Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.
RNW May comment looks at the future for Internet streaming.
RNW April comment looks at the the ways of ensuring diversity and choice in radio.
RNW March comment looks at the pros (few, if any, we believe) and cons (significant) of further media consolidation.
2002-05-31: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allowed the USD800 million takeover by Clear Channel of the Ackerley Group subject to disposal within a year of a number of stations to comply with radio-TV cross ownership limits.
New radio-TV combinations will be created in eleven markets by the merger and in five of them the combinations would exceed current holdings limits.
The stations involved are mainly in New York State, in the Binghamton, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica markets, and also in Santa Maria, California.
There was a dissenting statement from the sole Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps who said of the markets where ownership limits would be exceeded that he could not "support the waiver of the Commission's local television- radio ownership rule in those markets... I do not see where a waiver of those limits served the public interest."
In another market, Monterey-Salinas in California, Buckley Broadcasting had complained that Ackerley had an "attributable" interest in a second TV station (the merger involved KION and KCBA) and was thus in breach of ownership limitations on TV station ownership in the market.
The Commission rejected the complaint on the basis that Ackerley complied with conditions imposed by its staff regarding a joint sales agreement and LMA of less than 15% of the station's daily programming.
Under the existing deal with Seal Rock Broadcasters' KCBA, said the commission, the fact that Ackerley could collect all revenues from non-network programmes meant that Seal Rock had no incentive to chase such revenues and thus effectively gave Ackerley control of 85% of the station's programming.
It said that the requirements should be tighter and required that the JSA should apply only to revenues derived from programming under the LMA.
Clear Channel was also in the news this week because it has asked employees to donate some of their salaries towards its lobbying efforts through a recently formed political action committee.
In a report in his Chicago Sun-Times column, Robert Feder said that chairman and CEO Lowry Mays sent letters to the homes of staff asking them to help "effectively communicate our political positions with timely access to elected officials."
Attached to the letter was a "membership application" including suggestions of contributions of up to 1% of employees' base salaries. The form said that contributions were voluntary and that there would be no reprisals for employees who refused to contribute.
RNW comment: We find this Clear Channel move significantly offensive in that many employees will fear that their careers will be affected should they not contribute, even though the lobbying may involve positions at variance with their political alliances.
In our view Clear Channel has abused its powers and we would welcome a regulatory system (not that such will ever be introduced) that simply stated that such actions rendered a company unfit to hold broadcasting licences. If introduced now, retroactive penalties would be unfair, so the logical thing to do would be to make such a penalty automatic should evidence ever emerge that employees careers suffered from now on following refusals to contribute. Somehow, in those circumstances, we feel the events wouldn't happen but if they did, a one off zapping of a major corporation would deter all others similarly inclined for decades to come.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Lowry Mays:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder column:
2002-05-31: UK TalkSport, which two years ago was involved in legal action brought by the BBC over its "commentary" on the Euro 2000 soccer tournament (See RNW June 22, 2000) is planning to "cover" the World Cup soccer with commentary from its London studios.
It's also making a virtue over the fact that it is doing so with full-page advertisements in UK newspapers that say of its planned cover, "It's unauthorised. It's unofficial. And it's brilliant".
In line with the agreement that was finally reached with the BBC after the Euro 2000 case, the adverts say openly that its breakfast show hosts, Mike Parry and Alan Brazil, will comment from TV monitors in the studios.
The adverts also say "Background sound and crowd noises will be artificially created in our London studios, by Off the Telly Productions, a division of The Wireless Group. All radio commentary is from our London studios, not the stadium."
Under the deal with the BBC listeners have to be told that the commentary is unofficial at the start and end of each broadcast, every quarter hour during it and also whenever a goal is scored.
Previous Wireless Group/TalkSport:
2002-05-31: Viacom's Infinity Radio has suspended two feuding radio duos, Don (Geronimo) and Mike (O'Meara) and Opie (Greg Hughes) and Anthony (Anthony Cumia) following on-air sniping at each other according to the Washington Post.
The paper carried a report on the feud earlier this week that said that the New York-based Opie and Anthony had been sniping at Washington-based Don and Mike for months with the main jibe that the former's midday show, which has lower ratings, was a poor lead-in to their own late afternoon show.
There was no response from Don and Mike until last week when the duo pointed out on-air that their rival's show wasn't doing that well either; Geronimo commented, "What I'm saying is that you're not being embraced in Washington, D.C."
In an interview Gregg Hughes commented, "I don't like those guys as people, and I don't like their radio show. They're back-stabbers who can't be trusted. They've told a lot of lies about us."
Geronimo riposted that the crossfire was "petty, ridiculous, egotistical and juvenile."
He added that he couldn't keep quiet any longer. and told the Post he blamed station management for not silencing everyone, saying, "I would love you to put this in the paper: What I would like management to do is manage."
"A strong manager would have said to Opie and Anthony: 'I don't care if you like it or not. We're going to get the four of you in a room and work this out.' The shows should be able to coexist."
In its latest report, the paper says that live editions of both shows were replaced on Tuesday and Wednesday with repeats of earlier programmes and an announcement preceding the Tuesday "Don and Mike" show said the hosts were extending their Memorial Day vacations. Geronimo told the Post that he and O'Meara were ordered off the air because of the feud and that he wouldn't be on air Thursday and didn't know how long he'd have to sit things out after then. "I'm [angry]," he told the paper, "but the people I feel bad for are our listeners, the people who support us day in and day out. . . We want to be at work. We want to be at the station. We don't want to be sitting around in some stupid girl fight."
In New York, the paper says one source told it the Anthony and Opie show was due to resume live broadcasts today. It adds that the Don and Mike show, which is getting low ratings in New York, is on the verge of being cancelled there.
Previous Don and Mike:
Previous Anthony and Opie:
Washington Post report on suspensions:
2002-05-31: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has appointed Russell Balding, currently its Deputy Managing Director, as its new Managing Director.
He has been acting Managing Director since November (See RNW Nov 14, 2001) after former Managing Director Jonathan Shier leftbefore the end of his contract.
The appointment, announced by ABC chairman Donald McDonald, was made after an extensive executive search.
Previous ABC (Australia):
2002-05-30: Austereo has outlined plans for a share buyback following pressures because of a fall of around 15% in its share price over the past few weeks: It was at a 12-month low of AUD1.66 on Wednesday. In all it is to buy back some 6 million shares, around 1% of the total issued.
Austereo has come under pressure because of a slump in Australian advertising compounded by the competition from new rival DMG's Nova stations in key metropolitan markets.
2002-05-30: In its latest Programming and Advertising Review, the UK Radio Authority headlines the "problems of questionable taste and decency for commercial radio" and in particular those posed by broadcasts of "alternative comedy."
Debbie Gentile, the Authority's Programming and Advertising Officer, says that this has "always pushed the boundaries of what is considered to be acceptable" and notes that it caused problems for Virgin Radio in the first quarter of this year, when three of the complaints against the station were upheld.
All concerned "a series of broadcasts on a late-night programme directed at an adult audience which featured an alternative comedian" and the complaints upheld involved two cases of jokes held to have "overstepped the mark" and the third a case in which a nine-years-old girl who "took part in a live phone-in competition to guess the letters of a sexually explicit phrase that used swear words."
Gentile notes that the presenter involved was "relatively inexperienced" and that later, at the Radio Academy's News and Speech Conference, wondered how TV shows managed "managed to feature risqué material when radio apparently could not."
Gentile says the differences are the existence of a "Watershed" on UK TV and its absence on radio plus the fact that most TV shows are pre-recorded and substantially vetted before transmission.
She also noted, without recommending the practice, that another presenter at the same conference had said that all callers to his show were pre-recorded some minutes before they were broadcast, thus allowing it to avoid overstepping the boundaries. There had been complaints about the show but none were upheld.
In the quarter itself two "Yellow" cards were issued concerning questions of format, once involving Star 107FM (the Fens) whose musical mix was held to have become out of balance with its format of "rock mixed with adult contemporary music" and another to Star 107.3 in Bristol whose format required a significant content of Soul music that had not been delivered.
A Yellow Card issued to Premier Christian Radio in October 2001 (See RNW Oct 25, 2001) was resolved after the Authority was satisfied that the station was now complying with regulations.
During the period, the Authority considered a total of 67 programming complaints, eight of which were upheld.
Of the total ten concerned accuracy, two being upheld; six, including cases where there was more than one complaint against a programme, concerned balance, bias and fairness, none of which were upheld; 37 concerned taste or decency, three being upheld; two concerned promise of performance or format, none of which were upheld; and 12 involved other matters, three of which were upheld.
Advertising related complaints totaled 133, 19 of which were upheld: These broke down, including cases where there was more than one complaint against a particular item, into 16 considered in the harmful category, none of which were upheld; 23 misleading of which none were upheld; 90 offensive of which 17 were upheld; and four other of which two were upheld.
Looked at from a station perspective, TalkSport, as a year ago (See RNW May 22, 2001) and Virgin Radio figured as the leading offenders.
Programming Complaints upheld included:
*TalkSport over its claiming "exclusive" cover of a soccer cup tie- the station said the term meant unique in the sense of the style of the station's commentary but that they no longer used the terminology.
*Jazz Fm over a promotion that gave a ticket price but did not mention an associated booking fee.
Taste and Decency:
*Gemini FM Torbay over a spoof broadcast, produced by an outside company and based on the "Who wants to be a millionaire?" TV show (that had just started airing in Ireland) and that began with a question," Where have you hidden the explosives?" The station had taken action and this case was considered to have been resolved by the action.
*GWR (Bristol and Bath) over a "Fax Your ASS" competition. The station had already taken action and the matter was considered resolved.
*Metro FM Tyne and Wear over a song that made fun of a TV Pop Idol contender's stammer. The station had already raised the matter with the presenter, who apologized, and the matter was considered resolved.
*TalkSport over a presenter's description of Turkish people as "barbaric". The station said the term was used in the context of badly behaved soccer supporters but the Authority upheld the complaint.
*Virgin AM over a remark in which a child caller, who had said that Mohammed was part of a lesson, was asked about Muhammad Ali. The station had already taken action and the matter was considered resolved.
*Virgin AM about a comedy sketch in which Jesus was mentioned in what a complainant felt was offensive. This complaint was upheld; the Authority said it felt the intention of the sketch was to mock the genre of observational comedy but that it had overstepped acceptable boundaries.
*Virgin FM, London, over a case in which a reporter had entered the hospital without appropriate identification and that the hospital said had involved a broadcast that was "was frivolous, inaccurate, an intrusion of privacy and had jeopardized the safety of patients." The complaint was upheld.
*Isle of Wight Radio concerning the promotion that a listener thought was promoting a get rich scheme. The station said the item was a spoof, but was unable to produce tapes and was given a warning over the matter. The complaint was upheld.
*Classic Gold, Northamptonshire, over promotion of the Classic Gold Travel Club without making it clear that this was an advertisement. The complaint was upheld and the station and network old it must not run the promos in programming time.
Advertising complaints upheld included those involving:
*A government Teenage Pregnancy Awareness advertisement that was aired, through confusion, at times when young children were likely to be listening.
*An advert on Heart stations involving a father's selfish treatment of a young girl because he wanted to watch a soccer game.
An advert for the Marie Curie Foundation that said it was "dumb to buy flowers for funeral cars." This was held to be insensitive.
*An advert which played on the tongue twister on plucking pheasants and that used lines about an Inn beating the" plucking lot" and spoke of giving it a "plucking try."
*A confectionary advert that included the word "bitch" in the strap line.
*A car advert in which the style of public service announcements for drink/drive campaigns was parodied to finally reveal that a child had not lost her mother but didn't want to travel in her car because her friend's mother had a new Toyota.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
Previous UK Radio Authority Quarterly report:
UK Radio Authority web site: (links to quarterly bulletin 900Kb PDF and Complaints Bulletin -290Kb PDF):
2002-05-30: Virgin Radio has regained the top spot in MeasureCast's weekly Internet ratings for the week to May 19, a week that saw another 1% rise in listening amongst the stations that the organisation measures.
For the week to May 19, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL377, 891 (303,543); CP68, 835 (47,403): Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 232,522 (329,500); CP 64,398 (78,542): Down from first with lower listening and reach.
3: Classical format WQXR-FM, New York - TTSL 231,085 (187,986); CP 38,565 (24,600): Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 131,108 (139,528); CP 23,271 (23,382): Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: Internet only Rock format KNAC.com - TTSL 92,150 (90,830): CP 15,733 (15,400): Same position with higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,725,281 (1,804,691) ; CP 272,291 (288,675). Same position with lower listening and reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 842,193 (829,428): CP 171,874 (181,057) - Same position with higher listening and lower reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 742,504 (674,040) hours: CP 123,189 (115,576) - Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 587,679 (539,636) : CP 95,215 (93,123) - same position with higher listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio TTSL 513,754 (427,539); CP 96,064 (74,859) - up from sixth despite lower listening and reach.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-05-29: More gloom for British radio has come from the results of EMAP, which says that profits excluding its digital TV channels in its EMAP Performance (EP)division, which also includes its 18 commercial radio stations, six music magazines and music events and products, fell by 11% to GBP 41 million in the year to the end of March.
Turnover for the division was down 1% to GBP139 million and underlying radio revenues were down 10% for the year, compared to an overall industry fall of 8%. Within that figures national revenues were down 14% and local ones 2%; EP, which is more exposed to the national advertising slowdown, did worse in the second half of the year when its revenues were down 14% compared to an overall industry revenue decline of 10%.
Looking ahead EMAP says that there is little evidence of radio advertising recovery and it expects revenues to fall again in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. In its case, it says, the downturn is exacerbated because it had a boost from government and telecoms spending in the same period of 2001.
Overall group turnover was down 11% to GBP1, 029 million but they were up 3% to GBP938 million if it excludes figures from its US operations that it disposed of (writing down around GBP550 million in the process - See RNW May 30, 2001); its overall operating profit was down 1% to GBP182 million but its pre-tax profit was up 6% to GBP151 million.
There may also be bad news in a proposal to introduce a tax for satellite spectrum that is reported in the UK Guardian.
As well as its TV channels, BSKYB currently broadcasts hundreds of radio stations and is currently the most listened to source for digital radio in the UK.
The paper reports that Mike Goddard, managing director of the UK Radiocommunications Agency, which allocates spectrum, told a UK government joint media select committee that there was a case for making satellite broadcasters pay a tax. At the moment terrestrial broadcasters pay fees to the UK Radio Authority but no charges are levied on satellite broadcasts.
The proposal is likely to be fought bitterly, not only by BSKYB but also by other British broadcasters including many small stations that have launched low budget satellite channels.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
Previous UK Radiocommunications Agency:
EMAP web site:
Radiocommunications Agency web site:
UK Guardian report:
2002-05-29:The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has upheld a USD2, 000 indecency fine on Infinity's KROQ-FM, Pasadena, California, although there the complainant could provide neither a transcript nor a recording to back up the complaint, although it normally requires these.
It concerned a broadcast of the song "You Suck" in March 1997 and the listener had alleged that the station had broadcast an unedited version.
Infinity said it had two versions of the song, the unedited one and one that it had edited. It accepted that the original version, that includes the words "pubic," "dick," "pussy," and "clit," would be indecent but said that these had been deleted in its edit.
It does not keep recordings of its output and the announcer could not remember which version was aired but the station said that it would have expected a number of complaints had it aired the unedited version but had only received one complaint.
The FCC sent transcripts of the two versions to the complainant who said she remembered hearing the offending words.
It upheld the penalty on this basis, saying that Infinity had not refuted the complainant's recollections of what she heard.
Separate statements on the decision were made by Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps and Republican Commissioners Kevin J. Martin and Kathleen Abernathy who commented that the unedited version was certainly indecent.
She added,"We at the Commission cannot allow a licensee to avoid liability by claiming ignorance of what it broadcasts. "
Abernathy concluded," Our indecency rules strike a fair balance between First Amendment rights and protection of our children, and I believe that our enforcement mechanisms strike an appropriate balance between the burdens placed on consumers and the industry."
"Furthermore, I would have been inclined to impose a forfeiture even if we found the station aired the edited version. Since the parties in this proceeding were not put on notice of this issue, the order does not speak to the edited version."
"If it had, I would have been hard pressed to find that the edited version does not also contain indecent material that describes sexual activities in patently offensive terms."
Copps said the case corrected the erroneous assumption some stations had that they could not be penalised in the absence of a tape or transcript and said it strengthened his call for stations to keep recordings.
"The Order adopted by the Commission today," he said, "takes a significant and welcome step toward clarifying a policy that has disturbed me during my first year on the Commission: the general practice that a complainant must provide a tape or a transcript of the programming at issue in support of an indecency complaint."
"I have often expressed the view that this policy places an inordinate responsibility on the complaining citizen and that it is the Commission's responsibility to investigate complaints that the law has been violated, not the citizen's responsibility to prove the violations."
Another Republican Commissioner, Kevin J. Martin, said in his statement that the decision did not change the Commission's policy concerning indecency but did provide guidance on its implementation and increased the effectiveness of the Commission rules by clarifying them.
" Many consumers," he said, " have expressed frustration with how we have applied our indecency rule. They have argued that the Commission has placed too high a burden on viewers and listeners by requiring that they include with any complaint a tape or transcript of the program in question. The result, they say, is an indecency rule that is too rarely enforced. "
"While the Commission's indecency policy has no strict tape or transcript requirement, whether it was Commission practice to require a tape or transcript is unclear."
" I am glad that today we put this controversy to rest - and in a way that decreases the burden on consumers. As we explain in the Order, the Commission will not dismiss a complaint for failure to include a tape or transcript. As long we have sufficient detail and context to determine whether an identified program is indecent, we will process the complaint."
FCC Order (includes song transcript):
2002-05-29: Cumulus Media has announced that it is buying US Broadcasting's eight-station cluster in Macon, Georgia, for USD35.5 million, USD34 million of it in cash and the remaining USD1.5 million in Cumulus shares.
The cash will come from the USD 199 million that Cumulus raised from its stock sale earlier this month (See RNW May 24).
Some more of that cash may be at risk from a rather odd lawsuit according to Radio Ink.
It reports that two of its Iowa listeners are suing the company claiming that they were each promised USD30, 000 a year if they would have the logo of Cumulus station KQRB 93 Rock on their foreheads.
Ink says that the DJ Ben Stone (Benjamin Stomberg) had first announced on air that the station would give backstage passes and concert tickets to anyone who put a temporary tattoo on their forehead and later offered USD30, 000 a year for five years to anyone who had the logo permanently tattoos on their foreheads.
The two say they called the station to ensure the offer was legitimate and later a station employee paid for the tattoos and the station put photographs of the work n progress on its web site.
They say nothing was paid to them and are suing for breach of contract, fraud and negligence, saying the station had no intention to pay the money and "had a duty to monitor the activities of their disk jockeys and to stop such practical jokes before others took action to its own detriment."
Cumulus is contesting the action.
Radio Ink web site:
2002-05-29: UK music festival and venue promotions organisation the Mean Fiddler group, founded by its chairman Vince Power in 1982, is buying troubled London country music station Ritz 1035AM for an undisclosed amount, around 90% of it in Mean Fiddler shares.
Power commented that he came into the music business because of his love of country music, making the acquisition special for him. Mean idler says the purchase is another step in its efforts to build a media division to complement its promotional activities.
Last month the UK Radio Magazine reported that Ritz had fired all its presenters and was running in automated mode (See RNW April 23).
2002-05-28: UK GWR Group has reported a 63% fall in pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March; they were GBP7.7 million, which compares to GBP20.7 million a year earlier/ Turnover was up 0.9% to GBP128.4 million in what the company termed a "brutal year" with national advertising revenue down 10% and local revenues down 3.1%.
National revenues for its Classic FM station were down 16.3% despite the station's ratings success.
Broken down turnover fell 7.9% to GBP 102.4 million for existing stations, was up 60^% to GBP19.9 million from acquisitions and was up 73% to GBP6.12 million for new media, principally comprised of digital radio interests.
Operating profits for stations it has held for the two years were down 41% to GBP32.3 million but acquisitions produced an operating profit of GBP2.6 million, up from GBP1 million in the 2000 to 2001 year. New media operations lost GBP5.3 million compared to GBP7 million a year earlier.
Chairman Ralph Bernard said that the company will focus on the UK market and is to pull out of overseas markets following a review of its operations in Europe and Australia.
GWR holds 25% of DMG Radio Australia and had an option to purchase the balance up to July 2003; it lists a "carrying value" of GBP45 million for the Australian interests and says it will use the funds to reduce its debts.
It also says that the sale of London News Radio (LNR) , of which it holds a fifth share and where losses rose from GBP600, 000 a year earlier to GBP1.3 million is now close.
Despite the gloom in the figures, GWR says UK radio has prospects for high growth with opportunities for higher margins and real growth from digital radio.
Within the sector it says its portfolio is strong with Classic FM providing a growing national brand, local radio giving it a large, quality, holding and its digital radio holdings positioning it uniquely to benefit.
Concerning its pullout from overseas operations, GWR has set aside in its accounts GBP 10 million for impairment in connection with selling its European stations and says the sale process is under way but depends upon acceptable terms. It describes the decision to withdraw from Australia as "difficult" as the business had been developing well.
GWR has denied newspaper reports that it was involved in merger talks with Capital Radio (See RNW May 27) and says it wants to be at the forefront of merger and acquisition activity.
It is to continue lobbying against the three media owners plus the BBC rule proposed for local markets in the communications bill.
Capital has said that is has held informal talks about consolidation and said that it expected such talks with various interested parties concerning a wide range of opportunities in UK radio would be expected to continue as the UK Communications Bill progresses.
