruling Australian Labor Party (ALP) has given a pledge to outlaw deals to get favourable comment.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Senator Chris Schacht told the ALP's national conference in Hobart that the change would stop the corrupting influence of "obscene amounts of money" in under-the-table payments to radio personalities, and put a "more ethical base" under commercial radio.
The Conference passed a motion from Schacht to bring Australia into line with the standards of the US where contracts for editorial comment are illegal and punishable by fines and jail terms.
The Federation of Australian Radio Broadcastersdescribed standards as unnecessary because the industry was close to finalising new tough codes of practice.
Releasing the report, ABA Chairman, Professor David Flint said: "This report looks to the future. The system of co-regulation introduced in 1992 always envisaged that the ABA might have to closely administer practices in the industry."
" The ABA proposes to do this, but only for a limited period. Our purpose is to have mainly self-regulatory codes in place that commercial radio owns and which guides it in the preparation and broadcast of current affairs."
The ABA released the first part of its report dealing with Sydney in February (RNW Feb. 8).
At that time it found there had five breaches of licence conditions and a total of 90 breaches of the Australian Commercial Radio Codes of Practice by 2UE, Sydney.
The final report deals with investigations in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
It found there had been 12 breaches of the codes by 5DN Adelaide and 17 breaches of the codes by 6PR Perth.
In Melbourne it found that 3AW did not have adequate systems in place to communicate information to staff concerning the codes but no breaches of the Code.
Overall it found inadequate efforts to ensure compliance with the codes and that most of the steps taken by licencees had been superficial and only in response to actual or threatened regulatory intervention.
The ABA says that commercial agreements between key radio personnel and sponsors should always be disclosed, presenters should provide full details of relevant commercial agreements to their licencees, advertisements must not be presented as programmes, and that the identities of third parties requesting broadcast of political matters must be disclosed.
It recommends that stations should be required to keep copies of broadcasts for six months rather than the present 60 days and that the government should consider changes which would allow the ABA in future to impose sanctions immediately.
Sanctions suggested include the power to direct advertising-free periods, to prohibit a presenter from broadcasting for a period, to require broadcast of on-air corrections and the findings of ABA investigations, and powers to impose civil penalties.
In developing its opinions the ABA looked at regulatory systems in the North America, Britain, Germany, France and Sweden.
It raises a number of ethical issues for public discussion.
Amongst those are the questions of how appropriate it is in a democracy for a corporation to seek to purchase covert rather than overt dissemination of its opinions, to solicit behaviour in breach of publicly available codes or to pay large sums to individuals for conduct which is not then monitored.
Previous cash-for-comment;
Previous Flint
Sydney Morning Herald report;
ABA Website (links to report)

2000-08-03: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) in its final report following the "cash-for-comment" enquiry has found "systemic failure to ensure the effective operation of the industry's self-regulatory codes of practice"in Australia.
It has proposed new commercial radio programme standards which, unlike industry codes of practice, would be part of the conditions of a licence.
The ABA proposes to introduce them in November, running until April 2003, by when the ABA hopes the industry itself will have developed suitable new codes.
The standards relate to disclosure of commercial agreements by presenters of current affairs programs, the need to distinguish advertisements from other programs and the establishment of compliance programs by licensees.
Following the release of the report the ruling Australian Labor Party (ALP) has given a pledge to outlaw deals to get favourable comment.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Senator Chris Schacht told the ALP's national conference in Hobart that the change would stop the corrupting influence of "obscene amounts of money" in under-the-table payments to radio personalities, and put a "more ethical base" under commercial radio.
The Conference passed a motion from Schacht to bring Australia into line with the standards of the US where contracts for editorial comment are illegal and punishable by fines and jail terms.
The Federation of Australian Radio Broadcastersdescribed standards as unnecessary because the industry was close to finalising new tough codes of practice.
Releasing the report, ABA Chairman, Professor David Flint said: "This report looks to the future. The system of co-regulation introduced in 1992 always envisaged that the ABA might have to closely administer practices in the industry."
"The ABA proposes to do this, but only for a limited period. Our purpose is to have mainly self-regulatory codes in place that commercial radio owns and which guides it in the preparation and broadcast of current affairs."
The ABA released the first part of its report dealing with Sydney in February (RNW Feb. 8).
At that time it found there had five breaches of licence conditions and a total of 90 breaches of the Australian Commercial Radio Codes of Practice by 2UE, Sydney.
The final report deals with investigations in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
It found there had been 12 breaches of the codes by 5DN Adelaide and 17 breaches of the codes by 6PR Perth.
In Melbourne it found that 3AW did not have adequate systems in place to communicate information to staff concerning the codes but no breaches of the Code.
Overall it found inadequate efforts to ensure compliance with the codes and that most of the steps taken by licencees had been superficial and only in response to actual or threatened regulatory intervention.
The ABA says that commercial agreements between key radio personnel and sponsors should always be disclosed, presenters should provide full details of relevant commercial agreements to their licencees, advertisements must not be presented as programmes, and that the identities of third parties requesting broadcast of political matters must be disclosed.
It recommends that stations should be required to keep copies of broadcasts for six months rather than the present 60 days and that the government should consider changes which would allow the ABA in future to impose sanctions immediately.
Sanctions suggested include the power to direct advertising-free periods, to prohibit a presenter from broadcasting for a period, to require broadcast of on-air corrections and the findings of ABA investigations, and powers to impose civil penalties.
In developing its opinions the ABA looked at regulatory systems in the North America, Britain, Germany, France and Sweden.
It raises a number of ethical issues for public discussion.
Amongst those are the questions of how appropriate it is in a democracy for a corporation to seek to purchase covert rather than overt dissemination of its opinions, to solicit behaviour in breach of publicly available codes or to pay large sums to individuals for conduct which is not then monitored.
Previous cash-for-comment;
Previous Flint;
Sydney Morning Herald report;
ABA Website (links to report)

