Kathleen Abernathy - Republican US FCC Commissioner; Jonathan Adelstein - US Federal Communications Commissioner; Sue Arnold - UK Observer radio columnist; Vanora Bennett - (3) UK Times radio columnist; Ralph Bernard - executive chairman and former chief executive UK radio group GWR; Nicky Campbell - BBC Radio 5 presenter; Owen Charlebois - President, U.S. Media, Arbitron Inc.; Simon Cole - chief executive, UBC Media, UK; Michael J. Copps - (3) - Democrat US FCC commissioner; Daryl Denham - Breakfast host for Virgin FM, UK(moving to Drivetime, January 2003); Paul Donovan-(3) - U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Judy Ellis -(2) -Senior Vice President/Market Manager of Emmis-New York- to become Chief Operating Officer of Citadel Communications; Chris Evans - British broadcaster and former radio mogul; Caroline Feraday - (2) - former BBC presenter, moving to Chrysalis's LBC as inaugural drivetime host; Andrew Flanagan - chief executive SMG (Scottish Media Group); Prof. David Flint --chairman, Australian Broadcastng Authority; Neil Fox (Dr Fox) -(2) - UK Capital FM host; Gary Fries - President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, US; John Fullam -President/COO, Infinity Broadcasting; Robert Gillet - CJMF-FM, Quebec, morning host; Leslie Gold - "The Radio Chick" - New York, host; Mark Goodier - BBC Radio 1 DJ- leaving and joining Classic FM, January 2003- also to host EMAP's interactive chart show 2003: Ian Greenberg - President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc, Canada; Ralph Guild - Chairman and CEO, Interep, US radio sales and marketing company; Ray Hadley -2GB, Sydney, morning host; Brian Hayes - veteran Australian-born UK broadcaster; Paul Jackson - programme director, Virgin Radio, UK; Charles Jaco - St Louis talk host; Alan Jones -Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Mel Karmazin - Viacom President & Chairman and CEO Infinity Broadcasting (US); Steve Lamacq- BBC Radio 1 DJ; John Laws - Sydney 2UE morning host; Elisabeth Mahoney - (2) - UK Guardian radio critic; Brad March - managing director, Austereo; Kevin Martin - Republican US FCC Commissioner; Gerry McCarthy - UK Sunday Times writer on Irish Radio; Jane Moore - UK newspaper columnist to be launch breakfast show host when LBC moves to FM; Erich "Mancow" Muller - Chicago-based U.S. '"shock-jock"; Colin Murray - BBC Radio 1 host; John Myers - Managing Director of Guardian Media Group Radio(UK); Kenneth J. O'Keefe - Infinity Executive VP, Eastern Region and former President and Chief Operating Office of Clear Channel Radio; John Nicolson - former BBC breakfast TV presenter, to co-host LBC breakfast show; Richard Park - former programme director, UK Capital Radio, joining EMAP as consultant; Steve Penk - UK Capital Radio host; Michael K. Powell - (4) - Chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Thomas Prag - former Managing Director Moray Firth Radio and now member of UK Radio Authority: Steve Price -Sydney 2UE Breakfast host; Sumner Redstone - chairman and Chief Executive,Viacom (US); Dr Laura Schlessinger- Conservative U.S. talk show host; Bob Steele- veteran Connectircut radio personality (deceased); Farid Suleman - CEO Citadel Communications and special partner in Forstmann Little; Jay Switzer - President and CEO, CHUM (Canada); Chris Tarrant -(2) - UK Capital Radio breakfast show presenter; Peter Thornton- former UK broadcastering executive (deceased); McHenry Tichenor Jr - President and CEO, Hispanic Broadcasting, US; Gloria Tristani - former Commissioner, US FCC(stepped down Sept 2001); Walter F. Ulloa - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entravision(US); Bruce Vidal -former Los Angeles DJ (deceased); Jeremy Vine - BBC TV presenter, taking over Jimmy Young's weekday lunchtime slot on BBC Radio 2 in January 2003; Allan Waters -founder and former president and chairman of Canadian broadcaster CHUM (Stepping down); Jim Waters - chairman-designate CHUM Ltd and former president of CHUM Radio; John J Weigel -veteran Chicago broadcaster (deceased); (Sir) Jimmy Young - veteran BBC DJ(left Corporation December 2002);
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once
December 2002 Archive
November 2002 -January 2003
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 December comment considers whether in view of recent US complaints about talk radio and media bias, the US needs to reintroduce some form of "fairness doctrine" for broadcasters.
RNW November comment considers whether the US adoption of iBiquity's IBOC digital radio system will prove to be a step forward or one sideways to a technology inferior to that adopted by the rest of the world and offering insufficent benefits to other options including sticking with conventional analogue systems.
RNW October comment looks at the responsibilites of democratic societies and their broadcasters in ensuring adequate and fair news and information broadcasts.
2002-12-31: 2003 is almost certain to see increased de-regulation in broadcasting and further media consolidation under plans being pushed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Michael K. Powell, now strengthened by Republican domination of the US.
In particular, the Senate Commerce Committee is now chaired by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who recruited Powell as an FCC Commissioner in 1997 and replaced one of Powell's harshest critics, South Carolina Democrat Senator Ernest F. Hollings.
Powell's hand has also been strengthened by a number of court rulings that struck down, or queried, a number of FCC rules, both concerning ownership and matters like Equality of Opportunity regulations.
Most of the attention is directed to television and cable plus cross-ownership restrictions, although Clear Channel has been lobbying for an end to the eight-station cap on ownership of radio stations in a single market.
There is however general consensus that the year will bring in the most wide-ranging changes to be seen in the US since the 1996 Telecommunications Act allowed consolidation that led to many of today's media giants.
As so often happens, those lobbying for changes conveniently forget some of the reasons for original legislation or systems, pointed out succinctly by the Los Angeles Times in an editorial on regulation, which begins, "In the 1920s, so many budding broadcasters were trying out a growing technology called radio that stations cancelled out one another in a mess of howls, screams and whistles. Leaders of the infant industry were forced to implore then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover to "bring order out of chaos," as one journal put it, "so at least some of us can be heard."
After noting some of the changes since 1996, the Times comments that they do not mean, "Powell should accept deregulation at any cost, surrendering the last of the agency's public-interest provisions."
"For instance, Clear Channel Communications, a conglomerate that owns more than 1,000 radio stations, wants the FCC to eliminate the eight-station cap on radio ownership in a single market. The previous loosening to eight helped bring U.S. listeners homogenized, formatted-from-afar commercial radio, the bulk of it aimed at 18-to-34-year-old males. A proposal to allow one company to own two or more television stations in a single market could have a homogenizing effect on local TV as well."
"Powell should defend grass-roots communications like very low-power radio stations run by high schools or the local garage band, and require broadcasters to set aside a modicum of free air time for political candidates. His encouragement of new technologies and media expansion can be healthy. But deregulation that doesn't keep consumers in mind is no public service."
RNW comment: Noting the history of "honesty" in almost all institutions concerned primarily with monetary returns, from the City of London to Wall Street, we remain concerned about the effects of allowing over-concentration of power in any area of life
We are particularly concerned where it is a matter not just of increased powre to gouge out extra financial benefits from monopoly ( a history running from Standard oil through to Microsoft) but more imporantly of the power to manipulate information to the public, the very heart of any genuine democracy.
From regular reading of and exposure to US and other media from round the world, it is clear to us that the US public is already ill-served in many areas; in particular the pressures for blandness in attracting only a very broad audience or of confirmation of prejudices in targeting narrow niche audiences by broadcasters seem to us to have been poorly addressed in the US.
It is also crystal clear that businesses in US broadcasting are in general more concerned to holding and expanding what they have than giving any ground to developments like low power FM or paying some dues to democracy that could hit balance sheets when it comes to political campaigning.
We expect Powell to get his way but we fear that it will be to the benefit of US business not the people of the US. To paraphrase the old saw, "What is good for GM or US media businesses is not guaranteed to be good for the US."
Previous Clear Channel:
Los Angeles Times editorial:
2002-12-31: The BBC is finally doing away with discs on Radio 1, by switching over to its VCS computer system that stores around a full day of music and is now claimed to be "glitch-free".
Selections will be loaded into the computer when the records have been approved by the channel's play list committee, and the system, which cost around GBP 2million, has already been tested live on air. By the end of 2003, says the corporation, all its national radio channels will be served off computer.
It also says it will not allow the system to create a generation of personality-free DJs and has no plans for US style voice-tracking, the use of DJs to present a number of different shows using pre-recorded inserts.
2002-12-31: California Farsi (Iranian language) station KIRN-AM, has been spearheading protests against the detentions of immigrants with visitor status who had registered with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) earlier this month. The INS took into custody many of those who came forward voluntarily because their visas had expires, although many of them were in the process of trying to gain US resident status.
Following the detentions on December 16, the station, which is based in the Simi Valley near Burbank, went on air in 1999 to serve Iranians who had fled their country after the 1979 revolution, dropped its normal programming to concentrate on the registration, which some callers compared to the internment of people of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.
On listener Navid Sharafatian told the Los Angeles Times, "The station is a kind of town hall. It became a clearinghouse of information. There is Farsi television and other radio, but 670 has become a meeting place for the Iranian community."
Station manager John Paley reiterated the emphasis, commenting, "We are in a major market, but the Iranian community is a small town and we are the meeting place," If a kid loses his dog, we are on the story. To be on top of [the detentions] was a natural."
The Iranian community, says the Times, was outraged at the detentions, feeling that the practice implied they were terrorists and that the U.S. could unfairly deport some to a country they left decades ago as children, although some Iranian-Americans criticised the station for encouraging a protest demonstration outside the INS offices, suggesting that a lower key approach to the INS would have been preferable.
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-12-30: The intervention of Christmas festivities seems to have given various radio columnists an excuse to take time off but didn't prohibit worthy programming nor indeed reviews of some of it.
Some attempts did not work particularly US National Public Radio (NPR)'s attempt to bring back old-time radio comedy drama (See RNW Dec 27) but others produced some memorable phraseology from reviewers.
Amongst those that we noted was a review in the UK Guardian by Elisabeth Mahoney of the BBC World Service "Arabian Nights" programme.
Of this she wrote, "There was a lot of chopping people up into quarters in the Arabian Nights, and plenty of metamorphosis from human to animal as punishment, though only the truly transgressive experienced both. And what transgressors the protagonists were in these magical tales, told by a young woman to prevent the king from killing her, as he has all his other wives."
"To save herself, Shahrazad deftly reaches the "hook" of her narrative each morning when she faces beheading. The king, desperate to know what happens next, relents."
"The fate of those in her stories was not quite so sweet. Ali Baba's brother, trapped in a cave with stolen goods he's attempting to steal again, can't remember the password to get out ("Open satsuma! Open semolina! Sultana! Sardine!) and is thus the first to be quartered."
"A woman who eats rice with tweezers in front of her husband dispenses with dainty cutlery altogether in a graveyard ("oh my ghoul!" she cries hungrily, ripping flesh from bones). Discovered, she turns him into a dog; he responds by turning her into a horse. Another husband is told his wife has given birth to a cat and believes it. None of these couples, you sense, would have exactly shone on Mr & Mrs. With all these trials to contend with, however, not one person complained."
Still in the UK, Paul Donovan in his final RadioWaves column of the year in the UK Sunday Times takes the opportunity to look back at a year that he says has been " a veritable feast of anniversaries: 10 years of Classic FM, Britain's first national commercial radio station, which has grown so much in its first decade that it has just launched a classical version of MTV; 25 of The News Quiz and File on 4; 30 of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue; 35 of Just a Minute; 50 of the BBC Concert Orchestra; 60 of Desert Island Discs; 70 of the BBC World Service; and 80 of the BBC itself."
He also took the chance to remark on the whys and wherefores of some of the changes, noting amongst other things, "Radio 1's chart show was overtaken in the ratings by the rival Pepsi chart, which may explain why its long-time presenter, Mark Goodier, left Radio 1 shortly afterwards (and starts on the more sedate Classic FM this week). Radio 2 nurtured an increasingly confident host in the attractive shape of the soul singer Mica Paris, and made many polished music documentaries. "
"It was tarnished by the maladroit manner in which it axed Sir Jimmy Young, who, when he returned for his final fortnight, was so sharp, he sounded as if he had never been away."
"Radio 3, shamefully, killed off The Brains Trust, but mounted its first world-music awards. Radio 4 was the most popular station in London for the first time, and broadcast, among many other things, what was thought to be the first programme on grouse-shooting."
And of the major developments of 2002 in UK radio, "The year's uniqueness, of course, lay in the launch of five new national stations. The frustration lay, and continues to lie, in the dearth of digital radio sets on which to listen to them. Digital technology continues to make radio evolve: online use of the BBC World Service has grown phenomenally this year, and dozens of BBC radio shows are now available on the internet for a week after they first go out, a service thousands of people are now making use of."
In the US, the issue of changes to the Voice of America was aired again in the Washington Post, this time in a letter from a union representative who commented on the changes in which pop-music dominated channels are replacing more traditional VOA speech-based services.
In the letter, Gary A. Marco, President of Union local 1418, comments, "No matter what spin the Broadcasting Board of Governors puts on these program shifts, they show that the United States has disengaged itself from being involved in credible discussion of critical issues in the Middle East and Iran."
"Both Sawa and Farda insult the intelligence and cultures of Arabic and Iranian people as well as the sacrifices and risks key groups in these societies are willing to make to change their political landscapes for the better."
"American culture is already popular around the world and doesn't need to be sold. The problem that is not being addressed is an explanation of U.S. policies. That discussion has now been cut off. In the case of Sawa and VOA Farsi broadcasts, the VOA charter, which requires the explanation of U.S. policy, is being abandoned or eroded."
"It is incomprehensible that U.S. officials would allow taxpayer funds to be spent to abandon or even undermine the articulation of U.S. interests in the Middle East during a period of heightened internal and external tensions, which appear to be leading to war."
RNW comment: On which note, we think it worth considering that good old journalistic standby of the questions, "Who benefits?" and "Why now?" Suggestions to the Washington Post please, rather than us.
And finally a look at a North American media baron, Allan Slaight, the 71-years-old executive chairman of Toronto-based Standard Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's largest privately-held media company. Slaight was featured in an article in Canadian Business by Zena Olijnyk which notes of his personal fortune (of some CAD1.23 billion - USD billion) that his secret that Slaight, an amateur magician, "has the same impeccable sense of timing in business as he does when performing magic."
Among the examples his purchase of shares in Global Television at as low point in 1974, and his purchase of Standard itself. Olijnyk then comments that his latest coup, the purchase of Telemedia's radio stations, was "possibly the most brilliant media swap this country has ever seen."
In all he acquired 64 stations but only two months later sold 29 mostly rural stations at more or less their purchase price, thus quadrupling Standard's radio holdings but also pulling debt down to around half the CAD275 million it had to take on for the original deal.
Day-to-day control of Standard, she points out, is now in the hands of Allan's son Gary but the father still has his say. "I don't normally dictatorially override any decisions made by Gary and Dave Coriat, Standard's CFO," he says. "But if I really resist something, it generally doesn't happen; although it hasn't really come up yet."
Gary, 51, puts it this way: "We obviously check with him. But we're usually on the same page." Coriat, who has been with the company for 17 years, calls Slaight the "the ultimate entrepreneur." He has the "uncanny ability" to absorb information presented to him and then make a firm decision, quickly calculating the potential return while protecting his downside-a sort of "controlled risk-taking," says Coriat. "He's not about to blow the money he's worked so hard to earn."
The heart of Standard is radio and Slaight's career in the medium goes back more than half a century. His start came when his father, who had bought the Moose Jaw Times-Herald in Saskatchewan in 1946, added the local radio station CHAB-AM to his holdings a couple of years later.
17-years-old Allan did various jobs at the station, saying of the experience, "I had never been inside a radio station before. But after one short visit to CHAB, I realized radio was what I wanted to do with my life."
He subsequently worked at several stations in Edmonton and then in 1958 got a big break when he moved to CHUM in Toronto as program director, eventually working his way up to become vice-president and general manager for CHUM AM/FM. In 1970, he mortgages his house and with partners bought CFGM-AM in Toronto, adding COX-AM in Montreal a year later. By 1973 he had merged his business with IWC Communications Ltd., which soon bought a stake in money-losing Global Television and installed Slaight as chairman, president and CEO.
IWC sold its Global holdings in 1977 and Slaight took advantage of his share to become sole shareholder in IWC, which he renamed Slaight Communications in 1979. The Standard coup results from a meeting with one of Hollinger's directors whilst Slaight was on holiday in Florida in 1985. He asked why Hollinger didn't sell its Standard Broadcast division. It did and Slaight gained seven radio stations, beating off a higher bid from Selkirk Communications when Hollinger stuck to its original deal.
Of radio, Slaight says it's "never been in decline", adding, "and certainly these day's it's been very robust."
Canadian Business - Olijnyk on Allan Slaight:
UK Guardian - Mahoney:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Marco letter re VOA:
2002-12-30: While most US government financed propaganda is aimed overseas boosts the image of the US, a new Mexican radio drama produced by the Mexican government and subject of a feature by Los Angeles Times writer Anna Gorman does the reverse.
Adapted from a novel written by Enrique Romero Moreno, a former protection officer at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, the series is said by the Mexican government to be designed to give potential migrants an "unvarnished" view of hardships they may face rather than trying to stop migrants from moving to the US.
The 30-part series features poor workers who struggle with life in Los Angeles - from a character who contracts HIV to another who goes days without a job.
''People have visions that it's a matter of taking the bus, crossing the border, finding a good job and sending money back home,'' said Candido Morales, who heads President Vicente Fox's newly established Institute for Mexicans Abroad. ''But there are a lot of incidents that happen along the way. Some are positive and some are negative.''
Laura Diaz de Leon of the government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was more blunt: ''The American dream isn't so much of a dream,'' Diaz said. ''The reality is the opposite.''
The 30 part series is airing this month in Mexican states with high numbers of migrants and there are plans to take it to California in January by Fresno-based public radio network Radio Bilingue.
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-12-29: Despite the holiday break, the regulators kept up a reasonable flow of work over the remaining days of the past week.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has allocated new community licenses in Gosford, New South Wales, and South Hobart, Tasmania.
The Gosford community licence has been awarded to Gosford Christian Broadcasters Ltd (Rhema FM): It was competing against Radio Yesteryear Inc (general community interested in music from 1930s to 1960s); and Wyong Gosford Progressive Community Radio Inc (minority groups) for the third community licence for the area.
The ABA had awarded two licences in October to Five-O-Plus Public Radio Association Inc and Central Coast Broadcasters Ltd but held back the award of the third licence.
The South Hobart licence went to Tasmanian University Broadcasters Inc (TUB Inc)., whose youth-service proposal had been competing against an application by and Cadence FM ,which was proposing a general community service.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a reorganisation involving CHEZ-FM Inc., Rogers (Toronto) Ltd. and Rogers Radio (British Columbia) Ltd. that will in effect put the licences owned by all three under Rogers Broadcasting Limited ( RBL), which already fully owns Rogers (Toronto) Ltd. and Rogers Radio (British Columbia) Ltd.
Under the plan all the shares of the three are to be transferred to a holding company that in turn is to be amalgamated with Rogers Media and CHEZ, Rogers Toronto, Rogers BC and two unregulated corporations will be amalgamated with RBL, which remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rogers Media.
Ireland was quiet, but in the UK, the Radio Authority has published assessment of the award of the Swansea digital multiplex to TWG Emap Digital Ltd., the sole applicant.
It is proposing a bouquet of six commercial services, although only four will be carried when it launches in January 2004.
The Authority noted the local support the application had garnered and welcomed the fact that The Wave and Swansea Sound, the extremely popular local commercial radio services for Swansea, would now become available in digital form.
It has also advertised a new licence, for either AM or FM, depending on the successful applicant's preference, for the town of Buxton and other parts of the High Peak district, in Derbyshire.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been involved in a mix of leniency and continuing enforcement actions. It's also being asked by the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council to ensure that Equality of Opportunity (EEO) Rules apply to part-time employees as well as full-time ones. The Council in filings to the Commission says that this is "fundamental" if adoption of any rules is to be meaningful and notes that part-time work is a prime entry route into broadcasting for women and minorities.
Let off the hook was former hacker Kevin Mitnick, who is to get back his amateur radio licence (See RNW Dec 24) and is also now going to be allowed back on the Internet.
On the same day the Commission reduced a penalty on BanJo Communications and a day later it dropped, on financial hardship grounds, a penalty of USD10, 000 on Michigan pirate operator Thomas A. Brothers (See RNW Dec 25).
The FCC also said it had issued 27 Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) totalling USD271, 000 in November. Of those 20 related to safety-related rule breaches and the other seven concerned unauthorised operation, and main studio location.
These seven totalled USD 44,000 relating to five NALs about unauthorized operation, and USD 23,000relating to two NALs listed under the heading main studio location but including other offences.
The FCC has also issued its list of Notices of Apparent Liability issued during November (See RNW Dec 28). Most related to or included various safety-related rules including the highest penalty notice issued, of USD 21, 000 to 4M concerning various breaches by WLEE-AM, of Richmond, Virginia, including those related to fencing requirements for its antenna.
The next highest penalty notice, of USD20, 000 to Westshore Broadcasting regarding various antenna-related breaches including warning light illumination failures at WOCA-AM, Ocala, Florida; and the third highest went to of USD 19, 000, went to Pilgrim Communications regarding various breaches in relation to KWYD-AM, Colorado Springs, Colorado, including Emergency Alert System equipment readiness.
The Commission also issued four USD 10, 000 penalty notices concerning unauthorised operation and another of USD 4, 000 regarding unauthorized operation.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-12-29: Although digital radio now looks as if it may take off with the UK as cheaper receivers come on the market, its future seems less certain in North America where there is a split between the US, which has opted for iBiquity's IBOC system, and Canada, which has gone for separate digital channels along with most of the world.
The US system recently re-named HD radio in a marketing move, crams the digital signal into the same frequency as existing Fm and AM signals and thus may deliver lower technical quality but has the benefit of backing from some two thirds of the top 20 US radio companies.
It could, however, come under threat from software developments that digitise analogue systems and reconstitute them so as to reduce significantly the effects of interference and are claimed to approach the same quality as Ibiquity's system from existing signals once a suitable receiver has been purchased. It would not however be able to offer the same amount of other data information as other systems.
In Canada, the US system is regarded by many in the radio business as having only minor advantages over existing FM signals and being in the "why did they bother?" category but its existence is having an inhibiting effect on the take-up of digital since the US and other DAB systems are incompatible.
Canada, which like Europe adopted the Eureka 147 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system, now has some 60 stations in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Windsor, Ontario, simulcasting digital signals with another 16 stations in Ottawa expected on air in 2003.
There are very few listeners, however, as receivers remain expensive with the main supplier, InterTan Inc., the Barrie, Ont.-based parent of Radio Shack, offering models at CAD 299 (USD 190) or CAD 399 (USD 250) for a model with a built-in MP3 player; this compares with a current UK low-end receiver price of GBP99 (USD 150) for which there was more demand than supply in the run-up to Christmas this year.
The UK however has an additional advantage of extra channels, partly because of a government policy that gave automatic renewal to analogue licence holders if they provided a service on the relevant local digital multiplex.
In Canada, adding a single-channel transmitter to simulcast an existing programme costs a station some CAD 300, 000 (USD 190,000) and with audiences that the CBC estimates at around 500 for its four English-language channels in Toronto, broadcasters see this as a high price.
Some, like CHUM's vice-president of industry affairs and digital radio operations Duff Roman see adoption of digital as unavoidable in a digital age.
He told the Toronto Globe and Mail that it was a matter of "as long as it takes", adding, "There's a whole sort of inertia that we have got to deal with. . . If you tell people about DAB, their first reaction is to find a way of getting out of it rather that making a commitment. You have to break that down."
On the other side of the fence is Standard Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Gary Slaight, who is reluctant to invest and points out there are virtually no listeners. He is also an investor in Internet audio services and told the paper, "When this [digital radio] all started, there was no Internet. There were no kids on computers listening to the radio and downloading files. It wasn't happening then and it's happening now. I think we maybe missed the boat."
"Before we spend millions and millions of dollars as an industry . . . let's make sure we're not going to be sitting here in two years saying 'This is a stupid thing to do, nobody is really interested in it.' "
Previous Standard Broadcasting:
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2002-12-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued 27 Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) totalling USD271, 000 in November according to its list just released. Of those 20 related to safety-related rule breaches and totalled USD 204,000 and the other seven concerned unauthorised operation, and main studio location.
These seven totalled USD 44,000 relating to five NALs about unauthorized operation, and USD 23,000 relating to two NALs listed under the heading main studio location but including other offences.
2002-12-28: Clear Channel has fired Steve Smith, the second ranked executive at its entertainment division, and also the four-strong public relations staff art the division including chief spokesman Howard Schacter according to the New York Post, which speculates that the radio giant may be preparing to sell off its entertainment division.