GWR web site (Results shown in 1.09Mb PowerPoint presentation)
2002-05-28: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will not be ready for the radical overhaul of its weekday Radio One morning schedules at the start of September according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The paper says a small group of staffers on the flagship "This Morning " show were told that they could expect to continue working on the three-hour show during the fall, possibly until the end of December, although executives remain committed to eventual changes at the station.
The paper quotes Adrian Mills, executive director of programming at CBC English Radio, as saying, "We know Sept. 2 is not looking realistic for us right now, given the amount of time it takes to develop a high-quality program." However he added that the changes would go ahead when the programmes were ready.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2002-05-27: We felt that this week, we couldn't neglect the issue of "payola" in US radio as the US music industry fires more rounds in its battle with radio but we start or look at the week's print comment on radio with some items relating to unintended consequences of actions.
The first relates to ratings meters and comes from Dean Johnson's Boston Radio column in the Boston Herald.
Noting that Philadelphia stations have been cooperating with Arbitron in developing its People Meter ratings, Johnson continues, "Arbitron began sharing its People Meter totals with Philly radio executives Monday, and though results weren't publicly disclosed, industry sources indicate totals so unsettling that oxygen tanks and CPR were almost required to bring the staggered radio folks back around."
"The difference between the old diary-driven system and Arbitron's People Meter totals were bigger than expected for some players. They also were all over the place. Suburban stations pulled in more listeners than anticipated; audience totals for stations focused on the 25-54 age group were high; and some niche formats got downright croaked by the new system."
In Boston, where Nielsen used their version of the meter for television ratings, no major stations agreed to take part and Johnson says TV executives told the paper they "were worried about the very discrepancies that popped up in Philadelphia, so they opted for life without ratings rather than what they expected would be new, suspicious and even capricious totals."
"No doubt," he concludes, "there are now some Philly radio folks who wished they'd made a few phone calls to the Hub before they agreed to jump onto Arbitron's new ratings bandwagon."
RNW comment: In the UK, we note that a major proponent of metering as opposed to diaries, Kelvin Mackenzie, ran a trial and then released results that favoured his TalkSport station. We wonder if he'd have rushed out the same results if they'd shown a different picture but in the end have to conclude that for some measurements, a well-designed meter will almost certainly be more accurate than a diary system but probably miss out many subtleties.
Another example was given in Vanora Bennett's Saturday radio column in the London Times.
She contrasted the Eurovision Song Contest with the BBC Young Musician 2002 competition and then took a look at the related website.
Her conclusion? "Any pretence that the Young Musician competition aims to foster classical high-mindedness is exploded by an all too candid website."
"The blurb," she writes, "reads as breathlessly as a racing commentator's adrenalin-crazed and-they're-going-down-to-the-line-now patter: 'We started with 500, and at this final stage we are down to just five . . . See if you can spot who will be top of their class.'"
" Da-da-da-DUM. Now listen on . . . And I will, of course, and so will you, with all the joy of a Roman audience voting with its thumbs to get some anxious Christian eaten."
"What could be more exciting for any audience than to gloat over a talented young thing with a racing heart shutting his or her mind to the probability of rejection because just the tiny possibility of winning is out there?"
"These brutal competitions help the sport-free days before the World Cup and the next Test pass very enjoyably. As a way of appreciating music, though, they get nul points."
On to another unintended consequence, in this case of technology at a particular time being later superseded. In this case it's the question of webcasting royalties, raised by Rob Pegoraro in the Washington Post in an item headed, "They're Not Treating Webcasters Like Royalty."
Pegoraro looks at the history of copyright and notes "Records didn't exist when many copyright laws were enacted. So radio stations in the United States, unlike those in some other countries, don't have to pay for their use of musicians' recordings. (Broadcasters say their airplay helps sell records in the first place.) "
The recording industry, he says has "long bemoaned this situation, to no effect." Until, that is, it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a consequence of which was the compiling by the US Copyright Arbitration Panel (CARP) of its recommendations for payments.
CARP, says Pegoraro, "tried to base a royalty system on 26 deals the Recording Industry Association of America had signed with individual webcasters. But it found that the RIAA had tried to rig the system by choosing weak bargaining partners it could arm-wrestle into paying steep royalties."
The Copyright Office, he notes, "also proposed that Web broadcasters log not just songs and audience totals, but such irrelevant data as each listener's time zone and country. "
Pegararo goes on to say that the rates would have led to the closure of many small stations leaving a few big corporations to rule the roost and quotes Andrew Leyden, chief executive of a D.C.-based Web radio site called PenguinRadio.com. on the likely effects.
"Some of our most common search terms are techno, jazz, electronica, folk," wrote Leyden. "How many of those genres can you hear 'over the air'? These are the stations we'll lose with the CARP fees."
Pegararo also comments on the illogical vein running through he proposals in that digital satellite radio is not being asked to pay per-listener fees, although it is still haggling over terms, and terrestrial satellite radio will escape charges altogether, (RNW comment: Even though the music industry's argument about the ease of making digital copies applies in spades here compared to current "streaming quality" webcasts!)
On to the issue of payola, which came to the fore in the week with the sending of a "Joint Statement on Current Issue in Radio" to Congress and the Federal Communications Commission by a consortium of groups associated with the music business (See RNW May 25).
In the Los Angeles Times, staff writer Chuck Philips reports on the issue, noting that the current payola laws were enacted four decades ago after "a scandal that exposed rock deejays taking money from record labels to play certain songs. "
He also notes that the record labels began the practice of hiring independent promoters to pitch their songs to radio so as to distance themselves from the transactions but that the costs have been soaring.
On this he quotes California Democrat Rep. Howard L. Berman as saying, "What's happening here is a process that the record labels once thought helped facilitate getting radio airplay has now become so coercive and expensive ... that they've finally decided to ... come forward publicly to expose a practice they participated in for a long time."
(RNW note: Berman is no friend of Clear Channel and in January he attacked the company, amongst other things, for allegedly taking action against artists who did not sign up with its promotions arm - See RNW January 24)
Set against the comments by the politicians who are largely backing the music industry's moves are those from radio executives. "Clearly, the [record] labels are in trouble these days, but it's not our fault," said Randy Michaels, chief executive of the radio division of Clear Channel.
"We didn't create the independent promotion system. They did. We're just dealing with the animal that exists.
"For us to be cast as the bad guy here is ridiculous," Michaels added. "The fact is we've done more than anyone else in this business to try to clean up what everyone knows was an ugly and corrupt system."
(RNW comment: We'd have a bit more sympathy with the recording industry if it hadn't started the practices that led to payola and in many ways subsequently continued it in different forms. Equally the radio case would be rather stronger were it not for the fact that some radio groups have signed exclusive deals with particular promoters and other stations have deals under which they are paid "promotional fees" by the promoters, fees that are in many cases shown on the station bottom line.
Of course the contracts specifically say there are no obligations to play records that are being pitched but to us the words probably have as much value as an Enron audit by Arthur Andersen).
And finally a brief on how to get on radio without paying, courtesy of Colorado-based radio personality Kimberly Henrie in "Small Business Canada".
Her series of tips includes the obvious, but often neglected, actions to take such as becoming familiar with particular programmes and avoiding annoying producers or hosts by unwise unsolicited calls (suggesting a pithy e-mail with a suitable heading as a better way to get attention) to the characterisation.
" Remember that radio is entertainment," she writes.
" If you land an interview be prepared to entertain the audience in addition to informing them. Be over-friendly, over-excited, wildly outrageous, flirtatious, funny, morbid, SOMETHING that the audience won't expect."
"And do it in a big way. You have to overdo in radio for the emotion to get across the airwaves."
Previous Clear Channel:
Boston Herald - Johnson:
Los Angeles Times - Philips:
Small Business Canada - Henrie:
UK Times - Bennett (Requires registration):
Washington Post - Pegoraro:
2002-05-27: Jeremy Vine, who currently works on BBC TV's Newsnight programme, is to take over veteran DJ Jimmy Young's weekday two-hour lunchtime slot on BBC Radio 2 next year according to Paul Donovan in his UK Sunday Times RadioWaves column.
Reports in February that Vine had reached agreement to take the post were dismissedby the BBC (See RNW February 24).
Donovan, who praises Young and says the BBC should be providing a more detailed explanation for its decision to drop his show, says that the announcement has been delayed until Young collects his knighthood on June 27.
On Vine, he praises his journalistic talents but says they do not necessarily qualify him for the post. "Quite apart from his assertive style," writes Donovan, " he does not have an obvious interest in music, a light touch or much sense of fun - to take just three qualities that JY displays in abundance."
"So the BBC is pushing Young aside to make way for someone who, although very bright, will not possess the all-round skills that will make him as effective on air. Or, at least, not unless he adapts a great deal... JV will be hard pressed to be as good as JY."
UK Sunday Times report (requires registration):
2002-05-27: As the US Authorities step up warnings about possible future attacks on US soil, a recently issued Arbitron report, "Radio's Role During a National Crisis ", provides some guidance on what it says is necessary "to help radio stations maintain and increase listening during a national crisis" should there be such an attack.
It starts by praising the response to the September 11 attacks but then, from surveys conducted up to the end of 2001 it gives will be welcome news to the accountants, namely that many listeners welcomed the return of advertisements as part of a return to normal.
More than 60 percent of respondents who were surveyed for the study,says Scott Musgrave Senior Vice President & General Manager, Arbitron Radio, "indicated advertisers should have returned to running commercials just one or two days after September 11. "
"We've long known that radio provides a unique and essential service to our communities. We now have information, which suggests commercials are an integral part of American life as well."
"Should the radio industry ever be thrown into another national crisis, it's worth noting that many listeners consider radio ads to be a welcome sign of normalcy."
The report also says that, " In the aftermath of the tragedy, radio seems to have rediscovered that its strength is serving as a connection between listeners. It has a bond with audiences that no other medium can claim. As one listener put it in an e-mail to his station, 'If it's got to be bad news, I'd rather have my friends deliver it.'"
Less welcome will be another point, that many people heard of the events on radio first but then turned to television although it adds that, after the immediate events, "in interview after interview, it was stated that the healing process and promotion-of-community were clearly radio's roles and strengths" and that around a third of Americans said they were now listening to more radio than before September 11.
In New York itself the figures were skewed because eight TV stations were taken off air as their transmitters were on the North Tower.
The report notes that Infinity news stations WINS-AM had a 23.9% share during the 1000-1100 morning period, including the times of the attack on the Pentagon and the collapse of the first tower.
Its AQH rating, says Arbitron showed that one in sixteen of the 12 plus population of the New York Metro areas was listening to WNS during that hour.
Arbitron web site - links to report (1.8Mb PDF):
2002-05-27: According to the UK Sunday Times, Capital Radio and GWR, whose holdings include Classic FM, have been holding informal talks about a possible merger whilst simultaneously DMGT, which owns 26% of GWR, has been drawing up plans to bid for the whole company.
DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail and London Evening Standard newspaper, as well as other radio holdings, would not be allowed to take over GWR under current regulations and even under the draft UK Communications Bill could have problems because of overlap between local newspapers it owns and GWR's local radio stations.
A combined company would be valued at around GBP 1 billion, a third of it from the GWR holding and the remainder from Capital.
According to the paper, a GWR takeover would not prohibit a merger with Capital and current talks are aimed towards striking conditional deals before UK legislation lifting many ownership regulations becomes law.
GWR is due to issue its full year results today with forecasts of full year pre-tax profits around GBP7 million compared to GBP20.1 million a year ago.
UK Sunday Times report (requires registration):
2002-05-26: Last week was fairly quiet on the radio licensing front with the main activity in the US concerning Low Power FM licences and other areas mainly dealing with routine matters.
In Australia, the only radio related activity by Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) was to invite applications for a new community station in the Murwillumbah area of northern New South Wales.
In Canada, the main radio activity by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has involved licence and deadline extensions.
Licences extended were those of Telemedia Radio Altantic Inc. and Télémédia Radio (Québec) Inc., New Brunswick (CFXY-FM, Fredericton) and Quebec (CITF-FM
CHLT, CITE-FM-1 and its transmitter CITE-FM-2, in Québec and Sherbrooke) which were granted one year administrative renewals to the end of August 2003 to allow time for renewals following the recent approval of transfer of control of the stations which were disposed of by Telemedia.
Deadline extensions included those for a new native radio station at Dolbeau-Mistassini, Quebec and for Celestial Sound to commence operations for new transmitters at for CHIM-FM Timmins at Chapleau, Elliot Lake, Wawa, and Red Deer, all in Ontario.
Ireland was quiet on the radio front but in the UK, the Radio Authority has announced its plans for the next phase of local licensing, which covers the period up to its expected replacement by the new super-regulator OFCOM when the Communications Bill is passed into law.
It aims to advertise licences at up to one a month with schedule adjustments in cases where existing local licences have to be competitively re-advertised.
The schedule issued is:
Licences remaining from the Authority's previous working list:
Gairloch & Loch Ewe
West Midlands (third regional licence)
Cornwall (second countywide licence)
The Authority has also announced that at the end of the month it is to advertise the local digital multiplex licence for Swansea that covers an area with a 15-plus population of just over half a million and has published its assessment of the award of the South Hampshire digital multiplex.
This went to Capital Radio Digital (CRD) against competition from Solent Digital Radio Limited((For details of offerings see licence news February 17)..
It says that both applicants had made impressive efforts to promote the establishment of local digital radio services in the area and noted that CRD had been "particularly successful in gaining evidence of support from the local business community and from elected representatives of the public."
It also said that members noted that CRD "had succeeded in keeping the carriage costs for programme providers to a more readily affordable level, which made their involvement on the multiplex a financially more viable opportunity for them and enhanced the likelihood that they would be able to maintain their participation in the long term."
" In Members' view," it added, "the fact that all of the digital capacity had been allocated to identified service providers gave the project additional security."
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given a go-ahead to 196 Low Power FM applications that it says have no conflicts with other pending applications. They're mainly for stations in Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands and are from the Commission's fourth LPFM filing window in June last year. Any petitions to deny the applications have to be filed by June 24.
The FCC has also red-flagged the Clear Channel acquisition of classic rock WRNO-FM in New Orleans, part of a USD12.5 million cash and station swap deal with Wilks Broadcasting whose other half was the transfer of Alternative KKND-FM from Clear Channel to Wilks. The deal does not affect to total stations of either organisation in the market - two Ames and fiver FMs for Clear Channel and four FMs for Wilks. Currently WRNO is lower rated than KKND but its city of licence is New Orleans whereas KKND is licensed to Port Sulphur
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-05-25: A coalition of artists, recording companies and retailers is urging the US government to revise payola laws and launch an investigation into the power that a small number of US corporations, notably Clear Channel, hold over the US radio and concert industries. It also wants a ban on what is termed "legal payola", the system by which record labels funnel some USD300 million a year to radio stations through independent promoters to influence airplay.
In a "Joint Statement on Current Issue in Radio" to lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the group also calls for restrictions on independently owned low power radio stations and Internet webcasters to be lifted to increase diversity.(Details of specific requests are listed below):
The group, which includes the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists(AFTRA) and a number of artists groups such as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, say that radio deregulation has been a factor in raising the cost of promoting records to radio stations and has also made it more difficult for new artists to get on the air.
They say the radio conglomerates have gained control of the system and have made exclusive deals with independent consultants that made it difficult to get airplay without paying high rates to the consultants and claim that what has evolved is payola in a new form. The promoters say payments are not made for playing particular songs but the group alleges that the songs played are mostly those suggested by the promoters.
RIAA president Cary Sherman said that it an artist or label chose not to use an independent promoter they were now choosing not to seek airplay on a radio station.
He said the relationship was fundamentally different to earlier times when laws were passed that banned "payola" payments to broadcasters or their staff without an accompanying on-air announcement that payment had been made. He said that it was now 40 years since Congress addressed the issues and the law needed clarification.
The campaign is being backed by Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Russell Feingold who says he is to introduce a bill to abolish or trim many of the practices that he says have led to higher concert prices and homogenized radio programming.
He commented, "I'm pleased to hear about this joint statement. The fact that so many diverse groups could agree on this shows just how widely these problems affect everyone."
In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday he said, "It is striking the range of people that radio deregulation has affected negatively in different parts of the music industry and the economy." "It's a sign of how offensive this system has become. The reason I have put it high on my agenda is the range of people it has affected: artists, consumers, labour groups, concertgoers and every person who listens to radio."
"This is an anti-democratic trend, because a free society is made up of a variety of voices. So to have music homogenized and controlled by a few big companies is a significant issue in a democracy and a culture."
Howie Klein, who retired as president of Reprise Records last year, told the paper, "It's a crooked system and it has to end."
"Payola corrupts the industry, so we wind up with worse and worse music on the radio, which means worse and worse artists are being signed and developed. This [reform] is long overdue."
Tom Lee, international president of the American Federation of Musicians, one of the groups that signed the statement said, "For too long the radio stations have been able to set what it is going to cost to get a record played. They have determined that the highest bidder will win. And it's not going to change until Congress steps in and does something about it."
Clear Channel says the answer lies in the hands of the recording companies, who can stop payments.
Its spokeswoman Pam Taylor told R&R Online, "The entire independent promotion business is fed by the record industry. If they want this to end, they should just stop paying the indies."
"We don't control or set the dollars [provided by independent promoters]," she added, continuing, "Do we take them? Absolutely. But we do it in a corporate, positive environment. There is no relation between dollars expended by the indies and what gets played on Clear Channel stations."
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Tribune report:
R&R Online web site:
*Specific requests made in the statement are:
1. We request that payments made to radio stations which are designed to influence playlists (other than legitimate and reasonable promotional expenses) be prohibited, unless such payments are announced over the air, even when such intent is subtle and disguised. This includes payments made through independent radio promoters.
2. We request an investigation of the impact of recent unprecedented increases in radio ownership consolidation on citizens and the music community.
3. We request an examination of the way vertical integration of ownership in broadcasting, concert promotion companies and venues decreases fair market competition for artists, clubs and promotion companies.
4. We request that policies that protect non-commercial space in the radio bandwidth and in the emerging Webcasting models be enacted, securing the benefits of programming diversity for the music community and citizens.
"The various laws and hearings from the 1960s-1970s muted the prominence of payola for a while," the statement continued. "However, payola-like practices eventually resurfaced, but in a more direct form. Often, in an effort to stay within the law, the payment is characterized as, for example, payment to receive first notice of the station's playlist adds."
2002-05-25: In UK radio business, Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) has reported pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of March down 27% from GBP7.8 million for the same period of 2001 to GBP5.7 million; its turnover was also down by 1% to GBP39.4 million and the company says that it does not expect national radio advertising to recover this year.
In brighter spots, radio local advertising was up 5% and its newspaper revenues were up 3% but its outdoor business, which is has now agreed to sell to Clear Channel for GBP33.5 million plus possible extra performance related payments of GBP24 million (See RNW May 22), performed badly.
SRH is regarded as a takeover target and rival Scottish Media Group (SMG) has built up a stake of just under 30%, the maximum that current regulations permit before it has to launch a full bid but SRH finance director Alan Wilson said he still expected any attempt to launch a full bid to be blocked by competition watchdogs and added that they had not had discussions with SMG.
SMG itself is in the news after former Virgin Radio breakfast host Chris Evans, who sold his company including Virgin Radio to SMG for GBP225 million (See RNW Jan 13, 2000), has said that he wants to buy back the franchise.
Evans was fired by SMG last year after he repeatedly failed to turn up to host his show (See RNW June 29, 2001).
Subsequently he launched a legal action against SMG (See RNW Dec 15, 2001) concerning shares that he said he is owed under share options included in the original sale. Evans is claiming GBP8.6 million and says he will drop the action if SMG will sell Virgin Radio back to him.
In an interview in the UK Daily Mirror on Friday, Evans attacks Virgin chief executive John Pearson who was made a millionaire by his deal with SMG.
"I was sacked by a man who I made a millionaire and whose job I not once but twice saved and I hope you understand why I have now taken legal action to attain what, in my opinion, is rightfully mine," he told the paper.
"My outstanding shares were not for payment for work, they were part of the original payment for the purchase of the station. This was a delayed payment if you like."
"I will drop my legal action if they give me what is rightfully mine, meaning they can sell Virgin Radio to at least two parties that I know of. I will also run the station for free for the new owners and present the breakfast show."
SMG, says it has no intention of selling Virgin Radio.
On the business side, in a move similar to that of Clear Channel with its cross media "Advantage" (See RNW May 23) SMG has formalised its cross media advertising into a new service "SMG Access" following a review of its operations.
The new service is to be promoted by a targeted mailshot next month and will provide a single point of entry to all SMG's media including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, cinema, outdoor and online.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-05-25: Employees of Radio-Canada, the French language service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Quebec and Moncton have started to return to work after voting to accept an agreement with the broadcaster.
The agreement ends a nine-week lockout.
2002-05-24: A few more station deals took place in the US this week, but the rate has slowed dramatically according to BIA Financial Network (BIAFn).
It says that 222 stations were sold or traded between January and April, less than half the 468 for the period in 2001. The fall is of a similar magnitude to the 46% drop in station sales during 2001 compared to 2000 that was reported by BIAFn (See RNW April 26).
In value terms the latest fall was much more steep, from a year to date figure of USD2.4 billion in 2001 to USD459 million this year.
The figures were more evenly marched for April of the two years with 85 station deals this year, up on 57 in April 2001 but with a lower value of USD101 million compared to USD147 million.
In the deals this week, the most expensive was a USD 1 million purchase by Puerto Rican company Pan Caribbean Broadcasting de P.R. Inc. of WVPI-FM Charlotte Amalie, the US Virgin Islands capital, from Benjamin Broadcasting Corp.