2000-08-03: BBC Radio 4 "Today" breakfast show presenter John Humphrys has been reprimanded by the Corporation following a complaint by NATO Secretary General and former UK Defence Secretary Lord Robertson of Portellen about repeated interruptions during an interview about the Kosovo campaign.
Robertson said that the interview in February had "not met proper BBC standards" and that his interruptions amounts to a "critical running commentary".
The BBC Governor's programmes complaints committee said that "Although the premises of Mr Humphrys's questions referred to views expressed by others rather than opinions of his own, the tone of the questioning was inappropriate at times and the frequency of interruption was ill-judged."
They added that Rod Liddle, the editor of Today, had spoken to Humphrys about the interview and warned him to adopt a different approach in future.
Humphreys has a history of robust questioning and last year was accused of bias against genetically modified foods following an interview with UK Agriculture Minister Jack Cunningham
On that occasion, although Humphrys is a former organic farmer, the complaint was not upheld and the interview was held to have been "characteristically rigorous" but not biased.
Previous Liddle;
Previous BBC complaints
2000-08-03: Yet more strong US radio results for the second quarter of the year this time from Beasley Broadcast and Entercom.
Beasley Broadcast Group has reported a 61% rise in after tax cash flow to $5.2 million in the quarter compared to the second quarter of 1999.
Broadcast cash flow for the period was up 21% to $8.9 million, consolidated net revenue up 18% to $27.1 million and on a same station basis consolidated net revenue was up 14%.
Net income for the quarter was $1 million, $0.04 per share, compared to a break-even $27,000 in 1999.
Beasley has recently bought six stations in New Orleans and Las Vegas from Centennial Broadcasting.(RNW June 6).
Entercom Communications Group reported a record set of results in the quarter with broadcast cash flow more than doubling at a record $41.4 million, up 101%. Net revenues were a record $96.9 million, up 73% compared with the same quarter of 1999. After tax cash flow was also a record at $25.1 million and $0.56 per share. On a same station basis net revenues were up 17% and broadcast cash flow up 34%.
For the first half-year the figures were equally impressive wit net revenues up 76% to $167.8 million and broadcast cash flow up 111% to $66.1million.
Previous Beasley;
Previous Entercom;
Previous US Results;

2000-08-02: Radio was responsible for half of the eight cases in which the BBC upheld complaints about its activities during the second quarter of this year.
In all, the Corporation received 166 complaints dealing with 121 items during the period. The largest number (50) was complaints about bias either in general or political, and poor taste (37).
Of the complaints about radio which were upheld in all or part, one concerned unfair treatment of a complainant, one was said to have caused harm to an organisation one concerned political bias and another concerned factual inaccuracy.
The complain about unfair treatment involved a BBC Radio 1 programme Dreem Teem which includes a phone?in in which callers' dreams are humorously interpreted by "Mystic Mikee".
The mother of a caller to this Mother's Day edition complained that the interpretation of her son's dream by "Mystic Mikee" had included false and hurtful suggestions about her.
The finding here was that although it would have been apparent to listeners that the suggestions were not in earnest, they were such as to cause distress if taken seriously and it was also unfortunate that an attempt later in the programme to underline the fanciful nature of the remarks had the effect of identifying the complainant.
The programme is now pre-recorded so as to remove chance of further such incidents.
The second complaints involved an item in BBC Radio 5's independently produced Sunday Service about which the postmen's union complained. It involved comments of a part-time postman about hostility by the public which gave the impression that he was full-time.
Radio 2 was the subject of a the third complaint about political bias in a BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought programme, also independently produced.
In this comments about the North-South divide in the UK were considered too polemical on the day after a budget which had implications on the matter.
The final complaint about factual inaccuracy concerned inaccurate reports of massive subsidence in a village near Bath which were broadcast on the local radio station and local TV bulletin.
Previous BBC Complaints
BBC Complaints link :

2000-08-02: XM Satellite Radio has boosted its programming team as it builds up to its on-air debut, announcing 15 appointments.
They include a Director of Talk, Kevin Straley, formerly Program Director at WRKO, Boston, Director of News Irina Lallemand , formerly news director at WCBS-AM, New York, and Director of Channel Production Dan Turner, formerly Senior Director for Programming Operations at World Space Corporation.
Also announced were three music directors and seven program directors for music for channels including dance, rock, hard rock, alternative rock, 90's music, 70's music, and classical music.
Previous satellite radio ;
Previous XM satellite radio ;
XM satellite radio site (has links to announcement).

2000-08-02: US Spanish language group Hispanic Broadcasting has announced second quarter net revenues up by nearly a quarter to $64.8 million compared to 1999.
After tax cash flow was up by 19.1% to $22.4 million, or $0.20 per share for the quarter. Same station net revenue and broadcast cash flow increased 18.6% and 17.8%, respectively in the quarter.
For the first six months of the year net revenues increased 24.2% to $111.3 million, broadcast cash flow increased 21.2% to $46.7 million, and net income totalled $17.3 million or $0.16 per share compared to $13.3 million or $0.13 per share for the first six months of 1999.
During the quarter, the company announced the acquisition of two FM radio. stations serving the San Antonio market for approximately $45.0 million (RNW June 2)but had to drop out of the purchase of three stations in Austin, Denver and Phoenix from Clear Channel after a US Department of Justice ruling.(RNW June 14 ).
Hispanic's Internet activities lost $0.7 million in the quarter and further losses are expected as it builds up radio station websites and local portals.
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting;
Hispanic Broadcasting site ;

