November 2000 personalities:
Jenny Abramsky - Director of BBC Radio and Music ; Doug Ackhurst - General manager, The FAN, Toronto; Frank Ahrens -(3) -Washington Post media writer; Geoffrey Armstrong - Chief Financial Officer, AMFM (job cut following Clear Channel take-over); Edward G. Atsinger III - President and CEO,Salem Communications, US; Conrad Voss Bark - veteran BBC parliamentary correspondent(deceased); Oliver Barry -(7) -former chief executive of Century Communications Ireland (collapsed 1991); George G. Beasley - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Beasley Broadcasting, US; Tom Birdsey - Worcester, Massachusetts, DJ; Joaquin F. Blaya - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Spanish language network, Radio Unica; Joanna Blythman - UK Guardian writer; Helen Boaden -(4) -controller BBC Radio 4; Terry Boers -morning host,WSCR-AM, Chicago; Gillian Bowler - former member Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; James Boyle- - former controller BBC Radio 4; Gordon J. Bridge - Chairman and CEO of, -to become Chairman and CEO of the new; John Brier - president and founder of; Declan Burke -(2) -Columnist on Irish Radio for UK Sunday Times; Ray Burke -(8) -former Fianna Fáil (Ireland) minister responsible for communications; Gay Byrne -Irish Broadcaster; Bob Callahan - President, ABC Broadcast Group, US; Jimmy de Castro- former AMFM Inc CEO and radio group President, now CEO of Ultimate Inc: Laurence Crowley -(2) - former chaiman, Century Radio, Ireland; Simon Cole - chief exewcutive, UBC Media, UK; Seán Connolly -(3)- former secretary of the Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; Derek Cooper - presenter BBC Radio 4's "The Food Programme"; Sara Cox - BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ; Alan Davis - programme director, Team 1200, Ottawa; Lewis W. Dickey Jr. - President and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Paul Donovan- (4)- U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Matt Drudge - Internet gossip and ABC radio show host(departing): Robert Feder -(3)- Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Vincent Finn - former director general of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ;Prof. David Flint -- AustralianBroadcastng Authority chairman; Mark Frost - managing director of Capital Interactive,UK ; Amy Goodman - host of the US Pacifica Network's daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!; Senator Rod Grams -(2)--Republican, Minnesota(introduced Low Power FM Bill into Senate); Terry Hardin - Vice President and General Manager of WLIT and General Manager of WNUA-FM, Chicago; Paul Harvey - ABC network commentator/ most listened to "radio voice" in the US; Mr Justice Séamus Henchy -(2)- former chairman Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; Richard Huntingford - managing director and chief-executive designate, Chyrsalis Radio Group, UK: Noreen Hynes - former head of finance, Century Radio, Ireland; Terry Jacobs -Chairman and CEO, Regent Communications, US: Dan Jiggetts - afternoon co-host WSCR-AM,Chicago; Bob Jobbins - BBC World Service director of English networks and news (departing); Dean Johnson - Boston Herald writer; Alan Jones -(2)-Sydney 2UE breakfast host; Tom Joyner - syndicated US morning host; John Kampfner - former political correspondent for BBC Radio 4 "Today" show; Mel Karmazin - Viacom President & Chairman and CEO Infinity Broadcasting (US) ; Traug Keller - President, ABC Radio Networks(US); William Kennard - Chairman US Federal Communications Commission ; Howard Kurtz - Washington Post writer: Michael Laffan - former chief executive, Century Radio, Ireland; John Laws - (3)-Sydney 2UE morning host; Alfred C. Liggins III - president and chief executive, Radio1 Inc (US): Rush Limbaugh -(4)- Conservative US talk-show host; Gregg Lindahl - vice-president, Cox Radio Interactive, US; Christopher Lydon - host of "The Connection" on US Public Radio;Kelvin MacKenzie - -head of U.K. Wireless Group which owns TalkSport; Dan McNiel -former WSCR-AM,Chicago, afternoon co-host ; P.J. Mara - former press secretary,Fianna Fáil party (Ireland); Enda Marren - former solicitor to Oliver Barry, co-founder of Century Radio, Ireland:Simon Mayo - BBC Radio1 disc jockey, moving to Radio 5 Live; Henry Meakin - chairman GWR group, UK; Scott Mills - BBC Radio 1 presenter; Colm Molloy -former sales and marketing director for Irish state broadcaster RTÉ ; John Mulhern -(2) -Century Radio co-founder and son-in law of former Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey; Kieran Mulvey - former member of Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; Vivian Murray - former member of Irish Independent Radio and Television Commission; Robert F. Neil - President and Chief Executive Officer, Cox Radio, US: Oliver North -US radio host, former White House aide and convicted criminal; Gerry O'Brien -(3) -finance director of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ; Fred O'Donovan -former member Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; Michael O'Keeffe - chief executive Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC), Ireland; Seamus O'Morain - principal officer in the Department of Communications, Ireland; Des O'Neill SC -lawyer for Flood Tribunal in Ireland; Donal O'Sullivan -former member Independent Radio and Telvision Commission, Ireland; Mike Oxley - Ohio Republican Rep.; John G. Pinch - executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Dr. Drew Pinsky - host of syndicated US radio show "Loveline"; Keith Pringle - co-founder Internet "station"; Ms Terry Prone -former member of Independent Radio and Television Commission, Ireland; Red Robinson- pioneer Vancouver DJ(retired?); Rocko - Massachusetts DJ; Eleanor Naumburg Sanger - first program director of New York classical statio WQXR (deceased); Dr Laura Schlessinger-( 2) -Conservative U.S. talk show host; Deepak Shourie - CEO, New Media, India; Monica Sims -BBC Radio 4 controller in late 1970's; Raymond Snoddy- UK Times media correspondent; James Stafford -(7) -co-founder of Century Radio(Ireland); Robert Struble - President & Chief Executive Officer of USA Digital Radio; Sashimi Sward - Indian Broadcasting Minister: Paschal Taggart - Irish businessman who fronted application for Dublin licence; Chris Tarrant -(2) - UK Capital Radio breakfast show presenter; Billy Tauzin- R-La., chairman of the House Commerce telecommunications subcommittee; Mac Tichenor - President and Chief Executive Officer, Hispanic Broadcasting, US: Gloria Tristani - Commissioner, US FCC) Possible chairman if Gore elected President); Robert Trout - veteran US broadcaster (deceased); Jo Whiley - BBC Radio 1 mid-morning presenter; Chris Wright - chairman and co-founder Chrysalis Group, UK; Stephen Yasko - national programming director for US Pacifica Network; Stan Zemanek - former Sydney 2UE late-night host then 2GB morning host(contract not being renewed;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

November 2000 Archive

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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.

2000-11-19: Licence news this week.
And things were still on hold in the US where election is still to be decided, although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a notice regarding third generation mobile phone spectum.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has served notice on Broadcast Operations Pty Limited that it must commence operation of its commercial radio service in Maryborough/ Hervey Bay, Queensland by December 9.
The licence was allocated to the company, which had bid Aus$700000 for it at auction, in January 1999 and, under Australian regulations, broadcasts should have started a year later.
Two extensions have already been granted, one to July 20, and a second to October 20 but the Authority has now refused a request for a further extension until February next year.
The company must now start broadcasts or face prosecution and/or have its licence cancelled or suspended.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has approved a number of CBC transmitter changes.
They include a decrease of the power of CBNT-2 Placentia, Newfoundland, from 11,000 watts to 10,600 watts, increases in power of CBFNT Port-au-Port, Newfoundland, from 14,000 watts to 15,000 watts; of CBYT-1 Stephenville, Newfoundland, from 11,600 watts to 12,010 watts; of the power of CBHT-1 Liverpool, Nova Scotia, from 970 watts to 1,127 watts and of CBAFT-2 Edmundston, New Brunswick, from 8,500 watts to 19,500 watts.
The CRTC has also approved the addition of a second CBC transmitter at St John's in Newfoundland and issued new forms for campus and community radio stations.
In Ireland, the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) has received seven applications for a new station due to open in Cork next year.
They are; Beat FM, largely owned by UK Capital Radio Irish subsidiary Today FM; Cork KiX FM whose shareholders include Irish businessman Denis O'Brien; Sonic FM backed by CORK 96 FM; Capital C FM backed by Clare FM and LM/FM; Deep South Radio backed by the cable TV company, Setanta Sport; Lite FM backed by Lite FM, and Radio Kerry and Redhot FM backed by Dublin station, FM104, and the Irish Examiner newspaper.
In the UK, on the analogue side the Radio Authority has renewed the Harrogate licence held by Stray FM for another eight years from July 2002.
This was an unopposed application and was dealt with under the authority's fast track procedure, which is also to apply to the FM licences for the Isle of Wight and Tendring in Essex.
In each case only the current holders, Isle of Wight Radio and Audio Management Ltd., broadcasting as Dream 100 FM, have applied for the licence from January 2003.
On the digital side, the authority has received two applications for South Wales/ Severn Estuary regional digital multiplex licence.
They are from The Digital Radio Group and MXR.
Digital, whose shareholders include The Wireless Group, GWR Group, Emap Digital Radio and the Scottish Media Group, is proposing a nine channel service to start in September next year.
MXR, whose shareholders include Chrysalis Group, Capital Radio, Jazz FM, UBC Digital, Soul Media and the Ford Motor Co, is also proposing nine services but with a start in July of next year.
Most channels on both services are music formats with Digital also proposing a news and community access service and MXR offering both news and a children's channel.:
Previous ABA:
Previous CBC:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC

Previous IRTC:
Previous Licence News;
Previous UK Radio Authority:
CRTC website :
IRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority website:

2000-11-19: The Toronto Globe and Mail has been reporting this week on the swing to all-sports programming in Canadian radio.
Toronto is expected to have three sports-format stations by the end of the year and in Vancouver one station is expected to switch to all sports and another to primarily sports cover in the evening.
The paper says the changes follow a growth in sports audience and the make-up of that audience, which is heavily skewed to males from 18-54.
It quotes Alan Davis, Programme director of Team 1200 in Ottawa, as saying its audience has doubled since it moved to a sports format a year ago.
"Everybody's looking at all-sports today a lot more seriously than they were six or seven years ago," said Davis.
He added, "the reason for that is the format has proven to be a seller. You can make money with it."
In addition to the changes, expected from both the CHUM network, which owns 27 stations including Team 1200, and Corus Entertainment, with coming up to 50 stations, the paper says they each may try to set up sports syndication services.
CHUM is looking at setting up syndication not just to its own network but to other stations including an alliance with independently owned Grand Slam radio in Vancouver, which is moving to an all-sports format. Corus may set up a partnership with Headline Sports, which owns the cable highlights channel and the radio rights to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Headline would like to provide sports content to Canadian stations in a way similar to ESPN radio programme syndication in the US.
Headline, however, is in dispute with Rogers Communications, which bought the Blue Jays club in August, and wants to void the five-year deal Headline had signed with the Jays six weeks earlier.
The Jays games were carried for a while on existing Toronto sports station Telemedia's The FAN, which was launched in 1992, struggled at first, partly because of expensive Blue Jay and Toronto Maple Leaf rights fees.
By 1996 it had run up losses of $20 million and dropped them.
Now it has been making money for several years.
The FAN plays down the threat from the new sports outlets in Toronto.
Its general manager Doug Ackhurst contends that there is only room for one all-sports station in Toronto.
Ackhurst says comparisons with all-sports format success in the US is misleading.
"Americans are just enamoured with sports, from high school sports up to the pro games, he told the paper.
"Canadians are not as passionate about sports as Americans. So it's a different marketplace and, I think, this is where so-called competitors are misleading themselves."
Ackhurst adds that Telemedia is also looking into an expansion of its sports syndication, saying that one result of reasonably priced syndicated content could be more all-sports stations.
One thing he and Davis are agreed on is that, although rights to games may enhance a station's image it is not essential.
Many US stations are successful without them and they make money during the daytime not in the evenings when the games are broadcast.
In addition, rights ownership can impinge upon the nature of commentaries.
"The type of radio station you become can be dictated by rights," Davis said.
"If you're not in the rights business, the hosts can be a lot more liberal in their comments. And, in some cases, that's better radio."
Previous Corus:
Toronto Globe and Mail (Search for radio - only has 7-day free archive).

2000-11-18: More US radio deals, starting with CBS-Infinity which has now filed paperwork for the sale of the last three stations it had to divest because of the Viacom take-over.
Trumpet Broadcasting Inc is paying $4.7 million for gospel format KHVN-AM Ft. Worth, Texas and in Baltimore, Maryland, Expanse Communications Inc is paying $5.4million for gospel format WBGR-AM & religious format WBMD-AM.
In Nebraska, Waitt Radio is buying KCTY-FM, licensed to Plattsmouth, in the Omaha market from Platte Broadcasting for $750,000. Waitt already owns KCTY-FM.
Previous Infinity;

2000-11-18: Two US hosts getting a boost, one out of the door and an Australian host on the way out to end the week.
Getting boosts were black host Tom Joyner and right-wing US host Rush Limbaugh whose web site is proudly proclaiming that it had more visits in the week to November 12 than any of the major news organisations; according to Nielsen Net Ratings he scored 20 million page views in the week.
For Tom Joyner, who recently moved to Radio 1 Inc (RNW Aug 8) and has a large black audience, the boost was the first interview US Vice President Al Gore has given since the voting ended.
In the interview Gore eschewed some of the harsher language including comments that the election "stinks to high heaven."
Gore aides said that the radio interview was a spontaneous gesture to Mr. Joyner by Mr. Gore, who had appealed to black voters through the program at various points throughout the campaign.
Out of the door is Chicago WSCR-AM afternoon co-host Dan McNiel who was suspended three weeks ago for what the station management termed a "philosophical disagreement."
McNeil, who'd been at the sports-talk station for nine years had made on air remarks critical of a re-alignment that split him from his partner Terry Boers, who is now doing mornings, and put him with Dan Jiggetts.
McNeil's contract was due to expire in April but he has now agreed a buy-out.
On the way out is Australian shock-jock Stan Zemanek.
His contract with Sydney 2GB is not being renewed and the station is looking for a new morning presenter.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Zemanek, who was hired from the late slot at Sydney 2UE (RNW Dec 14 )to take on that station's morning host John Laws, had only a 4.2% audience share compared to Laws' 12.1%.
It adds that he will remain in his post until the contract expires on December 17 but is hardly likely to have to worry about finance as Business Review Weekly magazine earlier this estimated his annual income at Aus $1.7 million.
Previous Joyner;
Previous Laws:
Previous Limbaugh;
Previous Radio 1:
Previous Sydney 2UE:
Previous Zemanek:

2000-11-18: Broadcasts from the Moscow-based Voice of Russia have been swamping the signal of a tiny local radio station in England according to the UK Guardian.
The problems are said to occur on winter mornings when it is dark because the absence of sunlight on the ionosphere makes it reflective and thus able to bounce radio waves -which would normally go out into space -- back to earth.
Both the local station, Somerset Sound which is based in Taunton, and the much more powerful Voice of Russia, which broadcasts English language programmes from 0600-1000GMT, use the same medium wave frequency.
UK Guardian report.