Also on an island, Salem Communications has announced a USD650, 000 agreement to acquire KJPN-AM in Honolulu, Hawaii, from International Communications Corp. Salem already owns an FM and three AMs in Honolulu and when all currently announced transactions are completed will own or operate 83 stations.
On the finance front, Cumulus has announced that it raised USD199.2 million net from its offering of 11.5 million shares of its class A common stock. Just fewer than 10.5 million of the shares were offered by Cumulus and the remaining 950, 000 by various shareholders. Cumulus says it intends to use USD55.6 million of the funds for its previously announced acquisition of Wilks Broadcasting's five Michigan stations (See RNW May 8).
The rest is to be used for general corporate purposes which could include reducing debt or funding further acquisitions.
2002-05-24: Radio Canada, the French language CBC service, has reached a tentative agreement with its 1400 staff, who have been locked out since March.
The staff, who rejected a previous offer by the narrow margin of 502 to 500 votes (See RNW May 17), were due to hold a vote Thursday, after our deadline, on the latest deal.
2002-05-24: Arizona governor Jane Hull has now signed the non-compete bill that passed the Arizona House earlier this month (See RNW May 12).
Broadcasting staff who are fired or whose contracts are not renewed will not now be restricted in their search for work at other stations.
2002-05-23: US giant Clear Channel may not be able to do much more consolidating in terms of station purchases in the US but it has done so internally with a re-organisation of its sales force. It has announced the creation of the "Clear Channel Advantage", a cross-platform advertising service that enables advertisers to access packages that cove Clear Channel's radio, TV, outdoor and entertainment divisions and is also merge its local and regional sales teams in its radio division and Music Group.
Clear Channel President and COO Mark Mays said the Clear Channel Advantage "leverages the power of Clear Channel's unique national footprint with our unparalleled multi-platform advertising opportunities."
Of the sales merger he said, "The combined sales team will provide unprecedented access for our advertisers to the unique opportunities of our radio and live music advertising platforms."
The new merged sales force will report to Clear Channel Radio President and COO John Hogan, who will also be in charge of the Clear Channel Advantage.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Clear Channel web site:
2002-05-23: UK Guardian Media Group (GMG) has moved closer to taking over Jazz FM; it effectively already has a controlling interest after no rival bids had been made for the 30.9% stake held by Clear Channel by the deadline.
Clear Channel had said that it would accept GMG's offer of GBP18 a share unless a rival bid GBP22 or more. GMG already held 18% of Jazz FM and another shareholder, Roger Parry, chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm, has said he will sell his 1.1% stake.
Jazz FM has not recommended the deal, thus making the GMG bid a hostile one, and is due to meet this week to consider the offer. Remaining shareholders have until June 12 to accept the offer.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Jazz FM:
2002-05-23: Latest figures from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show that 108 new commercial radio stations were added to the US total in the last six months of 2001.
AM stations went up by 45 to 4,772 and commercial FMs by 38 to 6,089. Another 25 FM Educational stations were also added to make their total 2,259. The total number of US radio and television broadcasting stations is now 25,890, an increase of 0.8%.
2002-05-23: A further rise in Internet listening means that it now total 6.28 times that in January 2001 and has more than doubled since January this year according to the latest ratings from MeasureCast. Within the rankings the top station was again Jazz FM and top network was Clear Channel but lower down Virgin Radio came back into the top five network spot from which it was ousted a week earlier by newcomer Internet Radio Inc, which dropped back to sixth. We did note that apart from Clear Channel all the top networks had lower listening.
For the week to May 12, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 329,5000 (316,644); CP 78,542 (77,884): Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 303,543 (315,954); CP 47,403 (49,534): Same position but with lower listening and reach.
3: Classical format WQXR-FM, New York - TTSL 187,986 (183,539); CP 24,600 (25,623): Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 139,528 (136,848); CP 23,382 (23,551): Same position with higher listening and reach.
5: Internet only Rock format KNAC.com - TTSL 90,830 (93,783): CP 15,400 (16,104): Same position with lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,804,691 (1,775,010) ; CP 288,675 (289,249). Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 829,428 (834,690): CP 181,057 (185,885) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 674,040 (705,212) hours: CP 115,576 (119,189) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 539,636 (546,287) : CP 93,123 (96,941) - same position with lower listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio TTSL 427,539(441,204 ); CP 74,859 (78,951 ) - up from sixth despite lower listening and reach.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-05-22: The US Librarian of Congress James Billington has rejected the streaming royalty rates proposals by the Copyright Arbitration Pane (CARP)l; this leaves another 30 days until June 20 for a final decision to be made.
The relevant part of the statement, which was welcomed by many webcasters, reads," The Register of Copyrights recommends, and the Librarian agrees, that the CARP's determination must be rejected. A final decision will be issued no later than June 20, 2002."
Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association (DIMA), said the move offered "hope that the final royalty will be more in line with marketplace economics.''
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was cautious about the rejection. In a statement its president Cary Sherman said, "Since both sides appealed the panel's determination anything is possible."
The CARP panel had proposed a royalty rate of 0.14 cents per song per listener streamed for webcasters and half that for radio stations streaming their terrestrial signals. Currently US radio broadcasters pay around 3% of their revenues to publishers and composers but nothing to artists and recording companies on the basis that their airplay is free promotion.
Webcasters had wanted a similar deal, which was rejected by the RIAA, which counter-proposed a plan for royalties of around 15% of gross revenues. No agreement was reached on this and the CARP panel opted for the pay-per-listen plan.
There is now speculation that a percentage of revenues plan, which some webcasters had started to favour following announcement of the rates proposed by the CARP.
There were also issues of record keeping, with many webcasters saying that, even if the royalty rate had not put them out of business, the records that they had been asked to provide were far too detailed and onerous.
Previous CARP report:
DIMA web site:
RIAA web site:
US Copyright Office web site:
US Copyright Office statement rejecting CARP proposals:
US Copyright Office on proposed rates:
2002-05-22: Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) has announced agreement to sell its outdoor advertising division, Score Outdoor, to Clear Channel UK Limited, for a cash sum of GBP33.5 million and possible deferred payments that could amount to GBP24 million over four years.
The deal, which is dependant upon approval by competition authorities, involves the sale of the entire share capital of Score Outdoor, which has billboards in Scotland, and the North West, South West and Midlands regions of England.
There are only a few overlaps with Clear Channel's More O'Ferrall billboard business and the combined group would be competing against two large players, Maiden and JC Decaux.
The extra payments would depend upon the combined Score and More O'Ferrall business achieving gross sales targets that are part of the deal.
SRH says the deal will allow it to concentrate on developing its radio stations and newspapers.
It valued its outdoor business at GBP45.9 million at the end of March and will show the resulting GBP21.8 million loss, which does not take into account the potential deferred payments, as an exceptional item in its accounts for the 2002 financial year.
Previous Clear Channel:
SRH web site:
2002-05-22: Almost a quarter of American adults listen to News/Talk radio but older people are more likely to tune to the format according to Scarborough Research's latest radio format study. Scarborough says that St Louis News/Talk stations attract 40% of listeners but in Honolulu the figure is only 9%; for New York it is 17%, in Los Angeles 15% and in Chicago 28%
Although News/Talk listeners tend to be older, with a median age of 52, says the study, they also tend to be better educated and more affluent. People with postgraduate degrees are 92% more likely to be News/Talk listeners, it says and 37% of people whose household income is USD 250, 000 a year or more listen to the format. It also notes that more than half News/Talk listeners had used a Gold or Platinum card in the past three months.
Looking further into the habits of listeners to the format, the report says that they are likely to be investors, are half as likely again as the average to use a broker, tend to stay active, and engage n pastimes such as walking for exercise, swimming, gardening, photography and cycling.
Commenting on the study, Howard Goldberg, senior vice president, Radio, Scarborough Research, said, "Based on the world's current volatility, Americans' need to stay abreast of local and national news has increased, and many find themselves tuning in to News/Talk radio. Non-News/Talk format stations are now considering their options to provide their listeners with news and information that they had once not offered in the past. This will place an additional emphasis on the News/Talk format stations to meet the programming needs of their core listeners."
Scarborough Research news release:
2002-05-22: Financially stressed UK sports radio station and web site operator TEAMtalk says it is considering a takeover bid, not long after it rejected a GBP10.2 million offer from gambling operator UKBetting (See RNW May 14).
TEAMtalk turned the former Atlantic 252 dance music station into sports outlet TEAMtalk 252, which has fared disastrously in the latest UK ratings (See RNW May 10).
In a statement, the company, which employs some 370 people in all, said, "Measures have already been put in place to reduce cash burn of the group and the legal process of consultation for a major redundancy programme is commencing."
TEAMtalk wrote off around GBP10 million in assets last month and its then Managing Director Bill Wilson resigned (See RNW April 29).
It appointed the former chief executive of Regional Independent Media, Chris Oakley, as chairman and he is conducting a strategic review of the business, which still has nearly GBP20 million in the bank.
2002-05-22: Helen Shaw, head of radio at Irish State Broadcaster RTÉ, is stepping down to take up a one-year international fellowship in the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She will undertake research into US and European international relations following the September 11 attacks.
In a statement on the departure, RTÉ director-general Bob Collins commented, "During her period as director of radio she has shown remarkable commitment and has never failed to 'put the audience first'. A particular highlight of this part of her career was the launch of Lyric FM and we all share her sense of pride in the achievements of this newest of RTÉ's radio channels."
Shaw was appointed to her post in 1997 and attracted controversy because of her management style that led to protests by staff.
She had worked at the Irish Times as a reporter and for RTÉ as a radio producer then worked for the BBC for nearly two years before her appointment, aged 35, from a field including 22 other candidates.
RTÉ is currently facing a financial crisis and has asked for a Euro45 increase in its licence fee.
The broadcaster has already reduced its staff by some 450, around a quarter( See RNW Nov 11, 2001).
It recorded a deficit of Euro71 million last year, including an operating deficit of Euro 46 million and a one-off charge of Euro 21.5 million relating to some 150 redundancies.
Collins has said that any further cuts in staff would be counter-productive and the broadcaster says it may have to discontinue its services unless it gets the increase. An independent assessor's report on its options is due to be published later this week.
Previous Bob Collins:
Previous Helen Shaw:
2002-05-21: The UK radio advertising market has turned the corner according to latest figures from the country's Radio Advertising Bureau.
It says that, after three successive quarters of declining revenues, advertisers spent GBP135.7 million in the three months from January to March this year, 0/5% more than in the first quarter of 2002.
The bureau notes increases in the automobile sector, with considerable extra spending by Ford and Toyota, a significant increase in spend by the Sainsbury's supermarket group and other increases by national advertisers.
Sainsbury's increased its spend more than ten times to GBP1.2 million in the quarter, and its brand marketing director commented that Sainsbury's had "been able to demonstrate to ourselves that radio is the most profitable advertising channel available to Sainsburys after TV activity starts to hit levels of decreasing returns."
"It is certainly far more profitable than national press, local press and leaflets," he added. "As we've realised how effective it is we've done more and more of it."
Radio Advertising Bureau managing director Justin Sampson said that the figures the increase was particularly significant because in the first quarter of 2001, the British governemnt through the Central Office of Information (COI) had increased its spending in the run up to the General Election.
He also commented that the performance was strong "when you consider that other mainstream media are reporting continued declines in advertising levels."
The COI remained the largest single advertiser in the quarter, spending some GBP8.7 million, but this was more than a fifth down on the 2001 figures. Toyota was the next largest spender, putting in a total of GBP2.2 million.
Previous Radio Advertising Bureau (UK):
UK Radio Advertising Bureau web site (Flash 6 site):
2002-05-21: Forstmann Little is preparing to take Citadel Communications public less than a year after it bought the company for US 2 billion (See RNW June 26, 2001) according to the New York Post.
The paper says Forstmann is hoping to cash in on current high valuations for radio companies and an expected improvement in advertising revenues.
It tips Goldman Sachs Group and Credit Suisse First Boston, which advised Citadel on its sale to Forstmann, plus Merrill Lynch & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, to lead the underwriting.
In other US radio business, Cumulus is to move its state of incorporation from Illinois to Delaware through a merger with a subsidiary in the latter state.
In its SEC filing, Cumulus says that Delaware has "comprehensive, modern and flexible corporate laws that are updated and revised periodically to meet changing business needs."
Cumulus hopes for shareholder approval of the deal on June 14.
On the deals front, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally allowed Millennium's USD 90 million purchase of Nassau Broadcasting's New Jersey cluster in the Monmouth-Ocean market, comprising WADB-AM, WOBM-AM & FM, WJLK-FM & WBBO-FM.
The deal will give Millennium nearly two thirds of the advertising revenue in the market and the sole Democrat on the FCC, Michael Copps, dissented from the decision. The three other members, however, held that market concentration worries were less significant in the area because it has a high percentage of listening to stations from outside the market. Copps argues that these stations did not provide local coverage.
In another deal in New York state, James Broadcasting has sold Jamestown stations WJTN-AM, which airs a mixture of news, talk, sport and soft Adult Contemporary music, and hot AC WWSE-FM to Media One Group for USD5.9 million.
New York Post report on Citadel:
2002-05-21: Luxembourg-based European satellite digital radio developer Global Radio has announced agreement with Delphi Corporation to design and develop receivers for manufacturers in its European market.
Delphi currently manufactures satellite radios for both American satellite radio broadcasters, Sirius and XM.
Global radio intends to transmit from three satellites a service of 24 trans-European channels and seven regional beams with from 60 to 70 channels; it expects to fund the service from a mix of subscriptions, sponsorship, advertising and data services.
Last month it announced that it had selected S.G. Cowen Securities Corporation, the technology investment-banking unit of the Société Générale Group, as its investment banker for its second round of financing.
It expects its service, with a potential for some 250 million automobile receivers and a similar number of home receivers, to launch in 2005.
Global Radio web site:
2002-05-20: For our look at last week's print media on radio, we have concentrated on a selection of character and characters, starting with a tribute from one former head of the BBC World Service to another.
It came from John Tusa in the UK Guardian writing about Austen Kark, who was killed in a UK train crash (RNW May 13).
Tusa writes, "Perhaps two things are worth emphasising about the character and philosophy of Austen Kark: his moral courage, and his political skills in the service of principle."
On the former, Tusa writes, "The first was shown at its best during the Real Lives row of the mid-l980s."(RNW note - a TV documentary concerning the private lives of men allegedly involved in terrorism in Northern Ireland: Its transmission was banned by the BBC governors and this writer remembers it well through being involved in transmitting a news excerpt - from a tape that strictly speaking was "pirated" - to the rest of the world and then being subject of a complaint to the British journalist's union for working during a day of protest about the matter.)
"There were huge protests from journalists across the BBC at this act of censorship that threatened editorial freedom. While BBC management ran for cover, Austen appeared live on the Today programme making clear the danger posed to the BBC World Service's standing abroad by the governors' decision."
"Within Bush House, he did not run away from the huge anger felt by staff who knew that their credibility turned on their audience's absolute belief in the BBC's trustworthiness."
"He and his deputy, Chris Bell, held a meeting in the basement rooms of the BBC Club - where else? - and faced 200 very concerned broadcasters. Austen made it clear that he shared the concerns of his staff, to whom he was passionately devoted, but he also explained in fair minded detail why the BBC governors had acted as they did."
"In both cases, Austen faced the music with openness, dignity and authority I think Austen was, to use a very old fashioned term, a decent man. Better still, he was a good man."
After that it's a significant jump, geographically across the Atlantic, to two more contrasting examples of character.
One involved Chicago broadcaster Art Hellyer , in tribute to whom an "Art Hellyer Day" has been organised for May 25 in Joliet.
But as, Robert Feder writes in his Chicago Sun-Times column, "Hellyer, 78, suddenly announced that he would not be present. The news came as a real disappointment to those who had hoped to recognize Hellyer for his splendid run, including top-rated stints on WCFL in the 1950s, WBBM-AM in the '60s, WLS-FM in the '70s and WJJD in the '80s."
Feder continues that "Hellyer spent the last 14 years on WJOL-AM, which dropped his weekend show at the end of 2001" and quotes Hellyer's statement, "Now that we are nearing May 25, I realize I cannot go through with it."
"Word has reached me this very week there was a good possibility some WJOL people--possibly even the man who fired me--will be there. This would be hypocrisy which I cannot be a party to."
"In addition, I have always believed tributes are given for people who have been successful or who are dignitaries. I am neither. The truth is, I was fired. I am unemployed. I am a failure. Therefore, I cannot attend."
In contrast comes the story from Boston, which reflects a very different perception of character and motivation.
It involves a caller named "Eddie" who described Tuesday(May 14) on the Opie and Anthony nationally syndicated show how he allegedly murdered two Colombian drug dealers in 1977 and then dismembered and disposed of the bodies.
As Dean Johnson in the Boston Herald wrote, the issue was initially was the caller genuine or did the duo "stage an elaborate prank in the middle of radio's most important ratings season?"
On Thursday, the Herald reported that the New York police investigated and said the call was " a complete hoax" but the pair, who were fired in 1998 after an April Fool's announcement that Boston's then mayor had been killed in a car crash, said they had learned the "lesson about faking deaths on radio?(Anthony Cumia)'' and "I think we've done enough radio by now to know when some guy is pulling our leg (Opie - Gregg Hughes).
In a follow up article the next day, Johnson commented, "You expect riveting programming on Opie and Anthony's syndicated radio show about as often as an ``In Praise of Bill Clinton'' program from Rush Limbaugh" and then went on to say the call was "terrific radio" and described Eddie as "good. Neither too smooth nor too crude, he laid out a ``Sopranos''-style tale with matter-of-fact, vivid and unflinching detail. "
He then goes on to note that, were it a hoax the stations that broadcast the show could be fined by the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasting material that was false information and caused public harm but concludes, "None of that changes the fact that Tuesday's show was great radio even if it was not honest radio. It also generated a ton of publicity - including this column - and listeners during the radio year's biggest ratings sweep. "
RNW comment: We cannot know Hellyer's motives and pressures will be on him to reconsider but the only gain he can make from his action is to keep his integrity. It says quite a lot about Opie and Anthony that the New York police considered the case to be a stunt, whatever the facts actually are.
And finally a different kind of radio abuse: This comes courtesy of the Toronto Globe and Mail, which reports that a Thai disc jockey has threatened to sue Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra if his long-winded weekly broadcasts continue to intrude on her popular show.
Thaksin, it turns out has been over-running by up to thirty minutes his Saturday morning radio broadcasts about his policies.
Every radio station in Thailand has to carry the Prime Ministerial comments and his extra time is cutting into the show of Natthakarn Panniam whose sponsors are threatening to withdraw support for the show.
Boston Herald - Johnson first report:
Boston Herald - Johnson second report:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder
Toronto Globe and Mail on Thai DJ:
UK Guardian - Tusa:
2002-05-19: Last week was one of mainly routine work for the radio regulators with the UK fairly busy.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has invited applications for two new community radio licences for Warragul and the Latrobe Valley areas of Victoria. Applications have to be submitted by June 18 and June 13 respectively.
Canada was quiet with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announcing various radio applications and deciding on only one, that for a new low power (50 watts) transmitter in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to carry the output of CHET-FM, Chetwynd, some 100Km (60 miles) away.
CHET is owned by the not-for-profit Chetwynd Communications Society (CCS) and of fourteen interventions, all but one supported the application. It was opposed by the Peace Division of Telemedia Radio (West) Inc., which at the time it filed its operated a number of radio stations in the area including CJDC, which offers a similar music mix to that of CHET.
It contended that the application represented "a blatant attempt to enlarge the revenue market of CHET-FM with only a minimal investment and no additional responsibilities or local service offering."
The Commission in approving the application noted that the Peace Division had revenues more than 50 times that of CHET and that there would be no significant negative effect on existing commercial stations in the area.
The CRTC did note, however, that since CHET-FM will now operate in a market served by other commercial stations, it would consider at licence renewal time if it should retain its Class A status or be reclassified as Type B.
The Commission has also announced receipt of applications from:
* Radio Campus Des Étudiants De L'université Du Québec À Trois-Rivières to renew the licence of radio station CFOU-FM Trois-Rivières, Quebec;
*Corus Radio Company to amend the licence of radio station CFNY-FM, Brampton, Ontario, to allow broadcast to listeners of South Asian origin in the Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English languages using a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel;
*Corus Premium Television Ltd. to amend the licence of radio station CING-FM, Hamilton, Ontario, proposes to broadcast predominantly Farsi-language programming using a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel;
*and CKUA Radio Foundation to amend the licence of radio station CKUA-FM Edmonton, Alberta, to allow broadcasts to listeners of East Indian origin predominantly in the Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati languages into the Edmonton market provided by Guldasta Broadcasting Inc. using a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel.
Also in Canada, The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBCS) has ruled that dialogue about "hunting Hindus" aided by CKTF-FM, Gatineau, Quebec, were in breach of the human rights provision of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics. (See RNW May 15 )
Ireland was quiet but in the UK, the Radio Authority has been active on both the analogue and digital fronts and has also announced that three more pilot Access radio stations have now started transmissions, taking the total to 11.
The new stations are music and speech Desi Radio in West London, which serves the Punjabi community; arts radio Resonance FM in London; and community station Wythenshaw FM in Manchester.
On the commercial analogue front, the Authority has published its public interest determinations relating to the Kent Messenger group's acquisition of the controlling interest in Medway FM and of Kent & Sussex Radio Ltd (which holds the local radio licence for Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.
The examination was necessary because of the newspapers owned by the group and the Authority has approved the deals but imposed conditions.