The paper says the cuts were part of a cost-cutting exercise at the division but had gained no confirmation from Clear Channel and the paper notes that it did not issue a news release on the cuts, adding that Clear Channel has "been criticized in some quarters for being less than candid with investors."
"Recently," it notes, "the company opted not to announce its acquisition of New York concert promoter Metropolitan Entertainment for roughly $10 million, although news of the deal eventually leaked to the press.
In the most recent quarter, Clear Channel's entertainment business - mainly the former SFX Entertainment that it bought two years ago for USD 4 billion and which includes artist representation as well as concert promotion - saw revenue plunge nearly 18 percent, while cash flow fell 20 percent, although its figures filed for the nine months to the end of September showed operating profit of $100.4 million compared to a loss of $42.4 million for the same period of 2001.
The Post says that the division's performance has led to speculation that Clear Channel may sell the division but the company has denied this.
Previous Clear Channel:
New York Post report:
2002-12-28: The BBC, which has been having a busy period of anniversaries recently, including the 70th anniversary of the World Service (See RNW Dec 19) and its own 80th anniversary (See RNW Nov 14 ) has also announced a series of programmes on BBC Radio 4 to march the 80th anniversary of religious broadcasting on the BBC.
They include the broadcast on January 1 of a specially commissioned poem, Keeping The Feast by Michael Symmons Roberts that examines the idea of ritual and celebratory meals across different religions. Interspersed with the poem are the voices of Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs, talking about the significance of both feasting and fasting to their faiths.
In addition the January 5th edition of the channel's Sunday Worship programme will include a musical composition by John Dankworth that combines jazz idioms with the choral harmonies of the St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir as a musical accompaniment to the words of the BBC motto - Nation Shall Speak Unto Nation.
The first religious broadcast on the BBC was a radio talk given by the Revd J A Mayo, Rector of Whitechapel, on 24 December 1922 and radio's longest running daily programme, the Daily Service marks its own 75th anniversary on January 2; its history is examined in a programme, The Lady Behind The Daily Service, to be broadcast that day, which takes a look at how the work of Miss Kate Corduex led to the start of the programme. She first wrote to the BBC in 1926 asking for a daily evensong to be aired and persisted until she got her way two years later.
2002-12-28: In another US radio deal, Lakeshore Media LLC is to pay USD 4million for WKLN-AM and WSOS-FM, owned by Westshore Broadcasting and WSOS-FM Inc. and licensed to St. Augustine Beach and St. Augustine.
The AM is currently not on air but has a construction permit for an upgrade; it will become WSOS-AM when it goes on air.
2002-12-27: MUSICMATCH had two Christmas channels and also kept its top station rank in the Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings for the week to December 15 just released; MUSICMATCH Traditional Christmas Channel was eighth with 117,880 hours of Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and MUSICMATCH Contemporary Christmas Channel was ranked tenth with 93,564 TTSL.
Clear Channel was top network. Listening was down slightly over the week.
For the week to Dec 15, Arbitron-MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 321,494 (292,187); CP 145,002 (112,330). Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 262,458 (243,866); CP 53,759 (52,024) Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
3: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 223,280 (285,255); CP 53,812 (83,668): Down from second with lower listening but higher reach.
4: Classical format WQXR-FM- 220,250 (187,505); CP 35,678 (34,353). Up from sixth with higher listening and reach.
5: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 178,533 (238,961); CP 32,187 (38,138). Down from third with lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to December 15 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,508,860 (1,397,207); CP 326,379 (330,845) - Same rank with higher listening but slightly lower reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,392,257 (1,304,343); CP 417,349 (403,898). Same rank with higher listening and reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 1,038,810 (1,039,225); CP 151,393 (154,427). Same position with slightly lower listening and reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 622,614 (701,852): CP 102,048 (120,784) Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 610,857 (432,791) hours: CP 109,407 (117,654) - Same position with higher listening but reach was down.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-12-27: US National Public Radio (NPR)'s attempt to bring back old-time radio comedy drama to the US last week (See RNW Dec 16) failed its mission according to David Folkenflik, writing in The Baltimore Sun.
He says of the play "I'd Rather Eat Pants" that, "though born of an admirable impulse", it wasn't funny, adding, "I'm not saying it failed to be uniformly funny. I'm saying that it was mirthless. My car was quieter than a Trent Lott testimonial as I drove in to the office each day last week, listening to the ostensibly humorous I'd Rather Eat Pants."
NPR's listeners, he wrote, tended to his view, with the comments from some thousand e-mails being overwhelmingly critical, and even the local NPR affiliate being less then enthusiastic about the end result.
Andy Bienstock, program director for Baltimore NPR affiliate WYPR-FM, commented, "I thought it was an interesting experiment. It was a nice try."
The play was broadcast in episodes inside NPR's Morning Edition show and its executive producer Ellen McDonnell told the paper she fell in love with the play during its evolution but didn't claim it had succeeded. "It didn't work, we needed to tweak it more," she said. "But we'll get back on the horse."
To those who had e-mailed, she responded, "Clearly our holiday gift to listeners was not a tasty treat for you. We wanted to give listeners a respite from racism, war and paedophilia as they approached the holiday season. Sorry it didn't work for you. Stay with us."
Baltimore Sun review:
2002-12-27: KKSU-AM, the station formerly operated by Kansas State University's College of Agriculture and closed down a month ago in a deal over sporting rights, is currently being featured by Current Magazine that termed it a "living relic of public radio's beginnings."
The station, which broadcast livestock reports and agricultural updates for only five hours each weekday, went silent on November 27th for just four days under its 79th year on air, when the University closed it as the result of a dispute over broadcast rights to US football games.
The station first went on air in 1924 as KSAC following early experiments in weather broadcasting at Kansas State Agricultural College; four years later it gained the powerful 580 AM frequency which it shared with Topeka commercial station WIBW-AM, which over the years tried many times to buy out the university's interest.
Ralph Titus, who worked at the station for 40 years until retiring as station manager in 1994, told Current that the struggle intensified when the family of publisher and powerful Kansas Republican Oscar Stauffer bought the station in the late '50s. They tendered legitimate proposals to take the frequency, and when those failed they tried wielding political influence, Titus says.
In the end, however, it was a deal over football that finally granted WIBW, now owned by Georgia-based Morris Communications, its dream.
In 1969, the university gave WIBW a non-exclusive time contract to broadcast its football games in perpetuity, which the school had been airing on KSAC in addition to distributing them to other stations. WIBW continued to broadcast Kansas State football and in 1997 it signed an exclusive agreement with the university that went well until Kansas State looked for other deals. It was offered USD 1.2 million a year by another Topeka network, twice the amount offered by Morris, but dependent on exclusive access.
Morris offered to ignore the agreement if KKSU was taken off-air as a quid-pro-quo and the university lost two court cases in which it tried to argue that later contracts vacated the original contract.
Morris then offered to sweeten its deal with a payment of USD800, 000 in addition to passing on the games; Kansas State asked for USD1.5 million and Morris agreed, sealing KKSU's fate.
"Part of my 40 years were spent fending off their various schemes," Titus says. "To have them finally win irritates the hell out of me."
"It's a real tragedy," he added. "It was one of the important public broadcasting stations in the U.S. for some time, and an important voice for the university which is now stilled."
In one way, however, KKSU still lives on, despite having no spectrum: The university announced a fortnight ago that commercial farm-oriented station KFRM-AM will carry KKSU's 75-year-old daily program Agriculture Today, reaching 146 counties.
Current magazine report:
KKSU web site - archive of final day
2002-12-26: Synergy that should please both US radio and outdoor companies is being tried out in the Bay Area and Sacramento according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
It reports that electronic billboards in Palo Alto, Daly City and Fremont are being equipped to pick up the radio stations being received in automobiles, assess the most popular formats and channels and then through a database put up adverts that are linked to profiles of typical listeners to the station.
The idea is to target adverts more closely to the perceived buyers and Tom Langeland, president of the Sacramento firm Alaris Media Network, which owns the 10 video screen billboards commented, "People are struggling, the world is becoming a more competitive place, and advertising dollars have been a huge, misplaced factor. Advertisers don't know where their money is going."
The system is being developed by Mobiltrak of Chandler, Arizona, to pick up radio waves "leaked" from the antennas of cars passing by and pinpoint the stations being played. They system assesses the most popular stations and targets adverts to drivers fitting the stations typical listener profiles.
"I can tell you how much money they spent on fast food in the last week. I can tell you where they are shopping," said Phyllis Neill, chief operating officer of Mobiltrak. "I can tell you what percentage of them were married and shop at Petsmart and made more than $100,000 a year and potentially could come to Office Max in the next six months."
"We have only just begun to scratch the surface of what the technology can do," she added.
San Francisco Chronicle report:
2002-12-26: The Pune-based Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), which is an autonomous body under the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is to launch a community radio project funded by the ministry, which earlier this year started to promote the idea of stations for communities and educational institutions (See RNW Aug 31).
It is expected to be on the air with test transmissions in early May 2003 and cost around 5 million rupees (USD105, 000). Its output will focus on information, education and societal development and also give a platform for artistes. The programmes will be produced by FTII students and project coordinator Satish Kumar told the Times of India, "We will be targeting programmes for young mothers, agriculturists, non-profit organisations, teachers, commercial sex workers and general capsules on health, safety, retirement etc."
India first community station went on air in October in Andhra Pradesh (See RNW Oct 9)
Previous Indian Radio:
2002-12-25: Entravision has strengthened is hand in the greater Los Angeles market with agreement to acquire three FM's from New York headquartered Big City Radio to add to its existing cluster of three stations. It's paying USD1000 million in cash and 3.77 million shares of Entravision's Class A Common Stock, making the total price some USD137 million.
Entravision is to begin managing the stations under an interim time brokerage agreement early in January and if regulatory approval goes smoothly it expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2003.
The stations involved are KLYY-FM, KVYY-FM and KSYY-FM and the sale more than tripled the price of Big City stock on the American Stock Exchange on Tuesday: They closed at USD 1:53 compared to a 32 cent closing price on Friday (Dec 20 ) when the stock was last previously traded. Big City has been struggling to pay its debts and defaulted on a recent interest payment; it announced a month ago that it was to auction all of its 12 remaining stations (See RNW Nov 6), warning that it might face bankruptcy if it failed to make a sale.
Entravision currently owns KSSC-FM, KSSD-FM and KSSE-FM in the Los Angeles market, the largest Spanish-language media market in the US, and Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa commented, "This transaction represents an important strategic step in broadening our presence in the nation's largest Hispanic market."
"The addition of these three stations will expand our Los Angeles presence, giving us a larger platform to drive ratings and revenues through our Super Estrella (music-driven, pop and alternative Spanish rock format ) format. We also expect to benefit from Big City's exit from the Los Angeles market. Finally, our six-station cluster will provide us with ample flexibility in developing formats aimed at our target audience."
In Illinois, Triad Broadcasting Company has agreed to pay JMP Media USD37 million for four Peoria stations, "Lite Rock "WSWT-FM, oldies WPBG-FM, News WMBD-AM, and sports WWFS-AM.
Triad will begin operating the stations on January 1 under a local marketing agreement; JMP Media president Mike Wilde will continue to manage local station operations and will become Vice President and Market Manager of Triad Broadcasting. He will also take an equity holding in the group.
In Georgia, Archway Broadcasting Corp. is paying McClure Broadcasting USD 15 million for four stations, adult contemporary WCGQ-FM, country WKCN-FM, news/talk WRCG-AM and oldies WRLD-FM.
In California, Hi-Favor Broadcasting is paying Chase Radio Partners USD 10 million for talk-format KSDO-AM, San Diego. The station is currently operated by Clear Channel under a joint sales agreement.
Previous Big City Radio:
Previous Triad Broadcasting:
2002-12-25: Michigan pirate operator Thomas A. Brothers has escaped a USD10, 000 penalty from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for operating an unlicensed FM station because he couldn't afford to pay.
Brothers had not denied the offences, but had provided financial documentation to show that he was unable to pay the penalty.
2002-12-24: XM Satellite Radio says it has now arranged finance totalling USD450 million to keep it going until it breaks into a positive cash flow; USD 200 million will come from new funding and USD250 million from payment deferrals and related credit facilities from General Motors (GM).
The new funding is in the form of 10% Senior Secured Discount Convertible Notes due in 2009 and a small concurrent common stock sale; among the purchasers of the notes, which are convertible into common stock at USD3.18 per share, are American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Hughes Electronics Corporation.
The GM financing comprises the exchange of approximately USD115 million in fixed payments due to GM through 2006 for USD89 million of 10% Senior Secured Convertible Notes due 2009; a USD100 million Credit Facility due 2009 with an annual interest rate of 6 month LIBOR (the rate at which London Banks exchange funds between themselves) plus 10 percent to be used only for payments to GM; and the right to satisfy up to USD35 million of certain future payment obligations to GM in stock (at then current market value) rather than cash. In connection with the USD100 million Credit Facility, GM will receive 10 million common stock warrants at USD3.18 per share. The conversion price for the GM Notes varies from USD5.00 to USD20.00 per share, depending upon the future price of XM stock.
In addition to the financing package, XM today starts an Exchange Offer for all USD325 million of its outstanding 14% Senior Secured Notes due 2010 for New 14% Senior Secured Discount Notes due 2009, warrants and cash. The financing package is contingent on at least a 90% participation threshold of the outstanding Senior Notes participating in the Exchange Offer, which can be waived by the Company with the concurrence of the investors in the10% Senior Secured Discount Convertible Notes and General Motors.
Commenting on the arrangement, XM President and CEO Hugh Panero said, "With this financing package, we believe we have achieved full funding through cash flow breakeven. The financing also removes a major roadblock to our Company being valued based on its marketplace progress, business plan execution and future economic potential - all of which are exceptional."
XM is also adding two new members to its board on completion of the transactions; They are radio industry veteran R. Steven Hicks, co-founder of SFX Broadcasting and former President and CEO of Capstar Broadcasting who was responsible for inventing the LMA (local marketing agreement), and Thomas G. Elliott, Executive Vice President, Automobile Operations of American Honda Motor Co.
XM says that it is on target to have more than 350,000radios sold by year-end. Although some of them may be gifts that will not be activated until next year.
XM shares were 49 cents up at USD3.48 at one stage on Monday and ended the day up 19 cents (just over 6%) at USD3.19.
2002-12-24: SMG, the former Scottish Media Group, has confirmed agreement to sell is publishing business to Gannett U.K. Limited, a subsidiary of the US publisher, for GBP216 million (USD 336 million) in cash.
The deal is subject to the approval of SMG shareholders and has also been referred to the UK Competition Commission, which is expected to report on the matter by March 10 next year.
SMG, which was saddled with around GBP400 million (USD 623 million) of debt and had to renegotiate its banking covenants (See RNW March 16), will use the funds received (Some GBP212 million -USD 330 million net after transaction costd) to reduce its debt as it moves to concentrate e on its broadcasting business (See RNW Sept 11).
Commenting on the announcement, SMG Chief Executive Andrew Flanagan, said, "The sale of our publishing business, in a relatively short space of time, is to the benefit of everyone involved - readers, advertisers, staff and shareholders. This is an excellent price, for an excellent business and I'm confident that it will continue to thrive under its new owner."
SMG, which had in September deferred a decision on the payment of its interim dividend until the outcome of the sale of SMG Publishing was known says it will now pay combined interim and final dividend for 2002, of 2.5 pence per share when the sale is successfully completed: this will compare with a 2001 total dividend of 3 pence a share.
2002-12-24: Former computer "hacker" Kevin Mitnick is to get back his amateur radio licence under an "initial" decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel.
The restoration of the licence to Mitnick, who had held a ham radio licence for a quarter of a century until it was removed a year ago, was supported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforcement bureau and the judge commented in his decision that Mitnick "has been sufficiently rehabilitated to show that he now possesses the requisite character for the renewal of his licenses in the amateur radio service."
Mitnick received his first "ham radio" licence as a General Class Operator under call sign WA6VPS in 1976 and surrendered it at the urging of his juvenile parole officer who had received a complaint from another amateur operator alleging that Mr. Mitnick had interfered with his station signal, allegations that Mitnick denies and were not proven. In 1986 he was issued with call sign N6NHG in 1986, the licence that was removed because he was not "morally fit" to be a ham radio operator.
In part the removal of the licence was on the grounds that in a renewal application made in 1999 before his release from prison (He was arrested in 1995 and finally released in January 2001 but is still on probation until January 2003) Mitnick had given not his prison address but the address and phone number of his grandmother, who had been accepting messages for him.
The judgement notes that Mitnick has said he had not given the address to hide the fact that he was in prison but had thought that this was well known and details support for his application for the licence restoration from various quarters including his probation officer and David G. Hall, SVP in charge of programming at Premiere Radio Networks.
Also benefiting from a court ruling has been Scott Ginsburg, DG Systems chairman and former Evergreen Media CEO, who was found in April to have violated US securities laws by providing insider information about potential acquisitions of EZ Communications and Katz Media Group to his brother and father.
In July he was ordered to pay USD 1 million by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp, who has now accepted that the decision was based on speculation and struck down the decision of a West Palm Beach jury on the basis that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not come up with enough evidence.
Ginsburg's brother Mark and his father Jordan agreed in April to pay USD4.7 million in connection with the period in 1996to 1997 when Scott Ginsburg headed Evergreen.
Less fortunate were two companies issued with penalties by the FCC, BanJo Communications Group of New York and Alpha Ambulance, Inc. of San Juan, Puerto Rico, although the former did gain a reduction in penalty.
Banjo, licensee of WCHN-AM, WBKT-FM, and WKYZ-FM, Oneonta, New York, was issued with a USD12, 000 forfeiture to Emergency Alert System (EAS) related offences, reduced from an initial order for USD23, 000 issued in June after a March inspection showed that the three stations did not have an operational EAS system.
The original penalty included forfeitures of USD 4,000 for violations by each of the stations and, although the FCC rejected most of Banjo's submission it accepted that the offences related to one set of EAS equipment shared by the three stations and thus the forfeiture amount for the three violations from $12,000 to $4,000.
It also reduced the total forfeiture by another USD3, 000 on the basis that this was the first and only time Banjo had been found in violation of FCC rules.
Alpha had been issued with a USD10, 000 forfeiture order in June for operation of radio transmission equipment without authorization. Alpha had argued that it could not afford to pay but the Commission disagreed and confirmed the penalty.
2002-12-23: As the BBC World Service celebrates 70 years of broadcasting, it seemed appropriate in our look at print comment on radio this week to consider some of the comments on the service: Disappointingly to us, albeit not unsurprisingly, chauvinism ruled with the comment coming from British papers whilst the US ones gave the event a big miss but did carry stories about the latest US propaganda radio efforts (also carried in the UK).
Commenting on celebrations by the World Service, Vanora Bennett in the UK Times, commented, "Size definitely counts on this birthday. The knees-up is going on for two weeks, as the World Service shapes up for the 21st century."
She then noted that developments in some ways have hit the service with for example, listening plummeting in India as the fraction of people who could watch TV increased from less than a fifth to more than two-thirds over a decade; despite its audience in India falling by nearly a half, however, the World Service still reached 150 million listeners a week, some three million down from its peak.
On the positive side, Bennett noted, " the scope of Sunday's global music party was a reminder of how far the World Service has come since it was born as the British Empire Service in 1932. On Sunday it was broadcasting from Dakar, Kabul, Mexico City and Bombay as well as London, making the point that it has long stopped being the organ through which London talked to the Empire - and become the medium through which the peoples of the former Empire can talk back It might have been turned to a post-Imperial purpose, but the World Service is still offering radio with a pure, old-style mission: to improve and uplift as much as to entertain."
The introduction to the service we couldn't omit was that of the then Sir John Reith, made about the then Empire Service in December 1932, and quoted in an Elisabeth Mahoney review in the UK Guardian. The service, he said, for some time would "transmit comparatively simple programmes to give the best chance of intelligible reception"." He then added a comment that could never make it to air today either in the UK or US, saying the output would be "neither very interesting nor very good".
As Mahoney commented, "A special 70th anniversary edition of Pick of the World (World Service, Saturday), which included Reith's comments, showed how wrong he was."
"Featuring some delicious antique material, it also showcased the geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity that distinguishes the World Service and, quite properly, had plenty of non-English output that wasn't translated: the Service regularly broadcasts in 43 languages worldwide."
And as she ended the review, "Reflecting a feeling that many of us have had especially since 9/11, Annan (UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan) described the World Service as a first port of call in bewildering times."
"'We don't need a weather man to know which way the wind is blowing,' he said. 'The World Service will already have noted it, and given the fullest, freshest global perspective.'"
After views of the World Service in general, a UK Observer review by Sue Arnold, of one series in particular, "The Battle for Influence" that included reporting from Oklahoma by Simon Cox, presenter of the series. "The hawks believe Iraq was behind the 1995 Oklahoma bombing that killed 171 people and for which Timothy McVeigh was subsequently prosecuted," writes Arnold, continuing, "Cox went to Oklahoma to talk to Iraq Connection supporters, including the owner of Randy's Motel, where McVeigh stayed the night before the bombing."
"Randy told Cox he saw McVeigh talking to a Middle Eastern man 'with black frizzy hair that looked like it had just been washed and a very, very extremely evil look on his face'. It was because of this facial evilness that Randy connected him later with the bomb blast, whose concussions Randy could feel right here in his motel."
Arnold then comments, "The American Midwest is a strange place. Cock fighting was legal in Oklahoma until last month. And before you mutter about blinkered parochialism, the lead story in one of those rolling digital news channels last Wednesday was that a couple had held their wedding ceremony in Selfridges. Thank God for the World Service and the bigger picture."
After which, to the contribution from the world's dominant economic and military power; The US has been stepping up its propaganda broadcasts with a new radio service to Iran and, in Iraq, more broadcasts from the US Defence Department of the type used in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
This time the Lockheed aircraft have been broadcasting messages to both the military and civilian populations of Iraq.
They carry messages saying Iraqi President Saddam Hussein uses his soldiers as puppets and had, for example, put landmines in the path of his retreating army during the Gulf War and, for civilians, messages saying that he uses oil sales for weapons rather than to feed the population or provide medicine for them. (RNW: The latter is certainly true - of both Iraq and the US, as a look at the amounts spent by the Pentagon and on state medical services would show for the latter, with US politicians from Vice-President Cheney down arguing the case for the drug company lobby quite effectively both at home and wider in terms of allowing the supply of cheap generic versions of drugs to the third world. Parochialism, we would suggest, exists in the Beltway as much as the Mid West.
For a recent report on the way drug companies in the US increase their profits, a Boston Globe item in mid November on "The Costly Case of the Purple Pill" is well worth a read.)
The matter of changes in broadcasts to Iran, however, did prompt some wider thinking.
In the Washington Post, Jackson Diehl gave some background on current politics and then commented on the dropping of Radio Freedom, which had broadcast a nightly roundtable discussion between students and journalists in Iran and exiled opposition leaders, in favour of Radio Farda (tomorrow) with a diet of pop songs modelled on Radio Sawa, another pop music station that replaced the Voice of America's Arabic service.
"How," asks Diehl, "did the mullahs pull off this well-timed lobotomy? They didn't: The U.S. government, in the form of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, did it."
"In an act that mixes Hollywood arrogance with astounding ignorance of Iranian reality, the board has silenced the most effective opposition radio station in Iran at a time of unprecedented ferment. In its place, at three times the expense, the United States now will supply Iran's revolutionary students with a diet of pop music -- on the theory that this better advances U.S. interests."
" ." Never mind that "freedom" is what thousands of young Iranians have been risking their lives to shout every day on the streets. 'The assumption of the people who did this back in Washington is that Iranian young people, like young people in most places, don't want to hear news,' says Stephen Fairbanks, the ousted director of Radio Freedom."
"But this is not most places -- this is Iran, where young people are leading a rebellion against a dictatorship that has stifled opposition media. The student leaders who used to phone in, Fairbanks says, now tell him that 'they are losing their voice.'"
After more comment on those responsible and their contention that it will be productive to increase the audiences and gradually introduce more news, Diehl suggests the policy may have a value in the Middle East but that it is inexplicable to extend that logic to mullah-ruled Iran.
Responding to the Diehl op-ed article, former Radio Liberty staffer James Critchlow commented that the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, "cited its Radio Sawa, another pop music station that replaced the Voice of America's Arabic service, as being listened to by 41 percent of a youth sample in Amman, Jordan, as opposed to 10 percent who listened to the British Broadcasting Corp. The board should ask itself which group is more important to the Arab future -- those who tune in to hear Eminem and Britney Spears or the smaller number who seek out the news and thoughtful commentaries of the BBC."
"The board dismisses the broadcasts of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty during the Cold War as "propaganda." In fact, they were not propaganda, because they reflected reform ideas emanating from the audience, not U.S. government positions. Why not offer the same service to people in the Middle East?"
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, responded," Mr. Diehl also did not tell The Post's readers that as of Dec. 18 our broadcasts aimed at Iran's young population -- based on Radio Sawa's success in using popular music to attract a huge audience in the Middle East -- will increase by more than three times and that our signal will become available on AM in addition to shortwave. At the same time, the Voice of America will continue its radio and television broadcasts aimed at Iran's older audiences." (RNW comment: We assume Mr Tomlinson's use of English here is carefully chosen so as not to embarrass his Commander in Chief!