2000-11-17: US digital radio has taken a step forward with iBbiquity Digital Corporation announcing that its IBOC digital audio broadcast (DAB) system has satisfied ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standards for bands below 30 MHz.
A draft recommendation that countries considering digital broadcasts using these bands could comply with ITU standards by using the iBbiquity system is now to be circulated to the 189 member countries of the ITU.
ibiquity's IBOC DAB system (iDAB) allows a broadcast to carry both conventional analogue and digital signals.
Robert Struble, president and chief executive officer of iBiquity Digital Corporation said they regarded the recommendation as a significant vote of confidence" in their system. "Digital broadcasting offers the potential for new and improved services to AM radio listeners, who will greatly benefit from the existence of a standard for the transmission and reception of digital signals," he added.
Previous iBiquity:
Previous Struble:
iBiquity web site (links to news release):

2000-11-17: The UK wireless broadband auction, which started off slowly, now seems to have crawled almost to a halt!
Bidding shown on the Radiocommunications Agency site has increased by under a million pounds over the past two days, most of it in the London licence bids.
Bidding has also gone up a small amount in Northern Ireland, but it now seems unlikely to get remotely near the billion pounds mark which was forecast before markets started feeling that companies had paid too much for spectrum.
The current total is less than half the £78 million reserve placed on the licences and there have been no bids at all in seven regions.
Under the bidding rules, companies which do not bid during a round can only then bid for a reduced number of licences and current speculation is that as many as half of the 42 licences on offer may remain unsold.
Previous Spectrum auction;
UK Radiocommunications Agency (links to bidding information pages);

2000-11-17: US radio giant Clear Channel is to cut around 400 jobs and close down the AMFM corporate offices in Dallas and those of its Capstar subsidiary in Austin, also in Texas.
According to paperwork filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Clear Channel, which took over AMFM in a $24 billion deal at the end of August (RNW Sept 1), plans to close the offices in March next year.
Amongst the people losing out is AMFM's chief financial officer, Geoffrey Armstrong.
Clear Channel had already closed down AMFM's web site - it hasn't even set it to re-direct.
Clear Channel's shares, which have lost around 40% of their value this year, rose slightly on the news.
In other US radio developments, Emmis Corporation has postponed plans to separate its radio and TV units which it announced in May. (RNW May 9).
It says it will reconsider when stock market conditions are more favourable.
Previous (and last) AMFM:
Previous Clear Channel:

Previous Emmis

2000-11-16: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century radio has been hearing evidence from former members of the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC), the country's regulators who awarded the licence.
Vivian Murray, the first former IRTC member to give evidence said concerning the applications, that the estimates for advertising revenue submitted by two of the unsuccessful applicants were "optimistic in the extreme".
He commented that the Commission was the he said the commission was prepared to see someone like Century "take up the cudgels" over the question of RTE's transmission charges, as this would have a knock-on effect on other commercial broadcasters seeking to use them.
"The Century people were seen to be tough, experienced business people with a broad range of talents both in and out of the entertainment industry."
" I think the Commission looked at the people involved at the end of the day and said on balance they were the best of the applicants," said Murray.
He also said that it was a "surprise" to him to learn that , the then Minister for Communications Ray Burke nominated the solicitor, bank and accountant used by the Commission.
Burke's lawyers say that the matter was straightforward; the solicitor and bank manager were constituents of the minister.
William Moody, a senior Ulster Bank official said he had received a phone call from the minister to tell him they had been appointed as bankers but Burke got no benefit from the bank for the introduction.
The Tribunal also heard that a senior RTÉ executive received "£1600 or £1700" from the co-founder of Century Radio, Oliver Barry, not the £5000 that Barry had told the tribunal he had paid over
The money, said the executive, Peter Branagan, was given to fund entertainment for RTÉ transmission staff who had worked on getting Century onto the air.
Branagan said Barry was pleased with the work done and wanted to show his appreciation.
There had been discussion of a bonus payment but in the end it was decided to set up entertainment budget for use as each transmission "milestone" was reached.
Previous Barry:
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Century Radio:

Previous Flood Tribunal;
Previous IRTC
RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-11-16: More radio results both sides of the Atlantic, but with the strongest news from Scotland where Scottish Radio Holdings has just reported record profits for its financial year.
Group pre-tax profits were up by a fifth to £20 million and turnover was up nearly a third to just under £72 million.
The biggest earners were the group's analogue radio stations, which had a turnover of £34 million. The group is now focussing on expansion of its digital radio network, which it sees as spearheading its reach into England.
Still in the UK but less positive news for both EMAP and UBC Media, with the former reporting a small increase of 3% in half year revenues to £567 million and flat pre-tax profits of £92 million.
The group, which runs magazines and radio stations, had been planning heavy Internet spending but has now trimmed this from £250 million over the next three years to around £120 million, mainly on magazine-linked sites.
UBC Media has reported half-year losses of £430,000 on turnover of £2.4 million.
It says the results are in line with its expectations and chief executive Simon Cole was bullish, pointing out that revenues were up by more than a fifth compared with the first half of 1999 and that the company was in a strong cash position thanks to the £5 million it raised at its initial public offering in July.
And finally for the UK, Capital Radio is re-branding its Capital Gold station with a new logo and a marketing campaign, which will feature posters of such stars as David Bowie and Mick Jagger on London buses.
In the US, Cumulus Media showed how to ride bad news positively.
Despite poor third quarter results, it had so lowered expectations that its shares jumped by more than a fifth following the company's conference call.
The third quarter results showed net revenues up 22.9% to $47.3 million, but Broadcast cash flow down 4.7% to $15.7 million; on a same station basis revenues went down 4.7% to $28.8 million and broadcast cash flow dropped 38.5% to $7.1 million.
In addition to the results, CEO Lew Dickey announced that Cumulus is unable to collect on some $20 million in sales contracts written at its stations.
He was more upbeat about the future, predicting 7% overall growth next year allied with a 15 % increase in cash flow to take the company.
For 2000, Dickey says, Cumulus should see $230 million in net revenues in year 2000 and $63 million in broadcast cash flow.
As well as its financial results, Cumulus has also announced the appointment of John G Pinch as executive vice president and chief operating officer from the beginning of December.
Pinch was formerly president of Clear Channel International Radio CCU.
Still in the US, a few deals to round up the day.
In Georgia, Beasley Broadcasting is spending $12 million on WKXC-FM and Soft AC WSLT-FM in Augusta to up its station total in the market to eight.
In New Mexico, Clear Channel is to exercise its option and spend $1.26 million to buy KAZX-FM Kirtland, which it already runs under an LMA. Also in New Mexico, Burt Broadcasting, which already owns KYEE-FM Alamagordo, is buying KINN-AM & KZZX-FM for $800000;
Previous Beasley Broadcasting:
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Cumulus Media:
Previous Dickey:

Previous EMAP:
Previous Scottish Radio Holdings:
Previous UBC Media:

2000-11-15:Two obituaries today of US radio veterans.
First a national institution in the form of Robert Trout who has died aged 91.
His radio career started at the start of the 1930s and was still going in the late 1990s with work for the US public radio series, All Things Considered.
Trout was often referred to as one of "Murrow's Boys", the name given for the team of reporters hired for CBS in the mid 1930's.
In fact he preceded Murrow into the business when he was hired by the small Virginia station WJSV in 1931 before it became part of the CBS network.
After covering such events as the Coronation of King George VI in 1936, Trout made 35 broadcasts in one day during the Allied Invasion of France on D-Day.
He also announced the "end of the second World War" to CBS listeners on VE Day in 1945.
Trout was also noted for dubbing US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's radio addresses "fireside talks" and extemporaneously delivered a 25-minute memorial program when Roosevelt died in 1945.
Trout was born Robert Albert Blondheim in Washington in 1909, but took Trout as his professional name in 1932.
Most of his broadcasting life was spent with CBS on radio and then television but he also had spells with both ABC and NBC.
Trout retired from full-time reporting in 1996 but continued to work as a commentator for All Things Considered.
The other death, at the age of 100, was of New York veteran, Eleanor Naumburg Sanger, the first program director of WQXR, the New York classical music station that she and her husband helped to found. She was at the station from shortly after its founding in 1936 until 1959, spending more than 20 of the years there as programme director.
New York Times
Sanger obit
New York Times Trout obit:

2000-11-15: More spectrum sales slowdowns: Bidding in the UK broadband auction for wireless Internet use has got off to a slow start and the third generation mobile phone auction in Switzerland has been put on hold.
In the UK, the broadband auction has now reached some £37 million compared to analyst's initial estimates of more than £1 billion for the final amount.
Another bidder, FirstMark Communications pulled out on Monday, following the withdrawal of Unica before the auction even began (RNW Nov 12).
There have been no bids at all in eight of the 14 regions and where there is bidding, the highest bid so far is of £7.25 million for one of the London licence and the lowest of £200,000 for a Northern Ireland licences.
And in Switzerland, the country's third generation mobile phone auction was put on hold after British Telecom agreed to sell its 34%stake in the Swiss Sunrise network to fellow shareholder TeleDanmark for £460 million.
At the same time TeleDanmark took control of another bidder for a third generation licence, diAx.
TeleDanmark intends to merge the two companies, which would leave only four companies bidding for four licences, thus denying the Swiss government of a revenue windfall.
The auction was postponed and Bakom, the Swiss telecoms regulator, is to investigate any potential collusion among the bidders
And still on the subject of spectrum, US aviation officials have warned that the airwaves used for air traffic control purposes in the US are nearly at full capacity, thus threatening any expansion of air travel.
Experts say, according to the Washington Post, that the constraints this imposes are as important as those from crowed airspace and a lack of runways.
There is also a dispute over how to solve the problem with airlines pushing for adoption of a European system, which could be in operation in five years but would then be outdated in another 15.
The Federal Aviation Authority would prefer a digital system which would have a longer life but could not be in operation for around ten years but some authorities say gridlock will be reached long before then.
Aviation uses the spectrum from 108 to 137 megahertz, just above that used by FM radio stations, and initial solutions were possible by crowding more channels into this spectrum but the limit for this has been reached with current US technology, which allows four channels for each MHZ of spectrum.
The European system would permit 12 channels, leaving 8.33 kilohertz between each channel but can only handle voice traffic.
The fear is that money would not be available to adopt this system on an interim basis and then have to send money again on a higher technology digital solution but pressures are so great that a likely interim solution may be instituted using it only on a limited basis in conjunction with an existing US digital solution which is satisfactory for non-critical uses.
This would free up space for a short-term expansion whilst longer-term solutions are brought in.
RNW note: In view of the continuing US moves (RNW Nov 11) to allow sub-leasing of frequency, one wonders whether there may yet be pressures to use some of the existing radio FM spectrum in some cities as digital radio is introduced.
Previous Spectrum auction:
Washington Post article:

2000-11-15: Iranian exiles in California are expanding the range of their radio station signals to include short wave broadcasts to Iran itself according to the Los Angeles Times.
The state has long had Farsi services, from non-political KIRN-AM in Los Angeles and the more polemical KRSI or Voice of Iran, a closed-circuit station, which is now based in Beverley Hills.
There is now a a newcomer in KSMI. This is another closed-circuit station, launched in September and sending its programming over North America an to Europe via satellite.
The new station has spurred KRSI into its short wave broadcasts to Iran and KSMI is also to broadcast to Iran for two hours a day via satellite.
All the stations are competing for listeners amongst Iranian exiles who oppose the government in Iran and different adaptors are needed for stations to pick up KSMI and KRSI, which has started fund-raising drives similar to those of US public stations to raise funds.
Los Angeles Times article:

2000-11-14: More US deals: And Christian-oriented Salem Communications, which already owns WYLL-FM in Chicago, is paying $29 million for the 50,000 watt 1160-AM signal which used to carry WSCR-AM, the Infinity sports station. Infinity had to sell off a Chicago AM following the Viacom take-over of its CBS parent and chose to close down WMAQ (RNW Aug 1)and switch WSCR to the more powerful WMAQ frequency.
It then used the 1160 signal to simulcast WXRT-FM ad WXRT-AM pending the divestiture.
Salem President and CEO, Edward G. Atsinger III, said Salem had been trying to acquire additional stations in Chicago/ He said the acquisition fitted perfectly with Salem's "strategy to add stations in markets where we have established a foundational station operation, in this case, our flagship Chicago station WYLL-FM"
On a smaller- and larger - scale, giant Clear Channel has agreed an LMA of KREW-FM, Naches, Washington, and filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission to buy it from Butterfield Broadcasting Corp. for $1.3 million.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Salem:

Previous WMAQ:
Salem web site: :

2000-11-14: Two likely departures from broadcast shows; one from TV by conservative US radio host Dr Laura Schlessinger and the other from radio by Internet gossip Matt Drudge.
The latter, reports the Washington Post, has been "fired" by ABC radio from his syndicated radio show.
The paper says Drudge attributes the decision not to renew his contact to sensitivity about his reporting on the activities of ABC and its parent, Disney.
It quotes Drudge as saying, "The whole notion that this is a political payback for my Web reporting is an explosive accusation, but I'm willing to make it."
ABC says ABC Broadcast Group President Bob Callahan made the decision with no involvement by Disney because " Sunday night talk shows are just not a good business."
The company added that, "It takes up a lot of your time but makes very little money."
ABC Radio executives are said to have been talking about moving the show to five days a week and are said to want to keep the show, currently aired in 135 markets and generating revenue of some $400,000 a year.
Drudge had already given up his TV show after a row with Fox. Drudge is now back to a one-man operation with no links to major media companies.
He is quoted as saying, "The air we breathe is free, the airwaves are not." And it looks very much as if Dr Laura has failed to make it on TV.
At least one station has dropped her TV show entirely according to the Stop Dr Laura site, and others are moving it to a middle of the night "graveyard" slot.
An even more ominous report for the host, denied by Paramount, the TV show's producer, came from TV Industry journal Electronic Media .
It h said on its web site that the show is to cease production this.week.
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2000-11-13: The UK Observer, following up the story of the death of Italian radio journalist Antonio Russo, found dead by a roadside in Georgia, (RNW Oct 27) suggests that he may have been murdered by the Russian Secret service because he had evidence of atrocities in Chechnya.
According to the paper, he died because his chest was crushed until ribs cracked causing him to die from internal bleeding but without leaving marks of violence.
His apartment in Tblisi had been ransacked and friends, say the paper, believe he was assassinated by the Russian secret service after discovering unconventional weapons were being used against children.
Russo had phoned his mother, Beatrice, a pharmacist in Tuscany, in September, reports the paper, saying he had obtained videotape.
He is said to have spoken of dead children, unimaginable horror, and war crimes which the world would see when he returned to Italy in October.
The claim is only one of a number of reasons which are being put forward for Russo's death and his mother says she believes his killers, whoever they are, will never be fund.
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2000-11-13: The US elections seem to have thrown up some doubts about the county's electoral system and also indirectly about its media, specifically the broadcast media, so it seems apposite to bias this week's columnists towards the political.
And first the US elections which, reports the Washington Post, have been a "bonanza" for the US talk-show hosts.
However, that's not necessarily a great bonus for the populace if it or the UK Sunday Times is correct.
Howard Kurtz in the Post summarises one reason in his first sentence, which speaks of "the television and radio shows that thrive on partisan combat."
Unsurprisingly (to RNW that is )most of those quoted are partisan, and indeed Republican partisan, although one newspaper man who has been featuring on the shows put some balance in with the comment, "It's a wonderful thing for us and a bad thing for the country."
Equally unsurprising to us has been the fact that the Republican supporters, who have most to lose, have been more strident than the Democrats, with Rush Limbaugh comparing Gore's strategy to that of OJ Simpson's defence ands terming it 'voter nullification."
Oliver North (of Contra arms and lawbreaking fame) gets his bias over by quoting a caller who said, "This is Impeachment II" and adding, "it's even more important than impeachment."
" That would have transferred power from one Democrat to another. This is their final effort to keep from ever surrendering."
By comparison the quotes from a liberal hosts were much less strident with them saying things like "both sides feel morally entitled to the White House" and "because "each side is so close and both sides can taste it. The pressure on Gore to concede is absurd.
" Gore does have a moral mandate in that he has the popular vote, and he should not be intimidated into conceding prematurely. It's a little smirky for Bush to start publicly convening his transition team."
RNW note:From the UK it does seem strange that there should be so much fuss about a re-count when things are so close, although there's no moral superiority when it comes to parties with the higher popular vote failing to get elected.
On then to Declan Burke, the UK Sunday Times Irish radio correspondent, who in a perceptive item starts off by saying, "On radio, size matters. The size of a station and the size of a nation shape the way radio is produced and received. In a large and diverse nation such as the United States, radio tends to be highly specialised and local."
" In a small and more homogeneous country such as the (Irish) republic, a national radio station has more chance of dealing with national issues satisfactorily."
" So it proved last week. I spent some time browsing through American stations on the web, via, searching for indigenous coverage of the American presidential election."
"Despite the profusion of stations, there was precious little debate or comment. American radio, it seems, is so fractured and niche driven that when faced with general issues, even of immense domestic interest, it is ill-equipped to deal with them."
Burke admits that the size and disparate nature of the US inevitably has its effect but notes the benefit of having national stations as well as local ones when there are events of national import, citing the treatment of issues concerning recent severe flooding in Ireland on local and national radio/
RNW Note: these comments could equally apply in the UK and much of Europe which has also been hit hard by the weather over recent months.
"Take it all round, as Huckleberry Finn would say, " writes Burke, "the coverage kept its eye on the big picture without losing the local detail."
Still political, but this time pre-dating the US results row and to a degree contradicting Burke, was an articleby Dean Johnson in the Boston Herald on "Egghead" host, Christopher Lydon whose The Connection show goes out daily on some 75 US Public Radio stations.
It quotes Lydon as saying in jest during a show about "Gore-isms'' that ``We dare to be boring on this program.''
This says the article is odd in "these days of bottom line/high profit/lowest common denominator talk radio."
It adds that in part this is because the show, founded after Lydon made a pitch in 1994 to WBUR, Boston, to create an "intelligent talk radio show" is on public radio and thus needs to worry less about ratings.
And political again, but in a different vein, an article by former BBC Radio 4 "Today" show political correspondent John Kampfner in the UK Guardian at the beginning of the week was revealing about the pressures politicians in the UK put onto broadcasters.
He cites a whole catalogue of government callers putting on pressure after he rhetorically commented, regarding a fuel depot blockade, "what had happened to the government's green agenda of prising people out of their vehicles and on to public transport?"
Apparently he'd been mis-heard as saying "pricing" but as he points out, that really makes no difference.
The article lists other examples of pressure from politicians and illustrates well why so many people hold so many of them in contempt for their partisan approach and attempts to "script" broadcasters' comments for them.
The tactics, he points out, have often worked.
Kampfner writes that he interpreted his job "explaining what is really going on - sometimes through an original story, sometimes an original take on the mainstream story."
On the other hand, he says, " Many politicians want it just to regurgitate what they say. They maintain it is not the job of the BBC journalist to interpret."
RNW comment: An intelligent article worth a read. To us it puts many politicians on a par with the creatures from "entertainment" who will only appear on a show after prescribing conditions that simply make it a publicity vehicle for them. In the case of Hollywood, maybe it's good business, but democracy has wider connections.
And finally, to stay political but give a new slant on radio, a brief look at Paul Donovan's column in the UK Sunday Times. "It is a wry paradox," he writes, "that the most powerful moment of the radio year is one of silence."
"This morning (Nov 12) , virtually every radio station in Britain (apart from the pirates) will go over to the Cenotaph for that mournful two minutes in which the nation honours its fallen, and all you can hear is the wind sighing and people alone with their thoughts." Donovan goes on to reflect about another anniversary, Armistice Day, "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month", when the First World war ended -and how radio in the UK chose to mark it this year and comments on various other programmes dealing with the war.
RNW note: To us , the point he makes about the power of silence is well worth noting; so much for the US "cash" device (RNW Jan 6) that kills silences for profits!