In the Medway case it has said that Kent Messenger Ltd shall maintain a separate news facility within Mercury 107.9 and 100.4 FM's measured coverage area, and separate editorial control shall be maintained within that news facility; and there shall be no conditional selling between any Kent Messenger interest and Mercury 107.9 and 100.4 FM.
Similar conditions were imposed, relating to Mercury 96.2 and 101.6 FM, which were involved in the Kent and Sussex Radio takeover.
In actions that relate to both analogue and digital, the Authority renewed eight more local licences that gained automatic renewal because they are providing or are contracted to provide services on the relevant local digital multiplex.
*The Birmingham AM licence of Radio XL;
*The Greater London licence of Heart FM;
*The Leicester FM licence of Leicester Sound and AM licence of Sabras Sound;
*The The Preston FM licence of Rock FM and AM licence of Magic AM;
and the Swindon/West Wiltshire FM licence of GWR FM and AM licence of Classic Gold.
It has also updated its timetable of planned digital multiplex licence advertisements, adding a digital multiplex for Plymouth and the county of Cornwall, and delaying the advertisement of the Sussex Coast local multiplex to July pending international frequency co-ordination.
The licences to be advertised are:
Swansea (June 2002);
Sussex Coast (July 2002);
Stoke-on-Trent (August 2002),
Kent (October 2002 but also subject to international frequency co-ordination.);
Nottingham (December 2002);
Reading and Basingstoke (February 2003);
and Plymouth/Cornwall (April 2003).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has had a fairly quiet week apart from standard business but is continuing to streamline and update its procedures. Amongst actions taken are an insistence that from May 21 applications to make changes to an FM translator or booster, or to license an FM translator or booster, must be filed electronically, although it will consider a request for a waiver submitted with paper applications. On another streamlining issue, the plan to unify its complaints procedures, the FCC has come against opposition from the US National Association of Broadcasters for complaints concerning programme content (See RNW May 18 NAB2).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CBSC web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-05-18: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has responded to a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) call for comment on proposals to set up a unified process to deal with informal complaints by accepting it in principle for technical violations but rejecting it for programme-related ones.
Commenting on an FCC suggestion to use the consumer complaint process used for carriers for all complaints, it says, "a majority of consumer complaints against broadcasters are programming-related." "These programming complaints are very different than common carrier complaints, in that they are contextual in character, highly fact specific and necessitate careful Commission review."
"Simply stated, they do not lend themselves to a "one-size-fits-all" complaint form - a form which may not readily permit attachment of a tape or transcript necessary to present prima facie evidence of a violation of the Commission's indecency/obscenity rules."
It adds that the FCC has not shown deficiencies in the current complaints process for broadcasters or demonstrated that streamlining the process will increase compliance with regulations or consumer satisfaction.
It also says that it is concerned about the use of terms such as "objectionable material" that raise First Amendment concerns and may lead to a mistaken belief that the Commission has authority in connection with all programming complaints not just those considered indecent or obscene.
NAB notes that broadcasters have received "thousands of complaints for airing "objectionable" or individually offensive material on a number of issues of public controversy, ranging from programs covering the Middle East Crisis, AIDS/HIV, teen pregnancy, religion, gay rights to terrorism gun control, coverage of weather, sports, news, etc" and that the FCC has already determined that the standard it must apply relating to "indecency" is that of an "average broadcast viewer and not the sensibilities of an individual complainant."
It says that programming complaints should be excluded from the proposed system.
NAB web site:
2002-05-18: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's French-language channel Radio-Canada has rejected calls to resume talks with its striking workers who voted down its latest offer by a narrow margin this week (See RNW May 17).
In a statement it says that the latest offer will remain on the table until May 24 but is a final offer.
The dispute, which led to a lock out of staff in Quebec and New Brunswick from March 22, concerns pay and conditions including the status of non-permanent workers.
2002-05-18: US listeners are likely to take to digital audio services on a large scale in 2006 years but many of them may be satisfied by the free offerings of terrestrial broadcasters to the detriments of the satellite radio services, according to a report by In-Stat/MDR, a market research unit of Reed Business Information.
The unit cites other markets such as the UK, Germany and Canada as examples of how "DAB is inspiring a whole renaissance of new programming choices" and predicts US digital radio receiver shipments to rise slowly over the next two years to reach around 10 million in 2005 and then jump to nearly 40 million in 2006.
Senior Analyst Michelle Abraham says that for the take-up to happen there has to be a confluence of acceptable receiver prises, receiver availability and widespread coverage area for digital and adds that receivers have to be developed that can receive signals from different systems.
In-Stat/MDR also says that, because analogue stations can add digital at fairly low cost in the US, "it's very likely that DAB will gain critical mass in the U.S. within a fairly short span of time. " It also says that digital radio success n the US will depend greatly on automotive manufacturers.
RNW comment: The graph in In-Stat/MDR's news release showing the growth in digital receiver shipments in the US looks impressive but we have our doubts about the accuracy of such predictions. For those who want to get the full detail, the full report costs USD 2, 500.
In-Stat/MDR web site:
2002-05-17: UK Capital Radio has announced a 20% fall in underlying group profit before tax to GBP14.2 million in the six months to the end of March compared with the same period a year earlier. Group revenue from continuing operations was down 8% to GBP60.0 million.
Like-for-like radio revenue was down 7% to GBP59.6 million and radio operating profits were down 16% to GBP 15.6 million.
Capital says its established radio stations suffered an 11% drop in revenues to GBP 50.6 million with operating profits down 22% to GBP17.1 million and commented that the figures reflected, "the very tough national advertising market experienced in the first half Our rigorous cost control has lessened the financial impact of the reduction in revenues. "
It was upbeat about its development stations, Beat, the Century network and Xfm, which it says, "achieved very strong like for like revenue growth of 29% to £9.0 million" and have now approached break-even point.
Capital also invested GBP1.4 million in digital radio operations, up from GBP1.3 million a year earlier, and GBP1.2 million, down from GBP 1,9 million, in its interactive activities.
Capital now owns 38 digital licences with cover of nearly four fifths of the UK population and has formed a joint venture with UBC Media to develop digital radio data services in the UK.
It has also entered an arrangement with Disney to create a UK children's radio network, Capital Disney.
Commenting on the draft UK Communications Bill, Capital says that it welcomes it but believes that the changes to local radio ownership do not go far enough and that it will, together with the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), press for further deregulation concerning ownership of licences in a local market.
Capital chief executive David Mansfield said Capital intended to be a buyer when the bill has become law and that it does not intend to be bought itself by a US predator as had been suggested.
The company says it is positioning itself to "ensure that it will play a key role in the changing market" and continues to evaluate UK radio licences that would be a strategic fit with its current portfolio.
"With our market-leading brands, focused strategy and strong balance sheet," it says, "we are ideally positioned to take advantage of any appropriate acquisition or investment opportunities which may arise in UK radio in the de-regulatory environment."
Mansfield also said there was no real sign of an advertising upturn and Capital was forecasting combined April and May revenues this year to be around 3% lower than in 2001.
Previous Capital Radio:
Capital investor news releases:
2002-05-17: CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation )Radio Canada employees, who have been locked out for eight weeks, have voted by 502 votes to 500 to reject their union's advice to accept the public broadcaster's latest pay offer.
The offer, which would cost Radio Canada around CAD9 million, included a pay increase of nearly 8% to its journalists, hosts and researchers who have been locked out since March 22 in the dispute, one of the main issues of which is the position of non-permanent staff at the CBC's French network in Quebec and New Brunswick. It also offered to create 152 permanent positions. 132 of them for contract workers.
Sylvain Lafrance, Radio-Canada vice-president for French radio had described the offer as "generous, fair and responsible, and richer than the offer that was in place before the conflict" and the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada had recommended that the 1400 employees accept the offer.
2002-05-16: Overall US radio advertising revenues, which fell back in February, were 1% ahead of March 2001 according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
The rise for local and national sales was also 1% as was the rise in national revenues for the first quarter of the year. Local sales for the first quarter were down 1% and the overall total was also down 1%.
RAB's Sales Index, that equates base year 1998 to 100, eliminating the effects of the dot.com boom, was 128.0 for March with the local index 128.1 and the national index 127.8. For the first quarter, the combined index was129.8, the local index was 130.2 and the national index was 126.9.
RAB President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Fries commented that radio was "positioned for steady recovery."
RAB web site:
2002-05-16: XM Satellite Radio has reported losses in the first quarter more than doubling but it had revenues of USD 1.785 million.
These were made up of USD 1.389 million from subscriptions, USD 391,000 from advertising after taking account of USD64, 000 in agency commissions and USD 5,000 of other revenues.
In the same period its operating expenses leapt to USD100.146 million from USD 42.124 million in the first quarter of 2001, taking its net loss for the quarters up to USD 112.250 million from USD36.948 million. After dividends, the net loss attributable to common stockholders went up to USD117.746 million or USD1.56 a share from USD 42.736 million, or 80 cents a share.
Operating loss for the period was USD98.4 million compared to USD42.1 million a year earlier.
The figures compare with a loss of USD43 million and income of USD 33, 000 and losses of USD 45.3 million for its rival Sirius Satellite Radio, which only started its commercial service in February.
XM says has current cash and cash equivalent assets of USD 52.296 million compared to USD 182.497 million at the end of 2001; total current assets are now USD175.077 million compared to USD271.911 million at the end of last year.
Overall it values its assets at USD 1.336 billion compared to 1.456 billion at the end of 2001 and its liabilities at USD521.574 million compared to USD529.552 million.
In other US radio results, Denver-based NextMedia has reported net revenues for the quarter of USD19.2 million - up 32.4% compared to Q1, 2001, and cash flow of USD 5.5 million -up 22.2%.
Most of the increase came from acquisitions.
Its radio business is performing better than its outdoor operations with pro-forma radio revenues up 9.7% to USD13.6 million and pro-forma cash flow up 20% to USD4.2 million; outdoor pro-forma revenues were down 17.6% to USD 5.6 million and outdoor pro-forma cash flow was down 55.2% to USD 1.3 million.
Overall pro-forma figures showed revenues flat at USD19.2 million but cash flow was down 14.1% to USD 5.5 million.
Big City Radio is bleeding less in its first quarter figures but could still have problems meeting its September cash interest payment of USD9.8 million. It reported net revenues, hit by the sale of its Phoenix stations, down 19.2% to USD3.4 million but same station revenues, when Phoenix is taken out of the equation, were up 9.5%. Broadcast cash flow was a loss of USD844, 000 compared, when Phoenix figures are omitted, to USD1.38 million for Q1, 2001.
Previous Big City:
Sirius web site:
XM web site:
2002-05-16: UK Forever Broadcasting has reported a weak January but says things have subsequently picked up. Its first half- figures to the end of March showed losses up from GBP1.89 million a year earlier to GBP3.26 million, with adjusted losses per share of 5.4 pence compared to 4.6 pence.
Its turnover was boosted by acquisitions from GBP702, 000 to GBP1.85 million and like-for-like sales were up 40%.
2002-05-16: Webcasters and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) squared off on Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing concerning proposed royalty rates of 0.14 cents a song per listener for Internet streaming companies and half that for terrestrial broadcasters who stream their output.
The webcasters say the charges would put most of them out of business whilst the RIAA testified that it supported webcasting but said there should be "fair compensation" for artists and record companies.
Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (Democrat, Vermont) commented that none of the parties seemed happy with the proposals made by the Copyright Arbitration Panel (CARP) and commented that the recording industry wanted a rate based on performances and listeners rather than a shared-revenues, which it felt would produce too low recompense whilst many webcasters said the proposed rates would bankrupt smaller operations and drain larger ones.
He also said that the voice of many small webcasters had effectively not been hear because they could not afford the cost of taking part in the proceedings and asked all the witnesses to consider the idea that all parties should treat the CARP proceedings as a learning experience and then sit down together to work out the best next step.
RIAA chairman and CEO Hilary Rosen said the CARP had worked with the benefit of a large amount of confidential financial date and had done their homework thoroughly. She also said that the webcasters were the ones who had initially insisted on a fee-per-performance system rather than a profit share until the last moment, after the rates had been proposed.
Digital Media Association (DIMA) Executive Director Jonathan Potter said that Congress had not intended that the new system should be subject to more anti-competitive pressures than before it legislated but that was what had happened.
He contended that in the situation the webcasters found themselves there could be no willing seller and buyer relationship as there were no alternative sources for the material to be licensed, thus allowing the marketplace to be too easily manipulated by monopoly sellers
Onion River Radio founder Frank Schliemann said that the proposed rates would man royalty payments totalling 78% of his company's gross revenues and contrasted the amount involved with that already paid to songwriters and music publishers; for the period January to March, he said, they had been paid through ASCAP, BMI and SESAC a total of USD170, less than a tenth of the USD1, 880 that they would have had to pay for royalties if the CARP recommendations were accepted.
Previous CARP report:
2002-05-15: Sirius Satellite Radio in its first quarterly report since it launched commercially has revealed that it now has 412 subscribers for its 100 channels with CEO Joe Clayton telling analyst that he expects the number to reach thousands in the second quarter with the company on track to meet its target of 100,000 to 150,000 by the end of the year.
Sirius also announced that it would begin marketing its service today in ten more states - Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
This will make it available in 28 states with a complete US national service due to be available by July 1.
The 412 subscribers meant that Sirius could now show income of USD 4, 000 from subscribers plus an additional USD34, 000 from advertisers, USD29, 000 after agency fees are taken off. Previous Rosen
Its first quarter EBITDA loss was USD 45.3 million compared to USD36.3 million in the first quarter of 2001 and the net loss to common stockholders was USD90.1 million or USD1.22 per share compared to USD64.4 million or USD1.34 per share in the first quarter of 2001. Its operating loss for the quarter was USD50.7 million compared to USD39.3 million in the first quarter of 2001.
Sirius said that at the end of March it had $401 million in cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and another USD 22 million in restricted investments.
Sirius, like its competitor XM, is relying heavily on automobile receiver installations, and has announced that Daimler-Chrysler has expanded its commitment to make Sirius receivers available in its 2003 models, mainly as a dealer-installed option in Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles; they'll also be available on some Mercedes Benz models. Sirius has also "reworked" it stock warrants arrangement with Daimler-Chrysler. The old warrants gave a right to buy four million Sirius shares at USD 60 a share while the new ones are for the same number but at USD15 per share, still more than triple the Sirius current share price.
In other US results, Spanish language Radio Unica has announced revenues for the first quarter of this year of USD8.2 million, up 45% from the USD5.6 million for the first quarter of 2001; radio revenues were up 18% to USD6.7 million from USD 5.6 million.
Its net loss was down from USD10.24 million or 49 cents per share for Q1, 2001, to USD8.02 million or 38 cents a share this year and its operating loss almost halved, down from USD 6.70 million to USD3.60 million.
EBITDA before stock option compensation expense improved by 45% to a loss of USD2.7 million from a loss of USD 4.9 million and that for its the radio broadcasting business improved by 41% to a loss of USD2.9 million from a loss of USD4.9 million.
Unica has completed its SFAS (Statement of Financial Accounting Standards) 142 review of its broadcast licences and reports no charges relating to them; it expects to complete its goodwill review by the end of June.
Commenting on the results, chairman and CEO Joaquin F. Blaya said he was pleased to report "strong growth" in Unica's radio business and its promotion business, particularly noted progress in expanding its marketing and promotions division, Mass Promotions, Inc.
Unica is forecasting second quarter revenues to grow by 8% to 10% overall and those for radio to grow from 5% to 7%.
Sirius web site:
Unica web site:
XM web site:
2002-05-15: Astral Media of Canada has asked the country's Federal Court to stop the federal Competition Bureau from interfering in its planned CAD 255 million purchase of radio stations from Telemedia. The deal for 17 radio stations in Quebec and New Brunswick, plus full ownership of two other stations in which Astral already has a 50% share, has already been approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)(see RNW April 21) and Astral is arguing that the matter is solely one for the CRTC.
The Competition Bureau announced in December that it intended to scrutinize the deal in terms of competition in some French-language radio markets (See RNW Dec 23, 2001) but Astral's lawyer, Louis Belanger, commented, "It's very presumptuous of the commissioner to say he could come and do a better job than the CRTC. The CRTC has been looking after radio for 30 years."
Berlanger added that the CRTC looked at the issues of competition in the context of overall media competition, not merely between radio stations in a given market, and suggested that the CRTC has general and exclusive jurisdiction as far as the radio industry was concerned. He also said that the potential "victims" of the deal, the advertisers, had argued in favour of the deal at the CRTC's hearing because they felt it would strengthen the francophone radio market.
2002-05-15: Internet listening rose by 8% in the week to May 5, despite the "Day of Silence" May Day protest by US webcasters, according to MeasureCast.
This means that listening as measured by the organisation has now increased 621% since January 2001.
MeasureCast adds that peak listening for the week was May 2, when 18.5% of all listening took place, but the "Day of Silence" itself was the third busies day of the week for the stations it monitors.
At the top of the station rankings, Jazz FM moved ahead of Virgin into the top spot and lower down Philadelphia college station WXPN-Fm was knocked down to seventh place from fifth with KNAC.Com moving from seventh into fifth. In the network ratings the only position change was Virgin's move down to sixth, its place being taken by newcomer Internet Radio Inc.
For the week to May 5, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 316,644 (219,408); CP 77,884 (60,117): Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 315,954 (294,432); CP 49,534 (50,372): Down from first despite higher listening but reach was down.
3: Classical format WQXR-FM, New York - TTSL 183,539 (154,365); 25,623 CP (26,608): Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 136,848 (130,556); CP 23,551 (23,573): Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
5: Internet only Rock format KNAC.com - TTSL 93,783 (72,077): CP 16,104 (15,088 ): Up from seven with higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the same week (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,775,010 (1,706,090) ; CP 289,249 (262,254). Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 834,690 (768,715): CP 185,885 (159,529) - Same position higher listening and reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 705,212 (701,295) hours: CP 119,189 (121,017) - Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 546,287 (609,158) : CP 96,941 (105,747) - same position with lower listening and reach.
5: Internet Radio Inc TTSL 475,077; CP 174,756- new entrant.
In Arbitron's monthly ratings for April, also just released, Virgin Radio is the top station with Jazz FM second whilst in the network ratings Live 365 remained at the top with Clear Channel second. MLB.Com network debuted in fifth position.
Arbitron ranks by ATH (aggregate tuning hours), the equivalent of MeasureCast's TTSL (Total Time Spent Listening) and it shows higher listening Clear Channel, which it says topped five millions hours compared to four million for Measurecast, but lower listening for Virgin than the latter.
Arbitron's April top five channels, ranked by ATH with previous month's figures in brackets were:
1:Adult contemporary Virgin FM with ATH 1,080,600. First in March with lower ATH 1,034,600
2: Jazz FM with ATH 861,600. Second in March with ATH 763,800 (*February ATH was 826,200).
3: Classical WQXR-FM with ATH 692,500. Up from fourth in March when ATH was lower at 476,100.
4: Classical King FM with ATH 611,600. Down from third in March when ATH was lower at 580,000.
5: Jazz format KPLU with ATH 399,100. Same position in March when ATH was 301,300.
Arbitron's April top five networks were, ranked by ATH with previous month's figures in brackets where applicable were:
1:Live 365 with ATH 8,374,400. Position unchanged but up from March ATH 7,609,100.
2: Clear Channel Worldwide with ATH7,364,400. Position unchanged but up from March ATH 5,041,200.
3: ChainCast Networks/StreamAudio with ATH2,889,400 . Position unchanged but up from March ATH 2,467,800.
4: SMG PLC (Virgin radio owners) with ATH1,624,200. Position unchanged but up from March ATH 1,545,400.
5: MLB.com Network with ATH 1,229,700. Newcomer to rankings.
Previous Arbitron webcast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast weekly ratings:
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-05-15: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that dialogue about "hunting Hindus" aided by CKTF-FM, Gatineau, were in breach of the human rights provision of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics.
The comments came in a segment of the programme "Les méchants matins du monde" and involved the hosts and a fictitious frequent caller who explained how he went about "hunting Hindus."
The CBS Quebec panel said it accepted that the intent was to be funny and was not intended as incitement to violence but the comments "directed at Hindus with respect to their alleged habits, practices and conventions have unquestionably gone too far."
"The jokesters did not 'poke' fun; they bludgeoned," continued the panel. "They did not 'tickle'; they were nasty. They did not joke with Hindus; they laughed at Hindus; they made fun of Hindus. They demeaned and denigrated the objects of their 'humour'. This was 'grit your teeth', 'cringe in discomfort' mockery; it had no cuteness or levity to offer."
CBSC web site:
2002-05-14: Only a week before May 21 when the Librarian of Congress is scheduled to rule on the matter of Internet royalty rates, the US Senate Judicial Committee has scheduled for tomorrow a hearing on Internet royalty rates.
The session, "'Copyright Royalties: Where is the Right Spot On The Dial For Webcasting", will hear from representatives of webcasters and the US recording industry. It starts at 0930 EST (1430 GMT) and is to be webcast by C-Span's.
C-Span CapitolHearings web site:
2002-05-14: Fears that other spending priorities may lead the British Government to try and trim funding for the BBC World Service are voiced in a UK Guardian leader that calls for any such move to be resisted.
It says," For the 150 million listeners who make up the global audience of the BBC's World Service and have no voice or vote in Britain, these are anxious times." And then goes on to call for any moves to trim funding to be resisted.
"An interdependent world needs an unbiased source of news, " it adds.
"This has become more apparent since September 11. That millions tune in, or increasingly log on, to find out what is happening both at home and abroad is a reflection of the World Service's success in trading a precious commodity: trust."
"In capturing the difficult terrain of people's minds the World Service has distinguished itself. But to keep winning more territory, the broadcaster needs more cash."