Or maybe his letter was edited badly by the Post?).
Tomlinson also says that," dissident Iranian students remain in close and useful contact with the broadcast efforts the United States is aiming at Iran's young people."
"As we complete the transition to greatly increased programming aimed at Iran's under-30 audience, the voices of student protesters who use their cell phones to reach us are being heard daily on our broadcasts beamed into Iran."
"We are giving these brave young people what their own government denies them: a way to speak to their fellow citizens. Our new service will also increase news and current affairs programming by 135 minutes, to 315 minutes each day."
RNW note: All is well of course, since US President Bush in a broadcast made at the weekend on Radio Farda told his audience, "If Iran respects its international obligations and embraces freedom and tolerance, it will have no better friend than the United States of America We continue to stand with the people of Iran in your quest for freedom, prosperity, honest and effective government, judicial due process and the rule of law ' And we continue to call on the government of Iran to respect the will of its people and be accountable to them.''
We would be remiss however not to add that an Iranian friend, no supporter of the Mullahs, with whom we worked at the time of the Iranian revolution and US hostage crisis in Tehran, reacted to the Bush speech with comments of which "hypocrite" was perhaps the most pleasing from a White House perspective.
UK Guardian- Mahoney on World Service:
UK Observer - Arnold on World Service:
UK Times - Bennett on World Service:
Washington Post - Diehl op-ed:
Washington Post - Critchlow/Tomlinson letters:
2002-12-23: Irish national commercial station Today FM, owned by Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) is expected to make a profit of around Euros2.5 million (USD 2.45 million) in the year to the end of September next year according to its chief executive Willie O'Reilly quoted in the UK Sunday Times.
He says the figures will be helped by a 15% rate card hike to be introduced on January 1.
Today changed its financial year to march that of its parent, which took complete control in March in a deal that was announced in November 2001 (See RNW Nov 15, 2001).
Recent figures from SRH showed the station making Euro1.3 million (USD 1.27 million) in the six months to the end of September this year.
UK Sunday Times report:
2002-12-22: Canada was again the busy country in terms of licence activity over the past week with a steady level of activity elsewhere.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA has allocated a new community radio licence for the external Territory of Christmas Island to Radio VLU2-FM Announcers Association Inc., which is currently broadcasting on the relevant frequencies under a temporary licence. It was the only applicant.
The ABA has also released for comment plans for various technical changes to radio services in the Gold Coast affecting both commercial and community stations.
The Commercial station involved is new service Hot Tomato that had proposed to transmit from Mount Tambourine following its award of the licence in August this year. It could not be accommodated on Transmission Australia's existing antenna and the ABA proposes to now move it to an alternative site on Mount Tambourine. The community services involved are 4MET, 4RHI and 4CAB, which have all requested moves to alternative antenna sites.
The plans are for:
4MET to change its transmit antenna from the nominal site at Mount Tambourine to an alternative site at Lower Beechmont, and increase its maximum power from 10 kW to 25 kW.
4RHI to change its maximum transmit antenna site from the nominal site at Mount Tambourine to an alternate site on Mount Tambourine and increase the antenna height from 22 m to 63 m.
4CAB to change its maximum transmit antenna from the nominal site at Mount Tambourine to either an alternate site on Mount Tambourine, increase the antenna height from 22 m to 63 and increase its maximum power from 10 kW to 25 kW or change its transmit antenna site to the alternate site at Lower Beechmont site, increase the antenna height from 22 m to 30 m and increase its maximum ERP from 10 kW to 25 kW.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), was again involved in a significant number of radio decisions including licences for new stations, new transmitters and a number of conversions to FM.
They includes, by province:
*An application by Sask-Alta Broadcasters Limited for a new English-language FM to replace its current country music format CKSA-AM, Lloydminster; in addition to a main 100,000 watts transmitter in Lloydminster, the CRTC approved an additional 25,000 watts transmitter in Bonnyville.
*An application by CKUA-FM Edmonton, to use an SCMO (Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation) channel to broadcast a predominantly East Indian-language radio service operated by Guldasta Broadcasting Inc.
* An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for a new 3,200 watts English-language FM to replace CBZ-AM, Fredericton. The new station will carry CBC Radio One and the Commission noted that the transmitters CBAM Edmundston, CBAX McAdam, CBZB-FM Boiestown, CBZC-FM Bon Accord, CBZD-FM Doaktown and CBZW-FM Woodstock, New Brunswick, presently authorized as transmitters of CBZ Fredericton, would be part of the new FM licence.
*An application by Radio CJLS Limited for a new 18,000 watts English-language FM licence to replace its current musical format CJLS-AM, with existing transmitters CJLS-FM, Barrington, and CJLS-FM-1, New Tusket, continuing to operate as repeater stations for the new FM,
* An application by Raedio Inc., which currently operates CJCS-AM in Stratford, for a new adult contemporary format 2805 watts English-language FM in Stratford.
*Applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence of CBL-FM, Toronto to add transmitters in Owen Sound, Orillia and Huntsville to rebroadcast the programming of its national English-language network service Radio Two. The transmitter powers would be 17,500 watts in Owen Sound, 4,800 watts in Orillia and 70,000 watts in Huntsville.
*An application by CKLN-FM Toronto to use an SCMO (Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation) channel to broadcasts a predominantly Farsi-language (Persian) radio service operated by Persian Vision Media Group. This service would replace a Greek-language SCMO service previously approved.
* An application for CING-FM, Hamilton, to use an SCMO channel to broadcast a predominantly Farsi-language radio service operated by Sedaye Rooz.
*An application by CFNY-FM Brampton, to use an SCMO channel to broadcast an Urdu-, Hindi-, Punjabi- and English-language service operated by AJIT Newspaper, Advertising, Marketing and Communications Inc.
*Linked applications by Radio Haute Mauricie inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for CFLM-AM, La Tuque, to remove the requirement to operate as an affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) national French-language radio network and by the CBC to add a new 11,300 watts transmitter in La Tuque for CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières, which broadcasts La Première Chaîne. The Commission noted that CFLM was currently only carrying CBC programming for a tenth of its airtime.
*An application by Central Broadcasting Company Limited to add a 2,500 watts transmitter at Waskesiu Lake to carry the programming of CHQX-FM Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the awards of capital grants totalling Euros635, 000 (USD 620,000) towards transmission costs; the allocations were to aid stations improve the quality of their transmissions and ranged fro Euros 11.000 to 52,000 in the commercial sector and from Euros 1700 to 12,000 for community sector stations.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has announced that Chrysalis's takeover of London News Radio, comprising ITN News Direct and LBC, is not against the public interest. Chrysalis already owns the Heart FM licence in London.
The authority also announced that it had received only one declaration of intent to apply for Heads of South Wales Valleys AM licence following its pre-advertisement; the application was from The Wireless Group's Valleys Radio, which is now invited to re-apply under the authorities fast-track procedure.
It also announced that the same situation applied for the Crawley and Reigate FM licence, currently held by GWR's Mercury FM, which is also being invited to submit a fast-track reapplication.
The current holder of the AM licence in the area, Classic Gold Digital Ltd., opted not to submit an application under the fast track procedure but the authority notes that, because it is currently providing a programme on the relevant digital multiplex it is entitled to apply for automatic renewal of the licence.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is coming under a challenger from consumer, civil-rights and minority groups over plans to ease media ownership restrictions, thus allowing more consolidation in media. The Consumer Federation of America, acting for more than 30 groups, claims that the FCC has asked the "wrong questions" because, instead of concentrating on diversity of information, it has explored variety of entertainment and ignored the size and diversity of population served by the media. Major media unions challenged news organisations to give the issue full cover and also sponsored a critique of the FCC's media ownership studies by Dean Baker, co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Analysis.
RNW note: Baker presented his critique last week in DC: The amount of cover it received that we could find would indicate that US media failed the challenge. We would also suggest that, in terms of a functioning democracy, the ability to gain factual information is far more important than access to a thousand repackaged versions of less information from one or two sources.
We would challenge FCC chairman Michael Powell to name any organisations other than the Associated Press and Reuters that provide a consistent source of worldwide information to a US audience and in so doing note a comment from an Australian Broadcasting Corporation executive to a colleague recently that in examining BBC TV reports they had received over a recent two week period, only one report of interest did not contain material from one or both of the major news agencies.
Some diversity of original reporting would appear lacking in many areas.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-12-22: BBC World Service listeners voted the Irish song, A Nation Once Again, by the Wolfe Tones, their global favourite in a poll organised by part of the service's 70th anniversary.
It gained 150,000 votes from 153 countries and islands, pushing into second place an early favourite, Vande Mataram, a patriotic Hindi song from a poem by Bankim Chandra Chatarji that was featured in a 1950s movie Anan Mutt, by Lata Manjeshkar who is the most recorded person ever in India.
The final top ten, which was broadcast in Steve Wright's weekly World Service programme Wright Round the World on Saturday, was:
1. A Nation Once Again - Wolfe Tones
2. Vande Mataram - various artists
3. Dil Dil Pakistan - Vital Signs. A 1987 song considered a kind of pop national anthem.
4. Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu - Ilayaraja - a Tamil song from the 1991 Bollywood movie Thalapathi.
5. Poovum Nadakkuthu Pinchum Nadakkuthu - Thirumalia Chandran from a Tamil Tiger film, Mugungal.
6. Ana wa Laila - Kazem El Saher - a love song from one of Iraq's biggest pop stars.
7. Reetu Haruma Timi - Arun Thapa - a love song from one of Nepal's top pop stars.
8. Believe - Cher.
9. Chaiyya Chaiyya - A R Rahman, a music for cinema composition.
10. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Commenting on the poll, Wright said, "Only on BBC World Service could you get a music chart with such variety. Tens of thousands of listeners have taken part in this unique venture to find the world's favourite song."
"They've all had great fun with this poll and it has generated tremendous debate and interest amongst all the listeners of the World Service."
"The World's Top 10 inspired fans around the world to organise themselves and get their favourite song to the top of the chart."
In all some 7,000 songs were nominated in the poll but some artists, like the Beatles who had 55 songs in the contest, suffered because their vote was split amongst a number of songs. The same problem hit Iranian artist Googoosh had 40 songs chosen and Bob Marley who had 29 songs nominated
Regionally, the top songs were
Africa - Swahili classic Malaika.
The Americas and Caribbean - Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Australia and New Zealand Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House.
Europe - Wind of Change by the Scorpions.
Latin American - Solo le Pido a Dios by Argentinean singer Leon Geico.
Middle East Gharib-e-Ashena by Iranian diva Googoosh.
2002-12-22: The body of the mother of conservative "tough-love" US radio host Dr Laura Schlessinger has been found in her Beverley Hills condominium; police say 77-years-old Yolanda Schlessinger, long estranged from her daughter, had died possibly as long as two months ago but did not say how. They are treating the case as homicide.
Schlessinger confirmed the death on her radio show, saying she was "overwhelmed by sadness." In a statement, the host said she was "horrified by the tragic circumstances of my mother's death, and so sad to learn that she died as she chose to live - alone and isolated."
"My mother shut all her family out of her life over the years," she added, "though we made several futile attempts to stay connected. May God rest her soul.''
Previous Laura Schlessinger:
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-12-21: BBC veteran Sir Jimmy Young bit back at Corporation executives when he hosted his last lunchtime show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday after half a century in broadcasting.
Responding to messages from listeners regretting his departure, the octogenarian, who has been signed up to write a column for Britain's Sunday Express newspaper, said, " It's the last programme - it's not what I want but that's what's been decreed so that's what we have to do."
"Just so that we're all singing from the same hymn book, it was not my idea to go - I didn't want to leave you at all and I know from your messages that you don't want me to go either."
Young, who has been off the air for around five months recovering from a hip operation and had returned only a fortnight ago, had been getting audiences of around five million for his lunchtime show.
Towards the end of the show, he told his audience that he was writing his autobiography and had received offers to appear in a one-man stage show, then played his last track, of then plain Jimmy Young in 1955 singing "Unchained Melody".
As it was faded down, he commented, " The song's fading away and indeed so am I."
Then after comments about the move not being what he wanted, he said, "I'm looking forward to hearing you and seeing you at the theatre. Thank you very, very, much for the last 30 years - I've loved it all."
"God bless, take care, and for the very last time I fear, bye for now."
Young, who began broadcasting for the BBC in 1949 also topped the British charts ten times in the 1950s including successive chart topping singles in 1955, Unchained Melody and The Man from Laramie.
He was one of the launch DJs at BBC Radio 1 in 1967 and switched to Radio 2 in 1973. He has interviewed every British Prime Minister since 1964 and his show has been broadcast live from locations round the world including the former Soviet Union, Israel, Japan and Hong Kong.
The BBC had been embarrassed last year when Radio Five Live's Nicky Campbell said he had been approached to take over the lunchtime Radio 2 slot at a time when no public announcement had been made by the corporation (See RNW Nov 2, 2001); the post eventually went to BBC TV Newsnight presenter Jeremy Vine, who is to take over in January, and Young was to have hosted a new weekend slot but he changed his mind and decided to leave the BBC.
To mark Young's departure, BBC Radio 2 is to broadcast on Christmas Eve a two hour retrospective of his career with the channel hosted by Independent Television News (ITN) presenter Sir Trevor MacDonald and including contributions from current British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and former PM Margaret Thatcher.
BBC Report on Young departure:
2002-12-21: Nova Scotia broadcaster Brian King has been sentenced to six years in jail for a series of robberies at Cape Breton gasoline stations according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The paper says that it is believed that a drug addiction let the 37-years-old on-air announcer at CHER Oldies 950 to commit the robberies. He was also banned for life from owning weapons.
Also in Canada, top Quebec city radio host Robert Gillet is among those arrested during a crackdown on a juvenile prostitution ring run by a local street gang known as the Wolf Pack, which has direct ties to the Hells Angels biker gang.
The paper says that the group has established a similar underground juvenile sex trade in Toronto and Montreal and according to police, the men paid up to CAD500 (USD ) to have sex with girls as young as 14.
The police also said when the girls turned 18, they were moved out of the prostitution ring and often became strippers.
"They wouldn't stay in the ring because that's not what the clients wanted," said Lieutenant-Detective Sylvain Gagné "They wanted girls under 18."
Gillet, who works at CJMF-FM says he is innocent of the charges.
Toronto Globe and Mail on King sentence:
Toronto Globe and Mail repor on Quebec scandal:
2002-12-21: In more US radio deals, Salem Communications has closed its USD 5.6 million acquisition of Nashville, Tennessee, stations WRLG-FM and WYYB-FM from Tuned In Broadcasting Inc. Salem, which already owns and operates Southern Gospel format WBOZ-FM and WVRY-FM in the Nashville market, has been operating WRLG-FM and WYYB-FM in a Contemporary Christian Music format under a Local Marketing Agreement since August 5 this year.
In Kentucky, Radio 1 Inc. is paying USD2 million for WBLO-FM, a CHR/Rhythmic station it had been operating under an LMA it inherited when it took over Blue Chip Broadcasting (See RNW Feb 9, 2001); the 1998 LMA deal with New Albany Broadcasting included an option to purchase the station outright.
Previous Radio 1 Inc:
2002-12-21: Latest Internet ratings from Arbitron-MeasureCast show two holiday music stations making it into the top 25 but otherwise little change at the top of the ratings although Clear Channel regained its top network ranking, pushing MUSICMATCH to second place; the two holiday channels in the rankings were from MUSICMATCH, its Traditional Christmas channel, which was ranked number nine with 96,254 hours of Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL), and Contemporary Christmas channel, which was ranked number 15 with 77,188 TTSL.
For the week to Dec 8, Arbitron-MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 292,187 (259,244); CP 112,330 (111,495). Same position with higher listening and reach.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 285,255 (208,216); CP 83,668 (76,497): Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
3: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 238,961 (242,733); CP 38,138 (39,707). Down from second with lower listening and reach.
4: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 243,866 (221,128); CP 52,024 (52,008) Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM- TTSL 187,505 (223,770); CP 34,353 (39,014). Up from sixth despite lower listening and reach.
*Sport-talk ESPN, which was fifth in the previous week with TTSL 154,771 and CP 38,027 fell to 22nd with TTSL 52,600 and CP 52,024.
The top five networks for the week to December 8 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,397,207 (1,024,355); CP 330,845 (289,007) - Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,304,343 (1,069,544); CP 403,898 (384,026). Down from first despite higher listening and reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 1,039,225 (717,063); CP 154,427 (134,935). Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 701,852 (673,900): CP 120,784 (121,521) Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 432,791 (488,281) hours: CP 117,654 (98,644) - Same position with lower listening but reach was up.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings (for Nov):
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast weekly ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-12-20: US radio giant Clear Channel is reported by R&R to have added yet another channel to its US radio station holdings; it's Seattle KNFK-FM, which Clear Channel has already been operating through a joint sales agreement with Rock on Radio that it took on when it closed on its purchase of Ackerley earlier this year.
Rock on Radio is subsidiary of Bedrock & Associates, which has declined comment, but the station's program director Bob Case told R&R that Clear Channel is paying USD4.5 million for the station.
In Honolulu, the Star Bulletin reports that Georgia-based Real Radio of America LLC is paying USD5.2 million for Maverick Media's cluster comprised of KUMU-AM, KUMU-FM and KAHA-FM.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year according to the paper, which said that no format changes are planned for KUMU-FM or KAHA-FM according to Dan Bradley, one of Real Radio's three managing partners.
"I would be an incompetent to change (KUMU's light rock) format," he said, "That is one of the strongest radio stations on the island. It has tremendous heritage. It's one of the reasons we were very interested," he said. He also said that he saw "nothing but tremendous growth" for classic rock KAHA-FM, 'The Big Kahuna."
Of KUMU-AM, he said it needs a new transmitter to combat a "deficiency" in its signal. He said the 10,000 watts station has "a wonderful heritage dating back to the '50s,"adding," We'll have to go and see what needs to be done."
In another deal, Media Services Group has announced the closing of a USD3.75 million sale of WKCD-FM in Pawcatuck, Connecticut by AAA Entertainment LLC to Red Wolf Broadcasting Inc.
Previous Clear Channel:
R&R web site:
2002-12-20: The British Government has warned of stiff penalties for anyone offering support to pirate radio stations, including nightclubs that host parties for them.
The warning led to a Manchester club cancelling a party for pirate Buzz Fm after a warning from the UK Radiocommunications Agency, which says that between 80 and 100 pirate stations are operating in the UK at any one time.
It accuses the pirates of risking lives through interference with air traffic and emergency frequencies and Radio and Telecoms Minister Stephen Timms commented that that," Those who support them, by supplying premises or advertising with them, are just as bad."
Penalties range up to unlimited fines or up to two years in prison for pirate station operators and those who support them by advertising or supplying premises for their operations.
Previous UK Radiocommunications Agency:
UK Radiocommunications Agency web site:
2002-12-20: The UK Radio Authority is considering complaints about a late-night "Shock-jock" recently hired by Chrysalis for its Friday through Sunday night show on LBC.
Adrian Allen, who hosts the "Through the Night Show" took over the slot from Mark Mendoza; he had been reprimanded previously in 2000 for making offensive comments on air whilst working for Century in the East Midlands when he made comments derogatory suggesting the Romanian could not put together a soccer team because the members were claiming benefit in the UK and also for giving inaccurate information about benefits given to asylum seekers.
Allen was also subject to a complaint from a listener to Real Radio a year later for making comments about asylum seekers.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
2002-12-20: Cumulus-owned Oregon radio station KUGN, the "Voice of the Ducks," in Eugene, is to replace Michael Savage's syndicated talk show with a locally produced talk show featuring veteran broadcaster Dan Carlin following complaints by Oregon University students and faculty who have argued that their football and basketball broadcasts shouldn't share the air with so-called "hate radio" hosts.
Savage, whose show aired from 1600-1800 weekdays, was said to have commented disparagingly about women, immigrants, Hispanics and Jews, but the station, which is owned by Cumulus, said the complaints had no influence on their decision.
Cumulus owns seven stations in Eugene and its market manager there said they had been looking for months for a local replacement for the show.
2002-12-20: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has awarded the GBP252 million (USD 390 million) contract to refurbish its Broadcasting House premises in Portland Place to Bovis Lend Lease.
When the building, which was built in 1932, is complete it will be used to house all BBC radio and TV news operations in London.
The complex will include two new futuristic buildings and contain 800,000 square feet of floor space. It is scheduled for completion in 2008.
2002-12-19: Veteran broadcaster Brian Hayes, who spent 25 years of his career with LBC, 15 of them presenting the Brian Hayes Show, is to return to the station when it is re-launched by new owners Chrysalis in the New Year.
Hayes, who is 65, will co-host a two-hour Sunday afternoon media show with Matt Wells, the UK Guardian newspaper's media correspondent; he will retain his Friday night programme on BBC Radio Five Live.
Hayes, who is an Australian, began his broadcasting career in the 1950s in his native country and came to the UK in the 1970s, working first as a producer at Capital Radio and then joining LBC.
After the Brian Hayes Show ended, he worked for BBC GLR hosting a late night show and then hosted Radio 2's breakfast show; recently he has been a stand-in for Sir Jimmy Young on BBC Radio 2.
Among the awards he has won have been a 1987 Sony award for outstanding contribution to the development of radio and another Sony for best phone-in show for Radio 2's Hayes Over Britain in 1993.
Another London veteran, Capital FM's breakfast host Chris Tarrant, has countered claims by Caroline Feraday, who is to be LBC's drivetime host, that he is too old for young listeners to relate to. She had suggested that a 55-year-old man would always have a difficulty with some acts but Tarrant commented to the London Evening Standard that it was "the obligatory criticism - 'he's too old to rock and roll'.
He said it was his job to keep up with things and his house was full of music.
Tarrant also denied that Feraday had been offered a GBP 500, 000 (USD 780,000) salary to co-present his show on Capital FM. He said he had interviewed her but turned her down because Capital wasn't convinced she was good enough.
Tarrant has also had some good news with a GBP6 million (USD 9.3 million) deal by Kellogg's Cornflakes to sponsor his new breakfast show, the Century network breakfast show and other shows and promotions o Capital FM and Century.
2002-12-19: Almost as soon as the Los Angeles Times had reported that Cumulus was considering hiring independent record promoter John Kilgo from Jeff McClusky & Associates as Director of Label Relations, the company has decided not to go ahead with the hire.
The Times says that some record company executives objected to the idea of paying a Cumulus employee directly each time a song was added; it notes that US Federal laws prohibit payola, paying money to a broadcaster for airplay without disclosing the arrangement to listeners.
The law has been avoided by the practice of record companies paying "independent promoters" to push songs; the promoters in term pay fees to broadcasters although they say these are not tied to airplay of specific songs despite record labels being billed for songs added to a station playlist.
According to the Times, Cumulus executive John Dickey now says that after a current arrangement with a promotion company expires at the end of this year, he expects Kilgo to establish his own independent company to pitch songs to Cumulus.
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-12-19: The BBC World Service today celebrates its 70th anniversary with an outside broadcast between 0400 and 1800 GMT from Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town in South Africa.
The site was chosen because it was used for one of the first rebroadcasts to be sent back to London, a programme describing the views from the mountain top made by the Africa Broadcasting Company, which was received in London via wireless beam telephone, recorded and then transmitted to other parts of the then British Empire.
The 14-hour broadcast, which will also be on the Service's website, will be hosted by presented by Ben Malor of Africa Live and Heather Payton of the Outlook programme and will include interviews with guests from round the world including Beijing, Moscow, Mumbai (Bombay), Rio, Sydney an the South Pole.
A feature of the programme will be vignettes of the lives of some of the people working for the world service that will be transmitted throughout the day; they include the office manager of the BCB Beijing Bureau, the BBC's driver in Kinshasa, and the chief engineer of Ascension Island, a crucial transmission site for the service to Africa.
Another feature of the show will be a family link-up across four continents. In all seven members of the Rosario family living in Singapore, Australia, Germany, Bombay and Kenya will be linked up as part of Global Live, a phone-in discussing family connections.
2002-12-19: US Public Radio has won two silver batons in this year's Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honouring overall excellence in broadcast journalism and US public television took the top award..
Of the 14 awards, three went to programmes linked to the September 11 attacks of 2001 including the Gold Baton, which went to PBS's ''Frontline'' for a series on Islamic militants and ABC news received a silver baton for its radio and television reporting for coverage of 9/11; although its TV cover was singled out for mention including the special broadcast, Answering Children's Question, by Peter Jennings.
National Public Radio (NPR) won a silver baton for coverage of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan and the jury commented of its cover, "The depth of NPR's reporting and technical staff is proven in the radio network's coverage of 9/11 and the subsequent war in Afghanistan."
"From the moment the World Trade Center was first hit, NPR maintained its calm, intelligent perspective with reports that combine fine writing, word paintings, keen observations, natural sound that is gripping and silences that are equally so. NPR has created a new benchmark for international reporting on American radio that is both sophisticated and sustained. Its corps of foreign correspondents has met the challenge of reporting fast-moving developments amid real physical dangers."
"NPR performs an exceedingly important journalistic role in America."
The other award to radio went to Boston public station WBUR-FM for a documentary, "Surviving Torture: Inside Out" about the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture in Britain.
duPont awards list:
2002-12-18: Judy Ellis, who is to step down as Emmis's New York SVP and Market Manger when her contract expires at the end of February next year (See RNW Dec 12), has been named as Chief Operating Office by Citadel Communications, which is now owned by Forstmann Little and Company.
Citadel's chairman and CEO Farid Suleman said that her operating experience and "proven ability to develop and grow some of the most prominent radio stations will be invaluable to Citadel in its future growth."
Ellis said she was "really excited" to be going to work for such a dynamic company, adding that great things were happening at Citadel and she looked forward to being part of it.
Earlier this month Forstmann Little and Company, who bought Citadel last year (See RNW Jan 17, 2001) in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission said that it intends to retain control of the company when it puts it back into the public market.
The filing does not detail how much of Citadel is to be retained but does say that most of the proceeds will be used to reduce Forstmann's debts.
Citadel has also announced a further acquisition, this time a USD750, 000 cash purchase of sports-talk KTIK-AM in Nampa, Idaho, from Diamond Broadcasting. Citadel already owns five stations in nearby Boise.
In other US deals, Multicultural Radio Broadcasting is paying Celebrities Inc. USD2.75 million for religious format WEXY-AM, Wilton Manors, Florida, and South Sound Broadcasting is paying Jodesha Broadcasting USD2.28 million for classic rock KFMY-FM, Raymond, Washington whilst selling Jodesha its KBKW-AM & KSWW-FM, which cover Aberdeen, for USD 750,000.
Previous Forstmann-Little (Citadel owner):
2002-12-18: A deal under which DMG Radio Australia and RG Capital avoided competition in the Central Coast region of New South Wales though a station swap and purchase by RG of a share in DMG's new Gosford licence (See RNW Oct 26) is reported by the Sydney Morning Herald to have fallen through.
The paper says that the group failed to agree on financial terms and due diligence threw up "some fundamental differences"
RG Capital chief executive Tim Hughes refused comment on the differences but said that they were comfortable about competition in the region, adding, "We can cope with another player."
DMG's new Gosford FM will compete in the market with Sea FM, which was to have gone to DMG under the deal, and 2GO.
Previous RG Capital:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-12-18: Bay Area DJ Rick Chase, whose most recent post was morning host for KWIN-FM, Stockton, has been found dead at his home according to the Mercury News.
The paper quoted Silverado Broadcasting president and general manager Roy Williams as saying that when Chase didn't show up, a fellow employee was sent to his home and found the 45-years-old host dead. "He is usually in the station at 4, 4:30 a.m., and he is just too conscientious to not show up without calling somebody,'' Williams said.
Chase, who was born in Salinas, was best known for his 13 years at KMEL-FM; he joined KWIN two years ago.
Mercury News report:
2002-12-18: In its November Internet listening ratings, the first monthly ratings since it acquired MeaureCast, Arbitron lists Clear Channel at the top of the network rankings and MUSICMATCH's Artist Match as the top channel. In issuing the rankings Arbitron notes that some channels previously measured by Arbitron are absent in its November ratings but many of them may be in future ratings as Arbitron continues integration of its former service with that of MeasureCast.
Listed below for the month of November, are Arbitron-MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL). Also listed is Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) but we have omitted previous monthly ratings n view of the various qualifications issued by Arbitron:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 1,250,514; CP 381,603.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 1,202,148; CP 248,267.
3: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 1,174,334; CP 176,362.
4: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 1,803,431; CP 180,106.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 848,693; CP 109,213.
The top five networks for November were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 5,848,346; CP 836,559.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 4,990,647;CP 1,239,405.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 3,930,618; CP 375,419.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 3,762,058; CP 503,831.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 2,573,816; CP 288,032.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-12-17: US personalities promoting products may find themselves running foul of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if they are making unsustainable claims according to a report in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
The FTC has sued Texas-based Mark Nutritionals Inc., alleging that it made "false and unsubstantiated claims" about its product, Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula, a weight-loss product that promises to achieve results without diet or exercise.
Most of the company's advertising was on radio stations and the paper says it was told by the FTC that it could also have sued radio personalities who endorsed the product.
Most of the stations spoken to by the Post-Dispatch said that it was not their job to verify claims for products with only Bonneville International Corp., which owns four local stations, saying that it checks with the Better Business Bureau before it airs ads.
"We should stop things that are obvious lies and pranks, but we are not the advertising policemen," said John Beck, who manages five St. Louis stations owned by Emmis Communications.
"Part of being in a free society is that people can make a reasonable claim and it's up to the citizenry to decide."
"We do not censor advertising and we do not check spots for accuracy," said Lee Clear, who manages five local stations managed by Clear Channel Communications.
"That's what the FTC is for. The mechanism is in place and obviously it worked."
FTC spokesman Tom Carter was straight to the point in his comment. "You don't need to be a chemist to know these claims are false. This is not rocket science," he said.
The paper also spoke to a number of hosts, one of whom, KMOX personality Charlie Brennan phoned two doctors for their opinions. They told him the product could not live up to the claims.
"It's a terrible cop-out to say you can't research it," Brennan said. "You have to investigate the product. It's so irresponsible not to."
Amongst those who did endorse the product listed in the paper were Carney, Randy Karraker of KTRS-AM, Debbie Alexander of WSSM-FM, Thom West of KPNT-FM, Harry Hamm of KMOX-AM, Vic Porcelli of WVRV-FM, Mark Klose of KIHT-FM and Courtney Landrum of KYKY-FM. Most of these claimed that the product had lost weight after using the product although Klose said he agreed to advertise Body Solutions, only if he could tell listeners to exercise as well.
Courtney Landrum told the paper she lost 17 pounds on Body Solutions, saying," I've turned down a ton of clients because they didn't fit me. At the time, there was no medical evidence it didn't work. I actually did lose weight. I don't know if it was from not eating before bed or what. All I can go on was my own experience."
Landrum also said she hoped she has not tarnished her relationship with listeners.
"I've struggled with weight for so long and I know how hard it is," said Landrum. "It was never my intention to deceive anyone. I don't like that someone came to town and threw around a lot of money and made us look bad."
The paper says that those involved were not prepared to say how much they were to have been paid for their endorsements but notes that Mark Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy in September before settling their accounts. It is still in business online but is not advertising in the St Louis area and is reported to owe local Clear Channel stations USD100, 000 and local Emmis stations USD11, 000.
Nationally according to trade publication Radio and Records, it owes Viacom, owner of Infinity Broadcasting, USD 9 million, and Clear Channel Communications USD10 million.
RNW Comment: Applying only the most basic commonsense, it would seem to us that this product could never work. The logical conclusion is that the greed overtook commonsense and any morality for most of those involved in endorsements albeit some could really just be very stupid, ignorant and gullible.
Either way their listeners should, have they commonsense, have regarded them as clowns and should continue to so do. As for the companies involved,to us they never deserved a reward for the advertisements and they have not exactly shone in business or ethical terms at the end of the day.
Regulatory authorities in many countries would automatically have stopped the advertisements, never mind the endorsements.
Anywhere it would seem to us that there is a world of difference between requiring all adverts to be checked and a situation where a body like the FTC included the stations and individuals in any lawsuit in cases where the most cursory examination would be to indicate a false claim and no checks were made and logged.
Anyone for snake oil?
Previous Clear Channel:
St Louis Post-Dispatch report:
2002-12-17: BBC Radio One has signed a comparatively unknown DJ, 23-years-old Wes Butters, to host its re-vamped Chart Show that is to be launched on February 9; it has also agreed a further three-year deal with the Official UK Charts Company.
Butters, who was born in Salford and did a media course at University College Salford, has worked as on AA Roadwatch, as a host at Wish FM, which serves Wigan and St Helens, and for Century stations in Nottingham and Manchester.
His latest job was at Galaxy in Newcastle where he hosted the mid-morning show and deputised on the breakfast show.
He commented of his appointment, "Coming to work at Radio 1 is the big gig and I can't wait to get started. The Top 40 show is a huge deal and it's going to be amazing being the person counting down the chart and revealing to the nation what the Official UK Number 1 is each week."
Butters' new Radio 1 show replaces Mark Goodier's Radio One chart show and from January 5 the BBC veteran will be hosting a competitor show, EMAP's interactive Smash Hits Chart (See RNW Sep 1).
Both shows will be up against the successor to the current Capital FM Pepsi Chart Show, hosted by Neil Fox; the new show is being created by UBC Media's production division, Unique for a consortium of Capital, Chrysalis, GWR, and Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) (See RNW Oct 10).
2002-12-17: The RADAR 75 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) Report just released by Arbitron shows Disney's ABC Daytime Direction Network retaining the top rank followed by Westwood CNN Max Radio Network; the ABC network had an audience of just under nine million and an AQH rating of 3.8 compared to Westwood's audience of just over 7.25 million and an AQH rating of 3.1.
The next three were also unchanged with ABC Morning News Radio Network taking third spot with an audience of 5.6 million and AQH rating of 2.4 followed by ABC Young Adult Radio Network with an audience of 5.2 million and an AQH rating of 2.2 with Premiere Morning Drive AM Network picking up the fifth spot with an audience of 5.1 million and an AQH rating of 2.2.
The results, covering October 2001 - September 2002, are the third phase of the transition from telephone to diary measurement and used 37,465 diaries and 3,212 telephone interviews.
They show that advertisements on the 33 networks rated reached 76 percent of Adults 12-34;
78 percent of Adults 35-49; and 71 percent of Adults 50+.
As indicated in preliminary figures, radio did better with wealthier and better-educated Americans (See RNW Dec 13).
Previous Disney/ABC, America:
Previous RADAR 75:
Previous Premiere Networks:
Previous Westwood One:
Arbitron news release:
2002-12-17: Bloomberg, the US financial services company, has closed its 24-hour business news digital radio channel that has been broadcast on the UK national commercial digital radio service Digital One since July 2000.
The service was launched as a joint venture with the Wireless Group, which pulled out in February this year. It was one of ten channels available on the multiplex, which is now down to nine.
The service will remain available on Bloomberg's web site.
Previous Wireless Group:
2002-12-17: Eastlan Resources, the second largest radio ratings company, has announced that it is to continue to request programme and personality information from stations; Arbitron said last month when it announced changes in its service from the Winter 2003 Survey that it was dropping such information and noted that less than two thirds of stations had been submitting such information (See RNW Nov 13).
Eastlan used telephone recall methodology to measure listening the 65 plus markets it surveys in the US and its president Mike Gould said that although getting such information was time consuming and added expense, it s absence increased the potential for flawed attribution.
"It is our opinion that it is our responsibility to allow stations to provide us with as much information as possible to ensure that responses are correctly attributed. Gathering program, personality and sports information from stations is an essential customer service element for Eastlan," he added.
Eastlan web site:
2002-12-16: As stations all over the US, or rather around 200 of them, switch to Christmas programming for a couple of weeks, we start this week's look at print comment on radio with a number of items concerning radio formats, all of which illustrate the potential of the medium to serve minority or sectional interests, albeit in some cases the stations are not ones we would endorse.
First a Chicago Tribune report on what seems a rather less salubrious form of Christian broadcasting.
In this case its Polish Roman Catholic radio station Radio Maryja, founded in 1991 and run by Redemptorist monks, that is said by the paper to have "repeatedly attracted attention for mixing religion with ultraconservative politics and anti-Semitic undertones."
The station now wants to run a satellite TV channel and, as the Polish regulator has never so far refused such a permit, is likely to get its way. "Prominent Catholics have expressed concern that the station's message and aggressive style tarnish the church's image" but it also notes that Poland's bishops have praised its work"
Whilst the Polish station puts out one view, a new station launched by a Saudi opposition group is aiming to allow views that are normally repressed get onto the air, although control over its content may have too many similarities for comfort with its Polish fellow, albeit from a different starting place.
Sawt al-Islah (Voice of Reform) is run by the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia and broadcasts on the Internet, on the Hot Bird 6 satellite and on short-wave radio for two hours a day.
According to a Reuters report carried in the New York Times it will be the first service of its kind in the Arab world and is primarily directed against the ruling House of Saud.
The station says its web site is using encryption to prevent the authorities from tracing calls made from Saudi Arabia and also used technology to change the voice of a caller to prevent identification.
More praiseworthy to us, and certainly widening children's horizons more,would seem to be the output a week ago of 103.1 FM in Akashvani, Chandigarh, India, which turned its programming for the day to some 300 children from Chandigarh and neighbouring towns. The move was made to mark on International Children's Broadcasting Day, introduced by UNICEF, and according to the Times of India three All India Radio (AIR) stations -- Bhatinda, Jalandhar and Patiala --were linked to Chandigarh, which gave an opportunity to children from rural background to conduct the 'Radio Bridge' programme and interact with the others.
Chandigarh was the only station to give over its entire day to the children, who produced broadcasts running from 05:55 to 21:10.
And from Canada, another radio station that would appear, according to a report by Ingrid Peritz in the Toronto Globe and Mail, to be reflecting a growth in the use of French by immigrants whose native language is neither English or French, although in this case the station is narrowing rather than broadening format.
The station involved is a Montreal commercial ethnic AM radio station that managed to gain an exemption from rules requiring ethnic radio to devote half its programming to a language other than French or English and, although aimed at the city's Haitian, Latino and African communities, broadcasts entirely in French.
According to the report lawyer Jean Ernest Pierre, who is of Haitian descent, said that he" wanted to have a radio station that serves future generations, so I had to do it in French."
The report also notes that in Montreal the number of Quebeckers whose mother tongue was French grew for the first time in three decades but that, over the country as a whole enthusiasm for French immersion -- which peaked in the 1980s, amid worry about separatism -- had flat-lined in the 1990s.
Finally a couple of technology-related columns: In one, Paul Donovan of the UK Sunday Times, takes a look at the state of digital radio in the UK.
He concludes that there has been success as far as content is concerned but rather less as far as marketing and political commitment go, with little listing of output, only one of the last three secretaries of state responsible for broadcasting showing any interest in owning a receiver and, to make it worse, a shortfall in the number of receivers available off store shelves.
As he concludes, "The situation is, therefore, that there is lots of interesting digital output with excellent sound quality. But ministers will not talk about it, the press will not write about it and manufacturers are incapable of satisfying the demand for sets. The industry says brightly that more models are on the way and will arrive here next year; but somehow, with digital, it is always next year and never this. "
And to end with, a growth of technology that we have long felt can but be beneficial to would-be-listeners, although Vanora Bennett, writing in the UK Times, has a few reservations about on-demand audio. After praising the efforts of the BBC -" As the BBC website gets more supernaturally sophisticated, it's getting easier to catch up with any recent programme . In a world where there is never quite enough time to cram in all the things we need to get done in the day, this is obviously a fantastic improvement on the way things were before" - she goes on to conclude, "And yet it leaves me slightly uncomfortable."
"One of the great joys of radio has always been the trustful, happy-go- lucky way we follow it into the unexpected. We switch on for something specific: to catch the news, or have a laugh with Terry Wogan. But then we leave it on, and half-forget about it, and suddenly we are plunged into something we have never thought about: belly dancers, or fly-fishermen, or people smugglers in Nigeria, or throat-singers from Tibet."
"A traditional radio day is a whole clutch of adventures waiting to happen. A click on a list of programme titles isn't. I am delighted the new technology is there, but I plan to avoid it as much as possible. Convenience is good; but when it comes to radio, serendipity is better."
Chicago Tribune on Polish Catholic Radio:
New York Times/Reuters on Saudi Opposition Radio:
Times of India on International Children's Broadcasting Day:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Peritz:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Times -Bennett:
Sawt al-Islah (Voice of Reform) site:
2002-12-16: BBC radio stars from the past have dominated the top ten in the results of the Corporation's poll to find the "greatest comedian" ever that it launched in conjunction with the launch of its latest digital radio channel BBC7, which went on air yesterday evening.
Heading the list was Tony Hancock, whose show Hancock's Half Hour, scripted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, was broadcast on BBC Radio from 1954 to 1959 and then on TV.
Hancock was followed by the Goons, and in third place Kenneth Horne, who was best known for his radio shows Beyond our Ken and Around the Horne.
Kenneth Williams, a regular on the Hancock show, was voted sixth in the list and Spike Milligan, a Goon Show regular, was voted seventh.
The others listed in the top ten, for which some 5,000 listeners voted, were the radio show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue in fourth place, Morecambe and Wise, best known for their TV shows(fifth), Tommy Cooper (eighth) , The Two Ronnies (ninth) and Billy Connolly (tenth).
BBC7 web site:
2002-12-16:US National Public Radio (NPR) is showcasing a new comedy drama on radio today when it starts the broadcast of "I'd Rather Eat Pants" that stars Edward Asner and Anne Meara and also features Ed Begley Jr. and Dan Castellaneta.
The network will be airing the drama in eight minute segments during its Morning Edition show all this week.
The drama, the story of an elderly couple Abe and Mabel Pepperstein (Asner and Meara) who dump their Manhattan grocery store and set off on a motorcycle to find fame and an estranged daughter in Hollywood, follows the couple's adventures during their trip.
It is directed by award-winning television director Gordon Hunt and is a joint production of L.A. Theatre Works and NPR News.
2002-12-16: Long-time Los Angeles DJ Bruce Vidal has died of an apparent heart attack at his home near Palm Desert aged 54 according to the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles-born Vidal, who worked in the city from 1982 through 1996, began his radio career at a small station in Washington, Iowa, later moving to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where he met Laurie Allen whom he married in 1976.
After a spell in Omaha, Nebraska, he moved to Los Angeles where at one stage he took Allen's job on KIIS-FM; She moved to KMGG-FM and he was her competitor in the 1800-2200 weekday slot for part of the 80s.
In 1997, Vidal moved on to smaller radio stations, first in Thousand Oaks and in 1999 to KELT-FM in Riverside.
In Chicago veteran broadcaster John J Weigel has died aged 89.
The father of the late sports anchor Tim Weigel, who died last year, he was also the founder of WCIU- Channel 26, Weigel Broadcasting.
And off the air, but still soldiering on in real life, are George "Doc" Abraham and Katy Abraham who have now broadcast their last Saturday morning gardening show for WHAM-AM in Rochester, New York.Now in their 80s, they ended the show for health reasons.
"The Green Thumb," the longest-running gardening program on American radio with the same hosts first went on air in 1952 from WHAM, now owned by Clear Channel.
The couple, who were childhood sweethearts in Wayland in rural western New York, were married in 1942 during a 36-hour Army leave for George.
They started a greenhouse business and a syndicated gardening column after the Second World War.
They are to continue the column and their books remain in print.
Chicago Sun Times - Weigel obit
Los Angeles Times - Vidal obit:
NY Times/AP on Abrahams:
WHAM "Green Thumb" web site:
2002-12-15: In terms of sheer bulk of decisions compared to the size of the country, Canada had by far the busies week in licence terms over the past week; elsewhere it was mainly a matter of the normal run of things, although in the US the Federal Communications Commission consideration of allocating additional spectrum for unlicensed devices such as cordless phones or computer wireless uses may yet prove to be the most significant action of the week.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has issued two new community radio licences, one for the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, and the other for Fremantle in Western Australia.
The former has gone to Tasman Community Broadcasters Association Inc (Tasman FM), which is already broadcasting under a temporary licence a service of local issues, news, information and music for many community groups in the peninsula. It was the only applicant.
In Fremantle, the licence went to Portuguese Cultural and Recreational Centre WA Inc (PCRC), which also currently broadcasting under a temporary licence to the Portuguese speaking community in the area.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been involved in a large number of decisions ranging from issues of new licences or permitting additional transmitters to approving corporate reorganisations. In terms of provinces, they included the following approvals:
*Of the deletion of CFFC-FM, Fox Creek, from the licence of CKYL-AM, Peace River and its addition to the licence of CKKX-FM, thus allowing Fox Creek to receive CKKX-M's programming in place of that of CKYL-AM.
*Of an application to change the contours of CJSI-FM Calgary following an increase in power from 19,000 watts to 47,000 watts, and an increase to the antenna height.
*Of an application relating to a relocation of the transmitter of CJAY-FM Calgary and increase in its power from 44,000 watts to 100,000 watts, and an increase in the antenna height from 160 metres to 298.5 metres.
*Of an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to decrease the effective radiated power of its French-language FM radio undertaking in Calgary from 100,000 watts to 10,000 watts: this relates to the approval of a new FM for which the original power proposed was found to be going to create interference.
*An application to amend the licence of low-power station CFPE-FM, Banff, so as to add to its previous permitted programming of general information and weather reports from Banff National Park other information relating to the National Park System and also broadcast up to 16% of musical selections in a week, three quarters of which is to be special interest music and 40% or more of Canadian music. The CRTC has also issued a public notice regarding an application by The University Of Calgary Student Radio Society to increase the power of CJSW-FM from 1,900 to 4,000 watts and by relocating its transmitter to a site owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
*Of an application by Standard Radio Inc. for a new English-language adult contemporary music format 170-watt FM radio programming undertaking at Kitimat to replace its AM station CKTK.
*Of an application by Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc. for a new 12,000 watts English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Prince George to replace its AM station CJCI. The station will provide a service mainly of spoken word and local news, weather and sports.
*Of an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to change the frequency of CBRU-AM, Squamish, and to increase its transmitter power from 40 watts day and night to 400 watts daytime and 200 watts night-time.
*Of an application by Assiniboine Campus-Community Radio Society Inc. to operate a new English-language FM community-based campus radio station in Brandon, Manitoba. It would provide spoken word programming and alternative music including an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, classical, world beat and cutting edge new music from other popular musical genres.
*Of an application by Nunavut Natautinga Ltd. to operate a predominantly English-language mostly contemporary popular music format 537 watts FM radio programming undertaking at Iqaluit, Nunavut.
*An application by Rogers Broadcasting for an English-language radio network that will include parts of the programming of ESPN from the ABC radio network: This application follows a similar application by Telemedia Radio Inc. for a network to originate from CJCL Toronto and Rogers, which acquired the assets of 14 Ontario stations, including CJCL, from Telemedia proceeded with the application.
*An application by Rogers Broadcasting 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, originating from CJCL Toronto.
*An application by Milestone Radio Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking (DRU) to serve Toronto, associated with its existing station, CFXJ-FM Toronto.
*An application by the partners in AM 740 Primetime Radio Limited Partnership for a broadcasting licence to operate a transitional digital radio undertaking (DRU) to serve Toronto, associated with its existing station, CHWO-AM Toronto.
*An application to change the frequency and increase the power of CHUC-AM, Cobourg, from 8,000 watts to 10,000 watts during the day, and from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts during the night.
*An application to change the frequency and increase the power from 8 watts to 100 watts of CKDJ-FM Ottawa (formerly Nepean): The changes are required to prevent interference with a new classical music FM station in Ottawa/Hull.
*An application for a new 75 watts transmitter in Owen Sound for CJLF-FM Barrie.
*An application by Sound of Faith Broadcasting for a low-power English-language mainly contemporary Christian music 10 watts FM in London.
* An application for a 23,800 watts FM station to replace CFVM-AM, Amqui, which would produce at least 40% of its programming locally.
*An application to extend until April 29 next year the deadline to commence operation of a new AM in Saint-Nicolas.
*An application by Aéroports de Montréal to extend until 11 June next year the deadline to commence the operation of an English- and French-language low-power FM radio station to serve Ville Saint-Laurent, Dorval, Pointe-Claire and Lachine
*An application by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to add a new 15,900 watts transmitter in Ville-Marie to broadcast the programming service of CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda.
*An application for an intracorporate reorganization by Harvard Broadcasting Inc., licensee of CKRM-AM, CFWF-FM and CHMX-FM Regina, Saskatchewan, and the radio network Roughriders
*An application for a new 47 watts low-power English-language FM radio programming undertaking to provide a tourist information service in Wadena.
The CRTC also approved an administrative renewal of the licence of CFCR-FM Saskatoon from 1 March 2003 to 31 August 2003.
Ireland was quiet on the radio front but in the UK, the Radio Authority, as well as welcoming an extension of its Access Radio pilot scheme (See RNW Dec 12) also awarded a national Additional Service licence which uses the RDS (Radio Data System) sub-carrier of the Independent National Radio (INR1) service broadcasting on the FM (VHF) waveband. to the sole applicant, ITIS Holdings plc.(See Licence News Oct 20)
ITIS had bid GBP600, 000 (USD ) and the award is conditional on acceptability of its technical plan.
The Authority also awarded one digital multiplex licence, announced that it had only received one application for another, and advertised a third.
The award was of the Swansea digital multiplex for which only one application had been submitted.
This came from TWG EMAP Digital Ltd, which is 70% owned by the Wireless Group plc and 30% owned by Emap Digital Radio Ltd. In addition to BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, it is proposing four services initially with two more to be added later(See Licence News Sept 29 for details)..
It also announced receipt of only one applications for the Stoke-on-Trent digital multiplex licence, also from TWG EMAP Digital Ltd.