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2000-11-13: Another round up of proceedings of the Flood Tribunal which is looking into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which later went bankrupt.
In the past week, the Tribunal has heard of the shock and disbelief by state broadcaster RTÉ at a ministerial order cutting transmission costs, the dire effect of another ministerial order capping RTÉ's advertising revenue and how a businessman kept his involvement secret.
Testimony of "shock and rage" was given by former RTÉ director general Vincent Finn when asked about an order by then communications minister Ray Burke to cut agreed transmission charges from RTÉ to Century from the £694,000, agreed with the Department of Communications before the licence was awarded, to £375,000.
Finn said RTÉ decided to seek a legal opinion on the legality of the minister's directive and Hugh Geoghegan SC, now a High Court judge, stated that in his opinion the minister had acted ultra vires (beyond his powers) on two grounds.
However, said Finn, in spite of this they were reluctant to go the legal route on the issue because there would have been a public perception that RTÉ was ridding itself of a competitor.
On balance, taking the matter to court would not have been wise.
Asked if the minister gave an indication that there might be some flexibility on the figures, during a meeting with him, Finn said: "Quite the reverse, his mind was made up."
On the effect of Burke's "cap" on RTÉ advertising revenue, the broadcaster's then financial director Gerry O'Brien told the tribunal the losses would have been so large that RTÉ could not have remained in business and a former RTÉ sales and marketing director, Colm Molloy,said it "all but destroyed" the Irish advertising industry.
He added that no thought was given to the marketing implications of the cap when the Broadcasting Act was introduced in 1990 and denied that RTÉ ever engaged in price-fixing, predatory pricing or cross-subsidisation of different radio channels.
Testifying later in the week, Century co-founder (and son-in-law of the then Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey), John Mulhern said his involvement was kept secret in contravention of Irish broadcasting rules because the two other founders, Oliver Barry and James Stafford, wanted a "position of power" in the company.
Mulhern said he was not award of the rules at the time and that it was Stafford's decision to keep his (Mulhern's) involvement secret. Mulhern also said that he had no advance knowledge of £35,000 paid to Burke in May 1989 but learned of it considerably later "probably by the end of the year."
Mulhern said was made aware of it by Stafford, who said Mr Barry had paid the money on behalf of Century.
Mulhern also said he would not have agreed to payments made by Century of £5,000 to the political parties Fianna Fáil and £2,000 to Fine Gael.
Mulhern invested £610, 000 in Century, an equal one-third share of £300,000 with Barry and Stafford at the start and £310,000 later.
Mulhern's testimony conflicts with a statement by Barry which said the three agreed in advance the £35,000 payment to Burke.
It also conflicts with testimony from Stafford, who told the tribunal that he only learned of the payment in March 1991 and also insisted the money was paid by Mr Barry personally and not on behalf of Century.
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RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
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2000-11-12: Normally the complaint about broadcast media seems to be of "dumbing down" but one of British radio most popular soaps is said to be "too complicated."
It's the BBC Radio 4 "Archers" programme, which attracts a weekly audience of 4.5 million and is now approaching its fiftieth birthday.
The "soap", set in a fictional farming community was originally conceived by the British Ministry of Agriculture to attract people back into farming after the war and to pass on tips about modern agricultural practices.
It was first heard all over Britain in January 1951.
Now, it seems, research shows that new listeners can't make head or tail of it. According to the controller of Radio 4, Helen Boaden, BBC researchers who had hoped that it would bring new listeners to the channel found instead that new listeners couldn't "work out who is related to whom. "
"Its long history, which is so loved by its core audience, makes it impenetrable to the new listener, she told the UK Independent. "
"The Archers - and most radio drama - only works for those people who have fallen for speech radio in the first place and are already practised in creating pictures and characters in their heads."
However, mindful of the row caused when her predecessor James Boyle changed Radio 4 schedules, she isn't going to mess around with it. For those who may be tempted, the Independent also ran a guide to the characters features in the drama. RNW note: For those really keen, there will be a first-ever double-length New Year's Eve episode of the programme at the end of the year. It will set up a cliffhanger concerning the feud over who will inherit "Brookfield Farm" Tune in or listen to Radio 4 online.
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2000-11-12: Licence news this week. And fairly quiet everywhere, although proposals to allow sub-leasing of spectrum in the US may yet turn out to have wide-ranging consequences.
All was quiet in Australia and in Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was involved only in the issue of public notices on the radio side.
These concerned three applications for low-power licences and one for a new English language FM station in Alberta.
The last application is from the Corus Radio Company, which wants a new 100,000 watts licence to replace its existing licence for CKGY Red Deer.
Corus proposes a country music format and wants to broadcast simultaneously on the AM and FM bands for a period of 3 months before surrendering the current CKGY licence.
The low power applications are for a 5-watt English-language low-power developmental FM community radio programming undertaking at Lewisporte, Newfoundland, a 250-watts English- and Native-language FM station at Georgina Island, Ontario, and a 50-watts English language tourist information service for Timmins, Ontario.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has fined an East Lancashire station £1000 for breaching its format, which requires it to provide a service to the Gujerati-speaking community within its output.
The station, Asian Sound, had been formally warned about a similar breach in October 1997 but had nevertheless, failed to broadcast its Gujerati output during two weeks of September this year.
The authority has also re-awarded the Aylesbury licence in Buckinghamshire for another eight years to Bucks Broadcasting Ltd., (Mix 96), the existing licence holder and sole applicant, and has pre-advertised two small-scale licences in the London area.
These latter are for the Thamesmead area of South-East London and the North London licence focusing upon Haringey, both for eight-years from 1 January 2003.
The present Thamesmead licence is held by Millennium FM Ltd and the present north London licence is held by London Greek Radio.
The Authority has also invited public interest comments on the planned take-over by GWR Group, which owns Hereward FM in Peterborough, of Lite FM (RNW Aug 23 ).
Both licences are for Peterborough, Hereward broadcasting a contemporary and chart music and information service and Lite broadcasts an adult contemporary music, local news and sport service.
In the US, the main regulatory activities were the proposals to permit sub-leasing of frequency (see below).
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2000-11-12: Time for another look at the issue of spectrum sales as the UK starts its auction for broadband internet spectrum but fails to attract bids for all licences and the US regulators propose changes that would allow companies to sub-let spectrum licensed to them.
The US action comes from the Federal Communications Commission which is now proposing to allow sub-leasing of spectrum without regulatory approval instead of the current situation where an FCC licence is needed for all use of radio spectrum although some sub-leasing is permitted.
The changes are being proposed because of the demand for wireless communication services such as mobile phones, pagers and other portable devices to access such services as the Internet.
FCC chairman William Kennard said the devices are "are consuming spectrum faster than we can make it available. The demand for spectrum is simply outstripping supply."
The FCC says its proposals could effectively increase the amount of spectrum available through more efficient use of currently licensed airwaves and wants to make pass on to current licensees responsibility for ensuring that any sub-leased spectrum is used in accordance with regulations in force such as those designed to prevent interference.
In the UK, there was evidence of the change of stock-market attitudes to mobile communications when one of the ten companies bidding for broadband licences pulled out on the first day.
Many analysts think companies have paid far too much for spectrum and their stocks have dropped.
There are 42 licences up for sale in 14 regions in the 28-gigahertz spectrum band.
They're being sold in an online auction of broadband fixed wireless access (BFWA) licences which would allow data transmission by radio at rates exceeding 2 megabits per second.
Although the reserve prices total £78.3 million, advance estimates of the amount the licences could fetch ranged from £1 billion to £2 billion ($1.4 billion to $2.8 billion), helped by delays in rolling out other forms of broadband service.
However the pullout of Unica Communications dampened Friday's auction.
It was followed by a recess request from another bidder, something which in the past has presaged a withdrawal. At the end of the first round bids totalled £27.1m with three London area bids totaling £12 million, and two bids each totalling £6 million for Manchester and the West Midlands.
There were no bids at all in eight regions and only one bid in Northern Ireland, of £100,000 from Eircom, for one of the three licences on offer.
The nine bidders now in the race are Broadnet, Chorus Communications, Eircom Plc, Energis Plc, Faultbasic, FirstMark Communication, Formus Communications , Norweb Telecom Ltd, and Winstar Communications.
The fall in demand for licences has also hit in Switzerland where three of nine groups have pulled out of the bidding in advance of next week's auction of four third generation mobile licences, each with a reserve price of 50 million Swiss Frances ($2.8 million).
Pulling out were T-Mobile of Germany, Telenor of Norway and Hutchison Whampoa's European mobile division.
The pullout has led to fears that the Swiss auction could end up in the same situation as that in Italy which had almost as many licences as bidders and came to a premature end when one of the runners pulled out.
The Italian government has since demanded that Blu , the British Telecom-led consortium which dropped out, should forfeit its deposit.
In advance of the Swiss auction, two of Europe's big groups upped their holdings in the country.
Vodafone is to pay £1.75bn in cash or stock for a 25 per cent shareholding in Swisscom's market-leading wireless arm, Mobil Com. and France Telecom is to pay E.on £700m for its 42.5 per cent of Orange Communications, the second-biggest of Switzerland's three mobile operators.
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2000-11-11:The UK Independent reports that Capital Radio has conceded that it may lose its breakfast show presenter Chris Tarrant, despite a share option package valued at up to £1.5 million.
Tarrant, whose show is Capital's biggest earner, also presents the TV show "Who wants to be a Millionaire" in the UK.
He has a contract with Capital worth some £1 million a year which expires at the end of next year.
The share options package with Capital and this would go if he left the group.
But with the TV show paying him an estimated £5 million a year, there has been speculation that he may dispense with having to get up early.
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2000-11-11: Yet more US radio results and deals but also a dip in radio share prices amidst nervousness over US political uncertainties and a fall in advertising.
All of the giants suffered, with Clear Channel down more than 5% at one point, Infinity down around 7.5% and Disney by around 15%.
In the last case, however, Disney's ABC Radio stations and ABC Radio Networks were said to have performed "beyond expectations" and overall it delivered net earnings of 11 cents a share compared to eight in the third quarter last year and Wall Street expectations of around seven.
First the deals and Radio One Inc is to spend nearly $60 million in Texas in a deal with Sunburst Media of Dallas and Clear Channel.
Sunburst is selling the intellectual property of its alternative rock station KDGE-FM Gainsville, to Clear Channel and the station itself to Radio for around $52.5 million in cash.
Radio One will acquire the call letters and format of "Jammin' Oldies" KTXQ-FM from Clear Channel and move it to KDGE frequency.
In another deal, Radio 1 is gaining some $52.5 million from Cox Radio for WDYL-FM in Richmond, Virginia, and WJMZ-FM and WPEK-FM in Greenville, South Carolina.
WJMZ-FM was one of the stations Radio One gained from the Clear Channel-AM FM sell-offs.
In another deal, Catholic Radio Network has sold yet another of its stations; this time it's WYPA-AM, Chicago which is going to Newsweb fo r$10.5 Million cash.
And in Ohio, Salem Communications, which recently acquired two of Catholic's stations (RNW Oct 25) is spending $10.5 million in cash in a deal involving Salem, Clear Channel and Radio Seaway.
Seaway gets the money and WHK-AM, Cleveland, from Salem plus WAKS-FM in Lorraine from Clear Channel, Clear Channel gets WHK-FM, Cleveland, from Salem, and Salem gets the transmitting facility of WCLV-FM in Cleveland from Seaway.
Salem has also just declared its third quarter results.
Net broadcasting revenue was up 28.2% compared to 1999 Q3 to $27.7 million and broadcast cash flow was up 15.4% to $12.0 million on the same comparison.
On a same station basis, net broadcasting revenue and broadcast cash flow increased 13% and 7% respectively for the quarter.
For the first nine months, net broadcasting revenue increased 18.5% to $75.1 million, broadcast cash flow was up 11.4% to $33.2 and on a same station basis the increases were 11% and 9%, respectively.
The company says that BCF increase for the third quarter would have been higher but for the lower operating efficiencies of its clusters in Los Angeles, Colorado Springs where it sold stations.
It also says its newly acquired stations are operating at lower margins than those it already had but it expects this situation to improve as the new stations are integrated into existing clusters.
Acquisitions during the quarter comprised the purchase of eight stations from Clear Channel for $185.6 million, of Christian music station KLTY-FM in Dallas in exchange for KDGE-FM, also in Dallas and of license and transmitting facilities of WALR-FM, Atlanta, KLUP-AM, San Antonio and WSUN-AM Tampa in exchange for the license transmitting facilities of KKHT-FM, Houston.
Sales were of KLTX-AM Los Angeles for $29.5 million and KALC-FM, Denver for $98.8 million.
The Fisher Companies reported that Q3 income from its continuing operations shot up 529% to $13.3 million compared to $2.1million for the third quarter of 1999.
The figures do not include its loss-making flour mills which it is selling and it had a consolidated net income loss overall of $847,000, compared to a loss of $106,000 reported for the third quarter 1999.
Its radio business performed well with first nine-month figures showing Seattle up 19%, Portland up 14% and Washington up 8%
And Radio Unica, whose share price is now less than a tenth of its year high of $33, has announced a stock repurchase programme. The company feels its shares are undervalued and has approved a buy-back of up to three million shares.
Joaquin F. Blaya, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Radio Unica, said, "Given the national network that we have built, the continued dramatic improvement in our results and our strong balance sheet, we believe our equity is significantly undervalued."
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2000-11-11: The row over the road block which hinders the homeward journeys of Sydney radio hosts John Laws and Alan Jones (RNW Nov 9) has now moved into the city's Supreme Court.
And, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, it's also sparked calls for a public enquiry into the role of the two in the decision to remove the barricade.
The Road Traffic Authority, which had been threatening to remove it, has given the court an undertaking to take no action until an injunction by the local Lane Cove council can be heard on November 20.
The Mayor of Lane Cove, Councillor Stephen Bowers, told the Sydney Morning Herald that it was a "disgrace" that the RTA had ignored its own processes and guidelines over a an issue about which it had constantly been consulted.
Calling for a public enquiry into the broadcasters' role in the decision, he said," John Laws and Alan Jones are entitled to ask whatever questions they like. They are, like the residents of Lane Cove and the citizens of NSW, free to put their views forward and put them forcefully."
" I have no problem with that at all. But the issue here is why, very shortly after the matter is publicly aired by two high-profile radio announcers, does Chris Ford [director of traffic and transport] from the RTA take unilateral . . . action completely against the RTA's policy?"
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2000-11-10: Two technology-related items which we think deserve a wider airing, one relating to on-demand audio and the other to satellite internet.
The UK Guardian reports that BBC Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden told a Broadcasting Press Guild Lunch that all "BBC radio networks are having discussions about the possibilities of some radio-on-demand."
The paper says her comments came in response to criticism that many of Radio 4's more popular were scheduled at bad times for working listeners.
Bu it but did not make clear exactly what was meant apart from noting that Radio 4's strategy of repeating popular programmes on a Sunday could be extended to other parts of the schedule. RNW note: That's not the same thing but on-demand is something we'd welcome having commented in the past how much it is needed and yet absent from offerings (see our very first comment).
And in the US, the Washington Post reports on the two-way satellite Internet service run by StarBand Communications Inc, based in McLean, Arizona, which it credits with bringing radio to the the Havasupai Indian reservation in Supai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Star Band has now launched on a US national scale and wants to make satellite a prime route for high-speed Internet connections.
The paper says the company is targeting some 50 million U.S. households that now have no "broadband" Internet access and are unlikely to be economically served by cable or DSL services.
The service to Supai started as a result of federal requirements to ensure certification of teachers by 2005.
For Sally Tilousi, The director of the village Head Start office and one of only two Havasupai tribal members have ever graduated from college, this posed a problem and she went for help to Northern Arizona University, which uses videoconferencing and the Internet to broadcast higher-education classes to the isolated tribes of the high desert.
The university made enquiries at StarBand, is a joint venture between an Israeli satellite maker, EchoStar Communications Corp and Microsoft Corp., and gained federal grant financing for installation of six dishes.
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2000-11-10: Whilst the big drama has been over the Presidential race in the US, there have also been a number of changes which may affect broadcasting.
Amongst Senators losing their seats were Missouri Republican Senator John Ashcroft, whose defeat leaves a vacant Republican place on the Communications sub-committee and Sen. Rod Grams (Republican, Minnesota), sponsor of the Low Power FM Bill which was tagged as a rider to the appropriations bill appropriations bill covering the State, Justice and Commerce departments (RNW Oct 28).
In the House, two other Republicans associated with anti-Low Power FM measures; Mike Oxley (Ohio) and Billy Tauzin (Louisiana) are still in place. And then there's still the question of who takes over as Federal Communications Cmmission chairman from William Kennard.
Top tips are Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Pat Wood III for a Bush Presidency and current commission Gloria Tristani if Gore should make it..

