David Acosta - chairman, Pacifica Foundation,US; Frank Ahrens -(2)-Washington Post media writer; Grae Allan - managing director, Score Digital, UK subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings; Carl Amari - president of Radio Spirits, US distributor of old-time radio shows; Dirk Anthony - UK GWR group programme director; Sue Arnold - UK Observer radio columnist; Oliver Barry -(2)- former chief executive of Century Communications Ireland (collapsed 1991); Ralph Bernard - chief executive UK radio group GWR; Jonathon Brandmeier - former midday host WCKG, Chicago; Gordon J. Bridge - Chairman and CEO of SurferNETWORK.com Peter Bromley - BBC radio horse racing commentator(retiring after more then 30 years); Graham Bryce - managing director, UK Capital-owned Xfm; Ron Coles - director, Saga, recently awarded new UK Midlands licence; Ray Burke - former Fianna Fáil (Ireland) minister responsible for communications; Jane Christo- (2) -general manager WBUR-FM, Boston; Judy Logan Dean - US Radio veteran (deceased); Paul Donovan - U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Greg Dyke -(2) -Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Chris Evans - British broadcaster and radio mogul; Robert Feder -(2)- Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Robert H. Forward - California radio and television veteran (deceased); Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth -- (2)-Commissioner, US Federal Communications Commission(Stepping down June 2001); Juan Gonzalez - fomer co-host of Pacifica Network's "Democracy Now!" (quit on air); Amy Goodman - host of the US Pacifica Network's daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!; Nik Goodman -UK Virgin RadioProgramme Director; Lisa Gordon - chief executive of Chrysalis New Media, UK; Patrick Hanratty SC - counsel for Flood Tribunal, Ireland; Jon Harker - Sydney 2GB presenter; Andrew Harwood - Syndey 2GB presenter; Alan Jones -(2) -Sydney 2UE breakfast host; Rocky Jones - member Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council Atlantic Regional Council; Tim Jones-(2)- Chicago Tribune media writer; Jeff Joniak - sports anchor WBBM,Chicago; Kerri-Anne Kennerley - Sydney 2GB presenter; Buzz Kilman - midday co-host WCKG,Chicago; Stephen Kindred - KFWB-AM, Los Angeles, radio reporter (awarded his 13th Golden Mike); Kraig T. Kitchin - president and chief operating officer of Premiere Radio Networks, US; John Laws -(2)- Sydney 2UE morning host; Corey Layton -formerly "Captain Turntable" on Australian Radio Network's TT-FM, joining DMG-Radio Australia new Sydney FM station: Alfred C. Liggins III - president and chief executive, Radio1 Inc (US); G. Gordon Liddy - (3) -US radio host and convicted Watergate conspirator; Ross Love - (2)-CEO Blue Chip Broadcasting (now on Board of Radio One Inc, US; Christopher Lydon -(2)- host of "The Connection" on US Public Radio; Sue MacGregor- presenter BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme; Kelvin MacKenzie - -head of U.K. Wireless Group which owns TalkSport; Virginia Mansfield - US radio veteran (deceased); P.J. Mara - former press secretary,Fianna Fáil party (Ireland); John Martin -online President, Clear Channel,US; Tim Martz - founder and CEO, Martz Communications Group, US; Simon Mayo - former BBC Radio1 disc jockey, moved to Radio 5 Live, Feb 2000; Randall Mays -chief financial officer, Clear Channel (US); Mary McGrath -(2)- senior producer of "The Connection" on US Public Radio; Randy McKeen - News Director of Telemedia Radio Atlantic and member Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council Atlantic Regional Council; Bob Oakes - host of ''Morning Edition'' on WBUR-FM, Boston;Andy Parfitt - BBC Radio 1 Controller; Michael Powell - (5) - Chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Graham Richardson -Australian (Sydney 2GB) broadcaster; Jane Robins -UK Independent media correspondent; Tim Ross -Rosso of Australian Triple J "Merrick and Rosso" - joining new Sydney FM station; Scott R. Royster - chief financial officer, Radio One Inc. US; Robert Mitchell Silliman - US radio engineer(deceased);Jeff Smulyan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Emmis Communications, US; James Stafford -(2)- co-founder of Century Radio(Ireland); Howard Stern - US shock jock; Roy Stewart - US Federal Communications Commission Mass Media Bureau Chief; Wendy Snyder- midday co-host, WCKG,Chicago; David H. Solomon -chief of US Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau; Doug "The Greaseman"Tracht -(2) -US DJ attempting comeback following 1999 firing for racist comments: Gloria Tristani -(8)- Commissioner, US FCC; Merrick Watts - Merrick of Australian Triple J "Merrick and Rosso" - joining new Sydney FM station; Leona Jacobs-White -volunteer programmer and talk show host of KPFA-FM, Berkeley(deceased); Terry Wogan - BBC Radio 2 presenter;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once
February 2001 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
2001-02-19: The UK Sunday Times reports on digital radio in the UK, largely as seen through the eyes of Score Digital, the wholly owned digital radio subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings.
Score, whose most recent bid is for the Aberdeen digital multiplex (Licence News Feb. 18), reckons digital will take 8 to 10 years to reach critical mass and a recent BBC report suggested it would be 12 years before digital take-up surpasses the remaining analogue holdouts.
At the moment, digital is definitely near to ground level with only some 10,000 receivers in the UK to set against an estimated total of up to 150 million analogue receivers.
Some companies such as such as GWR and Capital Radio have moved faster into digital but Score is to spend only about £1m a year over the next 12 years, which covers the remainder of its current licence and the eight years of the following one.
That spend will increase if it wins more licences.
Grae Allan, Score Digital's managing director, believes the best way forward is to offer a combination of existing popular stations as well as something new only available in the digital format. "In order to make digital radio a success we have to offer the public a wide range of services across a whole range of providers," Allan says. "Once we get to the stage where digital radio is mainstream, we will be competing with each other on a purely programming level."
Previous Capital Radio:
UK Sunday Times report:
2001-02-19: US radio engineer Robert Mitchell Silliman, whose FM antenna design was once the US industry standard, has died aged 87.
Silliman, who graduated in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1936, worked with the Federal communications commission until 1942.
Then, during the Second World War, he was a researcher at Harvard University's Radio Research Laboratory where work was done on radar.
Silliman ran his own radio consulting company from 1946 until he had a stroke in 1996 and was also an officer for Indiana-based broadcast antennas and towers manufacturer, Electronics Research Inc.
2001-02-18: Licence news this week and a quiet week in Australia and Ireland but a whole swathe of licence approvals in Canada.
In the US it was fairly quiet although Commissioner Gloria Tristani has again been on the warpath over the Federal Communication Commission's rejection of indecency complaints (See RNW FEB. 15).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has renewed type A community licences as listed.
In Labrador for CJRM-FM Labrador City;
In New Brunswick for CJPN-FM Fredericton; CFAI-FM-1 Grand Falls; CFJU-FM Kedgwick/Saint-Quentin;
In Nova Scotia for CKJM-FM Chéticamp; CIFA-FM Comeauville (Yarmouth);
In Ontario for CHOD-FM Cornwall; CINN-FM Hearst; CKGN-FM Kapuskasing;
In Quebec, for CFBS-FM Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon and its transmitters CFBS-FM-1 Middle Bay and CFBS-FM-2 Rivière-Saint-Paul; CFIM-FM Cap-aux-Meules (Iles-de-la-Madeleine); CHIP-FM Fort Coulonge; CJRG-FM Gaspé and its transmitters CJRG-FM-1 Murdochville, CJRV-FM L'Anse-à-Valleau and CJRE-FM Rivière-au-Renard; CKNA-FM Natashquan. CFRH-FM Penetanguishene.
The CRTC has also renewed the licence of CIPC-FM Port Cartier, Quebec, approved the applications for a new low-power English- and French-language AM radio station at Ottawa (MacDonald-Cartier International Airport) and for a developmental English-language FM campus radio programming undertaking at Kamloops, British Columbia.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has received two applications for the Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough area.
They were from Connect FM (KCBC Ltd.), the existing licensee and Vision FM Ltd.
It also received two applications for the Aberdeen digital multiplex licence; these were from SCORE Digital Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings plc., which proposes six commercial services and from Switchdigital (Scotland) Ltd which proposes 8.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-02-18:A day after Boston Public Radio station WBUR-FM suspended Christopher Lydon and Mary McGrath, host and senior producer of the "Connection" call-in programme (RNW Feb. 17), four staffers from the show have resigned after a meeting with WBUR management.
Quitting were associate producers Jake Shapiro, Hitesh Hathi, and Katherine Bidwell, and technical director Dan Furst.
WBUR has announced that ''Morning Edition'' host Bob Oakes will host ''The Connection'' next week and Shapiro told the Boston Globe, "It's been a very tight knit team. The thought of jumping into a watered-down version or altered attempt at `The Connection' without them is inconceivable."
WBUR general manager Jane Christo, in a message posted on the WBUR web site, wrote, "In any difficult situation of this nature, WBUR's first responsibility must be to its listeners, its contributors and its mission as a non-profit public radio station."
"We ask our listeners and supporters to understand that WBUR worked very hard, over many months, to reach a positive outcome."
"We made two generous proposals to The Connection host and senior producer, which they chose to turn down. In November, as a sign of good faith, WBUR raised both of their salaries to levels that make them the highest paid host and producer in public broadcasting."
"We also offered them an opportunity to earn substantial bonuses. It was their decision that WBUR's proposals were not enough. It was their decision to press on with more demands. We fully expect the situation to be resolved positively. The Connection is a vital part of WBUR."
Lydon himself told the Boston Herald," There is a treasure here that we will do everything to protect."
"Our wrangle with WBUR is not about money. If it were about salaries we would have taken the deal and run. "
"The Connection' has greatly enriched WBUR. As creators of the program we feel every right to be partners in its wider syndication to new media modes. This is not an unfamiliar issue and it seems eminently resolvable."
The Globe reports that news of the lucrative deals Lydon and McGrath turned down seemed to divide listeners.
It said WBUR had received upward of 250 e-mails about the controversy with some writers ``appalled'' at the money involved, and others wondering how ``non-profit'' WBUR can be if it is willing to pay on-air talent so much.
On the other side of the coin, some correspondents felt ``The Connection'' had special status in the city and should be retained at nearly any cost.
In an editorial, the Globe comments, "If anyone deserves equity in the show, it's WBUR's listeners and contributors."
"Commercial radio is unlikely to offer the freedom and creativity Lydon and company enjoy at WBUR."
"That said, Lydon and McGrath should be rewarded for infusing the show with unique spark, intelligence, and personality. This is best done through high salaries (Lydon's certainly qualifies at $230,000) and bonuses tied to performance standards."
"The station could also be more flexible, hiring back staff and giving Lydon room for non-competing outside activities such as book signings. Both ''The Connection'' and Lydon could move on independently. But for the sake of listeners, heroic efforts should be made to keep them together."
Boston Globe report:
Boston Globe editorial:
Boston Herald report:
2001-02-17: In the wake of the recent Napster ruling in which the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) seems to have significantly limited music distribution on the Internet, the Los Angeles Times reports on similar action to stifle Internet distribution of old-time radio shows.
Taking action is Carl Amari, president of Illinois-based Radio Spirits, the largest US seller of old-time radio programs on cassette.
Amongst the examples cited is that of Pete Kenney, "Boston Pete," as he calls himself on the Internet, who created a Web site that allowed people to download recordings of old-time radio programs and closed down his site after a warning from Amari.
The paper says that tens of thousands of programmes have been made available free in MP3 format and that collectors argue that, had it not been for them, most of the programmes involved would have ended up being trashed.
Amari claims to have the copyright on most programmes that were aired and the collectors see Radio Spirits ' effort as an attempt to corner the market on old-time radio shows that a short while ago were regarded as without value.
The Times notes that most network radio shows were recorded for reference or rebroadcast but that these records were destroyed by the thousands in the 1960s and 1970s by broadcasters simply to clear storage space.
It cites an estimate that some 15,000 were saved by collectors, only around 1% of the total, but enough to enable Amari to build up a $14-million-a-year business selling some 6 million tapes and CDs.
Amari got into the business after he'd been selling tapes of programmes when at college but then received a cease-and-desist letter from a syndicator who controlled the rights to a programme he played on the college radio station.
He reacted by buying licences to shows and as well as selling recordings syndicates his own old-time radio compilation programs.
He has been successful enough to buy out his two main competitors Adventures in Cassettes and Radio Yesteryear as well as obtaining material from archives like the Library of Congress that put sharp restrictions on access.
Even where no copyright was registered for a show, the script behind it remains in copyright, and the only shows in the public domain are those where copyright was registered but not renewed so in legal terms Amari is on strong ground.
However some commentators opine that in practical terms, as with stopping MP3 distribution of music, it may not be that easy to stop swapping of old shows.
Los Angeles Times report:
2001-02-17: UK Chrysalis Radio, which earlier this week was involved in plans to cut back on its Internet "Puremix.com" station(RNW Feb. 16) is to spend around £ 2 million on marketing its Heart-FM station in London.
The campaign will include posters on buses, taxis and the London Underground.
Chrysalis, along with Tindle Radio, has also upped its stake in Bridgend station, Bridge FM.
Tindle now has a 56% controlling interest instead of its former 23% and Chrysalis has increased its holding from 29 to 42%.
The remaining 2% of Bridge is held by its chairman and managing director.
2001-02-17: BBC Radio 5 Live is set to broadcast a political reality game show called The Magnificent Seven for a week in the run up to the UK General Election.
It will operate on the style of the "Big Brother" TV show and will start with seven contenders with differing political viewpoints. Each day, a panel of listeners termed the "Select Committee" will decide which contestant to eliminate until a winner is decided.
The contestants will take part in a serious "Teatime Debate" on a political issue and will also enter a less serious test of political skills.
2001-02-17: Boston WBUR-FM host Christopher Lydon and Mary McGrath, senior producer of the "Connection" talk show which is syndicated to around 75 US National Public Radio stations, have been put on paid leave of absence following a dispute over whether the two can share the programme's profits.
The Boston Globe, which notes that the action follows months of negotiation, quoted Lydon as saying," ''we're angered. Knocked out. Stunned. Shocked. It's a lockout and a shock.''
He added that they wanted to return after the suspension.
WBUR managing director of news and programming George Boosey criticise the pair for ''your rejection of normal management oversight and established WBUR policies.'' It added that ''the leave of absence will afford you time to consider whether or not you wish to continue your employment with WBUR.''
WBUR general manager Jane Christo told the paper, "I'd like them to come back in two weeks. This is just giving them time to reflect. They need time to think about this and think about what they want to do.''
The paper says McGrath and Lydon say Christo encouraged them to be entrepreneurial and come up with a new business model for ''The Connection'' and cites a memo to Christo from McGrath and Lydon which began, ''Dear Partner Jane,'' and then stipulated that ''we want to share with you, fifty-fifty, all new growth of `Connection' revenues.''
A WBUR spokeswoman said no other host or producer has a profit-sharing deal and added that Lydon, who had been making $175,000 a year, recently got a raise to $230,000, while McGrath went from $100,000 to $150,000.
The Globe says one optimistic estimate by station management predicts that ''Connection''-related revenues - from underwriting and syndication to the sale of CDs - could conceivably rise from somewhere around $2 million to $8 million in the next five years.
Boston Globe report:
2001-02-16: The general dot com malaise seems to be biting fairly hard on Internet audio streamers.
In the UK, high hopes by Chrysalis Radio for its Puremix Internet radio operation have not been fulfilled.
Puremix, which was only launched last November (RNW Nov. 5) is being integrated into Chrysalis New Media.
The UK Guardian reports that around two thirds of the staff of 31 have been given redundancy notices but quoted Lisa Gordon, chief executive of Chrysalis New Media as saying they were not stepping back from their investment.
She denied the consolidation had been precipitated by Puremix's failure to attract second-round funding.
And in North America there have been yet more cut backs, pullouts and bankruptcies.
In the US, following the recent end for BroadcastAmerica.com (RNW Feb. 10) whose contracts went to SurferNetwork and problems for SurferNetwork with its GlobalMedia streaming operations (RNW Feb. 14), Feed the Monster has now filed for bankruptcy.