As well as carrying BBC Radio Stoke, services are proposed:
Adult contemporary - Signal 1 (provider: The Wireless Group plc)
Classic hits/gold - Signal 2 (provider: The Wireless Group plc)
Dance - Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)
Modern rock - The Storm (provider: GWR Group plc)
Plus, when providers are confirmed, Easy listening; Non-stop pop; and Country channels.
The authority has also advertised the local digital multiplex licence for Nottingham.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has started consideration of making available additional spectrum for unlicensed devices (See RNW Dec 13).
It has also issued one USD 24,000 penalty, cancelled another of the same amount , and confirmed a third of USD 10,000.
The penalties sought were of USD24, 000 for indecency offences (See RNW Dec 14) and of USD 10,000 on a Florida pirate(See RNW Dec 13).
Cancelled was a USD24, 000 penalty where the FCC was told that the station had changed hands before the offences occurred (See RNW Dec 12).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-12-15: Today sees he launch of the last of the BBC's new digital channels, BBC7, and also the 70th Birthday Party for the BBC World Service.
BBC 7 will be launched at 2000 GMT with a two-hour "Best of BBC 7" programme introduced by Paul Merton that will also be simulcast on BBC Radio 4.
The station will normally broadcast from 0700 to 0100 Monday to Sunday and will be "zoned" into segments featuring comedy, drama, children's programmes and so on (See RNW Dec 3). It will not have news, no current affairs and time checks in its schedule.
As a digital-only channel, it can be received via satellite TV, the Internet or from digital radio broadcasts but so far only between 75,000 and 100, 000 digital radio receivers have been sold in the UK.
The BBC World Service Party will feature a live broadcast from concerts in Dakar, Mumbai, Kabul, Mexico City and London, featuring stars including Youssou N'Dour from Senegal, who will open the show from London, Baaba Maal and Ms Dynamite, and hosted by DJs John Peel and Emma B in London from 1700 GMT.
70th anniversary project editor David Stead said the broadcast will "show the World Service at its best and will set the tone for the rest of the week."
The London concert will take place before 500 invited guests and will be followed by a mix of Baaba Maal's acoustic sound and international dance music from the Senegalese capital, Dakar; Indian composer Trilok Gurtu and classical pianist turned jazz and pop star Adnan Sami, from Mumbai (Bombay) in India; a, ten-strong band of former students and activists Los de Abajo (Those from Below), with a combination of Latin rhythms, reggae, funk and hip-hop from Mexico City; and alive performance from Kabul by various artists in the local languages Uzbek, Pashto and Dari. Finally the broadcast will return to London for a performance by this year's Mercury Music Prize winner, Ms Dynamite (real name Niomi McLean-Daley) of tracks from her album, A Little Deeper.
BBC7 web site:
2002-12-14: The US Justice Department's anti-trust division has rejected the argument that the Univision takeover of Hispanic Broadcasting would harm competition because radio and TV broadcasters compete in the same market according to a Reuters report.
The report cited "sources" and the Justice Department is refusing to comment on the matter.
The sources said that after studying the matter, antitrust attorneys at the department rejected the idea of single Hispanic media market but added that some concern could still be raised about Univision's 30-percent stake in Entravision.
Should the USD 2.15 billion Univision-Hispanic deal go through Univision will gain a radio presence in nine markets where Entravision has stations and may be forced to divest itself of the stations or of its Entravision holding.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had also asked for information concerning Univision's holding in Entravision following a petition against the deal from the National Hispanic Policy Institute, which said that it would create an organisation with control of more stations than was allowed under FCC ownership regulations.
At the start of this week the Hispanic and Univision responded by saying that it would be converted to non-voting stock with Univision having no rights concerning the appointment of Entravision's directors.
Originally the deal had been expected to close by the end of this year but that now seems unlikely and Hispanic Broadcasting chairman and CEO, McHenry Tichenor Jr. told the UBS Warburg Media Conference on Monday that, although there was still an outside chance of this still happening that were now aiming to close the deal early next year. He added that no problems had cropped up between the companies themselves.
2002-12-14: Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn is to leave Capital Radio's golden oldies station Capital Gold after 15 years with the company and join UBC Media's golden oldies network Classic Gold as breakfast host.
Blackburn already hosts a Saturday show on Classic Gold that he is to retain.
He told the UK Guardian he was sorry to be leaving Capital but said the Classic Gold offer was" such exciting opportunity I just couldn't turn it down."
UK Guardian report:
2002-12-14: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing an indecency fine of USD 24, 000 for Spanish-language material broadcast on the morning show of WSPR- AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Iit reduced the penalty from the base amount of USD7, 000 for each of four violations following a response by WSPR's former licensee, Edmund Dinis, emphasising his good record as the licensee for more than 20 years of WJFD- FM, New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The offences came to light when the FCC received a complaint in January last year to the effect that WSPR broadcast indecent material in its morning show during the period from December 5, 2000 to January 22, 2001.
The complainant supplied tapes that were translated by the FCC and included jokes about anal sex, oral sex, excretory activities, and sexual intercourse with a child present.
A transcript of the translation was sent to Dinis, who responded that he did not know if the material was broadcast because those responsible for programming at the time had all left his employ and he did not have any recordings of the broadcasts. He also initially queried the accuracy of the translations although later, after being sent recordings, accepted that the translation was substantially accurate.
He also argued that, even if the material was aired, it was not patently offensive and actionably indecent and that four of the six passages were comprised of jokes told by callers to the show and said that the employees involved had been dismissed and their replacements made aware of the FCC's indecency rules.
The commission accepted none of Dinis's arguments, ruling that the material contained explicit depictions of sexual and excretory activities that had a lewd import, wad patently offensive and not fleeting because the jokes were told at length and were a regular feature of the show.
Its only concession was to reduce the penalty by USD4, 000 because of the licensee's record at WJFD- FM.
2002-12-14: MUSICMATCH, whose Artist Match channel has already moved to the top of the Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings, added the network crown in the latest report, knocking long-time network leader Clear Channel into second position.
Listening during the week to December 1, which included the Thanksgiving holiday, fell back slightly.
For the week to Dec 1, Arbitron-MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 259,244 (305,849); CP 111,495 (113,324). Same position with lower listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 242,733 (269,578); CP 39,707 (50,142). Same position with lower listening and reach.
3: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 221,128 (302,002); CP 52,008 Not listed last week - two weeks ago it was fifth with TTSL 262,516 and CP 54,946.
4: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 208,216 (244,219); CP 76,497 (76,444): Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: Sport-talk ESPN - TTSL 154,771 (262,405): CP 38,027 (46,976). Down from third with lower listening and reach.
* Classical format WQXR-FM, which had been fifth with TTSL 223,770; CP 39,014, fell back to sixth with TTSL 154,486; CP 32,066.
The top five networks for the week to December 1 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,069,544 (1,245,968); CP 384,026 (379,246). Up from second despite lower listening but reach was up.
2: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,024,355 (1,455,859); CP 289,007 (338,631) - Down from first with lower listening and reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 717,063 (1,051,874); CP 134,935 (154,146). Same position with lower listening and reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 673,900 (955,876): CP 121,521 (154,111) Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 488,281 (623,254) hours: CP 98,644 (107,356) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-12-13: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun its inquiry about the use of additional spectrum for unlicensed transmitters, noting that current rules for such operation has been a tremendous success in terms of such devices as cordless telephones, home security systems, electronic toys, and computer wireless local area networks.
It is specifically looking for comment on whether such unlicensed operation should be allowed to operate in the TV broadcast spectrum and in other bands, such as the 3650-3700 MHz band, at power levels higher than other unlicensed transmitters with only the minimal technical requirements necessary to prevent interference to licensed services. Technological advances, it says, may make it feasible to design devices to share TV band spectrum without causing interference to licensed stations.
Commenting on the inquiry, FCC chairman Michael K. Powell said, "These technological advances are great news for the American people. Our goal in today's item is to allow for the more efficient and comprehensive use of the spectrum resource while not interfering with existing services."
In her comment, Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy said," Since we are charged with effectively and efficiently harnessing the spectrum resource, the Commission must explore new ways to tap into that resource, consistent with our core responsibility to protect licensed users from harmful interference."
Democrat Michael J. Copps also backed the move and said," We are all excited about the potential of unlicensed spectrum and the benefits it can bring to American consumers. There is no question that our Part 15 rules and unlicensed technologies are extremely important to the future. Hopefully they will contribute to more innovative management of the spectrum. So I most definitely support exploring ways to make more spectrum available for unlicensed devices."
There was general welcome for the idea of opening up more spectrum for unlicensed use from Commissioner Kevin Martin but also some dissent over use of the broadcasting band. On this Martin commented, "I have reservations, however, with this item's inquiry into permitting additional unlicensed devices to operate in the TV broadcast bands at this time. While I support making more spectrum available for unlicensed use, I am concerned that opening this inquiry into the TV broadcast bands at this time may create additional uncertainty and potentially delay the digital transition."
The FCC has also confirmed a USD 10, 000 penalty on Naples, Florida, pirate operator Manuel M. Vázquez.
The penalty confirmation follows an absence of response by Vázquez to a notice filed in June.
2002-12-13: UK Guardian Media Group (GMG) has effectively exchanged a third stake in UK national digital spoken word channel Oneword Radio for a stake approaching 3% of UBC Media Group, which now owns 50% of Oneword; Hong-Kong financial conglomerate, USI Holdings, holds the remaining half of Oneword Radio.
The deal was structured via UBC purchasing part of GMG's holding in Oneword and GMG purchasing a share of UBC.
Commenting on the transaction UBC Chief Executive Simon Cole said, "We are delighted to welcome
Guardian Media Group as a shareholder in UBC, as it further cements a long-standing commercial relationship between the two companies."
"We are pleased that this opportunity also allows UBC to increase its shareholding in Oneword Radio, as we believe the opportunities for the station are substantial as a result of the accelerating take-up of digital radio in the UK".
Both GMG and UBC are shareholders in the MXR digital consortium, GMG holding nearly a quarter and UBC 7.5%.
2002-12-13: Initial results in Arbitron's RADAR 75 report, which is due to be released in full by Arbitron next week, show that wealthier Americans continue to listen to radio more than their less wealthy fellows.
During a typical week it says, radio reached 96% of adults in a household with an income of USD75, 000 a year upwards and the same percentage of college graduates but only 92% of those who did not go to college.
RADAR (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) now includes network audience estimates for 33 radio networks operated by ABC Radio, American Urban Radio Network, Premiere and Westwood One; for the RADAR 76 report due to be released in March next year it will add Dial Communications - Global Media's Contemporary network (See RNW Nov 13).
Previous RADAR report (RADAR 74) :
2002-12-12: Montréal -headquartered Astral Media has reported record revenues, EBITDA, and earnings from continuing operations for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002 and delivered an upbeat report on prospects for further growth next year.
Its net earnings from continuing operations nearly doubled from CAD29.7 million (USD 19 million) in 2001 to CAD57.1 million (USD 36.6 million) this year ((0.65 CAD per share and CAD1.16 per share respectively after adjustment for the two-for-one split of the company's shares that was completed in April this year).
The results included a one-off net gain after tax and changes in accounting policies of CAD 7.4 million (USD 4.7 million); excluding this Astral's net earnings were up 40% to CAD 49.7 million (USD 31.8 million) from CAD 35.4 million (USD 22.7 million0) and earnings per share were up 29% from CAD 0.78 to CAD1.01.
Revenues were up 16% in the year to CAD 400 million (USD 256 million) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and non-controlling interest) was up 30% to CAD95 million (USD 60.9 million).
Commenting on the results, Astral President and CEO Ian Greenberg said: "I am proud that Astral has achieved record financial results while delivering on its commitments to all stakeholders."
"Our performance can largely be attributed to the following factors: First and foremost, a dedicated team of colleagues focused on growing our business every day. Secondly by staying true to our pure-play media strategy and lastly by consistently maintaining the highly targeted nature and quality of our unique combination of media properties."
He noted that all units contributed to the success, with television achieving record subscriber levels and "outstanding" growth in advertising revenues whilst radio "challenging year in preparation for the Telemedia acquisition" and outdoor grew revenue significantly in a generally sluggish market.
For the final quarter, Astral reported revenues up 8% to CAD102.3 million (USD 65.6 million) and for next year Greenberg predicted solid results from all Astral groups in Fiscal 2003 "as we continue to do what we do best - deliver powerful media experiences to the collective benefit of our stakeholders."
He said TV growth would come from continuing roll-out of digital cable and direct-to-home satellite services and new product introductions such as subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), and concerning radio noted that Astral's acquisition of Telemedia's stations had propelled the company into the top five nationally and will increase both its listener base and advertising revenues. Greenberg reiterated that Astral is targeting an organic increase in EBITDA for Fiscal 2003 in the range of 10-15% and factoring in 10 months of results from the Telemedia properties would boost this to more than 20% over Fiscal 2002. He also said there could be further acquisitions, saying "While by no means dependent on acquisitions for our growth, we have both the financial resources and the management team required to complete attractive transactions and successfully integrate new assets into our group."
Shares in Astral, which owns 24 radio stations plus five pay TV channels, and 10 specialty channels and are rated a buy by most analysts, were down just over 1% on Wednesday after a similar fall on Tuesday.
2002-12-12: Emmis Communications, which last month was told it had a fortnight to close down its Sláger Rádió network in Hungary has now announced an agreement with the Hungarian broadcasting authority, the National Radio and Television Board (ORTT), that will extend the licence through 2009.
Emmis was awarded its licence for the 16-station Budapest-based Sláger network, which broadcasts hits from the 60s to the 80s, in 1997 and has been involved in litigation with the ORTT since 2001.
Under the new agreement approved a five-nil vote by the ORTT, Emmis will pay fees due under its original broadcast contract in instalments through November 2004, fees it has already reflected in its financial statements.
The additional five-year term for the licences will involve what Emmis calls "payment terms more reflective of the current Hungarian advertising environment."
Emmis owns nearly 60% of Sláger and had opted in November last year to forego its payment instalment and try to arrange lower payments, based on comparison with the basis on which other broadcasters had been awarded their licences.
Commenting on the decision, Emmis President and CEO Jeff Smulyan said, "We are thrilled to have the pending issues resolved and look forward to continuing our involvement in Hungary."
Emmis International President Paul Fiddick commented, "In the last year, Emmis has led the effort to rationalize media regulation in Hungary. We are very happy to reach agreement with ORTT to extend our license term through 2009, and believe the people of Hungary -- about a fourth of whom are Sláger listeners -- are the beneficiaries."
In the US, Emmis has announced the appointment of industry veteran Barry Mayo as Senior Vice President/Market Manager of Emmis-New York in succession to Judy Ellis, who announced in October that she would not seek to renew her contract beyond its February 28, 2003 expiration date.
Mayo worked for Emmis in New York 's from 1981 to 1988, starting at WXLO (X99) which later became /WRKS (KISS-FM) in New York.
He left his position as WRKS-FM programme director in 1977 to co-found Broadcasting Partners Incorporated (BPI), serving as BPI President until 1995.
Since then he has been president of media consulting company Mayomedia. Since February this year he has been a consultant for WRKS.Emmis owns three stations in New York, WQCD-FM (CD101.9), WQHT-FM (Hot97) and WRKS-FM (KISS FM).
2002-12-12: Stations taking part in the UK Access Radio scheme now seem likely to have their licences extended following a government decision to extend the period of the scheme.
Extensions will be subject to frequency availability and they were welcomed by the UK Radio Authority,
Its Member for Scotland and Chair of the Access Radio Sub Committee Thomas Prag said, "We are so pleased that this pioneering experiment of not-for-profit radio is making such encouraging progress. An extension to the period of this pilot scheme gives us the opportunity to learn more about how Access Radio might operate in the future."
The Authority will now contact the current 15 licensees, setting out the terms on which it would be prepared to extend the licences.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
2002-12-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a penalty of USD24, 000 it had issued in June to Seggi Broadcasting of Florida, Inc. for various tower-related offences.
The towers were used for WIPC-AM), Lake Wales, Florida, but Seggi pointed out in its response that on March 12, before inspections that showed the offences had taken place, the Commission granted its application to assign the license for WIPC to Siber Media Group and said that the violations were the responsibility of Siber.
The FCC, without directly admitting a left-hand right hand problem accepted the response and cancelled the penalty.
2002-12-11: London-based ZenithOptimedia has delivered a generally upbeat forecast for world advertising revenue over the next three years in its latest "Advertising Expenditure Forecast ".
It says the US will see growth in what it terms "major media" (TV, press, radio, cinema, outdoor, internet) income of around 1.9% next year and Canada 3.9% followed by increases of 3.6% and 3.1% respectively and then of 3.3% and 2.3%.
Europe by comparison starts off with a rise of 2.5% in 2003 but then recovers strongly with rises of 4.6% in each of the following two years whilst other areas do even better overall. Asia-Pacific is forecast as having a 2003 increase of 4.1 followed by 4.3% and 4.8%; Latin America of 4.5% followed by 7.4% and 6.9%; and the rest of the world of 9.8% followed by 10.6% and 7.5%.
Worldwide advertising expenditure is expected by the agency to go up 2.9% next year to USD320.7 billion, underpinned by strong consumer demand; it adds that the threat of war in Iraq is a risk but says the conflict would have to be "much more protracted and damaging" than the Gulf War of 1990-1991 to cause "measurable" harm to the ad industry.
ZenithOptimedia news release:
2002-12-11: According to the New York Daily News, a deal acceptable to Viacom President and Infinity chairman and CEO Mel Karmazin has been agreed by the Viacom board and he is now expected to remain withthe company.
Karmazin refused to commit himself speaking at the Credit Suisse First Boston media conference in New York, apart from saying that he expected to make a decision soon about his future when his contract expires in December next year.
Karmazin, who has reportedly clashed with Viacom chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone, said his decision won't be based on compensation or the fit, but on whether "in 2004 I can add more value to Viacom and have fun."
"Today I feel very good, happy and proud to be there," he added.
New York Daily News report:
2002-12-11: Protestors at the campaign to organise an underwriters' boycott of Boston public radio affiliate WBUR-FM have targeted the president of Wordsworth Books for his role in the matter.
In a small protest outside the company's bookstore in Brattle Street, activists distributed leaflets saying WordsWorth president Hillel Stavis ''Sells Words but Suppresses Words'' according to the Boston Globe.
The demonstration is due to run all week and is described by the paper as a "rare sign of an organized backlash in a year when supporters of Israel have pressured several media outlets that they view as tilted against the Jewish state."
Eleanor Roffman, a member of Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine, told the paper, "The overarching issue is we need to have an open dialogue on what's going on in the Middle East. ''I'm not trying to convince [Stavis] to change his mind on the position. But I think his attitude is one that shuts down the discussion.''
Stavis responded by summoning up the issue of censorship. "It's nonsense,'' he said. ''To picket one of the last independent bookstores in Boston because it doesn't hew to their particular agenda is the height of suppression of free speech."
"We never advocated that other people withhold money from WBUR. [But] we don't believe anyone should be required, in perpetuity, to contribute to an organization they believe is biased.''
RNW comment: As per our reaction in the past (See RNW Sept 30), and in full knowledge of organized attempts by Israel and its supporters to aggressively target individuals or organisations that report Israeli actions in a negative light, we personally could not find it particularly unjust were Stavis and others involved in the actions against WBUR and other US media outlets to be put out of business.
WBUR says it has lost around USD 2 million in revenue as a result of the boycott and the evidence is clearly that the actions against it are partisan rather than a neutral call for balanced and accurate reporting; in this case it seems a question of a bigger biter being mildly tormented by a midge.
In our view Stavis's protestations carry as much reasoned and balanced content as much of the comment from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America which to us, is a propaganda organization just as biased as many Arab media outlets.
Boston Globe report:
2002-12-11: UTV, which as well as its television franchise in Northern Ireland, owns three Cork radio stations through its wholly- owned subsidiary County Media, is now reported to be on the verge of entering the Dublin market with a Euro 16 million (USD 16 million) purchase of Lite FM.
Lite FM, which targets the 35 plus audience with a format of all-time favourites, had a 12% market share in the latest Irish ratings (See RNW Oct 24).
UTV acquired County Media for just under GBP22 million (USD34 million) in 2000 ( (See RNW Nov 24, 2000) and earlier this year agreed a Euro 17 million (USD 17 million) deal to purchase Limerick-based Treaty Radio (See RNW April 9).
It said in June that it had pinpointed a number of Irish stations it wished to acquire (See RNW June 2).
2002-12-11: The BBC has hired Colin Murray, former presenter of the Channel 5 TV breakfast show RI:SE to launch its replacement show for the station's Evening Session show, hosted by Steve Lamacq, which is due to end on December 19.
Murray will take over the 2000-2200 slot on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from January 7 with a mission to play the "best new music to a nationwide audience", according Radio 1; he has already presented the weekly Northern Ireland version of the Evening Session show.
His appointment is a temporary one and according to the UK Guardian, Radio 1 is keen to sign up DJ Jane Lowe from XFM as a permanent host:
2002-12-11: XM Satellite Radio in conjunction with Delphi Product & Service Solutions has announced a portable satellite radio, the SKYFiTM Audio System, which will be in some use stores next week and combines the SkYFi receiver and boom box unit.
The system will retail for around USD230 and contains a pair of speakers with an integrated high gain antenna and a post for the system's SKYFi receiver. It can be powered either from batteries or via an AC adapter. People who already own a receiver can purchase the rest of the system for around USD100.
2002-12-10: The 30th UBS Warburg Media Conference has been told by Interep chairman and CEO Ralph Guild that US radio had staged a "real and sustainable" recovery this year; he estimated that revenues for the year would be up by 6% to 8% to total just over USD 19billion and the potential to go above 2000 revenues, so far the industry's record.
Within the figures, Guild estimated national revenues up 11% to 13% and local revenues 4% to 6%. He was also bullish about next year, saying that pacings for the first quarter were currently up by around a fifth and predicting growth for the year of 6% to 8% overall with local revenues up 5% to 7% and national ones up 8% to 12%.
Guild gave three reasons were given for radio's accelerated growth in times of economic recovery -that most radio revenue is from local advertising, which tends to show less severe spending swings; that it is an efficient medium, generally requiring lower relative costs, especially in creative production; and that it generally requires short lead times in placement - a very attractive draw for advertisers in an uncertain economic climate.
He said that although the advertising dip had been deeper than in the 1991-92 recession, radio's recovery has been "faster and stronger" and the upturn took place in first quarter of 2002, two quarters earlier than history would have indicated.
On the question of a possible war with Iraq, Guild said that the effect on advertising would be hard to predict but noted that the public supports those companies that continue to advertise during times of war.
He added, "It is unlikely that a war would have the same effect on advertising as the unexpected terrorist attacks last September. In my opinion, ad spending in the near future will have more to do with the overall economic trends than with an impending war."
2002-12-10: The Miami Herald has highlighted the issue of payola in Spanish language radio in the US, quoting a former Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) executive who claims there is "no question" payola affected the programming at the company's WSKQ-FM (97.9) ''La Mega,'' New York's leading Latin music station.
''You don't pay, you don't play,'' Ruben Estrada, former vice president of government affairs for SBS, told the paper.
''I have never picked up an envelope,'' Estrada added, "but there are some individuals in SBS that do accept it.''
His allegations were denied by the company whose attorney Jason Shrinsky said, "We have very strict policies on that. Disc jockeys sign affidavits on a regular basis affirming they don't do that.''
He put payola allegations down to unsuccessful record labels and promoters frustrated with radio.
''It's always sour grapes in this business,'' he said. ``They won't play my record, so I had to pay them.''
Shrinsky denied that anyone at SBS took payola. ''I think that's false. I don't have any information on that,'' he said. ``If [staff members] accept the money, they should be dismissed.''
One who was dismissed, although Shrinsky would not comment on his case, was former La Mega promotions director Luis Lopez to whom New York promoters Jerroy Germaine and Ellis Noble say they paid $2,000 to ensure that ads for a concert they were producing would be aired on top shows.
Lopez denied last year that he took the money, contradicting the promoters' comments.
''He told me I had to give him $4,000 to make my event a hit,'' said Germaine, who said Lopez promised that La Mega would promote the show, which took place at Club Palladium in New Rochelle last November and included well-known artists Huey Dunbar and La India.
The pair say they drove to La Mega's Manhattan offices to give Lopez the first payment of $2,000. ''[Lopez] came outside and sat in the car and put it in his pocket,'' Germaine said. ''I was in the car. I saw it,'' said Noble. ``[The money] came from my pockets.''
Germaine and Noble said they believed that payola was common at La Mega. 'We had some of the artists' managers telling us you got to pay people off to get services,'' Noble said. ``You have a lot of people inside [La Mega] who are very corrupt.''
''Right now,'' said Germaine, ``these artists are scared because La Mega is the only source for them to get their records played in New York. You have major superstars who are so afraid their records would not get played by them talking. Because it is not just La Mega. It is all the stations in the Latin community. The Latin community is scared, and so they continue to get ripped off.''
The paper's report by Jordan Levin suggested that the practice was widespread and says it was shown by a former promoter how the system works.
The former promoter, Edgar Alvarez, made calls to an Orlando station DJ and to a promoter, getting figures to put a song on the air and commented, "''Promoters get to the point where they either play the game or they're out.
"There's this little group of promoters that have control, so everybody has to go through them, and that's why it starts to get more expensive for the labels. There's tons of cash that flows, and you don't know where it goes. The labels are not signing new artists because they don't know what will happen to them. The new talent is getting nowhere.''
The report details comments on problems made by small operators trying to get airplay and says that its year-long investigation found that many in Latin music -- from independent-label heads and promoters to DJs and artists to current and former employees of major labels - said payola limits the music that reaches the public and distorts the industry.
However few, I says, are willing to blow the whistle, fearing not only legal consequences such as fines and jail time, but being blacklisted by radio programmers, distributors and all of the other interconnected parts of the industry.
''If you go against them, they're going to cut you off. You won't get anything played,'' it was told by William Otero, a New York DJ who publishes the music magazine Latinos Unidos.
'The only way something like that would work is if all the record labels would stand up and say, `No, we're not going to pay anymore.' But there's too much competition.''
In another report, Levin highlights the difference between Spanish and English language stations, where major labels deal with promotional firms, some of whom have exclusive relationships with major broadcasters that are claimed to discourage illegal payments to members of staff whilst providing them with legitimate income.
Hispanic Broadcasting, the largest Spanish-language chain in the US, told the paper it does not deal with such firms because it believes it gives them undue access to programmers and SBS, it says, tried the system unsuccessfully this year.
It contracted with Deborah Castillero, head of New Jersey-based promotion firm Maracas, giving her exclusive rights to promote Latin labels' records to certain SBS stations, with Maracas paying a portion of the fees it received to SBS, but she found she was turned down by almost all of the labels she approached.
''They told me that kind of strategy wasn't going to work because they would have to pay [Maracas] and pay the program directors . . . pay double,'' Castillero said.
Again Shrinsky had a different version: He said Castillero's contract was terminated because she promoted an artist she was managing to some SBS stations, which was against company policy. She responded by saying her contract would have ended regardless because the scheme was unsuccessful.
''There's no interest to change the way the Latin music industry functions,'' she said. "Until a new regime comes in, things will continue to work by illegitimate business practices.''
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting:
Miami Herald report on Spanish language "payola":
Miami Herald report on English and Spanish language station differences:
2002-12-10: Peter Thornton, former editor of Independent Radio News (IRN) and editorial director of both LBC and IRN have died in France aged 57.
A former newspaper reporter who worked for local papers and a news agency as well as national newspapers the Daily Sketch (long defunct) and the UK Daily Telegraph, Thornton joined Britain's first commercial radio station, the London-based news station LBC, in 1973. In 1977 be became editor of Independent Radio News and in September 1983 became editorial director of both LBC and IRN, later also adding the post of managing director.
He left LBC in 1990 following policy differences with Crown Communications, the station's new Australian owners; the station ran into financial problems and was rescued in January 1993 by a consortium led by Dame Shirley Porter's son. At the end of that year Thornton was back in the frame after the London News Radio bid he put together with former BBC executive Ron Onions won the franchise in September.
Before the licence was due to start in October 1994, LNR took over LBC in April, only to sell out to Reuters in May 1994. The twin AM and FM franchise was re-launched as London News Radio in October that year but a month later Thornton resigned because of ill health and moved to France.
The stations are now owned by Chrysalis and are to be re-launched on January 6 next year with LBC's new talk format moving from its old AM frequency to the FM frequency currently broadcasting an all news format.
UK Times obituary:
2002-12-10: St Louis talk show host Charles Jaco has reached a settlement with Infinity's KMOX-AM from which he was fired in November for what the station termed "gross misconduct".
Under the settlement, financial details of which have not been revealed, Jaco has agreed to leave the station where he was paid USD122, 500 a year according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
The paper adds that KMOX has released him from a contract provision that would have prevented him working at another station for six months and Jaco has said he has been contacted by KTRS-AM, which wants to fill an evening slot.
The paper says KMOW has not detailed what it termed "gross misconduct", an offence that would allow it to end a contract without severance pay, beyond saying that the term was "not intended to convey any belief that Mr. Jaco engaged in conduct that was illegal or immoral."
Jaco had been involved in a newsroom confrontation and had sent rude e-mails. One of them reported on by the Post-Dispatch in November, was to a woman who complained about political bias in the station's cover of Republican Catherine Enz who was challenging Democratic Congressman Dick Gephardt.
Jaco replied to the effect that he had not conducted the interview complained about and telling her to "Piss off, you miserable piece of shit."
St Louis Post-Dispatch web site:
2002-12-10: London black station Choice FM has reached a settlement with former production assistant Wendy Browne-Osibo who had accused it of sex discrimination, constructive dismissal and victimisation (See RNW Dec 4).
Choice had contested all the claims and did not admit liability. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed but Browne-Osibo's adviser noted that in a previous hearing in June, a former administration assistant at the station, Audrey Atkinson, had been awarded GBP2, 500 (USD 4000) for sexual harassment (See RNW June 11).
Previous Choice FM:
2002-12-10: XM Satellite
Radio shares jumped 14% on Monday to end the day at USD3.48 following
an announcement that Avis Rent A Car is to offer XM receivers in
rental vehicles starting in the first quarter of next year.
2002-12-09: Comment in the UK about BBC World Service radio, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this month, seemed a good place to start this week's look at print comment on radio.
In the UK Times, Vanora Bennett, details a little of the Service's history from its start as The Empire Service and including some of the text of King George V's first Christmas message, broadcast in the year of the Service's birth and written by Rudyard Kipling, before commenting, that we now "live in a society that could not have been imagined in 1932."
"But," she continues, " the World Service is still evolving, with 150 million listeners worldwide following it into the 21st century We may curse today's World Service for being difficult to find inside Britain (though that is changing).
But the point of the service, even today, is the high-mindedness that made the Chairman of the Governors, J. H. Whitley launch the Empire Service with a prayer.
"Our prayer," he said, "is that nothing mean or cheap may lessen (the wireless's) value and that its message may bring happiness and comfort to those who listen."
In similar vein, her UK Sunday Times colleague Paul Donovan, in his RadioWaves column generally praises the Service although he notes that it "means different things to different people."
" 'A skyful of lies,' according to the rulers of Burma. 'A skyful of freedom,' replied the loyal Bush House correspondent Andrew Walker."
"But what is it now?" asks Donovan. "A skyful of globalisation hardly has the same ring about it."
He also details some of the history, noting that it was for decades "a subtle weapon of war. It was where General de Gaulle called his people to arms against the Nazis, and coded messages were sent to the resistance - an "intellectual invasion of the Continent", as Goebbels put it."
"Later, World Service output provided an intellectual, journalistic and artistic lifeline for millions shuttered behind the Iron Curtain. The Russians jammed it for years."
"And yet, throughout, and despite all the links with officialdom," Donovan continues, "the BBC World Service built - and maintains - a high reputation for reliability and authority. International opinion-makers take it seriously."
"It steers a middle course between 'Palestinian martyrs' and 'terrorists', and instead refers to 'suicide bombers'. It increasingly emphasises vox populi, giving airtime to those outraged by the slaughter of 9/11 as well as those who seek explanation and those protesting against the erosion of civil liberties here and in the United States."
He concludes by noting, "I remember the Middle East hostages being freed in 1991, and their tribute to the World Service for keeping their hopes alive during the long years of captivity. 'The next time someone puts forward the notion that radio no longer matters in an age of television, let them remember that it is radio that helped to keep good men sane in the hour when they needed it most,' I wrote at the time. Eleven years on, I think that would still be the case, but I hope events never put it to the test."
Behind the World Service as behind the BBC, is of course, the original remit to "inform, educate and entertain" that has guided the Corporation throughout its existence. The current BBC charter ends in 2006 and the BBC is looking at updating the remit as part of its campaign to secure renewal of its charter and licence fee according to Jason Deans in the UK Guardian.
He quotes Jana Bennett, BBC director of television, as saying the campaign was about "creating new values" for the corporation by updating the remit but then adds that BBC executives are not in any way trying to do away with "the holy trinity of Reithian principles" and Bennett said the trinity was "not a slogan but it is a mission", adding "We want to communicate to staff and to viewers what the BBC stands for."
Deans also notes that Greg Dyke, the BBC director general, went some way towards redefining the remit when he launched the "Making It Happen" campaign at the beginning of the year and suggesting that the BBC should add a fourth goal, of connecting with different audiences, to its aims to inform, educate and entertain.
RNW comment: Our scepticism is immediately aroused over this issue: After the management speak era of previous BBC Director-General John, now Lord, Birt, the last thing that is needed in our view is some New Labour (the British government) friendly sloganeering. The original trinity seems remarkably well-chosen good plain English, and still apt after nearly a century, qualities that appear to us to be absent amongst today's politicians.
In the eyes of the many of the US right, of course, the BBC is considered "liberal", a word they have corrupted grossly, and attracts many other unfavourable epithets in various ways, but on the radio at least they seem to rule, a point noted in our Comment this month and the subject of a report, "Why the Right Rules the Radio Waves" by John Leland in the New York Times.
We would argue that the article also shows that, were they given the chance, they would also pervert that BBC remit, certainly as far as the educate and inform legs of the trinity are concerned.
After noting that despite a fairly even political division in the US, politically conservative talk radio continues to grow in the US, Leland quotes Ron Rodrigues, editor in chief of Radio & Records, as saying, "I can't think of a single card-carrying liberal talk show syndicated nationwide."
(RNW comment - he's obviously correct if he means "left-leaning" or Democrat or even "favouring progress and reform" (one Collins definition of liberal) or "being giving and generous in temperament or behaviour" (another Collins definition) albeit maybe not in some cases in terms of "having policies or views advocating individual freedom" (yet another Collins definition).
Later Leland quotes Robert Thompson, a professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University on why "liberals" (We'll use italics to emphasis the particular use of the word) have failed in talk radio.
Thompson suggested that it may be a function of the nature of the beast, that conservatives have prospered by drawing hard divisions between right and wrong, "the liberal tradition as we understand it acknowledges a diversity of people and values." In the heat of drive-time squawk, he said, "That's easily thrown back in their face by making them look mealy-mouthed."
Michael Harrison, editor of trade magazine Talkers, suggested the rise of talk radio after the 1987 repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's "Fairness Doctrine" was the result of radio being "a niche medium.
" The top rated talk host Rush Limbaugh reaches around 14.5 million listeners a week and Harrison noted, "That's not a mass audience when compared to other media. More people watch the World Wrestling Federation."
Leland also suggest that listeners bond to such shows because they feel they're members of an aggrieved minority and he quoted talk radio consultant and former programme director John Mainelli as saying that as long as network sitcoms, mainstream movies, public radio and some major newspapers are identified with liberal views about sex, family and tattoos, conservatives can cast themselves as outsiders, no matter who is in the White House.
Listening to the talk hosts is not just a matter of entertainment, however.
David C. Barker, a professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh and author of "Rushed to Judgment: Talk Radio, Persuasion and American Political Behavior", which surveyed listeners and non-listeners, said that while he could not measure the impact of Limbaugh's program on elections, "If you take a group of people who never listened to talk radio before, and then look at their attitudes six months later, you'll see a clear change" reflecting the views of Limbaugh.
All the more reason, therefore, for careful consideration of the ownership structure of US broadcasting, the subject of another New York Times article, "Fewer Media Owners, More Media Choices" by Jim Rutenberg, that propounds the theory that "despite consolidation, media choices have expanded exponentially through technology. Now the typical American can watch Britain's BBC News, among others, on television and choose from tens of thousands of news Web sites, from Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, to The Times of India, based in New Delhi."
"As a result," he writes, "federal regulators are questioning whether fears of corporate media domination have become obsolete Proponents of deregulation say that the average household has access to so much information in so many different forms that no single company could ever exert undue influence over consumers."
"In fact, they argue, large media conglomerates like AOL Time Warner and Comcast, through their investments in cable and Internet, are helping to bring more choices than ever to the average American household."
Rutenberg then lists some numbers of available stations and sources -89 TV channels in the average American home, 200 for those with satellite or cable TV, 20 plus radio stations - and quotes FCC chairman Michael Powell, known to favour deregulation, as saying," "I think that these issues have traditionally been debated at kind of a superficial, socio-political level. Is it really true that Americans do not have access to lots of diverse voices to require government intervention?"
On the other side Rutenberg says "public interest" advocates say that the expanded media menu is subject to the commercial interests of a handful of companies and they argue that this has led, according to Gene Kimmelman, senior director of the Consumers Union to a dearth of major networks addressing minorities or people interested in high culture or civic affairs, areas that do not promise the ratings and profit bonanzas that major media companies are seeking.
"With a handful of companies deciding what makes it in programming," said Kimmelman, "many points of view, many tastes are underrepresented in the marketplace."
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, argued, "This is a very narrow definition of diversity, Just because there are five home shopping networks, four fix-em-up channels and five talking head news channels doesn't mean there's real diversity or competition."
On the other side of the argument those like Powell say this argument ignored good business practice because people will only pay for extra channels if they are offered a compelling set of choices.
"Common ownership can lead to more diversity," said Powell. "What does the owner get for having duplicative products? I don't know why you'd want to have two newspapers that say the same thing. I would say, `Let's make one Democratic, let's make one Republican."'
Kimmelman responds, "The issue is whether at any critical time when it's important to get updated news - local or national - is there an ability to distort or present one point of view more prominently than another?"
Powell says on this, that he is not totally "cold " to such fears but adds, "I don't know that if because you can articulate the anxiety it is a compelling case for having massive structural regulation of the industry."
RNW comment: We would suggest that is it beyond doubt that in any society some news is always distorted because of the general perceptions of that society - an example would be to challenge anyone to examine US news cover of the past decade of Israel, the Middle East, South America, and Irish affairs by any consistent set of values. If they can come up with a good argument that there is not distortion, they should be able to make a fortune writing certain kinds of fiction. However both sides have a point when it comes to the method of dealing with such a state of affairs. We think Powell's stance would be much strengthened if he were to accept that there is distortion, not "anxiety" about possible distortion, and then move on to build his case on that basis.
Finally and maintaining our interest in diversity, the Toronto Star in an article by Lysanne Louter features the first aboriginal radio station in Toronto, now on the air.
Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR) faced many problems in getting on the air, some not immediately apparent.
When the station was looking at subscribing to a wire service, for example, Minnie Two Shoes, head of its news department, said the Reuters representative had to struggle to find anything concerning "aboriginal" and eventually was only able to come up with one story concerning Australian aborigines. (RNW comment: In fairness to Reuters, a former employer of this writer, and the other wire services, it is expensive to cover many areas and, if there is little general interest, will elicit complaints not praise from most subscribers. The same is just as true of Burkina Faso datelines as of aboriginal stories and, we would suggest, an argument for thought about what should be covered not just what a market wants. The answer may be the same in both cases at times!).
AVR, which has four full-timers and one part-timer, says it wants to develop its own sound. A driving force behind it is Aboriginal actor, producer and publisher Gary Farmer, who is best known for his role in The Score with Robert De Niro.
"I feel like I'm the fellow working on the outside to ensure that my children, my nephews and nieces, are going to get a fair opportunity, which they do have now," Farmer said. " I didn't have that as a kid. It's really important that the people who come after me have the opportunity to learn their language because I think it's the thrust of who we are."
Music will take up most of AVR's airtime initially because of its reliance on volunteers but it plans newscasts every hour and, with volunteers, intends to air public affairs programs and start a national call-in show.
Eventually Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVRN) plans to expand to 27 cities across Canada as money becomes available.
Most funding will be from advertising, but they have also secured a line of credit and partner corporation, Atlantic Canada's New Cap Broadcasting, pledged CAD 1 million (USD640, 000) to cover start-up costs. AVRN currently has more than CAD5 million (USD 1.9 million) set aside for development but Farmer knows it's an uphill battle. "The Canadian response has been very typical," he explains. "It's non-existent. We've done all of this without one government dime."
New York Times - Leland:
New York Times -Rutenberg;
Toronto Star - Louter:
UK Guardian - Deans:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Times - Bennett:
2002-12-09: US newspaper group Gannett seems likely to take over SMG's publishing business, which is being sold by the Scottish company to trim its GBP400 million (USD630 million) debt as it moves to concentrate on its radio business.
SMG built up its owings through overpriced acquisitions including its purchases of a 30% holding in rival Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) and GBP225 million (USD 353 million) purchase in 2000 (See RNW Jan 13, 2000) of the Ginger Media Group that includes Virgin Radio, which is currently faring badly in the ratings (See RNW Oct 25).
Earlier this year it wrote down its investments by nearly GBP60 million (USD 94 million) (See RNW April 19).
It was forced to renegotiate its banking covenants and now has a deal until June next year, although this involves increased interest costs on the borrowings (See RNW March 16).
Gannett and Independent News & Media are the only two bidders left in the final shortlist for the purchase after the Barclay Brothers, owners of Edinburgh-based newspapers The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, were forced out because of political protests and fears of delays through a competition enquiry.
Other bidders including two venture capital groups, Electra and Candover, plus the Daily Mail & General Trust and Norwich-based private regional newspaper group Archant all failed to make the final shortlist.
Gannett raised its offer to GBP 215 million (USD 338 million) last week, still short of the GBP 230 million (USD 361 million) offered by the Barclays but thought to be at least GBP5 million (USD 8 million) above the Independent bid, which is favoured by SMG newspaper staff.
2002-12-09: Veteran Connecticut radio announcer and host Bob Steele, who broadcast for WTIC 1080 News-Talk station in Hartford, for more than 65 years has died aged 91.
He began with the station as an announcer in 1936 and moved to mornings in 1942 as host of the G. Fox "Morning Watch" program later renamed "The Bob Steele Show" He continued to host the show host until he "retired" in 1991, after which he continued to host the station's Saturday Morning show one day a month. His last broadcast was on November 2.
Steele was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995 and was also a member of the Connecticut Sports Hall Of Fame and was four times named Connecticut Sportscaster Of The Year.
Steele was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and worked in the restaurant business, boxing and announcing motorcycle races in Los Angeles before trying to get into radio and eventually ending up in Hartford.
He was noted for trying to use the right words, pronounced correctly, and the family asks that, rather than flowers, donations are sent to a worthy charity, including in the list the Literacy Volunteers.
WTIC web site:
Radio Hall of Fame web site:
2002-12-09: Dublin is to gain a new radio station for ethnic communities next year according to the UK Sunday Times.
It says the station, Radio Global, is a joint venture between Dublin's 98FM and non-national journalists living in Ireland and will feature a mixture of news and music, and will include a programme entitled Know Your Rights and an English course.
Broadcasts will be mainly in English but the project is being supported by Filipino, Russian and Chinese journalists and there will also be segments in the participants' native languages.
Behind the station, reports the paper, are Nigerian journalist Chinedu Onyejelem, editor of the Metro Eireann, a monthly magazine aimed at Ireland's entire ethnic community, and Dan Healy, managing director of 98FM. The paper says the new station will use 98FM's studios but broadcast on its own FM frequency.
UK Sunday Times report:
2002-12-08: Last week was fairly quiet on the licence front with the most significant news from the US, where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a public hearing regarding ownership regulations; elsewhere it was matter of routine decisions.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has allocated two new community radio licences for the Victor Harbor region of South Australia, one if which will serve the wider Fleurieu Peninsula area and the other Victor Harbor only.
There were three applications for the Fleurieu Peninsula, which went to Encounter FM Community Broadcasters Association Inc. (5EFM), which will provide a general community service; it was competing against Radio Alexandrina (Alex FM) Community Broadcasters Association Incorporated (Alex FM) and The Fleurieu Peninsula Christian Broadcasters Association Incorporated (Spirit FM).
The Victor Harbor only licence, for which there were the same three applicants plus Great Southern Community Broadcasters Association Incorporated (GSFM), went to the latter, which will also provide a general community service but with a sporting emphasis.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), was occupied with small-scale decisions.
In Newfoundland and Labrador it approved:
*An application by not-for-profit Paradise Broadcasting Corporation to operate an English-language developmental community FM radio station in Paradise whose programming would include the works of local musical artists and poets, live concerts, local news and sports, and other diversified programming to reflect the cultural interests of the community.
In Nunavit, it approved:
*An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence of CIQA-FM, Iqaluit, so that it can provide weather information in both English and French.
In Ontario it approved:
*An application by Greater Toronto Airports Authority to increase the transmitter power of CFYZ, from 25 watts to 400 watts during the day, and from 99 watts to 150 watts at night.
*An application to allow CHRW-FM London, Ontario to move its transmitter, change frequency and increase its power from 3,000 to 3,500 watts.
* An application by CHUM to allow its oldies station CKPT-AM, Peterborough, to be allowed to broadcast a lower level of Canadian popular music in line with its policy on such stations that allow a minimum 30% rather than the 35% for other musical formats.
In Quebec, it has approved:
*The takeover of CFOR-FM Maniwaki, by a corporation equally owned by Messrs. André Gauthier and Rock Lépine
*An additional 11.9 watts transmitter in Saint-Juste-du-Lac to broadcast the output of CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup.
*An additional 50 watts transmitter in Pabos Mills for CJMC-FM Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.
*An 11,040 watts transmitter in Saguenay (formerly Chicoutimi) for CION-FM Québec.
*A frequency change for VF8017 L'Assomption, L'Assomption.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) announced no new radio decisions but it was stung enough by criticism of its allocation of the Carlow/Kilkenny licence to a new entrant to issue a public justification of the decision that left existing Kilkenny franchise holder Kilkenny Community Communications Co-operative Society Ltd. out in the cold (See RNW Dec 4).
In the UK, the Radio Authority has pre-advertised the Milton Keynes and Oxford/Banbury Fm licences held by Milton Keynes Broadcasting Co. Ltd., broadcasting as FM 103 Horizon, and First Oxfordshire Broadcasting Co. Ltd., broadcasting as Fox FM.
Both expire at the end of 2004 and should no competing applications be received will go forward under the Authority's fast-track procedure.
The Authority has also announced that its application and licence fees are to remain unchanged for 2003.
In the US, the most significant announcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was of its decision to hold a public hearing concerning ownership regulations (See RNW Dec 6). The Commission is now at full strength following the swearing-in of new Democrat Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein (See RNW Dec 4).
The FCC also confirmed a penalty of USD 6,000 on Media Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WAAA -AM in Winston- Salem, North Carolina for failure to post its antenna structure registration number and its failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting on its antenna structure between sunset and sunrise.
Media had initially responded to a notice of violation sent in February last year that it had notified the FAA of the lighting outage prior to July 2001, when WAAA temporarily went silent and that it made several attempts to get the bulbs replaced, but "various certified tower companies" refused because of the age of the tower and the danger involved in climbing it; and that it believed the close proximity of a tower with lighting minimized the risk of an accident
The Commission had subsequently issued a notification of a USD 12,000 penalty in June taking the view that the excuses given did not justify the violations but halved this following Media's response, which argued that the proposed monetary forfeiture should be cancelled or "greatly reduced" because of its inability to pay and because of the steps taken to correct the violations.
The FCC observed that the tower still had no lighting in October this year and has ordered that within 30 days Media must inform it whether it has dismantled the antenna, as it has said it was proposing. Or brought it into compliance with regulations.
However, based on the financial documentation provided by Media, it concluded that payment of more than $6,000 would be a financial hardship for Media and reduced the penalty to USD 6,000.
The Commission also reduced from USD 11,200 to USD 8, 800 penalties on Truth Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WTOB- AM, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for tower related offences (See RNW Dec 3).
In Florida, it affirmed a penalty of USD 5,000 on Joseph S. McCreary for the use of an external radio frequency power amplifier as part of his Citizens Band ("CB") radio station. The penalty arose from complaints that McCreary's operation of a CB radio station with a 1,000-watt linear amplifier and was causing interference to home electronic entertainment devices.
McCreary initially did not respond when a notice was issued in May this year but after the order had been affirmed in August he said he had disabled the amplifier so that he could not transmit; he also offered his equipment in lieu of payment of the penalty.
The FFC said thanks but no thanks and again affirmed the penalty.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-12-08: Leslie Gold, the Radio Chick, who is morning host on Clear Channel's classic rock station WAXQ-FM in New York has upset the company with a billboard near the Queensboro bridge that showed her topless, but with a pair of hands covering her breasts over which are her hands, with the text " The Radio Chick Mornings She's Quite a handful!"
She went outside the company's outdoor division to get the billboard but it was paid for by Clear Channel Radio, which ordered the poster taken down, even though it said it had received no complaints.
Gold herself commented on air that she thought that an employer in this business should "support your right to express yourself."
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-12-08: Betty Loren-Maltese, the former town president of Cicero who a year ago launched a defamation lawsuit against Erich "Mancow" Muller (See RNW Dec 1 2001), has now dropped the action.
Muller had made comments on his show alleging that she accepted payoffs to do town business and also associated with mobsters. Loren-Maltese and four other defendants were found guilty earlier this year of participation in a scheme to steal more than USD12 million from the town.