2000-08-01: The battle over Low Power Fm radio in the US continues with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Arizona.) and Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska.) introducing a bill that would allow the Fderal Communications Commission (FCC) to go ahead with its plan but ensure that full-power broadcasters would have the right to appeal to the FCC should interference occur.
McCain in a statement on the Senate floor said, "This legislation strikes a fair balance by allowing non-interfering low-power FM stations to operate without further delay, while affecting only those low-power stations that the FCC finds to be causing harmful interference in their actual, everyday operations."
McCain had introduced a similar bill in support of LPFM in May (RNW May 13).
However LPFM's opponents are not letting up with a bipartisan group of Congressmen and Senators signing a letter against the move.
They include Representative Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) who has spearheaded anti-LPFM moves in Congress (RNW April 15 ) and Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire.)who introduced the anti-LPFM Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act into the US Senate in February. (See RNW March 28 ).
That Act has support from 36 of the 100 US Senators, five of them Democrats.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is also maintaining strong opposition and has now produced a letter in support of their stance from a minority broadcaster in Arizona who says he suffered from interference from a low-power translator.
Arthur Mobley, president of Eight Chiefs Inc., which runs KMJK-FM Phoenix wrote that his company had to fight for five years to get the FCC to take action and suffered irreversible harm before it was finally closed down." The FCC has already had more than 700 applications for LPFM licences from its first filing window (RNW June 23 link 2000?06.html#LPFM2) and has just opened a window for applications from ten more states from the end of this month ( RNW July 29 Link LPFM3). Further filing windows are due in November 2000, February 2001 and May 2001.
Previous Gregg ;
Previous LPFM ;
Previous McCain ;

Previous Oxley
FCC Website;
NAB Website;

2000-08-01: Chicago's oldest radio station is now effectively no more although the WMAQ call sign will continue to be heard for another two weeks as Infinity simulcasts sports station WSCR-AM, The Score, on its old and new stronger WMAQ frequency.
Infinity has to sell one of its Chicago frequencies to gain regulatory approval of the Viacom takeover of CBS and has chosen to switch the Score and sell its old frequency, which was the weakest of its eight signals in the city.
In an obituary of the station carried by several US newspapers the Associated Press notes that before it switched to an all-news format, the station was home to some of the most famous voices on US radio.
The station began broadcasts as 250-watts WGU on April 13, 1922, under the ownership of the Chicago Daily News and the Fair, a downtown department story where the studios were based.
The News then bought out the store's share, renamed the station WMAQ (We Must Ask Questions) and ran it until 1931 when NBC took over and boosted the strength to 50,000 watts which enabled the signal to be heard across the US.
Amongst the stars heard on its frequency were Red Skelton, Dave Garroway, Garry Moore and Hugh Downs.
WMAQ was also notable for two shows, ``Amos 'n Andy'' which premiered in 1928, and ``Fibber McGee and Molly'' which followed in 1935.
Bruce DuMont, founder and curator of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, describing the two shows as the "big ones" added that, "Amos 'n Andy was probably the most important and most successful radio show of all time as far as a series is concerned.''
WMAQ later switched to easy listening and then country music before being sold by NBC to Westinghouse in 1988 and changing to an all-news format which put it in direct competition with CBS.
Political reporter Bill Cameron, who was with WMAQ for 30 years, said news was always important but after the Westinghouse-CBS merger in 1966 , although there was still competition, " it wasn't as keen as it was when Westinghouse didn't own CBS."
And final words to Bruce DuMont ,"When one of the top 10 call letters in the history of the medium goes dark, it's a strong signal that times have significantly changed in the industry,''
Previous Cameron;
Previous WMAQ;
New York Times/AP report ;
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem. Regarding external links, we give links where we can but some newspapers and stations only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA). Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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looks at some of the unique benefits of radio when you're on the move be it walking around, in a car, or on vacation. It's a great medium!

2000-08-31: The largest ever radio company deal in US history, the $24 billion Clear Channel-AMFM deal is now pretty well done.
The US Department of Justice's antitrust division has filed suit following agreement by Clear Channel to sell 99 radio stations and AMFM's 29% interest in Lamar Advertising Company, a direct competitor of Clear Channel's Eller Media Co.
It also has to sell within 150 days the 14 stations remaining unsold of the 99 which had to be divested under the July DOJ approval (RNW July 22 ).
They are KVOD-AM in Denver, Colorado; WMEZ-FM and WXBM-FM in Pensacola, Florida; WEEX-AM and WODE-FM in Allentown-Bethlehem, and WNCE-FM, WNNK-FM, WTCY-AM and WTPA-FM in Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle in Pennsylvania and KJOJ-AM, KJOJ-FM, KQUE-AM, KSEV-AM and KTJM-FM in Houston-Galveston, Texas.
Clear also has to divest itself of an additional 23 stations to meet FCC local ownership rules (RNW Aug 17 ).
In an unrelated agreement, Clear Channel has agreed to pay SFX Class A shareholders an extra $34.5 million in cash or stock for their holdings.
Their lawyers had claimed they were underpaid for them in Clear Channel's $4 billion acquisition of the outdoor entertainment company.
Previous Clear Channel

2000-08-31: Apart from Clear Channel, Salem Communications has been one of the busiest dealers in US radio over the past few days.
Following the $186 million purchase of eight stations from Clear Channel, Christian-oriented Salem has swapped one of them, alternative format KDGE-FM in Dallas, Texas for Sunburst Media's KLTY-FM, also in Dallas and the US's top rating contemporary Christian music station.
The two companies have signed a local marketing agreement (LMA) to begin operating the stations on October 1 and expect to complete the deal towards the end of the year.
Salem Communications already owns religious talk stations KWRD-FM and KSKY-AM in Dallas.
Previous Salem;
Salem Communications website

2000-08-31: The UK Radio Magazine reports that the future of Channel Travel Radio appears to be in the balance after Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel advised Radio Production Services their contract to operate the station will not be renewed at the end of September after five years.
Channel Travel Radio operates under an eight-year restricted service licence and provides a 24-hour a day information service including, under the terms of the licence, information about other Channel crossing services such as those of the ferry operators who do not contribute financially to the service.
Eurotunnel says the service has few listeners and motorists can now call up on mobile phones for up to date information.
UK Radio Magazine news pages :

2000-08-30: Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued a safety circular warning of danger from radio "hackers" speaking to pilots.
It says there has been a significant rise in what it calls "unauthorised and malicious transmissions being made on UK air traffic frequencies."
So far this year it has had 20 cases reported in which radio hackers have posed as air traffic controllers and given pilots false instructions.
So far the pilots, who have to read back instructions to controllers, have registered on every occasion that the instructions were false, but there is concern that safety could be jeopardised.
The "hackers" use portable transmitters which are supposed to be licensed but which can be bought for as little as £300.