Feed the Monster, which streamed a number of Viacom's Infinity stations, ran into trouble in October (RNW Oct. 13), ceased operations, and was subsequently sued by some 60 of its ex staff as well as various suppliers.
Its finances give a strong idea of its problems. In the 9 months to December 31 its revenues from advertising and selling merchandise were only $329,000 but overall costs were some $6.47 million before interest charges of $150,000 were added.
And according to Yahoo, giant chip maker Intel is closing down its Intel Internet Media Services that it said would serve an estimated $2.5 billion market by 2004.
Intel only launched the operation nine months ago.
It plans to wind down its operations during the next several months and to work with other streaming media content providers to serve current customers of its service.
Another pull out is San Francisco based Martz Communications Group Inc., which is closing its Internet broadcasting operations, FMcanada.com. and FMcities.com.
The company's Canadian founder and chief executive officer Tim Martztold the Toronto Globe and Mail, "We've shut down basically for financial reasons -- I guess we're the latest dot-com casualty."
"Revenue was not going up fast enough, the break-even point kept being extended further and further into the future, and when we added it all up, the expectation that revenue would accelerate just wasn't there."
The group whose Internet operations offered 50 music formats, ranging from Top 40 and jazz to country and folk, as well as local traffic, weather and news reports, also owns radio stations in New York but these are not affected.
Previous Feed the Monster:
Globe and Mail on Martz:
UK Guardian on Puremix:
Yahoo on Intel pull out:
2001-02-16: The UK Government, whose recent broadband wireless auction failed to attract bids for a number of licences (RNW Nov. 22) is now planning to make the unsold licences available at the reserve prices set for the original auction.
Under the scheme, companies can enter a bid to the RadioCommunications Agency for a licence at the reserve price and a new auction will only be triggered if there is a competitive bid.
The areas where there are unsold licences are:
3 licences in each of:
Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire; Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire;
Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire;
Derbyshire, Lincolnshire (other than the areas of North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire District Councils), Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Rutland;
Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex;
Bristol, Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire;
plus 2 licences each in
Tyne and Wear, Durham, Northumberland, Cumbria and Lancashire;
and a single licence in the East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the areas of North Lincolnshire and North-east Lincolnshire District Councils. Previous UK RadioCommunications Agency:
UK Radiocommunications Agency release.:
2001-02-15: Both the US radio giants have now reported on their figures for the final quarter of 2000 and the full year -and both have had strong performances.
The largest US radio company (with some 1170 radio stations in the US following its take-over of AMFM ), Clear Channel Communications, Inc., reported its best year ever with Pro Forma Net Revenues up 13% for the year to $6.9 billion and up 5% for the quarter to $2.1 billion.
EBITDA (defined as operating cash flow less corporate expenses) was up 21% on the year to $2.35 billion and for the quarter up 14% to $662million.
The company's radio operations, its largest segment, showed net revenues up 15% on the year and 6% on the quarter with operating cash flow up 22 % and 10% respectively.
Net loss per share in the fourth quarter was 33 cents, up from 7 cents per share in 1999 due to acquisition costs.
For the full year, there was a profit of 59 cents per share compared to 23 cents in 1999. After tax cash flow per share for the year was 24% up at $2.78 and for the quarter 13% up at 77 cents a share.
For 2001, Clear Channel is predicting after-tax cash flow of $3.16 share, but its chief financial officer Randall Mays warned that its first half of 2001 faced tough comparisons with a year ago when there was aggressive advertising from dot-com companies.
Second placed Viacom-CBS subsidiary Infinity Broadcasting, which operates 182 stations, came up with even stronger figures.
It reported pro forma revenues for the quarter of $1.06 billion, pro forma EBITDA of $490 million, each up 40%; for the full year Infinity pro forma revenues increased 13% to $4.04 billion and pro forma EBITDA increased 19% to $1.79 billion.
The report is the last independent set of figures for Infinity, which is to be merged into parent Viacom following a shareholders' vote on February 21.
Also reporting, but this time for the its fiscal first quarter which ended on December 31, was Spanish Broadcasting Corp.
Its net revenues were up 29% to $37 million but broadcast cash flow fell 7.9% to $15 million. On a same station basis, revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% and BCF down 7.1%
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Spanish Broadcasting: Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Clear Channel web site:
Viacom web site:
2001-02-15: UK radio operators are teaming up with US on demand audio company California-based Command Audio to develop digital radio technology similar in function to the TiVo TV system, which will allow listeners to pre-programme and record radio shows.
Command, which has already teamed up with Motorola in the US to bring on-demand functionality to the car via Motorola's iRadio, is setting up a joint venture in the UK with Capital Radio plc and UBC Media plc to develop its system.
It's also signed a deal with the MXR digital consortium under which MXR is committed to carry Command Audio services on all its regional digital multiplexes.
Listeners to Command Audio-enabled services will be able to select the programmes they want to receive using an Electronic Programme Guide and have full control over how and when to listen, instantaneously scanning from story to story pausing, skipping, or saving programs for later listening.
The Command Audio software, which could be installed in various receivers including automobile and portable radio devices as well as home receivers, can store eight hours of content.
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous UBC Media:
Command Audio web site:
2001-02-15: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again come under attack from Commissioner Gloria Tristani for rejecting a complaint of indecency.
She had previously objected to the dismissal of an indecency complaint from Missouri (RNW Feb. 13).
The complaint in this latest case came from an Alabama woman, Angela F. Woods, who complained to WRLR-FM in Birmingham after hearing the word "pussy" on air.
Woods said that she was then insulted on aid during the "Lex and Terry" morning show when the DJs called her a "bitch" and later commented that they hoped "she has a wreck and gets killed on the way to work."
Tristani says that the FCC "has erected so many barriers to complaints from the public that our indecency enforcement program is rendered ineffective, as this case demonstrates."
She continues, "It's time for the Commission to begin taking indecency cases seriously again."
On the particular case Tristani says, the FCC "dismissed the complaint noting the series of remarks were "certainly offensive, but are not indecent because they are not patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium."
" Based on the record before us, I cannot agree. First, Ms. Woods made a prima facie case for indecency sufficient to survive dismissal."
"Second, a broadcaster owes a duty to handle indecency complaints from citizens without engaging in over-the-air verbal attacks that include expressing a desire for the complainant to wreck her car and die."
Still with the FCC, new chairman Michael Powell has announced that the agency's regular monthly meeting on February 22 will focus on a comprehensive review of the Commission's policies and procedures.
Eight FCC bureau and office chiefs will report on matters including current regulatory issues after which there will be questions and discussions with the Commissioners.
(RNW Comment: We will be interested to how hard Commissioner Tristani presses the matter of indecency at this meeting).
Powell News release:
2001-02-15: The Los Angeles Times reports that Salvador Homero Campos, former vice president of programming at Sacramento-based Z-Spanish Radio, is to plead guilty to a payola-related tax offence.
Campos, who could be fined up to $1250,000 and be jailed for up to three years, accepted more than $200,000 in kickbacks to air songs on Spanish language music stations and received up to $15,000 a month from Fonovisa Records, the largest independent label in the Spanish music industry and a subsidiary of Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa.
Campos's attorney Alvin Michaelson told the paper that " Campos took money from Fonovisa, but he says he would have played their songs anyway."
"I'm sure Fonovisa's intent was that he would take the money and treat them favourably. But his intent was to get his station off the ground, and he needed the money to do that."
Michaelson added that Campos was also approached by other labels.
"The bottom line is that during that time, this was just business as usual--and he didn't think he was doing anything wrong. In Mexico, it's legal," he said.
Campos co-operated with a Justice Department investigation into record promotion and avoided being charged directly with violating the U.S. payola statute--which prohibits broadcasters from taking money for playing specific songs without disclosing the payment to listeners.
Fonovisa and two of its most senior executives already have pleaded guilty to several payola-related charges.
The paper says the Justice Department, which is continuing its investigation into the Spanish Music business, has also received tips about alleged kickbacks amongst other formats including some involving the urban music divisions of some of the world's largest record conglomerates according to law enforcement sources.
Los Angeles Times report:
2001-02-14: A busy week on the business side of US radio as final quarter results come out.
Too late for us Tuesday (Teleconference is on Clear Channel site at 16:00 Central Time) are those for the giant of them all Clear Channel, to be followed by Viacom-CBS-Infinity today.
Clear Channel has issued some notes as to its anticipated results in 2001.
It says that it will have a 2001 loss of $393 million, Net Revenues of $8.082 billion, and EBITDA (Cash flow from operations less corporate overhead) of $2.72 billion.
Clear Channel meanwhile continues its acquisitive habits.
Its latest deal is the purchase of Radio South's five stations in Meridian, Mississippi.
While at the top, Duncan's American Radio reports that the top billing station in the US last year was Clear Channel's KIIS-FM, Los Angeles, which took $66.5 million.
It was followed by two of Infinity's New York stations, WFAN-AM, which billed $62.4 million, and WXRK-FM, which billed $61.2 million.
Of the top billing 15 stations, Infinity owned nine, Clear Channel four and ABC and Emmis one each.
Duncan's is fairly upbeat about projections for this year when it says radio revenues will increase by 6.9% to top $18 billion; over the five years to 2004, it says strongest growth will be in Las Vegas (51%), Austin (49.9%) and Raleigh-Durham (45.8%).
The optimistic view of radio prospects is shared by Beasley Broadcast Group CEO George Beasley who told analysts he "we're going to see good long-term growth."
He was commenting as his group's final quarter results showed consolidated net revenue up 8% compared with 1999 to $28.3 million, Broadcast Cash Flow (BCF) up 20% to $9.4 million, EBITDA up 20% to $8.4 million and After-Tax Cash Flow (ATCF) for the quarter up 251% to $4.8 million, or $0.20 per diluted share.
On a same-station basis, excluding the results of WPTP-FM in Philadelphia, consolidated net revenue increased 9% to $27.0 million and BCF increased 21% to $9.5 million.
Overall for the fourth quarter of 2000, Beasley reported a net loss applicable to common shares of $2.0 million, or $0.08 per share, reflecting among other things the cost of station acquisitions including the $113.5 million acquisition of six stations from Centennial Broadcasting (RNW June 6 and RNW Dec. 16). and costs of a format change at WPTP-FM in Philadelphia.
For the full year, consolidated net revenue increased 13% to $106.2 million, BCF rose 28% to $34.4 million, and ATCF rose 78% to $18.5 million, or $0.79 per diluted share and EBITDA rose 26% to $30.4 million.
On a same station basis, excluding WPTP-FM, full year consolidated net revenue increased 11% to $99.7 million and BCF increased 18% to $34.5 million.
In other station deals and changes, Newsday reports that Disney-owned ABC radio is close to finalising an $80 million deal to buy WEVD-AM, New York, from the Forward Association and switch it from its current liberal-leaning format to an ESPN sports outlet.
WEVD was founded in 1927 and its call sign was derived from Eugene V Debs, the five-times socialist party candidate for the US Presidency who died in 1926.
And in Missouri, Indacom Inc. has sold KPCR-AM & FM Bowling Green, to Four Him Inc. for $725,000.
In Florida, WFIV-AM Orlando has been renamed WHOO -AM and changed by Genesis Communications to Music of your life from a Contemporary Christian Talk format.
And in Chicago, former classical music WNIB, which was bought by Bonneville International, moved to playing Barbra Streisand's hits.
Finally Viacom's Infinity, due to report tomorrow, has settled lawsuits filed by shareholders who said they would be short-changed in a $15.5-billion buyout by media giant Viacom Inc. of the 36% of Infinity it did not own.
It originally offered 0.564 share of Class B Viacom stock for each share of Infinity in August but later increased this to 0.592 share of Class B Viacom stock for each share of Infinity.
Although the lawyers have agreed, a judge has still to approve the settlement and Infinity's shareholders still have to vote on the matter.
Previous ABC, America:
Previous Clear Channel:
Beasley web site:
Duncan's web site:
2001-02-14:Although WABC-AM kept its lead, a newcomer La-Mega-WSKO (New York) from LaMusica.com leapt into the third spot in the ratings week to February 11, according to MeasureCast Inc., the Oregon-based streaming audience measurement company.
LaMusica is owned by Spanish Broadcasting System for whom it provides terrestrial radio Web casting services.
It went ahead of Internet-only Radio Margaritaville which was streamed by BroadcastAmerica.com whose assets were sold to SurferNetwork.com earlier this month (RNW Feb. 10), although Margaritaville actually increased its audience.
BroadcastAmerica.com's contracts are now with SurferNetwork which has had problems with streaming for another company it took over.
Streaming for GlobalMedia customers was reportedly cut off by provider Activate and Radio Business Report on Tuesday commented," Obviously the reason Activate cut streaming is due to non-payment from Global. We assume they want all debts paid by Surfer as condition for streaming service."
On Wednesday it put the figures as hundreds of thousands of dollars and said negotiations were still continuing but for the moment the 80 stations formerly streamed by Gobal are still offline.
The top five ranked by total time spent listening were (with previous week's Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and Cume persons (CP- an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week in brackets):
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 81,212 (79,887); CP13,589 (13,626) - position unchanged.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 59,431 (62,249);CP 18,590 (17,956) - position unchanged.
3): Spanish format La-Mega-WSKO (New York) TTSL 49,046; CP 11,521 (Formerly unplaced)
4): Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL46,203 (39,516); CP9,115 (6,608) - position unchanged
5): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 39,248 (41,483); CP3,523 (3,582) - formerly 4th.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
RBR site: (Look for Feb. 12 report)
2001-02-14: Sydney 2UE radio host John Laws will be able to get home more speedily soon following a Supreme Court Decision which allows a local council decision to block off a road near the station to be overturned (See RNW Jan 31).
The barricade was erected as part of development approval for a new building but prompted calls from the broadcasters to have it removed.
Both Laws and 2UE breakfast host Alan Jones complained about the barricade on air and Laws went to the Transport Minister about the matter, saying in a letter that it was dangerous because people were doing illegal U-turns at nearby traffic lights.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-02-14: Hungary's first Roma (gypsy) radio station is now on the air albeit with only a short-term licence.
Radio C, which began its broadcasts with the Gypsy hymn followed by Gypsy poet Jozsef Daroczi Choli announcing the station in Hungarian and Romany, currently only has a 30-day licence and is competing for a seven-year one against two Christian evangelist stations.
Hungary is only the second country in Europe to have full time gypsy broadcasts; there are already several stations in Macedonia.
The Roma are Hungary's largest ethnic minority numbering around 500,000 but until the station went on air the only broadcasting for them was a 30-minute weekly magazine program on the state broadcasting service.
The station will concentrate on issues of interest to the Roma in its mix of news, music and talk programmes.
Backers include the Soros Foundation and studio equipment was purchased with funds from PHARE, a European Union program that provides financial and technical aid to central and eastern European countries.
2001-02-13: BBC Radio 5 has retained its rights to Formula One motor racing for another four years despite losing the TV rights four years ago.
No sum was disclosed for the deal but the channel is to step up its coverage of Grand Prix with preview shows fronted by motor racing correspondent Jonathan Legard as well as live cover.
The UK Guardian reports that a 5-Live spokesman said the rights were secured against a rival bid but that the most likely contender, TalkSport, had said it did not bid.
UK Guardian report:
2001-02-13: The US Federal Communications Commission, which last week was criticised by Commissioner Gloria Tristani because it had not taken action over a complaint about KLOU-FM, St. Louis, Missouri, has fined a Puerto Rico $21000 for broadcasting indecent material.
The broadcasts on WCOM-FM, Batamon, Puerto Rico, in October 1999 were held to be indecent because they contained graphic, patently offensive discussions of sexual activities or organs.
The then station owner WLDI, Inc. Has admitted airing the material but contends that it should no longer be held accountable because it had subsequently sold the station to Spanish Broadcasting System.
In the St Louis case, the complainant said that, in an early afternoon broadcast in October 2000, KLOU-FM aired "a very offensive, sexually graphic dumb joke" but the FCC held that on the basis of information supplied the material was not offensive enough for it to take action.
Commissioner Tristani dissented from this viewpoint quoting a line from the joke that went "The wallet was found stuffed up the ass of a dead guy."