2002-12-07: Anti-trust concerns by Federal authorities are delaying the USD 2 billion acquisition by Univision of Spanish-language radio broadcaster Hispanic Broadcasting according to a Merrill Lynch report.
The two companies were predicting approval of the deal by January (see RNW Sept 14) but according to an AP report, Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen says the closing date could be up to two months later because of the Justice Department's view.
She says that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell is said to support the deal but there are more uncertainties at the Justice Department because of concerns about ownership concentration in some markets and also the national market. She also suggests that to gain approval the deal might involve Univision having to divest itself of some of its 31% interest in Entravision.
Entravision in an unrelated announcement has said that is has appointed John F. DeLorenzo as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer to take over from Jeanette Tully who will retire from the company at the end of the year.
Entravision chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa said of the appointment that DeLorenzo was "a seasoned financial executive with an impressive track record in serving media companies."
San Francisco Chronicle/AP report:
2002-12-07: Canadian broadcaster CHUM has settled its contract dispute with Paul Romanuk, but is still in dispute with Jim van Horne, another former TSN (The Sports Network) broadcaster who also lost his job when the company folded its sports network in August according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
According to columnist William Houston, van Horne was owed around CAD 300, 000 (USD 190, 000) and van Horne around CAD 750, 000 (USD 480, 000) when the sports network was shot down and both demanded full payment: CHUM had continued to pay them but neither has yet landed a full-time TV job.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2002-12-07: UK Chrysalis Group is to simulcast its LBC News rolling news format on its own FM frequency and LBC's current AM frequency from December 24 to January 6 when it re-launches LBC on the FM slot and moves LBC News onto the AM frequency currently being used by talk format LBC.
The move is being made, says LBC, to allow it to conduct dry runs of its new format and listeners will be told of the planned changes from December 16 with regular promotional messages.
When the new LBC is launched, Chrysalis is planning a marketing campaign in print and on posters, including London underground sites.
2002-12-07: Chicago public radio station WBEZ-FM is now operating Loyola University Campus station WLUW-FM under a 15-year deal that the university confirmed was under discussion in the summer (See RNW July 11). Under the agreement, any deficits will be split between the university and WBEZ for the next three years, after which WBEZ will pick up all costs.
The operating agreement was finally agreed on Tuesday and went into effect without any publicity drive. Loyola University, which had been losing around USD160, 000 a year on the student-run station, described the deal as a "win-win" situation for all involved, saying that the students would now have internship and career opportunities that they did not have before.
WBEX says WLUW will remain true to its mission and that it is happy to help provide fund-raising expertise to make it self-supporting. It is keeping on WLUW station manager Craig Kois and programme director Shawn Campbell.
2002-12-06: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is to hold a public hearing in Richmond, Virginia, in February to gain public comment concerning ownership regulations.
FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said the hearing would provide another opportunity to solicit public opinion about media ownership issues in a mid-sized market and will supplement the media hearing the Commission held in October 2001 and the extensive record that has already been accumulated.
"I agree that a local public hearing can provide value to our proceedings," added Powell. "Severe budget constraints and a commitment not to further delay completion of this critical proceeding are also paramount considerations in conducting such a hearing and the choice of venue. Conducting a hearing in Richmond appropriately balances those concerns."
Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps, who last month had said he was prepared to go ahead with such hearings on his own, welcomed the move as a step forwards, although he still wants further hearings.
"I have been calling for hearings for several months," he said, "and I welcome the FCC's decision to hold this hearing. I don't believe there is any substitute for getting out and talking with America about this critical decision. We must not rush to judgment on whether the scrap our media concentration protections. A hearing in Richmond will help us move in the right direction."
"This is a good step forward. But I remain convinced we need to have other hearings in diverse venues to flesh out the record needed for this single most important decision the Commission will make next year. That means listening not just to one community, but giving mid-western and west coast Americans, for example, access to the FCC. I understand budget constraints but on an issue of this profound importance, we just have to find a way to hear from more folks outside the Capital Beltway. I am looking for that way and I am determined to find it."
"At stake in this proceeding are our core values of localism, diversity, competition, and maintaining the multiplicity of voices and choices that undergird our marketplace of ideas and that sustain American democracy," Copps continued. "With such important values at stake, we ought to give Americans access to our decision making process, we ought to rely on granular evidence and engage in studied analysis."
FCC web site (Links to announcement and Copps comments):
2002-12-06: GWR Group chairman Ralph Bernard has called upon the British government to continue the deal under which provision of a service on a "relevant" digital multiplex gives automatic renewal of a UK analogue radio licence.
Speaking to the Westminster Media Forum, he said that a repeat of the scheme was needed when current analogue licences expired because "payback" on digital radio had "taken longer than expected and it is analogue revenues that underpin digital investment."
British radio licences currently run for eight years but this it to be extended to 12 years under planned legislation.
The Communications Bill will ease ownership regulations and was changed after radio industry lobbying to allow only two owners plus the BBC in a local area in place of the three plus the BBC plan in the earlier draft of the bill.
Bernard welcomed the change but called on new super regulator OFCOM to allow even more deregulation, making particular reference to the question of format, which can be changed by the regulator should a station change hands and suggesting that this was an unneeded power.
He made a specific point of the difference in rgulation between the Commercial sector and the BBC, which can change format without needing regulatory approval, saying the commercial sector had to "remain in a single format with no oppurtunity to change."
RNW comment: Bearing in mind the commercial interests of companies and, to put it bluntly, absence of almost any other motive for some than maximizing value before a takeover, we are somewhat sceptical about the motives behind the comments regarding formats. To us it's a comment that can be just as easily reversed: unless there is a history of the regulator making perverse decisions on this basis, why does the rule need changing?
At the same time, Bernard does have a valid point about the difference between the BBC and the commercial sector.
The difference to us lies in the nature of the public service remit of one organization and commercial nature of another.
If the remits are set out properly and enforced, it seems to us that this is the manner in which unfairness should be controller, although again Bernard has a point in that the BBC will not come under the control of OFCOM.
We would accept that at times there have been justified complaints about the manner, in which some BBC decisions have been taken and that it does seem to have acted outside its remit,
On balance, however, we value the BBC positives far more highly than the negatives.
2002-12-06: Arbitron has announced that it is to extend the ratings comparison portion of its current Portable People Meter (PPM) market trial until March 28 next year to coincide with its Winter 2003 survey and Nielsen Media Research's January through March 2003 local market television surveys.
It says that following a routine upgrade of encoding equipment in late October, it found that the encoder at KYW-AM, Philadelphia, had not been set to the correct level and that this could have affected the equipment's performance up to November 13 when the equipment was set correctly.
Owen Charlebois, president, U.S. Media, Arbitron Inc. said they were "extending the ratings comparison portion of the trial by another full radio survey period to determine if out-of-spec encoder input might have affected the performance of the Portable People Meter during the Spring and Summer ratings period."
Arbitron stressed that the technology itself was not at fault and Charlebois added that the change would have no impact on the PPM development schedule for 2003, saying, "Once we refine the PPM sampling methodology through our response rate research, we still intend to use that methodology to build the first of the twin panels, as previously announced, in the latter part of 2003 and the second of the twin panels in 2004."
Charlebois also commented on feedback it had received saying, "Our Radio Advisory Council and our customers have expressed a desire for more information to help them evaluate the PPM system. We are taking their advice to heart and giving the radio and the television industry another three months of comparison data for their evaluations."
RNW comment: The last part of Charlebois' comments seems to us the nib of the matter; in our view it's the customer concerns that are at the heart of things, and the fault is being used as an excuse.
Ironically, whilst the PPM is having its problems in the US, its technology has been accepted for use in Canada next year (see RNW Sept 24), is scheduled for tests in South America (See RNW June 14), is being tested in the UK (See RNW Oct 18) and is also on the agenda for use in Asia.
The technology is being tested in Singapore by market information company Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) whose TARiS 5000 people meters use the same system of embedding inaudible codes in station broadcasts.
TNS has said it is pleased with the performance of the encoding technology and that its Singapore experience has shown electronic measurement systems to be "accurate, reliable, and produce more targeted ratings that benefit broadcasters and advertisers."
The PPM is currently on the agenda of the current Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) annual convention that ends today in Singapore and Arbitron Inc. (ARB) and Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia are proposing use of the PPM in Australia to establish an advanced radio ratings service there.
Arbitron web site:
Taylor Nelson Sofres web site:
Taylor Nelson Sofres (Australia) web site:
2002-12-06: UK EMAP has recruited former Capital Radio group programme director Richard Park as a consultant for its London station Magic FM. Park, who takes up his post in The New Year, will work with Magic programme director Trevor White, will be aiming to take audience and advertising from his former employer.
He worked for Capital for 14 years hiring amongst others Capital's current breakfast host Chris Tarrant and his regular replacement Neil Fox, and also being behind the launch of Capital Gold in 1998.
Park left Capital in March last year and set up his own media consultancy business (See RNW March 15, 2001).
When he left he was retained as a consultant by Capital under a deal running to the end of September that was worth some GBP300, 000 a year and prohibited him from competing with Capital.
He will be the first radio consultant hired by EMAP and Magic managing director Mark Story said, " it is testimony to Richard's calibre that we have asked him to work with us on Magic. I am very excited about working with him again as Magic is extremely important to us and Richard will play a significant role in continuing the growth shown in the last set of RAJAR figures."
Magic has been performing well and in the third quarter ratings had a weekly audience of some 1.2 million listeners a week, a 10 per cent rise on the same quarter of 2001.
In contrast, Capital Radio has been losing audience and the ratings showed its breakfast show on flagship station Capital FM was down more than a quarter of a million listeners a week in the past 12 months, although it still leads the market with some 1.6 million listeners a week (See RNW Oct 25).
Its problems and delays in announcing details of it breakfast show plans for next year when Tarrant moves to a later start are putting it under pressure from investors. It says it expects to announce more details of the new line-up next week but the uncertainties are leading some advertisers to hold off making bookings with the company for January, bookings that in the past would have been under negotiation two months ago.
Capital has already reacted to concern about its audience problems, particularly among the younger demographic, by asking research company Leapfrog to specifically look at why it is losing the 15-44 audience.
2002-12-06: MUSICMATCH's Artist Match toppled the terrestrial stations from the top of the station rankings for the first time in the latest Arbitron MeasureCast Ratings but Clear Channel continued to hold firmly onto the network top slot although its listening fell back.
Overall, listening was reported up 4% but the top five stations all had lower listening.
For the week to Nov 24, Arbitron-MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 305,849 (299,450); CP 113,324 (113,588). Up from second with higher listening but slightly lower reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 269,578 (272,700); CP 50,142 (58,474). Up from third despite lower listening and reach.
3: Sport-talk ESPN - TTSL 262,405 (264,855): CP 46,976 (47,369). Up from fourth despite lower listening and reach.:
4: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 244,219 (316,078); CP 76,444 (73,462): Down from first with much lower listening but higher reach.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 223,770 (227,831); CP 39,014 (43,410): Up from sixth despite lower listening and reach.
Adult alternative Radioio, which had been fifth with TTSL 262,516 and CP 54,946 was not listed in the top 25.
The top five networks for the week to November 24 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,455,859 (1,489,518); CP 338,631 (323,277) - Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,245,968 (1,199,875); CP 379,246 (375,043). Same position with higher listening and reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 1,051,874 (969,780) ; CP 154,146 (144,007). Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 955,876 (969,627): CP 154,111 (187,201) Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 623,254 (640,018) hours: CP 107,356 (106,229) - Same position with lower listening but slightly higher reach.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site :
2002-12-05: Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting has appointed three new regional vice-presidents in a major shake-up that also sees three SVPs - David Pearlman, Bill Figenshu, and Don Bouloukos - all leaving the company.
The three go back to the time of Don Mason, who was replaced as President/COO by John Fullam in August (See RNW Aug 21).
Fullam said in a statement, "I want to thank David, Bill and Don for their many contributions to Infinity Broadcasting over the years. We wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavours."
He described the new appointees, Kenneth O'Keefe, Brian Ongaro and Clancy Woods, who will all, report to him, as having "distinguished themselves as first-class radio operators".
O'Keefe, a former President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio who "retired" at the end of June last year (See RNW May 26, 2001), who will be Executive VP, Eastern Region; Ongaro, a former Executive VP/Market Manager for AMFM, is SVP, Central Region; and Woods, formerly VP and Market Manager for Infinity in Phoenix, Arizona, will be SVP, Western Region.
Still in the Viacom camp, syndicator Westwood One has announced a private sale of USD200 million in debt securities that will be used to repay variable rate borrowings and reduce reliance on shorter-term borrowings.
It has sold USD50 million of 4.64% senior guaranteed notes due November 30, 2009 and $150 million of 5.26% senior guaranteed notes due November 30, 2012.
The notes have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
Previous Westwood One:
2002-12-05: UK Chrysalis Group has made yet more signings for the January 6 re-launch of its LBC News-Talk station, which it is moving to the FM frequency of sister station News Direct.
They include former BBC Radio 4 and Radio 1 presenter Frank Partridge and former BBC TV newsreader Angela Rippon.
Partridge, 46, was fired by Sky TV News a year ago after an argument with his co-presenter Kay Burley; before joining Sky he had worked for the BBC as a sports correspondent and as a presenter on the Radio 4 PM and Radio 1 Newsbeat programmes.
He will co-host the station's drivetime show with Caroline Feraday, who was hired from BBC Radio Five Live (See RNW Nov 5).
Rippon, who is now 58, is being hired as arts correspondent; she worked for LBC as a presenter in 1990 when LBC was re-launched by then owners Crown Communications and is on the board of governors of the English National Ballet School.
She will work on the breakfast show, which is being co-hosted by Jane Moore and John Nicolson (See RNW Nov 29).
Other names hired by the station include DJ and singer Boy George, who will host an hourly show each week and GMTV breakfast TV presenter Penny Smith, who will host a music-based chat show.
2002-12-05: Entravision has now launched its new format on its 105.1 FM Las Vegas frequency that for a week had been airing Jose Feliciano's Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad" continuously following a frequency switch to put its former Super Estrella contemporary Spanish-language hits format to its more powerful 92.7 FM frequency (See RNW Nov 30).
The new format is Radio Tricolor, a regional Mexican format created in 1993 that features specialty shows, community involvement and audience participation and is targeted at 25-plus audiences.
2002-12-05: The BBC has started releasing details of New Year's programming including a seven-hour live broadcast from clubs across the country for its first New Year's Eve show by new black music digital station 1Xtra and a live open air event in Belfast to be staged by BBC Radio 1.
The event will be the second in as many years from Belfast; it will be broadcast live from Donegal Square on Radio 1 from 2300 GMT to 0100 GMT in a show featuring DJ Judge Jules plus Agnelli and Nelson.
1Xtras's show will start at the same time at the Creation club in Bristol and continue until 0600 GMT with broadcasts from Suga in Newcastle following at 01:00 GMT and The Palace in Swansea picking up at 04:00 GMT for the final two hours. Hosts at the venues will be DJ Rampage in Bristol, G Child, Ronnie Herel and Diggz in Newcastle and Richie Vee in Swansea.
2002-12-04: Democrat Jonathan Adelstein has finally been sworn in as a US Federal Communications Commissioner, taking over the slot left vacant by former Commissioner Gloria Tristani.
President Bush nominated Adelstein, a former aide to South Dakota Democrat Senator Tom Daschle, in February (See RNW Feb 13) but wrangling over other nominations delayed his approval by the Senate until last month (See RNW Nov 16).
His term runs until the end of June next year. He has already announced a number of staff appointments.
His fellow Democrat on the Commission, Michael J. Copps commented, "Today is a win-win for the FCC and for all who are interested in the work it performs. We have a new Commissioner of outstanding ability and a Commission at full complement, at last." Referring to the delays, he added, "In Jonathan's case, totally extraneous circumstances complicated the process beyond what anyone could have expected. Through it all, he conducted himself with uncommonly good judgment, infinite patience and an inner confidence that in the end, all would be well."
FCC web site (links to Adelstein and Copps statements):
2002-12-04: UK Guardian Media Group (GMG) has sold Clear Channel Radio Sales(CCRS), which it acquired last month (See RNW Nov 7) to Radio Investments Limited for an undisclosed amount and has consolidated Jazz FM's national sales into Chrysalis Radio Sales.
Jazz FM, which was acquired from Clear Channel for GBP44.5 million (USD 70 million) by GMG, will take in house its local sales plus sponsorship and promotions for London and the northwest.
GMG's radio sales operations had previously been split between CCRS, which handled Jazz FM, and Chrysalis, which handled its Real Radio stations in Wales, Scotland and Yorkshire.
GMG Radio managng director John Myers told the UK Guardian (same group), "We have naturally thought long and hard about starting our own in-house operation but it's clear that the timing of this is not right We have also considered the great job that Chrysalis has done for our group and this, together with our excellent working relationship, means it makes good sense to add the Jazz brand to their sales portfolio."
Radio Investments, which owns 22 radio stations, is owned by GMG, GWR Group and Caledonia Investments, is to rename CCRS Radio Sales Ltd.
The new company represents around 50 stations and will have revenues of around GBP 5 million ( USD7.8 million) a year without the Jazz Fm contract that generated around GBP15 million (USD23 million) a year in national sales.
Chrysalis has also announced that its Galaxy channel is to start broadcasting to the UK and Ireland on Sky's digital satellite television platform from next Monday, December 9, adding a potential 6.3 million listeners to Galaxy.
Galaxy is also to be broadcast on the NTL and Telewest digital television platforms, with a further two million potential listeners; Chrysalis already distributes its flagship Heart FM on digital satellite and is also to make Heart available on the NTL and Telewest platforms.
Its digital operations managing director, Paul Fairburn, commented, "Chrysalis Radio has always had a strong commitment to DAB broadcasting through it's lead-shareholding in the MXR regional digital radio consortium. This latest move significantly extends two of our highly successful analogue radio brands on a national platform."
Previous Clear Channel:
UK Guardian report:
2002-12-04: Stung by criticism of its decision to award the Carlow/Kilkenny licence to CK Broadcasting Ltd (KCLR) rather than to Kilkenny Community Communications Co-operative Society Ltd. (Radio Kilkenny)(See Licence News Oct 20), the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has issued a statement concerning the history of the decision and its reasons for making the judgement.
The BCI had been accused of "not transparent" and "non accountable" behaviour and had been described as being run by "faceless bureaucrats"; it had also been suggested that the decision would mean that there would "no longer be a local radio service for the people of Kilkenny and that local people would lose access to the airwaves."
After detailing the history of the decision to change the former franchise areas of Carlow/Kildare and Kilkenny, resulting in the creation of new franchise areas of Carlow/Kilkenny and Co. Kildare, the BCI dismisses suggestion=s that the new franchise area was imposed by it.
It notes that before it made the decision Radio Kilkenny, whose licence runs until September next year, had expressed concern about the viability of its existing franchise area and also suggested that should there be a new franchise incorporating County Carlow, it would be interested in this licence.
The changes, it says were considered in terms of programming, commercial, and transmission perspectives and when the decision to change the areas was announced Radio Kilkenny did not raise any issues concerning the change although Carlow/Kildare Radio (CKR) instigated legal proceedings, subsequently withdrawn, against the BCI to challenge the decision to alter the franchise area. Radio Kilkenny did not support the challenge, says the BCI, and proposed a new station KCR-FM for the new franchise.
It made the decision in light of the fact that Radio Kilkenny's application was considered "more heavily weighted towards the Kilkenny part of the franchise and not as broadly representative of Carlow interests as the successful application, particularly under the headings of board membership and programming.
The successful application, it said, put forward stronger financial proposals and some elements of Kilkenny's marketing proposals were considered weaker and raised concerns about the "adequacy of the expertise available to the group to successfully operate in a franchise of this size."
2002-12-04: SMG's Virgin Radio is to move its breakfast host Daryl Denham to drivetime with the current drivetime duo, Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd, moving into the breakfast slot on January 6. They will be the fourth incumbents of the breakfast slot since Chris Evans was ousted in June 2001 (See RNW June 29,2001), to be replaced by Steve Penk, who quit in January this year (See RNW January 26).
Denham, who had joined Virgin less than a month before was moved from the drivetime slot to take over but has had disappointing ratings in line with the station, which has lost some 700,000 listeners a week over the past year and now has a reach of some 3.3 million.
Virgin's programme controller Paul Jackson said: "As with any team, you are always trying to find the perfect formation and this move offers the listener something a bit different."
"Drivetime seems to be the perfect home for Daryl's style of show and Pete and Geoff have gone from strength to strength across the last year,".
Denham said he saw the move as "a great opportunity to tackle something new and also get a lie in."
2002-12-04: Latest Australian ratings from the AC Nielsen McNair survey, show Macquarie's Sydney 2GB further increasing to its lead over rival 2UE in the talk stakes; although both increased their share, 2GB kept the second spot and gained more but Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE pulled up from seventh to sixth spot.
Austereo's 2-Day kept the top spot, with its share up from 11.7 to 12.0. ABC 702 fell back from third to fifth but DMG 's Nova pulled up to fourth from sixth rank.
In the breakfast competition, Alan Jones retained the top spot for 2GB taking his share up from 13.4 to 15.0, well ahead of talk rival Angela Catterns of ABC 702 who had a 10.1 share, down from 11.2, and completely clear of his nearest commercial talk rival, Steve Price of 2UE whose share was up to 8.5 from 8.3
2UE, in the doldrums since Jones moved over to 2GB, had started the year in second spot but is now sixth and has lost some 125,000 listeners a week whilst 2GB has leapt from ninth to second and gained 173,000 listeners a week.
2UE's bright spot was in the mornings where John Laws, who in the last survey lost his top spot to 2-Day with a 10.1 share to 10.9, pulled back some of the lost ground. He was still second but took his share up to 11, whilst 2-Day increased its share to 11.2 but his 2GB rival Ray Hadley lost share, falling back to 9.8 from 10.1
In the music FM competition, Nova is within reach of toppling Triple M; it now has more listeners but doesn't retain keep them listening as long.
Austereo, which owns top rated 2-Day, however remains upbeat about Triple-M: its managing director Brad March commented "We've been fine tuning Triple M's contemporary rock sound for a little while and it's great to see the results coming through with a big jump in our 18-24 year old listeners from 14.8% to 20.1%."
Austereo also has the top-rated station in every market, SAFM in Adelaide, B105 in Brisbane, Fox in Melbourne, Mix in Perth and 2-Day in Sydney and also has the top spot everywhere for the key revenue demographic of 25-39 year old listeners.
City by city, the top three were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM with 23.1 (24.7); 5AA with 17 (17.9); MIX with 14.4 (12.0) No change in rankings but both the leaders fell back whilst Mix and fourth placed 5MMM with 12.8, up from 11.5 in the previous survey, each increased their share:
*Brisbane - B105FM with 18.2 (17.2); NEW97.3 FM 12.9 (12.2) up from second; Triple M 12.5 (14.3) down from second:
*Melbourne - Fox FM 12.1(13.6) losing a little share but remaining in top spot: ABC774 12.1 (12.7)- losing a little share but remaining in second spot; 3AW 11.6 (12.0) - losing share again but retaining third spot: Nova moved remained in fourth but closed the gap, taking its share up to 10.5 from 9.4
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 23.3 (22.6); All New 92.9 with 15.2 (17.0); 96FM with 11.9 (13.6) - no change in rankings:
*Sydney - 2-Day with 12.0(11.7); 2GB 10.2 (9.6); Triple M with 9.1(8.9) up from fourth.
ABC 702 fell from third to fifth with share down from 9.4 to 8.7; Nova was up from sixth to fourth with share up from 8.2 to 8.8 and 2UE was up from seventh to sixth with its share up from 8.0 to 8.4
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2002-12-04: Leading London Black pop radio station Choice FM allowed a woman production assistant to be subjected to a sustained campaign of sexual harassment according to evidence given by her to an employment tribunal.
Wendy Browne-Osibo, whose case follows that of another female employee Audrey Atkinson (See RNW June 11), told the tribunal that when she made a formal complaint that she had been groped by two male employees, shown pornographic -mails and offered GBP200 (USD 315) to show her breast, she received a response that forced her to leave her job in August 2001.
In all Browne-Osibo named seven staff she said were involved in the harassment, including Garage DJ, CK Flash and journalist Andre Morgan, whom she reported for touching her behind, and another DJ George Kay who she said offered her the money to show him her breasts and was a fan of pornographic e-mails.
Browne-Osibo alleges sex discrimination, constructive dismissal and victimisation.
Choice is contesting all the claims and its counsel Jaspaul Dubb asked her why other employees had not corroborated her claims. She said they were lying because they still worked at Choice. Dubb said that regarding the alleged touching incidents, the two men had apologised following the complaint for the sake of an "easier working environment" but there had in fact been no such incidents.
Regarding a complaint that production manager and DJ Calvin Francis had refused to take down a poster with a rear view of a naked woman, Dubb said the poster was a flyer produced by another organisation for the station and directed at its target audience, adding that such pictures were common in the hip-hop and garage music culture
Previous Choice FM:
UK Independent report:
2002-12-03: US radio revenues have followed a 17% rise in September with a 13% rise in October compared to October 2001 according to the latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
For October, RAB reported total revenues up for the eighth straight month with total revenues up 13%, national revenues up 23% and local revenues up 10%.
On a year to date basis, total revenues are up 5%, national revenues are up 10% and local revenues are up 4% compared to the first ten months of 2001.
RAB's sales index, which takes 1998 as a base year of 100, was 123 for total sales in October, 126.1 for national sales and 121.2 for local sales: The equivalent year to date indices were 134.3 for total sales, 133.9 for national sales and 134.4 for local sales.
RAB president and CEO Gary Fries said the October gains had "positioned Radio for sustained growth throughout this quarter and next."
"Radio's resiliency has been a major factor in the increases we've seen so far this year, and Radio is poised to continue to outperform other media into 2003," he added.
Previous RAB/monthly figures:
RAB web site:
2002-12-03: The BBC has admitted that its introduction of further digital stations has led to degradation of the quality of its existing digital broadcasts according to a report in the UK Guardian.
In all the Corporation will have introduced six new digital-only stations during 2002 when its last offering, BBC7, goes on air on December 15, taking to 11 the number of channels crammed into its digital multiplex.
The Guardian says that a BBC spokeswoman told it there was a "small but committed group of audiophiles who think we have compromised the quality of the broadcasts".
She confirmed that quality had been cut back to make room for more channels, saying, "If we are going to take digital radio into the mass market, we have to offer more choice to listeners It is a case of balancing the quality of the broadcast with the number of services you are able to receive."
One Cheshire listener, Peter Nadin, told the paper there had been "a drastic reduction in technical quality"
"When 5 Live Sports Extra and 6 Music launched, there was a noticeable reduction in quality in the output of the BBC World Service and 5 Live broadcasts," he said, adding that following the launch of 1Xtra and the BBC Asian Network, "the quality of the other BBC channels has dropped."
"The World Service now sounds better on [digital TV platform] Freeview than it does on digital radio," he said.
BBC7's launch on Sunday, 15 December, will feature two-hour simulcast on BBC Radio 4 showcasing what the corporation terms" the best of BBC 7."
The channel will feature comedy, book readings and drama and children's programmes, including a live daily programme for children.
It will be on air 18 hours a day, from 0700 local to o100 the next day and will carry regular "programme zones" at the same time each day.
Editor, Mary Kalemkerian describes it as "a special kind of radio station" with an enormous range of content that they expect listeners to dip in and out of.
As well as new programming it will include many radio classics, such as the "Goon Show", "Hancock's Half Hour" and "Round the Horne" comedy shows; more than seven hours a day of book readings and drama; and three hours each day of children's programming in its one hour "Little Toe" show for younger children (broadcast in the morning with a mid afternoon repeat) and two-hour late afternoon live "Big Toe" for older children.
BBC7 web site:
UK Guardian report:
2002-12-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 11,200 to USD 8, 800 penalties on Truth Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WTOB- AM, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for offences relating to failure to enclose three of its antenna structure within en effective enclosure and exceeding authorized field strength limits and failure to register its antenna structures.
The penalties followed an inspection that found numerous wooden fence boards were either broken or missing on three of the towers, allowing access to the tower bases and that the station had exceeded its permitted night time power level at two monitoring points by at least 15%.
Base level penalties for the offences totalled USD 14,000 but in view of a previous good record these had been reduced from USD7, 000 to USD 5,600 for the enclosure breaches, from USD4, 000 to USD, 3,200 for the field strength breaches and from USD3, 000 to USD 2,400 for the registration failure, making a total of USD11, 200.
Following further representations by Truth, including a submission that the fences had been damaged by vandals and had been in good condition when inspected by its contractor two months before the FCC inspection, the FCC has dismissed its arguments relating to the first two of the penalties, totalling USD 8,800. It has however cancelled the USD 2,400 failure to register penalty.
2002-12-03: BBC Radio Five Live is moving sports presenter Aasmah Mir from the 1900-2200 Sport on Five show to the channel's 2000-2200 Weekend News slot formerly held by Caroline Feraday who left to host LBC's drivetime show (see RNW Nov 5).
Mirs, a law graduate, will co-host the Weekend News show with Richard Evans from mid-January.
2002-12-02: For this week's look at cover of radio in other media, we couldn't resist starting with items that reflect widely different facets of US business and US radio.
First a report from North Carolina by Martha Waggoner of the Associated Press on a small daytime-only AM station in Raleigh whose mission, to quote its web site, is "to provide a vehicle for local musicians to be heard on the air."
"WBZB is 100% dedicated to creating an awareness of our great local talent and to the promotion of that talent," it adds, listing local bands from Raleigh, Charlotte, and other places in the Carolinas and parts of Virginia.
Some bands get listed with a query, as with Bluesville, the entry for whom says, "We can't find these guys. Can someone help us? They gave us a great CD and disappeared..." and lists them as "From: ?, NC"
CDs reach WBZB-AM owner Steve Bass, says the report, "on a kind of musical underground railroad, slipped under the door of his radio station or passed from a friend to a friend to a friend."
Some it would seem are happy just to get a play with Bass saying he wishes that "groups like Bandway, the Belmont Playboys, Bigun Mother Nature, Bluesville and Celtic Jam would include a phone number or address where they can be reached."
"We have a lot of stuff that's really good music, but it was slipped under the door," adds Bass, who's also general manager of the 1,000-watt station in the small town of Garner, near Raleigh. "We get a lot of 'a friend of a friend asked me to give this to you, and his name is Gary something. However, we're not allowing those issues to restrict whether we play the music."
The criteria that decide whether music makes the area are geographic - it has to be local - and taste of the station staff. If they like it, it gets aired.
"It's hard to judge what's going to get on the air and what's not," said Ben Alexander, WBZB's station manager. "The employees sit around and listen to CDs. If we like it, if it sounds like quality music, then it goes on the air. There's nothing else influencing it."
The result is a mix of heavy metal, country, jazz and R&B in a line-up the station calls "genre hopping." Each week around 20 CDs come in with around 19 getting a track on air, others two or three tracks.
Bass, who runs a studio and a company selling audio equipment got his start when the owner of a license for an AM station outside of Raleigh retired and agreed to sell the license to him. "All of these people we had been doing business with all these years, they never had a voice or any input in a radio station that played their material," he said.
So far the station isn't breaking even and it is handicapped by its weak signal, something that has led Bass to file for a frequency change, 24-hour broadcasts and a power increase to 10,000 watts in the daytime.
Despite this and the support from musicians, the report says the prognosis isn't good. Jon Coleman, president of Coleman Research, a radio-program consulting company based outside Raleigh, commented ."If you want to know if they're going to make it, I guess it depends on your definition of making it."
"In terms of typical radio success of garnering an audience from a ratings standpoint, I'd say there's no prayer. Maybe there's some economic viability in some other way, but I'd say that's pretty slim."
Bass himself sees the future not in terms of the station making a profit from advertising sales but as part his plan to turn Raleigh into a music mecca like Seattle or Austin, Texas.
The station hopes to expand into Web commerce, and employees have discussed making custom CDs. Alexander said there are plans to open a store stocked with CDs and T-shirts. "We're a lot more than a radio station trying to sell ads and survive," Bass said. " (The promotion of bands and clubs is) our ace in the hole to help us last longer than the average radio property."
Probably more typical is county station WDEN-FM, Macon, Georgia, where 15-year veteran DJ Rick Knight according to an AP report in the Chicago Tribune had his own style that included talking about his three divorces and taking breaks from the music for NASCAR updates, news about mud-boggin' competitions and boasting about his beloved University of Alabama Crimson Tide.
Consolidation came in the way of a takeover by Cumulus and Knight bit the dust. "They fired me, canned me, gave me the pink slip, showed me the door, run me off," Knight told The Macon Telegraph. Cumulus said his style didn't "fit company's programming strategies" and Knight said he was told the station was changing to a more music-heavy format.
He's job hunting, but acknowledges his style is against him, commenting of corporation radio stations, "They make radio as much fun as going and getting a root canal."
Just as unlikely as Knight to make the mainstream is Spanish language AM station Radio Guanaquisima, featured in a write-up by Nurith C. Aizenman in the Washington Post.
The Rockville station's "Comunidad" hour at the centre of the article is hosted by Salvadorians Lisette Melendez and Claudia Rodas and aired the problems of workers such as housemaids and nannies, many of them immigrants, and many of them it would appear exploited.
The article concentrates on guest Silvia Navaf, a paralegal with the immigrants rights group CASA de Maryland, and calls dealt with ranged from one from a housemaid who didn't have legal papers and was being abused by her employer, to a nanny looking after fiver children and wondering if she was being paid below the state's legal minimum rate.
Navaf has spread word about her work via adverts in Spanish-language newspapers and through flyers but says she gets most attention from going on the airwaves of Spanish-language stations around every two months.
From Ireland, a treatment of a social problem in a markedly different manner as noted in Gerry McCarthy's Radio column in the UK Sunday Times, which begins with a comment that, as taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Charles Haughey "sent drugs to his enemies."
Straightening facts up but making a point,McCarthy continues, " he recounted how Haughey's habit was to send Christmas gifts to his critics: some got 25-year-old brandy others got Tullamore Dew."
Then, "The drug in question, obviously, is alcohol. The word "drug" has so many connotations by now that it is almost useless.
Richard Hannaford's series Drugs of Choice devotes each programme to a specific substance. He has covered cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and the remaining programmes will deal with tobacco, ecstasy and alcohol."
"This chimes with one definition of a drug: a chemical that affects the human body, usually by mimicking natural substances in the brain. Used recreationally, all have a certain euphoric value, combined with a greater or lesser tendency to dependency. By including alcohol and tobacco in his series Hannaford makes the important point that illegal substances are not always the most dangerous ones. "
Having raised the presenter, McCarthy later knocks him back a bit, commenting, after giving more details of the programme on cocaine and the fact that most sources interviewed were official ones, "Hannaford's studied objectivity comes across as a sham, and his choice of interviewees reveals more about his position on drugs than it does about the drugs themselves."
The cannabis programme got a rather better write-up," This week, dealing with cannabis, he got both sides of the story when he interviewed people who have been smoking dope for 20 years, apparently without too much harm. But he also spoke to a scientist who maintained that cannabis is potentially the most dangerous. It stays in the body much longer than other drugs and there are a lot of ways in which it can cause long-term damage, from cancer to dementia."
Chicago Tribune - AP on Macon station:
San Francisco Chronicle -Waggoner AP report:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
Washington Post - Aizenman:
WBZB web site:
2002-12-02: A batch of energy-saving light bulbs given away by Nottingham City Council has been causing radio interference problems according to the Nottingham Evening Post.
The problems are mainly to radio communications used to provide a service to taxi and security companies and were traced initially to the home of a resident in the suburb of Mapperley who picked up the bulbs at a "meet your councillor" event. Initial tests showed that interference was being caused by the low energy bulb from a batch of some 3200 bulbs, some of which had been given to around 40 households.
The householders have now been asked not to use the bulbs. Tests with other makes of bulb did not produce interference and the makers of the bulb concerned stressed that it was safe and met regulatory standards..
2002-12-02: A BBC World Service radio competition to find the "most popular song in the world" is turning up some major regional variations.
With votes in so far from more than 140 countries for more than 1200 songs, The Beatles, with 18, have had most songs nominated but the competition is currently being led by a Tamil song, Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu, by SP Balasubramaniyam; it comes from a popular crime film, Thalapathi.
It is followed in second place Hero by Mariah Carey.
In regional voting, Thriller by Michael Jackson leads in Africa, Bohemian Rhapsody in Europe and Hotel California by The Eagles is proving to be the Middle East's favourite.
Amongst politician and VIPs who have been canvassed in Asia, Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi chose Let it Be by the Beatles; Philippine President Gloria Arroyo chose I Have You by the Carpenters; and Japanese PM, Junichiro Koizumi, known as an Elvis Presley fan, chose Ennio Morricone's score for the film Once Upon a Time in America.
Amongst celebrities polled, Kevin Spacey chose Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin, and Ms Dynamite, who went for the Bob Marley classic, Redemption Song.
The results and final chart will be announced by Steve Wright in Wright Round the World on Saturday 21 December.
2002-12-01: Possibility because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, last week was fairly quiet in North America for the regulators, a situation that also applied elsewhere.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has been active only in community radio.
In Sydney, it has granted Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation a further extension until December 31 to commence its service: It may then broadcast at 1Kw until May 30 next year when it must commence full power 50Kw broadcasts.
In Queensland, the authority has allocated a new community radio licence for Boonah, Queensland to Scenic Rim Broadcasting Association Inc (Rim FM), which is already broadcasting on the allocated frequency under a temporary licence. Rim was the only applicant for the licence and broadcasts a general service on local issues plus news, information and entertainment for various groups in the community.
The ABA has also opted to hold off allocation a community licence in George Town, Tasmania for which it sought applications in September this year, receiving only one application, from Tamar FM Incorporated, which proposed a general community service.
ABA Chairman Professor David Flint commented, "The ABA finds that the applicant was not able to satisfy the ABA that it had the necessary financial, technical and management capacity to provide a broadcasting service that would adequately serve the George Town licence area. In addition, the applicant did not successfully demonstrate to the ABA that there was sufficient need and community interest within the licence area for its proposed service."
The ABA will continue to make the frequency available for temporary community broadcasting and Flint suggested that Tamas apply for a temporary licence that would "provide it with an opportunity to increase the number of community members actively involved in provision of its service."
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was also concerned with community level actions, approving a 27-watt low-power English-language FM radio station to provide a tourist information service in Dryden, Ontario, and an amendment to the licence for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation station CBPS-FM Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, to broadcast a bilingual English and French weather and environmental service; its licence was for an English language weather service.
The CRTC has also given notice of a public hearing in Quebec in February next year to consider various licence applications for which the intervention deadline is January 9.
Among the applications are those for radio licences to serve Montréal, Saguenay (formerly Chicoutimi/ Jonquière), Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières included in notices published in January this year. There were a large number of applications and the commission notes that it may group the applications by corporate group rather than market.
The hearings will also consider amendment applications concerning a number of Astral Media stations in Quebec and a proposed transaction by TVA Group Inc and Radio Nord Inc to acquire a number of the 19 Quebec stations Astral acquired from Telemedia (see RNW Aug 28 )
The applications involved are:
Montréal market, Quebec -New AM/FM stations:
*TVA Group Inc for a French-language commercial FM with a French and English language hits format covering music from the 60s to the 90s.
*Genex Communications Inc for a French-language commercial FM with an alternative rock format.
*A company owned by Radio Nord Communications inc. and La Société Spectra-Scène inc for a French-language commercial specialty FM with a Jazz and Blues format.
*Global Communications Inc for an English-language commercial specialty FM with a Jazz format.
* Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. for a primarily English-language FM Native Type B station with a primary goal of raising awareness of the needs and aspirations of Francophone Aboriginal Canadians; it would broadcast a speech and music service in English, French, Innu, Atikamek, Iroquian, and other native languages.
*Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio Ltd. for a licence to operate a commercial Specialty FM (ethnic radio) station in Montréal that would provide a service to a minimum of four cultural groups and broadcast in a minimum of five languages.
*Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. for a licence to operate an English-language commercial FM with a rhythmic urban/dance format.
*Radio Chalom for a licence to operate a commercial AM (ethnic religious radio) station.
*Azzahra International Foundation Inc. for a licence to operate a commercial FM (ethnic radio) station for a minimum of six cultural groups in a minimum of six languages.
*Gilles Lajoie and Colette Chabot (OBCI) for a French-language commercial AM at Laval with a nostalgia format.
Other applications in the market were:
- By Astral Radio Inc. to increase the power of CFEI-FM Saint-Hyacinthe, from 3,000 to 33,200 watts, which would change the class of station from A to B
- Application by the CBC to add a further 98-watts FM transmitter for CBME-FM Radio One Montréal to correct reception problems in the Westmount, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Côte-des-Neiges and Hampstead communities within the Montréal urban area.
Saguenay, Quebec, market (formerly Chicoutimi/Jonquière) -New AM/FM stations:
*Cogeco Radio-Télévision Inc. ("CRTI") for a new French-language commercial FM, to be part of the CRTI Rhythm FM network with an Adult Contemporary music format.
*TVA Group Inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with a French and English language hits format from the 60s to the 90s.
*A wholly owned subsidiary of Groupe Radio Antenne 6 inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with a nostalgia format.
Sherbrooke market --New AM/FM stations:
*Cogeco Radio-Télévision Inc. ("CRTI") for a new French-language commercial FM, to be part of the CRTI Rhythm FM network with an Adult Contemporary music format.
*TVA Group Inc for a new French-language commercial FM with a French and English language all hits music format from the '60s to the '90s.
*Genex Communications Inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with an alternative rock format.
*Groupe Radio RNC Inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with a contemporary hits and classic rock music format.
*André Gagné (OBCI) to be known as Groupe Génération Rock for a new French-language commercial FM with a classic rock, soft rock and new rock musical format.
*Radio Communautaire Missisquoi Inc. for anew English-language FM community Type A radio station in Lac-Brome.
Other applications in the market were:
An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence of CBF-FM-10 Sherbrooke to add an FM transmitter at Magog to improve the service for several municipalities west of Mont-Orford.
Trois-Rivières market -New AM/FM stations:
*Cogeco Radio-Télévision Inc. ("CRTI") for a new French-language commercial FM, to be part of the CRTI Rhythm FM network with an Adult Contemporary music format.
*TVA Group Inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with a French and English language all hits music format from the '60s to the '90s.
*Groupe Radio RNC Inc. for a new French-language commercial FM with a contemporary hits and classic rock music format
Other applications in the market were:
By the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a frequency change, transmitter and power increase from 4,386 to 9,300 watts for CBMZ-FM: This application is for the restoration of CBMZ-FM's permanent facilities at Trois-Rivières, following the Mont-Carmel tragedy and subsequent demolition of the Westower in April 2001 and is linked to and conditional on the approval of its application for frequency 106.9 MHz for La Première chaîne at Magog. It also requires an amendment to the licence of mother station CBVE-FM Quebec.
By the CBC to amend the licence of CBF-FM-8 to change its frequency, relocate its transmitter and increase power from 4,326 to 66,700 watts
By Radio Ville-Marie to FM transmitter at Trois-Rivières to rebroadcast the programming of religious station CIRA-FM Montréal.
Ville-Marie, Quebec merket - -New AM/FM stations:
Applications by :
*Radio Témiscamingue Incorporée for a new French-language commercial FM with an adult pop format. Associated with this would be a low-power transmitter in Témiscaming to rebroadcast the programs of the new FM station.
The CRTC will also consider at the hearing CAD12.75 million (USD 8.1 million) deal to transfer control of various Quebec stations involved in Astral Radio's acquisition of Telemedia stations -- CKAC-AM Montréal; CHRC-AM Québec; CHLT-AM Sherbrooke; CHLN-AM Trois-Rivières; CKTS-AM Sherbrooke; CHEY-FM Trois-Rivières; CITE-FM Montréal; CITE-FM-1 Sherbrooke; CITF-FM Québec; CIMF-FM Gatineau; and · CFIX-FM Saguenay (formerly Chicoutimi).
In particular it concerns the sale to a TVA Group-Radio Nord company of CFOF-FM, whose assets are held by Radio Etchemin, and AM stations CKRS Saguenay (formerly Chicoutimi); CJRC Gatineau; CKSM Shawinigan, all owned by Astral; and also CHLN Trois-Rivières; CHLT Sherbrooke; CKTS Sherbrooke; CKAC Montréal; and CHRC Québec that were acquired by Astral from Telemedia.
The Commission notes that the AM deals arise from a Consent Agreement (between Telemedia, Astral Media and the Commissioner of Competition that required on competition grounds the disposals of CKRS; CJRC; CHLN; CHLT; CKAC and CHRC on competition grounds to gain approval of the Astral purchase of Telemedia's Quebec stations.
Elsewhere in Canada, the Commission is listing :
In Ontario, an application by Durham Radio Inc. to acquire the assets of radio stations CKGE-FM and CKDO-AM, Oshawa
In Saskatchewan an application by Yorkton Broadcasting Company Limited & Walsh Investments Inc., partners of GX Radio, to add an FM transmitter at Wapella to broadcast the programming of CFGW-FM, Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
The CRTC has also renewed the licences for two Canadian national pay audio music services.
One was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Galaxie national pay audio music service but required that the minimum level of Canadian musical selections broadcast each week on the service's Canadian-produced pay audio channels must increase from 30% to 35%. The other was the licence for Max Trax Music Ltd. (formerly DMX Music Ltd.), which similarly has to institute the same increases.
Ireland was quiet and in in the UK, the Radio Authority was involved in only one radio action, the publication of its assessment of the award of the Yorkshire digital multiplex to MXR against competition from Yorkshire & Humberside Digital Radio (See Licence News RNW June 23).
Both applications met statutory requirements and the Authority said of the MXR bid that it "had a robust company structure, with shareholders who were all fully committed to the enterprise as programme service providers, and who all had solid financial resources which would contribute to the financial security of the multiplex."
Concerning its service bouquet, the Authority noted that it included "the guaranteed carriage of the two existing regional ILR services in the Yorkshire region, Galaxy 105 and Real Radio" and added that it "welcomed the provision of a well-resourced regional news operation, Digital News Network (DNN), whose journalists would supply regional news material to the other digital channels on the multiplex as well as delivering a dedicated 100% speech channel during daytime."
"MXR," it said, "achieved a reasonable balance between mainstream and more specialist brands, such as Jazz FM, which would broaden choice in the area."
It added that "Members also considered that MXR had produced a programming bouquet which would appeal to a range of age groups, with the inclusion of Smooth, the easy listening service, and Capital Disney's channel for kids and teens" and then noted that it saw "an apparent mismatch between the format description of Capital Disney and what it was currently broadcasting elsewhere, and expected that the service would be re-positioned in line with the application description by the time the Yorkshire multiplex comes on air."
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commenced proceedings that could lead to the loss of licence for Georgia station WMGA-AM, Moultrie, or potentially a large fine and also reduced to USD1,000 a USD10,000 fine on a Brooklyn pirate (See RNW Nov 27).The Commission has also moved to electronic filing only for applications for low-power FM licences and new reserved-channel non-commercial stations, although for the moment it may choose to accept paper filings if it adjudges a waiver request filed with a paper applications gives adequate reasons to accept a paper submission.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
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UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-12-01:Canadian broadcaster CHUM has announced that after nearly a half-century at its helm its founder, 81 years old Allan Waters, is stepping down tomorrow as chairman and president, although he will remain a director and act as a consultant for the company; his son Jim Waters, 51, who is currently Executive Vice-President of CHUM Limited and President, CHUM Radio, will leave those posts and become chairman.
Water's youngest son Ron Waters, 47, will become vice-chairman instead of an executive vice-president of CHUM, in place of Fred Sherratt, a former CHUM COO who is stepping down as vice-chairman but will remain a director and also a consultant to the company.
Jay Switzer, currently President of CHUM Television, joins the board and becomes President and CEO. New Presidents for CHUM Radio and Television are to be announced by Switzer..
Allan Waters said in a statement, "I am very pleased that the stewardship of the company as a whole will be in experienced and extremely capable hands. Both Jim and Ron have been pivotal in the success of CHUM and the time has come for them to take a greater role on the board of the company."
Waters founded the company when he bought Toronto's CHUM-AM radio station in 1954. It now 28 radio stations, eight local TV stations, and 17 specialty channels, as well as an environmental music distribution division.
Switzer also comes from a broadcast -owning family; his mother Phyllis Switzer co-founded CITY-TV, Toronto, which was taken over by CHUM in 1978.
The move comes as the company has faced difficulties: it laid off nearly 50 employees in its TV operations in August, its first-ever lay-offs, and then later in the month folded its CHUM radio sports network, firing another 44 employees (See RNW Aug 29).
Last month it reported profits down a fifth for the full financial year to CAD 14.1 million (USD 9 million), and a final quarter loss of CAD 4 million (USD 2.55 million) because of higher operating costs and interest expenses related to acquisitions (See RNW Oct 29).
Previous Jim Waters:
2002-12-01: BBC World Service has announced that later this month it is to start broadcasting a four part "landmark " series of programmes on the trafficking in human beings, highlighting the growth in this trade and efforts to curb it.
Presented by John McGhie it includes comment both from victims and those who profit from the trade.
The first programme, to be broadcast on December13, "Trafficking for Sex" tells the stories of girls from Nigeria and Eastern Europe who have been trafficked to work in the sex industry in Rome.
It will be followed by "The Traffic in Organs" a week later on the illegal kidney transplant trade in the UK and Israel; on December 27 with "Economic Immigration - Freedom or Slavery?" that reports on the lives of immigrants in New York and London who pay a huge sum to travel to "a new land of opportunity" only to find themselves indebted to their trafficker and ends on January 3 with "The Trafficking of Children" about the way adoption in some parts of the world has become a criminal conspiracy, supplying children to a market of rich potential parents.
BBC News release (Details broadcast times: The programme will also be available on-demand on the BBC World Service web site from December 13):
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December 2002 -January 2003
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