2000-08-30: Yet another US educational radio station may be on the block according to Public Broadcasting's Current Magazine.
It reports that following the arrival of a new public schools superintendent there is speculation that a wide-ranging management assessment may put at issue the future of Detroit WDTR-FM, which as founded in 1948 and is Michigan's oldest educational FM station.
The schools could keep the station, contract another broadcaster to run it or sell it and the magazine says Crawford Broadcasting, most of whose stations are religious formats, has offered $13.5 million to the schools.
Other organisations expressing interest in the 47000-watt licence are classical music fans who recently lost their only commercial classical station in the city and WDET, the Detroit NPR affiliate licensed to Wayne State University.
WDET has offered to buy or manage the station.
WDTR general manager Cliff Russell has tweaked the station's format to try and boost woeful ratings but he says he is struggling with ancient equipment and a budget of only $500,000 a year. John Smyntek, who covers radio for the Detroit Free Press says that the ratings are still bleak -last in the market in the latest Arbitrons - and that the lack of response to his reports about its possible demise show how small its audience really is.
Russell says the station could become an important asset for the schools.
He wants it developed with more broadcast hours and also used for training high school students for communications careers, with additional courses in video engineering and recording technologies.
Others are lobbying to keep the school in the public fold, probably as a classical music station and in the meanwhile the school system has asked a Michigan radio station broker to seek out possible buyers.
Current magazine report
2000-08-30: Ireland has opted for a "beauty parade" system for its third generation mobile phone licences, unlike the UK and Germany which raised billions through their auctions.
Four licences are to be awarded next year, three of which will go to incumbent operators with the fourth going to a new entrant.
Prices are expected to be around £200 million each. ..

2000-08-29: More radio dealing in the US, especially the tidying up of the country's biggest ever deal, the take over by Clear Channel of AMFM.
After closing spin-off deals with Infinity, Emmis, Regent and Salem at the end of last week (RNW Aug 26 ), Clear Channel has now closed with Radio One Inc, Cox Radio, and Entravision whose KACD, Los Angeles, acquisition has now switched from Adult Alternative to Spanish Contemporary format.
KACD itself has a new lease of life for the moment as Internet-only station (RNW July 17 )
Radio One's $1.3 billion deal is the largest ever by a minority-owned company and gives it 12 new stations including KKBT-FM Los Angeles.
Cox, the fourth largest US radio company in terms of net revenues, was involved in a $550million station swap with AMFM before the take over which led authorities to consider it along with the larger Clear-AMFM deal.
Cox traded KFI-AM & KOST-FM in Los Angeles for 13 stations in Miami and Jacksonville, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia and Stamford/Norwalk and New Haven, Connecticut along with a local sales deal in New Haven.
In another deal with Clear Channel, Cumulus media has opted to take some more cash in return for fewer stations.
It's going to go ahead with the acquisition of four AMFM spin-offs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which had been dropped from the original deal but will in return cede to Clear its stations in Augusta, ME and Augusta, GA, Laurel-Hattiesburg and Tupelo, MS, Muscle Shoals, AL, Marion-Carbondale, IL, Muskegon, MI and Jonesboro, AR.
The sweetener in the deal to Cumulus is an extra $55.5M in cash from Clear Channel.
In the much smaller end of the market, HHH Broadcasting is spending $4.75 million on acquiring three more stations.
They are KBLE-AM, Seattle, a talk/religion station for which it is paying $2.85 million, WWWG-AM, Rochester, NY, a talk-gospel station which is costing $1million and Spanish station KARS-AM, Albuquerque, for which it is paying $900000.
And finally Midwest broadcasting has paid $1.36 million for religious format station WJIV-FM in Albany, NY.
Previous Clear Channel
Classic Rock com site ;

2000-08-29: The Sydney Morning Herald, reporting on the trial of Sydney 2UE presenter John Laws on charges of soliciting information about what went on in a jury room, says a woman juror has testified that she did not feel put under undue pressure to talk to the presenter on air.
Laws was ordered to stand trial last December (RNW Dec 18 ) following an August 1998 interview with the juror who has been given the pseudonym "Mrs Hanson".
After the jury of which she was a member acquitted two men of the murder of a computer shop owner, "Mrs Hanson", a friend of Laws' wife since their schooldays, had telephoned the dead man's widow to apologise for voting to acquit.
She said she agreed to talk to Laws after a call from his assistant and on the basis it was made plain that they had called her, not she them.
The prosecution says Laws had asked questions which constituted soliciting information about a jury's deliberations and were precisely the kind of conduct prohibited by Australia's Jury Act.
Previous Laws;
Sydney Morning Herald report;

2000-08-29: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced that it is to launch Sirius 2, the second of its three planned satellites, from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on September 5.
Its first satellite was safely launched on June 30 and has now completed its in orbit tests (RNW Aug 9 ). The final satellite, Sirius 3, is due to launch in October.
Previous Satellite radio;
Previous Sirius;