She concluded," The Commission appears so averse to indecency cases, and has erected so many barriers to complaints from members of the public, that indecency enforcement has become virtually non-existent."
"It's time for the Commission to begin taking indecency cases seriously again. It's our duty under the law, and, more importantly, our duty to our children."
And in another case, the FCC has levied a $10,000 fine on Richard I. Rowland for operating an unlicensed FM radio station in Longwood, Florida in June and September of 2000.
FCC web site:
RNW note- The fines are listed in the FCC Daily Digest for February 9:
2001-02-13: The UK Radio Authority came under attack as being dictatorial by one of the speakers at its Access Radio Seminar on Monday.
UK GWR Group chief executive Ralph Bernard said that the Authority thought commercial radio groups were run by people who didn't know their audience as well as the BBC and accused it of "nannying" commercial radio from the "from cradle of creativity to the graveyard of the bland."
He added that people at the authority who had no experience in radio programming defined formats to experiences operators, sometimes by reference to papers which were years old.
Coincidentally the Authority has still not given GWR the go ahead for its takeover of Lite-FM in Peterborough which has to pass a public interest test because it operates in the same area as existing GWR stations (RNW Aug. 23 ).
Previous UK Radio Authority:
2001-02-12: Finding an AP item on radio swap-shops in the New York Times this week led us to look for columns about some of the more unusual aspects of radio or radio stations with out of the ordinary qualities.
The swap-shop item centred on Trade Mart, a popular call-in show at WXLR-FM, Harold, in rural eastern Kentucky as a representative of such shows still garnering sizeable audiences in rural America.
They give callers a moment on air to talk as well as to sell, trade or give-away items.
Barry Boyd, general manager of WXLR said the "best shows are the ones people go to work talking about, like the time an old man called in advertising for a wife or when a woman called trying, without much success, to find someone to adopt a cat that had attacked her child."
Host Shawn Allen's show on one day had a caller needing a tailgate for his pickup truck, another with fighting roosters for sale, plus other items such as record collections, CB radios, vehicles and mobile homes.
Another host Trish Stacy, who does a similar show, Free Market, for WSGS-FM in Hazard. said, "We get a lot of poultry and fowl."
"It's definitely an interesting program. A lot of people just like to be on the radio. It's their way of getting attention.''
One of Stacy's favourite calls was the man who wanted to sell 722 boxes of Kraft deluxe macaroni and cheese. ``Or I'd trade them for a good rooster,'' he said.
On more familiar ground but still with a difference and an illuminating look at some of the conflicts of interest at a station, Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post looked at 6000-watt adult alternative WRNR-FM, based above a general store on Main Street in Annapolis.
The station gained a (small) band of devoted followers through its "free-form" approach under which disc jockeys played just what they wanted.
The station's signal has a limited range and so fans have posted web sites showing how to erect antennae to pull in the signal from further afield.
The problem is that the audience may be devoted but it just isn't large, numbering only around 59,000 listeners a week compared to some 380,500 for Baltimore rival WWMX -FM.
So change has been instituted with the result that Jon Peterson, WRNR's operations director, who has been attacked on WRNR message boards for being too mainstream. The station has now phased in a play list, insists that three songs an hour have to be played from artists who have new albums out and so on.
Some of the fans have hit back in Internet message circles, one saying "Long gone are the days of artistry in radio at WRNR" although another posted a more approving," "Time to bring in a type of music that appeals to more than the 43-year-old, health-food-eating ex-hippie."
The changes also led to staff departures including DJ John Hall who commented," "I had been used to having my own way about what I played on my show."
He also admitted to stirring the pot, one example given being that after playing a McDonald's commercial, the vegetarian Hall would read a "meat moment" describing some stockyard horror and denouncing meat eating. Some hope maybe for the station though in a move by Virgin Radio in the UK to move away from youth pop towards classic rock and pop (RNW Jan 27).
This is also reflected another report, this time from the Chicago Tribune In which Los Angeles Times writer Geoff Boucher opines that the youth-pop wave is beginning to ebb.
The article quotes Sky Daniels, general manager of Radio & Records as saying, "It's as if there's a sense by a lot of radio programmers that now is the time that they're supposed to end the cycle."
Although the music is still selling well, consultant Jeff Pollack says he thinks "the reason is some Top 40 stations want to show more of a multidimensional sound so listeners aren't hearing the same thing every time they turn the radio on."
And finally, courtesy of Current Magazine, a look at the new 69,000 watts KUYI -FM public radio station in Kings Canyon, Arizona, run by the Hopi and licensed to the Hopi Foundation.
The station took its call letters from the Hopi word for water, kuyi-pronounced "goo-yee" and it sees one of its functions as "to teach and encourage the use of the Hopi language."
The station will employ three or four full-time staff members and is training more than 20 volunteers, many with no broadcasting experience, to air a bilingual Hopi-English mix of news, sports, and an eclectic blend of Native and non-Native music.
The language issue is particularly important says Loris Taylor, an associate director for the Hopi Foundation because in some villages, only 5 percent of Natives speak the Hopi language.
Within the next generation, that's going to come down to a very quick zero," she added, but notes that the station has already increased radio listening and the use of the Hopi language.
The article notes that the situation will be made worse because Arizona voters recently passed Proposition 203, a controversial measure that will end bilingual education by forcing non-native English speakers to enter a year-long immersion program.
Taylor says of the measure, "In Arizona, we seem to have a very narrow view of our place in the world. It's an isolated view that seems to tell us there's only one right way, and that way is through the English language."
There are also moves elsewhere in the US to boost native radio, one example being in Washington state where the Yakima Nation recently won FCC approval to buy KENE, a 1,000-watt AM station southeast of Yakima, Wash., from a local Spanish-language broadcaster.
The Yakima tribe had been airing Native music in a time-sharing agreement with the previous owner but soon it will begin airing bilingual Yakima-English programming full-time.
There's also a Native radio summit in June at the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, which between a hundred and 150 people are expected to attend to discuss the future of native radio.
One particular problem they see is that native radio stations are mostly serving rural communities but more than half the native population now live in urban areas.
RNW note: See RNW June 27 regarding funding from the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting for ventures including native language radio services).
Chicago Tribune report:
Current Magazine on Hopi station: Hopi Station site:
New York Times/AP "Swap Shops":
Washington Post -Ahrens on WRNR-FM:
2001-02-12: The Pacifica network dispute at WBAI-FM, new York (See RNW Dec. 29), has led to Juan Gonzalez,New York Daily News columnist and co-host of the morning "Democracy Now!" show to quit on air with a call to listeners to end their support for the Network.
He's now leading the Pacifica Campaign, a grass-roots group working to drive out members of the network's board who dissidents feel are too tied to corporate interests and have forgotten Pacifica's heritage.
Gonzalez said he was listening to "Wake-Up Call," the show that precedes "Democracy Now!" and heard WBAI's new general manager announce a gag order, preventing staffers from talking on the air about internal station or network conflicts.
He said," I realised if I was going to say anything about it, I'd be fired. The trend was getting worse, not better, and something dramatic had to be done."
Gonzalez pretty well guaranteed the dramatic when he said the Pacifica board "has been hijacked by a small clique that has more in common with modern-day corporate vultures than with working-class America."
The Campaign hopes that by organising protests it will so affect Pacifica's funding as to force a policy change and drive out the board members they are opposing.
His Co-host Amy Goodman, who is remaining with "Democracy Now!", said she was surprised and disappointed by Gonzalez's departure.
Goodman, who has also had her conflicts with the network(RNW Nov. 1), said, "I just feel I can't give up on Pacifica."
Pacifica Foundation chairman David Acosta said"I don't want our mission to be stifled because, internally, we can't get it together."
"Instead of promoting the mission, we're fighting each other."
"We want to include everyone. We want to include the listeners and staff."
"I just have been a little bit dismayed, Acosta added, "by some of the attacks management has suffered, and attacks some of the board members have suffered, such as late-night phone calls and hate mail."
"I don't want to make these differences of opinion personal. There are procedures in place where we can discuss those types of disagreements."
Los Angeles Times report:
2001-02-11: Licence news this week and the UK was the most active area with new digital and local licences being awarded.
Australia was quiet as was Ireland but Canada had its usual fill of activity.
In the US, new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell set the tone for his tenure at his first news conference (RNW Feb. 7); Democrat Commissioner Gloria Tristani also made her position clear, this time in dissenting from permissions being given for more market concentration (RNW Feb. 8).
There is also growing concern that the FCC might sell of spectrum which is currently reserved for educational use for mobile communications use. (See below).
So to Canada and first from there a call by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for comment on its policy frameworks for community cable television channels and low-power radio stations.
In terms of radio stations, Canada currently issues licences for low power AM (up to 100 watts) and FM (up to 50 watts) services, Very Low Power FM (up to 10 watts) and Low-Power Announcement Service (LPAS) whose signal covers only a very restricted area.
These have different degrees of protection against interference (none against that from regular protected AM or FM stations) and the Commission wants comment on whether the categories should be retained, whether it should have a clear definition of the objective of any such services, how to encourage diversity and so on.
In the field of actual licence issuing, the Commission has approved two applications from the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc. in Ontario. One is for a English-language FM radio station at Timmins which will offer a CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) music format and the other is for the conversion of CKAP-AM, Kapuskasing, to FM retaining its current CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)/Hot AC (Adult Contemporary) format.
In the case of the Timmins station, objections from Telemedia Radio Inc., which owns two stations in the market were felt not as strong an argument as Haliburton's contentions in terms of adding diversity and complementing Haliburton's existing Timmins French-language FM station CHYK-FM.
Also in Timmins, the CRTC has approved a new low power tourist information service.
Elsewhere in Canada, the CRTC has approved a new English language FM station at Red Deer, Alberta to replace Corus Radio Company's CKGY-AM, retaining the current country music format, A developmental English-language FM community radio programming undertaking at Lewisporte, Newfoundland.
In Saskatchewan the CRTC approved a new low-power English-language FM radio station at Moose Jaw for Moose Jaw Tier 1 Hockey Inc. to broadcast of the hockey games of the Moose Jaw Warriors, and a Type B English-language FM community radio programming undertaking at Regina for Radius Communications Inc. which will devote 60% of its news programming time to local news and 20% to regional news as well as carrying aboriginal and French language programming. Finally the CRTC has approved the transfer of Control to Corus Entertainment Inc. of Les Placements Belcand Mont-Royal inc., which owns Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. Metromedia owns Six radio stations, CKOO-FM (formerly CIEL-FM), CKOI-FM, CINF, CFQR-FM and CINW, all in Montréal, plus CIME-FM in St-Jérôme as well as digital television service "Canal Habitat".
And in the UK, a busy week for the Radio Authority.
It started off with 16 applications for the new regional Independent Local Radio (ILR) licence for South and West Yorkshire.
They were from:
The Arrow (Chrysalis Radio (Yorkshire) Ltd.)-;
Century Yorkshire Ltd;
Déjà Vu Radio (Oldies Radio (Yorkshire) Ltd.);
Flair Fm (White Rose Radio Ltd.);
Flix Radio (Yorkshire) Ltd;
Forever 106 (Forever Broadcasting (Yorkshire) Ltd.);
Jazz Fm Yorkshire Ltd;
Nova 106 (Yorkshire Radio Enterprises Ltd.);
106.2 The Rose (White Rose Regional Radio Ltd. Owned By The Wireless Group);
Route Fm (Yorkshire Sound Ltd.);
Saga Radio Ltd.;
Sunrise Radio (Yorkshire) (Bradford City Radio Ltd.);
Variety Fm (Radio Variety Ltd.)
Y107 (Yorkshire Regional Radio Ltd.).
Brief format and proposal deals are on the UK Radio Authority web site ( link below).
The week ended with the award of the local digital multiplex service licence for the West Midlands region to the MXR Consortium whose shareholders are Chrysalis Group plc; Capital Radio plc; Guardian Media Group plc; Jazz FM plc; UBC Digital Ltd.; Soul Media Ltd.; and the Ford Motor Co. Ltd.
As well as the existing BBC Asian Network service for the West Midlands., MXR plans eight channels -- Children's radio; Jazz; Adult rock; Easy listening; Rolling regional news; Urban and rhythmic music; and Saga's Melodic adult contemporary service for older listeners.
The authority has also conditionally offered the new Independent Local Radio licence for a small-scale service FM service for towns of Kendal and Windermere in Cumbria to Mint Fm (Westmoreland Radio Ltd.) and has announced that next week it will advertise the digital multiplex licence to serve the town of Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
It has also has published its assessment of the re-awarding of the licence for the High Wycombe area to Radio Wye Ltd, (See Licence News Jan 28).
Wye was commended for its local character, commitment to locally produced programming and for its specialist programming for the local Asian and African-Caribbean populations.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-02-11: Concern is growing in the US that the Federal Communications Commission, faced with an explosive growth in demand for spectrum by telecommunications companies for a variety of wireless and Internet services, may reclaim airwaves it awarded in the sixties for educational use.
Around 1200 1,200 schools, colleges and universities would be affected by any move and the FCC has asked for comment on the idea by February 22.
The spectrum at issue is in the 2,500 megahertz to 2,690-megahertz band Instructional Television Fixed Service that is reserved for educational use.
It's at risk because President Clinton before leaving office set a deadline of July for federal agencies to find the spectrum for such uses as third generation mobile technology which permits Internet use on cell phones and too much of the spectrum is already occupied to allow for the growth. Hence lobbying by the powerful telecommunications companies to take over spectrum.
Most of the spectrum that could be used is already assigned to the military, although some of it could be freed up by a lengthy and costly reallocation of spectrum currently used for such purposes as command-and-control radio networks for the Army and Air Force and radar networks.
Other military spectrum such as the Air Force's Space Ground Link Subsystem, the network through which the military talks to its fleet of satellites, are regarded as sacrosanct.
As a result the pressure is heavily on the educational services.
2001-02-10:The latest Internet streaming audio study by Arbitron and Edison Media Research shows that streaming continues to increase although total time spent online has dropped.
The report, "Streaming at a Crossroads" is the sixth Internet study by the two companies and it found out that in January this year 13% of Americans (more than 30 million) reported using Internet audio or video at least once a month compared to 10% in January 2000.
27% of Americans (61 million) reported using streaming media in the past year with 6% (13 million) viewing or listening to streaming content weekly. The report says that more Americans (62%) now have Internet access than a year ago (60%) and they are spending more online (up from $650 to $806 a year) but just over 7 hours a week is spent online on average compared to 8 hours a year ago.
In terms of Internet use, radio fares best with 34% of those polled saying they expected to spend more time listening to radio during the year and half saying they would continue to listen for the same amount of time.
The report also says that nearly twice as many Americans listen online as watch streaming video.
Of those who listen, 44% go for music, 25% for radio stations, and 24% each for news reports and Napster music downloads and 22% for MP3 downloads.
Interestingly 76% of the people who listened couldn't name a single Internet audio provider and a quarter found listening to streaming audio difficult to a degree.
Online listening to radio stations increased by about a third over the year and 54% of those listening went for local stations, 39% for stations from other parts of the US and only 7& from other countries.
Around 12% listened to station side channels, those similar to but not the same as the on-air broadcasts and more time was spent listened at work than from the home (RNW note: A finding regularly reported by competitor MeasureCast).
The study also found that those who used streaming media were more likely to spend money online (34% compared to 19%) (RNW Note Another finding we would have anticipated as we'd expect such people to be confident about Internet use)
Edison site (Links to report:
2001-02-10: More satellite and digital radio developments, starting with US XM Satellite Radio whose first launch is now to be on March 18 instead of February 28 as originally announced (RNW Jan 11).
It will also be of its "Rock" satellite instead of "Roll" which was scheduled for launch last month but whose launch was aborted because of a last-minute seeming problem which proved not to be a malfunction (RNW Jan 9).
XM says both satellites are in good condition and it expects to launch "Roll" in early May.
XM has also announced that its has completed its production chipset design and that manufacturer ST Microelectronics will make components available to manufacturers by the end of March.
This would enable mass production of receivers for the commercial launch of XM in the summer.
Another radio satellite company, WorldSpace has announced a manufacturing, marketing and distribution deal.
This is with Indonesian manufacturer P.T. Hartono Istana Teknologi (HIT) and the two companies will cooperate to produce receivers for WorldSpace's international satellite services.