"The number of short-wave users is gently falling and Bush House needs to keep expanding onto FM, where the new urban middle classes and opinion formers in poor countries scan for news."
"New competition, such as Voice of America's Radio Sawa, beaming to the Middle East, and the resurgent al-Jazeera, will be a tough test for the World Service. More money is needed to add to the 40-odd languages currently in use. "
"Starved of investment under the Conservatives, the World Service needs to be nurtured by New Labour. Paid for by a grant from the Foreign Office, the service is a remarkable testament to a set of values that Britain should be proud to promote."
"Its unbiased reporting ensured it was the only broadcaster invited to the inauguration of the new administration in Kabul. Its appreciation of the nature of a global audience means Bush House will often not use the word "terrorism" to describe acts, which many of its listeners consider to be something else."
"That one of the most successful global media brands can be government-funded and not government-influenced should be celebrated."
"The bill every year for such high-minded success is a mere £200m and the World Service is now asking for another £76m over three years. Given the returns on the government's investment, it would be a folly not to fund properly a service so well received by the rest of the world."
RNW note - the Conservative government under the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, cut the BBC World Service budget by some GBP1.2 million in 1984
UK Guardian leader on World Service:
2002-05-14: US National Public Radio (NPR) is to air a two-hour special, "Details with Robert Trout," on the work of broadcast pioneer Robert Trout, who died 18 months ago (See RNW Nov 15, 2000).
The programme will be introduced by Walter Cronkite and will feature highlights of his career in broadcasting from his early days in 1931 to his last commentary for NPR's "All Things Considered" in 2000.
NPR web site:
2002-05-14: UKBetting has launched a GBP10.2 million bid for cash-strapped UK TEAMtalk, whose conversion of the former dance music Atlantic 252 radio station into sport-talk TEAMtalk 252 led to a massive drop in its audience (See RNW May 10).
The takeover, if successful, would allow UKBetting to promote its gambling services on the radio station as it already does with the Sportinglife and Sportal web sites that it bought in 2001 for a total of GBP3 (three pounds - around five dollars).
Bill Wilson, TEAMtalk's chairman when it took over the radio station, resigned last month (See RNW April 29) and the company has written off around GBP10 million of assets and closed its European operations to cut costs.
2002-05-13: From our look at print comment on radio this week, we have a mixture of predictions and nostalgia, formats in various ways and personalities.
First the easy bit of the look into the future -- British media shares are currently rising in price because of anticipation of a major consolidation once the Communications Bill, a draft of which was published last week (See RNW May 8), becomes law.
The more difficult part is what effects this will have on the product. Avoiding political and ministerial comments as high on spin and low on logic still left a range of views in the British media ranging from the optimistic on new opportunities to the more likely scenario that US media giants could gobble up much of British radio.
Writing on the proposed changes, Heather Tomlinson in the UK Independent on Sunday first notes that British television has so far been allowed to consolidate much more than its radio sector.
That changes under the proposals and Tomlinson comments that "In essence, buyers could come in and snap up tiny, independent companies to consolidate them into a position where hungry US companies can then buy them, when they are allowed to."
On the same issue, Ralph Bernard, chairman of GWR, commented, "They could eat most of the UK industry for breakfast," although he added that many smaller companies would still survive, saying, "There will always be lots and lots of smaller companies that won't be hugely profitable, but will serve specific interests."
Richard Huntingford, chief executive of Chrysalis, commented, "I welcome the regulations that allow the US in because you have more cultural empathy with America than you do with Europeans."
He also commented favourably in terms of consolidation strengthening the ability of the commercial sector to compete with the BBC, which, as latest audience figures show, has more than half the UK audience (See RNW May 10). "
"The BBC is a big organisation that cross-promotes," he said. "Clearly if one can create [other] big cross-media groups, that will be good for the media as a whole."
Another view is that, published in the UK Guardian, of Richard Hooper, chairman of the UK Radio Authority. He writes of the vision for the new regulator, Ofcom, saying, it "will have to balance and optimise two rather different objectives."
"It must ensure, he continues, "the media and telecommunications markets are effectively competitive in the interest of consumers while at the same time meeting the cultural objectives of diversity, plurality, universal access and quality," adding, "Competition and market forces by themselves do not necessarily deliver these. "
He also comments on the US regulator, saying, "The monolithic, slow-moving, 2,000-staff Federal Communications Commission in Washington DC is not the model for Ofcom" and noting, "The FCC, like Ofcom, is passing from an old monopoly analogue world to a new digital world not fully understood or fully known. "
He concludes," At its best, Ofcom will display flexibility and fleetness of foot, being diverse in its approach (no one-size-fits-all here) and as ready to lay down regulation as to take up new tasks. "
"The communications bill makes all this possible but it does not guarantee it. That can only be done by the new body itself, combining the best of the old with the promise of the new."
Not much about programmes themselves was evident in the coverage, but another Independent on Sunday item, by Louise Jury, deals with commercial digital channel "Oneword", which provides by far the most compelling argument that the commercial sector can innovate in wider terms than mainstream formats such as talk, sport and music.
Oneword, available on various terrestrial digital multiplexes, via the Sky digital signal, and online, provides a service of classical and contemporary drama, vintage American comedy and talk and discussion shows.
It has no officially audited figures, although its websites gets some 400, 000 hits a month.
Featured in the article is Paul Blezard's daily half-hour show in which he interviews authors, the only daily show of its kind in British broadcasting.
Authors who have taken part include star names such as JK Rowling and Frederick Forsyth. Blezard, who has a PhD in geology and a wide-ranging background ranging from stock broking to modelling, rock stardom in Bulgaria to working for a UN procurement agency in Rwanda, was given his chance by the station's managing director, who happened to be a friend.
On then to other formats, but first a little nostalgia that combines with a rather strange format, that of reelradio.com., which is devoted to the "golden age" of top 40 radio, roughly covering the two decades from 1955.
The site is run by former journeyman disc jockey Richard Irwin (("Uncle Ricky") who now writes software for a Sacramento Internet security software company.
His site, which has nearly a thousand radio recordings, being updated with two new airchecks each Sunday, was featured in a New York Times article by Marc Weingarten, who writes that the "recordings reach across time and space, providing broadcast segments, some as long as an hour, complete with jingles, commercials, newscasts, occasional vintage pop hits and hyperspeed patter."
Irwin began the project in 1996 and has now attracted enough donations to finance the site ,which costs around USD8, 000 a year, until 2002.
He said when he began he "had a bunch of old airchecks in my closet," and "thought, boy, I wonder if anyone remembers any of this stuff. Let's put it on the Internet and see."
He then began soliciting airchecks and later attracted "the attention of large archives like the Aircheck Factory, a Wisconsin-based company that licenses airchecks for commercial use, as well as independent collectors."
They welcomed his initiative and provided old reel-to-reel and cassette recordings. "I get all kinds of material of varying quality," said Irwin. "A lot of this stuff has been saved from the garbage can. A good deal of it comes from DJs, who had the tapes up in their attic for years and never thought twice about it. They pull it out, I put it online, and amazing things happen."
He's also been intelligent enough to avoid copyright problems in the main. While there have been "a few instances where we were forced to remove material from the site," Irwin said, "I have no interest in music piracy. Anyone who has a problem with copyright should just ask me about it, and we'll work it out."
He added that BMI and Ascap, the two major organizations overseeing music rights, had approached him about collecting royalties, but that he claimed an exemption as a non-profit organization under fair-use laws.
Another format doing well is that of "The Drive", described by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder as the city's "biggest success story in recent years."
It was launched by Bonneville on WDRV-FM in 2001 and is now being exported to other markets.
First of these was San Francisco's Contemporary-hit radio station Z-95 which last week was re-formatted to the Drive classic hits and oldies rock format.
There was one cost, however: the loss of their jobs for the entire on-air staff of Z-95. One station promo makes the point ," What would you rather listen to -- some disc jockey's comments or another classic rock song? We thought so."
And finally a totally different style and format of radio, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal's Roger Thurow that we sighted in the San Francisco Chronicle.
It centres on Radio Afalla, one of some 40 stations in Niger that, with considerable aid funding, acts as a conduit for various informational and educational needs.
The stations carry music, says the report, but only as "the background to the childbirth advice, vaccination updates, sanitation instruction, farming tips, candid talk on AIDS, and the occasional all-points-bulletin for lost camels. "
As one woman put it, "As soon as a child gets an illness that can be spread, the radio puts out the information. Now we have fewer epidemics than before. Fewer children are dying."
The Niger government has cautiously embraced the radio network but imposes some significant restrictions including no politics or religion. Aboubakar Souley, the secretary general of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, gave the reason. "Once you start with that," he says, "you divide the population and then you can't use the radio for development anymore."
A stations costs about USD15,000 to equip and build. They're fuelled by solar power, and operated by about a dozen workers -- broadcasters and technicians -- who are volunteers from the local communities and who, once trained, train others.
The goal of the development agencies is to have a network of 160 stations, each with a broadcast radius of about 20 miles, by the end of 2004. Listening is done on a variety of receivers including wind-up radios from the Freeplay Foundation of London and the stations bring prestige as well as their information services to their communities. They've led to the formation of new businesses because of examples listeners hear on the radio and have also led to demand for more overseas news shows, such as Voice of America, broadcast in the local language and picked up by the World Space satellite receiver that comes as part of the radio station.
How that will conflict with the "no politics or religion" regime is not made clear. It could yet pose a dilemma for the Niger government. It is secular but the population is mainly Moslem and there is concern that the stations could become propaganda conduits and also concern about pressures for the introduction of Sharia (Islamic law).
(RNW comment: No room so far, anyway for right-wing talk hosts and indeed maybe some useful lessons for the US as regards the religious right, albeit they probably wouldn't see the similarities between themselves and Moslem fundamentalists!).
Previous UK Radio Authority:
New York Times - Weingarten:
UK Guardian - Hooper:
UK Independent on Sunday - Tomlinson on consolidation;
UK Independent on Sunday - Jury on Oneword:
Wall Street Journal/San Francisco Chronicle - Thurow:
2002-05-13: Entercom, which was supposed to get its hands on modern rock station KWOD-FM, Sacramento, on May 2 under a court order made in April (See RNW April 20) is again having to wait because of an appeal filed by Ed Stolz against the order to turn the station over.
The delay, while Entercom responds and the court decides on the appeal, will add up to three months further delay to the case that began when Stolz's Royce International Broadcasting signed a letter of intent to sell the station to Entercom for USD25 million.
2002-05-13: Former managing director of BBC World Service Austen Kark was amongst those killed in a UK train crash last Friday. He and his wife, children's author Nina Bawden, who was injured, were travelling together on the train.
Kark, who was 75, was World Service managing director for two years from 1984 to 1986 before being succeeded by John Tusa.
He had joined the BBCas a writer in what was then the External Service, now the World Service, in 1954, spending most of his career at the corporation with the World Service.
He was a reporter for a decade and then headed the World Service South European then East European and Russian Service before becoming Editor of the (English language) World Service in 1973 . He was appointed managing editor in 1984 and remained in the post until retirement in 1986.
2002-05-12: The most significant regulatory news this week was the publication by British government of its draft communications bill, which removes most of the media ownership regulations that had previously applied in the country (See RNW May 8).
It has led to much speculation as to will be buying whom, particularly as non-British and EU companies can now own British media companies (See RNW May 11): Had the rules applied in the US, Rupert Murdoch would probably still be an Australian!
And while in Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) took no radio actions in the week although it did publish new codes of practice for the Internet industry.
Amongst the modifications introduced was a requirement that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should "provide users with an Internet filter software product or service at a cost that does not exceed the cost to the ISP of obtaining, providing, supporting and maintaining the software."
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was involved in a substantial number of radio licence renewals and amendments.
Among those related to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was the allocation of frequencies for a number of new French-language stations. They include:
*A station in Vancouver to broadcast programming from the CBC's network service, La Chaîne culturelle, complemented by about 20 minutes in each broadcast week of local arts billboard programming.
*A station at Calgary with a transmitter at Edmonton, Alberta.
*A station at Halifax, Nova Scotia with transmitters at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has also been given permission for an additional 3,400 watts transmitter at Cowansville for CBME-FM Montréal to re-broadcast the CBC's national English-language Radio One network. The CRTC rejected an application for the same frequency from Radio Communautaire Missisquoi (RCM), which applied for a broadcasting licence to operate a community FM radio station at Lac-Brome.
Rogers Radio has been granted a number of licence amendments that would allow it to:
In British Columbia, Rogers Radio has been permission to:
* Relocate its transmitter for CKVX-FM-2 Vancouver to another location on Mount Seymour and increase its effective radiated power from 14,000 watts to 14,100 watts;
*Increase the effective radiated power of its transmitter CISC-FM Gibsons, which retransmits the programming of CISE-FM Sechelt, from 33 watts to 820 watts.
The Commission has also announced its intention to renew the following licences, due to expire at the end of August, with any interventions concerning them having to be sent to it by June 10:
Fairchild Radio - CHKF-FM, Calgary;
Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc. - CJSI-FM, Calgary;
O.K. Radio Group Ltd. -FGP-FM Grande Prairie and its transmitter CFGP-FM Peace River;
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Newcap Inc. - CHVO, Carbonear; CKVO, Clarenville; CKXX-FM Corner Brook and its transmitter CKXX-FM-1 Stephenville; CKGA, Gander; CKCM Grand Falls and its transmitter CKIM, Baie Verte; CHCM, Marystown; VOCM-FM St. John's and its transmitter VOCM-FM-1 Clarenville; CKIX-FM, St. John's;
Humber Valley Broadcasting Company Limited CFCB Corner Brook and its transmitters CFDL-FM Deer Lake, CFNW Port-aux-Choix and CFNN-FM St. Anthony; CFLN Goose Bay and its transmitters CFLW Wabush and CFLC-FM Churchill Falls; CFSX, Stephenville
Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Limited - CHOZ-FM St John's and its transmitters CFOZ-FM Argentia, CJOZ-FM Bonavista, CKCV-FM Clarenville, CKOZ-FM Cornerbrook, CIOZ-FM Marystown, CHOS-FM Norris Arm, CKSS-FM Red Rocks and CIOS-FM Stephenville; CFZY-FM, St. John's;
Troubador Radio Society Inc. - CHUG, Stephenville;
Durham Radio Inc. -CJKX-FM Ajax and its transmitter CJKX-FM-1 Sunderland
9022-6242 Québec inc. - CHLC-FM Baie-Comeau and its transmitter CFRP-FM Forestville, Quebec
Astral Radio Inc. - CKRS, Chicoutimi; CIMO-FM Magog and its transmitter CIMO-FM-1 Sherbrooke; CHIK-FM, Quebec City;(* The Commission noted the apparent failure of this licensee to comply with regulations concerning the broadcast of French-language vocal music.)
Coopérative de travail de la radio de Granby - CFXM-FM, Grandy;
Entreprises Radio Etchemin inc. -CFOM-FM, Lévis;
Métromédia CMR Montréal inc. - CINF, Montréal (Verdun);
Cogeco Diffusion inc. - CJMF-FM, Quebec City;
Radio Beauce inc.- CKRB-FM, Saint-Georges-de-Beauce;
Radio du Golfe Inc. - CJMC-FM Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and its transmitters CJMC-FM-2 Mont-Louis, CJMC-FM-3 Les Méchins and CJMC-FM-4 Grande-Vallée, Quebec
9079-3670 Québec inc. - CHEQ-FM, Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce;
François Labbé(Réseau des Appalaches )-Thetford Mines ;
Radio Mégantic ltée -CKLD-FM Thetford Mines and its transmitter CJLP-FM Disraeli;
Réseau des Appalaches (FM) ltée -CFJO-FM Thetford Mines/Victoriaville and its transmitter CFJO-FM-1 Lac Mégantic;
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. - CJSL, Estevan;
Dace Broadcasting Corporation -CFYM Kindersley and CJYM Rosetown;
Radio CJVR Ltd. - CKJH, Melfort;
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. -CHAB, Moose Jaw; CJSN, Shaunavon; CKSW, Swift Current; CIMG-FM, Swift Current;
Central Broadcasting Company Limited -CKBI, Prince Albert; CFMM-FM Prince Albert and its transmitter CFMM-FM-1,Waskesiu Lake;
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. -CKRM -Regina; CHMX-FM, Regina;
Rawlco Radio Ltd. -CKOM, Saskatoon; CIZL-FM, Regina;
614546 Saskatchewan Ltd. -CJDJ-FM, Saskatoon; CFSL, Weyburn;
Yorkton Broadcasting Company Limited and/et Walsh Investments Inc. - CJGX, Yorkton;
The CRTC has also announced a public hearing in Quebec on July 15 to consider a number of licence applications including those by:
*Saint Francis Xavier University Students' Union for a licence to operate an English-language FM developmental community radio station in Antigonish. Nova Scotia.
*An application by Dryden District Chamber Of Commerce for a licence to operate an English-language FM low power radio station consisting of a tourist information service in Dryden, Ontario.
*An application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for a network licence to operate an English-language radio network for the purpose of broadcasting the baseball games of the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
*An Application by Greater Toronto Airports Authority to amend the licence of radio station CFYZ to increase the daytime transmitter power from 25 to 400 watts and the nighttime transmitter power from 99 to 150 watts.
*An application by Telemedia Radio (West) Inc. to convert radio station CJPR Blairmore, Alberta, from the AM band to the FM band
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has now advertised for applications for the fourth group of franchise areas being re-advertised by it. They are for FM Broad-based Local Commercial Services in
Counties Laois/Offaly/Westmeath ;
Counties Longford/Roscommon/Leitrim (south);
and Counties Cavan/Monaghan
In the UK, the Radio Authority has awarded three licences and advertised two more.
*The licence for Shaftesbury in Dorset, currently held by Vale FM for which there were no competing applications;
*The new local licence for Mid-Ulster, which went to Mid FM Ltd, which is offering a full-service community-focused radio station
*The digital multiplex licence for South Hampshire area including Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester.; it has been awarded to Capital Radio Digital Ltd., against competition from Solent Digital Radio Limited. Capital is offering a total of eight services, one shared between three groups, in addition to carrying BBC Radio Solent (For details see licence news February 17).
Advertised were the Hereford/Worcester licences: these were pre-adverts for declarations of intent to apply for the licences currently on the AM band held by Murfin Music International Ltd., broadcasting as Classic Gold and on the FM band held by Wyvern FM and Classic Gold. Should no competing applications be received, the licences will go through the authority's fast-track procedure.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its first quarter complaints bulletin.
In all it received 270 broadcast-related comments, of which 242 concerned indecency or obscenity on radio or television.
Most of them came in March - 161 complaints compared to 36 in February and 45 in January.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site (Internet regulations are 190Kb PDF):
BCI web site:
CBSC web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site (Quarterly Complaints report is 178Kb PDF):
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-05-12: The Arizona House has now followed the state's Senate and approved a bill that would prohibit non-compete clauses in broadcasters contracts in the state.
As in other states where such action has been taken or is under consideration (See RNW Feb 18), the move was opposed by broadcasting companies.
The Arizona Broadcasters Association terms the action government interference with private business.
2002-05-11: Following the publication of the British government's draft communications bill, which proposes to lift many media ownership restrictions (See RNW May 8), British newspapers have been speculation on likely predators and prey.
Among them, the UK Financial Times says the proposed changes, "exceeded the expectations even of hungry investment bankers" and that when Roger Parry, chief executive of the international arm of Clear Channel, arrived at work on Thursday there were fifteen calls from investment bankers on his voicemail.
"The world woke up to new possibilities," Parry told the paper. "We would certainly be a potential purchaser."
It speculates that Clear Channel might come to an agreement with the management of Capital Radio about a deal but notes that "Although the purchase of Capital alone would not provide any synergies for a US operator - such as Clear Channel, Viacom or Disney (Owner of ABC radio)- it would provide a strong first step for someone interested in gaining substantial market share in the UK."
Capital, which is valued at around GBP700 million and owns Capital, Capital Gold, XFM, and Century Radio, could itself be a predator with likely targets Virgin Radio (owned by Scottish Media Group - SMG) or the radio assets of EMAP.
EMAP itself could also be a predator, although it has said it is not prepared to overpay (RNW note - it had bitter experience of this with US publishing assets- see RNW May 30, 2001).
Emap is valued at around GBP2.2 billion and owns the Kiss and Magic FM franchises.
Amongst its potential targets is Chrysalis, whose chairman and largest shareholder Chris Wright, who has said he is not looking to sell but does not rule out the company becoming part of a larger group.
Amongst the purely British plays widely forecast is a bid by Scottish Media Group (SMG), which already holds 29.5% of Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH), for the whole of the latter. SMG itself could become prey to with Capital or a US or European group.
Previous ABC (US):
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Clear Channel:
UK Financial Times report:
2002-05-11: In latest US first quarter results, Spanish-language group Entravision has recorded strong performance by its radio and television divisions but revenue decreases for its outdoor and publishing.
Overall net revenues were up 12% to USD49.1 million, Broadcast cash flow was up 13% to USD12.2 million and EBITDA was up 17% to USD 8.51 million. The group's loss was USD 50.78 million, or 45 cents a share, compared to USD 19.55 million, or 18 cents a share for the first quarter of 2001.
Same station revenues were up 16% to USD34.77 million and same station BCF was up 26% to USD11.71 million.
In divisional terms, net revenues were up 21% for television to USD24 million - up 17% for radio or USD14.79 million, for outdoor down 12% to USD5.74 million and for publishing down 2% to USD4.58 million.
BCF figures were television up 23% to USD7.88 million, radio up 28% to USD 4.02 million, outdoor down 89% to USD95, 000 and publishing down 27% to USD 231 million.