2000-08-28:A short reference, from Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post, to start this week's columnists to a criminal case in New York resulting from a call to Howard Stern's show on WXRK.
The case involves a caller, terming himself "the Nazarene" who said he was going to shoot the Democrat's vice-presidential contender Senator Joseph Lieberman.
After receiving the call, Stern invited the caller to say he was joking but instead got the response, "I'm telling you right now . . . you got the killer on the air."
The Secret Service picked up the tapes of the show, traced the call to a Long Island address and Lawrence Franco has now been arraigned and is under house arrest.
Ahrens, says the incident raised the question of responsibility with Franco's lawyer contending that, "this is an offence that would not have happened without the radio show."
The lawyer says Franco's idea was finding something to get himself on air and that," irreverent, often offensive shows such as Stern's create a sort of no-rules playground that appeals to the worse natures of many listeners."
Station owners CBS-Infinity portray the incident as something which acted as an alert to the authorities.
Ahrens stays on the reporting fence here but we'd welcome feedback on how any of you think. E-Mail us
And sticking to New York and a question, Clea Simon in a New York Times column, takes up the issue of the "modern rock" format.
"Why," she asks, "is it, between all the slogans stressing up-to-the-minute hipness, that many of the songs are several years old from bands like Pearl Jam or Nirvana, while others -- like the razor-guitar blasts from Limp Bizkit or Korn -- can also be heard on hard-rock stations? " "As it nears its 10th anniversary as a format that the radio industry has assigned its own charts and demographic surveys, so-called modern rock is at a crossroads. Modern, also called alternative, is the style that established itself as first to play new music."
" But it has begun to sound commonplace, leading listeners to ask what exactly is modern rock radio an alternative to?" For the rest of the article follow the link below but again any feedback to us is welcome.
And while on the subject of music, a slightly odd exposition from Peter Barnard in the UK Times on the subject of BBC Radio 1's "One Big Sunday" programme.
Barnard wouldn't normally be the critic we'd expect at such an event but he attended an edition of the show, which replaced the Radio 1 roadshow, in the company of some 55,000 fans.
And apart from the fact that acts mimed to recordings, found little to fault.Even that, he contends is something the audience is fully aware of.
He concludes, "The show doesn't even cost much: the acts appear for nothing (they would pay for this kind of exposure), the record companies carry the travel costs and the local council provides the site in exchange for the food and drink concessions."
" Each show costs Radio 1 about £50,000, which is small change for two hours of broadcasting."
" I went to One Big Sunday with the usual hold-all of scepticism slung over my shoulder. It's not my kind of music, the noise, the crowds . . . etc. I left having enjoyed every minute."
After which you'd definitely expect something odd in his colleague Paul Donovan's Sunday Times column after a holiday break.
In this case, however, the break leads him to comment on the return of children's radio to the BBC. (RNW Aug 17)
Donovan starts, "Returning last week from Kenya, where there is still a programme called Lift Up Your Hearts (axed here in 1965), I discovered another heartening vote of confidence in ancient wisdom. "
"The BBC is reviving children's radio, after spending years asserting that children want only pop music and sport, and in any case can always buy tapes."
After developing his argument in favour of the idea and commenting adversely on those who killed children's radio off on BBC Radio 4, Donovan notes that the channel is not alone as BBC Radio 3 is also to launch a children's series,Classic FM has a weekday "schools run" slot and temporary commercial sector venture
He then pays a tribute to former commercial TV children's programme presenter Susan Stranks, who "started arguing 12 years ago for children not to be ignored by independent radio, then broadened her campaign to bid for a children's service on the spare 225kHz longwave frequency, and to lobby the BBC, the Radio Authority and Whitehall to ring-fence and protect children's radio interests in a variety of ways."
"……she .. has nagged, cajoled, debated, written and broadcast; she who has lobbied politicians, sent hundreds of faxes and letters and made innumerable calls to journalists. And all at her own cost and for no reward."
" She is the catalyst that has made it happen"
Previous Columnists:
Previous Ahrens;
Previous Barnard;
Previous Donovan;
Previous Simon;
Ahrens Washington Post column;
Barnard Times Column;
Donovan Sunday Times column;
Simon New York Times column;

2000-08-28: Christians on both sides of the Atlantic are chafing at the bit over restrictions placed on them according to reports this weekend.
In the US, according an an AP report carried in several papers, a North Carolina station is planning a novel way to get round a Supreme Court ruling which prohibits student-led prayers over loudspeakers at high school football games.
The idea is to use a combination of radio broadcasting and action by the crowd to effectively overturn the ban.
Mike Huskey, station manager at WAGY AM, Forest City, plans to invite a member of the clergy to say a prayer at the beginning of a game as part of the station's play-by-play broadcast and encourage fans at the stadium to all take radios with them and then turn up the volume.
And in the UK where proselytising by radio stations is forbidden under current regulations, the Government, under heavy pressure from some Christian groups, is considering allowing religious groups the right to apply for terrestrial radio licences.
Currently broadcast evangelism of the kind widespread in the US is prohibited largely as a result of concerns about the excesses of American preachers, known for their extremist views.
Now the Christian lobby, according to the UK Observer, is threatening to sue the Government under human rights legislation unless it gives in.
The paper reports that Broadcasting Minister Janet Anderson has held several meetings over the summer with interdenominational charity United Christian Broadcasters (UCB), which already has two local satellite licences but is blocked from getting the national terrestrial licence it wants. UCB argues only a change in the 1990 Broadcasting Act would avoid 'discrimination against legitimate religious organisations in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights.' Olave Snelling of the Christian Broadcasting Council, which is backing the legal case, told the paper the exclusion of Christians from national media is extraordinary.
New York Times/AP report;
UK Observer report;

2000-08-28: If the figures are to be believed, the BBC World Service Trust, a charitable offshoot of the World Service, and Radio Tirana, Albania's national station, have created a hit of stupendous proportions which Western media executives can only dream of.
It's estimated that up to 90% of the population of northern Albania and 65% of the nation tune in regularly to the thrice-weekly soap, opera Rruga Me Pisha (Pine Street).
Under the Communist rule of Enver Hoxha, Radio Tirana broadcast propaganda under the aegis of Peking but now, reports the UK Independent on Sunday the foreign hand in the radio station is the BBC World Service Trust with the aid of funding of some $500000 from the UK's Department for International Development and the European Union.
The soap has story lines involving blood feuds, corruption and the mafia centred round the lives of Andrea, a businessman, his wife, Dokina, and their neighbours in a fictional suburb of the capital Tirana.
Danny Renton, the World Service Trust's project manager in Tirana, said, "The soap opera reflects the reality of Albania - water and power shortages, officials taking bribes, the mafia man next door or just how to get to sleep when a pack of wild dogs are howling outside. And it's a pretty violent society.
"We make it funny and constructive and it helps people to understand. Many people in Albania feel negatively about their country, but the soap opera shows there are good things too."
He's even had backing, according to the paper, from Edi Rama, the minister of culture, who commented, "A very considerable number of Albanians follow it regularly because it reflects the problems we Albanians face every day with all the joys and sorrows and absurdities of life in this country."
"I hope it continues for a long time."
Albania, which has a population of around 3 million, doesn't have any formal ratings and the figures cited come from a national survey by the University of Tirana social work department which said more than 70 per cent of listeners said they discussed the issues raised after broadcasts and 97 per cent of listeners rated the programme as either good or very good.
Rruga Me Pisha is one of three radio soaps supported by the UK's Department for International Development, the others being aired in Russia and South Africa.
It's also in the company of radio soaps aired by BBC World Service itself which reach audiences of millions. They include an English language World Service soap, Westway, with an estimated audience of some 30 million worldwide, and New Home New Life, which has an estimated audience of 35 million in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Independent on Sunday report.