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2000-11-09: After their abuse of their positions in the "cash for comment" affair, Sydney 2UE stars Alan Jones and John Laws have become involved in a new controversy about using their posts for personal gain.
But this time, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, it's about convenience not cash.
The two stars have been railing against a ban on right-hand turns at the end of a street near 2UE's station.
The ban impedes their swift journey home and the roads minister has personally addressed their complains on air.
The Road Transport Authority has now decreed that the barriers must be removed. They were erected under conditions laid down by the local council for approval of an apartment complex and were build of temporary materials whilst the apartments were being built.
They were supposed to have been replaced by a permanent landscaped barricade.
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2000-11-09: The Radio Advertising Bureau reports for both the UK and USA show healthy third quarter figures with the US notching up eight straight years of month on month revenue growth.
In the US, RAB reports that the third quarter ended with a 3% revenue increase in September for combined national and local advertisement sales.
Compared to September last year, local revenues were up 6% but national revenues were down by the same amount.
Third quarter figures were up for both, 15% for local and 20% for national and for the first nine months increases were similar with combined revenues up 16%. In the UK, RAB says growth was also strong with a 9.8% growth in overall revenues to £129.5 million and a 19.5% growth in national advertisement revenues over the July to September period of 1999 to reach £94.5 million.
For the first nine months airtime revenue was up 27.3% to £522 million.
And in the US, Beasley Broadcasting has performed strongly with third quarter after tax cash flow up 32% to $5.1 million, $0.21 per diluted share; same station revenues for the period were up 9.1% to $28.0 million and same station broadcast cash flow was up 32.7% to $9.2.
The group had no acquisitions pending or completed during the quarter and has commenced renegotiation of its previously announced $138 million deal (RNW June 6) to buy six Centennial Broadcasting stations.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George G. Beasley said," "Beasley Broadcasting is committed to its long-term plan of achieving growth internally and through acquisitions, but not at the expense of shareholder value." "Unfortunately, the purchase of the stations from Centennial under the original terms of the agreement would have prevented us from maintaining the degree of fiscal discipline and economic performance we require."
Beasley has also switched the format of its Philadelphia WWDB-FM station from news-talk to 80's hits.
WWDB switched from all Talk to News-Talk some two years ago but dropped listeners to rival WPHT-AM who also took the Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rush Limbaugh shows from it.
The news was not as good on the Internet front, however, as Maine-based filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced an intended merger with New Jersey-based
The latter will bring to the deal cash plus its targeted ad insertion and proprietary "FM-quality" streaming technology and a client list that includes New Northwest Broadcasting, Nassau Broadcasting and Marathon Media.
BroadcastAmerica has some 750 streaming clients and a number of network alliances that include OneOnOne Sports, Talk Radio Network and Superadio but has run into cash problems.
If the deal proceeds to completion the new company, will have headquarters in Portland, Maine, and trade as
BroadcastAmerica President, COO, and founder John Brier said "BroadcastAmerica is the content leader for streaming traditional radio. has created a patent-pending player and ad insertion technology that is second to none."
"We believe the pairing of our two companies has tremendous potential to create the number one online radio experience on the Internet for both listeners and advertisers. "
"Once the new company is formed, I believe no other Internet destination will be able to offer our breadth of quality content with proven, targeted advertising, tailored to listeners' tastes and demographics."
Gordon J. Bridge, currently Chairman and CEO of, will become Chairman and CEO of the new BroadcastAmerica and Brier will remain President of the new company.
Under the planned deal, will provide around $1 million dollars of funding but neither it nor the new company will assume any liabilities of
The new company is estimated to be looking for some $7 million dollars in additional funding to pay operating expenses and claims from the old's pre-petition creditors.
Still in world and earlier this week, another online company, Hip-Hop and Latino entertainment portal Urban Box Office Network, laid off all its employees and declared bankruptcy Among its investors was because former AMFM Vice Chairman and Radio President Jimmy de Castro, now CEO of
Previous Beasley Broadcasting;
Previous Brier:
Previous Broadcast.America:
Previous Rush Limbaugh:
Previous de Castro;
Previous Dr Laura Schlessinger;
Previous RAB , US; :
Previous Ultimate:
Beasley web site;
BroadcastAmerica web site;
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RAB US web site;
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2000-11-08: More radio financial results and deals.
Regent Communications has reported a strong quarter and also announced a deal to sell three stations for $13.5 million to Concord Media Group.
Being sold are California stations KOSS-FM, licensed to Rosamond and KTPI-FM and KVOY-AM, licensed to Mojave and Tehachapi.
The sale is part of a strategy of selling Regent's Southern California clusters and acquiring radio stations in the larger markets of Albany, New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Regent acquired stations in these markets from Clear Channel as part of the latter's divestitures required to gain approval of its AMFM take-over.( RNW Aug 26).
Regent also reported a record third quarter and was bullish about the fourth quarter with Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs noting that Regent is driven primarily by local advertising and is "not dependent on national advertising or on the presence or absence of dot-com advertising."
For the third quarter, net revenues were up 76% on Q3 1999 to $11.7 million and broadcast cash flow was up 11% to $3.7 million.
Same station net revenues were up 11.7% and broadcast cash flow was up 25.9%. Over the first nine months, net broadcast revenues increased 71% to $29.8 million, station operating expenses were up to $20.6 million from $13.1 million and broadcast cash flow increased 109% to $9.2 million.
The company also reported that it has spent some $4 million in buying back around 770000 of its own shares at an average price of $5.22; Regent's board has authorised buy backs of up $10 million worth of shares in June.
In the UK, the GWR Group has reported half-yearly profits before tax down 24.2% to £6.9million from £9.1million.
Turnover for the six months to September 30 was up 23.7 % to £58.7million compared to 1999. EBITDA (net revenue less operating expenses and corporate expenses) for the group's existing businesses was up 24.5% to was £16.9million.
The fall in profits is linked to acquisition of the DMG radio group (the UK Daily Mail's radio assets- see RNW June 15) whose UK stations GWR chairman Henry Meakin said had delivered "been slightly below our expectations. "
So had the Australian stations acquired through the DMG deal where he said, "the expected boost to advertising revenues due to the Olympics did not arise outside Sydney causing the results for the three months of our ownership to be below our initial forecasts."
GWR spent £146 million on the DMG acquisition, which involved radio stations in Australia, Hungary and the UK.
Meakin said, regarding the Australian stations, the group was keeping under review the prospects of exercising our three year option to acquire the remaining 75% from DMGT."
In the UK, he reported, Classic FM has continued its growth in audience share (RNW Nov 3) and GWR has completed its £12.1million acquisition of the Marcher Radio Group(RNW July 15).
It has also sold 12 AM licences to UBC Media to comply with the regulator's ownership limits (RNW Sept 21).
On digital radio he reported GWR now had three local digital multiplexes (Coventry, Wolverhampton and Bristol) and had was part of an alliance with the Wireless Group, EMAP, Scottish Media Group and the Carphone Warehouse to bid for regional licences in the next round.
The group has also invested in an Internet local portal business under the brand name, which is now live in the Reading, Swindon and Bristol areas and will be rolled out to all GWR's regions over the next six months.
In Europe, he said Danubius is now the leading national station and Budapest station Roxy has shown good growth since its launch last year.
In Austria, GWR stations are operating consistently ahead of our plans.
Elsewhere Meakin reported a profitable trend from Classic FM in South Africa and in Australia, where the DMG deal gave GWR a 25% stake 58 Australian licences and the new Sydney FM licence.
Deakin said the latter " will be pivotal in establishing the base for a new network of major city licences.
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2000-11-08: The UK Guardian reports that Bob Jobbins, is to leave his post as BBC World Service director of English networks and news after 30 years with the corporation. He's to leave next spring and plans to move into media consultancy. Jobbins was for many years a correspondent, working mainly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He then moved into management as head of the BBC Arabic Service and later editor of World Service news and current affairs.
UK Guardian report:.

2000-11-07: Following on the heels of Chrysalis Radio (RNW Nov 5), UK Capital Radio has now come up with details of its first Internet audio station to be launched by its new media arm, Capital Interactive.
The site will be called Activa and will be targeted at women from 25-34 with music from such artists as Madonna, of George Michael and Tina Turner.
Two more stations are to follow, one for soul music devotees and the other for males who play computer games. The UK Guardian quotes Mark Frost, managing director of Capital Interactive, as saying of Capitals plans which could include hiving off the stations normal output in music genres which are accessible from its existing sites, "It's going to be a big change from what radio has been so far. We're aiming these products directly at desk potatoes." Capital has developed radio players based on Microsoft's Media Player.
The Guardian notes that it is entering a market dominated by US companies which have been able to gain copyright access to music through the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) whilst in the UK there is as yet no common licensing system which means that stations have to negotiate access with recording companies on an individual basis. RNW note: The Guardian is perhaps being a little naïve over the benefits of the RIAA as a single stop for copyright deals. There is still considerable controversy over its "SoundExchange" which it set up to collect royalties from online audio stations. SoundExchange was set up following the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in October 1998 the US. This required Webcasters to pay royalties going back to that date once a licence amount was settled which is now expected to be early next year. Some groups are concerned that the RIAA arrangement would give too much power to the big recording companies and there is also the question of the sums involved. Some reports suggest that the RIAA will want a payment per song, others that it wants a percentage of the web site's gross revenues. Whatever the outcome, and some organisations such as Yahoo, have concluded deals with the RIAA, most current sites are not making much, if any, profits at all and even a small per-song payment or percentage of gross revenues could lead to bankruptcy for many of them.
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2000-11-07: Looking ahead to the US Presidential elections, the Washington Post considers the future of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which regulates use of US airwaves.
Once in a relatively sleepy backwater, the FCC now has a much higher profile largely due to the combination of the de-regulation of the broadcasting and telecommunications industries and technological advance, particularly in the areas of the Internet and wireless communications.
Conventional wisdom is that the industry giants such as AT&T Corp Viacom and Walt Disney, which would like to see relaxation of regulations on how much a single company can own, would be in for an easier ride under George W. Bush than if Al Gore is elected.
The paper quotes Viacom President Mel Karmazin as saying that Republican administrations "tend to be more deregulatory."
He adds that that they have not "not heard the vice president express any interest in further relaxation of the ownership rules."
The paper also points out that the new president will be able to choose a new FCC chairman and notes that amongst the issues he will have to deal with is the release of more spectrum for third generation mobile (cell) phone use.
Most of the spectrum that could be used, says the paper, is already assigned to the military, and the Pentagon has signalled that it will not relinquish its rights without assurances that its own communications needs can still be met.
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Washington Post article

2000-11-06: A more positive response to Internet extras for radio than ours in November Comment from Paul Donovan in his UK Sunday Times column.
Referring to the BBC's use of a web camera to allow those listening to the Radio 4 Today show to see the presenters, he comments in a column entitled "Now you see it" on the "rash of new computer sites throughout the radio world."
Donovan writes about BBC plans and sites, including those for Radios 3, 4, and 5, noting that the last-named has sent out invitations to "an exclusive preview of the station's ground-breaking new online service" which is "set to be rolled out" next week as "the UK's first truly interactive radio station".
In an aside he also comments "where do these people learn their English?" This was much the sort of reaction we had to the news release concerning the launch of Puremix.Com (RNW Nov 5).
Donovan also comments on Atlantic 252's "pulsating" new web site and says "Radio is no longer about what used to be called "listening": the key thing now, in the words of Atlantic's boss, John O'Hara, is the "listening experience".
He then notes that,"online services are useful add-on extras - useful in attracting the interest of a younger audience, useful as a way of providing extra information."
But Donovan goes on to express a concern, namely to say," would it not be dreadful if radio started shaping its output to take account of visual appeal - hiring presenters for their looks rather than their voices, for example?"
RNW note: indeed it would and, as per November comment, radio taken neat has strengths that dilution with visuals can impair
After which, it seems relevant to look at his Irish colleague Declan Burke's column, entitled "Lingo Bingo" which deals with the use of language.
In his case the best way we can give the flavour of the column is just to quote the first few paragraphs.
"Is a banger a sausage, an old car or a firework? According to one listener who phoned Sportscall (RTÉ R1), it's what Tony Cascarino is after admitting he isn't as Irish as he thought he was, so shouldn't have played football for the republic 88 times."
"As Des Cahill, the host, explained, a banger is also what Dublin footballers call ineligible players.
On Making Waves ( RTÉ R1) Teri Garvey was somebody else who had to deal with shifting vocabulary, following listeners' complaints about offensive slang, common usage and abuse of grammar on RTE radio.
Professor Terry Dolan, the author of A Dictionary of Hiberno-English, and Noel Shiels, a former RTÉ archivist, debated whether Radio 1's programmers, editors and presenters are letting standards slip.
They condemned the affected pronunciation of "Dart speak" as Ireland's contribution to a homogeneous globalised language. It was fair comment, but the thrust of the complaints was that RTÉ radio increasingly resorts to substandard grammar and offensive language."
Burke goes on to quote a number of examples such as the call for a "fatwa" against Brian O'Doherty because of passages in his novel The Deposition of Father McGreevy. (The call was for condemnation not assassination) and ends with a delightful example of the way in which mangled syntax and grammar can come together to create a wonderful image.
The example was the revelation "courtesy of the Shadows bassist Jet Harris, that his fellow guitarists Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch fell out after a deliciously apt "riff" developed between them."
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2000-11-06: The broadcasting of "confessional" tapes by two Massachusetts DJs (RNW Oct 30) has led to calls from the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts for an investigation into whether the tapes violate state privacy laws.
The Boston Herald reports that, although management at WAAF-FM, Worcester, says the tapes were a hoax, DJs Rocko and Tom Birdsey have privately been saying they are authentic.
The two were taken off air for a few hours but no other action was taken against them. 'Catholic League executive director C.J. Doyle told the Herald even if it was "a scam, fraud or fabrication "the stunt could clearly encourage irresponsible persons to attempt to tape real confessions.
This, he said, could have "a chilling effect on this aspect of Catholic religious practice.''
Doyle said his group's legal counsel believes airing secretly taped confessions breaks Massachusetts privacy laws and could be punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and five years in prison.
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2000-11-05: Licence news this week.
In the US, where Congress has given up and taken a two-week break before a "lame-duck" session starting on November 13, the fate of Low Power FM (LPFM)still hangs in the balance. Although Senator Rod Grams Bill has been attached as a rider to the appropriations bill for the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce(RNW Oct 28), the bill itself is one of two appropriations bills which have not yet been passed.
If it is not passed, the issue will have to be dealt with by the 2001 Congress.
In Australia, the main news is the Australian Broadcasting Authority proposal for seven new non-commercial services in Adelaide (RNW Nov 2).
This will give the area a total of Six national radio broadcasting services, five commercial radio broadcasting services, six community and two open narrowcasting radio services
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been dealing with smaller stations.
In Manitoba it has approved the acquisition of the assets of CFIL-FM Gillam, CJEN-FM Jenpeg and CHGG-FM Limestone by the Communication Systems Design Engineer of Manitoba Hydro from Robert J. Hamlin.
The stations rebroadcast the programs of CJOB Winnipeg to serve workers at permanent work camps of Manitoba Hydro.
The CRTC has also approved in principle an application from Télémédia Radio Inc. to add an FM transmitter at Hawkesbury to rebroadcast the signal of French-language radio station CIMF-FM Hull.
However the Commission refused to allocate the requested channel on the frequency 107.7 MHz frequency following objections by various community stations who pointed out that this is the last Class A frequency available in the Hawkesbury region.
Télémédia now has two months to submit an amended application on a different frequency and other concerns raised by objectors about interference and the effect on the local radio market of Hawkesbury.
The CRTC has also renewed two licences.
One is for the Fort St. James Television Society, Fort St. James, British Columbia, to March 2007 which is to replace the CBC Radio One service with the CBS Radio 2 service.
The other is a conditional renewal for CJLB-FM Thunder Bay, from 1 March 2001 to 31 August 2004.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has given the go ahead for GWR's programme of acquisitiions and disposals (RNW Nov 1).
It has also conditionally awarded the new Independent Local Radio licence for a small-scale service on the FM waveband to serve the towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes and the immediately surrounding area to Compass FM.
The award is subject to a positive public interest determination which depends upon Compass agreeing to various conditions after which a formal assessment will be published.
On the digital licence front, the Authority has announced that it intends to award the local digital multiplex service licence for Humberside to the sole applicant, Emap Digital Radio Ltd, subject to resolution of some technical coverage matters. It is offering a total of 8 commercial channels, one full service and seven music channels, and also has to carry the BBC local radio service, Radio Humberside.
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2000-11-05: The UK's Chrysalis group has now launched its internet "radio station", which it breathlessly calls a "history-making web venture marking the launch of the UK's first ever personalised multi-channel Internet radio station."
Showing a need for a dictionary they also term it " the UK's most unique music and lifestyle destination."
In the company's news release Keith Pringle, co-founder says, "We've assembled one of the most experienced and talented media teams on the net. Together we've developed something special - puremix is the future of Internet radio".
The release lists a number of well-known companies from whom they say they're drawing talent and guest IJ's (Internet Jockeys) said to be "acclaimed, "legendary" and so on, words which in this case seem to be euphemisms for "not very well known."
After which a few less hyped lines about the venture which is to be the exclusive online music offering for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's PlayStation web site, and has signed strategic partnerships with Bertelsmann-backed BOL and Expedia.
Around £4 million is to be spent on marketing it the site which will sell music, books and film products. It will soon face competition from sites due from competitors Capital Radio and Virgin Radio.
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2000-11-04: Still more life for one old one this week; Paul Harvey, who is 82, has signed a ten-year deal with ABC Networks valued at around £100 million.
For the money he'll continue his news commentaries and The Rest of the Story features for ABC, with whom he's been for nearly 50 years.
The deal was called the biggest deal ever cut with a radio personality" by Traug Keller, ABC Radio Networks president, who described Harvey as "one of the most influential Americans of our time."
Harvey has some 18 million listeners each week making him the US's "most listened to" radio voice.
In his Chicago Sun-Times column, Robert Feder says that Harvey is still enthusiastic about his job quoting him as saying, "one of the most influential Americans of our time."
He also writes that Harvey considered three other offers but the main considerations were not the money but loyalty to ABC,
He quotes Harvey as saying the reasons were "the fact that I'm a reactionary and resist change. ABC has made me so comfortable in my little digs here on Michigan Avenue. Some of the other offers sought to move us elsewhere."
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2000-11-09:The UK radio industry is considering the idea of subsidising digital radio receivers to encourage take-up of new digital services.
They have set up a joint venture company, provisionally called the Digital Radio Development Bureau. To see how they can encourage a dramatic increase in digital receiver ownership.
The strategy would be similar to that adopted by mobile phone companies to boost their sales and could help to cut the price of sets to under half the £300 or so current minimum.
The companies would like to see receivers priced at around £120 and portable ones at around two thirds of this.
It is not yet clear how far the companies would consider any direct subsidy as opposed to offering free promotion to receiver manufacturer..
The radio companies in the UK are paying tens of thousands of pounds for licences for spectrum which can carry data as well as audio signals instead of the billions paid by the mobile phone companies.

2000-11-04: More deals and third quarter results from the US.
First the sale for a record price in Los Angeles of $250 million for a radio station.
On the block is KFSG-FM, which is being sold by The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in a cash deal with Spanish Broadcasting System.
And in a complicated swap, Radio Seaway of Cleveland, is selling the signal of WCLV-FM, one of the best known Classical stations in the US, for an undisclosed amount plus two new frequencies for its classical signal.
It will get the 1420 kHz frequency, which is licensed to Lorain, Ohio and currently carries WHK-AM, from Salem Communications and the 104.9 MHz frequency licensed to Canton, Ohio and which currently carries WAKS-FM, from Clear Channel.
Clear Channel in its turn gets Salem's WHK-FM, licences to Canton, Ohio, and Salem gets the 95.5 MHz signal of WCLV-FM.
And Radio One Inc has now announced that its finalised its take over Nash Communications' WILD-AM in Boston for which it will pay $5million in stock and cash.
Radio One, which owned WBOT-FM in Boston, already programmes both stations.
Radio One has also reported record third quarter results with broadcast cash flow up 86% compared with 1999 to $22.3 million.
Net broadcast revenue was up 78% to $42.9 and After-tax cash flow increased 154% to $17.0 million.
The company recorded a net loss for the quarter of $4.0 million, $0.05 per share, compared to a net income of $1.9 million, $0.04 per share, in the third quarter o last year.
This was the result of a $7.6 million tax provision following Radio One's acquisition of 12 stations from the Clear Channel-AMFM combination.
On a same station basis, net broadcast revenue was up 30%, and broadcast cash flow was up 20% compared to Q3, 1999.
Alfred C. Liggins, III, the company's CEO and President, said that now Radio One owned " a national platform of Urban radio stations, we expect to leverage it in various ways which should enable us to continue to post industry-leading growth rates while further allowing us to develop and acquire compelling programming such as we have with the Steve Harvey Morning Show in Los Angeles and the Russ Parr and Tom Joyner Morning Shows in Washington, DC and other markets."
Hispanic Broadcasting also reported strong results with broadcast cash flow up 22.3% to $30.3 million, net revenues up 23.9% to $64.9 million and after-tax cash flow up 24.1% to $23.7 million, all compared to Q3, 1999. Same station broadcast cash flow was up broadcast cash flow and net revenue was up 19.3% for the same period.
Mac Tichenor, President and Chief Executive Officer, said the results reflected Hispanic's "strong competitive position within the growing U.S. Hispanic market. "
Also in the Hispanic market, Spanish-language network Radio Unica reported third quarter revenues up 83% to $8.7 million for the quarter and EBITDA (loss from operations plus depreciation and stock option compensation expenses) was reduced by 62% to $1.2 million compared to Q3, 1999.
Joaquin F. Blaya, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "Given the national network that we have built, the continued dramatic improvement in our results and our strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to capitalise on the growing Hispanic market.
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Previous Radio 1 Inc
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2000-11-04: The question of the amount to be paid by Century Radio for transmission facilities has again been the main focus at the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence.
Gerry O'Brien, finance director of state broadcaster RTÉ, testified that the organisation felt under pressure to reduce charges following instructions from then Communications Minister Ray Burke.
Burke demanded a reduction in the fee, said O'Brien, at a meeting on January 5th, 1989, two weeks before applicants were due to make oral presentations and three weeks before the franchise award was announced.
In response to questions from Mr Justice Flood, he said that nobody "bit the bullet" and asked the minister what he wanted nor argued the issue with him even though RTÉ itself would have to bear costs if it lost money on the deal.
Six days after the meeting with Burke, added O'Brien, RTÉ executives met officials in Burke's department and a new charge of £692,000 was agreed in place of the previously proposed sum of £1.4 million, a sum later reduced by RTÉ to £614,000.
"As far as I was concerned, the negotiations for the national franchise were finished and agreed," O'Brien commented.
He added that, at a January 23 meeting with Century which had been awarded the licence five days earlier, the start-up date was discussed but no mention made of the charges which he assumed were "were written in stone."
In February, however, the Independent Radio and Television Commission wrote to the minister to say that Century felt the charges were too high and in March Burke cut them to £400,000.
O'Brien said he was "flabbergasted" at the "wholly distorted" figures suggesting RTÉ 's costs would be around £375000 a year which then Century director, James Stafford had provided to the Commission.
This letter and another from Century's chairman Laurence Crowley which set out details of the negotiations with RTÉ were included in the commission's request for a ministerial directive to have the fee lowered and O'Brien said some of Crowley's comments were completely untrue. The subsequent ministerial directive reduced the charges to under £400,000 and, added O'Brien, he also found out at RTÉ had to acquire the equipment for Century whereas beforehand he had expected them to buy their own.
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Previous Flood Tribunal
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Previous O'Brien;
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Irish Times report :.

2000-11-03: Troubled US health care web site,, launched by advice guru Dr. Drew Pinsky, who dispenses advice to teens on his nationally syndicated radio show ``Loveline'', has been bought by, started by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop.
DrKoop is paying 1.58 million shares of common stock and $150,000 in cash. It recently received a $20 million cash infusion, since when it has hired a new chief executive and cut back staff.
Previous Dr Drew :
New York Times/CNET report :

2000-11-03: Latest UK audience figures from Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) show that UK radio audiences have increased with the BBC taking an increased 51.4% share of listening in the period from June 26 to September 17. up from 51.1% in the previous quarter and 50.3% in the same period last year.
In reach (the number who listened not taking into account the time they listen), the BBC crept ahead of its commercial rivals with 31.17 million listeners a week compared to 31.15 million for commercial stations who in the last quarter were almost 500,000 ahead.
Of the BBC share 40.4% was from its network radio services, all of which except Radio 5 Live increased both share (time weighted listening) and reach. Radio 2 was the most listened to station with a 13% share, followed by Radio 4 with 11.2% and radio 1 with 11% although the last had the biggest weekly with 11.45 million listeners compared to 10.23 million for radio 2 and 9.18 million for Radio 4. Radio 3 had 2.01 million listeners and a 1.3% share whilst Radio 5 had a3.8% share with 5.37 million listeners, down some 400,000 on the previous quarter and 200, 000 on the same period of last year. Of the national commercial rivals, Classic FM' attracted a 4.2% share with 6.05 million listeners a week, some 150,000 down on the previous quarter; Virgin was almost unchanged for the quarter with a 1.7% share and 2.9 million listeners a week, down around 200,000 on the same period last year; TalkSport showed a small increase on the previous quarter in reach to 2.05 million a week, a 1.4% share and Atlantic 252 also had a small increase in reach to 1.51 million, an 0.7% share. On the local radio scene, the biggest development was the collapse in audience in London for the former BBC GLR station which has been re-launched as London Live under the streamlining of BBC London TV and radio services by current BBC Director of Television Mark Thompson who was then BBC head of nations and regions.
The new format is more news-oriented than the previous mix of music and talk; it dropped almost a quarter of its audience, to end up with a weekly reach of 234,000 listeners and an 0.6% share. Last summer GLR had a weekly audience of 295,000 and a 1.3-% share and in its final three months before the revamp the station had a reach of 404,000 and a 1.3-% share.
Jenny Abramsky, the BBC's Director of Radio and Music said the figures showed "that more people are listening for longer across all radio which is wonderful for the health of the radio industry as a whole. These excellent summer figures suggest that listeners appreciate our coverage of live events just as much as the million who attended Radio 1's summer events or the record numbers for the BBC Proms."
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BBC News release:
RAJAR web site (links to quarterly figures).

2000-11-03: The Delhi High Court has refused to grant Indian Zee group radio subsidiary, New Media Broadcasting, an interim judgement on its plea for the return of a deposit of 7.5 crore rupees (1 crore is 10 million: this is approximately $1.6million).
The deposit was made in connection with its winning bid for 29 Indian FM licences (RNW Nov 1) and the writ was filed after the group decided to pull out of the bidding for the licences.
Zee says that it opted out after the government changed the licensing rules at the last minute and that its view was that "earnest money" deposits could be forfeited only when the party was not abiding by the terms and conditions of a contract.
Zee felt it had not broken its agreement but the government had refused to negotiate and had sent a letter to the company that it would forfeit the money if it opted out of the race.
Its counsel was told that they could amend their petition and seek recovery of the money.
Indian solicitor general Harish Salve told the court, "Our understanding is that it is our (government) money. But if the court directs us to refund it we will have to abide by its order."
The hearing has now been adjourned until Monday.
Previous Indian Radio report:
Times of India/PTI

2000-11-03: Radio was responsible for only two of the ten complaints upheld by the BBC Complaints Unit in the third quarter of the year; in the previous quarter it was responsible for half the 8 complaints upheld.
The total number of complaints has remained almost static compared to last year at 159 compared with 156 Just over half concerned matters of fairness and accuracy and nearly all the rest related to taste and standards.
The complaints upheld were one concerning fairness and accuracy and one concerning taste.
The first of these involved an item, on the Radio 4 World This Weekend programme on July 30, which was broadcast in the "form" of a "leaked memo" to the Prime Minister on how to overcome public hostility to the euro currency. It attracted 20 complaints.
The intention was to use comments in the supposed memo as the basis of an examination of the political problems involved but the unit found that this was not made clear to all the listeners. The Unit found that this intention was not clear to all listeners.
The Unit notes that the following week's programme had included an explanation of the intention and apology for misunderstandings which had arisen.
The unit considered that this "was not a case of the programme intentionally taking sides, but of an original approach to the topic which did not quite come off."
The second complaint concerned a comment made on the Radio 1 Breakfast show with Sara Cox on August 4.
Wishing the Queen Mother a happy 100th birthday, Cox said to a live audience in Ibiza, "She smells of wee - but we love her".
A listener complained that this was a "disgraceful and highly offensive comment. "
The Unit found that this was a momentary lapse and noted that the Controller of Radio 1 spoke to Sara Cox after the programme and issued an unreserved public apology later the same day.
(RNW note-Only one complaint with an audience of millions? Maybe a lesson for someone here!)
Previous BBC:
Previous BBC Complaints:
Previous Sara Cox:
BBC news release (has links to full report).

2000-11-02: More strong third quarter radio results in the US.
Atlanta-based Cox Radio the fourth largest US network in terms of net revenues reported after tax cash flow up more than 25% up at $22 million for the quarter and up nearly 24% for the first nine months at $55million.
Net revenues were 19.2% up to $95 million for the quarter, up 22% to $ 266 million for the first nine months, compared to last year.
Broadcast cash flow was up nearly 22% to $40.5 million, 25.6% up over nine months to $105 million.
On a same station basis broadcast cash flow was up by 28.5% to $30 million and for the nine months up 31.0% to $73million.
Robert F. Neil, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are extremely pleased with our strong financial performance during the third quarter."
He added, "Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, we continue to see good advertising demand across our portfolio, with same station pacings, year over year, currently above 10%."
However the company has warned that, as a result of its acquisitions and disposals this year it will have invest a significant amount of time and resources in the fourth quarter of 2000 and early 2001 as a result of which it expected that for the fourth quarter pro forma net revenue is expect pro forma net revenue growth of 5% to 7% over fourth quarter 1999 to grow by 5% to 7% over the fourth quarter of 1999.
Cox isthe fourth largest US radio network in terms of net revenues and owns, operates or provides sales and marketing services for 81 stations in 17 market clusters in the US.
Cox also announced that it had formed a new unit, Cox Radio Interactive, to focus on its new media opportunities and manage its Internet assets.
Gregg Lindahl, the former President and COO of, will serve as the division's Vice President and will report directly to Neil. .
Cox's share price jumped by nearly 15% following the results.
Entercom's shares also jumped sharply, by around 25%, after its results showed after-tax cash flow up to $24.3 million for the quarter, representing an increase of 35% per share from $0.40 in Q3 1999 to $0.54 this year.
Net revenues were up 56% to $92.5 million for the quarter, up 68% to $260.3 million for the first nine months.
Broadcast cash flow was up 68% to $39 million for the quarter, up 93% to $105 million for the first nine months.
On a same station basis, net revenue was up 8% and broadcast cash flow was up 15%.
Privately held group Nassau Broadcasting reported revenue for the third quarter up 10% to $9.6 million, for the first nine months up 15 percent to $26.7 million.
Broadcast cash flow was up 17% to $3.4 million for the quarter and up 22% to $8.6 million for the first nine months.
Also in the US radio world, media giant Viacom which bought CBS earlier this year, has now revised its offer for the shares it does not own of CBS radio subsidiary Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
Infinity has agreed to the new offer which values each Infinity share at 0.592 of a Viacom Class B share.
The original offer in August was 0.564 of a Viacom share but a fall in share prices since August means that in cash terms each Infinity share is now only worth about $33 compared to $ 40 under the original offer.
Previous US Q3 results:
Previous Cox:
Previous Entercom:
Previous Infinity:
Previous Nassau:
Cox web site:
Entercom web site;
Nassau web site:

2000-11-02: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has been told that the company described state broadcaster RTÉ's estimate for transmitting its service as ridiculous and threatened to take the matter directly to the then Minister for Communications, Ray Burke.
RTÉ's finance director, Gerry O'Brien, said there was a "total blanket refusal to engage with us at all" in meetings with Century's co-founders, Oliver Barry and James Stafford in 1988 and at one meeting Stafford said, "We'll see what the minister says about it," RTÉ initially proposed a fee of £1.14 million but dropped its demand to over £600,000 following an intervention by Burke, who later directed that it be reduced to under £400,000.
The tribunal also heard evidence concerning plans to cap RTÉ's advertising revenue and divert some of its licence fee to the commercial broadcasting sector. Seamus O'Morain, a principal officer in the Department of Communications, said that the prime objective was to support the development of an independent broadcasting sector.
In May 1880 a decision was taken to divert £2 million per annum of RTÉ's income to the Independent Radio and Television Commission for the use of commercial broadcasters and Burke also proposed that RTÉ 2FM be changed from a music station to an education-oriented station devoted to matters such as farming, the Irish language, special interests and social welfare advice.
Both provisions were subsequently dropped.
Previous Barry:
Previous Burke

Previous Flood Tribunal:
Previous O'Brien :
Previous Stafford:
RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below:

Irish Times
--search page
Look for Flood Tribunal

2000-11-02: The Australian Broadcasting Authority proposes seven new radio services for Adelaide in Australia under a draft plan.
They are a new wide-coverage community radio service, three local services for the Adelaide Foothills, Barossa Valley and Port Adelaide regions, two new AM open narrowcasting services in Adelaide and one new FM open narrowcasting service in the Barossa Valley.
In addition the ABA proposes an increase in the power of the existing FM commercial services, 5ADD, 5MMM and 5SSA, from 16000 watts to 20,000 watts.
It also proposes an extension of the licence area and power increase for of the local coverage community radio service, 5PBA Salisbury, in order to improve reception.
The authority is also proposing that community radio service 5UV Adelaide switch from AM to FM.
No new commercial service is proposed although the Authority says it will consider this matter further in four years time.
Previous ABA:
ABA News release.

2000-11-01: The UK Radio Authority has now formally given the go ahead for the GWR Group's series of acquisitions which initially took it over the permitted 15% points limit on ownership of Independent Local Radio stations in the UK market.
This resulted primarily from its agreement to buy DMG Radio (RNW June 15).
Subsequently GWR agreed to sell 12 of the 17 stations in the its AM Classic Gold Network to UBC Media. (RNW Sept 21).
The authority says revised arrangements made by the companies involved following extensive discussions with it mean that they are now in accordance with the regulations.
It says the main issue was one of the definitions of "control" which involves other factors than just the level of shareholdings in a company.
In this case one crucial issue was the control of the Marcher Group licences where it was held that GWR effectively controlled the new company set up to run it despite only having a minority shareholding.
Another was the control Eastern Counties Radio Ltd. operators of Vibe FM, in which GWR has a 49.99% stake but where after changes DMG clarified its ongoing commercial interest in the running of ECR and GWR confirmed that it does not and will not have control over the programming output of Vibe FM.
The Authority was satisfied that GWR does not control Vibe FM for the purpose of the Broadcasting Acts and is therefore not prohibited from holding a minority interest and half the number of points for this licence will therefore be attributed to GWR.
In all the authority now says that GWR holds a total of 119.92 points, a 14.5% share of the UK commercial radio markets.
Previous UBC Media:
Radio Authority news release.

2000-11-01: Indian media giant Zee, whose radio company New Media gained 29 of the 108 licences allocated in the March auction for India's new private FM stations, has now gone to the country's High Court seeking a return of the 7.5 crore rupees (1 crore is 10 million: this is approximately $1.6million) deposited with the government as earnest money (EMD) and advance licence fees.
RNW Note - (1 crore is 10 million: this is approximately $1.6million) The petition hearing was adjourned until today.
According to the Times of India, Zee made the move -on the last day on which bank guarantees had to be paid for the licences - because it says the government has changed the rules at the last moment.
It says New Media, chief operating officer Deepak Shourie, told the Press Trust of India that, "We will not be taking part in the FM business now. "
"The government has changed rules of the game and repeated attempts to negotiate have failed."
"We have now asked for a refund of our EMD and advance licence fee."
The paper adds that other leading companies in the field such as Reliance and Nimbus are also rumoured to be opting out.
In the middle of the month five of the largest successful bidders alleged in a meeting with Broadcasting Minister Sashimi Sward that the government was not meeting all its obligations.
Attending the meeting were Zee TV-backed New Media which had the highest bid of Rs 89.1 ($118million) for 29 stations, the Observer Group (Rs 38.6 crore, $8.4 million), Nimbus (Rs 20.97 crore, $4.5million), the Jatiyas who had bid in the name of Hind Broadcasting and Bollywood Broadcasting (Rs 18.2 crore, $3.9million) and Dabur who bid in the name of Vertex Broadcasting (Rs 13.92 crore, $3million).
At the meeting the government agreed to give the companies an additional 15 days until October 30th to file their bank guarantees and sign their agreements after which they have to apply for frequencies to be allocated.
In all 29 successful bidders have paid advance licence fees of Rs 37 crore ($8million) and All India Radio was expected to get Rs 530 crore ($118million) in the first year from the auction of some 100 ten-year FM licences in 40 cities.
Some companies have already put forward their bank guarantees, including Radio MidDay, which had bid successfully in Mambai, Delhi and Chennai (Rs 20 crore;$4.3million), and Music Broadcasting - which bid for Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore, Patna, Nagpur and Mumbai (Rs 41.875 crore; $9million).
Only nine stations - six in Visakhapatnam and one each in Ahmeadbad, Srinagar and Calcutta - failed to attract bids over the reserve price during the auctions.
The government had asked all the successful get the necessary frequency allocation procedures in train by November 2 and to prepare to go on air within a year of the frequency allocation.
Previous Indian Radio report:
Times of India report :

2000-11-01: The continuing tensions at the Pacifica Radio network have erupted again with Amy Goodman, host of the daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!, filing harassment and censorship grievances against the network.
According to Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post, after meeting the Pacifica Board , Goodman said, "At a meeting that was supposed to be about reconciliation and how to work from here, they handed me a letter threatening me with termination."
Goodman had written a memo to the board which said that her show is being threatened because it is too controversial for Pacifica, which she says is losing its bite.
It is the desire of management to rein in and exert political control over 'Democracy Now! " she wrote.
"We are not only being censored for our critical coverage of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, but for giving voice to a growing grassroots movement that fundamentally challenges the status quo--people fighting sweatshops, police brutality, prison growth, and corporate globalisation."
Pacifica in a rebuttal on its web site says the memorandum was posted on the internet even before it was sent to those listed as its intended recipients and says that Stephen Yasko, Pacifica's national programming director has not at any time "dictated, vetoed or otherwise interfered with Ms. Goodman's choice of topics or their presentation."
It says that none of its station managers have attempted to censor Democracy Now! or dictate its content and the same standards have been applied to Amy Goodman and other programme employees nor has Pacifica attempted to improperly limit her free speech.
Previous Ahrens:
Previous Pacifica conflict:
Pacifica web site -links to rebuttal:
Washington Post article:

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RNW November Comment - following our earlier two months on technological change, reflects on radios benefits as an aural medium.

RNW October Comment
Following on our September comment on Internet audio looks at the potential of two other new technologies, digital and satellite radio.
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2000-11-30: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) is proposing seven new radio services, including a new commercial FM station, for Perth in plans just released.
As well as the commercial service it proposes new local community services for the Armadale and Kalamunda regions and four new open narrowcasting services, two of them AM and two FM.
the ABA is also proposing other changes to increase the reception of existing Perth commercial stations 6IX and 6PR and to allow existing community AM radio services 6AR and 6NR to convert to FM.
Previous ABA
-links to plan (770 kb Acrobat PDF)

2000-11-30: UK Capital Radio says it will stick by DJ Chris Tarrant who was said by bankers UBS Warburg to have become a symbol of its problems.
The bank slashed its profit forecasts for Capital and changed its stock recommendation from "buy" to "reduce", commenting that its flagship London station needs to make major changes to attract its desired audience.
Capital has seen its ratings lead reduced over recent years and in this month's Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) ratings was just overtaken by rival Kiss FM for the 16-24 year old demographic, although overall it was still well ahead.
The station has already changed its evening line-up after research showing that many of its older listeners stitched off in after around 7p.m.
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous RAJAR:
Previous Tarrant:

web site
(links to quarterly figures).

2000-11-30: More US radio business news, starting with the purchase by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen of US sports radio network. One-on-One Sports Inc.
No details were given of the price of the purchase, which is being made by Allen's investment company Vulcan Ventures Inc.
Vulcan will fold One-on -One into The Sporting News which is owned by Allen's Wired World and re-brand it as The Sporting News Network.
Allen bought the St Louis based Sporting News, the oldest sports publication in the US, in February.
One-on-One produces and distributes sports radio programming and also owns three radio stations, WJWR-AM620 in New York; KMPC-AM in Los Angeles and WNRB-AM in Boston.
It also operates a fourth, WJKL-FM in Chicago through a Local Management Agreement (LMA).
In other deals, giant Clear Channel, which operates WDKS-FM in Evansville, Indiana, through an LMA, is to buy the station for $7 million from Newburgh Broadcasting Corporation.
In a rather bigger deal, Bonneville International is buying classical station WNIB-FM, Chicago and its simulcast partner WNIZ-FM in Zion, Illinois for a sum rumoured to be above $150 million.
Also in Illinois, Hooterville Broadcasting Inc is selling WHPO-FM, Hoopeston, to Market Street Broadcasting for $900,000. Further West, Secret Heart Radio is paying $3.2 million to HHH Broadcasters for KBLE-AM Seattle, bought by HHH recently for $2.85 million.
And in Vermont, Vox Radio Group is adding to its cluster through a swap deal. It will gain WWFY-FM in Berlin from Bulmer Communications for $775,000 and WDOE-AM & WBKX-FM Dunkirk-Fredonia, New York.
Previous Bonneville:
Previous Clear Channel:

Previous Radio Deals:

2000-11-30: Veteran BBC correspondent Conrad Voss Bark, who joined the Corporation from the Times in 1951 and broadcast parliamentary reports for some 20 years, has died aged 87.
He started in journalism as a sub-editor and was known for being able to take concise notes of complex debates and broadcast live from his shorthand notes although once he went on air saying he couldn't read his shorthand. Instead of criticism it elicited many calls of sympathy. After he left the BBC, Voss Bark worked in public relations for a while then re-joined the Times as fly-fishing correspondent. He held the post for 12 years and wrote a number of books on the subject.
UK Guardian obituary:

2000-11-29: Three sets of legal proceedings in the US of specific interest to radio and broadcasting today.
One is the big case, the Supreme Court hearing into the US elections where microphones and cameras have been banned.
The Radio-Television News Directors' Association (RTNDA) has asked for the ban to be reconsider but this seems unlikely, especially as US Chief Justice William Rehnquist has long opposed broadcast cover of federal court cases.
The second is the start of proceedings in a federal court in Washington DC over Low Power FM. The court is hearing pleas from proponents of LPFM who want the restrictions on it relaxed and from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which wants LPFM stopped in its tracks.
And lastly, a US Copyright Office ruling is expected this week on whether Internet streaming organisations, including broadcasters who simply send out their on-air signal, must pay royalties to the record companies.
The ruling is sought by the Recording Industry Association of America, which also wants to be the organisation to distribute any payments.
The Copyright Office, part of the Library of Congress, is also considering whether surveys of customers' musical tastes make a broadcaster using the Internet "interactive" and subject to even more fees.
Around 4000 US radio stations transmit over the Internet and radio stations contend that existing exemptions from royalties for over-the-air broadcasts also cover their Internet transmissions.
"What the music industry is trying to do is saddle broadcasters with new fees that Congress has always exempted us from paying," said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.
"It could cost broadcasters millions of dollars and would probably cripple or seriously impair the streaming of radio signals over the Internet."
Previous LPFM:
Previous NAB:
Previous RTNDA:
Bloomberg/New York Times Previous RIAA on streaming royalties:

2000-11-29: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has heard the former solicitor to co-founder Oliver Barry testify how he was told of a £35,000 cash payment to the then broadcasting minister Ray Burke.
Solicitor Enda Marren said his recollection was that he was told of the money during a lunch in June 1989, during the period of the Irish general election.
"I think he just happened to tell me over lunch," Marren said.
"My understanding was that he said `I've given £35,000' and my understanding was that it was a personal contribution."
Marren also said in response to questions that he knew of negotiations about the Century contract with the Independent Radio and Television Commission but not with Irish State broadcaster RTÉ, which was to provide transmission facilities.
He was not aware, he said, that the minister had anything to do with the contract.
Asked if Barry had ever said anything about why he didn't get a receipt for the money, Marren said he did not think that Barry ever said anything about re-couping the money from Century.
"The question of a receipt never arose. He told me he paid in cash," said Marren.
He added that Barry had told him the payment was made in the minister's office and that he had not asked Barry why it was a cash payment.
Marren also testified in reply to questions that he had not been aware of the involvement in Century of businessman and son-in law of former Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey, John Mulhern, an equal shareholder with Barry and fellow co-founder James Stafford, until told by Barry after Century went into liquidation.
Previous Barry:
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Century:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
Previous IRTC:
Previous Mulhern:
Previous RTE:
Previous Stafford;

RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-11-29: BBC Radio 5 Live has won another round in its battle against commercial rival TalkSport and signed a three-year exclusive deal to continue live cover of UK Premier League Football from next season.
Under the deal it will increase its coverage from 120 to 180 matches a season.
The BBC will pay £42 million over the three years for the rights compared to the £15 million it paid for its current three-year deal.
TalkSport won a consolation prize with the rights of access to matches to provide scores in 30 second slots.
TalkSport Chief Executive and UK Wireless Group head, Kelvin MacKenzie said they were pleased to gain access to the Premier League and would be back in the race for full rights in three years.
Radio 5 has been in a continuing fight for rights against TalkSport and also has rights to the FA Cup and England Soccer internationals, Wimbledon Tennis and the Open Golf in its portfolio.
Previous BBC:
Previous MacKenzie:
Previous TalkSport:
BBC News release:

2000-11-28: Catholic Radio Network has now managed a fifth sale in its network disposal. It's selling KCNW-AM Kansas City for $725,000 to Wilkins Communications Network, a Religious radio group that already has stations in six markets.
Catholic Radio Network still has three properties left WPYA-AM in Philadelphia, the right to acquire the expanded band facility of KDIA-AM San Francisco and KPLS-AM Los Angeles.

Previous Catholic Radio Network Previous radio deals:
2000-11-28: BBC Radio 1 has announced a re-vamp of its weekday programming to start in February after Simon Mayo leaves the channel to move to BBC Radio 5 live.
Mayo, who has been with Radio 1 for 14 years, makes his last broadcast for Radio 1 on Friday February 16; he then takes a break before presenting the Radio 5 afternoon show from May.
Under the new Radio 1 schedule, Scott Mills runs an extra half hour into breakfast territory and Sara Cox starts later at 7 a.m. but gets an extra hour at the end of her show.
Jo Whiley then follows with a new mid-morning show, which hands over to Mark and Lard at 1300 local time.
Elsewhere at the BBC, the unions are discussing further industrial action at BBC World Service following the weekend's strike (RNW Nov 27). A meeting is to be held later in the week to consider their next move.
Previous BBC:
Previous Cox:.

Previous Mayo:
BBC Radio 1 site:

2000-11-28: A study of the Australian Commercial Radio Industry for the twenty years from 1978-1998 shows that four fifths of metropolitan stations and three-fifths of regional ones changed hands in the 1990's after the country's regulatory regime was changed.
The study by the Australian Broadcasting Authority was compiled from information supplied to it by licensees and provides an overview of the way the industry has developed over the two decades.
Historically, Australia saw a jump in the number of radio stations before the Second World War followed by a period when the population rose faster than the number of stations.
More recently, however, the issue of new licences has reversed this trend with some 70 new regional licences being issued since 1996 when a new Broadcasting Act started to take effect.
Licence plans for metropolitan areas could now see the first appreciable increases in station numbers in these markets since FM operations started in the 1970s.
Looking at the financial prospects for stations, the report notes that radio revenues over the period rose at around 3.3% annually, roughly the same rate as Australia's gross domestic product but television revenues grew by around 5% per annum.
Radio's share of the combined radio and television advertising revenues was around 23% in 1987-8 and only 18% ten years later.
The study also notes that in profit terms FM stations generally outperformed AMs and metropolitan stations outperformed regional ones.
Looking at stations in asset terms, the report says station licences, often obtained for negligible amounts, comprised nearly 96% of total intangible assets which (in 1997-8 values) peaked at Aus$1801 million in 19817-88, fell to a low of Aus$458 million after the depression of the early 90's and by 1997-8 had only risen to $837 million.
Overall, it says, the industry has borrowed against the value of the radio licences.
Towards the end of the period, in June 1998, Australia had 212 commercial radio stations, half AM and half FM.
Looking at the industry in terms of tangible assets, it says that profits before interest and taxation for regional stations in the late 1980s produced lower returns than the long-term bond rate indicating that owners could have had almost no risk and better returns by getting out of the business.
After the recession, returns were here higher than bond-rates.
Metropolitan stations showed massive variations in returns with top rating metropolitan FMs showing strong returns and some bottom rating ones showing losses.
Looking at advertising revenue the report says that the study shows that new regional stations have not significantly added to the industry's revenues but have re-distributed existing regional revenues.
It also notes that larger networks benefited from a higher proportion of national advertising.
Non-networked radio stations and licensees in a regional-only network took on average less than a quarter of their advertising revenue from bookings by national agencies as opposed to nearly half for metropolitan-based networks and more than half network owners with radio stations in both metropolitan and regional markets.
The study also shows greater returns in general from stations following a take-over.
It comments, "This result could be associated with the observed superior operating performance of multiple stations in given markets and with the observed superior performance of broadly based (i.e. metropolitan and regional) networks."
"This also indicates that there is a decrease in expenditure of stations in networks and their affiliates compared to radio stations owned on an individual basis."
Previous ABA:
ABA website -links to report (500kb Acrobat PDF)

2000-11-27: After all the goodwill last week, a lot less this both from radio stations and in the US military at least towards callers to them.
The latter courtesy of Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post who started his column with the words, "Lesson to the U.S. Marines guarding Camp David: If there are girlie mags on the grounds of the presidential retreat, keep it to yourself."
" At the very least, don't call a radio station with the news. It could cost you your job. "
The story was about a caller to a DC chat show, which had been interviewing Paula Jones of Clinton sexual harassment fame who had posed nude.
The man concerned mentioned he'd seen the magazine "where he worked" and then, when asked where, said he was a guard at Camp David.
Foolishly, or honestly, it appears that the caller put his hand up when his commander asked who had phoned the station -and has now been transferred for his pains.
And the less charitable item , courtesy of Robert Feder at the Chicago Sun-Times who noted that Clear Channel, which now owns smooth-jazz station WNUA-FM, has decided to pull the plug on its children's charity, the WNUA Cares for Kids Foundation.
The foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and Feder quotes Terry Hardin, vice president and general manager of WNUA, as saying he believes the station actually may increase its largesse by getting out of the side business of charity administration.
Perhaps so! Or maybe something to diary to ask Hardin about in a year's time!
But on to something entirely different, this time in the form of comments from Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times on what he describes as a "welcome piece of censorship (they call it editing, of course)." He is commenting upon some of the material cut out of comedy shows on the BBC, either because they exploit ethnic stereotypes or might cause offence. Donovan gives some examples, one being an exchange containing a scene in which a character telephones a sex shop. " "Hello? This is the Doctor. I'm ringing up because I ordered a sonic screwdriver and you seem to have sent something else altogether. It's ridged, and a bit knobbly and, er, I don't quite know what it is, but I'm sure it isn't a sonic screwdriver ..."
As Donovan says it got a laugh from the audience at the London School of Economics, where it was being recorded.
But he was glad it was not include when he was listening with his family, including two young girls, to the show being broadcast in the early evening the next day.
He comments about being fortunate not having to explain the joke and then says the pendulum has swung back and forward over the years.
Currently, he says, "It looks as if the new boss, Helen Boaden, will continue to err on the side of caution, and rightly so. She is keen to encourage children back to the radio, and has no wish to alienate their parents."
The shows he cites, says Donovan, "exemplify radio comedy's key strengths: puns, mimicry, wordplay, caricature, topicality."
"But both," he concludes, "will continue to benefit from astute producers."
Previous Ahrens
Previous Boaden:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Columnists
Previous Donovan:
Previous Feder:
Previous Hardin;
Ahrens Washington Post column;
Donovan Sunday Times column:
Feder Chicago Sun-Times column:.

2000-11-27: BBC World Service English language broadcasts are now back to normal following the weekend's strike by unionised journalists in the service's London Newsroom which disrupted English language news services.
The UK National Union of Journalists wants a pay increase for night work, a reduced-working week for night workers and a reduction from 55 to 50 as the age at which staff can choose not to do night work.
During the strike, which involved some 200 journalists who walked out from 1600 GMT on Saturday, the service was largely manned by managers.
It broadcast truncated news bulletins but some of the longer English language news programmes such as the "World Briefings" were lost.
Other language services were not affected and the strike, originally planned to last 48 hours, was ended early to allow cover of the US election saga.
Previous BBC:

2000-11-27: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio has been told that Century Radio, which went bankrupt, could have been made to work.
The comments came in testimony at the end of last week from former Century chief executive Michael Laffan who said the company had needed a steadier hand at board level and criticised the directors for being too involved in day-to-day matters.
Laffan, who became chief executive in May 1989 with a three year contract but left after only nine months, said that when he joined the company he had understood from founding directors Oliver Barry and James Stafford that funding would not be a problem. However, he continued, he had to cut costs by some 40% within five or six weeks of the station going to air.
He referred to panic among the directors and said, "I believe the business could have been made to work if there had been a much steadier hand on the tiller at board level."
"I've never experienced directors so involved, and I've been an MD in four companies".
On negotiations about transmission facilities involving state broadcaster RTÉ Laffan said that RTÉ did not welcome Century as a competitor.
"There was a degree of anger and frustration which always seemed to bestride the discussions between Century and RTÉ, " he said.
The hearings continue this week.
Previous Barry
Previous Century
Previous Flood Tribunal:
Previous Laffan:
Previous Stafford:
RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-11-26: Licence news this week; and the main regulatory story is the decision by the Australian Broadcasting Authority to introduce new standards on the commercial radio industry in Australia up to 2003 (RNW Nov 23 ).
The standards, unlike industry codes, are part of licence conditions. At the end of the period it expects stations to have developed their own codes.
The decision follows the cash-for-comment enquiry running from last year into this year and subsequent imposition of special conditions on the licence of Sydney 2UE, the station at the centre of the enquiry.
In effect the authority has now imposed similar conditions upon all commercial stations in Australia.
The ABA has also announced that it is to auction the new commercial licence for Melbourne, for which it has received three applications, on December 14.
There is a reserve price of Aus$500,000 for the licence although much more is expected as the new Sydney licence awarded earlier this year (RNW July 25 ) fetched Aus$155 million and even the Campbelltown one fetched Aus$10 million.
In Canada, things have been fairly quiet with only a number of fairly minor radio changes for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
They include a power increase for Rogers Broadcasting's CJMT-FM Canmore, Ontario, from 360 watts to 510 watts allied with a transmitter relocation and an amendment to the licence of CJRT-FM Inc., Toronto, regarding the amount of paid advertising it is allowed.
CJRT-FM may now broadcast up to 504 minutes a week of paid advertising with a maximum of four minutes per hour.
A slightly more contention decision was to allow Rogers Radio in British Columbia to delete from the licence of CKVX-FM Chilliwack conditions requiring all studio facilities to be sited outside greater Vancouver.
The conditions had been put on the licence when Star Radio, owner of what was then CKSR-FM, had been allowed to move a station transmitter to Mount Seymour which gave it coverage over Vancouver.
The station is licensed to offer a locally oriented radio service to audiences in the Fraser Valley but the Commission accepted Roger's assurances regarding local cover and arguments that, following a format change to "modern alternative rock", it needed "access to greater technical resources and to more extensive and advanced studio production facilities to fully implement the new format and other programming enhancements."
There were objections from other broadcasters who argued that CKVX-FM could not properly serve the Fraser Valley from downtown Vancouver and claimed that the change would establish CKVX-FM as a Vancouver station without a public hearing.
They also that allowing Rogers to locate CKVX-FM's studios in Vancouver could set a precedent that could jeopardise the future of local radio services, particularly those in cities adjacent to major markets.
In the UK, London has been the main centre for activity.In Lndon, The Radio Authority has renewed Sunrise Radio's AM licence for eight years under legislation that makes this automatic if the station is providing a programme service on the relevant local digital multiplex.
Sunrise is on the first London digital multiplex.
In addition the authority has now announced that it is advertising a third London digital multiplex licence. This licence is the final digital planned for London and will serve an area with an adult population of around 8.5 million; its area is slightly less than that of the first two multiplexes.
The licence will run for 12 years and is expected to be awarded next summer. Applications, including a non-refundable £25000 deposit, have to be submitted by March 13.
The authority has also announced that it received three applications for the new local radio licence for Warminster in West Wiltshire. They are from Pride FM, WCR Community Radio Ltd and White Horse Radio Ltd.

Previous ABA
Previous CRTC:
Previous Licence News;
Previous Rogers
Previous Sydney 2UE:

Previous UK Radio Authority:

CRTC website :
UK Radio Authority website:

2000-11-26: The BBC is to expand its Asian Network into five new areas next week.
It will broadcast the service using the medium wave (AM) transmitters of local radio stations BBC Radios Cambridgeshire, Derby, Lancashire, Leeds and Sheffield, mainly in evenings and at weekends.
The service, which began four years ago, has so far been broadcast in Leicester and the Midlands.
The new services are part of a planned expansion announced by the BBC at the end of September (RNW Sept 29 ).

Previous BBC
2000-11-26: The Irish Times reports that one consortium formed to bid for the new Cork licence in Ireland (RNW Nov 19), proposes to invest some £2.6 million in the station.
The Maryknoll consortium, which is applying for a licence as KiX FM with a format mainly of pop and dance music, would
The licence is to be awarded by the Independent Radio and Television Commission in February, following oral hearings with short listed applicants.
Previous IRTC :
Irish Times
--search page
(Look for Cork and Nov 25)
2000-11-25: Pioneering Canadian DJ Red Robinson has made his final broadcast after 46 years in the business.
He first went on air from a Vancouver hotel ballroom in November 1954 and in the early days bought his own records by black performers at a segregationist time when to play them was courting potential trouble.
During his career he interviewed stars such as Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison.
Robinson made a start aged 15, helping at CJOR in Vancouver following hoax telephone calls.
In the first he convinced the host Al Jordan that he was actor James Steward but he got his break when he was invited in after failing to make the grade as Humphrey Bogart.
When Jordan left, Robinson was given a try-out from which he never looked back, although he didn't give up on the hoaxes.
One of his best known was on the eve of April Fool's day in 1958 when he enticed some 10,000 people to the Vancouver shore looking for a whale, which he had reported, beached.
He announced the hoax by playing Kirk Douglas singing "Whale of a Tale."
Robinson left Canada for the US in the late 50's, serving in the US military and hosting a radio and television show in Portland, Oregon.
After his return to Canada in 1961 he resumed his career but in 1969 moved over to become operations manager at CJOR for a while.

2000-11-25: The UK Chrysalis Group, which is the fourth radio network in the country and operates the Heart and Galaxy Radio stations, has reported a full year profit for the first time in six years.
However, it expects to be in the red again for the next financial year because of planned new media investment of £18 million.
Overall profits for the year to the end of August were £1 million before tax compared to a loss of nearly £6 million in the financial year to August 1999.
Richard Huntingford, the managing director who is to become chief executive from next month, said they were " excellent results across all our businesses, with all the major divisions we have been building now in profit."
The group's radio division performed particularly well with a 35% increase in sales to £37 million and operating profits at £5 million compared to £700,000 in 1999.
The company's oldest station, Heart FM in the Midlands, which was awarded its licence in 1994, has been at the top in its market for the last two years and delivered its best ever audience figures this year with a weekly reach of 26% and market share of 11.8%.
It is now the UK's largest commercial station outside London.
The company's other Heart station( in London) marked its fifth anniversary in September 2000 and is now the second most popular commercial station in Chrysalis's 5-station Galaxy chain had a 64% growth in revenue during the year, 33% growth on a like-for-like basis.
The company is planning continued expansion in radio and intends to apply for analogue licences in the East Midlands, with a Galaxy format, and Yorkshire with an adult rock format.
It is also involved in digital licence applications through its membership of the MXR consortium (RNW July 26).
It may also purchase stations if the opportunity arises.
Chris Wright, Chrysalis chairman and co-founder, said: "We will continue to outperform the radio industry. We are very well placed in the intervening period before new legislation to grow our businesses, whether organically or through acquisitions."
On the Internet, the company launched Chrysalis Radio Online covering all its sites at the start of the financial year and has recently launches a new site, (RNW Nov 5).
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Chrysalis site: .

2000-11-24: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first commercial national licence to Century Radio, which later went bankrupt, has been told that at its launch finances were in such a parlous state that its head of finance asked for the launch party to be scaled down.
Noreen Hynes, who joined Century in June 1989, said that co-founder and director James Stafford agreed to the reduction but that in the end more was spent than should have been on the party in September of that year.
She said that by November 1989 Century's net assets were less than half of its called-up share capital, so an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders was required unless more investment was found.
She had told the company solicitor that an investment of £1.6 million was needed.
Hynes added that when she left the company in August 1990 she still hadn't received information about the breakdown of the share capital account, in spite of requests for this, and didn't know who was putting money into the company nor could she recall getting details of the expenses incurred by the directors.
She agreed with the assessment by the company chairman, Laurence Crowley, who was seeking a 20% cut in spending, that the gap between income and expenditure was dramatic.
Hynes also testified that she had asked several times regarding a sum of £26,250, listed as an expense in Century's accounts but never received one.
There had been earlier testimony from businessman Paschal Taggart that how he fronted a secret application by Century Radio for a Dublin radios licence, in breach of regulations requiring the disclosure of all investors.
Taggart said Century co-founder Oliver Barry asked him in late 1988 to front an application for a Dublin licences.
Taggart acknowledged that he was aware of the requirement by the Independent Radio and Television Commission that all investors in an application for a licence be identified and said he was "not naive" about the reasons for the nondisclosure.
Taggart said that he put forward financial projections of £1.25 million for the station, which displeased Barry, who was putting forward a sum of £500,000 for running costs for the station.
Taggart said, "I couldn't believe anyone could put forward a figure of £500,000 to start a radio station in any shape or form."
"He wasn't up to speed on the cost of running a Dublin radio station, so I wasn't surprised he didn't get it right for the national station."
Previous Barry:
Previous Century
Previous Crowley:
Previous Flood Tribunal
Previous IRTC:
Previous Stafford:
RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
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2000-11-24: New York's schools chancellor wants to turn the running of the city Board of Education radio and television stations to WNYC and WNET according  to the New York Times.
The plans are part of a plan for streamlining education board operations which was called for after Mayor Giuliani proposed selling the board headquarters which he said would force it to reduce bureaucratic bloat .
New York Times article:

2000-11-24: More radio deals, this time starting with the UK where Ulster Television is making its first move into radio and the Wireless Group is negotiating with Dutch company Delta Radio for a share in its planned offshore station.
In the Irish deal, Ulster is to pay Ir£28.5 million (£21.7 million) for County Media which operates three Fm's in the Cork area in the Republic of Ireland, as well as owning a Cork weekly free newspaper and a Dublin-based advertising sales operation.
Ulster, which will finance the deal through its own resources and bank borrowing, will also take over County Media's debt of some £2.3 million.
The other UK deal, being negotiated by the Wireless Group, does not include cash but instead would give the group a third of Delta Radio in return for managing Delta's programming and airtime sales.
Delta's station, The Lounge, will have the same format as the Wireless Group's easy listening digital output and is due to go on air in 2002 from a facility to be built off the Dutch coast using a long-wave frequency licensed by the Dutch government.
In the US, giant Clear Channel is again in among the deals. In South Carolina, it is paying Sutton Radiocasting Corporation $1.4 million for WCRS-FM in Greenwood, which has approval from the Federal Communications Commission to move to nearby Mauldin.
Clear Channel is also adding another station in California.
This time it's paying Golden Pegasus Financial Services Inc. $1.4 million for KAFY-AM, Bakersfield. Clear Channel already owns an AM and four FM's in Bakersfield.
Golden Pegasus, which acquired KAFY-AM and KZPM-AM earlier this year for $825,000, is retaining KZPM-AM.
And in West Palm Beach, Florida, Clear Channel is selling WBZT-AM to James Crystal Enterprises for $2million.
Clear had to divest itself of a station in the market to allow its purchase from James Crystal Enterprises for $17 million of WJNA-AM & WRLX-FM
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous FCC:
Previous radio deals:

Previous Wireless Group:

2000-11-23: US based satellite audio broadcaster WorldSpaceCorporation has launched 22 radio channels for India in alliance with domestic broadcasters including All India Radio and Radio Mid-Day.
Receivers for the channels, eight of which will carry Indian content, will be on sale for prices of some 4000-9000 rupees ($200-$450) and the company hopes to sell some 250,000 of them by the end of next year.
The launch of the service, which also carries international channels such as those of the BBC, has become possible because of the licensing of private FM stations in India.
WorldSpace provides its services from geo-stationary satellites, AfriStar and AsiaStar and is to launch a third, Ameristar, next year (RNW March 26)
Previous All India Radio:
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Radio MidDay:
Previous WorldSpace
WorldSpace web site:

2000-11-23: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has now heard its first evidence from the then-chairman of the regulatory commission who awarded the licence, former Irish Supreme Court judge Séamus Henchy. He began by insisting that the tribunal had not been authorised by the Irish parliament, the Dáil, to inquire into the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission but then did give evidence although most of it seemed to comprise an inability to recollect details or "yes "or "no" answers to readings of previous testimony.
Henchy insisted that he knew nothing of any payments to the then minister for communications, Ray Burke, who had appointed him IRTC chairman in October 1998.
He also said that it was a matter of "no importance" that the minister had nominated the accountants, lawyers and bank used by the Commission but that he had not known about the nomination.
Henchy also said that he had not dealt with the banking side of the Commission's activities but that the minutes showed that the bankers were the Ulster Bank and added that the IRTC did most of its banking at the bank's Baggot Street branch.
Tribunal lawyer Des O'Neill SC pointed out that in fact the bank appointed was the Dublin Airport branch which dealt with the IRTC's overdraft and whose manager had already given evidence. Henchy testified that Burke had accused the IRTC of "intransigence" for insisting that Century met its full obligations to provide news and Irish-language programmes from the start of its broadcasts. On the question of transmission fees, he said that Century was not asked a prepared question about transmission fees because it would be unfair to ask the station if it would "throw in the sponge" if the fees were not reduced.
Also testifying on the question of transmission fees to be levied by state broadcaster, former IRTC secretary Seán Connolly said that the commission had a "total anxiety" to get Century on the air.
It was clear that Century had reached "the end of the line" in its negotiations on transmission charges.
He also testified that he had heard first rumours that broadcasting licences could be obtained by paying money some years after the award of the licences and that that he was not aware of any commission member receiving any payments.
Previous Burke
Previous Century
Previous Connolly:
Previous Flood Tribunal
Previous Henchy
Previous IRTC

Previous O'Neill:

RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
--search page

2000-11-23: The Australian Broadcasting Authority is to introduce new programme standards for Australian commercial radio following the cash-for-comment enquiry which had already led to it imposing conditions on the licence of Sydney station 2UE (RNW March 28).
The conditions placed on the licence ran for 3 years to April 2, 2003, and the Authority will now introduce three new standards for the whole industry running from January 15 next year until the same end date.
2UE will have to meet the new standards as well as the conditions imposed specifically in its licence.
The standards relate to the 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 commercial radio licensees.
The authority says it expects the industry to develop and submit to the ABA its own codes to operate after the standards expire. The ABA chairman, Professor David Flint, commented that, "In its commercial radio inquiry, the ABA found a systemic failure to ensure the effective operation of self-regulation."
"There was, if not an ignorance of the commercial radio codes of practice, little commitment to them as the guiding force in the presentation of current affairs on commercial radio."
"The Authority concluded that the codes were not operating there to provide appropriate community safeguards."
"The ABA has therefore put in place a period of more direct regulation. This is to be done through three standards."
"Unlike the codes, these will operate as conditions on a broadcaster's' licence.. A breach can lead to enforcement action."
Previous ABA:
Previous cash-for-comment:
Previous Flint:
Previous Sydney 2UE:
ABA website :

2000-11-22: Sirius Satellite Radio has now announced the launch date for the final satellite of its three-satellite constellation.
Sirius 3 is to be sent up from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 19:59 GMT on November 30.
The company's other satellites are already successfully in orbit; Sirius-1 was launched on June 30 and Sirius 2 on September 5.
Rival XM's first satellite is due to be launched in December.
Both broadcasters expect to be on air next year, offering some 100 digital channels, most of which will be advertising free.
They are to be dunded by a monthly subscription;
Previous Sirius Satellite Radio:
Previous XM Satellite Radio:
Sirius web site:

web site

2000-11-22: The UK auction of broadband spectrum for high speed wireless internet use has now been officially closed at the end of Monday's bidding.
It ended with more than half the licences unsold and raised less than half of the reserve price total of £78 million for all the 42 licences on offer.
The scale of the flop is even more dramatic when the £38,160,000 total is set against expectations of around £1 billion and the government has asked for a review so as to plan future spectrum auctions.
In all 16 licences were sold with the big bids coming from Energis Local Access, a subsidiary of telecommunications company Energis, which paid £13.7 million for six licences covering London, Manchester, Yorkshire, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the West Midlands.
Other bidders who took licences were Faultbasic of the US, which paid £10.5 million for three, Norweb Telecom, owned by United Utilities, which paid £9m. for four licences and Broadnet, Chorus Communication and Eircom all of whom bought one licence.
No licences were sold for seven areas; these are also low on the list for cable broadband and the government is to look at ways of allocating licences for these areas.
Previous Spectrum auction:
UK Radiocommunications Agency (links to bidding information pages):

2000-11-22: The Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has been told that interventions by the then Communications Minister saved Century more than £800000.
During testimony by the then Irish Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) Secretary Seán Connolly, tribunal lawyer Des O'Neill SC noted that transmission charges initially proposed by state broadcaster RTÉ of £1,14 million were reduced to £692,000 after negotiations with the minister's officials.
The minister, Ray Burke, then intervened in February 1989 and they were cut to £614,000 and in Mach he again intervened to cut them to £375,000.
Even though the IRTC wasn't involved formally in the negotiations it adopted the view, he said, that the charges were excessive and continued to press for a reduction after the £614,000 figure, described as "not unreasonable in Irish circumstances "had been approved by the Minister.
Connolly said the IRTC knew of agreement between officials and RTÉ on the £692,000 figure but hadn't questioned Century about this because it didn't want to "tie their hands" in future negotiations with RTÉ.
Connolly said that the first ministerial intervention reducing the charges to £614,000 was substantial and that he didn't think any further reduction would be available or appropriate but when Century wrote asking for a directive that the charges be cut further, the lette was passed on without consultation with members of the commission.
(When Burke implemented the directive the next month, he said it "followed discussions" with the IRTC)
In its licence application, Century said its viability would be jeopardised if the station had to pay more than £375,000 transmission charges.
The IRTC secretariat prepared a question on this subject but it was never asked and Connolly said that to ask about the matter in public would have been "handing RTÉ a pack of aces".
Connolly also testified that Burke urged the IRTC to allow Century Radio to "grow into" its obligations to provide a specified minimum of news and Irish-language programming but that the Commission resisted and Century had to meet its legal requirements from the start of its broadcasts in September 1989.
Connolly said the first independent national radio station was a flagship project for the minister, who had a "more than fatherly" interest in it going ahead.

Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Connolly:
Previous Flood Tribunal;
Previous IRTC
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal .
Irish Times
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2000-11-21: More on spectrum auctions, starting with an update on the UK broadband auction which has hardly moved at all since last week.
At the end of round 21, bidding was still only £38.16 million, virtually no increase on the total at the end of last week (RNW Oct 17).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received 112 applications for 422 broadband licences to be auctioned in December, 44 of them accepted, 66 incomplete and two rejected.
It is also continuing with plans to release more spectrums for mobile and broadband communications.
It is proposing to release 27MHz of spectrum in seven bands, which were transferred from government use to non-government use under 1993 and 1997 legislation.
They are in the frequencies 216-220 MHz, 1390-1395 MHz, 1427-1429 MHz, 1429-1432 MHz, 1432-1435 MHz, 1670-1675 MHz, and 2385-2390 MHz
Details of both the broadband auction (170kb PDF), and spectrum allocations plans (300kb PDF) are on its web site.
Previous FCC:
Previous Spectrum auction:
FCC web site:
UK Radiocommunications Agency (links to bidding information pages):

2000-11-21: The Australian Broadcasting Authority which last month called for applications for new commercial radio licences for Melbourne and Gosford in New South Wales (RNW Oct 8) has now had to suspend the allocation of the licence for Gosford.
This follows the filing of an application in the Federal Court to review the ABA's decision to make a new commercial licence available for Gosford and the ABA has been forbidden from proceeding to allocate the licence until further notice.
The court is expected to hold hearings on the case in March next year.
Previous ABA:
ABA website :

2000-11-20: There was so much praise for various facets of radio in the columnist this week that it seems the season of goodwill is arriving early.
Being strong minded, though, we start with Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post who comments that, whatever the result of the US election, talk radio will certainly miss Bill Clinton.
The reason, he says, is that he provided a target for right wing hosts for the whole of his 8 years which neither Bush nor Gore will be able to match.
In some background, Ahrens focuses on the success of Rush Limbaugh, the top talk show host in the US with a weekly audience of some 12 million. "Political talk radio thrives on polarising characters," writes Ahrens, describing Limbaugh as "an original Angry White Male."
His ascendancy, Ahrens says was aided by the 1987 repeal of the Federal Communication Commission's Fairness Doctrine, which mandated equal airtime for opposing points of view.
This rule says Ahrens, had hobbled liberal hosts angry about Reagan policies concerning Nicaragua, El Salvador and so on.
But with its lifting free rein was given to Limbaugh and his ilk.
It was also helped, says Ahrens, by the fact that AM stations were dying in the 80's as music output had been switched to the big FM stations.
"At first, Limbaugh was a good, cheap way to fill the AM airtime, says Ahrens. ".
"But he quickly caught on, and radio companies started raising their AM advertising rates along with Limbaugh's. As much as anyone else, Limbaugh saved AM."
On to the praise. And first from Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times to This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass .
Feder terms the show a "radio revolution" which "turned the documentary form into the hottest commodity on public radio nationwide."
The show, which reaches around a million listeners a week is now coming up to its fifth anniversary and will mark it with a "world tour" of live performances. (RNW Aug 16)
And more praise, this time for BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme which Joanna Blythman in the UK Guardian terms "that rare thing: a national institution that has become essential listening for anyone who loves food and who wants to take an intelligent interest in how it is produced."
She continues "Since the show first aired in 1979, it has become increasingly authoritative and opinion-forming. "
"So much so, in fact, that whether it's rediscovering the aromatic delights of the ancient pear varieties that make a traditional English perry or raising the spectre of a new and disturbing disease in cattle (as it was first to do with BSE way back in 1987), the programme sets the UK's food agenda. "
Blythman is also full of praise for presenter Derek Cooper who, she says," strikes fear into the bigwigs in the food industry because he is so adept at tripping them up with those characteristically neutral but deadly questions that manage to elicit information that would not otherwise be volunteered."
Yet more praise for BBC Radio 4, but this time from Raymond Snoddy in the UK Times for its controller Helen Boaden.
Snoddy writes, "everywhere she goes people have nothing but good things to say about Helen Boaden, who has just finished her first six months as Controller."
He adds that it helps that she is "a lifelong Radio 4 listener who was involved with prize-winning programmes such as File on Four."
Snoddy quotes advice given to her by a predecessor, Monica Sims, who told her "The three men who came after me caused far more fuss among the audiences than I did." "But I think I made more changes and introduced more new series and ideas than they ever achieved. It's the way that you do it, my dear,"
Boaden, says Snoddy, has gone for evolution rather than revolution and has focussed attention on content not just schedule as well as "appointing commissioning editors over genres of programmes they know something about rather than putting them in charge of parts of the day regardless of the programmes."
But enough of praise for output RNW feels worthy of attention (follow the links for more on This American Life and BBC Radio 4).
On to a development which technology allows but which can also lead to embarrassing glitches.
This is the use of human-free time zones which enable a station to stay on air at lower cost, the subject of Paul Donovan's column in the UK Sunday Times.
As Donovan starts his column," Is there anyone there at your friendly local radio station? Are they actually there in person, not just their voice on disc or tape?"
"The answer, increasingly, is no. Radio stations, particularly in the hours of darkness, are often empty."
"There is nobody on the premises at all. Machines rule. But sometimes the machines fail, and the results can be embarrassing."
The "glitch" he cites is worth a full quote: "Instead of the usual chat and 1970s pop, I heard a daytime DJ, Clare Ashford, practising a voice-over for a commercial for the previous day's ITV.
"Next - on ITV, The Big Match, Manchester United v Dynamo Kiev. Coming up soon, Tonight with Trevor McDonald.
NEXT ON ITV ..." (more urgent this time), "TO-NIGHT WITH TREVOR McDONALD."
On and on it went, over and over again, like a record that was stuck.
Ashford sounded tired but determined. "Oh, bugger," she said, "I'll do that one again, Sean. Okay, darling?
The explanation for the 30 minutes of "stuck needle" from Liberty. "What happened was that somebody had programmed a commercial to come on at a certain time, but typed in the wrong four-figure number for it."
"It was only one digit out, but it was in the hundreds, rather than the units."
" If it had been the last digit that was wrong, the computer would simply have selected another commercial. But because it was in the hundreds, it selected a different piece of audio altogether - a complete commercial voice-over session."
Donovan gives other examples of problems which either took stations off air or gave the wrong output and ends up with the plea "Is it not about time they reinstated that antiquated but useful figure of the night watchman? Or perhaps a member of staff could manage to listen to the output?"
To which our feeling is that there's very slim hope against the might of the accountants -or even with some stations human :right's legislation if a single human were actually forced to listen to all the overnight output of some stations!
Previous Ahrens
Previous Boaden:
Previous Columnists:
Previous Donovan:
Previous Feder:
Previous Limbaugh

Previous Monica Sims:
Previous Snoddy:
Ahrens Washington Post Column:
Blythman UK Guardian article:
Donovan Sunday Times column:
Feder Sun-Times column:
Snoddy UK Times column:
2000-11-20: Another look at the proceedings of the Flood Tribunal into the 1989 award of Ireland's first commercial national licence to Century Radio, which later went bankrupt.
This week the tribunal is to hear testimony from Mr Justice Séamus Henchy, and Seán Connolly , the then chairman and secretary respectively of the Irish regulator, the Independent Radio and Television Commission.
The tribunal has already hear from some other members of the commission.
In the second half of last week the tribunal heard evidence that
* the station had almost been stopped from going on air for failing to provide Irish language programmes:
* the regulator backed reduction of transmission fees initially proposed by almost two thirds without having any figures of its own
* the then broadcasting minister Ray Burke asked a family friend to nominate the regulator's solicitor, bank and accountants.
It has also heard rejection of suggesting that two senior members of political party Fianna Fáil had a "price list" for licences.
The suggestion of stopping the station going to air came in evidence that the then Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) chairman Mr Justice Henchy, phoned Century on the day before it was due to start broadcasting in September 1989 to say it would be stopped if it failed to comply with legal provisions to provide Irish-language programming.
Then-IRTC member Kieran Mulvey, chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission, said it was astonishing that Century had made no Irish language provision in its programmes in spite of commitments to do so when applying for the licence.
He said it was made quite clear to the station that the commission would refuse permission to broadcast unless this requirement was met.
"We weren't going to be the first public authority to preside over the demise of the Irish language," Mulvey added.
On the question of transmission fees, where state broadcaster RTÉ initially proposed charges of £1.1 million, various former members of the commission testified that they were "taken aback" by the amount.
The IRTC eventually backed a figure of £375,000 which Century had said was the maximum it could afford to pay and which was imposed by the minister.
One former IRTC member, Fred O'Donovan, a former broadcaster and member of the RTÉ Authority, described RTÉ's initial demand as "ridiculous."
He commented, "It was the normal huckster shop negotiations you get in Ireland where no one believes the other's price and fairy tales are told."
O'Donovan testified that the IRTC had no independent advice on transmission charges and that he assumed Century were working on figures from a consultant from London who was very competent.
Another former IRTC member, businesswoman Gillian Bowler said that the commission opted ot to take financial advice from accountants when considering the bids because it couldn't afford the fees.
Another former IRTC member, Communications consultant Ms Terry Prone said she had reservations about Century's application which was "predicated almost entirely" on RTÉ broadcaster Gay Byrne being part of the schedule, even though he was not named in it.
RNW note - Byrne eventually decided to remain with RTÉ
Concerning transmission fees, Prone said the feeling was that RTÉ was "pushing its luck and would be helped to see sense."
She added that her worry, if no agreement was reached between it and Century , was that it would leave "a hole" in the figures on which the commission was basing its decision to give the station a licence.
Prone added that " we seemed to be veering towards giving a licence when a major area wasn't resolved."
On the suggestion that a "price list" for licences was being operated by two senior members of Fianna Fáil , the IRTC chief executive Michael O'Keeffe, then a higher executive officer at the Commission, said they were "utter nonsense."
The allegations had been made in earlier testimony by Century co-founder James Stafford who said he had been told by another co-founder Oliver Barry that the "price list" was operated by Ray Burke and government press secretary, P.J. Mara.
On the matter of the appointment of the IRTC's solicitor, bank and accountants, a longtime acquaintance of Oliver Barry, family friend of Ray Burke and Fianna Fáil supporter Donal O'Sullivan, said the minister asked him to nominate them.
O'Sullivan, who was appointed to the IRTC by Burke , said he didn't feel less independent for doing this because "that's the way government works."
Previous Barry:
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Gay Byrne
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Connolly:
Previous Flood Tribunal;
Previous IRTC
Previous Mr Justice Henchy:
Previous Mara:.

Previous O'Donovan:

Previous O'Keeffe
Previous Stafford:

RNW note
: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal
Irish Times
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