Commenting on the results Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Walter F. Ulloa said, "Entravision's first quarter results were highlighted by the performance of our television and radio groups. In television we recorded an industry leading 21% increase in revenues and a 23% increase in broadcast cash flow, fuelled by continued ratings strength at our Univision stations. At our radio group we have clearly turned the corner, capitalizing on the significant ratings gains from 2001 and a strong sales effort. For the quarter radio revenues increased 17% and broadcast cash flow was up 28%, well ahead of our expectations."
Entravision said the adoption of SFAS 142 resulted in a write-down relating to its outdoor activities of USD46.2 million. It is still completing its adoption of the standard and says there may be an additional impairment charge.
Looking ahead, Entravision is forecasting second quarter revenues to grow between 7% and 10% overall to between USD60.5 million and USD62 million with radio to grow between 12% and 14% to a figure between USD 19.9 million and USD 20.3 million.
Jones Media Networks, which dropped a number of its less profitable shows last year, has reported overall first quarter revenues essentially flat - down USD 49,000 to USD 18.63 million - but radio revenues down 5% by USD 533,000 to USD 9.92 million. EBITDA, however, was up massively, from USD309, 000 to USD 2.6 million overall and radio EBITDA was up nearly 90%, by USD805, 0000 to USD1.71 million.
Jones Radio Networks President Ron Hartenbaum said that he was encouraged by improvements in the network radio advertisement market and that Jones was seeing new revenues from both new programmes it is repping and new programmes it is producing. Jones is forecasting a 15% rise in second quarter revenues to USD24 million and EBITDA up nearly four-and-a-half times to USD7 million.
Previous Jones Media:
Entravision web site:
Jones Media web site:
2002-05-11: US webcasters, who on Thursday met Congressional aides in Washington concerning proposed royalty fees for streaming music, and on Friday took part in a US Copyright Office roundtable concerning its proposals for record keeping requirements(See RNW Feb 22), are reported to be insistent that if the current proposals on royalty rates and record keeping requirements are approved, many of them will go out of business.
Radio and Internet Magazine quotes the webcasters as "making the point that if the CARP royalty rates are enacted as proposed, they would need to shut down their webcasts, as virtually no business could survive a legislatively-enacted expense that is more than 200% of its gross revenues."
RAIN founder Kurt Hanson told Reuters, "If Internet radio is to survive, it will be a 'win' for consumers but it will also be a 'win' for artists and creators, keeping alive new venues for their work."
Previous CARP report:
RAIN web site:
2002-05-10: The latest UK radio audience figures from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) show radio listening increasing by 119, 000 a week and commercial radio clawing back share from the BBC; compared to the previous quarter they took 45.5% as opposed to 44.6% while the BBC fell back from a record 53.4% to
The overall weekly audience reached reported by RAJAR was up from just under 44.218 million to 44.35 million; for the BBC it was up 176,000 to 32.85 million, and for all commercial radio it was up 79, 000 to 32.155 million.
A highlight for the BBC was the success of its re-broadcast of a two decades old drama series: The 13-part Lord of the Rings repeat had audiences of around 900, 000 for its Saturday afternoon broadcasts, which ran from January to March 2002.
They helped BBC Radio 4 to a weekly audience of nearly ten million. BBC Radio 2 remained at the top of the rankings, adding yet more listeners.
Plunge of the period was that of TeamTalk 252: Its re-branding of the Atlantic 252 dance station as a sport outlet, has been rated for the first time and shows the audience less than half that managed in the previous quarter's ratings, down some 636,000 to 428, 000 a week.
BBC Radio One also remained in the doldrums but in the commercial sector there were some signs of recovery by Virgin and Classic FM yet again increased its audience.
Compared to the previous quarter:
*BBC Radio 1 lost around 250,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 10.541 million, a weekly reach of 22%, as before, and a listening share of 8.4%, down from 9.1%;
*BBC Radio 2 increased its audience by 555,000 to end with a weekly audience of 12.898 million, a weekly reach of 27%, up from 25%, and a listening share of 15.7%, up from 15.2%;
*BBC Radio 3 gained 152,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 2.132 million, a weekly reach of 4%, as before, and a listening share of 1.2%, up from 1.1%;
*BBC Radio 4 gained 9,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 9.948 million, a weekly reach of 20%, as before, and a listening share of 11.4%, down from 12.0%;
* BBC Radio 5 Live gained 190,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6,436 million, a weekly reach of 13%, as before, and a listening share of 4.5%, down from 4.6%;
On the commercial side for national networks:
* TEAMtalk 252 (formerly New Atlantic -Atlantic 252), in its first ratings completely as a sports outlet instead of a dance music one, lost some 636,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 428,000 million, a weekly reach of 1%, down from 2%, and a listening share of 0.2%, down from 0.6%;
*Classic FM gained some 140,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6,838 million, a weekly reach of 14%, as before, and a listening share of 4.6%, up from 4.5%;
*TalkSport gained some 80,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2,428 million, a weekly reach of 5%, as before, and a listening share of 1.7%, down from 1.8%;
*Virgin (Owned by SMG --total including all AM and FM) lost 24,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 3,210 million, a weekly reach of 7%, as before, and a listening share of 1.9%, up from 1.8%;
Previous Classic FM:
Previous Wireless Group (owns TalkSport):
Previous UK audience figures:
Previous SMG (Owns Virgin):
RAJAR web site (links to quarterly reports):
2002-05-10: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that a failure by CHIK-FM, Quebec, to respond to a listener's complaint that a December 2000 episode of Les Grandes Gueules contained homophobic remarks breached its codes.
It was unable re consider the substantive complaints because, when it came to take the matter up, no logger tapes had been kept by the station.
The CBSC says that the complainant had contacted the station immediately and received what she felt was an unsatisfactory response, as a result of which she filed a formal complaint with the CBSC. This was forwarded to CHIK-FM for its response under standard procedure, but three months later the complainant again wrote to the CBSC saying she had not received any response from the broadcaster.
The CBSC, which had been told that tapes were available when it first asked in January 2001, then ordered the tapes in May but the company replied that it did not have them nor any of the prior correspondence.
The CBSC sent copies of the correspondence and the station in January 2002 promised an internal inquiry but had not responded to the CBSC by March. The CBSC contacted the station again and a response then came from Astral, CHIK's parent company, a week before the hearing was due.
Because no tapes had been retained, the CBSC could not rule on the complaint, nor because logger tapes in Canada only have to be kept 28 days and it first received the complaint after this period, could it rule on this matter.
It did rule that the broadcaster breached its obligation to be responsive to complainants, commenting, "In the matter at hand, the broadcaster has, in essence, ignored both the complainant and the CBSC. In its response to the complainant's letter of December 4, 2000 (before the CBSC was involved in the file), the broadcaster sent an excessively brief reply (53 words), which did not address a single point raised by the complainant."
"From the time of the CBSC's involvement, CHIK-FM never again sent a single word directly to the complainant, despite its CBSC membership requirement to do so. [...] That this matter has dragged one year and four months from the date of the radio show until the date of this meeting [April 5, 2002] has been almost single-handedly due to the consistent failure or refusal by the broadcaster to co-operate in its resolution."
CBSC web site:
2002-05-10: A recovery in its radio operations has helped UK Chrysalis back into profit. In the six months to the end of February, Chrysalis made a pre-tax profit of GBP648, 000 compared to a pre-tax loss of GBP 5.6 million for the same period a year earlier and a loss of GBP16.8 million for 2001.
Group turnover for the six months was up 21% to GBP113.7 million, EBITDA, before its New Media operations, was up 31% to GBP8.2 million and core business operating profit before its New Media operations was up 17% to GBP 5 million.
of this, GBP1.7 million was charged as New Media losses, related to the closure or sale of all its New Media operations at the end of the 2001 financial year apart from its Rivals Europe Internet operation. That operation was merged with the Internet Division of 365 Corporation Plc into Rivals Digital Media, with an exceptional loss of GBP700, 000 because of redundancy and other costs that were a pre-condition of the merger.
Chrysalis now has no exposure to New Media beyond its 40% share of Rivals Digital Media, currently capitalised at £1.3 million. It says it thinks Rivals can now break even within the original funds made available to it.
Chrysalis radio revenues (it owns the Heart and Galaxy radio stations) were flat at GBP22.7 million, although like for like revenues were down 2.9%).
This compares with an industry decline of 12% in the period. Analogue operating profits were up from GBP4 million in the first half of 2001 to GBP4.1 million.
Overall radio operating profits were GBP3.3 million, down from GBP3.7 million a year earlier, but this was accounted for by an increase in digital radio costs from GBP 300, 000 to GBO 800, 000. During the period, Chrysalis Radio launched digital services in Central Scotland, the North West and London, in addition to existing digital services already available in the North East, South Wales and West, and West Midlands.
It says the rollout of its digital radio strategy is almost complete with Chrysalis Radio now having a combined analogue and digital coverage of 25m adults for the Heart brand, 22m for the Arrow brand and 17m adults for Galaxy.
Commenting on the results, Richard Huntingford, Chief Executive said, "Market conditions, particularly in the advertising businesses, during the six-month period between September and February, were some of the most challenging our industry has faced in the last decade. In spite of this we have delivered a 17% increase in operating profits from the core businesses and at the pre-tax level, a £6.2m turnaround from loss into profit. "
"The impressive industry outperformance from our Radio business reflects both the quality of our management team and the prime radio assets in our portfolio. "
Looking ahead, Chrysalis says its "encouraging results show that we have weathered the challenging economic conditions of the recent past far better than most. "
It adds, "Whilst it would be premature to herald a return to growth for UK advertising revenue as a whole, Chrysalis Radio has enjoyed strong revenue growth in March and April of 24%, underpinned by double-digit audience growth Trading conditions remain volatile however, and our internal budgets therefore continue to assume no return to positive growth for the radio advertising industry as a whole within this financial year."
Chrysalis web site (Links to preliminary results):
2002-05-09: Latest Australian ratings from the AC Nielsen McNair survey show Sydney talk host Alan Jones justifying the AUD 5 million deal that took him from Sydney 2UE to Sydney 2GB (See RNW Mar 8 ); his morning show, which topped the ratings when he was at 2UE, is now topping them for 2GB.
2GB,owned by Macquarie network, was helped by thisto move up from sixth place and kicked 2UE, now third, out of the second spot with a share up from 7.1% to 10.4% whilst 2UE dropped from 10.7% to 9.0%
Overall in the Sydney market, 2DAY held the top spot for Austereo with a 12.6% share, down from 13.2% but DMG's Nova lost share to fall from fifth place with an 8.3% share to seventh with 7.8%.
Above Nova, apart from the top three, are Austereo's Triple-M, which is down from third to fourth with 8.3%, down from 8.8%; ABC 702 down from fourth to fifth with 8.0%, down from 8.7%; and 2WSFM up from seventh to sixth, with its share up from 6.4% to 7.9%.
The ratings release hit the shares of Southern Cross Broadcasting, which took over 2UE in an AUD90 million deal March last year (See RNW Mar 23, 2001), down 3.5% to AUD9.88
Elsewhere in Australia, Nova also dropped back, providing good news for Austereo.
City by city, the top three were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM with 25.6 (25.4); 5AA with 14.9 (15.4); 5MM with 12.5(11.8) - no change in rankings:
*Brisbane - B105FM with 18.4 (19.5); NEW97.3 FM with 14.2(12.5)- up from third; Triple M with 12.6(13.1 - down from second:
*Melbourne - 12.5 Nova (12.6)- same rank; 3AW 12.2 (12.3) - was second equal; Fox FM 12.1(12.3) - was second equal: now equal
*Perth - 94.5FM with 22.0 (22.5); All New 92.9 with16.5 (16.5); 96FM with 13.6(13.6) - no change in rankings:
*Sydney, 2-Day with 12.6(13.2); 2GB 10.4 (7.1) up from sixth; 2UE 9.0 (10.7) - down from second:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross/2UE:
2002-05-09: US independent radio sales and marketing company Interep has raised USD5 million through a private placement with institutional shareholders including current shareholders. The company, which earlier this month beat its first quarter guidance and upped its second quarter projections, said the finance would provide additional working capital to compensate for the "impact of the problems the media industry encountered in 2001."
In other US radio business, Gaylord Entertainment has reported first quarter revenues down USD4, 000 on Q1, 2001, at USD5.3 million. Its media division, which is comprised of three Nashville stations and Acuff-Rose music publishing, reported EBITDA down 46.6% to USD521, 000 and an operating loss of USD106, 000 compared to a positive USD328, 000 for Q1, 2001.
Interep web site:
2002-05-09: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has confirmed that in September it is to axe its weekday three-hour programme "This Morning".
It is to be replaced by an 0830-1000 news, analysis and current affairs show and a 1000 to noon lighter show that will include the current programmes, Workology, C'est la vie and Outfront. It has yet to announce details of hosts, none of whom have been confirmed.
Radio One's executive director of English-language radio programming Adrian Mills, has, however, postponed its overhaul of Saturday programming until the start of next year.
In a memo to staff, he said that the initial plan to run an extended live programme airing simultaneously over all the country needed to "be revisited in order for us to deliver a high-quality schedule at an affordable cost." The memo came a week after a meeting of CBC executives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to discuss the changes (See RNW April 30).
2002-05-09: It's not only the US where digital radio could be making inroads soon but also India according to the Times of India. There a satellite receiver with a four-inch (10cm) dish is on sale for around 5, 000 rupees (just over USD100) to receive a digital service launched on the Asiastar satellite in February.
The service, says the paper, offers 64 channels with a footprint that covers 28 countries with a satellite footprint covering not only India but also Arab countries such as Qatar and Oman and also Iran. Programming includes both English and Hindi music and the Times comments that in a manner "typical of the unimaginative governmental approach" its possibilities have gone largely unnoticed.
It quotes Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj in reply to a parliamentary question as saying there were some 25,000 receivers in India so far but adding, 'It is expected that with the indigenous production of low-cost digital receivers, the new technology will become popular.''
It also quoted an All India Radio (AIR) official as saying, "
''The purpose is to integrate the Indian diaspora in these 28 countries through one single service,'' said an All India Radio official."
Previous Indian Radio report:
Times of India report:
2002-05-09: Clear Channel retained its clear lead as top network and Virgin Radio its lead at the top of the station rankings MeasureCast monthly Internet ratings for April, although second-placed Jazz Fm had more listeners.
The peak listening day was Tuesday, April 30, just before the "May Day" protest in which many online radio stations protested at proposed royalty rate for streaming by going silent, or by streaming a 12-hour talk show about the proposed rates.
4% of all the month's listening was on this day, a total of 1,491,027 hours being streamed.
At the top of the station rankings, changes were a flipping of position by classical stations WQXR-FM and KING-M and the ousting from fifth position of KNAC.COM by MEDIAmazing; KNAC dropped to eighth whilst MEDIAmazing went up from ninth in March.
MeasureCast's April top five channels ranked by TTSL - total time spent listening - with last month's TTSL and Cume (Cumulative Audience) in brackets were:
1): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 1,269,079 (1,248,404); CP 158,858 (163,307). Same position with increased listening but lower reach.
2): Jazz format Jazz FM TTSL 1,164,308 (995,159); CP 224,451 (212,960) - Same position with increased listening and reach.
3): Classical format WQXR-FM TTSL 738,208 (499,087); CP 93,373 (56,346): Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4): Classical King FM (Seattle) TTSL 581,495 (560,193); CP 66,260 (64,393) - Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
5): Listener-formatted Internet-only MEDIAmazing 345,446 (333,344); 166,175 (44,900) Up from ninth with higher listening and reach.
MeasureCast's April top five networks were (Previous rank and hours in brackets where applicable):
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 6,941,043 (4,873,030); CP 826,087 (668,887)- Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 3,263,211 (2,393,080); CP 505,251 (375,459) - Up from third with higher listening and reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 2,861,706 (2,707,351) ; CP 395,940 (397,125) - Down from second despite higher listening although reach was lower.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 2,404,397 (2,170,637); CP 307,754 (278,996) - same position with higher listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio TTSL 1,861,150 (1,780,957); CP 270,968 (255,855) - Same position with higher listening and reach.
On the Internet ratings front, there have also been announcements by two of MeasureCast's competitors.
In one, NetRatings has announced that it has acquired ACNielsen eRatings.com for $9.6M in stock. NetRatings is paying 749,341 shares for the part of e-Ratings that was owned by Nielsen.
The two companies jointly produced the Nielsen//NetRatings service and jointly owned ACNielsen eRatings.com, AC Nielsen having a 80.1%share and NetRatings the remaining 19.9%
Another competitor, Arbitron, has announced that it has agreed a collaborative effort with comScore Networks to develop Internet measurement services for local media including radio, TV, cable, and Internet content suppliers.
comScore's local market Web site metrics are based on the company's Global Network, which continuously and confidentially captures the complete Internet activity of over 1.5 million representative, opt-in Internet users.
Bill Rose, vice president and general manager, Arbitron Webcast Services, Arbitron Inc., commented, "Our intent is to provide advertisers, agencies and sellers of advertising on local media Web sites with information needed to place the appropriate value on available inventory."
"These new services would offer compelling reasons for advertisers to use media Web sites in their local marketing efforts, by demonstrating the size, composition and local purchasing power of Web site visitors living in dozens of major markets. And this powerful information will be available to all local media, including radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, and cable properties."
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast monthly ratings:
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-05-08: A bumper day for the release of first quarter radio results has seen revenues up for Clear Channel, Cumulus, Hispanic Broadcasting, Salem, and Westwood One.
The giant, Clear Channel, reported overall revenues of USD1.70 billion, up 4 percent over the 2001 reported revenues of USD1.63 billion; EBITDA was down however at USD370 million compared to USD404 million for the same period in 2001 as was attributable EBITDA (EBITDA including non-consolidated affiliates owned in both periods), which was down to USD381 million compared to USD416 million.
Clear Channel made a profit of USD90.3 million, 15 cents a share, before taking a one-time hit of USD17 billion to comply with new accounting standard SFAS142 (Statement of Financial Accounting Standards); in Q1 2001, Clear Channel lost USD309 million, 53 cents a share.
Within the totals, radio revenues and EBITDA were both up a little over 3%, to USD782.8 million and USD303.6 million respectively. The Company's Entertainment division, however, had the best relative performance with revenues up 19% although EBITDA was down 11% whilst its Outdoor division saw revenues down 15% and EBITDA down 17% compared to Q1, 2001.
Looking ahead, President Mark Mays told analysts that things were looking up and he anticipated May to better |April and June to better May.
CEO Randy Michaels was also upbeat, declaring that demand and pricing were moving up and adding that the new regional data figures that Clear Channel had negotiated with Arbitron, although not available in all markets, were showing that many of its powerful AM signals were attracting listeners over a broad area and delivering larger audiences than they had been credited for.
Cumulus net revenues were also up, but only just, by 0.8% to USD 44.95 million but by trimming its station operating expenses by 5.6% it managed a 25.4% increase in Broadcast Cash Flow to USD11.51 million, with BCF margin up from 20.6% to 25.6%.
EBITDA was up even more, by 49% to USD7.97 million and Cumulus's after-tax cash flow per share loss was halved from 20 cents in Q1, 2001 to 10 cents in this year's first quarter.
Same station results showed net revenues up by1.2% to USD44.33 million. BCF up 23.6% to USD11.41 million and BCF margin up from 21.1% to 25.7%.
On a pro-forma basis Cumulus net revenues were up 3.3% to USD54.2 million and BCF was up 21.5% to USD15.3 million while BCF margin was up from 24.1% to 28.3%.
Under SFAS 142, Cumulus took a one time charge of USD41.7 million in the quarter.
CEO Lew Dickey told analysts that they were seeing pacing improving pacing month on month; Cumulus is projecting second quarter net revenues up by 2-3% and BCF up 10-12%.
Cumulus has also announced that is has signed an agreement to buy five Michigan stations from Wilks Broadcasting, LLC and Wilks License Co., LLC for USD55.6 million. Stations involved are WSGW-AM, WGER-FM, WTCF-FM, WCEN-FM and WTLZ-FM serving the Saginaw market.
Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation revenues for the quarter were up 8.7% to USD52 million, BCF was up 6.4% to USD16.6 million and EBITDA was up 6.5% to USD14.2 million. Net income was USD 6.9 million, six cents a share, compared to USD3.6 million, three cents a share, for Q1, 2001.
After tax cash flow, however, was down by 5.4% to USD12.8 million, or 12 cents a share compared to USD3.5 million, or twelve cents a share, for Q1 2001.
Same station net revenues were up 7% to USD47.8 million and same station BCF was up 4.7% to USD17.9 million.
Operating expenses were up by 9.8%, primarily attributed by Hispanic to the higher start-up costs for stations in San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Dallas.
The company also incurred pre-launch costs associated with two new stations in Las Vegas and San Jose and higher promotion expenses in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. Hispanic said it had no charge associated with its adoption of SFAS No. 142
President and CEO McHenry Tichenor Jr said Hispanic was pleased "to have shown relatively robust growth in revenues and cash flow in the first quarter of 2002" and added that they were excited about the prospects of stations recently acquired in the San Francisco/San Jose, Fresno, and Las Vegas markets.
Looking ahead, Hispanic is forecasting second quarter revenues to grow between 4.5% and 5.5%, BCF to be in the range USD24.5 to 25.5 million and EBITDA to range from USD22.0 to 23.0 million.
For the full year, it says it expects net revenues from 5.5% to 7.5% compared with previous guidance of 4% to 6%, BCF to be in the range USD93-97 million compared to previous guidance of USD90-95 million and EBITDA of USD83.0 to 87.0 million, compared to previous estimates of USD80.0 to 85.0 million. EPS is estimated at 38 to 40 cents per share and ATCF is estimated at 69 to 71 cents per share.