WorldSpace, whose STARMAN® chipsets are also made by ST Microelectronics already had receiver agreements with manufacturers Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita (Panasonic) and Sanyo.
Its first two satellites, AfriStar and AsiaStar, were successfully launched in 1998 and 2000 and a third, AmeriStar, will follow this year.
And in Europe, Geneva-based Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), whose steering board last month endorsed its digital AM service technology, has announced that Japanese state broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) is joining the DRM consortium.
The decision to join followed DRM's first Japan symposium last December at which live transmissions were demonstrated, broadcast from transmitters in Irkutsk, Russia and from Tinian in Saipan, Pacific.
DRM now has some 70 members of its consortium and says the technology can be used with more modern transmitters through modifications rather than replacement, thus reducing the cost of implementing digital technology.
DRM Web site:
WorldSpace web site:
XM Web site:
2001-02-10: More radio business deals, starting with the effective demise of BroadcastAmerica.com.
Internet marketing and content distribution company SurferNETWORK.com has now taken the radio assets of Maine-based BroadcastAmerica following the auction of assets under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
SurferNETWORK chairman and CEO, Gordon Bridge, said that by combining their assets with those of BroadcastAmerica and recently acquired GlobalMedia.com, Surfer was, "creating the global leader in streaming radio via the Net."
He indicated that his company might be interested in buying BroadcastAmerica subsidiary BroadcastEurope.
The Portland Press Herald quoted the lawyer for Surfer and its affiliate BA Funding as saying that the deal was a poor one for BroadcastAmerica and its creditors compared to the offer they rejected in December but BroadcastAmerica's lawyer disputed that claim.
Broadcast America's furniture and equipment will be auctioned off at its site on March 1.
BroadcastAmerica's web site is still operational but carries nothing about the development but Surfer's site does have a news release.
And additional information concerning the Radio One Inc and Blue Chip broadcasting deals, which was too late for us yesterday (See report below). Radio One's, chief financial officer Scott R. Royster told analysts that Minneapolis station KTTB-FM alone was worth $30 million of the $190 million the company is paying for Blue Chip and the whole deal was less than 14 times cash flow.
The $190 million will be made up of pay $45 million in cash and $90 million in stock and $55 million to refinance Blue Chip's debt.
Royster said the company's loss in 2000 was largely due to heavy depreciation costs associated with radio licenses.
He added that he was not concerned about the loss because it serves as a tax shelter for the firm.
"Profits are increasing dramatically," Royster said. "We don't want to become a taxpayer."
Radio One's CEO Alfred Liggins says he will now focus on operating the stations his company now owns although he added that there were a few gaps he would like to fill in.
He estimated that these would not cost more than $50 million in 2001. This is a small fraction of the company's spend over the past year where its $1.3 billion purchase of Clear Channel divestitures resulting from Clear's AMFM take over doubled its size.
Of Blue Chip's 19 stations, as well as the 14 going to Radio and the retention of WDBZ-AM, which will be operated by Radio 1, CEO Ross Love is keeping WCIN-AM in Cincinnati and selling off the three remaining stations.
WFIA-AM in Louisville, Kentucky, is on the market and WBTF-FM and WLXO -FM in Lexington, Kentucky, are to be sold to LM Communications.
LM will then have four FMs and one AM in the market.
And fourth quarter results from Hispanic Broadcasting, which showed a fall in same station revenues although overall the company was still up.
Net revenues were 9.7% higher than 1999 Q4 at $61.4 million and after-tax cash flow (ATCF) up 5.5% at $24M but broadcast cash flow (BCF) was down 9.6% to $25.6 million.
On a same station basis revenue was down 8.4% and BCF down 11.9%. For the full year, Net revenues were up 20% to $237.6 million, BCF up 11.9% to $102.6 million and ATCF up 18.8% to $84.2 million.
And finally a UK deal under which Forever Broadcasting is paying just over £5 million for Wolverhampton station The Wolf.
After the deal Forever will own four stations; the others are in Liverpool, Bolton and Bury in Lancashire and Brighton
Previous Blue Chip.:
Previous Clear Channel: .
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting:
Previous Radio One Inc:
Previous SuferNETWORK: BroadcastAmerica web site:
Portland Press Herald report:
SurferNETWORK site (direct to news releases):
2001-02-09:After the breasts as a prize (RNW Feb. 8), the whole station.
KAWL-AM in York, Nebraska, is staging a prize contest with the station itself as the prize.
Its web site values the 500-watt station owned by Prairie States Broadcasting, Inc at around $700,000 and the winner receives the right to apply to the Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of KAWL's licence to him or her.
If the FCC approves, they get the station complete with all its facilities.
If they're rejected, the next placed winner gets the chance to apply for the transfer.
Tickets for the competition are $1000 each for which an entrant gets to enter a written test followed by a tie breaker test on broadcasting terms and then a further tie breaker on a broadcast topic.
The catch? If less than a thousand entries are received, there's no winner and entrants get their money back.
And while on ingenuity in getting funds, a report in the Washington Post brings up the issue of funding for US National Public Radio (NPR).
By law, NPR cannot advertise on the air although it can take corporate funding in the form of underwriting, and credit the underwriters on air for their support without any indication of support for them or their products.
However the network apparently can, and has signed a contract to, advertise on its building walls in Washington DC.
The Post reports that the deal has aroused opposition, not just from staff and supporters who fear "creeping commercialization" of NPR but also from Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.) chair of the House Commerce and Energy Committee.
The Committer heavily influences funding for public broadcasting. NPR gets around 4 percent of its budget from Congress, through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Tauzin told the paper the move was, "very unwise and -- let me use the word - provocative."
KAWL-AM web site:
Washington Post report:
2001-02-09: More on the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which subsequently went broke.
In hearings this week, co-founder Oliver Barry has denied telling his fellow founder James Stafford that the government press secretary, P.J. Mara, and the minister for communications, Ray Burke, were operating a price list for the award of commercial broadcasting licences.
Stafford told the tribunal in July last year that Barry told him in September or October 1988 before Century applied for its licence that the "going rate" was £90,000 for a national television licence, £75,000 for each of the Dublin radio licences and £25,000 for a local licence.
Barry, who gave £35,000 to Burke in May 1989, has denied that he made other payments and in particular that £40,000 he claimed from Century Radio in February 1991 was used for any other purpose than the management services listed on the invoice he submitted.
He has admitted, however, that he paid Mara £2,000 in the early 1980s when the latter had financial difficulties. The money was never repaid.
Stafford has also alleged Barry approached him three times in 1990, saying Mara was "expecting" a sum of money from Century but Barry says he can't recall discussing this although at the time Mara was unhappy in his job and he had suggested to Mara, who was thinking of going into private enterprise, that "if he was taking on clients he might look at Century Radio and help to rebuild our corporate image."
Mara has already been ordered by the Tribunal to produce to it all his financial records from 1988 to date and the deadline twice extended after the first order was made in October last year and the second in December.
He has now been given until next Thursday to comply with the order. Mara's solicitors said he was trying to produce the records speedily and had contacted all the financial institutions he had dealings with in order to obtain copies of his records. He didn't keep comprehensive records and would have to rely on the records of third parties.
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
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
2001-02-09: Maryland-based Radio One Inc, the largest African-American owned radio group in the US, is to acquire Cincinnati-based Blue Chip Broadcasting, the third ranked group for $190 million.
The deal will give Radio One 15 more stations, an AM in Dayton, Ohio, and FMs in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus (Ohio - 3), Louisville (6) and Dayton (Ohio - 3).
Blue Chip CEO Ross Love will join Radio One's board.
Radio One is also selling in Mississippi where it is getting $225000 from Fort Bend Broadcasting for the assets but not the call letters of WJZZ-AM in Kingsley
The deal was announced as Radio One reported its fourth quarter results.
Revenue was up from $25 Million in 1999 to $58 million for the quarter and for the full year up from $82 million to $156 million.
For the quarter after tax flow was up 102% to $11.9 million; one a same station basis the rise was 15%.
On a per share basis this was 14 cents for the quarter and 58 cents for the full year but for 2001 the company is forecasting a loss of 39 cents per share, 20 cents a share in the first quarter, 8 in second quarter and around 5 in each of the third and fourth quarters.
Also reporting its fourth quarter results was Cox Radio whose net revenues for the quarter were up 25.7% on 1999 at $102.8 million whilst for the year net revenues were up 22.9% to $369.4 million whilst broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 29.8% for the quarter to $42.7 million and for the year up 20.5% to $221.6 million.
On a same station basis revenues were up 13% for the quarter to $90.2 million and for the year up 15.8% to $253million.
BCF was up 23% for the quarter to $39.6 million and for the year up 29.6% to $102million.
Net income for the final quarter was $4.7 million including a $100,000 unrealised gain related to interest rate swap agreements and a $500,000 after-tax loss for adjustments on previous sales of assets.
For the year net income was $305.9 million including a $27.9 million after-tax gain on the sale of KACE-FM and KRTO-FM in Los Angeles, California; a $244.6 million after-tax gain on the exchange of KFI-AM and KOST-FM in Los Angeles, California; a $1.0 million unrealised gain related to interest rate swap agreements the $500,000 adjustment as in the final quarter.
Previous Blue Chip:
Previous Radio One Inc:
Cox web site:
2001-02-08:Almost as new US Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell was setting out his reduced regulation policy (RNW Feb. 7) and classifying "pubic interest" in terms of "a commitment to making sure the American consumer is benefited", there was a blast from Democrat Commissioner Gloria Tristani about allowing too much concentration in radio markets.
She released statements about the approval of licence transfers in Georgia from Southard Radio to Golden Isles Broadcasting in Brunswick, and from Taylor Broadcasting to Clear Channel Broadcasting in Macon.
In the first case she noted that the transfer would result in two groups controlling 8 of the nine stations in Brunswick and 93.9% of advertising revenue.
She felt that a rather than approve the transfer because it did not change the existing competitive situation in Brunswick, the Commission should have considered other options such as requiring the applicant to demonstrate that it attempted to find another buyer for one of the stations.
In Macon, she noted that Clear Channel, because two specific "markets" were involved, should be permitted to own no more than six stations and seven stations, respectively but was in fact being allowed to own seven and eight stations respectively.
Tristani said the size of the "market" was being expanded and contracted to suit our purposes instead of being consistently applied as required by statute, her initial reaction was to disagree with the decision to grant the transfer
Tristani statement re Macon: Tristani statement re Brunswick:
2001-02-08: A Manchester, UK, radio station has just announced a prize of a new pair of breasts to a local woman in one of their competitions.
Key 103 was contacted by the woman's mother who said she needed to recover her figure after having two children and had become really depressed about her breast size.
After the award was made the station's JK & Joel Breakfast Show found out that the woman had already raised nearly all the money for the operation herself and was going to cut the£2500 prize in half.
After calls from listeners, however, they tossed a coin, which came down in favour of the larger figure.
2001-02-08: More US radio business and results, starting with satellite radio.
On the plus side, XM Satellite Radio has announced another tie-up, this time with Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. to design, develop, produce and market XM radios for factory installation into new cars.
XM has also announced its fourth quarter results, which show an operating loss of $20.5 million, a consolidated net loss of $14.0 million, and a consolidated net loss available to common shareholders of $19.8 million, or $0.40 per share.
In the fourth quarter of 1999 the figures were $12.9 million, $11.1million, $11.1million or $0.27 per share respectively.
Meanwhile competitor Sirius Satellite Radio, whose three satellites are already in orbit and last month had its rating upgraded by Moodys from negative to stable (RNW Jan 3), has had technical problems with software which have prevented clear reception.
They've also led Lehman Brothers Inc. to delay a $150 million loan until the system passes tests.
Sirius still has some $75 million in cash.
Strong fourth quarter results however for Entravision whose net revenues for the period were $55.7 million, up 225% on 1999, mostly through acquisitions which tripled its size.
On a same station basis, net revenues were still up a healthy 20% to $18.4 million and broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 29% to $7.8 million.
For the full year net revenues were $154 million, up 161% and BCF was $58.2 million, an increase of 154%: same station net revenues grew 26% to $67.5 million and same station BCF was up 32% to $27.7 million.
Finally on the downside, Clear Channel's Premiere Networks Syndication is to shed 10% of its workforce and axe some 20 shows.
Fuller details are to be announced tomorrow.
Premiere President and COO Kraig T. Kitchin says he is focusing the company's attentions on recent launches and new programmes including four new RADAR-rated sales networks, Fox Sports Radio Network and the Premiere Traffic Network.
Previous Clear Channel:
Entravision web site (links to Q4 Conference call):
Sirius web site:
XM web site:
2001-02-12: Two more California radio veterans have died.
They are Robert H. Forward, a pioneering radio and television producer and manager who was 85 and Leona Jacobs-White volunteer programmer and talk show host of Berkeley's non-commercial radio station KPFA-FM, who was 72.
White co-hosted KPFA's weekly "AIDS in Focus" program for six years and from 1988 to 1990, was host of a weekly talk show.
Forward, who worked for Mutual Don Lee Broadcasting System's KHJ radio in 1941 before WW2 duties, moved back and forward between radio and television after the war.
After a spell in Lee's experimental Los Angeles television station W6XAO in 1946 he had a number of television jobs before returning to radio in 1956 as programme director of KMPC. While there, he pioneered use of mobile units and helicopters for 24-hour, live news coverage and also introduced one-minute radio editorials.
He was later general manager at KLAC radio from 1961 to 1964 and at KRLA from 1978 to 1982
Los Angeles Times on Forward:
Los Angeles Times on Jacobs-White:
2001-02-07: Cox Radio, Inc., the fourth largest US radio company in terms of net revenues, has announced that it is to sell KGTO-AM in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to KJMM Inc for $465,000.
A Local Marketing Agreement is already in force pending regulatory approval.
The deal will leave Cox with four FM's and one AM in Tulsa.
Cox has also announced completion of two previously announced deals.
They are the sale of WHOO-AM serving the Orlando, Florida market to ABC Radio for $5 million in cash and the acquisition from Radio One Inc for $52.5 million in cash of the assets of WDYL-FM serving the Richmond, Virginia market, and WJMZ-FM/WPEK-FM serving the Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina market.(RNW Nov 11).
In addition, Cox has entered into a joint sales agreement with Honolulu Broadcasting, Inc. under which it will provide sales and marketing services for WARV-FM serving the Richmond, Virginia market.
Also in the US, Entercom Communications Corp. has reported fourth quarter results of net revenues up 52% to $91.7 million, broadcast cash flow (BCF) up 65% to $40.4 million and after tax cash flow per share up 44% to $0.56 per basic share, all compared to 1999.
On a same station basis, revenues were up 9% and BCF up 14%. Net revenues for 2000 were up 64% over 1999 at $352.0 million and BCF was up 84% at $145.4 but net income per share was down at $0.59 as compared to $0.62 in the prior year.
Entercom says the reduction in net income per share is primarily attributable to the additional costs of depreciation, amortization and financing costs of newly acquired properties.
Previous Radio One Inc:
Cox web site:
Entercom web site:
2001-02-07: Internet radio audiences increased by another 10% in the most recent week of their ratings according to MeasureCast Inc, the Oregon-based streaming audience measurement company.
There were four new stations in the organisation's top 25, based this week on 575 stations: Urban Rhythm and Blues "The Beat Los Angeles" at 14, Adult Contemporary KBLX-FM at 19, Urban Rhythm and Blues WBLS-FM at 22, and Spanish Onda Cero at 25.
In the top five ranked by total time spent listening there were no ranking changes but we note that the figures for the top Talk Stations have dropped.
They were again (with previous week's Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and Cume persons (CP- an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week in brackets):
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 79,887 (90,520); CP13,626 (16,123) - position unchanged.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 62,249 (48,854); CP17,956 (14,947) - position unchanged.
3): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 41,483 (38,787); CP 3,582 (3,469) - position unchanged.
4): Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 39,516 (38,362); CP 6,608 (6,652) - formerly 6th.
5): Talk Radio KSFO-FM (San Francisco) TTSL 36,163 (38,144); CP 6,701 (6,875) - position unchanged.
And still on Internet audio, Inside Story has reported that radio giant Clear Channel, which last week announced a deal with Los Angeles-based Hiwire Inc., which inserts advertising into streaming radio webcasts, has bought Internet radio network Enigma Digital.
It adds that neither company was prepared to comment.
Enigma's stations include hard rock/metal KNAC.com and electronic/dance grooveradio.com.
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Clear Channel, which had fought shy of major Internet investment in the past although some 300 of its 1100-plus stations stream their output, says it is making a profit on worldclassicrock.com.
This is a site it set up when it sold the Los Angeles frequency carrying KACD to Spanish language broadcaster Entravision.(RNW July 7).
According to the paper, Clear Channel online President John Martin says the key to the profit is not adverts so much as payments for links to the sites of other organisations or commission on sales made through the site.
The Journal says the site seven staff to pay from revenues derived though a total of 130,000 listeners a month.
RNW comment: The points we have made before about the real audience comparison between broadcast radio stations and those of Internet stations make us sceptical about the profitability claim.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Inside Story report:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-02-07: Recently appointed US Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell has held his first news conference to outline his agenda for the organisation. The content was general but Powell made it clear that he would tend to be less interventionist than his predecessors.
He termed the 1996 Communications Act, which led to much deregulation of US broadcasting a success and asked about public interest issues he said the organisation owed "fairness to all" but "allegiance to none."
Powell said he felt that the challenges for the agency were not going to be ones it found but those that found it as technological change and innovation brought forwards new and unforeseen issues.
Still with the FCC, it has rescinded a $6000 fine imposed on Infinity-owned WXRK-FM, New York, in connection with three Howard Stern shows that were held to have included indecent material.
The broadcasts were aired on October 23, 1995, March 7, 1996, and June 3, 1996 and had led to fines on affiliates WBZU/Richmond and WEZB/New Orleans after complaints from listeners.
The FCC had also proposed fining WXRK as the originating station but has decided to rescind the fine because of the time that has elapsed since the broadcast although it has stated that it in no way condones the broadcast of indecent material:
FCC site: Links to Real Audio of news conference: Daily Digest Feb. 5 has notice rescinding fine.
2001-02-06: US radio revenues dropped for the first time in nearly 9 years in December 2000 according to a report released at the Radio Advertising Bureau's RAB2001 convention in Dallas.
RAB President and CEO Gary Fries had predicted that the industry would break the $20 billion revenue barrier in 2000 but in the event it fell just short at some $19.81billion.
Overall revenues for 2000 were up 12% but after November, the 99th month of consecutive overall revenue increases, December overall revenues were down 3% compared to 1999.
For the month local sales were down 2% and national down 7%.
National figures had already fallen back in October when local revenue gains of 6% were offset by a fall of 5% in national advertising. (RNW Dec. 7).
2001-02-06: Contrary to the tenor of our report yesterday(RNW Feb. 5), BBC Director General Greg Dyke, has told staff that reports of further job losses at the BBC beyond those already announced are incorrect.
He did, however, confirm that the Corporation planned to cut 1000 non-rogramming jobs, saying that this would take place over four years.
2001-02-06: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced another tie-up for the manufacture of receivers. Sony Electronics Inc is to develop car, home and portable satellite radios capable of receiving Sirius.
Sirius already had agreements with a number of manufacturers to produce AM/FM/Satellite radio receivers but these were mainly for in car use; Sirius has tie-ups to install three-band (AM/FM/SAT) radios in Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Jaguar and Volvo vehicles as well as Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks.
Rival XM Satellite Radio has already announced tie-ups for home and portable receivers as well as those for use in automobiles.
Sirius web site (links to news of deal):
2001-02-06: The latest hit show on Beijing People's Radio according to the Toronto Globe and Mail flies contrary to widely accepted beliefs that apologies were out for the Chinese because of the loss of face involved and the fact an apology is widely perceived as a sign of weakness.
The show, "Apologize in Public Tonight", is hosted by Su Jingping who says it began as a way for people to say thank you to friends on the air but instead, people suddenly starting using the show as an apology forum.
He is still trying to explain the success of the show but did say, "We don't have many places where people can confess their sins or have psychological assistance."
The calls range from men who have had affairs to criminals who want to say sorry to their victims but some callers are turned away.
The paper cites examples of father who raped his daughter and was denied a chance to say sorry, as was an AIDS patient who had unprotected sex with two young women.
Toronto Globe and Mail (Look for radio in 7-day search engine).
2001-02-05: A little self-indulgence to start off this week's look at columns reporting radio.
Self-indulgence because we rather agree, as may have been obvious in our comments on the verdict(RNW Feb. 3), with the Washington Post concerning the G. Gordon Liddy defamation lawsuit.
In an editorial, the paper comments that the courts are "a capricious venue for arguments about history" and adds, that though they may sometimes get things right, "conspiracy theorizing generally is better addressed in the public arena by rigorous confrontation with facts."
"That's true both out of respect for freedom of speech -- even wrong-headed speech -- and because historical truth does not always fare so well in court."
The Post cites the Tennessee jury which in 1999 "embraced the looniest of conspiracy theories concerning the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr." and the Baltimore court decision on Liddy.
Commenting on the latter it refers to Liddy promoting "a 'revisionist' -- false would be a better description -- account of the scandal.
It then briefly summarizes the case, commenting that the plaintiff Ida Wells "was understandably offended by the implication that she was somehow involved in a call girl ring.
It concludes "The danger of such outcomes as this one is that this sort of thinking spreads. For whether or not Mr. Liddy's comments legally defamed Ms. Wells, we do know what happened at Watergate -- and it had nothing to do with prostitutes."
RNW comment: We would agree with the Post as far as it goes but in our case go further since it certainly be easier to "prove" that every US President since the second World War (apart from the current one who will probably also make the grade) is deserving of the appellation "war criminal" than that Ida Wells was involved in running a prostitution ring.
But on to more self-indulgence, this time because of the pleasure some of the radio columnists and reviewers have given us by their use of English.
Take Sue Arnold in the UK Observer (no link because we, regrettably, could not find the column on the paper's web site: Maybe a few E-mails to the paper suggesting they feature their radio column more prominently might help keep it going as some papers seem to be cutting down in this area).
"Fear and loathing come over nicely on radio" is a reasonably arresting way to start a column.
The comment leads to reviews of a BBC Radio 5 programme about Nurses, a Radio 4 one about South African game wardens, and another Radio 4 programme, this time on author Norman Finkelstein and his book "The Holocaust Industry".
More indulgence, albeit you'd need a little local knowledge to get the full flavour, this time from Sunday Times stalwart, Paul Donovan.
His column begins, "Europe now has its first gay radio station. Can you believe it began in Frinton-on-Sea, an Essex resort so crusty and conservative, it gave rise to the phrase 'Harwich for the Continent, Frinton for the incontinent'?"
"Or that it is beamed from Russia, a country not noted for championing sexual unorth-odoxy, but which now appears to be changing from red to pink?"
"Or that its managing director is an emphatically straight businessman called Torquil Siluanus Mathew Septimus Riley-Smith, who, as a former racehorse owner, is much more interested in fillies?"
"I am not making any of this up."
He isn't but the station is not currently likely to be widely copied if only for financial reasons.
Donovan points out that, "So far, the station has attracted only nine advertisers, including One 2 One phones, Red Devil and an Ipswich firm of solicitors, Ross Coates."
"'I was really hoping for some reverse payola, with groups such as Status Quo actually paying us not to play their records on the grounds that they would not wish to be associated with us,'" a laconic Riley-Smith says."
"But I have to say that unfortunately that hasn't happened."
And to continue quoting Donovan," From Colchester, where the programmes are made, the signal is sent to Bush House and thence up to the Sirius satellite, down to Moscow and out to a huge transmitter in Kaliningrad, not far from the Polish border."
"This is so powerful, it was used to broadcast Soviet propaganda throughout the cold war, and its reach stretches from Iceland to Sicily."
"At first, the studios were in Frinton - Riley-Smith's business partner, Ray Anderson, who used to own the pirate ship Laser 558, had family premises in the town - but there was some local hostility."
"'It's an incredibly conservative place,' says Riley-Smith. 'They've only just got their first fish-and-chip shop. We are much happier in Colchester, and have much more space.'"
"Personally, I would rather listen to a Family Values FM run by Baroness Young of Farnworth, Britain's bravest woman. But there is more lucre in liberalism."
"A gay radio station was recently proposed for the northeast England digital licence. It is again being proposed for the third London digital licence."
"And who is the best-known figure behind these bids? Why, none other than Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of The Sun and famous for his outspoken remarks about 'parasitical pansies' and 'botty burglar'. "
" Politics makes strange bedfellows, but money makes them even stranger. "
Cap that seems to be the way to end this report. If you can, E-mail us.
Donovan Sunday Times column:
Washington Post editorial:
2001-02-05: Los Angeles radio reporter Stephen Kindred of KFWB-AM has been awarded the Golden Mike award for 2000 for his his reporting of the Los Angeles Lakers' victory parade in spring 2000.
It his his 13th Golden Mike; previous awards included ones for reporting events as diverse as the 1992 Rodney King trial and subsequent riots, 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the OJ Simpson trial.
The awards are made annually by the Radio and Television News Association to mark the best news broadcasts in radio and television in Southern California.
Previous Golden Mike
2001-02-05: Word of more job losses at the BBC is expected to come tomorrow when Director General Greg Dyke addresses staff with an account of his first year in charge.
Around a thousand job losses were forecast soon after he took office on February 1 (See RNW April 5) as Dyke pledged to increase the proportion of income spent on programmes to 85%.
So far around 250 posts have gone and a programme of voluntary redundancies is well under way with many staff attending seminars on their pensions and how to prepare for a post-BBC life.
Only a few hundred staff will hear Dyke in person at the BBC Television Centre in West London; the rest will be able to phone or e-mail with questions and watch the address on the BBC's internal network.
2001-02-04: Licence news this week and all was again fairly quiet in Australia and pretty much the same in the US and Ireland, apart from the IRTC rejection of Ulster Television's bid for Cork-based County Media (see below).
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated a new commercial radio broadcasting licence to Worldaudio Communications Pty Ltd to cover the whole of Australia.
The licence is restricted to means of delivery that do not use the broadcasting services bands.
In Canada there was again more activity, particularly on the community radio front. Most notable was Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval for a company yet to be incorporated of a national Native radio programming network licence to be known as Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVRN).
The new network will broadcast primarily in English, with regular inclusion of many of Canada's 53 Native languages, as well as French, Spanish and other languages.
It will distribute the programming of the new Aboriginal Voices Radio Type B native radio station in Toronto approved in June (RNW June 18 ).
There has also been approval of a number of tourist information services including ones for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Gladstone, Manitoba, Campbell River, British Columbia and a short-term licence renewal (for 30 months) of the licence of University of Toronto Community Radio Inc. for CIUT-FM.
The reason for the short term granted related to past problems over obeying licence conditions on content and keeping inadequate logs of broadcasts.
On the transmitter front, additional transmitters approved were an additional 37 watt transmitter at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan to carry programming from CJLR-FM La Ronge and additional 10 watt transmitters for Northern Native Broadcasting at Aklavik in the Northwest Territories and at Good Hope Lake, British Columbia, to carry programming from CHON-FM Whitehorse in the Northwest Territories.
In addition the Commission has issued a public notice concerning additions to add new low power transmitters at Gros Morne in Quebec for CJMC Radio du Golfe and at Sainte-Perpétue, also in Quebec, for CHOX-FM La Pocatière.
The CRTC has also issued its report on measures to ensure radio services in greater Toronto reflect the diversity of cultures and languages in the area.
While it sees digital radio as possibly being a long term solution, it is also studying other means of distributing services such as subsidiary communications multiplex operation (SCMO) services, closed circuit audio programming services and Internet-based audio services.
In the UK the Radio Authority has re-awarded the Isle of Wight licence to existing licence holder, Isle of Wight Radio LTD, the sole applicant, but is re-advertising the licences for the Thamesmead area of South-East London currently held by Millennium FM and the North London licence currently held by London Greek Radio (1987) Ltd. following declarations of intent to apply from competitor applicants.
In addition the authority has published its assessment of the award of the second West Midlands licence to Saga Radio (RNW Jan 24).
In essence its application, which targets audiences, aged 50 years and over, says the authority was accepted because this age group is poorly served by commercial radio and the application thus broadened choice most.
In the US, the main FCC decision of note was the postponing of a mobile spectrum auction (RNW Feb. 2)
Previous Licence News:
Previous Saga (UK):
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site :
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
IRTC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-02-04: Ulster Television says it is waiting a "detailed explanation" from the Irish Independent Radio and Television Commission over the rejection of its I£31.5m (£25.5m) bid for all the shares of County Media, the Cork-based owner of three Irish radio stations( See RNW Nov. 24).
The bid was rejected under Irish legislation which prohibits another media group owning more than 27% of a radio broadcaster and because the Commission has a policy of requiring strong local representation in the ownership structure of regional radio.
Although it would not comment further, there have been suggestions (See RNW Jan. 8) that UTV might challenge the decision, arguing that the law is specific to Ireland and breaks EU laws allowing European companies to establish businesses in any EU member state.
At the moment, however, it is holding off since the commission is reviewing the ownership policy and will be discussing it at its next policy meeting in April.
Previous UTV/County Media:
2001-02-04: Long-time BBC radio horse racing commentator Peter Bromley is to retire shortly. Aged 72 on April 30, Bromley has been a BBC radio racing commentator since May 1959 when his first commentary came from Newmarket.
His last commentary will be on June 9 on the Vodafone Derby.
2001-02-03: The new Sydney FM station for whose licence DMG Radio Australia bid Aus$155 million (RNW Licence News May 28) has signed up comedians Merrick Watts and Tim Ross, former ABC Triple-J afternoon hosts Merrick and Rosso, to host its breakfast slot.
At the end of last month the station signed Corey Layton (RNW Jan 26) amid speculation that it intends to target the youth market currently dominated by Triple M and 2-Day FM.
2001-02-03: It's official! No rational jury would find it unreasonable for US radio host and convicted Watergate conspirator G Gordon Liddy to tell audiences that he now believes the burglars who broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters during Nixon's presidency were looking for photographs of prostitutes.
The comment was made by Chief Judge J. Frederick Motz in U.S. District Court in Baltimore who dismissed a $5 million defamation suit against the host after the jurors split 7-2 in favour of Liddy.
Motz added that he was not saying that "the conventional theory is wrong, but certainly parts of it have been called into question by the evidence in this case."
The judge also said he was guided in his judgments by little green men from the planet "Alpha Centauri." (No! We made that bit up although we took the planet because the main source for the allegations, disbarred attorney Philip Mackin Bailley who had a history of mental illness once told police he was an alien from the planet "Alpha Centauri!" ).
He added that Liddy "had a fundamental free-speech right to talk about his theory."
(On second thoughts we actually do think the judge talks to little green men, albeit possibly not from Alpha Centauri, and have a fundamental right to say so!).
Following the verdict, David M Dorsen, the lawyer for Ida "Maxie" Wells, the DNC secretary who had sued Liddy, said they hadn't anticipated this verdict and had not discussed whether to appeal.
Wells sued on the basis that Liddy hurt her reputation by telling audiences that she kept photos of the call girls in her desk and used them to arrange trysts for visiting Democratic politicians.
Liddy has said in at least two speeches that Nixon lawyer John Dean orchestrated the break-in to steal pictures of scantily-clad prostitutes, including Dean's then-girlfriend Maureen Biner, now his wife, from Wells's desk.
Dorsen had argued that First Amendment rights did not offer a license to make wild claims about anybody and that Liddy's theory relied on paper-thin evidence that "you could drive a truck through."
Judge Motz had dismissed the case in 1999 on the basis that Wells was an "involuntary public figure" but had been overruled by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, which said the case should go to trial.
Motz responded to Dorsen's arguments by saying, "There are lots of issues and lots of things one can debate but I was sitting in another courtroom if you drove a truck through this theory - or else I can't see or hear."
Wells herself told the Washington Post, "I did hope that this would kind of squelch people continuing to think this theory is true, because it is not."
Liddy reacted to the verdict by saying," "John Dean just had a stake driven through his heart, and I pounded it in, and how sweet it is."
Several jurors told the Baltimore Sun that they thought the call-girl theory was plausible.
RNW comment: As is clear from out interjections above, we find some of the judge's comments rather out of place.
We also find it strange that, if there was any serious suggestion of such a scandal at the time, a beleaguered President who fought tooth and nail to save his skin did not use it.
The theory might well in our view have been plausible at the time but there certainly can't have been evidence to support it.
At the same time, we are rather dubious about the merits of massive awards to individuals which of themselves can also tilt the balance against proper public discussion.
Maybe a ruling that the judge is beyond defamation could be introduced!
Any suggested stories that would be plausible about him or Liddy by E-mail to us please!
Baltimore Sun report:
Washington Post report:
2001-02-03: A look back at the business side of radio last week, starting with giant Clear Channel whose shares rose following its release of predictions for 2001.
For the full year, Clear Channel is expecting net revenues of $8.08 billion, cash flow of $5.16 billion, ATCF of $1.99 billion, EBITDA (net revenue less operating expenses and corporate expenses) of $2.72 billion and a net loss of $393M.
On the acquisitions front, Clear Channel is paying $16 million to Radio 1 Inc for KJOI-AM in Dallas. Radio 1 bought the station, then WLUV-AM, from Infinity for the same price last May (RNW May 17). An LMA is already in operation.
Amongst smaller players, Mid West Family Group, operating in this instance as Long-Nine Inc., is paying $3 million for WLGM-FM Petersburg, Illinois. The group will then have three FM's and an AM in the market.
In Florida, CAM Broadcasting Co. is buying WDRR-FM in the Ft. Myers-Naples market for $2.5 million and in Utah, Mag Mile Media LLC is paying $2M to Sanpete County Broadcasting for KMXU-FM in Manti.
Sanpete is retaining its other station, KMTI-AM.
Further down the scale religious group Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp. is paying $950,000 for WHRP-AM Claremont, Virginia, which it is already operating under an LMA, and Sheridan Broadcasting is paying $625K for WPGR-AM, licensed to Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
In West Virginia Legend Communications is paying $500,000 for WMOV-AM & FM Ravenswood.
In another deal Cumulus Media has assigned its right to buy WAJV-FM Brooksville, Mississippi, to Urban Radio group, which is to pay $500,000 for the station.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Clear Channel site (links to forecast):
2001-02-02: More spectrum sale developments.
In France, the government has now said it will hold a further contest to ensure that it sells all four of the third-generation mobile phone licences it has on offer.
Only two companies had made firm offers when the deadline expired following a pull out by two of the original four bidders (See RNW Jan. 28).
The French government is reported to be considering "sweeteners" such as extending the planned 13-year term of the licences or reducing the price to attract buyers after some potential bidders had complained that the original 4.9 Billion Euro ($4.6 billion) price for each licence was too high.
And in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has delayed yet again the auction of spectrum currently used for TV channels 60-69, the 747-762 and 777-792 MHz band.
The auction was due March 6 but has now been rescheduled for September 12 following a request from Verizon Wireless which argued that bidders have difficulty in setting a valuation until they know how much it will cost to remove broadcasters from these frequencies.
There is also concern amongst potential bidders over the potential impact from attempts to find other spectrum suitable for third generation mobile uses.
Most wireless companies have backed Verizon but there has been opposition from broadcasters, notably Paxson Communications, which owns 18 of the 138 stations on the affected band.
Paxson says an early auction would be beneficial in giving broadcasters funds to pay for their switch to digital TV.
Previous French spectrum sale:
FCC news release:
2001-02-02: The question of a £40,000 claimed by former Century Radio director and co-founder Oliver Barry has again been brought up at the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first National Commercial radio licence to Century.
The tribunal was told that when Century, then having financial problems, and UK Capital Radio entered into an investment agreement in 1990, Capital's solicitor had asked that they be told of any debts not in their accounts.
However the disclosure letter that they received had nothing about the £40,000 which Barry later claimed.
Barry, when asked about this by Tribunal counsel Patrick Hanratty SC, said that he was busy coping with a crisis and would have left the documentation to professionals.
Barry said the background was that co-director James Stafford had wanted to put Century into liquidation in 1989.
In January 1990, when the bank recommended various cuts, Barry said he moved into Century with his staff to keep the ship afloat.
"We paid salaries out of our own pocket and so there was no point in looking for money for myself from the company at that stage," he said.
"When we succeeded in obtaining investment from Capital, Mr. Stafford and I entered into a gentlemen's agreement that I would be recompensed."
Barry said that when he claimed the money from Capital, he told them the 40,000 plus VAT was from his own account, used to pay wages for 25 weeks at £1,600 a week.
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
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
2001-02-02: Latest UK radio audience figures from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) show the BBC further increasing its dominant share in the final quarter of 2000.
Since the third quarter (RNW Nov. 3) the Corporation has edged its share up to 51.7% from 51.4%.
Doing particularly well was Radio 2 with a weekly audience of 10.688 million.
This was nearly that of flagship Radio 1 which had 10.709 million and in terms of share which takes into account the time spent listening, Radio 2 was ahead with 13.6% compared to 10% for Radio 1.
The biggest success for Radio 2 was Terry Wogan's Morning Show, which has a weekly audience of 6.29 million, up 520,000 on the period up to September 17.
Other BBC channels fared less well with BBC Radio 3 down to a weekly 1.980 million and a 1.2% share compared to 2.01 million and a 1.3% share, Radio 4 down to a weekly 8.872 million and 10.8% share compared to 9.18 million and an 11.2% share and Radio 5 Live down to a weekly 5.37 million and 5.523 million although its share was up from 3.8% to 4.1%.
Of the national commercial rivals, Classic FM' attracted a 4.7% share with 6.04 million listeners a week (previous period 4.2% share with 6.05 million); Virgin (AM) was down with a 1.4% share and 2.57 million (previous period 1.7% share and 2.9 million) and TalkSport was down a little with a 1.3% share compared to 1.4% although its weekly reach was up a little to 2.16 million from 2.05 million.
TalkSport did however have greater success in one area; it's now got rid of most of the women listeners it had with its talk format and now claims a 75% male audience with its current sports format.
Previous Classic FM:
RAJAR web site (links to quarterly reports):
2001-02-01: US Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth has announced that he will step down when his term with the FCC ends on June 30th.
In a statement posted on his web site, he says, "It has been a great honour to serve for more than three years on the Federal Communications Commission, more than half a year beyond the expiration of my term."
"However, there comes a time when every free market advocate in government must fulfil his dream by returning to the private sector. For me, that time has arrived."
Furchtgott-Roth does not say what he plans to do next.
2001-02-01: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has announced two new appointments, one public and one broadcasting member, to its Atlantic Regional Council leaving one public member vacancy still to be filled.
The New public member is lawyer Rocky Jones who has been actively engaged in human rights work and has worked on various areas of African-Canadian and aboriginal activities.
New broadcast member is Randy McKeen is News Director of Telemedia Radio Atlantic.
He has worked in radio in New Brunswick for nearly 25 years. Previous CBSC:
CBSC web site:
2001-02-01: US Radio Host G. Gordon Liddy, who was jailed for offences related to the Nixon-era Watergate break-in, has now concluded two days testimony in a defamation suit brought against him by former Democrat National Committee secretary Ida "Maxie" Wells, who is asking for $5.1 million in damages. ( RNW Jan 21).
In his testimony to the US District Court in Baltimore, Liddy broke his silence about the Watergate Affair for the first time, saying that he refused to testify about Watergate until after the statute of limitations ran out because his father "didn't raise a rat or a snitch."
He said the Watergate scandal was set in motion by a jealous prostitute who was annoyed that a fellow call girl wore sables and bragged about being the girlfriend of Nixon administration lawyer John Dean.
He added that Dean orchestrated the break-in after learning that a "tasteful" photo of Dean' then girlfriend and now wife Maureen Biner -- code-named "Clout" -- in a skimpy negligee was among the photos in Wells's desk.
Liddy said Biner was part of a call-girl ring that supplied prostitutes to the DNC, a ring made up of girls recruited from Hollywood and from the New York call-girl operation run by legendary madam Xaviera Hollander.
Liddy said he learned of the ring in the early 1990s from disbarred Washington lawyer Philip Mackin Bailley. Liddy also said that Biner, who he alleged was among the Hollywood recruits, annoyed another call girl by boasting of her relationship with Dean and in an act of revenge the latter slipped two photos of Biner into an envelope containing pictures of call girls that was requested by someone at the DNC who wanted "fresh faces" to show visitors who used the call-girl service.
Liddy said his sources were Philip Mackin Bailley, a disbarred Washington attorney who has a history of mental illness, Len Colodny, co-author of a revisionist history of Watergate "Silent Coup" and interviews with Carl Shoffler, a now-deceased Washington, D.C., police officer who said he seized a key to Wells's desk from one of the Watergate burglars.
John Dean has called Liddy's theory "absolute garbage" and the Deans have already settled an action against the publishers of the book for an undisclosed amount.
Washington Post report- Liddy testimony day 1:
Washington Post report- Liddy testimony day 2:
2001-02-01: Internet radio audiences increased by another 8% in the most recent week of their ratings according to MeasureCast Inc, the Oregon-based streaming audience measurement company.
MeasureCast has also announced enhancements to its service which allow exports of data to popular spreadsheet applications as well as use its own reports which now enable its clients to sort, classify, and organize audience data by state, geographical region, and format from the network level down to groups of stations.
In its rankings for the week to January 28, the company says overall listeners to the top 25 stations tuned in for longer than they had in the previous week and 16 of them also had larger audiences.
Three ABC Radio stations made their debuts in the MeasureCast Internet Radio Top 25 list: WZZN-94.7 FM, an "80s and beyond" station in Chicago; KSCS-96.3 FM, a country music station in Dallas/Ft. Worth; and KZNZ-105 FM, an alternative rock station in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Top formats were Talk Radio, followed by News/Talk, Classic Rock, and Listener Formatted. There was only one change in the top five where Internet only station Radio Margaritaville came back in at number four. Last week's number 5, Classic Rock KQRS-FM (Minneapolis) was down to sixth place.
The top five with previous week's Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and Cume persons (CP- an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week) in brackets where applicable were:
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 90,520 (71,975); CP 16,123 (14,146) - position unchanged.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 48,854 (52,055); CP 14,947(16,331) - position unchanged.
3): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 38,787 (34,531); CP3, 469 (3,144) - position unchanged.
4): Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 38,362 (29,030); CP 6,652 (6,149) - formerly 6th.
5): Talk Radio KSFO-FM (San Francisco) TTSL 38,144 (33,729); CP 6,875 (7,019) - position unchanged.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem. Regarding external links, we give links where we can but some newspapers and stations only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA). Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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Back to top :
January 2001 Mar 2001
RNW February Comment -- takes a look at the implications of the move to digital technology.RNW January Comment -- our 2001 Wish List.
RNW December Comment - following our earlier two months on technological change, reflects on radio's benefits as an aural medium. E-mail your comments
2001-02-28: In Chicago the demise of WNIB as a classical station seems to have had a large positive effect on the funds being raised by Chicago's remaining classical station WFMT-FM.
Its pledge drive has shattered all previous records, raising more than $300,000 in five days reports Robert Feder in the Sun Times.
He points out that the station was most unlikely to have ever dropped its classical format as it pulls in some $ 5 million a year from commercials and, as a public trust, is answerable to a board of trustees.
Feder quotes Steve Robinson, WFMT's boss and vice president of radio for parent company Window to the World Communications as saying," We're the only station in the world that can say it's non-profit, commercial, listener-supported and jingle-free."
Sun Times Feder column:
2001-02-28: Some mixed radio results today. First a strong one from Scottish Media Group, which owns UK radio, TV, cinema advertising and newspaper interests.
It, reported turnover for 2000 up 24% to £300.5 million, EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and excluding exceptionals) up 31% to £82.8 million, and operating profit up 34% to £74.3 million.
Pre-tax profits were up 18% to £59 million.
During the year, SMG took over Chris Evans's Ginger radio empire for £225 million (RNW Jan 13, 2000), which included Virgin Radio.
Virgin contributed £33 million of the turnover.
From the US there were good results for Citadel but a warning from Emmis, which on Monday wiped 11% off its share value.
Citadel which is to be bought out by Forstmann Little & Co. (RNW Jan 17), reported net revenues up 59.6% to $284.8 million for the year 2000 and broadcast cash flow up 70.1% to $107.5million, the first time it has topped $100 million.
For the final quarter, revenues were up 66.3% compared to 1999 Q4 at $92.3 million and BCF was up 65.5% to $34,5 million.
On a same station basis revenues were up 7.6% and BCF 16.7% for the year and for the final quarter net revenues were up 5.2% to $46.4 million and BCF was up 16.7% to $19.6 million.
Less healthy news, however, from Emmis whose first quarter period ends today.
Emmis warned that domestic radio revenues would be down 6-8%, and radio broadcast cash flow would be down 21-24% due to significant investment spending in new radio properties.
CEO Jeff Smulyan said the December and February were "down more than anyone ever thought."
He blamed the general downturn in the US economy but the market sent Emmis shares down to $26.94 on Monday although there was some recovery on Tuesday.
Citadel web site:
Emmis web site:
SMG web site:
2001-02-28: Doug "The Greaseman"Tracht, who has been without regular work since he was fired in February 1999 for making racist remarks is attempting a comeback with an independently syndicated morning show according to FMQB.
Tracht commented, "No wonder people drag them behind trucks" after airing a segment of a Lauryn Hill song just a day after the initial conviction in a Jasper, Texas, case where James Byrd Jr. was dragged to his death by a truck.
Subsequent attempts by Tracht to find work kept meeting with protests (See RNW Feb. 26, 2000).
According to FMQB four stations have agreed to take the show which debuts on Monday and the syndication company says 40 to 50 have expressed interest.
2001-02-27: After only months of operation, the curtain goes down tomorrow on Puremix.com, the £4 million online radio music venture of Chrysalis Radio (UK).
Its site will be shut down and the operation mothballed into online sports network Rivals.net. , which is 50% owned by Chrysalis and operates 350 independent sports web sites within its network.
The UK Guardian reports that only four of the site's 33 staff, including co-founders Ande MacPherson and Keith Pringle will move over to Rivals.net where they are to work on transforming Puremix into a network of music fan sites. The others are being made redundant.
Better news however for UK Jazz FM.
Its interim figures show it made a profit of £60,000, the first one in its ten-year life.
Much of this was down to CD sales, which accounted for nearly 60% of turnover.
Previous Jazz FM:
Chrysalis web site:
Jazz FM web site:
UK Guardian report:
2001-02-27: The US Federal Communications Commission has fined KGNT Inc. of Utah $8000 "for wilful and repeated violation of the rules for an unauthorised substantial transfer of control of KGNT, Inc."
The fine follows an unauthorised transfer of control of KGNT-FM, Smithfield, Utah which KGNT acquired in 1993.
T two years later in October 1995, it issued half of its stock to Bear River Trust whose beneficiaries were KGNT co-owners Randall and Morgan Skinner.
They reported the deal to the FCC in June 1996 but did not seek approval until a deal to transfer control of KGNT to Legacy Communications.
This deal was approved and so belatedly - in March 1998 - was the initial transfer.
2001-02-27: The new Cork FM licence in Ireland has been awarded to Red Hot FM.
Red Hot, backed by Dublin station, FM104, and the Irish Examiner newspaper, beat off competition from six other applicants (See RNW Nov 19).
In addition the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) has announced the short listed applicants for two new Dublin licences, the Dublin City FM Special Interest Music Driven Service and the Dublin City and County AM Religious Service
The four short listed for the music licence are:
* Country 106.8 F (Country & Irish);
* Jazz F Jazz, soul, rhythm & blues);
* Phantom FM Alternative rock & Irish based music (15-34 yr. olds);
* Star FM (Country & Irish music)
( See RNW Jan 28 for list of applicants).
The two short listed for the religious licence are
* Solas AM:
* People into God whose station name is still to be decided (See RNW Jan 24 ).
2001-02-26: Because its radio scene has been very active this week, we have decided to devote this week's columnists mainly to comment from Chicago, but start off from Washington DC with a more general issue.
This is the issue of radio's policies in terms of broadcasting " offensive" or " indecent" material.
Commenting on this in the Washington Post,Frank Ahrens took up the comments of Commissioner Gloria Tristani who has accused the US Federal Communications Commission of being effectively toothless.
Ahrens quotes her: "There is a fear of enforcing lest we fall afoul of the First Amendment, which is a legitimate concern."
"But if that fear is so overwhelming that you never enforce because nothing meets the rules, then it's a meaningless law."
Ahrens continues by writing, "It's safe to say that radio, as well as all media, is becoming coarser and more vulgar."
"Words that cannot be printed in this column show up in prime time and morning drive with a casualness that's no longer remarkable."
And later, "….people are upset: This column receives a dozen calls or e-mails a week from listeners complaining about vulgarities they've heard."
"They wonder, is there anything you can't say on the radio? Strictly speaking, from the FCC's point of view -- which is grounded in court decisions -- the answer is: No." And essentially Ahrens concludes that is the position and that there isn't much point in complaining either if all you do is get abused.
Radio companies, he says, typically take the same stand on indecency charges as new FCC chairman William Powell did at his first news conference, namely that if listeners are offended they should turn off.
Additionally, writes Ahrens, broadcasters say their shows are not for everyone but are aimed towards specific audiences, which he concludes, "means that these shows are sort of like R-rated movies."
"The flaw in this reasoning," Ahrens writes, "is that the radio airwaves are public, and there's no ticket taker demanding to see your ID when you tune in WRLR."
So no solace for any considered public interest there.
And on to Chicago where the Chicago Tribune ran no less than four articles on the city's radio scene on Sunday.
One comments on the syndicated talkers aired but then goes on to note that in the latest (Fall) Arbitrons, local personalities dominated the city's Morning Drive time in a set of figures skewed by the effect of the US Presidential election.
Although the article does consider the economic benefits of syndicated shows, a quote by Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan strikes a well-reasoned note.
"I think larger companies are going to try to leverage their talent over a number of places," says Smulyan.
"On the other hand, especially in a market the size of Chicago, nobody can afford to save money on a show that doesn't work."
Another article includes a group of the paper's writers commenting on the city's music stations and then lists all the formats available in the city.
Yet another looks at the city's religious stations, doing well overall but reduced in number recently by the demise of Catholic Family Radio's WYPA-AM 820 (RNW Feb. 23) and the fourth looks at the Jazz scene in the city.
And of course, as in an article earlier in the week, there's continuing speculation on what format Bonneville International will introduce to WNIB, the former classical station. Links below for those who would like to go further and have a look at how radio is doing in one of the big US cities.
Ahrens Washington Post:
Chicago Tribune on jazz stations: Tribune on Music stations:
Tribune on Christian stations: Tribune on talk stations:
Tribune on WNIB:
2001-02-26: The radio map of the UK, and possibly over a wider geographic area, may yet be changed by the recent award of the new UK West Midlands licence (RNW Jan 24) to Saga Radio, which is aiming at an audience primarily of the over 50's.
If it makes a success of the station, it's first licence after a number of failed bids, and wins bids for more licences, and then the business model for radio could be significantly changed.
Saga also produces a subscription only magazine, second only in UK circulation to Readers Digest, and sells holidays and so on to the over 50's.
But it has to deal with an image problem which, to cite on media buyer quoted in a UK Sunday Independent article by media editor Jane Robins, is that it is "still associated with incontinence pads and walk-in baths." On the other hand demographics are on its side and it reckons it could appeal to an audience of some 40% of the population in the UK
In addition, as director Ron Coles says of the UK, "Fifty to 64-year-olds have more disposable income than any other age group and the over-50s spend about £145bn a year, which is more than 40 per cent of total personal consumer spending."
Coles takes on on the accepted advertising agency wisdom that it is most important to secure the brand loyalty of younger consumers.
(RNW note - presumably because they are considered more gullible and have less experience of being conned; or maybe because companies haven't looked at the figures on who actually spends on what?).
He says, "Our research shows that there is no difference at all between the old and young on their openness to a marketing message."
Part of the problem seems to be the age of advertising agency executives according to the advertising executive Neil Jenner of the Senior Agency.
He told the paper, "The advertising business is run by businessmen aged around 28 to 35 and it is about time they woke up to the fact that there is a very interesting and dynamic market out there."
Jenner added that the over-50s account for 45 per cent of all car sales in Britain and 80 per cent of luxury cars; they also account for 50 per cent of face care products and 35 per cent of travel.
UK Independent article:
2001-02-26: Two female radio veterans' deaths were reported this week, one in Chicago, the other in Palm Springs.
The latter was of Virginia Mansfield who died aged 96.
She worked as a staff singer on radio in Cincinnati and then for stations in Los Angeles but was best known for her work with her late husband Andy Mansfield, whom she married in 1933, on NBC's "Andy and Virginia" and "Turn Back the Clock" in the 1950s and 1960s.
Slightly younger but with a more varied career was Judy Logan Dean who died aged 84. She worked as a freelance radio commentator in Wisconsin in 1943 and 1944 before a move to Chicago where she had her own radio shows, including "Help Your Neighbour" and "Financially Yours." focusing on women's issues, finances and business pursuits.
Later she trained as a stockbroker and in 1959 became one of the first women to trade on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
Dean obit (Chicago Tribune):
Mansfield obit (LA Times):
2001-02-25: Licence news this week and a busy week of licence renewals for community services in Canada, fairly quiet in the UK and nothing on the radio side in Australia and Ireland.
In the US, the Federal Communication Commission's monthly meeting was told that US radio was lagging behind TV in terms of digital technology (RNW Feb. 23); at the same meeting the matter of indecency complaints was brought up by Commissioner Gloria Tristani (See RNW Feb. 15).
She quizzed Enforcement Bureau Chief, David Solomon about the way such complaints were handled.
In particular she took up the issue of readily available information on such matters as the progress of filings, the time taken to deal with them, and statistics about complaints, citing as an example the lack of information comparing the number of radio complaints with those about TV
In Canada there was a whole swathe of various community licence renewals by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for six years from March.
They were, in state order:
Alberta: CKRP-FM Fahler (Type A community); CJSW-FM Calgary (campus radio); CJSR-FM Edmonton (campus radio);
British Columbia: CHET-FM Chetwynd (Type A community); CITR-FM Vancouver(campus radio); CFUV-FM Victoria (campus radio);
Manitoba: CKXL-FM St. Boniface (Type A community); CJUM-FM Winnipeg(campus radio);
New Brunswick: CKRO-FM Pokemouche, (type B Community); CHSR-FM Fredericton(campus radio); CHMA-FM Sackville (campus radio);
Newfoundland: - CHMR-FM St. John's (campus radio); North West Territories: CKHR-FM Hay River (Type A community);
Ontario: CKVI-FM Kingston, (Type B community);CJLX-FM Belleville (campus radio); CFMU-FM Hamilton (campus radio); CFRC-FM Kingston (campus radio);CKCU-FM Ottawa (campus radio); CFFF-FM Peterborough (campus radio); CFBU-FM St. Catharines(campus radio); CHRW-FM London (campus radio); CIXX-FM London (Campus instructional radio); CKDJ-FM Nepean (Campus instructional radio); CKLN-FM Toronto(campus radio); CHRY-FM Toronto(campus radio); CKLU-FM Sudbury (campus radio); CKMS-FM Waterloo(campus radio);
Quebec: CJBE-FM Port-Menier (Île d'Anticosti) (Type A community); CJAS-FM Saint-Augustin (Type A community); CIBO-FM Senneterre, (Type A community); CKIA-FM Québec (Type B community); CFLX-FM Sherbrooke (Type B community);CJMQ-FM Lennoxville (campus radio); CKUT-FM Montréal (campus radio); CHYZ-FM Sainte-Foy(campus radio); CISM-FM Montréal (campus radio);
Saskatchewan :CFMQ-FM Hudson Bay(Type A community); The CRTC also approved the transfer of control of Entreprises Radio Etchemin inc. to Groupe Radio Astral inc., a transmitter relocation and power reductions for the Cole Harbour Community Radio Society in Nova Scotia and the addition of a transmitter at Val-d'Or for CHUT-FM Lac Simon (Louvicourt), Quebec.
In the UK the Radio Authority has published it assessment of the award of the South Wales and Severn Estuary digital multiplex to MXR Ltd against competition from The Digital Radio Group Ltd .
The assessment notes that whilst both applicants were proposing to accommodate Galaxy 101 (the existing analogue licensee for the Severn Estuary region), only MXR was similarly proposing to include Real Radio (the South Wales licensee).
it also approved of MXR's plans to establish a well-resourced regional news operation, Digital News Network (DNN), which would act as a source of regional and local news for the non-simulcast services being transmitted on the multiplex, as well as forming the basis of a discrete all-speech regional rolling news channel.
The Authority also said that it thought MXR's bouquet of programme services included formats which appealed to the greatest range of age groups including, children, and specialist interests not currently served by digital radio in either area.
MXR's planned services are: *Children's radio- Fun (provider: Capital Radio plc)
* Urban- Urban Flava (provider: Soul Media Ltd.)
* Melodic adult contemporary -Heart (provider: Chrysalis Radio Ltd.)
*Jazz -Jazz (provider: Jazz FM plc)
* Adult rock -The Arrow (provider: Chrysalis Radio Ltd.)
* Easy listening _Smooth (provider: Guardian Media Group plc)
* Rolling regional news_ Digital News Network (provider: DNN Ltd.)
* Dance/rhythmic hits- Galaxy (provider: Chrysalis Radio Ltd.)
* Music and speech- Real Radio (provider: Guardian Media Group plc).
Previous Digital Radio Group:
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-02-25: A disc jockey for San Francisco KYLD-Fm has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for a stunt in which he and an intern dressed themselves as prisoners and knocked on doors asking residents to hemp them remove their handcuffs (See RNW Sept. 29).
DJ Joseph Lopez and 19-year-old intern Graham Herbert were arrested at gunpoint and said they were involved in a stung for KYLD.
Both were charged with falsely causing an emergency to be reported.
In addition to his jail sentence, Lopez has been ordered to pay restitution of around $1000 to the police.
Herbert, who at the end of November pleaded no contest to a lesser misdemeanour charge, was sentenced to a year's probation.
RNW note: Following another stunt, "Willie B.", morning disc jockey for KBPI in Denver -- owned by the same parent company as KYLD -- is also facing possible jail; this time it's for a stunt a year ago involving dropping a chicken off a building
2001-02-24: Satellite radio stocks dropped heavily this week in the US as both Sirius and XM satellite radio put new stock on sale.
Although there was some recovery on Friday after a major plunge on Thursday, both companies have the problem that they need significant extra capital for their operations before they start to generate income.
XM, whose shares dropped 26% after it said it wanted to raise another $175 million (RNW Feb. 23), said in its SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing that it would require "significant additional funds" before generating a positive cash flow after it starts service.
It estimated it will need around $175 million for this year and an additional $250-300 million next year.
XM had some $225 million on hand at the end of 2000.
In addition to the need for extra cash, its offering of five million new shares, dilutes its original shares by some 10%.
XM shares ended the week at $11 11/16, down from $16 on Tuesday and a year high of $50.
Sirius also needs additional funds and on Friday announced that it had sold 10 million new shares priced at $21..
Lehman Brothers are underwriting the Sirius offer, selling the shares on to institutional investors. They have also been granted an over-allotment option to purchase an additional 1.5 million shares.
Sirius already has a $150 million credit facility with Lehman's, dependant on satisfactory demonstrations of its system.
With the $210 million from the stock offer, it will have funding until the middle of next year. Sirius ended the week at $23 13/16, down from $29 plus on Tuesday and a year high of $69.
Sirius web site:
XM Web site:
2001-02-24: Scottish Media Group, which in December took a surprise 14.9% holding in Scottish Radio Holdings (RNW Dec. 9), later upping it to 20.8% (RNW Dec. 20 ), has now increased its stake to 23%.
In its latest move it paid £11.9 million for 2.3% of SRH. It can only go up to 29.9% before it must make an offer for the whole company but under current broadcasting regulations, SMG which owns Scottish Television and Grampian TV, would be prohibited from holding a commercial radio licence within its TV franchise areas.
If it should make a bid, it is likely to face heavy competition from Dundee-based DC Thomson, which now owns 9.6% of SRH (See RNW Dec. 26).
2001-02-23: More record results in US radio, this time from Regent Communications.
It announced net broadcast revenues for the fourth quarter of 2000 up 124% compared to 1999 Q4 to $14.3 million and broadcast cash flow) BCF) up 321% to $4.8 million for the quarter.
On a same station basis net revenues were up 17.4% to $4.1 million and BCF was up 31.4% to $1.1million.
For full year 2000, net broadcast revenues increased 85% to $44.1 million and BCF was up 152% to $13.9 million.
The company is also optimistic for this year, predicting first quarter revenue around $11million range and broadcast cash flow around $2.5 million with same station first quarter revenue growth of 7-8% range and BCF growth of 14-17%.
Regent also announced that it has now bought back some $5.6M worth of its own stock under a $10M buyback programme its board authorised last summer.
And on the satellite radio front, XM Satellite radio has announced that wants to raise another $176 million of financing; around $76 million will come from selling five million new shares and $100 million from convertible notes.
Last year XM registered with the SEC to sell up to $500 million of securities.
Regent web site:
XM web site:
2001-02-23: A US Federal Communications Commission special session has been told that US radio is lagging behind in the move to digital technology.
FCC Mass Media Bureau Chief Roy Stewart said that traditional broadcasters were now at a watershed as media, which were originally, both distinct and separate, were offering competing services.
Stewart also applauded the FCC staff for their handling of Low Power FM, and said that around 40% of LPFM applications on file will be ruled out because of congressional action to insist on third adjacent channel protection from interference.
His comments led to a follow-up conflict between Republican Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth who spoke of Congress having to "come in and clean up the mess" and Democrat Commissioner Gloria Tristani who expressed regret that churches and community groups would be denied spectrum for their broadcasts.
She called LPFM a response to "the real need of the American public."
On the question of spectrum, the FCC has separately announced the results of its 700 MHz Guard Band auction, which ended on Wednesday, having raised nearly $21 million.
The auction began in February and went through 38 rounds. Guard band licences allow licencees to engage in the business of leasing spectrum for third party uses.
FCC web site (links to auction news release):
2001-02-23: A busy week so far in Chicago radio with cost cutting hitting radio news at four Viacom-CBS-Infinity stations, and moves on the sport, formats and hosts fronts.
The cost cutting first from a Chicago Tribune report by Tim Jones, which says that WUSN-FM, WJMK-FM, WXRT-FM and WSCR-AM have dropped their Associated Press wire service contracts after AP raised its rates.
WBBM-AM, the city's only all-news station, will keep the AP service.
Maybe that's not a surprise in view of the early demise of the same network's attempts to re-position its WBBM Channel 2 TV late news as a hard news operation (see current issue of Colombia Journalism Review ).
Next the sports and formats. And the 820 AM frequency originally occupied by "The Score" and now WYPA-AM is to become a sports outlet again at the start of March following its spell as a Catholic Radio Network outlet.
Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which earlier this week (RNW Feb. 22) took over the station, had been intending to broadcast ethnic and foreign language programmes according to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun Times but has now opted to carry the One-on-One Sports Radio Network from sunrise to sunset.
One-on-One Sports had been airing on suburban WJKL-FM, which will switch to a contemporary Christian music format and carry the "K-LOVE" format of the Educational Media Foundation, based in Sacramento, California.
One-on-One is due to change its name to the Sporting News Radio (See RNW Nov. 30).
On the hosts front Feder also reports that six weeks after he started filling in for Jonathon Brandmeier as midday host on WCKG-FM), Buzz Kilman has formally been given the job for himself and new partner Wendy Snyder.
And finally Jeff Joniak has been named play-by-play announcer for Bears broadcasts on WBBM-AM.
Previous Catholic Radio Network:
Previous Tim Jones:
Previous One on One:
Previous Viacom (-Cbs-Infinity):
Chicago Tribune Jones report:
Feder on WYPA-AM:
Feder on WCKG-FM: .
2001-02-22: Last year it was AMFM disappearing into Clear Channel (RNW Aug. 31); this year it's Infinity Broadcasting being subsumed by Viacom.
The deal was completed yesterday when Viacom announced that its $12.5 billion deal to take over the 35.7% of Infinity that it did not own had been approved by shareholders.
Infinity's shareholders will receive 0.592 Viacom Class B common share for each Infinity Class A common share.
After which other US deals are all small beer this week.
So far they include a Puerto Rico deal in which Arso Radio is swapping an FM with Newlife Broadcasting.
Newlife gets WBRQ-FM in the Ponce market plus $400,000 and Arso gets WFDT-FM to add to its WIVA-FM in the Mayaguez region.
On the mainland, Carolina's owner Thomas Joyner is paying Old Belt Broadcasting Corp. $1.05million for WJWS-AM & WSHV-FM South Hill, Virginia and in Chicago Newsweb Corporation has closed its $10.5 million purchase of WYPA-AM from Catholic Radio Network.
Three of Catholic's eight stations -those in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia - are still to be sold.
In Texas, Rodriguez Communications has entered into an LMA agreement with Equicom for its Corpus Christi stations, KOUL-FM, KRAD-FM & KLTG-FM, with a sale pending for some $6.5 million.
And in Kansas City, Susquehanna Radio is paying $10 million for a 40% interest in KGAR-FM, currently a construction permit allocated to Garden City, Missouri, but with approval for an upgrade to a C1 in Kansas City.
Owner Frank Copisidas will programme the station but Susquehanna, which owns KCMO-AM & FM & KCFX-FM in Kansas City, will sell the inventory.
It plans to buy the remaining 60% in three years.
In its final quarter report for last year, Susquehanna Radio reported revenues up 14% to $61.1 million and Broadcast cash flow also up 14%, this time to $27.4 million.
Full year revenues were up 19% to $220.9 million and broadcast cash flow was up 30% to $94.9 million.
Previous Catholic Radio Network:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Susquehanna Radio:
2001-02-22: Four of the MacQuarie Network's Sydney radio station 2GB presenters are making more than between AU$100,000 and AU$500,000 a year according to details released by the station.
The revelations are required under new broadcasting standards brought into operation this year after the 1999 cash-for-comment affair which largely involved Sydney 2UE and particularly their star presenters Alan Jones and John Laws.
In April last year, Jones was revealed to have five contracts paying him more than AU$100,000 and Laws had seven plus two paying more than AU$500,000 (RNW April 3) ).
Amongst the highest paid at 2GB is newcomer Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who receives AU$100,000 a year each from Bonax (to promote a beauty supplement), Chaste Corporation (to promote Trimit) and Hope Island (to promote its tourist interests).
She also receives between AU$10,000 and AU$100,000 each for promoting Toyota cars and from Grundy International for hosting a game show.
The others receiving more than AU$100,000 a year are Graham Richardson (from the Packer Organisation for articles, TV appearances and lobbying etc.), Andrew Harwood (from D&D Advertising) and John Harker (AU$100,000 for TV commercial production, the same for Napisan advertisements and between AU$10,000 and AU$100,000 for corporate video work).
The standard only requires disclosures in bands so Richardson is almost certainly making much more than the minimum.
It also only applies to "current affairs stations"(three AM stations, 2UE, 2GB and 2SM in Sydney) although other stations are still required to distinguish between commercial and editorial content.
2SM's presenters do not have outside contracts.
Previous cash for comment:
Previous MacQuarie Network:
2001-02-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed two $4000 fines against Infinity Broadcasting (now owned by Viacom) relating to a 1999 "Don & Mike" show segment which broadcast a woman's phone conversation was without her permission.
The broadcast originated at Infinity's WJFK-FM Washington, DC and the Commission rejected an argument that Infinity should not be held responsible for the broadcast of the material by KHTK-AM Sacramento, California because at the time KHTK-AM Sacramento, California, was owned by American Radio Systems subsidiary, EZ Sacramento.
In another similar case, the FCC reduced a fine of $6000 on EL Mundo to the basic $4000.
The fine related to the broadcast of another phone conversation without permission, this time in August 2000 by Puerto Rico stations WKAQ-AM San Juan, and WUKQ-AM Ponce.
El Mundo had pleaded guilty but then realised that it only started to operate WUKQ under an LMA two days after the offence, so had not broadcast the phone call on that station.
2001-02-21: The UK Financial Times looks what it calls the "largely pain-free and low-key" implementation of changes to BBC Radio 1's schedules this week.
The paper contrasts the quiet change with with the public rows when changes were introduced to the popular music channel in the early 1990's.
It comments that "Even 42-year-old Simon Mayo, one of the station's longest-serving DJ's, managed to broadcast his last show on the station on Friday morning without resorting to the ranting and raving of his predecessors - he chose to mark his departure only by veering from the station's youth-orientated playlist in favour of occasional tracks from the likes of Motorhead and Bruce Springsteen. "
The paper then says that his move - to Radio 5's afternoon show ( See RNW Nov. 28) has given the perfect opportunity to change the channel's daytime programming.
It quotes Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt, as saying the idea behind the changes is to allow more space for new music to be played.
Parfitt says," "With longer shows, clearer sweeps of music, less shows, less junctions between shows and less clutter during the daytime, listeners will be able to hear more new music. The music will be allowed to breathe. "
"It's hard to instigate change when you are seemingly successful but that's what we are doing this week."
"At business school they show you that the point at which you (should) change is where you get over the curve, the peak. We are getting good feedback from our audience at the moment, but we are keen to be the number one youth and music brand in the UK and that's why we are keen to keep on changing."
Parfitt also argues the case for the BBC retaining a channel like Radio 1, saying," We are the national supporter and champion of new music."
"We have huge responsibilities to not replicate what commercial radio does."
Parfitt's view is, of course, not shared by all commercial broadcasters as reported by the paper.
"Radio 1 might as well be privatised if it carries on like it is because it behaves like a commercial operation," says Dirk Anthony, group programme director for GWR.
"During the day the point of difference between Radio 1 and commercial stations is very limited."
"It might be a step forward if the new schedule means that people like Jo Whiley are allowed to play more new undiscovered music but at the moment they are taking less risks with their music policy than before."
Nik Goodman, deputy programme director at Virgin Radio, says that he understands that Radio 1 is stuck in a permanent dilemma over whether it should fulfil its public service remit by being cutting edge or by attracting large audiences, but argues that the station's current output does not justify its unique position as Britain's only publicly-funded pop station.
Parfitt counters," "The aim is not purely to differentiate ourselves completely from the commercial sector."
"We could be 100 per cent distinctive tomorrow but then we wouldn't be playing some of our audience's favourite records. "What we have is a sandwich idea - in between playing some records that might be played by commercial stations we play records that will hopefully challenge, educate and entertain."
Graham Bryce, the managing director of Xfm, the London based new music station owned by Capital, says that Radio 1 is only obsessed with one thing - building on its 10 per cent audience share.
"Radio 1 says it is promoting new music but it only does that in its evening schedule - in the days it just broadcasts the usual commercial fodder," says Bryce.
" I'm not a fan of privatising it but it is pretending to be following a public service when it is chasing ratings."
To that Parfitt counters, "What I set out to do two and a half years ago was to focus, uncompromisingly, on 15-24 years olds."
"We want to be 19 in our mindsets the whole time. But the reason we have gone for this age is that is when people's passion for music burns most brightly."
"When you are 19 that's when you buy most CDs, when you go to concerts the most, when you go clubbing the most when music plays a role in your life over and above most things."
"But going for that age range is just a shorthand way of getting at the idea that we are a youth service."
"..... There is a degree of competition alongside other youth brands like Capital, Nme.com and Kiss, but we are fundamentally different. We are distinctive."
Previous Capital Radio:
Financial Times article:
2001-02-21: Talk Radio has continued to hold top spot but lost audience whilst Spanish La-Mega-WSKO (New York) moved up to second place in the latest weekly ratings of Internet audio stations by Portland-based MeasureCast.
In the week to Feb. 18, the top five were the same but with Mega moving up.
MeasureCast also notes that Thursday was the most popular day for Internet listening and that some 84% of listening was basically during working hours.
The top ten formats were
(1) Talk Radio;
(4) Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40;
(5) Classic Rock;
(6) Contemporary Christian;
(7) Listener Formatted;
(8) Adult Contemporary;
(9) Alternative Rock;
The top five stations ranked by total time spent listening were (with previous week's Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and Cume persons (CP- an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week in brackets):
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 76,458 (81,212); CP12, 200 (13,589) - position unchanged.
2): Spanish format La-Mega-WSKO (New York) TTSL 65,209 (49,046); CP (11,521) -Formerly third.
3): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 59,431 (62,249); CP 18,590 (17,956) - -Formerly second.
4): Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 46,464 (46,203); CP 9,393 (9,115) - position unchanged.
5): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 40,520 (39,248); CP 3,356 (3,523) - position unchanged.
By comparison. Arbitron, which uses a different measuring system based on Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH) - the sum total of all hours that listeners tune to a given channel, has only just reported for November when talk stations were benefiting from the US Presidential elections story.
In common with MeasureCast, it lists WABC-AM as topping the rankings with 369,500 ATH in November (RNW note: which works out as an AQH - Average Quarter Hour - audience as used for broadcast of some 137). Arbitron's November Webcast top 5 were :
1: News Talk Information format WABC-AM, New York, ATH 395000 ( 4th in October):
2: Hot Adult Contemporary format Virgin Radio (UK) ATH 237,000 (12th in October)
3: Classical format KING-FM(Seattle) ATH 224,000 ( 5th in October)
4: (News Talk Information) KVI-AM (Seattle based) ATH 219,600 (16th in October)
5: (Album Oriented Rock) KNAC.com Pure Rock ATH 198,500 (10th in October).
Previous Arbitron Webcast Ratings:
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-02-20: Satellite radio gets a major encomium in an article by Buzz McClain, which forms the cover story of the current edition of the Washington City Newspaper.
It's heavily skewed towards XM Satellite Radio rather than Sirius in its quotations but worth a thought or two.
The article begins, "Radio sucks. Across the dial each morning, teams of overcaffeinated on-air "personalities" start your day with jarring jive, vapid phone calls from bleary listeners, over hyped contests, and the occasional hit song of the moment."
"It's all mixed into a matrix held together with weather, traffic, headline news, and advertisements-lots of advertisements. At some stations, more than a third of each hour is given over to non-musical clutter."
"As the sun rises higher in the sky, things don't get much better. The personalities surrender their seats to the shift workers, who slog through the day playing the same records they played yesterday and the day before."
"Talk-show hosts struggle to be topical, but the dead air as they turn the pages of the newspaper looking for more things to talk about is telling. They don't have anything to say."
The article has more in similar vein, going over the top to us but containing too much truth.
We also felt some of the quotations with the article were worth a run, starting at the negative end - and noting regarding the first comment that Sirius reckons it needs 2 million subscribers - 1% of the US car audience- to break even:
" My personal feeling is, those guys are going to go broke. There's no reason for it. How many people are going to pay to get radio?" -Michael Kelley, professor of telecommunications and English at George Mason University
"The question is, Are [the satellite-radio services] going to offer anything so exciting that it will motivate young people? I say that because technology is the bastion of young people; if it motivates an old fart, even if they fall into a desirable demographic, it will mean nothing in the long run."
-Jerry Del Colliano, CEO of Inside Radio.
"Our vision is not to destroy local radio-you never have a situation where the existing business just goes away. Our system will complement local radio." -
Hugh Panero, CEO of XM Radio "If I was programming music [at an FM station], I would be very worried, because these guys can give you every flavour of music that you could ever want."
- Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming for all-news WTOP-AM
"We're positioning ourselves to re-create the magic of radio, the real theatre of the mind. We call it 'Amazing Radio.' Most people know radio sucks, but they don't know why. We'll show them the difference."
- Jessie Scott, alternative-country programmer for XM Radio.
"The bottom line is, we're going to change the way people listen to radio, and we're going to flip the concept of radio on its head for the average consumer."
-Joe Capobianco, senior vice president of programming for Sirius Satellite Radio.
RNW note- as "old farts" we fall into the wrong demographic but we rather hope satellite radio does succeed. The article was worth a read in our view - if you find the taster is of interest, follow the link below for the full article. Any comments, E-mail us.:
Washington City Newspaper:
2001-02-20: BBC TV News 24 presenter Sarah Montague is rumoured to be in the lead to replace Sue MacGregor, the longest-serving presenter on BBC Radio 4's "Today" programme. MacGregor is 60 in August, and may decide to retire after 17 years with the flagship current affairs programme; she has said that 17 years of waking at 3am have taken their toll and is reported to have sold the rights to her autobiography for £250,000. Before she joined Today MacGregor spent 15 years presenting Woman's Hour on Radio 4. Montague is lined up for 50 appearances on the programme with a view to her becoming its main female presenter and now appears to have a clear lead over main rival Winifred Robinson.
2001-02-19: This week, comments from various US columnists led us to consider through their eyes the effect of commerce (RNW note- and in at least one case, crassness, we would opine) on radio output in various ways.
And at least one writer we look at in this week's columnists shares our view that it shouldn't rule absolutely.
Commenting on the demise of Chicago classical station WNIB-FM, Joel Finkel in the Chicago Tribune, writes, "In the time it takes to write a check for $165 million, WNIB radio changed from broadcasting some of the greatest serious music to broadcasting some of the most vapid, inconsequential and meaningless adult contemporary pulp."
"It's as if our Mona Lisa has been replaced by the cover of People magazine."
"This is a crime against all those who love classical music and blues in Chicago. It's been a very long time since I have felt so insulted and harmed."
"Money talks, however, and because they had the money to back up their check, the new owners of WNIB can take from Chicago one of its finest jewels and replace it with a pebble."
Other Chicago commentators were less acerbic and Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times said of the rather strange mix aired so far by new owners, Bonneville International Corp., "On Monday, it was all-Barbra Streisand. On Tuesday, it was all-Garth Brooks. Today, it's all-Rolling Stones."
"In an unusual stunt to buy some time and generate some excitement before they launch their real format, the new owners of WNIB-FM are airing only one artist or group each day--all without commercials or announcers."
Feder also noted that WNIZ-FM, which used to simulcast WNIB's classical outlet, has been switched to a new simulcast; it now broadcasts the same signal as WTMX-FM, Bonneville's modern adult-contemporary station.
Meanwhile Chicago's remaining classical music station WFMT has dropped its 50-year slogan as "Chicago's Fine Arts Station" in favour of a more direct positioning statement--"Chicago's Classical Music Station" in an attempt to woo over former WNIB listeners.
We're not completely convinced either that the ending of rivalries is a good thing for audiences.
In this case, the rivalry was that between KOST-FM and KBIG-FM in Los Angeles.
Now, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, the onetime rivals are working in close proximity in the same building and even sharing resources.
The reason is of course the fact that they're both owned by US radio giant Clear Channel which has moved to position the two to catch different audiences; KOST has an adult contemporary format and KBIG strives for more of an upbeat line-up.
And back to Chicago for yet another example of the influence of money.
There Robert Feder reports that, because the XFL did not buy advertising on Disney-ABC owned WZZN-FM, the station banned all reference to them.
This, comments Feder, meant listeners "may have found Chet Chitchat's weekly sports commentary even more unintelligible--and a bit shorter--than usual."
He adds that the result of the ban "was a weirdly disjointed piece from Chitchat, whose sarcastic musings came off as utter non sequiturs."
The station's programme director Bill Gamble acknowledged the van but said they were unaware of the heavy-handed editing of the show segment. (RNW comments: That's all right then. A light touch and it would be fine to cut out reporting on a sport of interest to the audience just because there was no advertising from it.)
The conclusion also from Chicago, and Tim Jones of the Tribune, "Most Americans don't go to bed at night wondering how much money their favourite radio station is making--unless, of course, they work in the radio business. Or unless they draw their livelihood from advertising."
"But they may be more concerned when a favourite station is snapped up by a big conglomerate that changes the format, making it sound like so many others around the dial."
Previous ABC, America:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Tim Jones:
Chicago Sun Times on WNIB;
Chicago Sun Times on WZZN;
Chicago Tribune on radio consolidation:
Chicago Tribune on WNIB:
Los Angeles Times on KBIG/KOST.
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