2000-08-27: Licence news this week. The main news still has to be from the US where giant Clear Channel is busy tidying up all the details of its AMFM take over following regulatory approval (RNW Aug 26)
In Australia the ABA has nothing on the radio side.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has issued and renewed a number of licences especially in New Brunswick.
There awhole swathe of licences running up to 2005, less than the normal full seven year period, have been issued following a March public meeting in Moncton.
They include the issue of licences for two new English-language FM stations, one a conversion from AM, and a new French language station plus two Christian Low Power FM licences for Moncton itself.
The CRTC has also approved a new English-language adult contemporary music FM station at Saint John and an associated new adult contemporary/country music FM station at St. Stephen.
The Moncton English language stations were the subject of competition between Atlantic Stereo Ltd, Maritime Broadcasting System Limited and Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc.
The first two each gained a licence,Maritime through conversion of an existing AM licence, and now each has two FM licences.
Maritime, which runs some 20 stations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, already owned CKCW-AM and CFQM-FM in Moncton.
Its new station will be a 19,000 watts "new" country music format.
Atlantic, whose parent company is Newcap, already had CJMO-FM in Moncton; its new station will be a100000 watt country music format for over 25s.
A condition of the Atlantic licence is that is devote a minimum Can$37000 a year to the development of a national Aboriginal Peoples Radio Network (APRN).
Untill this is in operation the fundsgo to facilitate the production of new Canadian Aboriginal music, and provide scholarships and grants for Aboriginal youths.
Telemedia's rejected application was for a hit radio format for the 12-24 age group.
The new French-language licence, issued to Denis Losier, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, beat off competition from Radio Beauséjour which already operates one of the two French-language community services in the area.
It will be a 9,500 watts station with a general-interest French-language service and will re-introduce a commercial French-language station to the market.
The only commercial French-language radio station ever to have served Moncton (CHLR) ceased operation in January 1985.
The new company will be 49% owned by Nova Scotia Limited, parent company of Maritime Broadcasting , and will share the premises and administrative services of Maritime Broadcasting in Moncton.
The two new Christian low power licences have gone to James Houssen, on behalf of a company to be incorporated under the name of Houssen Broadcasting Ltd. who gets a 50 watt licence for an English-language Christian music format designed primarily for youth appeal and with no plans for religious programming as such and to the International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc. for another Christian music station in Moncton.
The latter service, also 50 watt, will offer limited amounts of religious programming, such as five-minute inspirational messages by local ministers.
Also in New Brunswick, New Brunswick Broadcasting Co., Limited, which already operates CHSJ-FM in Saint John ,has been granted licence for a 55,000 watts adult contemporary format station there and 40,000 watts new adult contemporary/country music FM station at St. Stephen.
Maritime Broadcasting, which dominated the Saint John area with CFBC, CIOK-FM and CJYC-FM. had opposed the Saint John bid and CHSR-FM, a community-based campus station operating out of the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton had opposed that at Saint Stephen.
Other new licences issued around Canada include a 70 watt FM licence to Kootenay Co-operative Radio for English-language FM community radio at Nelson, British Columbia.
The station will broadcast 105 hours a week and at least a quarter of its output has to be spoken word and a fifth music which is not pop, rock or dance, with a twentieth of total programmes being special interest music.
The CRTC has also issued a similar 35-watt FM licence to Carrefour jeunesse emploi comté Johnson for French language community radio at Windsor, Quebec which is committed to devoting 35% of its airtime to local and regional news.
Two licences have been issued to Brad Mason for tourist information services, one for a 47 watt LPFM airing from April1 to October 31 annually at Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Saskatchewan, and another for an all year 39 watt service at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 21, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
All these licences run from the start of September this year to August 31,2006.
In addition the CRTC has issued licences to Maryann Van Walleghem, Katinniq (Raglan Mine), Quebec, for a transmitter to rebroadcast CITE-FM Montréal. Renewals include the licences of the Northwestern Radio Partnership for CJNS Meadow Lake and CJNB North Battleford, running from the beginning of September this year to 31 August 2007.
The CRTC has also issued various public notices concerning licence changes requested by, among others, Newcap concerning the licence conditions for CYJQ St John's , Newfoundland, particularly regarding music selection requirements; by Larche Communications to increase the power of CICZ-FM in Midland, Ontario; by Thunder Bay Christian Radio in Ontario to add a Low Power FM transmitter at Candy Mountain; by CJRT-FM in Toronto to vary the conditions regarding advertising maxima; to amend the frequency for an FM licence in Saskatoon, Manitoba granted in March to Elmer Hildebrand and by Rogers Broadcasting to add a transmitter on Whistler Mountain, Toronto. In the UK, the Radio Authority has published the first issue of its Programming & Advertising Review which covers the second quarter of 2000 (April to June) which deals with complaints about commercial radio (RNW Aug 25).
It also announced that it received 12 applications for the new regional Independent Local Radio licence for the West Midlands which will cover the main conurbations of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall, and the surrounding areas, together with parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
The adult population of the area within which this new service should be received is around 2.3 million.
Bids are are from Big FM Radio (West Midlands) Ltd which proposes a music and speech station; Central Radio (Forward Media Ltd.) which proposes an "intelligent" music radio of past favourites; Jazz FM West Midlands Ltd which proposes a jazz ,soul, blues and r&b mix; radio minar (minar information network and resources Ltd.) which proposes a talk and music-based radio station, in English, Arabic, Punjabi, Pushto and Urdu languages; N=Joy Radio Group PLC which proposes a new hit radio service; Route 105 Ltd which proposes a country music service; Saga Radio Ltd which proposes a service for the over-50's; Spice FM Ltd which proposes a mix of contemporary and classic, Asian fusion, bhangra, Indi-pop music, with interactive news, views and information; Storm (West Midlands) Ltd which proposes a modern and mainstream rock service; Today FM (Today{West Midlands})Ltd which proposes an easy listening music mix ; Variety FM Ltd which proposes a full service mix of music, news and information and Voice FM (Christian Voice Ltd) which proposes a Christian hit radio service.
The Authority has also issued revised Guidance Notes for prospective applicants for local digital multiplex service licences.
Previous licence news

CRTC Website;
UK Radio authority website

2000-08-27:The UK Guardian gives a plug to the "world's first woman cricket commentator", Donna Symmonds a Barbados lawyer.
Her father Algernon, at one time a High Commissioner for Barbados in London numbered amongst his friends Sir Frank Worrel; Sir Gary Sobers and Clive Lloyd.
He fostered a love of cricket in his daughter and did a bit of commentating himself.
She was working as a lawyer in Bridgetown, Barbados, when childhood friend, Sharon Jones, who was a producer on the local sports station, needed a tennis commentator badly.
Symmonds took the job for a $100 fee and was then asked by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation to persuade her to try her hand at cricket.
"I had enjoyed myself, so I said 'why not?' I wound up doing Test cricket in the West Indies"
In 1988 the BBC Test Match Special team was covering the Tests in the Caribbeanand it was suggested she try out for Test Match Special (TMS) by whom she was subsequently hired.
UK Guardian report :

2000-08-26: Now that full regulatory approval has been given, US radio giant Clear Channel is wasting no time in pushing through the divestitures required of it for clearance of the AMFM take over.
Nor is it curbing its acquisitive nature although it must by now have 1000 stations -- its web site still coyly says "over 900".
Clear Channel has already closed around half the required spin-offs as deal closures were announced with Infinity, Emmis, Regent and Salem; it says the rest should be wrapped up by Monday next week.
Where spin-offs cannot be closed the relevant stations will be placed in trust and Clear hopes to get a final sign-off from the authorities and closure of the take over around mid-week.
On the acquisition front, its latest deal is an $85 million purchase, subject to regulatory approval, of six Quad City stations from Mississippi Valley Broadcasting, an affiliate of Sconnix Broadcasting.
The stations involved are Oldies KUUL-FM. AC KMXG-FM. Classic hits KCQQ-FM. Country WLLR-FM. News/country WLLR-AM. and News/talk WOC-AM, all in Davenport, Iowa.
They are Clear's first purchases in the Davenport market.
And in Florida, Clear Channel is to exercise its option to purchase three West Palm Beach stations from James Crystal Radio for $77 million, although it will keep only the smaller two of them.
Being purchased are WJNA-AM for $2M, WRLX-FM for $15M and WRMF-FM for $60M.
Clear Channel cannot keep all its holdings in the market as they would take it above local ownership limits so it is proposing to sell off WRMF-FM as well as one of its existing stations, WBZT-AM.
James Crystal Radio will be left with seven AM stations, five in Florida and one each in Arizona and New Mexico.
On the disposal side of the equation, amongst the stations Clear has sold are the following.
Going to Salem Communications for approximately $185 million are KEZY-AM and KXMX-FM in Los Angeles, California; KALC-FM in Denver, Colorado; WKNR-AM and WRMR-AM in Cleveland, Ohio; WBOB-AM and WYGY-FM in Cincinnati, Ohio and KDGE-FM in Dallas, Texas.
Most of them will retain existing formats but KXMX-FM in Los Angeles will change to a contemporary Christian music format.
Going to Emmis Communications for just under £110 million are KKFR-FM in Phoenix and KXPK-FM in Denver In the case of its deal with Regent Communications, Clear is exchanging nine of its station for eight of Regent's plus $80 million in cash.
Clear gains Regent stations in Mansfield, Ohio and Victorville,California whilst Regent gets Clear stations in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Albany, New York. In Grand Rapids,
Regent is also buying WNWZ-AM from AMFM Affiliate, Capstar Radio Operating Company.
Previous Clear Channel.
Previous Emmis
Previous Regent;
Previous Salem;

2000-08-26: Washington Post columnist Frank Ahrens reports that WPGC afternoon host Adimu Colon is leaving the black hits station next week to move to Los Angeles, where he will deejay and pursue an acting career.
WPGC evening deejay Big Tigger (Darian Morgan), who is number one in his slot, will move to Colon's 2-to-6 p.m. afternoon drive slot and DJ Flexxx (Keith Klagon), who has been filling in for Tigger will take over the latter's 7-10p.m. slot.
The move may cause problems for the CBS/Infinity station for whom Colon was number 2 in the ratings for the station's target 18 to 34 age group.
Previous Ahrens;
Washington Post report .

2000-08-26: Although nearly all of the comment about interference in the US of recent times has come from existing stations objecting to the introduction of Low Power FM (LPFM), interference can have a much longer range as the LA Times notes in a report about problems caused across 150 miles and the Mexican border.
The stations involved are North Hollywood's Pacifica network public station 110,000 watts KPFK-FM and much smaller Tijuana,Mexico, classical music station 1000 watt XLNC1.
XLNC went on air in February using the same 90.7 frequency as KPFK after approval was given under U.S.-Mexico FM Agreement.
Since then KPFK listeners have complained about hearing classical music instead of, or mixed with, their desired listening..
KPFK complains that its audience, which had been on the rise , has now dropped by a fifth.
Thereport says KPFK General Manager Mark Schubb filed a complaint with the FCC in March alleging that XLNC1 is transmitting illegally across the border and at 30 times its permitted wattage.
.Schubb said an airwaves engineer in March measured XLNC1's wattage at 19,000 watts, not the 1,000 it is licensed for.
XLNC1 denies the claims which the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently investigating.
XLNC1 owner Victor Diaz says the station did not choose the frequency but was assigned it and comments that KPFK, having had the signal alone for 40 years, thinks they have the right to it, even to cover Tijuana because nobody else was there.
James Ballis, chief of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) notifications branch, told the paper that power disputes between stations are very rare and that its engineering study conducted in advance of the licence issue showed that XLNC was acceptable under the terms of the US agreement with Mexico.
The FCC guarantees licences for a defined territory, which in the case of KPFK covers a radius of 75 miles compared to the 17-mile radius for which XLNC1's signal is protected.
Los Angeles Times report :

2000-08-25: Reacting to this week's Irish radio audience figures, the Irish Times in its finance pages draws attention to the problems new station Lite FM faces from having a lack of audited figures to show would-be advertisers.
Lite went on air in May (RNW May 27) and won't have any firm statistics from Ireland's Joint National Listenership Research/MRBI until October and even then they will just be "listened to yesterday" figures to up to September.
More complete figures including audience share will not be out until February.
The paper quotes Lite FM's managing director as saying that their own figures show they're on track but that it is difficult as advertising agencies don't go for "gut feelings".
He adds that they are confident they can deliver a 10% "listened yesterday" rating which would be twice the 5% of RTÉ's new Lyric FM channel.
Lite says it has a 50% awareness amongst its target audience of Dubliners aged 35-54; it has already spent half its first year Irish £1 million advertising and publicity budget on the launch and will spend another £200,000 or so in the next phase.
Previous Lite FM:

Irish Times
--search page (go for radio and date

2000-08-25: Two more advertisers, Motel 6 and RadioShack, have dropped Dr Laura Schlessinger's radio show according to the StopDr Laura web site.
It quotes Motel 6 as saying, "In a format such as that which Dr. Laura uses, numerous topics loaded with great emotion may be handled in the course of a day. We have no way to predict what tomorrow's dialogue will include."
" We are looking very closely into whether this type of talk-show programming makes sense for us and we are doing no further advertising on Dr. Laura this year." It also quotes RadioShack: "RadioShack strictly adheres to a policy NOT to advertise on programs that might be politically or socially controversial or that promote any one individual's agenda or point of view.
In the case of recent ads aired on the Dr. Laura Show, these ads were placed inadvertently by a third party media buying organisation. RadioShack took action to pull ALL ads from the Dr. Laura Show as soon as this placement error was brought to our attention."

Previous Dr Laura
Dr Laura website;
StopDr Laura site;

2000-08-25: The UK Radio Authority has published the first issue of its Programming & Advertising Review which covers the second quarter of 2000.
It says that between April and June the Authority dealt with a total of 116 written complaints about commercial radio stations throughout the UK.
55 complaints concerned programming and related matters, of which 15 were upheld.
Of those upheld, nine from 34 received related to matters of taste or decency, four from seven concerned balance, bias or fairness and two of six complaints breached the rules relating to accuracy.
In terms of fine levied, the most serious complaint was one against Virgin FM and Chris Evans which led to a record fine of £75000 being levied.(RNW May 17)
It concerned a programme in which the presenter said he was giving active support and £200000 to London Mayoral candiadate Ken Livingstone (now the Mayor).
The authority ruled that station had not only failed to ensure that its presenters were fully aware of the rules on due impartiality but had allowed a second breach to be broadcast and said they had moderated the fine because Virgin it took mitigating action over the matter the next day.
The complaints upheld concerning accuracy were one against Scot FM over a programme which featured 'Lily' the medium' who claimed that she was communicating with the dead and one against Sunrise Radio in London over a broadcast which quoted from a about a Sunday Times newspaper article which an MP (Member of Parliament) thought defamatory.
The MP had not been approached by the station for comment until after the broadcast which did not carry any attribution to the source of the item.
Amongst the taste and decency complaints upheld were ones concerning a joke announcement that a famous singer had died; a breakfast show item on a survey about the wearing of condoms before entering nightclubs; racist and anti-German comments about Germany and the Germans at the time that BMW was deciding to dispose of its Rover car operatio>
The Authority also upheld a complaint over comments by a presenter to a woman having an affair with a married Muslim man which were offensive in terms of being anti-Muslim over action which the complainant felt applied to men from all religions (although the full story listed on this judgement leaves us it was probably a reaction as much to a petition from the Muslim community as a fair judgement on an individual complaint).
Another complaint about a breakfast item concerning men kissing which was held to be too frank as broadcast for the hour concerned when children might be listening.
For the whole report (306 kb Acrobat PDF file) follow the link below.
UK Radio Authority release;

2000-08-24: Latest Irish audience figures show that independent radio continues to hold its lead over state broadcaster RTÉ, with a 51% share of weekly listenership.
Joint National Listenership Research published by MRBI show a picture which is mainly static situation although Today FM has increased its share by 1%.
RTÉ Radio 1 and 2 FM shares remain at 27% and 20%.
The Irish Times quotes RTÉ's director of radio, Helen Shaw, as saying that the station was especially pleased with the performance of Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 which gained 13,000 listeners over the past six months, and Liveline, which increased its listenership by 33,000.
But she conceded that it would be a challenge for the station to retain the 47,000 listeners its Tonight with Vincent Browne programme had following Browne's departure to Prime Time on RTÉ television (RNW June 28).
RTÉ's main worry is that its audience is increasingly ageing, especially for Rado 1 only 8 per cent of whose listeners come from the 20-24 age group whilst 525 are 65 years or older.
It also does much worse in country areas than in Dublin.
Previous Browne;
Previous RTÉ ;
Previous Helen Shaw :
Irish Times --search page(go for radio and date)

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