Salem Communications reported broadcast revenues up 17.9% to USD35.5 million, BCF up 7.8% to USD11 million and EBITDA, including the company's non-broadcast media businesses, up 20.7% to USD7.0 million compared to Q1, 2001.
Salem reported a net loss of USD1.8 million, 8 cents a share, for the quarter, compared to a net loss of USD4.7 million, 20 cents a share, in Q1, 2001.
Same station broadcasting revenues were up 15% and same station BCF was up 26.1% and the company noted the favourable impact from its Contemporary Christian Music radio stations. Salem reported that it had no charge associated with its adoption of SFAS No. 142
Commenting on the results President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III, said the "impressive results reflect the strong ratings, revenue and BCF growth at our Contemporary Christian Music stations, as well as the strength of our unique block programming business model of our Christian Talk/Teaching radio stations."
Looking ahead, Salem is projecting Q2 net broadcast revenues of between USD38.5 and 39.0 million and broadcast cash flow of between USD12.5 and 13.0 million. EBITDA, including the company's non-broadcast media businesses, is projected to be between USD8.8 and 9.3 million in the second quarter of 2002. Loss per share for the second quarter of 2002 is projected to be between one and two cents per share.
Westwood One, whose results were boosted by USD5 million of Winter Olympics billings, reported record first quarter net revenues of USD126.3 million, up 4% on Q1, 2001. Its operating cash flow was up 10% to a record USD32.16 million.
Net income was up 279% to a record USD17, 443,000, 16 cents per basic and diluted share compared with USD4, 600,000, 4 cents per basic and diluted share for Q1, 2001: Westwood noted that, On a pro forma basis, assuming the Company had been applying the provisions of SFAS 142 as of January 1, 2001, net income would have increased by 31%
Looking ahead, Westwood is raising its full year 2002 Operating Cash Flow (EBITDA) and Free Cash Flow estimates to approximately USD185 million and USD113 million, respectively and Free Cash Flow per share to increase approximately 15%.
For the second quarter of 2002, revenues are expected to increase in the low to mid single digits and Operating Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow to increase double digits.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Westwood One:
Clear Channel web site:
Cumulus web site:
Hispanic web site:
Salem web site:
Westwood One web site:
2002-05-08: The British government has paved the way for major media consolidation in the UK with the publication of its draft communications bill.
As well as relaxing ownership regulations, the draft proposes to allow spectrum trading and a single regulator, the Office for Communications (Ofcom), to replace five regulators: the ITC, Radio Authority, Oftel, Broadcasting Standards Commission, and the Radiocommunications Agency.
Most of the current ownership rules will be scrapped although the plans retain a prohibition on newspaper groups with more than 20% of the national market from owning an ITV company, and a prohibition on anyone owning all the newspapers and the regional ITV licence in a region or major city.
It also introduces a scheme to ensure that, in addition to the BBC, there are at least three commercial local or regional media proprietors in most communities.
The new super regulator is to be given powers to investigate news and current programming of any local radio service should there be concerns about accuracy or impartiality, to protect and promote local content of local radio services and to be able to very licences on change of control so that the character of a service is retained.
Currently UK commercial radio ownership is regulated under a complex points system that effectively puts a ceiling on the stations any single company can own (they must not in total have more than 15% of the potential national audience) and also prohibits a company owning more than one national radio station; they also prohibit local newspapers from owning local FM licences and TV stations from owning a radio licence in their broadcast area.
Under the new rules all these prohibitions are amended: the points system goes, as do the cross-ownership provisions in an area, subject to plurality rules, and a company can now own two national radio licences.
There is expected to be a significant consolidation in the commercial radio sector, although some companies would like even fewer restrictions than now proposed.
2002-05-08: Westwood One and FOX News say that the "The Radio Factor With Bill O'Reilly", which launches today over the US, will debut with a record 216 stations including 19 of the top 20 markets.
The show, which will focus on a specific topic each day, will air from noon to 1400 ET (1600-1800 GMT) and will originate from New York.
The slot puts O'Reilly up against Rush Limbaugh, whose three-hour show, syndicated by Premiere, is estimated to bring in some USD40-50 million a year in advertising.
Previous Westwood One:
2002-05-08: Internet listening has now doubled this year according to latest ratings from MeasureCast; listening has increased nearly six-fold since it began its index in January 2001. In its ratings for the week to April 28, it was again a case mainly of musical chairs although one newcomer, WXPN-FM, the radio station of The University of Pennsylvania made it into the station top five, knocking MEDIAmazing down to sixth spot, and another newcomer, Standard Broadcasting of Canada, made its network debut at ninth place in the rankings. Standard streams eleven stations.
For the week to April 28, the top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 294,432 (303,100); CP 50,372 (52,161): Same position with lower listening and reach.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 219,408 (261,911); CP 60,117 (68,613): Same position with lower listening and reach.
3: Classical format WQXR-FM, New York - TTSL 154,365 (170,348); CP 26,608 (28,709): Same position with lower listening and reach.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 130,556 (130,408); CP 23,573 (21,879): Same position with slightly higher listening and higher reach.
5: Adult album alternative WXPN.org - TTSL 81,700 : CP 7,820: New entrant.
The top five networks for the same week (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,706,090 (1,605,127) ; CP 262,254 (272,361). Same position with higher listening and lower reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 768,715 (751,058): CP 159,529 (163,352) - Same position higher listening and lower reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 701,295 (682,366) hours: CP 121,017 (119,813) - Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 609,158 (502,826) : CP 105,747 (102,500) - same position with higher listening and reach.
5: Virgin Radio TTSL 428,415 (453,905): CP 81,825 (91,318) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-05-08: Guardian Media Group (GMG), which already owns 18.5% of Jazz FM, has made a cash offer of 180p per share to take complete control.
The bid amounts to a total of some GBP41 million for the shares it does not own, and GMG says it already has the support of shareholders owning more than 50% of the station, including US Giant Clear Channel, which owns 30.9%, and non-executive director and chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm Roger Parry, who owns 1.1%.
In a statement, GMG says the takeover would give Jazz FM the economies of scale to compete effectively as the UK radio industry consolidates.
GMG's existing holdings include Scot FM, which it bought from the Wireless Group for GBP26 million (See RNW June 12, 2001), the Yorkshire regional licence, which it was awarded in July last year (See RNW July 8, 2001) and the South Wales licence which it was awarded two years ago (See RNW April 8, 2000).
Jazz FM has two stations, in London and Manchester. Its shares were trading at 139.5p at the end of last week.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Jazz FM:
Previous Wireless Group:
2002-05-07: More radio results from the US are again showing a positive first quarter.
Kentucky-headquartered Regent Communications has reported net revenues up 14.6% to USD13 million compared to USD 11.3 million for Q1, 2001.
Expenses were also up, by USD1.5 million, and BCF was 5.1% higher at USD 3 million. On a same-station basis, however, the figures were negative with revenues down 2.4% to USD9.7 million and BCF down 9.7% to USD2.3 million.
Overall Regent was just in profit with a plus figure of USD68, 000 (0 cents a share) but if its gain on the sale of WGNA-AM in Albany, New York, were taken out of the accounts it would have lost a cent a share.
Regent reports the affects of SFAS142 ( Statement of Financial Accounting Standards) as accounting for USD1.6 million of its operating expenses in the quarter and added that it is still in the process of reviewing its assets for impairment under the new standards.
Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs said that they had seen a gradual pick up of advertising throughout the quarter and, although remaining cautious, "we believe that Regent is very well positioned to deliver above average revenue and cash flow growth for 2002."
Referring to Regent's recent equity offering which raised around USD75 million (See RNW April 25 2002-04.html#Regent3) , Jacobs said Regent was pleased with the result, adding, "We believe that we now have one of the strongest balance sheets in the radio industry and are in an exceptional position to expand our station group through prudent acquisitions which enhance our long-term growth potential."
Access to the funds, however, Jacobs told analysts, would not lead Regent into overpaying for acquisition, saying that it would only make "prudent" acquisitions.
Looking ahead, Regent is forecasting second quarter revenues from USD17 to17.5 million and BCF of USD 5.4 to 5.7 million. It says it expects earnings per share between three and four cents and same station revenues up between 2% and 4%.
Susquehanna Media also reported a small rise in radio revenues, which were up 2% on Q1 2001 at USD40.7 million, compared to overall revenues up 7% to USD12.2 million, largely on the strength of a 14% increase in cable revenues. Radio BCF was up 7% to USD12.2 million and same station radio revenues were up 4% and same station BCF up 10%.
On the deals side, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has acceded to a Viacom request for six months to sell one of its seven Los Angeles radio stations. T
he disposition is necessary because the FCC has allowed Viacom's USD650 million acquisition of KCAL-TV. This gives it a television duopoly that means the maximum number of radio stations it can own is limited to six.
2002-05-07: Radio Mirchi in Mumbai (Bombay), India, has had a successful first week, following its debut at the end of last month. It was the first FM station to launch in the city and the third Mirchi station on air, following predecessors in Indore (See RNW Nov 13, 2001) and Ahmedabad (See RNW Dec 20, 2001)and runs only live programming.
The Radio Mirchi brand, owned by ENIL (Entertainment Network (India) Limited), a subsidiary of the Times of India Group, has still to launch stations in Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Jabalpur.
Previous ENIL/Radio Mirchi:
Previous Indian Radio report:
2002-05-06: Internet radio pretty well had to be the topic of choice for our look at print media over the past week, a week that saw the US nationwide webcasters protest at planned royalty fees for streaming music in advance of May 21 submission of the rates proposed by the Copyright Arbitration Panel (CARP) to the librarian of Congress on May 21.
Already a number of members of Congress have written to librarian James H. Billington, who can accept, modify, or reject the proposals, urging him to set rates that would not devastate webcasting. (See RNW April 24 ).
As we noted on May 3, the best of the articles we noted on the issue came from Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post.
Entitled "Liberty v Royalties", it spoke of the conflict as "really a morality play about your right to hear the music you want -- and how that may radically change, thanks to forces currently in motion" and went on, "Let's use the story of a clever high school lad to illustrate."
"My friend's son had a classmate with a business model," wrtoe Ahrens. "Students would give this young man a list of requested songs and a small amount of cash, usually about $5. In return, the boy would go to the Internet, access one of the many free song-sharing sites and find the songs on his customer's list."
"Then, he'd burn the songs onto a blank CD and give the completed disc to his fellow student. Customers got a digital-quality collection of the songs they wanted at a price that's about $10 less than the cost of a retail CD."
"Essentially, this kid was his own record label. It's the perfect music business."
"Except for one major bummer: It is entirely illegal, and it indirectly takes food out of the mouth of each musician who recorded a song on that pirated disc."
Ahrens sums up the dilemma quite neatly:" This, then, is the point we've come to -- technology now enables each of us to make a mouse-click moral decision about our entertainment. "
"We must ask ourselves: "Where does our sense of fair play intersect with our price point for music?" Music pirates feel justified in stealing music because they believe they've been price-gouged on CDs for years."
"That's the issue at the heart of a debate that's raging right now, as music conglomerates, consumers, lawyers, congress folk and broadcasters wrestle with issues such as copyright protection, intellectual property and the rights of individuals to get the music they want."
Ahrens looks at the history of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), cost estimated by webcasters that indicate that many would go out of business if the proposed rates were accepted and at the arguments from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that too low a royalty rate would enable others to profit "without the artists being compensated."
He concludes," What is certain is that the record companies will have to develop a new -- and fairer -- business model for wringing money out of the Internet. The rising audience of Internet radio stations shows that more and more folks are sick of what commercial radio dishes out."
"The wild success of file-sharing and the decline of CD sales prove that people want a la carte entertainment -- not CDs with two good songs and 10 clunkers. It's not surprising that webcasters -- and our nimble high school entrepreneur -- recognized and acted on this before the record industry did."
An Associated Press article carried in various forms contained a workmanlike summary of the protest and also looked at the webcasters argument from the viewpoint of shoestring operations that are more a labour of love than a profitable enterprise. It cited Internet Radio Hawai'I, operated from a spare bedroom by Robert Abbett of Kailua, Hawaii.
He says that if the rates are approved he may have to close down and adds, "People will be left with Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and hip-hop, Hawaiian music, Louisiana music, world music and gospel music will disappear."
The rates proposed by CARP would, he says, cost him around $10,000 a year, a third of his budget and nine times what he now pays composers and publishers.
It also quoted John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, the group formed by the recording industry to administer royalties, who says that it is willing to negotiate with hobbyists on lower rates but not subsidize commercial webcasters.
"Radio is not in the music business,'' he said. ``They may be playing songs, but what they are trying to do is aggregate people so they can sell advertising.''
Considering fears that Internet radio could become the province of large groups, as is most over-the-air US radio, the report quotes Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
He considers the move to impose royalties on webcasters ``part of a push to make the Internet as a distinct experience go away, (leaving) a conduit for carrying the traditional, familiar, consolidated forms of media.''
Yet another article, by Steve Carney in the Los Angeles Times, carried the best quote we've seen from the point of view of the artists.
Ann Chaitovitz, national director of sound recordings for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) commented on payment for streaming that the webcasters will, "pay for bandwidth, but they won't pay for the backbone of their industry."
She also said the RIAA and the artists' unions want to work with the hobbyists, amateurs and other small fry and are already negotiating with college radio stations and the National Assn. of Community Broadcasters to set separate fees for nonprofits and small outlets.
But concerning the large organisations, she commented, "What's basically happened is the big guys, they don't want to pay. Most of the rates quoted are false. "
It also carried a perceptive comment from Jason Georges, Webmaster for KCRW-FM, which operates three Internet music streams, about the timing of the decisions so far. The DMCA, said Georges, "came into effect when the Web was over hyped and seemed like it could be profitable."
Carney ended on a more upbeat note than many other commentators.
He quoted Zack Zalon, general manager of Radio Free Virgin, a Los Angeles-based network of 46 music channels, as saying, "The issue right now is one of timing. It shuts down the industry at a very sensitive point as it is starting to gain momentum in listeners and advertising."
" Everybody needs each other here. We're looking for a fair and balanced approach. The digital radio industry is going to be huge. It just takes a little bit of faith and a little bit of patience."
"Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I think this is going to work out fine for everybody in the long run."
That comment, is a good cue to take in an article looking at the other side of digital, digital audio broadcasting. In this case, we do so through the ears of UK Sunday Times radio columnist Paul Donovan, who has been loaned a digital radio.
He comes out with a paean of praise for the medium, commenting, "Out of it comes a cascade of programmes I am unable to hear on any other radio in the house. Ministry of Sound dance-trance music. Easy melodies on PrimeTime, from Bing to Sting. Nursery rhymes on Abracadabra that not only bring back memories of my own childhood, but make me realise with a start just how comprehensively ordinary radio has abandoned Britain's preschool children."
"Tracks that are "young, fresh and funky" - and fabulously hypnotic, even if you are none of those things - on Purple Radio, which is 'the digital soundtrack to gay life in London'. "
"And every day, another gripping chunk of Othello on Oneword - the brilliant little station devoted to plays, books and comedy, which won a gold Sony for the second year running on Thursday."
The quality is as promised, he writes, "No hiss, crackle, fade or muffle, and no distortion, even if you turn the volume right up."
"Apart from its amazing sound quality," writes Donovan," digital radio has dramatically extended the listener's choice. There are now nine national stations that go out only in digital: Oneword, PrimeTime, Bloomberg (finance), Core, Planet Rock, Life and 6 Music (all four of them varieties of pop and rock), ITN News and 5 Live Sports Extra."
"There are also digital-only local stations, which vary from area to area Digital is a dull word. Digital audio broadcasting is a dull phrase. But digital radio is fantastic."
Associated Press report:
Los Angeles Times -Carney:
AFTRA web site
RIAA web site:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Ahrens:
2002-05-06: Britain's draft communications bill is due to be released on Wednesday this week (May 8) and is confidently expected to relax rules on radio ownership limits and remove the prohibition on a TV franchise owner from holding a radio licence in its broadcast area although there may be less relaxation of cross-ownership rules that limit holdings by newspaper companies in broadcasters.
It isn't expected to spark immediate consolidation although radio companies are expected to lead the consolidations and a number are already reported to have been in informal talks about their position once the legislation is on the statute books.
In particular Scottish Media Group (SMG), which already owns 29/5% of rival Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH), just under the limit at which it would have to make a full bid, is expected to bide its time before making any moves. Its holding, for which it paid GBP 140 million, already makes it difficult for other companies to make a bid and it is still working against debt pressures that forced it to renegotiate its banking covenants. Last month SMG wrote off GBP65 million from the value of its SRH holdings (See RNW April 19).
2002-05-05: It was mainly a case of tourine activity for the regulators last week.
Australia was quiet on the radio side, but the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has released a report "Media Streaming and Broadband Services in Australia", commissioned from the CTIN (Centre for Telecommunications Information Networking at the University of Adelaide) that says that streaming media will grow rapidly for the next three or four years but will then be overtaken by successor technologies that can make better use of broadband.
It comes to this conclusion because, it says, broadband will not need the benefits in economy of data transmission that streaming provides, although the technology will maintain its value for areas where broadband is not currently available. The report (80 page 1.43 Mb PDF) looks at a number of issues including the regulatory implications of widely available services on broadband but most of it concerns current technology (RNW comment: It could also probably be profitably edited down to half its length).
In Canada, the main activity by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was the authorising of a number of new transmitters for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
New Brunswick - additional transmitters for CBAL-FM Moncton at Fredericton/Saint John (78,500 watts) and Edmundston (100,000 watts):
Ontario -- additional transmitters for CJBC-FM Toronto at Windsor (3,360 watts) and Paris (7,140 watts):
additional transmitters for CBVX-FM Québec at La Malbaie (960 watts ) and Baie-Saint-Paul (350 watts):
additional transmitters for CBRX-FM Rimouski at Matane(31,700 watts), Sept-Îles (84,800 watts) and Rivière-du-Loup (56,900 watts):
additional transmitter for CBJX-FM Chicoutimi at Dolbeau (37,200 watts):
additional transmitter for CBFX-FM Montréal at Mont-Laurier (72,000 watts):
Saskatchewan --additional transmitters for CKSB-FM Winnipeg at Regina (100,000 watts )and Saskatoon (100,000 watts):
In addition the Commission has issued an administrative renewal of the licence for CFOU-FM Trois-Rivières (Radio campus des étudiants de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières ) until 31 December 2002 and a public notice concerning applications By Native Communication Inc to add a 23 watts FM transmitter at Hollow Water Indian Reserve to broadcast the programming of CINC-FM, Thompson, Manitoba and by GX Radio Partnership Yorkton, Saskatchewan, to add an 860 watts FM transmitter at Swan River, to broadcast the programming of CFGW-FM, to serve the population of Swan River, Bowsman, Minitonas and Kenville areas.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has awarded the country's first regional licence to the Beat 101 consortium and has also announced the award in principle of the first four licences for existing services currently being re-advertised. (See RNW May 1)
The UK was fairly quiet, with the Radio Authority's main release concerning new Access Radio stations. Three new stations have now joined the six that were already on air, the latest being GTFM in Pontypridd, a partnership between the Glyntaff Tenants' and Residents' Association (GTRA) and the University of Glamorgan; AWAZ FM, A community news, information and entertainment service for Asian listeners in central Glasgow; and Radio Resonance, which was set up by the London Musicians Collective to provide a service for the London arts community. (See RNW May 2 )
The Radio Authority has also re-advertised the North London AM local licence that is currently held by Turkish Radio (UK) Ltd., broadcasting as London Turkish Radio, following declarations of intent to apply by a second party as well as the current holder.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed an indecency penalty of USD 7,000 on two Georgia stations, after the hosts of the el Manero show, which has subsequently been cancelled, cracked jokes about incest, manual stimulation, masturbation and menstruation in an April 2001 show teenage sex.
The fine is being proposed on GA-MEX Broadcasting and WAZX-FM Inc., licensee of WAZX-AM Smyrna and WAZX-FM Cleveland.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site(Links to broadband report 1.43 Mb PDF):
BCI web site:
CBSC web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-05-05: Washington political commentator Mark Plotkin, who announced in April that he was leaving public station WAMU-FM for all-news WTOP-AM, takes up is new role tomorrow, May 6.
At the new station he will be involved in commentaries on a wider basis than before, including comments on breaking news and state and national politics.
He's also being paid more. Plotkin also did commentary and political analysis for the BBC and other broadcasters in Australia and Canada.
2002-05-04: More signs of an upturn in US radio come through in the latest results released by Entercom and Radio 1 Inc.
Entercom outperformed expectations with net revenues for the first quarter up 6.8% to USD74.2 million and broadcast cash flow up 12.6% to USD26 million. Same station revenues were up 3% and BCF was up 6%.
David Field, reporting the figures on his first day as CEO, his father and Entercom founder Joe Field having passed on the CEO post but retained the post of chairman, said conditions were improving and the company had begun May with around nine-tenths of the month's business done.
Entercom is predicting second quarter revenues up 5% and BCF up 7%.
Radio 1 Inc reported a first quarter loss including preferred dividend expenses of USD27 million, 28 cents a share compared to a loss of USD20.3 million or 23 cents a share for Q1, 2001.
However it considerably outpaced expectations with net revenues up 22% to USD58.3 million and broadcast cash flow up 17% to USD25.8 million.
On a same station basis, revenues increased 7% and BCF 10% compared to Q1, 2001: same station BCF margin was up to 46.9 percent from 45.7 percent.
CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins, III, said he was "very pleased" with the results, which achieved all the company's objectives. He added that the company exceeded its financial targets and ended the quarter on a strong note.
Executive Vice President and CFO Scott R. Royster was bullish, saying January was the first positive month in the industry for over a year, adding, "If April and May are any guide, this could be a surprisingly strong year for the radio industry in general and for Radio One in particular."
Looking ahead, to Q2, Radio 1 is projecting revenue growth of 10.5% to $79M and BCF up 11.4% to $41M
Previous David Field:
Previous Radio 1 Inc:
2002-05-04: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filled three vacancies on its board with the appointment as directors of Cumulus chairman and CEO Lew Dickey; newly-appointed Entercom CEO David Field; and Clear Channel president and COO Mark Mays.
It re-appointed four directors, Sheridan Broadcasting Corp general counsel Ronald Davenport, Jr.; Midwest Family Broadcasters vice president, Sales and Marketing, Marilyn Kushak; Radio One, Inc. president/CEO Alfred Liggins; and Greater Media, Inc. president/COO, Peter Smyth.
Previous David Field:
Previous Mark Mays:
NAB web site:
2002-05-04: Chicago Du Page College public radio station WDCB-FM, whose antenna was destroyed by high winds in December last year (See RNW Dec 27, 2001) has yet again missed its target to bring its new antenna into operation.
It has been broadcasting under reduced power (and on the Internet) since December and now expects the new antenna to be brought into operation later this month.
WDCB web site:
2002-05-03: The BBC again dominated this year's Sony Awards with Radio 2 being named Station of the Year for the second year running and its breakfast show hosted by Terry Wogan, who last year won the Academy's 2000 Award, won the Breakfast Award for the Wake up to Wogan show.
John Peel won the Academy's Gold Award and BBC World Service won the Sony Radio Academy 2001 honorary award for its post-September 11 output, concerning which judges said the global service was "respected and loved throughout the world", but its "reputation for truth and honest reporting reached new heights on 11 September 2001".
The largest number of Gold Awards went to BBC Radio 4 with six, followed by BBC Radio 5 Live with 4 Sony Golds.
On the commercial side of the fence, Virgin Radio took Gold in the Music Programming Award for daily sequences with the Pete and Geoff show presented by Pete Mitchell & Geoff Lloyd and Southern FM took the Entertainment gold with Terry Garoghan's Last Bus To Whitehawk.
Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year was again Oneword Radio.
In the music programming section the Gold in the Music Programming Award for single programmes went to BBC Radio 3 and the Andy Kershaw show and the gold for the Specialist Music Award went to Charlie Gillett's show on BBC London.
The Music Special Gold also went to the BBC, this time with Badly Drawn America by All Out Productions for BBC Radio 1 and that for the Music Broadcaster Award went to Big George, produced, directed and written by Big George Webley for BBC Three Counties Radio
In the news and sports awards, the BBC took all of the Gold medals.
Cover of the Holy Cross Girls School Dispute won the news coverage gold for BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio Ulster; The news programme award gold went to The Day They Made It Rain by BBC Factual & Learning Radio for Radio 4;
The Breakfast Award news & talk Gold went to Five Live Breakfast: New York by BBC Radio News for Five Live; The Sports Award gold went to Chiles on Saturday by BBC Radio News for Five Live;
The Event Award gold went to Remembrance Sunday 2001 by BBC Religion for Radio 4;
and The News Broadcaster Award Gold went to the team of Peter Allen & Jane Garvey by BBC Radio News for Five Live.
The same BBC success story was also found in Sony's next section where the Corporation took all the gold awards.
The Feature Award gold went to Roots Of Homophobia by All Out Productions for BBC Radio 4;
The Short Form Award gold went to Fresh Air Kids by BBC Factual & Learning Radio for Radio 4;
The Speech Award gold went to A Caribbean Night presented by Linton Kwesi Johnson & Andy Kershaw and produced by BBC Factual & Learning Radio for Radio 3;
The Comedy Award gold went to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue by BBC Radio Entertainment for Radio 4;The Drama Award gold went to A Woman In Waiting, also BBC Radio 4;
and The Speech Broadcaster Award gold went to Alan Green produced by BBC Sport for Five Live
In the next section, the commercial sector struck back and took three of four awards.
Belfast City Beat took the Interactive Award gold with The Stephen Nolan Show;
The Community Award went to Pillars Of Faith presented by Imran Khan on BBC Radio 1;
The Competition Award gold went to Radio Aire for Quit From Your Quilt;
and the Station Sound Award gold went to Kiss 100.
In the station awards section, honours were equally divided.
Station of the Year with an audience under 300,000 was FM103 Horizon;
Station of the Year with an audience between 300,000 - 1 million was BBC Radio Cumbria;
Station of the Year with an audience over 1 million plus was Radio City 96.7;
UK Station of the Year was BBC Radio 2;
and Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year was Oneword Radio.
Previous Sony Awards:
Sony Awards site (2002 winners)
2002-05-03: Saga Communications has recorded first quarter net revenues up 5% over those for Q1, 2001 to just under USD24 million; Broadcast cash flow up 6.4% to USD7.3 million and After tax cash flow, of 23 cents a share, up 12.7% to USD 3.8 million.
On a same-station basic revenue was up 1% to USD22.6 million, and BCF was up 5.4% to USD 7.2 million. It was also cautiously bullish in its forecasts.
For the quarter ending June 30, it expects net revenues of USD29.5 million; broadcast cash flow of USD10.9 million and after tax cash flow of USD5.9 million, or 35 centa a share on a fully diluted basis.
For the year Saga expects revenues of USD109.7 million, broadcast cash flow of USD39.5 million and after tax cash flow of USD21.2 million, or USD1.26 per share on a fully diluted basis.
CEO Ed Christian said that they were having to work hard to accommodate everyone and he foresaw "slow, measured spotty growth" for the rest of the year.
In other US radio business, Emmis Communications has now closed on its Denver sales of KALC-FM to Entercom for USD 88 million and of KXPK-FM to Entravision for USD57.5 million.
2002-05-03: Football commentator Jonathan Pearce, who joined BBC Radio 5 Live earlier this year from Capital Radio is to replace Richard Littlejohn as presenter of the channel's flagship Saturday night soccer phone-in show 6-0-6, named after the time its broadcast normally starts,.
He will take up the role from the beginning of the next soccer season.
Littlejohn, who won a Sony award for the programme two years ago, says he is leaving because he felt it was time for a change, but before he leaves he will front a series of special phone-ins during the World Cup soccer tournament.
He commented, "I've had five glorious years presenting 6-0-6 and enjoyed every moment of it, but now I want my weekends back to watch football as opposed to talk about it. I've enormously enjoyed my time at Radio Five Live - I think it's a great station - and I look forward to clogging up its airwaves in the future."
Pearce said, "6-0-6 has always been the number one national football forum for fans - who are the most important people in the game for me. I'm looking forward to sharing the post-match banter and finding out what really is going on in the game from the people who are in the know - the fans."
Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio Five Live, said: "Richard has established 6-0-6 as the best phone-in of its kind, and fans certainly won't be hearing the last of Richard's unique tones on Five Live. We hope they'll welcome Jonathan Pearce, another master of this kind of programme, to take 6-0-6 into a new era."
2002-05-03: The May 1 "Day of Silence" protest staged by hundreds of US webcasters garnered rather more coverage in US print media and broadcasters after the event than before.
Kurt Hanson, founder of Radio and Internet Magazine and leading light behind the protest action, described the response in the May 2 edition of RAIN as "tons of press coverage in various mainstream media, hopefully sensitizing Washington, D.C. legislators and other decision-makers to the severity of the impact of the CARP-recommended royalty rates on Internet radio."
RAIN lists 26 reports, more than half being trade or specialty outlets, with links to them.
It also gives details of other cover including Tech TV but with a notable absence of any reference to coverage on major broadcast outlets.
Glancing through some of the reports, many are fairly straightforward results, often with considerable similarities to an Associated Press report, but others offer a little more.
Notable here is an item "Liberty Vs. Royalties " by Frank Ahrens in the Washington Post which is an excellent summary of the issues at stake for both the webcasters and the recording industry and also a good summation of the history that led to the current situation, starting with the passing by Congress, after lobbying by the recording industry of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998.
RNW comment: As we have noted before, we will be interested to see how the current late lobbying efforts by the webcasters affect the ultimate decision, although we would not favour the current proposals.
However we have to say that the "ton" of Kurt Hanson's reckoning seems to us to be more a result of exuberant and errant marketing hype than a reflection of reality.
Previous CARP report:
RAIN web site (Links to Save Internet Radio site):
2002-05-03: US National Public Radio (NPR) has settled out of court a five-years-old racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. It was commenced in September 1997 by former Vice President for Cultural Programming Sandra Rattley who accused the network of demoting and firing her for her vocal advocacy of diversity in staff and programming.
The case followed a number of cases from lower-ranked employees against NPR and Rattley and NPR had tried to reach agreement without a trial but following the failure of mediation in 1999 and settlement conferences last summer had gone to court on April 8.
Rattley had been claiming USD600,000 in compensatory damages with interest, and at least as much in punitive damages.
She told Current Magazine that during earlier talks the company's offer was not "even in the ballpark of reasonable."
After the trial had proceeded for three days, the judge encouraged a further attempt at settlement and this time agreement was reached although neither side would discuss the terms.
Earlier in the action brought by Rattley two of her claims had been dismissed before the trial.
The first to go was in March 1999 when she lost her claim that NPR had a hostile work environment and the second, that departing Vice President of News Bill Buzenberg received a severance package unfairly larger than Rattley's, was dismissed last year in summary judgment proceedings.
In all NPR is known to have faced eight claims of discrimination and it is still contesting one case, also brought in 1997, by reporter Sunni Khalid, an African-American and Muslim, who filed a race and religious discrimination suit in January that year.
Current Magazine report:
2002-05-02: In more US results, US independent sales and marketing company Interep has beaten its guidance in the first quarter and is increasing its guidance for the second quarter.
The company had forecast a slight fall in first quarter revenues but saw commission revenue increase to USD17.5 million, including USD700, 000 of Internet revenue, compared to USD16.6 million for Q1 last year when it only had radio revenue. Including contract termination revenue of USD 2.39 million this year, compared to USD69, 000 in 2001, total revenues were up nearly a fifth from USD16.68 million to USD 19.92 million. Its radio commission revenue was up 1.2% to USD 16.8 million.
Interep's loss per share went down to 41 cents compared to 74 cents a year earlier and operating EBITDA was turned from a loss of USD1.2 million for the first quarter of 2001 to a plus USD 500, 000 this year. Interrep says that if Internet activity is taken out of the equation, operating EBITDA would have increased USD2.1 million to a positive USD0.9 million for the first quarter 2002.
Ralph Guild, Chairman and CEO, said the company was "seeing a steady increase in activity for the first half of the year." "We now expect revenues to continue to improve due to our focus on new business development and the rebound in national advertising," he added.
He told analysts that business was definitely improving with sell-out conditions in many markets in May, adding that since many advertisers were shut out in May, for the first time in 18 months, June bookings were already solidifying and third quarter orders already beginning to come in.
Interep has increased its guidance for 2002 from a forecast of flat to an expectation that revenues will be up 3% to a range of USD 82-83 million and said this may be revised upward again if things continue to improve.
Interep web site:
2002-05-02: London's newest radio station, broadcasting under an Access Radio Pilot Licence, is now on air.
Radio Resonance , which launched in the evening on May 1, has a 12-month licence to broadcast to central London; it was set up by the London Musicians Collective to provide a service for the London arts community.
The group has already been involved in a similar project in 1998 when it broadcast from the South Bank during the 1998 Meltdown festival. Its new station will be run entirely by volunteers and will feature a wide range of music that is currently rarely featured on radio broadcasts. To begin with it will broadcast on FM and also stream its service on the Internet from 1600-2400 GMT weekdays and 1100 to 2400 GMT at weekends but is to become 24-hours a day later this year.
Radio Resonance web site:
2002-05-02: More than 20, 000 signatures have been collected in a campaign by supporters of Tipperary Mid-West Radio, which says it may face closure because the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has decided that, after current licences expire in 2004, Co Tipperary is to have only one commercial radio station in place of two.
Tipperary Mid-West Radio, which is the smaller station and serves a largely rural community, is expected to lose out to Clonmel-based Tipp FM according to the Irish Times, which adds that the BCI says that, even if the station is turned down for the county-wide licence the station would not necessarily have to close.
BCI chief executive, Michael O'Keeffe suggested to the paper that the station could become a community radio service and added that there had been strong support for a county-wide licence.
Marie Ryan, the station's secretary and controller of programmes, questioned the need for the decision and said that the station was not only viable but had increased its listenership in the most recent JNLR survey.
Tipperary Mid-West Radio has a full-time staff of ten who work with round 50 volunteers.
Irish Times report:
2002-05-02: The May 1 "Day of Silence" by US webcasters to draw attention to the problems the industry will face should currently proposed royalty rates for streaming music come into effect has not so far gathered much cover in US print media.
In a trawl through the US general newspapers, as opposed to trade publications that have generally carried reports, we found only the occasional advance report of the action.
Radio and Internet Magazine on May 1 carried a long list of webcasters supporting the action, including many top names.
It says that in addition to many companies that replaced normal music programming with sound effects or silence, many others carried a 12-hour talk show aimed at getting listeners to express their concerns to their Congressional representatives.
(RNW comment - there isnot much time left for lobbying since the US Copyright Office is currently due to rule on the matter on May 21.)
Previous CARP report:
RAIN web site (Links to Save Internet Radio site):
2002-05-02: More support for the idea of meter rating of radio in place of the current diary system has come from Proctor and Gamble, one of Britain's largest advertisers, according to the UK Guardian.
It quotes Bernard Balderston, associate director of UK media for Procter & Gamble, as saying, "We are positive about the whole idea of mechanical media research. Provided the technology can be verified, we believe it is far more accurate and offers many other benefits."
UK Guardian report:
2002-05-01: More radio results, starting with a strong performance from Spanish Broadcasting System(SBS), whose first quarter figures showed net revenues up 18% to USD29.7 million with same station revenues up 13.9%.
Broadcast cash flow was topped USD11 million, a 68% increase over a year earlier and was up 35% on a same station basis.
Chief Executive Officer Raul Alarcon attributed the growth to a sooner-than-anticipated recovery in the US economy and strong sales efforts, saying that all SBS core markets grew revenues and BCF.
Looking ahead, SBS, which has given previous guidance for the first quarter of 5-6%, remained cautious and said it expected second quarter revenue growth of 6-7%
Cox Radio, in contrast, had first quarter revenues down 0.6% to USD86 million but BCF was up 0.7% to USD30 million; both figures were around USD2 million higher than its previous guidance.
It was cautiously bullish about prospect with CEO Bob Neil talking of favourable trends and evidence mounting of an advertising recovery in the second quarter.
Jefferson-Pilot Corporation has also recorded first quarter declines in both its insurance and broadcasting businesses. Jefferson-Pilot Communications revenues fell 3.9% to Usd48.6 million, BCF was down 10.6 % to USD 15 million and net earnings were down 4% to USD6.5 million.
Like Cox, however, it was cautiously optimistic and spoke of seeing "evidence of improved results as the economy rebounds."
North of the border, Toronto-based broadcaster CHUM reported profits of CAD3.1 million (27 cents a share) for the quarter to the end of February.
The figure was up significantly from the CAD254, 000 (2 cents a share) profit for the same period a year earlier, boosted by a CAD9.7 million one-off gain from a deal with Standard Broadcasting under which CHUM got CFWM-FM, Winnipeg and CAD 8 million in cash and Standard acquired CHOM-FM, Montreal.
In the UK, The Wireless Group has cut its losses for the year to the end of December 2001 to GBP10.1 million from GBP34.3 million for 2000.
Much of this reduction came from sale of Scot FM to Guardian Media Group (See RNW June 12, 2001) and of Southampton-based Wave 105 to Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) ((See RNW Nov 6, 2001).
Revenues for the year rose by 5.6% to GBP31.1 million ; within this the company's local stations increased turnover by 3.2%, its national TalkSport station increased revenue by 5.6% and sponsorship and promotion income was up nearly 21%.
Cost reductions cut the group's operating loss from GBP15.3 million to GBP 10.5 million.
The group has warned that advertising revenues will remain under pressure this year despite a World Cup related boost for TalkSport , whose reach and listening had "jumped" according to chairman and chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie.
He said that the station's April sales were up 9% and may forward orders were looking encouraging but warned that advertising revenue will remain under pressure for the rest of this year.
Previous Spanish Broadcasting:
Previous Standard Broadcasting:
Previous Wireless Group/Talk Sport:
2002-05-01: An Arbitron Survey on sports radio has some cold comfort for those who regard sport as of major importance to most people: On US radio at least, it's anything but!
In the organisation's Fall 2001 survey, it listed 348 sports radio stations, 3% of the total - equal to talk stations and above Jazz (1%) and classical (2%) but well below the percentages for news at 8% and the top three, AC with 10%, religious with 14% and country with 17%.
Perhaps more startling is the note that in the top 100 markets, only one sports station was in the top five for the 12-plus audience -that was at number five in a seven-station metropolis whereas country had 78 stations in the top five and news had 60.
The figure was rather better for the 25-54 male audience but even then only 17 sports stations made the top five compared with 115 AOR/Classic Rock, 64 country and 63 news stations.
Asking why it cites a simplistic Radio Ink quote that this was because "guys 25-54" generally don't take time to fill diaries since they're very busy, mobile and a lot of them "make USD100, 000 plus incomes" and then asks the obvious question "Could it be that simple?"
The Arbitron survey puts down reasons including being a niche format on the AM band (which garners much less listening than FM), and also notes ethnic composition and listening location as well as the nature of the affluent audience.
Less than half of diary keepers in the top 25 markets ever listen to AM it notes, and even amongst sports' core male audience the band only just struggles over the half-way mark in a few markets.
O make matters worse, those who do tune in, listen for less time, although they do have a higher income with more than half in many markets claiming USD75, 000 a year. Even then there's a catch; those who do have the higher income within the group listen less than the average.
The study also notes that only 7% of the sports radio audience is Hispanic and 11% black although when it comes to listening to radio the order is reversed with the black AQH figure highest.
In addition most listening to sports radio is on the move and time spent listening is generally lower for the formats that rate highly for in-vehicle listening.
Putting things together Arbitron reckons that the "real" potential audience for sports radio is only a tenth of the total audience.
It than looks at the stations which are most successful, and (surprise, surprise!) finds that First Team stations do much better than others, averaging around twice the cumulative audience and also that good sports and news rankings tend to go together in a market.
Looking ahead to its own developments, the study comes up with at least one conclusion that will gladden the heart of UK TalkSport boss, Kelvin MacKenzie: using meters rather than diaries ( the Personal People Meter in Arbitron's case), says the report, will show an increase in cumulative audience for sports stations and in general an increase in listening for niche formats.
It concludes that stations should in a sense think about their niche-if they can't increase cumulative audience they should aim to increase time spent listening, should consider marketing effort directed to the out-of-home audience, should consider marketing AM as a whole not just a station and should support the introduction of the PPM.
Arbitron Sports Stations report (767Kb PDF):
2002-05-01: The Beat 101 consortium, led by the Waterford station, WLR FM, and whose members include U2 manager Paul McGuinness has won Ireland's first regional licence against competition from Power FM whose backers included Bob Geldof.
The chairperson of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), Conor J. Maguire, commented that "The standard of submissions was extremely high and the Board had a difficult decision to make."
Also announced by the BCI was the award in principle of the first four licences for existing services currently being re-advertised. That for the Louth/Meath area has gone to LMFM Radio; that for Co. Wicklow has gone to East Coast FM; and the two Dublin City & County to Dublin 98FM and FM104.
In the second tranche of licences being advertised, the BCI says it has received 19 applications for seven FM and two AM licences; the FM applications were two for Mayo; two for Galway City & County' one each for Clare, Waterford City & County, and County Wexford; three for Counties Carlow/Kilkenny; and five for County Kildare. There was one application for the Galway Area AM franchise and a total of three for the Limerick Area FM:
BCI web site:
2002-05-01: Latest Internet ratings from MeasureCast show a flat week for listening up to April 21, but some more musical chairs amongst the top stations with Virgin Radio heading back into the top spot, knocking Jazz FM down to number two.
For the week to April 21, the top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 303,100 (303,549); CP 52,161 (51,715): Up from second despite slightly lower listening although reach was up a little.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 261,911 (306,125); CP 68,613 (75,109): Down from first with lower listening and reach.
3: Classical format WQXR-FM, New York - TTSL 170,348 (202,428); CP 28,709 (44,205): Same position with significantly lower listening and reach.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 130,408 (133,473); CP 21,879 (21,527): Same position with slightly lower listening and higher reach.
5: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 80,019 (80,306) : CP 49,606 (50,480) : Up from sixth with slightly lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the same week (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,605,127 (1,486,503) ; CP 272,361 (264,319). Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 751,058 (767,617): CP 163,352 (157,040) - Same position with lower listening and higher reach.
3: WARP Radio TTSL 682,366 (604,418) hours: CP 119,813 (124,925) - Same position with higher listening and lower reach.
4: StreamAudio network TTSL 502,826 (574,834) : CP 102,500 (102,500) - Same position with lower listening and same reach.
5: Virgin Radio TTSL 453,905 (447,275): CP 91,318 (87,812) - Same position with higher listening and reach.
(RNW note - going by MeasureCast release for the previous week, StreamAudio was fifth but they listed higher numbers: We took it that the error was in the ranking not the numbers).
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 an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or 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
Back to top :
April 2002 June 2002
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: